Nothing beats Jamaica’s easy breezy attitude and gorgeous white sand beaches when looking for the perfect place to grab a drink and take in the tropical view. With so many inlets, bays and hidden coves, there’s the right beach bar for every traveller’s taste and budget. Whether you’re looking to quietly sip Red Stripe and listen to the waves lap the shore or enjoy an Appleton rum and a bit of reggae, here are some of the island’s best beach side watering holes.
The Pelican Bar
Although this beach bar is actually not on a beach at all, it’s by far the most favored spot for a sunset drink in Jamaica. It may look like an old ramshackle fisherman’s hut just off the shore between Black River and Treasure Beach in St. Elisabeth Parish, but The Pelican Bar was the dream, quite literally, of its owner and resident bartender Floyd Forbes. A local fisherman, he dreamed one night of a bar on stilts in the sea and when he woke up, he decided to make it happen. Completed in 2001, this “floating bar” was originally a hang out spot for Floyd and his friends but it quickly became one of the coolest places on the island to go for a drink, as long as you don’t mind the 20-minute boat ride to get there.
Half Moon Beach Bar
This secluded, calm and picturesque private beach just north of Negril is the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon of lounging, drinking, eating, swimming and snorkeling. With the idea to keep this whole area natural and undisturbed so that visitors can enjoy the simple beauty of Jamaica, the Half Moon Beach Bar is an open gazebo on the lawn overlooking the beach where you can totally unwind while enjoying the peaceful setting. After a couple rum punches, feel free to make yourself comfortable on one of their hammocks or ocean side lounge chairs for a little afternoon snooze in the shade.
If you’re looking for something a bit more lively, Rick’s Café has become quite the hot spot, not only for the gorgeous sunset views, but for the cliff jumping that takes place right off the edge of the bar. Set in the West End Cliffs of Negril, Rick’s is surrounded by incredible coves that are perfect for plunging into the crystal clear ocean. If you’re lucky enough, you might catch a local or two diving from as high as 35 feet to entertain the crowds. Rick’s has become quite the tourist destination so be prepared for pricier drinks but once you see the view from their open terrace, it will all be worth the trip.
Time ‘N’ Place Bar
Rumoured to be one of the best beach bars in the Caribbean, this small thatched hut with only a couple tables and chairs is tucked away from the regular tourist beat in Trelawny Parish on its own secluded beach. The owner, Tony Moncrieffe, hand built the entire place and is always on site to greet his customers and share what he considers to be one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Although the Time ‘N’ Place bar really has that rustic appeal (it’s basically made of driftwood) it’s well loved by both visitors and locals alike. Try Tony’s favourite cocktail, The Beyond, a mixture of rum, cream, vodka and Tia Maria. There are always board games available for some light entertainment, or you can just sit back, listen to reggae music and have a bite to eat.
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