The 7 Best Party Destinations in the Caribbean

While the most alluring aspects of Caribbean destinations are the year-round warm weather, beautiful sandy beaches abutting blue water, and water-based activities ranging from paddleboarding to scuba diving, many travelers also want a healthy dose of partying on their vacation. From buzzing nightclubs and casual beachfront bars, to strong rum cocktails and all-inclusive drink packages, there are some Caribbean locales that offer a plethora of party-minded pros for visitors. Keep reading for our top party-centric spots in the Caribbean.

1. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Hotel Conde de Penalba

Hotel Conde de Penalba

Although visitors to the Dominican Republic often head to Punta Cana for its beachside fun, it's actually not the best party spot in this Caribbean nation. Santo Domingo, the capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is packed with bars, nightclubs, and hotels offering live performances. Visitors can pick between their favorite style of music -- merengue, salsa, bachata, pop, and reggaeton -- or sample all of them at various spots throughout the city. Onno's Bar and Sabina Bar are just a couple of favorites. In addition to fancy wine bars and buzzing dance clubs, there are grocery stores known as colmados that turn into popular spots for locals to grab a beer and listen to Latin music. Plus, the abundant historic colonial architecture, sea views, and museums are excellent ways to keep busy in the day. 

Our Party Hotel Pick:

2. Cancun, Mexico

Grand Oasis Cancun

Grand Oasis Cancun

College kids and young-at-heart travelers head to Cancun for the free-flowing margaritas, Caribbean sunshine, and rampant nightlife spots. Though visitors should expect lots of Americanized restaurants and bars, as well as some rowdy behavior, there's no denying it's a great spot to let loose while overlooking the beautiful white-sand beach. Resorts in the Hotel Zone can provide all the party essentials, plus the area is packed with popular spots like Señor Frog's, Carlos'n Charlie's, and Coco Bongo dance club, all of which are close together for easy bar hopping. 

Our Party Hotel Pick:

3. Aruba

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

You won't find a ton of massive all-inclusive resorts or areas packed with nightclubs in Aruba, but the small island is still a worthwhile party spot, particularly for those looking to do some gambling. Drinking and gambling at one of the several casinos is legal for 18 year olds, plus the casinos are often open until late at night and have some form of entertainment. Visitors can find a hotel with a swim-up bar for day drinking, and head to the Palm Beach area at night, which is home to popular Gusto night club, Soprano's Piano Bar, Saloon Bar, and Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill. For more authentic culture, drive 20 minutes south to Oranjestad to the highly frequented rum shop, Local Store, and Cafe Chaos, a pub that attracts both locals and tourists.

Our Party Hotel Pick:

4. Negril, Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica

Travelers looking to experience more local culture than the average Caribbean island -- without sacrificing party filled activities -- should head to Negril, Jamaica. Although it's not nearly as culturally immersive as the capital of Kingston, it offers a lovely blend of stunning beaches, seaside bars and restaurants serving jerk chicken and Red Stripe, and live entertainment from Jamaicans. Cliff jumping at Rick's Cafe, fresh seafood along Seven Mile Beach, and dancing to DJ-led music at spots like The Jungle Night Club are not to be missed.

Our Party Hotel Pick:

5. Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

You may know Cartagena from its plethora of Instagram-worthy facades in vibrant hues with climbing greenery, but this coastal Colombian city is home to a wide array of day and nighttime attractions. After spending a day exploring the colonial architecture within the historic Walled City, travelers can head to nearby spots such as Cafe Havana for cuban music and salsa dancing, Alquimico for fancy craft cocktails, and Via Apia for tapas. For more nightclubs, beaches, and modern buildings, take a quick taxi to the Bocagrande neighborhood. 

Our Party Hotel Pick:

6. Curacao

Lions Dive and Beach Resorts Curacao

Lions Dive and Beach Resorts Curacao

Albeit smaller than its neighbor Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao still has a great spread of hopping bars and clubs. Close to the cruise terminal is Mambo Beach, which houses Wet & Wild Beach Club offering happy hour and live DJs, and Madera Ocean Club, featuring well-priced cocktail and food menus. The more central Willemstad area has 27 Bar & Terrace, a popular live music venue, and Sopranos sports bar. The great windsurfing conditions, photogenic colonial architecture, and rampant beautiful beaches are just cherries on top of the piña coladas. 

Our Party Hotel Pick:

7. Barbados

Yellow Bird Hotel

Yellow Bird Hotel

Known for pink-sand beaches, observable British influence, and shipwreck diving, Barbados is a spirited Caribbean nation with nightlife to match. The most popular area for drinking and dining is St. Lawrence Gap, a strip of restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels near Dover Beach. The Cove is a bustling club in that plays a variety of music including calypso and reggae, while nearby Old Jamm Inn has a dance floor, cheap drinks, and a mix of locals and tourists. For those closer to the capital of Bridgetown, the open-air Harbour Lights is a well-regarded nightclub, while visitors to the Holetown area often make a stop of Red Door Lounge and Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge.

Our Party Hotel Pick:

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