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
More bar than party (meaning no techno-lights) this fun Mexican eatery features games, competitions and more after dark.
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.
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.
Yaxchilan Avenue, 998-887-5433
Sports bar and internet cafe popular among locals.
Los Cuatro Elementos
Enjoy trove, ballads and Spanish rock at this jazzy, interactive bar known as "The Four Elements."
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
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
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.
Forum by the Esea, Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 9.5, 998-883-5061
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.
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.
Bulevar Kukulkan, Km. 9.5, 998-883-3333
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.
Boulevard. Kukulkan, Km 6.5, 998-849-7199
Dance the night away at this "official" Spring Break locale where daiquiris and tequila rule.
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.
Tulipanes 26, 998-884-2437
A jazz club that also features mouth watering Caribbean food.
Boulevard Kukulcan Km. 9.5; 998-883-1092
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.
Bulevar Kukulkan, Km 9.5, 998-848-8380
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.
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.
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 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.
Bulevar Kukulcan Km. 12.5, 998-883-1401
A serene, sultry lounge with rhythmic music, and individual tropical forested cabanas for cozy dining.