updated 3/26/2007 1:25:31 PM ET 2007-03-26T17:25:31

One of Cancún's main draws is its active nightlife. The hottest centers of action are the Centro Comercial Maya Fair, Forum by the Sea, and La Isla Shopping Village. Hotels also compete, with happy-hour entertainment and special drink prices to entice visitors and guests from other resorts. Lobby bar hopping at sunset is one great way to plan next year's vacation.

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The Club & Music Scene
Clubbing in Cancún is a favorite part of the vacation experience and can go on each night until the sun rises over that incredibly blue sea. Several big hotels have nightclubs or schedule live music in their lobby bars. At the clubs, expect to stand in long lines on weekends, pay a cover charge of $15 to $25 per person, and pay $5 to $8 for a drink. Some of the higher-priced clubs include an open bar or live entertainment. The places listed in this section are air-conditioned and accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa.

A great idea to get you started is the Bar Hopper Tour (tel. 998/883-5402). For $60, it takes you by bus bar to club to bar to club -- generally a range of four to five top choices -- where you bypass any lines and spend about an hour at each establishment. The price includes entry to the clubs, one welcome drink at each, and transportation by air-conditioned bus, allowing you to get a great sampling of the best of Cancún's nightlife. The tour runs from p.m. to 3:30 a.m., with the meeting point at Come and Eat restaurant in the La Isla Hopping Village. American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted.

Numerous restaurants, such as Carlos 'n' Charlie's, Hard Rock Cafe, Señor Frog's, TGI Friday's, and Iguana Wana, double as nighttime party spots, offering wildish fun at a fraction of the price of more costly clubs.

Most of Cancún's most popular clubs were located at the exact point on the island where the most damage was done, so they've just received a makeover. Most reopened in time for spring break in 2006 -- but it's still up in the air which will assume the top hot spot, and, as any good clubber knows, popularity can shift like the sands on the beach. So take this list as a starting point -- extensive research showed me that these were the current hot spots at press time.

The Performing Arts
Several hotels host Mexican fiesta nights, including a buffet dinner and a folkloric dance show; admission, including dinner, ranges from $35 to $50.

You can also get in the party mood at Mango Tango, Bulevar Kukulkán Km 14.2 (tel. 998/885-0303), a lagoon-side restaurant and dinner-show establishment opposite the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Diners can choose from two levels, one nearer the music and the other overlooking it all. Music is loud and varied but mainly features reggae or salsa. A 45-minute floor show starts nightly at 8:30 p.m. A variety of packages are available -- starting at $49 per person -- depending on whether you want dinner and the show, open bar and the show, or the show alone. For dancing, which starts at 9:30 p.m., there's a $10 cover charge.

Tourists mingle with locals at the downtown Parque de las Palapas (the main park) for Noches Caribeñas, which involves free live tropical music for anyone who wants to listen and dance. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, and sometimes there are performances on Friday and Saturday.

For more on what to see and do in Cancun, visit our complete guide online at http://www.frommers.com/destinations/cancun/.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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