If you like visiting places mainly because of their sheer natural beauty and refreshing atmosphere, I would recommend that you take a trip to the Blue Lagoon in Portland. Not only is it one of the most visually appealing locations to unwind and just…breathe, it is also among the most famous spots in Jamaica.
I was fascinated to find out that it was one of the several locations chosen to shoot the 1980 acclaimed and controversial paradisiac Brooke Shields movie, “The Blue Lagoon” (see what they did there?) as confirmed by the IMDB. Actually, the movie’s popularity is responsible for the current name of the area, which was previously called Blue Hole. Also, it has been the site for other popular movies, such as “Club Paradise” with the late Robin Williams.
Plus, it has been visited by a stunning number of local and international celebrities, including the Queen Bee herself, Beyoncé (now I know why I find her to be so cool). Famous movies and people aside, the Blue Lagoon also has a legend going for it that is kind of scary: that there is a dragon residing in its depths. That’s hardly surprising since people around the world usually associate monsters with large bodies of water (think Loch Ness).
By the way, the Blue Lagoon was once considered bottomless but divers eventually found it to be between 180 and 200 feet deep.
Now that we have covered a little bit of the history (and mythology) of the place, let’s talk about why your next trip to Jamaica should include an exploration of The Blue Lagoon in Portland.
Why Visit this Location?
The Blue Lagoon is a place to appreciate the greatness of Mother Nature while relaxing in a calm and refreshing atmosphere. Imagine floating on a bamboo raft atop a shimmering glass of intense azure waters, or drifting along on a leisurely boat ride, or even taking a swim in an inviting, natural water wonderland. All around you can see lush vegetation and several well-kept villas, adding to the magnificent scenery.
Sounds heavenly? Bear in mind that there is not much else to discover at The Blue Lagoon in terms of entertainment spots, amenities, or places to dine, but most people who visit (including me) will tell you that the atmosphere and good vibes are more than worth it. The air is amazingly fresh too; I feel like my health improved during the few hours I was there.
It’s as scenic and breath-taking as the Blue Hole (anotoher attraction I reviewed previously).
Another great thing to know is that the Blue Lagoon is amazingly picture-worthy, especially if you’re looking to take some great shots of nature’s beauty at its best. In addition, the water in the lagoon is enchanting and interesting, changing colour depending on the time of day and how brightly the sun is shining. They say men are colour blind but I was able to identify several different shades of blue in the water over a short period of time while I was there. No, my eyes weren’t playing tricks; I actually asked someone if they were noticing the same thing.
The Blue Lagoon also has varying temperatures (cold some places, warm in others) due to the intermixing of salty water from the Caribbean Sea and freshwater from a number of underground springs. I could go on and on about the place, but there are not enough words to do it justice; it’s better if you just went and experienced it for yourself. I will say that all in all, it is a good place to just chill.
What to Take with You
Pack small if you plan to visit the Blue Lagoon and take a swim, for instance. You just want to have the bare essentials: swimwear, towels, and money. While there is no admission fee, you will need the money if you decide you want to be taken on a tour by one of the boatmen on duty.
Oh, and don’t forget a good camera; you’re going to need it for all the great photo ops that will present themselves. You also should carry along insect repellent to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Everything you need should be able to fit nicely in a small tote bag or fanny pack because there is no facility for you to store your things, except on a boat, raft, or on the land somewhere (not recommended).
Enjoying the Blue Lagoon
Depending on where you’re staying in Jamaica, getting to the Blue Lagoon can be pretty easy or a little tricky if you’re visiting on your own. Still, I can give you a basic idea. It will take roughly 90 minutes or a little more if you’re visiting from Kingston or Ocho Rios. If traveling from Montego Bay, add about two hours to that, and if you’re coming from as far as Negril, it will take close to five.
Now, you can explore the Blue Lagoon all on your own, but it’s advisable that you invest in a tour, unless you’re familiar with the place. There are a number of tour guides on hand who are only too willing to take you rafting on the lagoon or for a boat tour. On average, the cost for a tour is about US$30.
However, what many visitors have been doing is to buy tour packages through their hotels or a booking agent, which covers everything from traveling to the location and getting a tour to checking out other nearby attractions and getting back to their hotel. This is something I would recommend if you’re visiting The Blue Lagoon in Portland because you will need to take several different buses or taxis if you plan to go on your own, or do a lot of driving.
On top of that, a paid tour will ensure that you get to view the best spots and have the best time. The boatmen and rafters know all the best diving and swimming spots plus they have ways of keeping you entertained.
A tour will see the guide not just taking you out into the water, but also giving you oral history and stories about the place. Yes, you might hear about the suspected dragon residing there which I mentioned earlier, but don’t worry, no one has ever really seen or heard it (at least there haven’t been any reported sighting in recent times). Seriously, though, it’s just a legend that adds to the beauty and mystique of the lagoon.
One more thing to bear in mind when exploring the Blue Lagoon is safety. Many people like taking a swim or even go snorkeling while visiting. You can do that if you want, but please remember that it is quite deep in some areas, so you shouldn’t jump in unless you’re a good swimmer or you’re wearing proper swimming gear.
With that said, go ahead and have fun responsibly at the famous Blue Lagoon in Portland. It will be an experience to remember.