The Dive of a Lifetime
Protruding over Negril's famous seven-mile stretch of smooth white sand are five miles (8km) of towering rocky cliffs. Picture yourself standing on the edge of one, looking out at the radiant colours of the setting sun, and at a cove rimmed by rugged stone walls, sparkling with the bluest, clearest water imaginable. Tempting, isn't it? Now, imagine yourself stepping off the cliff, and falling, falling with the wind beneath your feet as you plunge into the deep embrace of the Caribbean Sea. Or, if you're not the daredevil type, sip on a cool, tropical drink as you watch divers plummet and the sun slowly sink into the sea to the rhythm of pulsating Caribbean music. Just as tempting, right? These unimaginable, incredible vistas, heart-racing thrills and so much more await you at Rick's Cafe in Negril.
In the words of the owner, Richard Hershman, when you visit Rick's "your body has finally arrived where your mind has always been". Every afternoon, locals and visitors take part in a Negril tradition since 1974 - and flock to Rick's on West End Road to watch the sunset, enjoy the happy-hour vibe, savour scrumptious meals and, of course, test their bravery by cliff jumping.
Although diving is not officially encouraged by Rick's, every evening at the far end of the bar, a crowd lines the walls and stairs running along the cliff to cheer on the daring souls brave enough to take the 33-foot jump. Take the plunge or watch as a surprisingly large number of Rick's patrons take it for you. Also, don't miss the local "diving troupe", a group of hard-bodied Jamaican men who perform amazing stunts for your enjoyment and tips.
After the dive, take a relaxing swim or snorkel in the cliffside coves. An alternative to Negril beach's shallow, sandy banks, the water by the cliffs is very deep and cool. It also harbours countless underwater gems like colourful coral formations, large rocks and exotic marine animals. But make sure to tear yourself away from the diving spectacle and mesmerising water to grab a spot on Rick's cliffside deck to watch the sunset. With the latest jams blaring from the speakers and a Red Stripe in hand, you'll join in a toast to the sinking sun: "to the dive of a lifetime".