Ricks Cafe Jamaica is a popular tourist spot, most famous for its cliff jumping.
You might have heard of Rick’s Cafe. But, should you make the trip to this famous Caribbean bar? If you’re staying at a hotel or resort in Negril, it’s worth making a half day trip there. Even though it’s pretty touristy, it’s iconic for a good reason. While the drinks are plentiful and the views sensational, Ricks Cafe Jamaica is most well known for one thing: cliff jumping.
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How to Visit Ricks Cafe Jamaica
While there are many boat tours that will take you to Ricks Cafe Negril, I recommend that you visit on your own. A taxi ride from your hotel or resort won’t amount to the same price as the tour. Even though there might be unlimited drinks on the boat cruises, you probably have something similar at your resort. And when you get to Rick’s Cafe, you’ll end up buying a drink there anyway. Most of the boat cruises take off before sunset; one of the best parts of visiting Ricks Cafe Jamaica is viewing the sunset from the bar. You don’t want to miss out on that.
Through the Riu Palace Tropical Bay, a driver took us to a couple of places in Negril and it was all included in the fare. He dropped us off at the Times Square shopping mall, where we purchased some souvenirs and gifts for friends back at home. We arranged a time in advance when he could pick us up. Then, the driver took us to Rick’s Cafe. We were able to leave our shopping bags in the car while we visited Rick’s (we were his only clients during this time). Finally, we arranged a time in advance to be picked up and taken back to the resort.
If you’re staying in Negril, I’ve read that you can call Rick’s Cafe directly and they will pick you up. A return shuttle service is $8 per person.
Ricks Cafe Cliff Jumping
This vacation was a girl’s getaway with my best friend, Shannon and her mom, though Rick’s Cafe is great for all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, with friends, or as a family, the dynamic is great for all kinds of groups.
It’s free admission to enter, although it’s probably a good idea to buy a beer while you’re there. With that said, we didn’t feel any sales pressure to buy anything from the bar staff. (The only pressure we did feel was from some of the locals who wanted to jump from the cliffs for us, for a tip.)
One of the main attractions at Ricks Cafe Jamaica is cliff jumping. While many of the cliff jumpers are those who work at the bar or locals familiar with the cliffs, tourists and travelers are encouraged to jump off the edge of the rocks. So, to jump or not to jump? Did I end up participating in the cliff jumping there?
Oh, hell no! Sorry to disappoint!
I’m not a stranger to cliff jumping; I tried cliff jumping in Bermuda. It was ridiculously thrilling and lots of fun. However, the cliffs were a little less high. The water was a little less menacing. We were assured by our guide in Bermuda that the water was deep and there weren’t any rocks around where we could be injured.
When I visited Rick’s Cafe in Negril, the weather wasn’t cooperating. It was raining from time to time, and the water was a little choppy. The clouds grew thick overhead, and it wasn’t that hot outside on that November day. I didn’t end up wearing my bathing suit that day as I didn’t intend to jump from the start. While my two travel companions wouldn’t have minded if I did jump, it wasn’t something they wanted to do. When I arrived and saw how high the tower was, I’m not sure that I could have worked up the courage to jump. It’s very high. We had a much more enjoyable time watching others make the leap.
Ricks Cafe Jamaica Cliff Height
There are three heights to jump from: 10 feet, 25 feet, and 35 feet. Most people jumped from 25 feet, but we witnessed a few daredevils jump from the highest spot. I’m sure it was scary even for the greatest adventurers, as I actually felt nervous for them. I don’t think I could offer any advice for someone wanting to do this. Don’t look down? Take a deep breath and jump? Don’t hesitate – just go for it?
If I must be perfectly honest with you, I don’t recommend that you participate in the cliff jumping here. I am sure that you could be seriously injured here or even die. While many live to tell the tale, I recommend that you leave this one to the professionals.
We found a great place to sit and watch the cliff jumpers, down a flight of stairs on the rocks. From there, we watched some small boats approach the shore filled with thrill-seekers. Even when there weren’t any cliff jumpers to entertain us, I didn’t mind gazing out at the scenery. A few trees grew from the tops of the cliffs lining the shore. The water was turquoise in the cove and deep blue stretching out to the horizon. I even spotted the profile of a face naturally carved from the rocks (see if you can spot it!).
