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Getting Wild in Cabo San Lucas: Cabo Nightlife
Cabo San Lucas is known for its many charms. Beautiful sandy beaches. A-list celebrity sightings. Whale watching and all kinds of wild, adventurous excursions. But when all the daytime fun is done, what about the nightlife? Especially if it's Spring Break! Well here’s a list for you first or second-timers out there, of all my fave places to hit up on a night out in the beautiful Cabo San Lucas.
1. The Nowhere Bar
Right off the corner of the marina, somewhat on the back side of the Hard Rock café, which is located off the main road leading into downtown Cabo, is The Nowhere Bar. Nothing but fun in this place! The Nowhere Bar gets started around 9:00. If you want to get started early show up at about 8 for a few drinks and watch the place liven up right before your eyes. With their lit up dancefloor, you can dance the night away listening to great music. They used to start out with jams from the 70’s which made it a great hit with the more mature tourists ready to get their John Travolta on. However, the last few times I was there they didn’t which was a bit of a bummer but I still have a great time dancing to past and current hits from artists like Rhianna to Blink 182. And ladies, if you’re in Cabo for a while be sure to ask them what night is ladies night!
2. La Vaquita
Next up I bop diagonally on over across the street to the “Cow Club” you’ll know what it is the minute you see it. It’s been there for a couple of years but it seems to be going strong. With a dancing cow for its mascot you never have to worry about dancing alone. Depending on the night expect a fun night of balloon fights! You could get handed your very own balloon! Make balloon animals or mouth the words to your favorite jam as if it were a mic. Do whatever you want with it. Everyone else is! Expect to hear all the popular music of the US and have a great time.
3. Mandala Bar
By now you will have decided if the night is still too young. If you’re ready to call it a night, cabs are readily available to take you back to your resort. If not! Head diagonally on over across the street to the Mandala Bar. With their charming staff who are more than willing to take a girl by the arm and help her up the stairs, the ambience of the Mandala Bar is nothing but upscale. At the entrance area there is a nice set up of seating. You feel as if you are one of the cool kids sitting there while waiting for your drink. As music blares from further back into the bar you enjoy the street view below. And once one of your fave songs begin to play you head onto their lit up dance floor and dance non-stop to today’s hits or remixes that you’ve never heard of. The music is great, the bar is great. Attentive staff. What more can you want? Another club you say?
4. El Squid Roe
Now this place holds a special place among my dance card. It is by far my favorite place to let all my dancing fever out in. But why save it til the end, you ask? It doesn’t seem to really get popping until after 10 or 11. That’s of course depending on the season. Sometimes you can get there and the place is too packed to find a table or even standing room. But when you’ve arrived just in time you will find yourself being twirled by a waiter or 3 or dancing atop any hard surface you can get your dancing feet on. The emcee gets you excited about the music and will keep you jumping for more. There’s also plenty of nooks and crannies to groove in if dancing on tabletops isn’t your thing. Waitresses urge you to play tic tac toe with them but I warn you, they are champions at it so beware. Whether you’re hungry or want a little something to drink, Squid Roe’s got just what you need on that front too! It’s an all-around fun and entertaining place to hang out.
5. Las Varitas
This is not to be confused with La Vaquita. Las Varitas is a dance club that you might stumble across if you’re in the vicinity. It’s near the Puerto Paraiso mall. Opposite of where majority of the clubs are in Cabo. If you’re interested in going here, you’ll have to ask the locals where it’s located as mostly only locals frequent it. If you do find it, don’t be afraid, go on in. The occasional tourist wanders in and they are easily welcomed. The music may be mostly Reggaeton or Mexican in nature but it’s still a whole lot of drinking and partying going on. I really enjoyed my time in there.
Looks like fun so far?
Want More with A Little Less?
There are tons of little places in between that are just as cool as my normal route of nightclubs but maybe turned down a couple of notches. Yet far from being called boring.
If I’m not mistaken this place has replaced The Pink Kitty’s location. It is now right at the corner diagonally from the marina and the Nowhere Bar. You can’t miss it. It’s right next to La Vaquita. Inside gives off a really cool vibe with its awesome brick walls, laid back décor and paintings of current actors dressed in out-of-era attire. Weird right? But really cool nonetheless. I was only in there for a brief moment to rest my tootsies before heading on to the next dancefloor but the waiters were very attentive and engaging with me and my group of friends. Really cool place to make a pit stop and refuel. Or to make it your permanent place of people watching for the night.
