Carlos n' Charlie's provides party seekers with an ideal atmosphere to enjoy a night out in Cancun. Live bands and DJs pound out music, drinks are reasonably priced, and the kitchen does a good job of keeping everyone from becoming too famished from all of the fun and dancing. Order guacamole and they'll make it at your table. Be sure to let them know if it's your birthday. Join the waiters when they jump on the dance floor to lead a group dance. Learn how to dance Salsa to a live band on Tuesdays and Friday nights.
Grand Mambo Cafe is the number one spot to dance Salsa, Merengue and Bachata in Cancun. Located downtown in Plaza Hong Kong, Mambo Cafe features live music Wednesday through Saturday. Open bar is available on Thursdays. If you're celebrating a birthday and make a reservation on a Friday, they will give you a free bottle of rum, vodka or tequila if 10 of your friends pay cover. On Saturdays if you reserve a table for 15 people you'll get a free bottle of Captain Morgan or Smirnoff. Bottle service will get you a front row seat right next to the dance floor. There is live music every night and the party doesn't end until about 4 am.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Grand Mambo Cafe is the biggest, best spot to dance Salsa, Merengue and Bachata in Cancun.
Kristin's expert tip: Doors open at 9:30 pm but the live music doesn't start until after midnight.
La Vaquita (The Little Cow) is one of Cancun's newest nightclubs. It sits smack in the middle of Cancun's Party Center at kilometer 9 of Boulevard Kukulcan. This casual open-air bar/nightclub is decorated in red, black and of course, cow print. Sexy go-go dancers abound. Visitors can pay a cover charge and purchase individual drinks or go for the open bar option. The club sells "litros" or liters of beer and other drinks, which is a very popular trend in Cancun. You can also find La Vaquita in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta.
The name Senor Frog's is synonymous with fun. This bar and restaurant has sawdust on the floor so you don't have to worry about your children making a mess. Kids can order "virgin" versions of the famous drinks in yard glasses that people love to take home as souvenirs. Around 9 pm this family-friendly restaurant turns bar/nightclub. The lively staff always makes sure everyone has a blast. Conga lines, balloons, confetti and craziness are the norm here. Senor Frogs know how to throw a party. They feature a glow party, foam party, reggae night, and have a Latin night with a live band.
This small open-air bar is smack in the middle of all the action in Cancun's Party Center and is always full of fun-loving locals and tourists all night long. Since this is a smaller bar rather than a nightclub, the open bar prices are lower than those charged in larger venues. Also, since it's open on two sides, you can see how wild & crazy the party is before you even enter. There isn't really a dance floor to speak of, but that doesn't stop anyone from dancing. Expect go-go dancers, shot girls and every once in awhile, a strong burst of air and confetti. Grab a balloon and join the conga line at Conga.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Congo's small open-air venue is great because you can also see what's going on outside in Cancun's Party Zone.
Susan's expert tip: The large nightclubs don't open until at least 10:30 pm. If you want to start the party before then, Congo is a great place to do so.
The exterior looks like a huge rock, with DADY'O carved into it. The long hallway that leads to the club entrance looks like an underground tunnel. The inside of the actual club resembles a large cave. There is a dance floor in the center of the room and rows of tables line the walls of the multi-level club. Well-known DJs, celebrities, and bands often perform here, or host special parties. Even though this is one of the oldest clubs in Cancun, there is usually still a long line of people waiting to enter the club.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Dady'O is a Cancun nightlife institution and is still going strong after almost 30 years.
Susan's expert tip: To avoid waiting in the long line to enter the club by going with the entertainment staff from your hotel.
Every year millions of people visit Cancun in order to experience its unparalleled nightlife, and Palazzo doesn't disappoint. Formerly Bulldog and before that Christine, the club underwent a complete, glamorous makeover. Dance all night or sip your drink while people watching. You'll spot lots of pretty people, which include both tourists and locals. With theme nights, world-renowned guest DJs, stripper poles (and stripper pole contests) and both open bar and bottle service available, this is a very popular spot to hold bachelorette parties. Palazzo is what Cancun nightlife dreams are made of.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Palazzo is Cancun's most glamorous nightclub and the interior is beautiful.
Kristin's expert tip: Wednesday nights Palazzo features an electric party with dancers dressed in neon suits.
This gigantic club claims to be the largest nightclub in Latin America, with a capacity for over 5,000 people. It is most definitely the biggest club in Cancun and it's often packed to the brim during Spring Break and in the summer months. The 3-story club often has performances by internationally known artists like Ludacris, Akon, Flo Rida, 50 Cent, Fergi, Snoop Dogg and celebrity DJs. Like Coco Bongo, The City Cancun also has performances by acrobats and other performers during the evening. They play music of all genres on the powerful sound system and 650 square feet of video screens.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The City often features celebrity DJs and well-known musical acts.
Susan's expert tip: If you plan to attend a concert or special event at this club arrive before they open and wait in line. The club can accommodate over 5,000 people so there will be incredibly long lines if you arrive after the club has already opened.
Cancun's most famous night club, Coco Bongo, has been featured on many travel programs. Throughout the evening, a variety of performers put on shows. On any given evening at the club, Beetlejuice makes an appearance, Spiderman flies through the air, acrobats perform high above the crowd and a Michael Jackson impersonator lip-syncs MJ's classic songs. The bartenders and wait staff even take the stage to sing and dance throughout the night. When you feel your feet start to move, don't bother looking for the dance floor because there isn't one. People just dance wherever they can find a little space.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Coco Bongo has everything, music, drinks, confetti, balloons and live performances.
Susan's expert tip: This club gets very crowded so get a table in one of the areas off the main floor to avoid the crowds.
This beautiful medium-sized club is one of the most popular nightclubs in Cancun and is located right between The City and Coco Bongo in the Party Zone. The Indian-inspired decor, which features rich, vibrant colors & lush fabrics instantly informs you that you are in an upscale lounge, rather than a hokey run-of-the-mill nightclub. Mandala feels like the nicest, most ornate VIP room you've ever seen... only it's an entire club. The fact that the front of the club is entirely open to the street adds to the ambiance. This is one of Cancun's hippest and hottest clubs and it's been extremely popular since it opened.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Mandala's open ambiance provides a different experience than big stadium-like clubs.
Susan's expert tip: This is a nice alternative to the larger nightclubs.