The Rick’s Cafe Experience – Negril, Jamaica
My fiance and I traveled to Negril last month for my oldest, most dearest friends wedding. Aside from the wedding festivities, our only real “plan” was to relax on the beach with a frozen drink in hand. And that’s precisely what we did. Normally I like to have my trips planned out but something about the laid back Jamaican vibe, warm Caribbean water and continuous flow of drinks made me forget what a plan even was.
On our second night in town, we decided to get off the resort for the bachelorette party. We took a taxi to Negril’s famous Rick’s Cafe and arrived just as the sun was setting. The last glimpse of the sunset was so beautiful that we decided that we needed to come back and take in a full sunset there (one of the many things Rick’s is known for). As the appetizers, drinks, presents, giggles and even a few tears began to flow our bachelorette party attracted the attention of the live reggae band. Before we knew it, the lead singer was at our table serenading our bride with Marley love songs and we were taking over the stage.
We brought the entire crew back to Rick’s a few days later but instead of taking a taxi there, we bargained with one of the local salesmen on the beach to get us a boat. Our boat wasn’t anything special…just a regular glass bottom boat…but traveling by water allowed us to see the unique, rocky shoreline of Negril. It was so different from the fine, white sand of the seven mile beach we had grown used to that it was almost hard to believe we were on the same island, let alone the same side the island!
As our boat pulled into the cove at Rick’s, a crowd of people helped us climb out before soliciting us for tips to pay the cliff divers. We broke through the crowd and followed a curved brick staircase (lined with spectators awaiting the next jump) to the main level of the bar. When we made it to the top our crew split into two groups; the majority of us made a bee-line to the bar while several brave souls made their way over to dive.
We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting at the bar enjoying the fantastic combination of good company, live reggae music and cold drinks. We did get up a few times to dip our feet in the pool and catch a glimpse of one the eighty foot cliff divers but posting up at the bar suited us just fine. Between the thrill of the dives and the beautiful view from the cliffs, it was difficult to leave when our boat arrived. But we enjoyed an absolutely beautiful Caribbean sunset on the way back to the resort as well as a pair of naked tourists diving from the cliffs. Never a dull moment.