Enjoy Drinks with a View
It’s always a good idea to order a cold drink, especially on a hot day. Rick’s Cafe is a bar, so you’re in the right place to do so. There are tons of seats right along the ocean offering some of the best views in Negril. Sit beneath a beach cabana, under an umbrella, or near the bar. Either way, you’re going to be treated to some stunning scenery. I recommend ordering a Red Stripe, one of the local beers in Jamaica. While the weather ranged from sunny to cloudy to rainy for us, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. It really wasn’t busy there at all, so we had our choice of seats.
The best sunset in Jamaica?
Is it the best sunset in Jamaica? It’s quite possible. Rick’s Cafe has the most awesome sunset views, completely unobstructed on the west coast. Our only hope was that the clouds would dissipate for the show.
We were in luck. The rain disappeared and the clouds moved aside, if even for a few moments. The fiercely glowing sun dazzled with a brilliant light show before fading into the horizon. Vibrant reds and oranges stained the sky. A small crowd gathered to watch the sunset. Everyone was silent as we watched one of nature’s greatest spectacles.
If anything, go to Rick’s Cafe for the sunset, and nothing more.
Tip: Don’t eat at Rick’s Cafe. You’re going to want some authentic, Ital cuisine! There’s an incredible food hut down the road, about a 3 minute walk from Rick’s Cafe. It’s called Ras Rody’s Roadside Organic, and you must eat there. It’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had on my travels.
Even though it’s a much-hyped destination, I recommend checking out Rick’s Cafe Jamaica. If you have a spare day in your schedule between lounging at the beach and…lounging at the beach…I suggest leaving the barriers of your resort. See a little bit of Jamaica if you can, even if it’s just for that amazing sunset.
Looking for other tours?
When I was in Jamaica, I took a few tours from our resort. Check out Glistening Waters, also known as Luminous Lagoon if you’re interested in swimming in a brilliant bioluminescent bay. Another really fun day was a trip to YS Falls and Black River to see the waterfalls, wildlife and mangroves.
Ricks Cafe Negril Jamaica
One Love/West End Road
Open 365 days a year
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Have you ever gone to Rick’s Cafe? Would you cliff jump there?
Lauren is the full-time travel blogger and content creator behind Justin Plus Lauren. She started Justin Plus Lauren in 2013 and has travelled to 45+ countries around the world. Lauren is an expert on vegan travel as one of the very first vegan travel bloggers. She also focuses on outdoor adventure travel, eco and sustainable travel, and creating amazing travel itineraries for cities and small towns.
Friday 25th of November 2022
I started diving at Rick’s back in the mid-70s. You wouldn’t recognize the place. The locals had me diving, not jumping, from trees/bushes set back a few feet from the edge of the cliff. From the pics I have seen Negril is just one big tourist trap now. My secret place is gone.
Nice article though. Thanks!
Monday 28th of November 2022
I would have loved to have seen it back then! I am sure it is way more commercialized now. While I did enjoy my visit, I think I would have enjoyed it better in the 70s, too!
Nina - Where in the World is Nina?
Sunday 15th of May 2016
This is beautiful guys! I went to Jamaica on a family trip when I was a young teenager and it still sticks out in my mind as one of the best times of my life. A Red Stripe on this trip was my first beer too! lol I really want to visit again as an adult! :)
Friday 13th of May 2016
We visited Rick's café a few years ago - this post brings back those memories.. we loved watching the cliff divers and sunset from there!
Wednesday 11th of May 2016
I'm a sucker for a great sunset, so I definitely need to visit Rick's Cafe. I agree with you on the cliff-diving. No way I could jump off. I'll just settle for taking photos of others jumping. haha Thanks for the great tips!
Grey World Nomads
Monday 9th of May 2016
I'm sure neither me nor George would jump from the cliffs but it looks like fun. Rick's Café looks like a fun place to be. #WeekendWanderlust