A trip to Jamaica wouldn’t be complete without having a Red Strip at Floyd’s Pelican Bar. No matter if you are staying in Negril, Ocho Rios, or Montego Bay it’s worth a day trip. No other bar will ever compare. After several visits, we’ve put together everything you need to know when visiting the Pelican Bar in Jamaica.
Floyd’s Pelican Bar Jamaica Guide 2019
History of the Pelican Bar
Dreams do come true. Owner Floyd Forbes dreamed about a magical bar built on stilts in the middle of the ocean. Well in 2001 his dream became a reality and the Pelican Bar was open for business. There’s always a bunch of pelicans perched on the rocky sandbar next to the bar, and that’s where it got its name “Pelican Bar.” In the beginning, the bar was mainly for Floyd and his fellow fisherman buddies. However, it didn’t take long before more than just the fisherman wanted to grab a beer there. 16 years later Floyd still fishes and serves up beer out here, and in our opinion, his bar is one of the best things to do in Jamaica.
Due to the fact that the bar is in the middle of the ocean, it is subject to be damaged during hurricane season. In 2004 hurricane Ivan destroyed the original Pelican bar. Thankfully the local community came together to help Floyd rebuild. Jake’s Hotel in Treasure Beach donated new wood to help reconstruct the bar. Within a month after Hurrican Ivan, the Pelican bar was back in business. The bar has suffered storm damage since then but thankfully has survived all hurricane seasons since 2004.
Where is Floyd’s Pelican Bar
Technically it’s located offshore in the Caribbean Sea about 1 mile from land. The nearest town to Floyd’s Pelican bar is Black River, Jamaica which is 7 miles away. Also nearby is the town of Treasure Beach which is 12 miles away. It’s the perfect day trip if you’re on a honeymoon in Jamaica.
How to get to the Pelican Bar in Jamaica
There is only one way to get to the bar by boat. However, you’ll first need to get yourself to one of the few places where boats will take you to the Pelican Bar. Boats leave daily from Black River, Treasure Beach, Parottee Point, and some nearby resorts run their own boats here.
No matter what resort town you’re staying in a trip to the Pelican Bar in Jamaica is worth the trip. Here is a rough drive time to Black River from various Jamaica destinations:
How far is the Pelican bar from:
- Negril – 1 hours 30 minutes (75 km)
- Montego Bay 1 hour 45 minutes (85 km)
- Falmouth 2 hours 15 minutes (100 km)
- Kingston 2 hours 30 minutes (150 km)
- Ocho Rios 3 hour 30 minutes (180 km)
The closest point is to the Pelican Bar is Parotee Point. We have taken the trip from both Black River and Parotee Point. If you are staying at Sandals Whitehouse they offer a catamaran trip out to the Pelican bar. I suggest calling Floyd’s son Sheldon Forbes a call to organize your boat transfer 1-876-250-3073. Just as your taxi driver to call when you are on the drive to the Black River.
- Parottee Point $10 and 10-minute boat ride
- Black River $15 and 25-minute boat ride
- Treasure Beach $35 and 25-minute boat ride
- Sandals White House $290 catamaran trip 90 minutes
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Pelican Bar Tours
There are even a few Pelican Bar tours. If you are staying at a hotel in Montego Bay or on a cruise ship docked in Montego Bay for the day you can still visit the Pelican bar. If you are lucky to be staying at Sandals South Coast you take a luxury catamaran trip out to the Pelican Bar and arrive in style.
Montego Bay Pelican Bar Tour:
- Daily departures at 8 am and 9 am
- Pickup right from your Montego Bay hotel or Montego Bay cruise ship piers
- Click here to book online for $126 includes transport to Black River & boat ride
Sandals South Coast Pelican Bar Catamaran Trip
- Exclusive to Sandals guest
- All inclusive champagne, wine, and snacks
- Snorkel stops along the journey to the bar
- $290 per person
Tips for Visiting the Pelican Bar in Jamaica
- Don’t leave the Pelican Bar without carving your name into the wood.
- If you have a license plate or flag bring that too, Floyd will proudly hang it up inside the bar.
- We highly suggest bringing water shoes if you plan on swimming and walking around the bar because there are many sea urchins around the bar. You can pick up a cheap pair of water shoes on Amazon for $2.
- BRING CASH! Cash is king at the Pelican Bar it’s better to bring too much than not enough because there is no ATM (surprise, surprise) and no credit cards accepted. Bring local currency, the prices are better if you pay in Jamaican Dollars, but USD is accepted.
Floyd’s Pelican Bar Jamaica Menu & Prices
The menu is simple: ice cold beer, rum punch, and fish. Nothing complicated and fancy here. There are only two things on the food menu, lobster & fresh fish. Both of which are insanely fresh and tasty but if you aren’t a seafood fan bring a snack. If you plan on eating lunch have your driver call in your order in advance. They sometimes sell out and are known to cook things on “island time” if you know what we mean.
The prices listed at the bar are in USD but if you pay with local Jamaican J it’ll be a better price. Just ask Floyd for the price in Jamaican and do the math to see what is a better deal that day. When we visited it was $4 USD for a beer or $400 Jamaican which is only $3 USD.
- $4 USD Ice Cold Red Stripe Beer or Dragon Stout ($400 Jamaican)
- $6 USD Jamaican Rum Punch ($600 Jamaican)
- $7 USD Rum & Coke ($700 Jamaican)
- $2 USD Sodas ($200 Jamaican)
- $18 USD Fresh Fish on the BBQ with rice and vegetables price varies based on the size & what type of fish is caught that day ($1800 Jamaican)
- $20 USD Fresh Lobster with rice and vegetables ($2000 Jamaican)
Recommended Hotels Nearby
If you prefer to stay in a hotel near Treasure Beach there are several nearby. If you are looking for a luxury all-inclusive head to Sandals South Coast or if you prefer a more budget-friendly hotel check out the local favorite Jake’s Hotel. There are also several Airbnb options where you can rent an entire home or just a room.
- Sandals South Coast Expedia | Hotels.com | TripAdvisor
- Jakes Hotel | Expedia | Hotels.com | Agoda | Booking.com | TripAdvisor
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Recommended Taxi Drivers in Jamaica
We have been to the Pelican bar twice and each time we hired a taxi driver on our own. Most hotels will have set rates to the Pelican bar, from the Riu Negril it was $160 but it is much cheaper to arrange it on your own. The hotel will advise against this and tell you it is unsafe. Make sure you go with a JUTA driver, JUTA drivers have strict requirements: clean driving records, proper insurance, clean background, etc.
Hannah’s parents have used the same driver Jackson for over 15 years and we’ve personally ridden with him on several of our trips to Jamaica. We also had Lloyd drive us around Jamaica on our last visit, he previously was the president of the Negril JUTA chapter. They both were great drivers and we highly recommend them. Email both of them to get prices and book your trip to the Pelican Bar.
Other Attractions Nearby the Pelican Bar
If your spending a week in Jamaica make sure to spend at least a few days off the resort exploring some of Jamaica’s top attractions. You can easily tie in two of Jamaica’s other top sights in with a day trip to the Pelican Bar. We highly recommend checking out YS Falls and the Appleton Rum Factory.
YS Falls is only a 2o minute ride from Black River. The Appleton Rum Factory is a 45 minute (30 km) from Black River and only 25 minutes from YS Falls. You could make your own custom day trip to include any combination of YS Falls, Pelican Bar, and the Appleton Rum Factory. Talk with your taxi driver to discuss where you go first as this will depend on where you are coming from.
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