Pure exhilaration -- that's what it can feel like taking a plunge off of a Jamaican cliffside into the clear, blue ocean beneath. A vacation highlight worth experiencing, cliff jumping appeals to thrill-seekers and people just looking to try something new while on vacation. In Jamaica, even if you hadn’t planned on cliff jumping, the beauty of this island might be enough to summon some bravado to try it yourself!
When it comes to cliff jumping in Jamaica, one of the most popular spots for this activity is Rick’s Café in Negril. This cliffside location is perfect for dining, having cocktails with friends, watching the sunset, and, of course, cliff diving! As you enjoy the views from this breezy and lively locale, you can decide whether you just want to watch the cliff jumping action from the sidelines, or be part of the show. If you’re considering cliff-diving while in Jamaica, read on for everything you need to know, such as the best places to go cliff diving, and how to do it safely!
Cliff jumping entails letting loose of your inhibitions and simply free-falling into the ocean from a carefully thought out location. This is a popular activity not only in Jamaica but in many other destinations as well. Once you’ve gotten past the initial apprehension that can come as you’re stepping off the edge, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you get set to make a big splash. At some cliff diving locations, it is possible to explore coves once you get into the water.
Cliff jumping might seem a little scary if it's your first time. Watching others do it before you jump in can help calm your nerves. You can watch how they get in and out of the water and maybe even chat with a couple of divers before you make your decision. At Rick’s Café in Jamaica, one of the most popular places to go cliff diving, there are a number of different spots you can try jumping from, including areas suitable for older children and beginners.
Cliff jumping can be quite an exciting experience in Jamaica. Before diving in, it is important to get as much information as you can. This helps to ensure you’ll be able to go about this activity as safely as possible at the location of your choice. Here are some cliff jumping tips that may come in handy during your vacation:
Cliff jumping can be safe if you take the right precautions and choose the right places to participate in this activity. As with most other activities, the safety of your cliff jumping experience will depend on you being cautious and learning all you can. Accidents do happen with cliff jumping, and because of that reality, we’ve listed some things you should consider before jumping in:
Cliff jumping isn’t always something that is carefully planned. Many people spontaneously come across cliff jumping sites when exploring the various parts of Jamaica and decide to take the plunge. That does not mean that you should not find out all you can about cliff jumping while on this island, especially if it's something you’ve always wanted to do. Beyond learning about the specific place you want to cliff jump, find out as much as you can about cliff jumping in general so you know what to expect.
While it would be amazing if you could just go to any cliff diving site and just jump right in, it is important to note that all cliff jumping sites are not created equal. With each different location, there will be specific recommendations and safety tips you’ll need to pay attention to. In most places, there are signs with important information that will point out hazards and other things you need to know before diving. At most cliff jumping spots, it is not advisable to dive in headfirst. At all locations, even with signs and information you may have gathered beforehand, it is vital to scan the water for any hidden dangers — like bounders or coral heads.
Don't rush to be the first to jump in once you get to your cliff jumping location. Take some time to watch others (preferably those who are more experienced) as they go about cliff jumping in the spot of your choice. Have conversations with other cliff jumpers as well. Don't be afraid to ask questions. In particular, find out where exactly to jump from, where you’ll land, and how you’ll get out of the water.
Cliff jumping is largely an activity you’ll be undertaking at your own risk. It isn’t usually something that is managed in various countries, but rather an activity adventure seekers choose to engage in on their own. If you choose to cliff jump at Rick’s Café in Jamaica you’ll notice that there are many signs throughout the property. These signs largely serve to advise patrons that if they choose to cliff jump, they’ll be doing so at their own risk. This means that if you choose to cliff jump here and wind up getting hurt, the café bears no responsibility. The fact that the closest hospital to Rick’s Café is around 90 minutes away is also something to think about before jumping over the edge.
The best time to cliff jump from a spot like Rick’s Café is between 2 pm and 4 pm. This location tends to be busiest around this time, which is great if you want to watch a bit of cliff jumping and chat with some of the other jumpers before you dive in (as you should!).
Expert tip: The best time to visit Jamaica if you’re hoping for the most activities is during the island’s peak season from mid-December to mid-April.
Kids can cliff jump in Jamaica from an appropriate location and a suitable cliff height. At Rick’s Café, there are lower cliffs that are around 10ft high, which can be ideal for older children. Children who want to cliff dive must be supervised by parents and/or guardians and they should also know how to swim.
