If you are looking for a true Jamaican experience, look no further! Floyd, the owner of The Pelican Bar had a dream to build a bar on stilts in the middle of the ocean, and his dream became a reality. Floyd hand built the bar out of driftwood, transporting all of his materials by a fishing boat, and waiting until a full moon to dig the stilt into the sand by hand (because that is when the sand is at its softest point). He finished building the bar in 2001 naming it after a large group of Pelicans that frequently rested on that sandbar, and it quickly became a spot for locals to hang out after a long fishing day. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan destroyed the bar. Since there was no insurance policy on the bar, they thought it was gone, but local businesses came up with enough donations, and labor to get the bar built again making this not only a spot for the locals but also a must-see for tourists coming to Jamaica.
We were picked up from our resort (we stayed at the Sandals in Negril) and then the bar is a 15-20 minute boat ride from Treasure Beach. We loved seeing the bar get bigger as we got closer. Coolest experience! There is no running water or power at The Pelican Bar, so all materials are transported in when needed. They serve beer, rum punches, fish, and I believe lobster. Really whatever they catch is what you are eating! When you first order your meal, they have to physically go out and catch the fish, and then they clean and cook it when they get back. It was the most amazing fish – so fresh! It does take a good amount of time from the time you order until you actually get your meal, so place your order as soon as you arrive!
The most amazing part of The Pelican Bar is that there are so many things you can do, but you are still so relaxed the entire time. We hung out on the edge of the bar and watched the fish and stingrays swim by the majority of the time we were there. They even have a “pet” pufferfish that they keep around and feed. We swam in the ocean while there, as well because the water is only about chest deep! Most of the water in Negril and the surrounding areas are relatively shallow until you get far out. It was very different from the United States. Ian also played dominoes with the locals, and we even got our name carved in the wood before we left.
This was by far our favorite excursion of our trip to Jamaica. The pictures are gorgeous, but actually being there is just unreal.
|Locals constantly smoke marijuana at the bar, so take note if you have kids.|
|Ian watching them cook our fish|
|We saw this big guy on the way back from the bar!|
If you are headed to Jamaica, Ian and I definitely recommend visiting The Pelican Bar. It is 100% worthy of being on your bucket list. Let us know how you like it!!!
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