NIGHTSPOTS

TopTen

1. Señor Frog’s, Cancún

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As the sun goes down, Señor Frog’s transforms from a restaurant into one of Cancún’s most famous nightspots. Daily live music, DJs, and karaoke create an atmosphere in which to dance the night away. Not to be missed is the water slide that runs from the venue to the lagoon, so make sure you come prepared with your swimwear. Open until the early hours of the morning.

TopTen

Vibrant interior of Señor Frog’s

2. Mandala, Playa del Carmen

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Located in the center of Playa, this chic nightclub is a favorite of those who wish to party till dawn. The club is set over two floors with an Asian-inspired style and offers a good selection of music.

3. Batey, Tulum

prac_info Calle Centauro • (984) 143 3616

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A colorfully painted Volkswagen Beetle that has been converted into a guarapo (sugarcane) press stands outside this cool bar. Located just off Tulum’s main drag, Batey offers perfectly mixed mojitos. In the evenings there are tapas-style snacks and live bands.

4. Palazzo, Cancún

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Disco balls, chandeliers, lights, lasers, smoke, special effects, and sparklers complement the DJ’s playlist here (see Palazzo, Cancún). With all this going on, both eyes and ears will have plenty of stimulation at this posh club, where crowds can swell to 900 people strong. The late closing time means you can club crawl into the wee hours of the morning, dancing until the sun comes up.

5. Dinner Cruises, Cancún

prac_info Marina Aquatours (Cancún Lovers): Blvd Kukulcán, km 6.25; (998) 193 3370

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For a slightly more sedate time try another Cancún specialty, with live shows, games, dinner, and dancing to live bands as you sail around Laguna Nichupté or to Isla Mujeres. Each one is themed: Cancún Queen from Aqua World is like an old sternwheeled riverboat, the Cancún Lovers Cruise is on a replica Columbusera galleon, and Captain Hook’s Pirate Night is, of course, on a pirate ship.

6. Carlos‘n Charlie’s, Cozumel

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Enjoyable, crowd-pleasing food and a non-stop, bright and breezy party atmosphere are the keys to the success of the Anderson group’s bar-restaurants, found all around Mexico under several jokey names – Carlos‘n Charlie’s, Senor Frog’s, and El Shrimp Bucket. This Cozumel branch in Punta Langosta mall is one of the biggest.

TopTen

Carlos‘n Charlie’s, Cozumel

7. Diablito Cha Cha Cha, Playa del Carmen

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At this stylish lounge, (see Diablito Cha Cha Cha, Playa del Carmen) black and white floor tiles contrast with red and green furniture – an allusion to the Mexican flag colors. While you sip a vanilla martini and snack on Asian-style seafood the eclectic music ranges from rockabilly to electronica to homegrown pop.

8. Pancho’s, Mérida

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Nightlife in Mérida is much more low-key than on the Riviera, but Pancho’s, with its Mexican-bandit theme, is consistently the most enjoyable venue in the middle of town. Lively socializing is helped along by the fast and friendly staff, and, at the back, there’s a dance floor under the stars.

9. Coco Bongo, Cancún

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The most state-of-the-art of all Cancún’s mega-clubs, Coco Bongo is a vast, multilevel, multispace venue with music that covers all the bases – techno, rock, Latin – from DJs and live bands. There is also a space to eat. House specialties include ultraextravagant theme nights, live shows, and other eye-popping surprises.

TopTen

The exterior of the famed Coco Bongo nightclub in Cancún

10. Dady’O, Cancún

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Always the most popular among American students on spring break, this equally huge venue (see Dady’O, Cancún) across the street from the Coco Bongo guarantees a noisy, down-home party atmosphere – theme parties are a permanent feature. Next door, the slightly smaller Sweet is a live venue with a bar-restaurant, plus more fun and games.

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