Our last day in Porty started with shitty weather and ended with shitty weather but as far as how our last day went, it was great. We didn’t spend it on the beach or at an overcrowded tourist attraction rather we spent it with our host and his family at Mango Ridge.
We found this little piece of paradise after it was suggested to us by a local who gave us no real directions just landmarks to walk towards to which is common occurrence in Jamaica where there is barely any street signs. Of course we walked around for about 25 minutes before we found it but in the end we are glad we stuck with it.
Hidden away in the lush green mountains just 10 minutes from the city center, Mango Ridge was the perfect place to stay for us. It had all the right elements. It is surrounded by nature, close to town but far enough that we weren’t annoyed by the city’s chaos, hospitable hosts, a place all to ourselves and something that gave us inspiration for our future home.
Initially we planned to stay at Mango Ridge for just a few days, but our love for this place caused us to extend it to a little over a week and we would have stayed longer if we didn’t have to leave Jamaica.
Michael, i.e Mike, the owner of Mango Ridge is an American expat and has lived in Jamaica for over 25 years. He is an extremely generous, laid-back, and hospitable guy.
While here we spent an entire day hanging out with Mike and his family. His two kids were the cherry on the cake. We talked, played dominoes, chess, scrabble and millions of card games. His wife even invited us to join them for some delicious home cooked Jamaican meal (Jerk chicken, callaloo, rice and beans and breadfruit).
The hospitality of Jamaicans is impeccable and second to no one.
Throughout our stay, Mike gave us great suggestions on places to visit in Port Antonio, directions on how to get to places and advice on places to eat. He helped us with pretty much any and everything we needed.
So of course on our last day we had no doubt we were going to spend it with good company, sharing stories, good food, and playing games. All while overlooking the chaos in Porty.
We came as strangers and left as friends!
Mango Ridge, Mike and his family are definitely one of the reason why we fell in love with Porty, better yet Jamaica, and we can’t wait to go back. We would recommend this place in a heart beat!
About Mango Ridge Guest Cottages
Nestled in the lush green hills of Port Antonio, Mango Ridge Guest Cottages is surrounded by a large variety of fruit trees, mangoes (duh!), papayas, coconuts, soursop, and bananas, and offers a breathtaking view over Porty.
Mango Ridge is a 10 minute walk from public transportation, restaurants, and a short drive from popular attractions such as Reach Falls, Boston Bay, Winnifred Beach, Cornwall Barracks and the Blue Lagoon.
The property has four different cottages that are equipped with everything one may need for a nice and comfortable stay, such as a small kitchen with a stove top and a mini fridge.
Price range: $50 – $70 USD a night
Amenities: Free private Wifi, outdoor grill, fan, mosquito nets, outdoor patio, and free drinks upon request.
Location: Sommers Lane, Port Antonio, Jamaica
How to get there: Finding Mango Ridge can be a bit tricky but it’s possible. You will most likely get off at the Texaco gas station in the town centre, and from there you walk away from the ocean, through the gas station and make a left. Continue up that road until you see a huge church and make a right. Keep walking and eventually you will see a red and white mini grocery shop on your right (looks like a regular house). After the grocery store turn right into the alley, Sommers Lane. Walk to the end where you will find the steps to the top. If you are lost just ask some locals, like we did :D
Where to book a stay at Mango Ridge: You can book your stay on Airbnb.
I always look for accommodation that is close to town but secluded enough to be a refuge. Add in friendly hosts and you’ve got yourself a winner!
We are exactly the same way Brianna!