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After the Sun Goes Down, Cancun Really Heats Up



Cancun's nightlife is world-famous and as soon as you enter one of its nightclubs, you'll see why. No matter which club you enter, the vibe is electric. You will feel the energy coming off the dance floor and you'll know you are in for the night of your life.

Many clubs have multiple levels, filled with tables for guests, VIP areas and of course, places to dance. There is always something happening in the clubs, so partygoers never get bored. Dady'O has bikini contests and other entertainment throughout the evening. Coco Bongo has non-stop shows every night which feature acrobats, singers, dancers and even shows with Beetlejuice and Spiderman. The City often has internationally known recording artists and DJs performing.

Senor Frog's and Carlos 'n Charlie's are both restaurants that turn into fun bars at night. During the day (until around 9pm), the places are suitable for families with small children but around 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening the party people start to arrive. These bar/restaurants can go from mellow/laid-back to a wild party where people are dancing on the bar in no time.

Congo, a small open-air nightclub located right in the middle of Party Center is the offspring of Coco Bongo. This place is usually packed all night long and you'll find gorgeous, scantily clad women dancing on the bars and tables. Handsome men are usually very close by, enjoying the view. The price to enter Congo is a bit lower than the entry fee to the big clubs, so that is another reason it's so popular.

During busy seasons (Spring Break and Summer Break), every club will be busy every night. However, during the slower months, only one or two clubs will have a big crowd each night. Most hotels have an entertainment staff that takes guests to a different club every evening.  These guys know which club will be hopping and they always take guests to the best club for that particular night. So during the slow times of year, go to nightclubs with the entertainment staff from your resort. An extra bonus of going out on the town with a group from your resort is that you won't have to wait in a long line to enter the nightclub. 


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Hard Rock Cafe
Photo courtesy of Susan R. Vincil


For over 40 years, Hard Rock Cafe has been known for delicious food, live music, and its amazing collection of rock 'n roll memorabilia. Each Hard Rock Cafe is different and the Cancun restaurant has a mural on the ceiling that represents the Mayan people that once ruled the Yucatan Peninsula. There is also a hot pink Cadillac sticking out of the wall above the stage, and a large stained glass piece that includes Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n Roll himself. Hard Rock Cafe serves "new" and traditional American food. The restaurant is open daily, from 11am-2am. Occasionally, there are Battle of the Bands contests, but these special events are only held a few times a year.


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Zona Hotelera

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.


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Senor Frogs
Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse

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.


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Hotel Zone

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 very popular in Cancun. You can also find La Vaquita in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta.


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This small open-air club 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 confetti. Grab a balloon and join the conga line.


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Dady'O


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.


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Hotel Zone


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 has undergone 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, Palazzo is what Cancun nightlife dreams are made of, and the party doesn't end until the sun rises over the Caribbean.


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The City


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, Fergie, 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 1,000,000 sound system and 650 square feet of video screens.


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Mandala
Photo courtesy of Mandala


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, not a VIP room. 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.


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Zona Hotelera


Cancun's most popular night club, Coco Bongo, has been featured on many travel-related television shows. 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 crown, and a Michael Jackson impersonator lip-synchs some of MJ's classic songs. The bartenders and wait staff even take the stage to sing and dance a few times a night. When you feel your feet start to move, don't bother looking for a dance floor because there isn't one. People just dance where they can find a little space.


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Meet Kristin Busse

After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.

Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University....  More About Kristin

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