Rick’s Cafe in Jamaica
On the west end of Negril, Jamaica is the iconic Rick’s Cafe, located on a beautiful cove along the West End Cliffs. This is a great place to watch or photograph one of the best sunsets in Jamaica, experience the thrill of a lifetime, drink an ice cold Red Stripe or just watch local kids doing crazy cliff diving tricks.
There’s a lot of history at Rick’s. When it opened in 1974, it was one of the first public bar and restaurants in Negril, which at the time was just a sleepy fishing village. Thirty years later, the restaurant/bar/gift shop strives to maintain as much as its original character as possible. Rick’s has been knocked down twice by hurricanes – once in 1988 by Hurricane Gilbert and then again in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan. Amazingly, with 60-80 foot waves from Ivan, what remained of the Cafe was actually strewn across the road!
Today, Rick’s is bigger and better with a family of about 60 employees that keep the fun alive. The Head Chef at Rick’s, Phillip “Sheddy” Williams, has been there for over 15 years. Many employees have worked at the bar/restaurant for over 20 years as their first and only job. Rick’s has been voted “Best Live Reggae Bar” and “One of the Ten Best Bars in the World” by Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine.
Just getting there can be an adventure if you choose sea over land as a route.
While you *could* hop in a cab, I highly recommend getting in the spirit of adventure and taking the Island Routes Reggae Catamaran Cruise from Sandals Negril Resort instead. You won’t regret it!
You’ll enjoy a playful crew,
tropical (alcoholic) drinks to calm your nerves
and beautiful views of the Jamaican coastline along the way.
In about 30-40 minutes, you’ll catch sight of Rick’s Cafe and more than likely will immediately get a show as both tourists and locals jump and dive from the cliffs.
Since the boat drops anchor about 100 feet from the cliffs (there is no where to dock – duh!), when you’re ready, you’ll take to the water and swim to Rick’s. Don’t worry, you’ll be fully equipped with a fashionable yellow floatie so even the Pansiest of Pansies will be able to participate.
Rick’s Cafe is home to many Jamaican traditions, like watching their amazing sunsets to the more adventurous activity of cliff diving, where locals and tourists dive headfirst, or in my case, jump feet first off the cliffs.
The highest platform jump is located 35 feet over the beautiful blue water and promises an adrenaline rush. Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine lists cliff diving in Jamaica as one of “10 things you absolutely must do“. While I and some of my fellow bloggers took the plunge from just 25 feet,
here are a couple quick clips I took of the locals (who happen to be much more daring, talented fellas who obviously don’t need to hold their noses)…
Be sure to click the settings to change video quality to HD and also view in full screen mode for best results!
If you’re afraid of heights but still looking for adventure, you can try one of Rick’s signature drinks “Sex with Rick” for the ladies: vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, OJ, pineapple juice & a splash of cream or for the guys the “Front End Lifter A.K.A. Jamaican Viagra” blended stout beer, white rum, rum cream, clear syrup, oatmeal & one egg topped with chocolate syrup.
A huge thank you to Visit Jamaica and the Jamaican Tourism Board for covering my expenses to experience Jamaica first hand in order to share my stories with you. No additional compensation was received and all opinions are my own.