Surviving Spring Break in Cancun

Andrew Colon, originally from Washington DC, has spent 20 years in Cancun covering food, drink, music and art – and with children of 15, 17 and 19, he knows a thing or two about Springbreakers too. Read on for his guide to surviving Cancun’s craziest period

Beer. Babes (or possibly bros). Beach. Repeat. It’s the mantra of every red-blooded American, Canadian and British student of either sex dreaming of ‘spring break’ in Cancun. So, where’s the party?

Plan to spend most of your daylight hours at the beach and pool at the Grand Oasis Cancun Hotel, otherwise known as Mecca for breakers. The hotel bar area and beach will feature non-stop revelry (think bikini contests, drinking, dancing and all those things your mom warned you about on spring break).

Party central during daylight hours is the Mandala Beach Club. It will be a hopping sea of bronzed bodies, booze and beats for dancing. Get there early to reserve your lounge chair by the pool.

Locate the ‘elbow joint’ of Cancun’s coastal hotel zone and at night, within a one-mile radius, you’ll find mind-blowing shows and rammed crowds at the CityCoco BongoMandala and Dady O’, but also the new Señor FrogsCarlos and CharliesFat TuesdayLa VaquitaHootersCongo, and little dives in the walkway between Dady O’ and Congo.

Lines to get in will be immense, and most of these venues will have cover charges in excess of USD$15 per person. How to get around the lines? Purchase Open Bar tickets from reps at your hotel, or better yet, buy Pub Crawl or Bar-Hopping tickets online or from those same reps.

This way you sample different bars or clubs and avoid queues. One such tour, the VIP Nightclub Tour, takes you to three different nightclubs with a personal guide, unlimited drinks, no lines and reserved tables. It lasts for about five hours and costs around USD$80.

Everyone will be at the Oasis, so if you want to do something a little more unusual, get a small group together and rent a catamaran to Isla Mujeres, the famed island of women. Private tours to the island include snorkelling, food and drinks, time at Playa Norte (one of the world’s most beautiful beaches), drinks, shopping and drinks.

The same goes for the jungle tours of the Nichupté Lagoon, or trips to places like Xcaret and Rio Secreto, natural gems in the area with mind-altering systems of caves and natural formations in sea and stone.

Photo by Andres Rodriguez/Alamy

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