The nightlife in Cancun first became famous around two decades ago, when American students flew over for Spring Break. They instantly fell in love with the tropical climate, beautiful beaches and bustling bars.
Now, 20 years on, this place parties harder than ever. From cantinas and cocktail lounges to the hottest nightclubs in town, our guide to Cancun nightlife gives you a rundown of the best places to go.
Top 5 bars in Cancun
1. Las de Guanatos
Looking for amazing margaritas? Las de Guanatos makes them to their own house recipe, with aged tequila, orange and salt or tamarind around the rim. If you’re feeling daring, give the Micheladas a go; it’s a concoction of beer, chilli powder and fruit. If you’re feeling peckish, the rolled tacos are top-notch, too.
2.Blue Gecko Cantina
Blue Gecko Cantina is a popular spot for fun-loving tourists of all ages. There’s a social atmosphere here and it’s a brilliant place to hang out with old friends or to make new ones. There’s even a pet parrot hanging around. We’d recommend grabbing a beer or a cocktail from the bar, plus a side of tasty buffalo shrimp.
La Vaquita, meaning ‘small cow’ in Spanish, is a quirky bar with an energetic atmosphere every night of the week. And cows. A lot of cows. There are life-size figures of cows, cow prints everywhere, and there are even people dressed as cows! This is a firm favourite for spring breakers and hen parties; they’re drawn in by the cheap drinks, which, of course, come in cow-print cups.
4. Toro Rojo
If you fancy trying somewhere off the beaten track and away from the big crowds, Toro Rojo is a great shout. You’ll find it in the downtown area, a short stroll from the Hotel Zone. During the day, it’s a lovely spot to unwind with an ice-cold beer. Then, the lights go down and the atmosphere livens up when the sun goes down.
5. Rose Bar
Located within the stunning ME Cancún hotel, the Rose Bar is a chic destination for a drink. With a stylish interior and soft lighting, it’s a more tranquil alternative to other options, but there’s still a lively atmosphere, and on Fridays and Saturdays you can enjoy live music.
Top 5 nightclubs in Cancun
1. Coco Bongo
There’s a fiesta going on every night of the week at Coco Bongo, one of the most famous Cancun nightlife hotspots. Catch the live acrobatic shows, rock bands and troupes of dancers from 10.30pm. Then the DJ takes centre stage from 11.15pm until 2.30am.
2. Mandala Beach Club
Listening to good music besides the Caribbean Sea sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what you get when you head down to Mandala, an outdoor house music club. It’s open from 9.30pm daily, and on Tuesdays there’s a fun-filled pool party.
3.The City Discotheque
Three floors. Nine bars. 8,000 square feet. Now that’s a nightclub. At The City Discotheque, you can party all night long with up to 5,000 other revellers. In addition to an incredible sound and lighting system, top names regularly perform here like Tiësto and Paul Van Dyk.
If you want the complete VIP experience, put Palazzo at the top of your list. This exclusive nightclub features an opulent interior and sparkling chandeliers and plays host to spectacular themed concerts. Why not book yourself a private table and enjoy the show?
5. Señor Frogs
With its 13 branches in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean, Señor Frogs is already a tradition in its own right. Wednesdays bring a classic foam party with electronic music, house and hip-hop to set the mood. This is the perfect place to have a good time and meet new people.
What’s the dress code?
There’s more to Cancun nightlife than clubs and dancing the night away. If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, check out one of the growing number of lounge bars in the town. Most of these operate dress-codes and it’s where the ‘beautiful people’ hang out.
Lounge bars offer sophisticated surroundings, less in-your-face music, a more chilled out vibe, and some superb views. For example, the Nectar bar is located right next to the Nichupte Lagoon, which looks even more spectacular at sunset. When it comes to drinks, you can expect to pay a little more than you would in one of the regular Cancun clubs, but you’re also paying for the chic atmosphere and elegant backdrop.
Have you experienced the nightlife in Cancun? Do you have a favourite bar or club? If so, let us know in the comments below.