What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Yes you can still dance Salsa in Cancun in 2018!

| 64 Comments

 

UPDATED: March 2018

Calling all Salsero/as!

I don’t go Salsa dancing nearly as much as I would like to anymore, but when I do get the chance to go, I want to know what my options are. That, and all of the the Salsero/as that visit Cancun, are the inspiration for this post.

First of all, let’s get this straight… La Candela, Batacha, Melao, Sabor Latino and my personal favorite, Azucar are all closed. There were many other places that opened for a short while and then closed again, but these were the big ones. There used to be rumors about Sabor Latino and even Azucar opening again but those ships sailed long ago.

Now don’t despair, there are still a few places to dance Salsa in Cancun:

Grand Mambo Cafe is open where Sabor Latino used to be in Plaza Hong Kong. They are open Wednesday-Saturday. Live music starts around midnight. This is the largest Salsa club in Cancun. There are Salsa classes available Wednesday through Friday from 7pm to 10pm.

 

Grand Mambo Cafe Cancun

 

On Sunday evenings there is a free weekly Salsa event in Parque Bohemio (near Parque las Palapas) downtown. Salsa Planners gives a Salsa class at 7pm. The music isn’t live but with the lessons it sounds like fun and afterwards there’s open dancing. Look for the gazebo.

 

Salsa Planners Cancun

 

Macumba, la Casa de la Salsa is located in downtown Cancun on the corner of Yaxchilan and Uxmal Avenues. This club occasionally features famous Cuban bands (La Charanga Habanera, Elito Reve y su Charangon) in addition to local groups. Macumba is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm until about 5am.

 

where to dance Salsa in Cancun

 

Carlos ‘n Charlie’s, which is located in the Hotel Zone Party Center (Forum by the Sea) offers Salsa night on Friday’s. The Cuban band starts at 10pm. No cover!

 

dance salsa Cancun

Sirenas Raw Bar which is located in the Hotel Zone at El Embarcadero (kilometer) offers a Buena Vista Social Club style Salsa night on Friday’s. The Cuban band starts around 10:30pm. There is no cover. The crowd is quieter and a little older here, and they group only plays two sets, but the outdoor setting, which is right on the water, is gorgeous. You can make a reservation through their Facebook page.

dance salsa in Cancun 2018

A great resource for Salsa in Cancun is Salsaplanners. They seem to be on top of the salsa scene in Cancun, but all of the information is in Spanish.

 

 

Stay tuned because I always update this post for the Salsero/as!

Azuuuucar!!!!

Thank you for the fabulous HOT photos…

http://www.tampadancesport.com/danotsa.php

http://illahehills.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/latin-dance-lessons-at-illahe/

64 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday Amiga! I hope it’s a happy and healthy one in the coming year. Batacha was such fun .. loved going there. At Mambo Cafa / Las Americas not so much fun. It was always so crowded (at least when I was there).

  2. OLA,OLA happy to find out that your arm/sholder got better.HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!I WISH YOU THE BEST IN LIFE.ENJOY YOUR DAY.I WAS AT MAMBO CAFE BACk JUNE .the band was seccion latina and i just love them.i wish we could have a life salsa band in san diego more then 1 day a week.it sucks.i still miss cancun.do you know how living la lisa louca is doing?i keep checking her blog and theres nothing new since march.please,would you update me on that , i really appreciate .

  3. Googled “Where to dance salsa in Cancun?” and found your post. Thank you very much for sharing this info.

    I thought in Cancun there would be tons of salsa clubs with authentic cuban bands. As far as I read your post, however, salsa scene in Cancun doesn’t seem so bustling as I imagined.

    Why all those great salsa clubs have been closed? Weren’t popular? Are there still some places for cuban salsa dancing? If you know, please let us know.

    Thank you,
    TOYO

    • Hi Toyo,

      I think most of those clubs were only really busy one or two nights a week. There was a time when there were tons of choices…it was great!

      Most of the musicians that are playing in the places that still exist are Cuban and the rest are Mexican and Dominican.

      I will let you know how el Rinconcito de la Salsa is as I am going this weekend. I found out that at the end of this month Mambo Cafe is closing and el Gran Mambo Cafe will open where Sabor Latino used to be. It’s a HUGE place.

      Take care,
      Kristin

  4. Happy Birthday! Have fun dancing! I’m so celosa!

  5. Hi,

    I did a search for Rinconcito and found your site. I will be going to Cancun the last week of October and have been wondering where to go salsa dancing.

    What night(s) do you recommend is/are the most attended by dancers?

    Any info is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    TXSalsera

    • Hi TXSalsera,

      The best nights are Friday and Saturday, but Thursday and Sunday are decent too. The two best places to go are Rinconcito (small and intimate) and Grand Mambo Cafe (huge).

      Have an awesome vacation and if you have any other questions I’d be happy to try to help.

      Azucar!!

