Cancun Nightlife

Cancun's nightlife is legendary thanks to its multitude of bars and nightclubs that stay open till the wee hours of the morning. There are basically two kinds of "scenes," the club/music "party hearty and dance the night away" and the bar/restaurants/lounges. Bar hopping among the big hotels' lobbies is also popular as many feature nightclubs or live music.

High-octane parties concentrate around the so-called Party Center, at Punta Cancun, Kilometer 8.5. There are more options along Kukulcan Boulevard. The atmosphere is electric and intoxicating with clubs that draw you in with flashy lights, giant video screens, bikini contests, bubble balloons, and circus-like entertainment in venues that cater to thousands. Many feature "shot girls" who walk around with tequila and whiskey. Due to these clubs' extreme popularity, they often have long lines to get in (mostly on weekends), as well as cover charge of approximately $40 with open bar or $15 to $25 without open bar. Your best bet: Go on a Bar Hopper tour (tickets sold at various travel agencies around town as well as at Senor Frogs; cancuncare.com/Cancun_Tours/Party_Hopper). This allows you to bypass the lines, get a "free" welcome drink and transportation to all the "hot" spots in air-conditioned buses.

Because you get a colorful wristband to every club you frequent, many wear these as fashion statements. Keep in mind, too, that many restaurants also double as nighttime party spots (without the cost of club entry fees). Among the "happening:" Carlos n' Charlie's, Hard Rock Cafe and Senor Frogs. With the drinking age of 18, Cancun is a very popular spring break destination come March/April.

Carlos and Charlie's

Forum by the Sea, Blvd Kukulcan Km. 8.5, 998-883-4468

Carlos and Charlie's's website

More bar than party (meaning no techno-lights) this fun Mexican eatery features games, competitions and more after dark.

Champions

in Marriott Casa Magna hotel, Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 14.5 998-881-2043

Sport bar with pool tables, live DJ and every Karaoke Saturday nights.

Corona Bar

Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 9, in front of The City nightclub, 998-883-2145

A casual walk-up bar in a prime location to survey the club action with ...what else? A cold Corona.

La Taberna

Yaxchilan Avenue, 998-887-5433

La Taberna's website

Sports bar and internet cafe popular among locals.

Los Cuatro Elementos

Yaxchilan, 998-892-4555

Enjoy trove, ballads and Spanish rock at this jazzy, interactive bar known as "The Four Elements."

Nectar

Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 8.5 by the Nichupte lagoon, 998-883-3716

A contemporary outdoor bar with a pool lounge, two terraces (one on the second level) and awesome views

Slices

Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 9.5 in front of Plaza Forum by the Sea

Enjoy rap, rock, Latin, and pop at this loud but fun open bar

BASIC

Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 10.3, 998-883-2180

The only nightclub built over the lagoon so the architecture blends with the natural surroundings. Crazy nightlife action with live music.

Club Over 30

Next to Marina Punta del Este, on Km 10.3 in the Hotel Zone

With the motto is "Your age group, Your music, Your drinks and Your fun," the Club offers a variety of rock and pop with no cover and a gorgeous spot right on the lagoon.

CoCo Bongo

Forum by the Esea, Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 9.5, 998-883-5061

CoCo Bongo's website

Part salsa, part techno, part crazy fused/anything goes where dancing on the table, the bar, and the stage is part of the allure. Expect extravagant theme shows with streamers and balloons dropped from the ceiling. The place holds about 3,000 so it's an oversized experience. Cover charge.

Bulldog Cafe

Kukulcan Boulevard Km 8, 998-848-9850

Like live music, laser and light shows? Then head here where renowned members from Guns n'Roses, AC/DC, Motley Crue, U2, and more have frequented.

Dady O

Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 9.5, 998-883-3333

Dady O's website

Known for its high energy dance floor, incredible light system and throngs of 20-somethings. Cover charge.

Dady Rock Bar and Grill

Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 9.5, 998-883-1626

A combination of live bands, dj's, open bar, buffet and dancing make this Dady O sibling just as fun as it's "older brother." Cover charge.

Dos Equis XX Terrace Bar

Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 9 next to Dady 'O, 998-883-3333

A Caribbean style bar with palms, palapas, and hammocks, with a variety of levels offering all kinds of entertainment: performances, dancers, live bands and more.

Fat Tuesday

Boulevard. Kukulkan, Km 6.5, 998-849-7199

Dance the night away at this "official" Spring Break locale where daiquiris and tequila rule.

La Boom

Boulevard Kukulcan Km 3.5, 998-849-7588

The London-style bus outside this trendy nightclub is your first clue to expect something out of the ordinary. Inside, you'll find a European atmosphere, superb sound system, light shows, several bars, a multilevel dance floor and an adjoining bar called Tequila Boom' that's a little less hype featuring chill out music with rap and hip hop.

Roots

Tulipanes 26, 998-884-2437

Roots's website

A jazz club that also features mouth watering Caribbean food.

Senor Frog's

Boulevard Kukulcan Km. 9.5; 998-883-1092

Senor Frog's's website

A beloved restaurant by day, crazy party at night, known for the Cancun Wet T shirt contest plus various other risque games. One of the "original" club scenes in Cancun that is still going strong.

The City

Bulevar Kukulkan, Km 9.5, 998-848-8380

The City's website

One of Cancun's largest nightclubs rumored to attract celebrities such as Eminem and 50 Cent (full VIP area on third floor) with electronic music, a pool, wave machine and a Terrace Bar serving food and drink all day (and night!) long. Cover charge.

Bling

Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 13.5, 998-840-6014

An upscale lounge with an outdoor terrace overlooking the lagoon, sofas under the starts and a sushi/sashimi bar.

Glazz Lounge

in Plaza La Isla, on Km 12.5 of the Hotel Zone; 998-883-188

A beautifully decorated lounge with a sophisticated vibe. Asian entrees and excellent martinis.

La Madonna

La Isla Shopping Village, Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 12.5, 998-883-2222

Relaxing lounge music and an extensive martini bar makes his lounge a respite from the crowds.

Thai Lounge

Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 12.5, 998-883-1401

A serene, sultry lounge with rhythmic music, and individual tropical forested cabanas for cozy dining.