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Port Rhoades is probably best known for being used as a location in the Bond movie Dr No. Movie fans will remember the headquarters of the Doctor (Crab Quay) which was in fact the Kaiser Bauxite loading facility. Large freighters are fed by this complexes conveyor belts from a huge rusty dome. This industrial complex dominates the town and in truth the town has little to attract visitors being a mainly industrial and nautical town. There are spectacular views of the bay to be had from the lookout point one kilometre uphill from the port.
Port Rhoades is part of Discovery Bay which has more to offer the tourist and attracts visitors to its Puerto Seco Beach. Discovery Bay is easily reached by bus from Ocho Rios and Montenegro.
Discovery Bay sits in the shadow of the Dry Harbour Mountains. The town is dependant on tourism and the mining of bauxite, an aluminium ore. The bay is also home to the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory. This research and teaching facility collates information about the marine life and water qualities in the area and works with the local fishermen to improve the catch whilst protecting the surrounding nature.
Outside the industrial setting of the town the area is blessed with beautiful scenery and beaches which are the main attraction for the tourist. Puerto Seco Beach is seven miles long and it claims to be one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica. Offering bathroom facilities, changing rooms and a snack bar this beach is well equipped for the day visitor and is in a tranquil peaceful surrounding. The beach also offers calm waters making it a popular destination for families and as a result of this at weekends the bay is also popular with the locals looking for some relaxation.
The area has a number of villas to rent and is also steeped in history. Another connection with Hollywood is that the original Jamaican Bobsleigh team (Cool Runnings) came from Discovery Bay; whilst the first missionary to set out for Africa left the waters of Discovery Bay in the eighteen eighties. The area has a number of bright and lively fishing villages where you can sit back and watch the locals at work.
The Portside Resort and Villas offer guests spacious sleeping quarters for larger groups. A private beach is on offer with watersports available, all the suites have patios and terraces that overlook the glittering waters of the bay. The bulk of accommodation in Discovery Bay lies in privately rented villas and although the town of Discovery Bay is small there is a supermarket, a small amusement park, a shopping complex and of course the excellent beach making it a good spot for those who wish to self cater. The local Ocho Rios market gives the visitor the chance to shop amongst the locals for fresh fruit and vegetables. An interesting experience but a first time visit is best as a looking experience only until you get to know the ropes. The White River is the best place for purchasing fresh fish from the local fishermen.
There are a number of little restaurants on the area all serving typical Jamaican spicy food and one or two more American style diners in the port itself. The area around Port Rhoades and Discovery Bay offer plenty of attractions and opportunities for days out and this area is best thought of as a base for exploring Jamaica and the Ocho Rios rather than a place in which to spend the whole holiday.