      • Thank you. If I don’t make it out this Thursday, then for sure I’ll be there Friday night at Rinconcito. Saturday I head back home :-(.

        Take care,
        TxSalsera

  6. Hey, I am in Cancun right now (mid Dec 2011). Can you tell me where exactly The Gran Mambo Cafe and el Rinconcito are? I have some troubles finding them on the map. Is Mambo cafe on Avenida Rodrigo Gomez?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Marjeta, Gran Mambo Cafe is in Plaza Hong Kong right downtown. It is very easy to get to, it is between Avenues Coba and Xcaret.

      El Rinconcito de Salsa is in Plaza Outlet on Avenue Andres Quintana Roo. It’s a little further downtown but not much.

      Both places are very safe to visit. Gran Mambo Cafe is very large and Rinconcito is more intimate. Let me know how it went…have fun!!

      • Hey. I went to Gran Mambo Cafe last night but was too tired to wait till 00.30 when the band started to play. I will go there tonight. I have not been to El Rinconcito yet.
        As far as I understand you can only dance salsa on weekends here? I somehow thought it would be a bigger thing and more popular…
        Thanks for your reply and help. BTW, are you coming to Mambo tonight? : ))

        • I think both places are open starting Wednesday or Thursday and are open through Sunday.

          Unfortunately I won’t be there. 🙁 I barely go dancing anymore for just that reason, it starts too late and my 2 year old gets up at 6am (if I’m lucky)!

          Have fun! Make sure to hit Rinconcito it’s really cute!

          • All right, the update. I went to Mambo last night and on Thursday. They had this special band on Thursday which did not impress me at all as it played NO salsa at all. Not my thing as I only go for salsa, bachata, maybe a little merengue. Last nigh was a loooot better, the regular Friday night band with very good music. I stayed there till 5am and then took a bus back to my hotel. Very convenient. I have not been to el rinconcito, the rain on Thursday and flooded streets prevented that.
            Now, we have Christmas night tonight, any suggestions where the fiesta will be, if there is at all? also, I leave on Thursday, any suggestions where to party till then?

            Thanks and merry Christmas!

            Marjeta

          • Hi Marjeta, sorry I wasn’t able to answer you sooner. I was really busy with the holiday and my mom here.

            The band on Thursday was a Reggaeton group from Cuba, a special event, which is why they didn’t play any Salsa, etc. Glad you had fun on Friday. Did you find some more fun over the weekend?

          • I am surprised, I thought Salsa would be every where in Cancun. What other types of dance are popular. It seems they are short lived. I will be there in March 7 to the 17th. Do you have any recommendations.
            Thank you for your time,
            B

          • Hi Barb, Salsa actually isn’t Mexican at all, but Puerto Rican and Cuban, that being said, there used to be a lot more places to dance Salsa here and it’s a bummer there are fewer now but there are still a couple good of places. Did you want recommendations for places to dance Salsa, or something else? There is also rock music here, Mexican Banda music (the stuff that sounds like polka), Techno…

  7. Hi there – You seem to know about the Salsa scene in Cancun & Isla mujeres, so I wanted to check with you to find out what salsa clubs exist these days? I’m coming for a visit in April & was really hoping to go to Azucar! I’m sad to hear it closed! Then my other back-up was Mambo cafe, but it looks like that is out too! Help! Please tell me there is somewhere to salsa!

    • Hi Amanda,

      The two main places in Cancun to dance are Gran Mambo Cafe and Rinconcito de la Salsa. Their locations are included in the post above.

      There is a place on Isla Mujeres that has some dancing as well but I don’t know exactly where it is located or what nights. It is called Mango Cafe.

      Hope you have a great time! 🙂

  8. Hey my friends I’m new in cancu Ilove to met salseros fro around the word
    Iwas living in Toronto Canada for 12 years
    I’m 100% Mexican
    Can some tell me Wich night is good to go???

  9. Hi Kristin! I am going to cancun for the first time with my boyfriend. We are both in our mid 30’s and love to dance to pretty much everything except banda. We arrive on thursday morning and will stay until Tuesday. If u could recommend nightly dancing places what would you recommend. We just love to dance to anything from salsa, merengue, bachata, latin rock and pop!! Thanks

    • I did read all the other posts but I want to make sure those salsa places you recommend are still open.

      • Hi Angie, I think you are just going to miss the reopening of Rinconcito de la Salsa on July 6, but Gran Mambo Cafe in Plaza Hong Kong downtown will for sure be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. A restaurant called Katsuya in the Hotel Zone across from Plaza Kulkukan has been having Salsa night on Fridays, you should have your concierge call and check if they will have it the Friday that you are here. Sunday evenings at Parque Bohemio (next to Parque las Palapas) is still on too. I think that starts around 7pm. All of the places I have mentioned have live music except for the park (Parque). Have a great vacation!