2. Rockstone Tavern & Eatery
I have seen this one before but had never gone in until my last visit to Cabo. This was another one of my pit stops on another occasion but I found its dark rocker ambience to be really cool. It’s located a little bit down from Abolengo and next to La Vaquita. It was quite opposite of the blaring, thunderous beats that gets me going but I’m not above listening to anything that gets my body moving. Rock, r&b, hip-hop, you name it. There was a live band rocking out and if the company I was keeping wouldn’t have minded listening to a chord or two I would have gladly stayed and whipped my neck a while.
Love this place. Located on the corner diagonally from The Rockstone Brewery, it is one of those too that you barely notice but its waiting for you when you finally do. It’s almost a pit stop yet it has much more to offer if you know about it. The front seems like all bar but further in the back is a tiny dancing area with sectional seating. Depending on the night (around mid-week) hip-hop from old to new is blaring through the system from the Dj spotted playing in the back. On a regular basis you can hear a mix of any type of music pumping but it's nice to hear hip-hop when many clubs play majority pop. I always stay to the back for a while as it is always empty near the rear. Waiters are also always attentive if you choose to head to the back or stay near the front and make you feel quite special. Remember to tip the Dj on your way out!
4. The Giggling Marlin
This used to be my jump off point before The Nowhere Bar but it seems now when I go by it whether early or late, nothing is happening. Used to be, fun games that the waiters pulled you into were played or a crazy conga line of free tequila shots were to be had. But now…not so much. As I said, I’m not 100% sure that it still isn’t that crazy-fun so don’t leave it off your list. Stop by just to make sure. It’s located a ways down from The Happy Ending bar (#6 on the list) at the corner.
5. Cabo Wabo
This is probably the most notable on my list that you have been making sure makes the list. Don’t worry I won’t forget about Cabo Wabo. I have however not found it to be worth marking on my list of definite spots to hit up at night. Before I hear the grumbles and you form riots in the street, hear me out. I used to be a big fan of the internationally known Cabo Wabo. My first time there was a total blast. I danced on top of an awesome metal catwalk. Made friends out of strangers. And mouthed the words to the live bands superstar-status crooning. It was the best! However in recent times I have not seen those days. There is still the live band action but only a handful of patrons there to receive them. I don’t know if I’m not coming out early enough or just showing up at the wrong time but the times I have gone back with the hope of catching something spectacular once again, I have not found it. Not even close. Don’t count it out either. Swoop by, you might have an epic night. You can still dance and have a good time, there’s just not much of a crowd. Keep in mind also, the drinks are high. Even water was appallingly marked up. It’s located right across the street from Gigglin’ Marlin.
6. Happy Ending Cantina
Now for a happy ending to my list. The Happy Ending is a fan favorite among tourists and locals alike. It is located along the same street as the corner of Abolengo, in the opposite direction of La Vaquita and Squid Roe. It’s mostly a bar with the option to dance where you are or towards the rear. 2 shots, 2 beers, $5!!! Need I say more. You might even get a fun game of beer pong out of your stop here. Waitresses are fun with their trays of jell-o shots too! When you hear the whistle blare consistenly, look for the poor loser receiving them. Careful…it could be you. Food, drinks and entertainment, a fun start (or end) to your night out on the town in Cabo San Lucas.
7. Taqueria “El Paisa”
This place is neither a bar or a nightclub but stays hopping just the same. It’s past the parking lot that’s across the street from the HarBard bar. I wanted to include this on my list too because once the dancing is done most head on over to the Taqueria “El Paisa”. Here you can get a range of tacos, quesadillas and a drink. They have reasonable food for reasonable prices. Best thing is, they’re open late! So when your feet are done you can grab a quick bite and sip before heading back to the room.
As first a vacationer, then a short-lived expat and now back to vacationer, I have had my fair share of nights out in Cabo. Some happening spots may have changed but it’s still a great place to be entertained and danced out. I’ve seen anything and just about everything here from body shots to bull riding. You’re sure to find the spot for you in Cabo. To me it has proven to be safe and friendly. Staff from anywhere you venture are more than happy to go the extra mile for you whether its ushering you in to the next bar or hailing you a late night-early morning cab. I have gone out with friends as well as alone and have never had any instances where I felt unsafe or in danger. If you have other places to add to the list, let me know as I have not been everywhere.