A village located in south-eastern Jamaica, Port Royal was once the largest city in the Caribbean, serving as the centre of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea, before it was destroyed by an earthquake and an accompanying tsunami in 1692.


Located on the southeast coast of Jamaica, the natural harbor at Port Royal became the center of English life in Jamaica. By the late 1600s, it had become the largest European city after Boston. It had also become an infamous home of pirates, prostitutes, and Englishmen on the make. On the 7th of June 1692, a massive earthquake hit the island. The city, largely built over sand, suffered instantly from liquefaction, with buildings, roads, and citizens sucked into the ground. Geysers erupted from the earth, buildings collapsed, and the city was also hit by tsunami waves, destroying absolutely everything. About 33 acres of the city disappeared under water, four of the five forts were destroyed or submerged, and 2000 people were killed.

Those interested in acquainting themselves with the history of this sunken city can visit the ruins and explore the National Museum of Historical Archaeology that is dedicated to the history of Port Royal as well as of the Jamaican people. There’s also the Fort Charles & Fort Charles Maritime Museum.


10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Good to know

  • Make sure to carry a bottle of water and lots of sunscreen


Sunken Pirate City
Jamaica ruins
Jamaica history
things to do in Jamaica

Similar Experiences