Catch the Sunset at Rick's Cafe
It's true, Rick's is probably the most touristy spot in all of Jamaica, but there's a reason it's listed as one of the "1,000 places To See Before You Die." Locals enjoy the sunset happy hour scene as much as visitors, so don't miss experiencing it at least once. Head to Rick's a bit earlier around 4 p.m., by taxi if you're coming from the beach side, to avoid the mad rush of giant tourist buses jamming the narrow West End Road. Another way to reach Rick's is by signing up for a sunset catamaran cruise--boats anchor a short distance away and you can swim your way to the venue and climb up its sea ladders. Enjoy a couple of cocktails--Rick's serves up a myriad of options--and claim your sunset and cliff diving viewing spot. Watch fellow tourists brave the jumps into the sea below, or the local, professional cliff divers who swing from trees and surrounding cliffs, at more than 30 ft above the sea. A live Reggae band adds to the animated vibe at Rick's, though it doesn't quite drown the screams of newbies tumbling into the sea against a red sky. Take care if you're attempting the dive: it's risky and you could hurt yourself. Watching is a much more pleasant and safe experience. There's no place quite like Rick's Cafe in Jamaica or even in the Caribbean. If you're feeling adventurous, walk past Rick's Cafe and look for the adjacent gated entrance--this is where you can see the Jamaican cliff divers up close and personal, and watch the scene like a local for under $5.
By Lebawit Lily Girma, AFAR Local Expert
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