Forget the roadside watering holes and instead, take a boat ride up to Floyd's Pelican Bar. One of the most original in the Caribbean, this wooden thatch hut on stilts stands firm in calm seas, while pelicans rest nearby and flock about the skies. It’s just thirty minutes from the coast of Treasure Beach, and boat rides are easily arranged through your guesthouse or resort. It's a dreamy spot for an afternoon of swimming and shooting the breeze, solo or with friends. Fresh catch is cooked up on site, and the rum and chilled Red Stripes flow from the tiny indoor bar. Entirely made of wood, you’ll see various country flags displayed inside the shack and messages scribbled across the planks and benches, from passing old and new fans. Sit out and take in the views—this is what getting away from it all looks like. Arrive at lunchtime, and stay all the way up till sunset if you wish.
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The Pelican Bar: A True Wet Bar
Jamaica is redefining the ‘wet bar’ with The Pelican Bar, located just off of Treasure Beach in the southwest. The rustic wooden bar is built on a sand bank about a quarter mile out in the Caribbean Sea.
We chartered a fishing boat from the wonderful Jakes Guesthouse for a 20-minute sunset trip to The Pelican. The owner, Floyd, mixed us rum and Ting, a grapefruit soda and sold us Red Stripe beer, which we drank while dangling our feet off the dock. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins or pelicans on our trip.
We met a Canadian/Jamaican resident who told us the Pelican Bar was completely destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The owner of Jake’s Guesthouse donated wood while other neighbors helped rebuild the watering hole.
I needed to hire a boat to get me out to Floyd's Pelican Bar. The good folks at Jake's Guest House arranged to have a fisherman take me from Frenchman's Bay on the 30-minute trip out to the bar that rests on stilts a quarter mile out in the Caribbean Sea. You can also get here from Black River. You can arrange to have a meal of lobster and/or fish caught in the water around the bar, though I just came for a few Red Stripe beers.
You can hang out all day swimming, fishing, sunbathing and/or drinking Red Stripe or "Rum & Ting (grapefruit soda)."
I was told you can often see dolphin and pelicans from the bar but I was not so fortunate.
The structure is made completely from driftwood and if you bring a knife out, you can carve your name in the planks. I meet a bunch of cool people out there and watched a beautiful sunset before my return trip.