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Bars and clubs in Cancun and Riviera Maya

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Last update: Mar 25, 2021

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Clubs and Bars in Cancún

Cancun is internationally known as one of the best destinations to party and to have amazing experiences enjoying nightlife. Tourists from all over the world gather in this Caribbean destination so the atmosphere is just perfect to make new friends and life long memories. Here, in the clubs and bars, DJ’s will make you move to the rhythm of pop, electronic music, hip hop, salsa and reggaeton.

How’s nightlife in Cancun?

Nightlife in Cancun can be as wild as you can imagine. Once the sun goes down, the party atmosphere rises in the Hotel Zone.

First of all, you will find world class clubs. In Mexico, these places are also known as “antros”. So, if you hear anything related to “antros”, it will be surely about nightlife.

The Clubs in Cancun are a perfect match for those who are looking to show their best moves in the middle of crowds while the music beats along with lights shining and diming all over the place. Sounds a bit crazy, isn’t it? Well, that’s the point of Cancun’s nightlife.

Clubs in Cancun are defined by creating a warm and friendly atmosphere among all their attendees. The tourist’s culture diversity merged with different music genres in a tropical environment is the perfect mix to have the best parties you’d ever imagined.

What do you need to get in Cancun’s Clubs? It is just about having your entry ticket and an ID (passport, driving license). You can buy your tickets directly at the club’s ticket office. But, if you want to make sure your place is reserved in advance you can buy it online, at your hotel’s tour agency or at any of the agencies located all over Cancun.

Most of Cancun’s clubs work with an open bar, you just have to make sure the ticket you are buying includes that type of service.

At what time nightlife starts in Cancun? Clubs open their doors at 10 p.m. Usually, the time between 10 and midnight is to make sure everyone with a ticket is already in. For those who enter the club before midnight, the time is perfect to warm up for the party night: take a look to every corner of the place, choose a table or a comfortable place close to the dance floor, locate the bar or let your waiter / waitress introduce themselves so that the beverage supply never stops. Once midnight comes, the show starts.

Depending on the season you are traveling (low, high), it will be more convenient to arrive early to the club in order to avoid long lines.

Where will you find the Clubs? In the middle of the Hotel Zone, just by Forum by the sea mall:

  • Coco Bongo. Arguably, the number one choice for most of the tourist and locals. It has a long history in Cancun and it has become an icon of this destination. Every night, it offers a Las Vegas type show with music featuring pop culture legends such as Michael Jackson, Freddy Mercury, Spider Man, Guns n’ Roses, Madonna, The Mask, etc.
  • Mandala. A club that has an amazing open design and architectural arrangement, so that you can have a straight view from the Hotel Zone main avenue to interior of this place. You will be able to take a look from Kukulkan’s Boulevard of the lights, the dance floor, the dancers and even have a taste of the DJ skills to move the crowd jumping through different music genres. There’s no better way to invite you in and enjoy the night.
  • Dady’O. It is designed as a sea cave, so that you feel like you’re immersing into the depth of the sea when you get into this club. The dance floor is located just in the center of the club and everything revolves around it.
  • La Vaquita. An open design stair level like club. Even if you are just walking close to this club, its music will try to get you in. Here, reggaeton and hip hop are the kings. This music mixed with colorful light and an endless drink supply will make you have an unforgettable night.
  • The City. This is the biggest club in Latin America. Famous DJs from all over the world come here to play their sessions and put the crowd to dance. This place is focused on special events so it is very convenient to take a look to their monthly lineups to make sure you don’t miss the presentation of your favorite DJ.
  • Palazzo. If you are looking for a glamourous and exclusive atmosphere, this is THE PLACE. Here, you’ll find a more sophisticated decoration and designs, everything starts with chandeliers welcoming you. Once the dance floor is open, wild things happen all over the place.

Most of these clubs also have a branch located in Playa del Carmen. So, it is possible to experience these clubs even if you are not staying in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Regarding Tulum, nightlife is a bit different. Instead of clubs like these, you will find small bars and beach clubs with rave like parties.

If you are willing to go out of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, the epicenter of the tourist life in Cancun, there are some other entertainment option available to enjoy nightlife. Most of them are located close to downtown or barely at the border of the Hotel Zone and the city:

  • Grand Mambo Café. This is the perfect place if you are looking to dance Latin music (salsa, cumbia, reggeaton, bachata, etc.). It is located just a few blocks from downtown in “Plaza Hong Kong” (about a 20-minute car ride from the Hotel Zone). It’s a very attractive option for those who want a break from the mainstream pop and electronic music scene.
  • Antique. Located in Puerto Cancun area, close to the Marina Town Mall, this is one of the favorite places of local young people. It is more like an after-hour club, so you will be able to keep dancing until late morning.
  • Barezzito. A branch of a famous city entertainment company in Mexico. This place offers live music and a wide diversity of food and drinks. You will find mostly local people here.
  • Amarula. It is located on Nader Avenue, just at the back of the City Hall (Palacio Municipal) and very close to many backpacker hostels. This place usually features local DJs (mostly electronic music). It’s an interesting alternative for those looking for a place less crowded and cheaper than those in the Hotel Zone, yet with a good atmosphere.

However, if you are looking for something less loud and less crowded, where you can enjoy a delicious cocktail along with a tasty dish and good music, Cancun also has a wide diversity of bars. Some of the most famous bars are:

  • Hard Rock Café. It is located in the same area as the clubs (Forum by The Sea Mall). This iconic bar has an interesting food and cocktail menu. And there are daily shows available: from cover bands to international festivals (jazz, piano, etc.). So, it’s convenient to take a look to their monthly lineup.
  • Señor Frogs Bar. One of the favorite places of tourist and locals in Cancun. It’s a versatile place, one night you can find a rock-based show, the next a salsa-based show.
  • Carlos n’ Charlies. A restaurant bar that is perfect to chill and relax. The hosts and entertainers will make sure you participate in their daily activities and maybe you’ll win a tequila shot!

In addition to the clubs and bars, there are some other places that can get you ready for the nightlife: the beach clubs. These places are perfect to build the party atmosphere towards the night while you enjoy the beach, the sun and a pool. Among the most popular beach clubs in Cancun, you can find: Mandala Beach Club and Coco Beach Club. Of course, there are many hotels with their own beach club.

Important: Don’t forget that in order to enjoy all of this you need to be at least 18 years old. Don’t forget your ID!

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