If you’re looking for the perfect “get away from it all” experience then look no further than the Pelican Bar in Jamaica. A “I can’t believe this is standing” wooden bar built on a sand bank a quarter of a mile out to sea, off of Treasure Beach. The Pelican Bar is the perfect place to lose yourself and doing nothing but, sunbath, drink beer, swim in the shallow waters, drink beer, eat fresh fried fish and drink some more cold Jamaican beer!
Does it count as a “beach bar” if there’s water between the bar and the beach below? Let’s not get caught up in semantics, better to crack open a Red Strip and groove to the reggae beats.
The Pelican Bar quite literally began life as a dream, local fisherman Floyd Forbes dreamed one night of a bar built out to sea, resting on stilts. The clarity of the dream inspired Forbes to set about building this bar, which he did by transporting large planks of wood on his fishing boat. In 2001 the bar was completed and it was named “The Pelican Bar” after the large flocks of Pelicans who rested on the sand bank. It was originally used by Floyd and his friends to sit and take a break from a hard day’s fishing. However, it didn’t take very long for the local hotels to recognize the enormous potential of this picture perfect serenity.
All was going well for Floyd until 2004 when Hurricane Ivan hit Jamaica. The Pelican Bar was totally destroyed by the storm and Floyd had no insurance to cover the cost of the damage. However, the bar had become such an established attraction that local business owners knew that Treasure Beach could not afford to loose it. The owner of Jake’s hotel in Treasure Beach donated new wood and many others chipped in to help with the reconstruction. Within a month the Pelican Bar was back up and running.
Many local fishermen are able to ferry you over to the bar from Treasure Beach or Black River – just ask in your hotel. The 20 minute journey may not suit those with delicate stomachs but the destination is definitely worth the trip.
Let me know if you’ve been to the Pelican bar in Jamaica. I would love to hear about your experience!