Turquoise waters, as much rum punch and Red Stripe as you can drink and watching the sunset at one of the World’s Top 10 Bars. Where am I? Jamaica of course, and more specifically Negril. I am staying at the Riu Palace in Montego Bay but thanks to Nexus Tours I am able to get out and explore more than the beach in front of the hotel. Driving in Jamaica is on the left-hand side of the street so I think I’ll leave the driving to the locals while I focus on relaxing and having a good time. Ya mon it’s a good day to be in the sun! Let the snorkelling, sailing and Rick’s Cafe adventure begin.
The glory of an all inclusive like the Riu Palace is that you don’t have to lift a finger or your wallet while you are at the hotel. However, if you have the explorer bug and want to spend a day checking out some of Jamaica’s sights then take a short walk to the hotel lobby meet with a representative from Nexus Tours where you can check out all the options available. You don’t have to leave the property and you can take this “meeting” with a beer in hand.
Today’s adventure is all about the water. Sailing on it, swimming in it and jumping into it from Rick’s Cafe. This Nexus Tour package includes roundtrip transportation, unlimited drinks (open Jamaican bar), and snorkel equipment. As we are coming from the Riu Palace Jamaica Montego Bay the fine folks from RIU Hotels have arranged for transportation to the Riu Negril Resort.
The adventure begins aboard our catamaran. A brief safety briefing and a glass of rum punch and we are ready to set sail.
The first stop on our journey brings us to one of the many reefs in the area. A brief snorkel overview and then it’s time to hit the water. The tide is low today so I really appreciate our guide navigating our way through the reef and showing us some of the sights. Aside from the many fish and coral, there was a huge anchor and cannon dating back to Jamaica’s colonial years that we swam around. No photos unfortunately as I kept my camera dry on the catamaran.
Next, we sail along the beautiful Seven Mile Beach and take a brief stop in front of Margaritaville. This may or may not be on your tour as we were on a special amended tour due to our media needs.
A great spot to jump out and walk some of the beautiful white sand beaches or swim if you didn’t get enough while snorkelling.
Our next stop is the world famous Rick’s Cafe. Voted one of the Best Bars in the World, and One of The Sexiest in the Caribbean.
This is Jamaica so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the sign at the entrance.
Two things have to happen when you visit Rick’s Cafe. Number one is you should jump off the cliff, literally. Did I do it? No, and I am kicking myself for not doing it. Watch this quick clip I posted on Instagram of one brave soul doing it.
The other thing to do at Rick’s Cafe is to watch the sunset. We were there in time to catch it, but just as the sun was setting a couple of clouds got in the way. Oh well, it was still pretty awesome and I did drink a Red Stripe.
Rick’s Cafe may have been blown down a couple of times by hurricanes, but it comes back bigger and better every time.
In total, this tour is about 4.5 hours in length, which leaves you plenty of time to lay by the pool and enjoy all the amenities at the Riu. Ya mon, I think it’s time for another Red Stripe.
Marc’s personal note: During my stay in Jamaica I could not have been treated nicer or by friendly people. However, I should note that Jamaica as a whole is a very homophobic society and may not be a suitable destination for all. If you fall within the LGBTQ community and still wish to visit Jamaica, may I suggest you pick an all inclusive property like RIU Hotels where guest safety and happiness is taken seriously.