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The people of Puerto Rico are a festive bunch who celebrate life, and love music and dance. With that in mind, it is not surprising to find out that the club scene on the island is huge. Whether you're just looking to unwind with a drink, dance the night away, or meet some locals, Puerto Rico's nightlife has a place for you.
If you are planning a night on the town, remember to bring along a set of dress clothes. Puerto Ricans like to dress up when they go out, and many bars and clubs have a strict dress code in place. Don't be left out of the fun because you only brought along cargo shorts – remember, it is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.
Although it is easy to find a bar or club in virtually every city in Puerto Rico, Old San Juan tends to have the highest concentration of clubs. It is also important to note that there are a good number of clubs frequented almost exclusively by residents, and many tourists have complained that they noticed locals receiving special treatment at the bar. If you are uncomfortable going where it might appear that you are unwanted (even if this is not truly the case), your best bet would be to stay in the major tourist areas like San Juan, Condado, and Isla Verde. If you are unsure if the club you're hoping to visit is accepting of tourists, ask the concierge at your hotel.
Club Lazer is the largest club in Old San Juan. Latin, hip-hop, and reggaeton are played on three floors. One of the floors is checkered black and white, giving it a retro feel, but cage dancers attract a younger crowd.
Candela is a night club with a lounge atmosphere that is known for it's signature drink: the Papa Jac. The club plays experimental grooves, jazz, and house music.
Nuyorican Cafe is an artsy boho club, where live music (usually salsa and jazz) by local bands, poetry readings, and open mic nights are common.
Brava is the club to check out if you want to be seen. It is an upscale establishment with a very strict dress code, and VIP area. DJs spin different genres of music in each room of the two story building.
Shots is a bar and grill with a dance floor usually frequented by locals. Salsa and Spanish hits are the genres of choice here.
Krash Club is San Juan's largest gay club. House, reggaeton, and urban dance music blare from the speakers here, and the club is known for hosting parades and gay pride events.
Shannan's Pub is a locals haunt in Guaynabo. The Pub is a restaurant that serves what they refer to as eclectic bar food, and cheap Long Island Iced Teas. Pool tables, dance floors, and live rock music make this spot a unique one.
...oldest bar on the island...
Just ten miles off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, is the smaller island of Vieques. Bar Plaza is a popular, off-beat club that is said to be the oldest bar on the island. Once a turn-of-the-century pharmacy, advertisements from before the conversion into a club paper the walls.
Also on Vieques, near the dock, is Al's Mar Azul. This is where you want to go for a more relaxed evening out. Dress is casual, mixed rum drinks flow freely, and pool and darts are the main form of entertainment.
Just because the sun is setting, doesn't mean your day is over. Get dressed up, grab a cab, and head out to one of the island's many bars, pubs, and clubs. Like its people, Puerto Rico's nightlife is a mixture of high-end and laid back, but always energetic and smooth.
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