The Richest City in the World, one would think this is making reference to a luxurious City like Dubai, but I’m actually about Port Royal Jamaica. The same Port Royal where Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean was held captive and managed to escape with pocket knife and a bottle of Rum. Port Royal is a city located a few mile from Kingston at the entrance of the Kingston Harbor. This city was founded in 1518 and was said to be a central shipping / commercial point for traders and even pirates.
Port Royal was a popular spot for English and Dutch Privateers who had not received official letters of Marque from their home countries to spend their treasure and showcase their wealth. Port Royal was once known as “the wickedest city” on Earth and was the home of the notorious Sir Henry Morgan who was one of the most “ruthless” yet successful pirates for his raid on the Spanish Privateers. Morgan and his crew would capture and plunder the Spanish fleets that were laden with treasures coming from Spain. This was the perfect place because of its location in the Caribbean Sea and also because it linked to several nearby ports. The fame and fortune of the City was short-lived due to the “Earthquake of 1962” which claimed half of the City undersea and took the lives of over 2000 Port Royal residents.
Today, Port Royal is a great one-day or weekend get-away if you are looking for more of a historical trip. The first thing you will notice while driving along is the Caribbean Sea on both sides of the Road, this is amazing as it gives you a true “Island Feel”, being surrounded by water. Once you enter the city it feels like you are on the set of “Pirate of the Caribbean”, there are huge canons which were used to protect the island from intruders and you will also notice the architecture is not quite like the houses you see in Jamaica today because they are made from Bricks. If you are one of those people who gets sea sick easily, you might not enjoy this city the smell of the sea and of course the spices and herbs used on the popular “Fry Fish” dish can make you nauseous. The first thing to do is get food, there is something about the Sea that makes one hungry.
Where to Eat in Port Royal
Be sure that you stop at Gloria’s Restaurant which is known for their local and seafood dishes. As an appetizer , order the delicious Fish Soup then follow up with any of the Lobster and be sure to get fried Bammys on the side. Bammys are like Cassava Bread that goes well with just about anything and can be fried or steamed. Gloria’s tends to always be packed if you go during “peak season” so prepare to wait for a good half an hour to even an hour! The taste of the food outshines that long wait as it is simply amazing, if you have time please give compliments to the chef, he might give you a “brawtah” (a little something extra on your plate.
Another Restaurant to visit is “Why Not On the Dock”. The Restaurant is located on a large deck over the water and presents a panoramic view of the Harbour. The great thing about this spot is the serving portions: you get large Shrimp and Lobster. The dish of choice is the Conch Soup, this has more of an acquired taste but it is delicious. Locals will tell you to order Bammy along with the Conch Soup, then use the Conch Soup as a dip for the Bammy. Food prices start from $2 – 12, Opening hours 10a.m -8pm Mon- Fri and 9a.m – 1a.m Sat-Sun.
Visiting the Port Royal Museum
If you a history lover, visit the Port Royal Museum. You will be able to see artefacts from the 15th- 17th, some of them even made from Gold. The Museum stands in the building of the headquarters of the British Royal Navy during the 1700s and features the display of a Jamaica Producer cargo ship. The area where this cargo ship stands, is where the “watch” would look out for enemy ships entering the port. The Museum has a small but impressive collection of items so it’s not a state of the art Museum like those in North America. The admission price of $4 gets you into the Museum and Front Charles. The Museum is open from 10a.m – 5pm weekdays and closed on weekends.
Walking the “Heel of the Island”
The final thing to do in Port Royal is take a walk along the Beach! This might sound like the cliché thing to do but the city is located at the “heel of the Island”, there is the Atlantic Side and the Intercostal Side. The view is amazing because it is believed that there is a special part of the Island where you can see Cuba!
Port Royal is the perfect place to see Jamaica in a different way. It is a great place to truly sit back and take in the beauty of a small city dubbed as a “miniature London”.