My mom and I stayed here as our first traveling adventure together. The first lower house we stayed in had really bad ants (expected) but they were falling onto the bed! For me that was a big no and the mosquito net wasn't catching them (Mike stated that he was trying to get rid of them from off the roof). The host Mike was soooo great and moved us to the middle house with a rooftop view of the port and it was AMAZING. The BEST sunsets I've ever seen. We would leave all the windows and doors open to stay cool. The shower is huge and you can open the door to the outside and be one with the environment in full nude. lol. There were also cats and kittens during our stay. They added a great touch and charm to our stay. Again, Mike was great and kind to talk to. No breakfast so we stocked up on fruit and went to the market. The beach we would go to often is the local one Errol Finn Marina. It was actually pretty secluded and not very busy. Some locals (some tourists) would come and we all swam together and enjoyed the sun. One of the best vacations I've been on and this place added to the ecoventure I was hoping for!
We stayed at Mango Ridge for three nights, in the beautiful harbor view bungalow. We got te see all the bungalows, and all of them are beautifully situated and are very nicely designed. You also get a fridge and a kitchenette, so you can make your own meals with all the good stuff you'll find at the markets.
Port Antonio and it's surroundings are great to explore, so I would recommend staying for at least 3 nights. At Mango Ridge you'll find the best place to unwind, as it's located in a beautifull piece of tropical forest on the slope of a hill, still you'll be in town in no time. And last but not least, Mike is a terrific host and a friendly person.
Mango Ridge is ideally located - a short walk from the city centre, the water and the taxi hub. Michael, Robin and Brandon live on the property and can direct and advise you on day trips down the main road. At the end of Sommers Lane is a cozy bar called Purple Haze that is a nice place to get a beer at the end of the night. The cottages are well stocked, clean and unique. We loved to cook meals in the kitchen, and enjoy them on the balcony with a view! The climb to the cottage, the noise from the life in the forest and the bursts of rain at night become second nature after a couple days stay. If you are looking for your own space surrounded by amazing flora and fauna, this is it!
This review is overdue. We enjoyed our stay here, even though this was a no frills trip. The cabin was bright, had a hot plate, small refrigerator, fan, etc. This was enough. Not having hot water was just not an issue. I loved that it was 200 plus stairs to the cabin one way. We needed the exercise after consuming massive amounts of jerk chicken, festival, and red stripe. This community was 100% locals and noisy given the relatively small size. It is not uncommon to see cars with mounted speakers on the top, playing music at max volume.
Mango Ridge is walkable to town, the water, and many of the attractive dining areas. I was impressed with most places we ate and would recommend Soldiers Camp for a great dinner, street food for lunch. Be sure to hit the market at least once.
When walking the streets, make a point to greet those you pass, it is offensive to not acknowledge another walking by. Be prepared to play frogger crossing the streets, this is no joke, cars stop for no one. We took taxis to various places. You have option of shared car, private car, or bus/van. If you have personal space issues, opt for the private taxi. We did all three. With shared cars, they will not leave until car is full...Full means 4 adults in back seat. Buses pack them in as well. This was most frightening thing we did all week. Its a combination of a roller coaster ride and Daytona 500. When you are close to you stop, better have money in hand and be ready to hop out the door when it opens because the bus/van does not come to a complete stop. We took a ride down the river, this was a little spooky as heavy rains made water rise and current was rapid, in some places choppy. Our raft almost flipped, but hey...at least it gave us a good story.
I am very pleased we stayed here and had an opportunity spend time in the community. The scenery is beautiful, for people are loud but friendly, and marijuana is smoked in public as if it were tobacco.
The beaches are a great place to spend the day, most have food/drinks available for purchase, in fact we had a fabulous lobster dinner at Carolinas, right next to the beach.
The host was on site and available for us when every we had a question.
Mango Ridge is a hidden spot in the village of Port Antonio. It lies off a road, up a gap, up a series of narrow concrete stairs, on the side of a mountain. The view of Port Antonio and the Caribbean from my upstairs bedroom was striking. The cabin was clean and two-storied with a nice mini-refrigerator and two portable fans. You will need the mosquito net. Mike was an attentive host. I appreciated his willingness to give quick advice for food and directions. Piggy's little shack was the best jerk I had on the entire island, including the places in Boston Bay.
Port Antonio is not really a tourist destination and you must be ready to navigate Jamaican villages and ask for lots of help from local folks.