Rick’s Café is one of those spots you’ll start hearing about from the moment you arrive in Jamaica, and perhaps even before. This is a popular cliffside restaurant and bar, which was the first of its kind in this area. At Rick’s Café, there are amazing views, and watching the sunset here is an incredibly dreamy experience. Sometimes there are live bands at this location, and cliff diving into cool and refreshing seas can definitely be part of the fun if you’re brave enough.
It won't be hard to get a taxi to Rick’s Café if you’ll be staying in the Negril area of Jamaica. Many of the Jamaica resorts and hotels in this area are just a 5-10 minute drive from Rick’s Café. If you’ll be staying in a part of Jamaica that’s a little further away, such as Ocho Rios, you can visit Rick’s Café via a tour. The Island Routes Rick's Cafe Experience includes transportation to and from your resort.
The food at Rick’s Café is on the casual side because this spot presents more as a bar than a restaurant. This means you can enjoy tasty bar treats like buffalo wings, chicken tenders, and salsa and chips. Fish and vegetarian options are also available. The food at this location can be a little pricy, but the ambiance and the views will make it worth the cost. If you want to save money or you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, you can eat before you go and arrange your visit to take place between lunch and dinner.
There are a few essentials you’ll need to bring if you plan on cliff jumping in Jamaica. Here’s a short list of items that might come in handy for your trip:
Swimwear - You’ll need this if you’re planning to jump into the water. Ensure that you choose well-fitting swimwear (make sure it's tied or fastened tight enough!), so you don’t find yourself facing a seaside wardrobe malfunction as you’re plummeting into the water.
Towel - You’ll need one to dry off once you’re done cliff jumping. If you’re going in a group, ensure that everyone has their own towel to use when they need to.
Change of clothes - You’ll need warm, dry clothes to change into once you're done in the water so you can enjoy the bar or entertainment comfortably.
Cash - It is advisable to walk with a small amount of cash for food, drinks, souvenirs, and also some small bills to tip the divers as they can put on quite a show.
Camera - Whether you plan on just taking in the scenery, watching the sunset, or checking out the divers, you just might want to take some photos to capture the memories!
Expert tip: Will you be heading out on an all-inclusive family vacation in Jamaica with older kids? Negril has lots of options for accommodation including all-inclusive resorts for teens.
Tipping the cliff divers is not a must but some people choose to do so. There are wooden boxes you can use to tip the divers that are set up in the diving areas of Rick’s Café. Some people even drop paper money into the water, which the divers then dive in and retrieve. If you go on a windy day, it is best to use the tip boxes just in case your money goes with the wind!
As exciting as cliff jumping can be, it is not a must while at Rick’s Café or at any other cliff diving location in Jamaica. A memorable time can be had just sitting back, relaxing, and watching others make the most of their cliff diving experiences. So, if you’re really not interested, don’t feel pressured at all. From the sidelines, you can watch the local divers show off their cliff jumping skills as you sip on a cold cocktail and soak in some sun. If you’re lucky, while lounging cliffside, you might spot some dolphins swimming in the surrounding waters, which can be quite the treat!
Cliff jumping spots in Jamaica like Rick’s Café are usually busiest before 4 pm, which is when most of the cliff jumping action happens. Even if you’re not planning on jumping, it is still best to visit the café before this time so you can watch the cliff jumping show and enjoy some sunshine. If you’re at Rick’s Café around 5:30 pm then you’ll want to start selecting your spot to watch the sun go down. Sunsets are incredible from this location and you can often enjoy this scenic experience with live music from the in-house band creating the perfect ambiance.
While Rick’s Café is certainly the go-to for cliff jumping in Jamaica, it is not the only place on the island where you will be able to go cliff jumping. Other areas include The Caves, which is a few minutes from Rick’s Café. The Caves include an outdoor bar and pools, as well as accommodation options. The jumps at The Caves are slightly lower than those at Rick’s Café and start at around 8 feet, which is ideal for kids or beginners. Another cool spot to cliff dive is 3 Dives. This location is perfect to watch the sunset with a live band and also to enjoy some of the best jerk chicken and lobster in Jamaica.
If you’ll be traveling to Jamaica and want adventure, cliff jumping should definitely be considered. This experience can get your adrenaline pumping and help you create lasting bonds with the people you have this adventure with. The key to a successful cliff jumping encounter is getting as much information as possible to do it safely, and ensuring you stay in a part of Jamaica that will grant you easy access to places to cliff dive as well.
If you want to cliff jump or even just watch while in Jamaica, staying at an all-inclusive resort will make booking your tour as hassle-free as possible. Tours booked through all-inclusive resorts in Negril include transportation to Rick’s Café and back to your resort where you’ll be able to get right back to doing as much or as little as you choose in a space of pure relaxation!