June 17, 2010

Party Night in Cancún

Cancún is synonymous with parties. From impromptu beach gatherings to organized festivals, this is the Caribbean destination of choice for the party-goer. The buzz, so in evidence all year round, heightens to fever pitch with the arrival of the Spring Breakers. Even now, the American high school seniors and college students are looking forward to next March, booking their rooms to get the best ones secured. Meanwhile, Cancún has moved onto the next great happening. International clubbers dancing through the night, staggering on a high through the dawn back to their hotel rooms.

The lure is easy to see. The sun, sea, sand, bikini-clad beauties and bronzed, topless men; the free-flowing alcohol (all hail the legal drinking age being 3 years earlier than in the USA), the atmosphere, the entertainment and the music. It is taken as read that Mexicans know how to party; and people from all over the world come here to show us that they know too. So where to go, what to do and what do you need to know?

Cancún is home to several superclubs. The film above introduces just one of them, Coco Bongo. With the capacity to hold 1800 people, Coco Bongo is in a class of its own. All senses are filled at once, with non-stop shows, music and amazing acrobatics. This club is internationally famous, recognizable even if you've never heard of its name. It is forever being shown on shows like MTV or E!Entertainment, while some blockbuster Hollywood movies, like 'The Mask', have used it for their club scenes. There is more than a little stardust sprinkled over the place. Celebrity impersonators strut their stuff on the stage and dancefloors alike; while real celebrities are certainly spotted there from time to time.

If celebrity spotting is your thing, then Bulldog Cafe Cancún is worth a visit. Bands like U2, Guns and Roses, Radiohead and AC/DC have played on that stage; while the club also showcases rising talent. There is a 2000 people capacity here, including VIP special areas and an exotic jacuzzi for sophisticated visitors. Most of its nights are dedicated to sheer, unadulterated partying. There are theme nights, including an indoors beach party, complete with Bikini Contest.

For theme nights per se, then you would be hard pushed to beat Basic Discotheque Cancún, especially if your partying tends to leave you feeling overheated. This 1800 people capacity venue is half open to the elements, affording tremendous views across the lagoon. Periodically, water rains down onto the dancefloor from the framework above. Everyone soon dries off in the warmth of a Caribbean night, refreshed and re-energised for more dancing. Every night is a theme night there, from Wet T-shirt through to Foam Parties (where, yes, the dancefloor is covered in foam).

These are just three of the 100s of clubs that Cancún has to offer.


As with any new place, there might be little tips and local culture that isn't immediately obvious to a visitor from abroad. Here are some of them:

* Many entrance packages, including those offered by ourselves, include an open bar. This does mean that you can drink the bar dry should you wish without paying a penny. However, most clubs have a waiter service. If you use that service, then you will be expected to tip the waiter. In some clubs, you will not be served if you don't use the waiter.

* Depending upon the club, and the level of entrance package purchased, not every drink behind the bar will be included in your open bar deal. Some clubs operate tier systems (basic = domestic bar; premium = imported brandnames etc.). However, if you do fancy something not included with your wristband, you can still purchase it by paying by the glass.

* If you have bought an all-inclusive drink package, then be aware that this will not cover those drinks being offered by random people wandering around. What usually happens is that a gorgeous man or woman appears at your side with a huge bottle of something wonderful. Often it's top brand tequila. You will be invited to have a shot. If you accepted, then you will be charged extra for this.

* Most clubs display the notice: 'Gracias, por no fumar'. Sorry smokers, this means that it's a non-smoking club. Either stock up on nicotine replacement lozenges/patches and make do as best you can with them; or else you'll have to step outside to smoke. This can sometimes involve waiting in a long queue to get back in again.

* The longest queues are outside the most popular clubs. If you just turn up, then you will be in it. If you pay a package beforehand, from hotels or tour operators, then most clubs will just wave you to the front and let you go straight in.

* The restrooms often have a member of staff inside them, handing out useful items like brushes, hair-spray, paper towels, deodorant and all of those other little things to make you beautifully refreshed and gorgeous again. If you use this service, that member of staff will expect to be tipped.

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