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Best Acapulco Nightlife

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It’s safe to say that when Acapulco faced some real tourist doldrums a decade ago, it was the buzzing Acapulco nightlife that kept it alive. Acapulco hotels and Acapulco restaurants are once again on the same level as its nightclubs, making the destination even sweeter for those who want to play in the dark. There’s even a typical visitor to Acapulco who does nothing but explore the city’s clubs until the wee hours, and then sleeps in bed until noon. The afternoon is usually spent comatose on the beach. And then it’s back to the clubs. You have a choice of venues in Acapulco. Some cater to young visitors looking for a crowd and pyrotechnics and a spring-break atmosphere, regardless of the season. Then there are other clubs that attract a well-heeled international crowd that puts a premium on elegance and ambiance. And then there’s Acapulco itself, a city that keeps zipping along way after midnight. La Costera stays busy with people, the informal restaurants keep late hours and Acapulco holds a full charge until sun-up. 

Mandara

Neighborhood: Diamond Zone
If you’re staying at Las Brisas Acapulco, you’re already there. Mandara is located within the iconic property, which means you’ll have incredible bay views bookending a night out. The cover charge gets you a place at the open bar; Mandara rocks until dawn, so if you’re digging in for the duration, you’ve found a bargain. A minimalist decor puts the patrons on display—as long as you’re not entranced by the 100-foot glass wall overlooking the glittering bay. Get here on a Friday night after midnight to experience the club at its height. Mandara shutters at 4AM; the action then shifts to El Privado, their private club on the second level. 

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Mandara  

Carlos’n Charlie’s

Neighborhood: Diamond Zone
No one is ever going to describe a Carlos’n Charlie’s as sophisticated. This popular chain follows the action—if there’s a cruise ship nearby or a bunch of spring-breakers on the horizon you’ll probably find a Carlos’n Charlie’s. For years Acapulco’s C&C plied its trade at a shabby location on the La Costera in the Golden Zone. It’s now up in the Playa Diamante area and is much sleeker than its former incarnation. But it’s still a Carlos’n Charlie’s, so you’ll find a lot of humorous signs, tacky decor and waiters in sombreros and bandoliers filled with shot glasses. This is a place you can take the kids, make a lot of noise, drink too much tequila and hang in a cartoon of Mexican culture. The margaritas will be too sweet and the food too greasy, but for some people, Carlos’n Charlie’s may turn out to be their favorite memory of Acapulco. File this one under “it is what it is” and enjoy.

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Barba Roja

Neighborhood: Golden Zone
This is the kind of place you’ll drive by a number of times thinking, “What the heck is that?” Barba Roja is a pirate ship-themed open-air bar overlooking the beach. Once you climb aboard you can settle in at a rough-hewn wooden table and order up a meal and a ration of grog. Things start off slow and suitable for all ages. But as the night passes and the music gets louder and louder, patrons are known to do jigs on the table tops, and the buff pirate staff puts on a rousing dance show to old-school cut "The Roof is on Fire," by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three.

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Baby'O

Neighborhood: Golden Zone
Baby'O is all about exclusivity. A stiff cover charge sans drinks keeps out the riff raff. It works like a toll road to an upscale community; joy riders think twice about forking over cash to tool around the neighborhood. The all-ages club doesn’t mean the music is a mix of fresh stuff and golden oldies—the beat is young and loud. The club is on the small side, holding 250 people, but you may find yourself sharing the dance floor with a celebrity or two, mostly from the Latin entertainment world.

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El Alebrije

Neighborhood: Golden Zone
Unlike some of the more sophisticated clubs overlooking the bay, El Alebrije is in the Golden Zone opposite the Hyatt Regency. The cavernous club attracts a younger crowd skewing toward late-teens/early 20s. El Alebrije bills itself as being the largest club, if not the best club, in Acapulco, and when it’s firing on all cylinders if can pack in 3,000. The stadium seating offered is not that convivial, but most of El Alebrije’s clientele were in high school bleachers not so long ago. A cover charge keeps things simple and the rum and cokes flowing fast. Music is a mix of current Latin hits and what’s hot in the U.S., shifting from Lady Gaga to Calle 13 in a drumbeat.

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