Best Caribbean Nightlife
Luckily for night owls, some of the most popular islands have hopping nightlife scenes and fun which doesn’t stop after sundown.
By Jenny Bengen
The Caribbean is known for its astonishingly beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters and laid-back lifestyle. Though all Caribbean islands have plenty to see and do during the day, not every island has an abundance of nightlife options. Luckily for night owls, some of the most popular islands have hopping nightlife scenes and fun which doesn't stop after sundown. If you're planning a trip to the Caribbean and want great nightlife options in addition to beautiful beaches, check out the following locales. Whichever one you decide to visit, your transition from sun god or goddess to dancing deity will be easy.
Aruba's nightlife scene has something for everyone, from sophisticated hotel lounge bars to dance clubs crowded by college kids. If you're looking for something on the tamer side, look into what your hotel has to offer; many Aruba hotels have planned activities for guests including tropical nights, beach barbecues and cocktail parties. Want a crazier evening? Hop aboard The Banana Bus and for one price, get escorted around town to at least three bars, and the fee includes five drinks. The legal age for drinking is 18 in Aruba, so the nightclubs are often filled with younger folks. If you'd like to see a fun show, check out "Let's Go Latin" for a highly entertaining evening of Latin dancing, singing and acrobatics. Love to gamble? Try your luck at one of Aruba's dozen casinos, many of which have their own cabaret and comedy shows.
Jamaica's nightlife options outside of the big hotels are somewhat geared to those who really like to party. If you're looking for a night of Jimmy Buffet-style fun, head to Margaritaville in Montego Bay. Themes nights and great deejays bring flocks of tourists and locals year round. Another great Montego Bay bar is Time & Place - it's rumored to have Jamaica's best daiquiris. Up for a night of dancing? The Jungle in Negril boasts an amazing forest-themed décor, plat-formed bars and a large dance floor. And for one of those "what happens in Jamaica" nights, try Hedonism II in Negril as well for some crazy, uninhibited fun - you'll have to pay $75 to join the party if you're not a guest at the hotel, but rumor has it that if this is your style of fun, it's completely worth it. For a more sophisticated evening, Alfred's Ocean Palace is a great option - you'll enjoy nights full of live music right on the beach including jazz and reggae.
Casinos, discos and salsa and meringue dance clubs are just some examples of Puerto Rico's rich nightlife scene. If you're a gambler, the casinos will delight - they're huge and spectacularly outfitted with a myriad of entertainment options and restaurants. For a fun night of dancing and lovely libations, check out Rumba in Old San Juan. It's a popular local hangout with great Latin music. Standalone nightclubs are not as common on Puerto Rico as there are on some of the other islands, so a better bet is to look into the dance scenes at some of the local hotels, many of which have multiples bars and dance areas to choose from. For example, the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino and the Gran Melia Puerto Rico both have exciting nightlife options - the Wyndham has 14 bars alone! San Juan is one of the hubs for Puerto Rico's nightlife scenes - check out either The Parrot Club in Old San Juan or Club Brava in Isle Verde for a guaranteed good time.
St. Martin has a varied nightlife scene with enough options to please everyone from the gambler to the dancer to the frozen-drink lover. For great live music performances every Friday, make your way to The Boardwalk, a walkway bordering Great Bay Beach that's lined with a plethora of bars and restaurants. Taloula Mango's is one of the more famous bars in this area. Get your fill of steel drum performances and fruity cocktails at Bamboo Bernies, or for a more classy evening, stop by Sopranos for live jazz performances - the artists are rotated on a monthly basis so there's always something new to enjoy. Cherie's, one of the most popular local hangouts in the Maho area, has nightly shows and dancing afterwards with great Caribbean music. For true night owls and Dancing Queens, Bliss is a great open-air nightclub and restaurant with lots of lounging areas, including the popular private cabanas. Q-Club and Club Vibes are full of beautiful people who know how to party, and dance to the New Age Caribbean music which blasts from the speakers every weekend night.
If you find yourself with nothing to do on a Friday or Saturday night in Barbados, head to Bridgetown, "The Gap" or Bay Street for an evening of dancing and revelry. Barbados has plenty of options where you can get your Caribbean groove on. Two neighborhoods to check out are St. Lawrence Gap ("The Gap" to locals) and the clubs and bars on and around Bay Street. The Gap has a number of nightclubs to explore including Club Extreme, After Dark and Harbour Lights, which is right on the beach. Enid's is a popular club on Baxter's Road in Bridgetown, and it's one of those places where everyone seems to end up at the end of the night. Barbados also has a plethora of dinner shows, karaoke bars and theme nights to choose from - you won't be short on entertainment options.
Nightlife by Island: