On the very first SimplyLocal.life road trip opened to the public, I invited 4 website followers to check out a lovely spot in Portland. This was my first time meeting 3 of the 4 invitees; we all became more acquainted as the day progressed. These aren’t your typical guesthouses in Portland, Jamaica; the epitome of a purely natural getaway, our destination at the Living Akashi Guesthouses promotes a healthy, positive lifestyle on a private island.

Someone has to meet you in the community to transport you to the private island

Getting to this Private Island Guesthouse in Portland, Jamaica

In the capital city Port Antonio, rafting on the Rio Grande river is popularly offered in a community known as Berrydale. Hostess Akashi will arrange for a guide to meet you in the community and escort to a designated raft. A short ride on the Rio Grande takes to a land lined with banana trees and path to a shallow area of the river.

From ‘banana walk’, take a few steps across the waters to the islet housing the retreat. Upon arrival, you’re greeted with fresh coconut water straight from the source; the “wash off” is a fitting start to the nature-bonding journi. A quick stroll around the land presents surrounding greenery and river views, of which you get the very best from the elevated rooms and cabins on the property.

Travel Tip: Wear sneakers / sturdy shoes


Get 50% OFF this whole experience when you visit for a day or overnight stay!

Portland Private Island Getaway Amenities

There are a handful of spaces offered at Living Akashi Guesthouses, more to be made available soon. The open space of each grants unfiltered views of the landscape. A cheerful colour palette of rich purple and bright green complement the rooms centred by a small table. Net canopies shelter low-lying beds covered with vibrant sheets, and are overheaded by a string of illuminations. In my opinion it’s a more laid-back version to another Portland wellness retreat.

Bright solar lights provide adequate lighting for the entire space when the sun goes down

As a pure nature getaway, all running water is supplied by nearby springs, and electricity by solar power. The outdoor restroom facilities include a partly-open shower and two fragranced natural latrines.

The kitchen is where a lot of magic happens! I’ve enjoyed gourmet vegetarian cuisine at a Kingston restaurant before, but this was something special indeed.

Land of Oshun Delicious Vegan Meals

Akashi will happily prepare a healthy, satisfying feast for you to enjoy. Presented in wooden serving dishes, on our visit we enjoyed stuffed avocado (aka pear in Jamaica), ackee salad, seasoned plantains, a fruit platter, spring water and a natural juice mix. The abundant selection was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Limits were pushed to savour food as much as we could manage, but still regrettably had some leftover.

Secluded Scatter Waterfall & Mineral Pools

A guided walk through vegetation will reveal two cascades that residents refer to as ‘top and bottom’ falls, based on their relative locations. The main (top) waterfall towers stories high, showering refreshing water into the shallow river below. A fairly easy ascension will grant envious lookout points of the forest as you enjoy the cool water caressing your body.

The lower and smaller (bottom) waterfall runs into a mineral pool based with clay minerals said to be able to pull toxins from skin. The forceful pressure of the mini waterfall can provide a pleasurable back massage as you enjoy the surrounding beauty.

Rejuvenate at these Guesthouses in Portland, Jamaica

Closing in on our departure, the hammock seemed to have been everyone’s sanctuary at some point throughout the day. Some even managed to get extra comfortable and catch a puss nap (short sleep session) while suspended between two trees.

Without regret, we stayed beyond the intended departure time and were luckily able to enjoy a taste of the vegan soup that just finished bubbling over the wood fire.

A soup mix inclusive of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and spices created a fiesta with taste buds. A to-go bowl in the form of a coconut husk was relished as we crossed the river and ‘banana walk’ one more time.

The 1-minute raft ride as the sun faded marked the end of a well-spent day with great company!

“A journey that was as much fun as the destination. Remarkably authentic, one for the books, something to reminisce on for years to come. Experiencing the adventure with Simplylocal.life should always be repeated, it makes life worth it. Trust me and try it.”

– Tishelle Campbell

“This honestly has been my FAVE vlog/adventure to date. From we started vlogging she’s [Jhunelle] been the easiest person to coordinate with. Link her. “

– Hillary Scarrlett


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Akashi’s Land of Oshun

Hostess Akashi made a drastic lifestyle change after being told that she required a blood transfusion. The natural healing powers she found on the land of the now guesthouses in Portland, Jamaica allowed her to live a natural life.

If you’re interested in a visit to the land and/or her 22-day transformation programme to help you reset, please send an email for more information.

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