The 7 Best Caribbean Islands for Nightlife & Bars
February 25, 2011 12:00 am(1 comment) Post a comment
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<strong>The Scene:</strong> Much of the nightlife in St. Kitts revolves around the hotels, which host folkloric shows and calypso and steel bands of the usual limbo-rum-and-reggae variety. But it's the growing Frigate Bay "strip" of beach bars, including Monkey Bar, Rainbow, Mr. X Shiggidy Shack, and Ziggy's, that is the place to party hearty on weekend nights. Join the locals, who barhop here late into Friday and Saturday, for lively, laid-back fun.
<strong>The Scene:</strong> They pump up the volume at Aruba's resort bars when the sun sets. Unlike many other islands, nightlife here isn't confined to touristy folkloric shows. In addition to catching nightly entertainment in one of the many casinos, you can slowly savor a drink while the sun dips into the sea, dance to the beat of a local band, bar-hop via a colorful party bus, or simply stroll along a deserted starlit beach. Arubans like to party—the more the merrier—and they usually start celebrating late in the evening.
<strong>The Scene:</strong> There's certainly no lack of nightlife, particularly live music, in Port of Spain, and spontaneity plays a big role—around Carnival time look for the handwritten signs announcing the PANYARD, where the next informal gathering of steel-drum bands is going to be. There's also an increasingly lively gay scene in Trinidad, with parties drawing upward of 200 people on most weekends. And of course, Trinidad's Carnival, billed by locals as "The Greatest Show on Earth," begins right after Christmas, and the parties, called fêtes, don't stop until Ash Wednesday.
<strong>The Scene: </strong>In San Juan, well-dressed visitors and locals alike often mingle in the lobby bars of large hotels, many of which have bands in the evening. Many hotels and casinos also have clubs with shows and/or dancing. In Old San Juan, Calle San Sebastián is lined with bars and restaurants. Salsa music blaring from jukeboxes in cut-rate pool halls competes with mellow Latin jazz in top-flight night spots. The young and the beautiful often socialize in Plaza San José. Late January sees the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, one of the Caribbean’s best street parties.
<strong>The Scene:</strong> Throughout the island, most major resort-hotels have lively dance clubs and bars. In Montego Bay, the Hip Strip pulsates with activity. Gloucester Avenue is lined with some of the island’s top bars and clubs for easy bar-hopping. Montego Bay is also perfect for a night of romance, beginning with a tranquil sunset cruise, followed by a dinner at Three Palms Restaurant on the grounds of historic Rose Hall. Negril has an event every evening, usually a beach party and live music. Catch live reggae nightly at Rick's Cafe. With its many open-air beach bars and clubs, Negril has an active, if casual, nightlife scene.
<strong>The Scene:</strong> Friday is a big night out in Curacao, with rollicking happy hours and live music at many bars and hotels. And, surprisingly, Sunday-night revelry into the wee hours is an island tradition. Outrageous costumes, blowout parades, and frenetic energy characterize Carnival. The season lasts longer here than on many other islands, beginning on New Year's and continuing until midnight the day before Ash Wednesday. In Willemstad, live jazz electrifies the pier at Blues on Thursday and Saturday. And The dance floor at the Emerald Lounge comes alive on weekends, and is especially steamy on Friday salsa nights.
<strong>The Scene:</strong> Jost Van Dyke is the most happening place to go barhopping in the BVI. In fact, yachties will sail over just to have a few drinks. All the spots are congregated in three general locations: Great Harbour, White Bay, and Little Harbour. On the Great Harbour side you can find Foxy's, Corsairs, and Ali Baba's; on the White Bay side are the One Love Bar & Grill, and the Soggy Dollar bar, where legend has it the famous Painkiller was first concocted; and in Little Harbour are Harris’ Place, Sydney’s Peace & Love, and Abe’s by the Sea.