        • I went to Grand Mambo Cafe!!!! The fun definitely starts late around midnight and party continues to the early 4am time. Luckily I had my dance partner so we got our dancing in. The only thing was the actual dance area was small but people just danced on all the seating levels. Thanks a bunch for the info! It was just minutes away from my hotel. I am truely happy I found your site!!!

          • I am so happy to hear it Angie! I’m a little jealous too…I never get to go dancing anymore. Thanks for getting back to me, that was really nice! Keep in touch!

  10. Hoping to go to Cancun in November. Looking to Salsa the night away. I would appreciate any information on clubs in the area.

    • Hi Linda, Rinconcito de la Salsa reopens on July 6, downtown (Address: TULIPANES #2, LOTE 3, MANZANA 2, SUPERMANZANA 22, QUEDA ENTRE LA IGLESIA DE LAS PALAPAS Y BURGER KING EN ESE ANDADOR) Gran Mambo Cafe in Plaza Hong Kong downtown will for sure be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. A restaurant called Katsuya in the Hotel Zone across from Plaza Kulkukan has been having Salsa night on Fridays, you should have your concierge call and check if they will have it the Friday that you are here. Sunday evenings at Parque Bohemio (next to Parque las Palapas and near Rinconcito de la Salsa) is still on too. I think that starts around 6-7pm. All of the places I have mentioned have live music except for the park (Parque). Have a great time! Azuuuucar!

      • Thank you for the information. I booked my trip last night. I look forward to checking out your recommendations the week of November 4th.

  11. Wow! arriving can cun tomorrow the 25th…cant wait to salsa!! Bring it on….I was SO looking forward to sabor latino….too bad closed. Thanks so much for the GREAT info…hope to find dance EVERY night! 2 upbeat on point FUN dancers are coming your way!!! staying in playa del carmen…but will travel anywhere for salsa….from seattle

    • Hi Cindy, you should also be able to find some places in Playa to dance. Mambo Cafe recently opened and I have heard about other places as well. Sunday during the day, live Salsa at Wah Wah Beach Club…have a great vacation!

  12. I am excited to check some of these out in November.

    • Have a great time on your vacation Linda. I try to keep this post up to date so check back before you go.

      • Ok it’s Wednesday night. The trick or treaters are almost done and I am starting to pack for my vacation in Cancun.
        I’ll be leaving at 6:45 am Saturday morning. Easy to pack.Don’t need to do laundry. Just pack the summer clothes that I can’t wear now that’s it’s so cold here and my Salsa Shoes! I’ll be sure to check out the list of Salsa clubs you sent me a couple of month’s back. Thank you.

  13. Hello ….I am staying in Cancun for 6 months and I want to enrol a group of cuban salsa group. I have been looking and all I find is LA salsa or salsa in line. Thank you for all your information and I will go and check at Casa de la Salsa….if you know anything please advise.
    Thank you

  14. I am getting married June 22nd,. 2013 and we are going to Cancun for our honeymoon. Since we met salsa dancing (at the Copacabana in NYC) we definitely want to dance on our honeymoon. So glad to find your info, just wondering if it is still current. Thanks so much!

  15. Hello, I am looking to make a trip to Cancun and would love to go to a latin club and salsa dance (I do Zuma for exercise 🙂 Do you have any suggestions? I was unsure how current your recommendations were. Thanks for any info,
    Sheila

  16. Thank you very much for this. We are going to the Cancun area for our honeymoon in 3 weeks and love to salsa. this has been very helpful 🙂

    • I’m so glad Rachel! There is a new place on Yaxchilan called Macumba la Casa de la Salsa and I think Casa de la Salsa is closed. I need to update the post again. 🙂 Have fun!

  17. Thank you for all the Salsa information.
    Only 2 more weeks. Cancun here we come!!

  18. Im so excited to find this posting!! Yaayyy!! Specially to know it is current!! My hubby and I are big into the salsa here in NY and we just booked our winter vacation in Cancun and as you can imagine Salsa just HAD had to be in the mix, and thanks to you now it is!!! 🙂

    • Hi Adrianna, I’m glad I could help! I do need to update the post again though… La Casa de la Salsa has closed and a place called Macumba la Casa de la Salsa has opened on Yaxchilan Avenue downtown. Have a wonderful vacation!!

  19. H I arrive next month. Does Mambo cafe offer bottle service, do you know how much$ ? Is there any banda clubs, I’m Hispanic from LA, I want to go to the local spots.

    • Hi Oscar, yes they do offer bottle service. I don’t know exact prices but plan to spend up to 4 times what you would if you bought the same bottle at Walmart. haha

      I think there are a couple of banda places yes, but I’m sorry, I don’t know where they are. Maybe ask some hotel employees after you arrive.

  20. Hi, My husband an I plan to be in Cancun 6/9-6/17/14 and remembered Azucar noticed in your blog it closed so sad…what is open for Salsa dancing in June? We want live band not DJ.

  21. Hola amigos,
    I’ll be in Cancun in November from Saturday-Tuesday. My girl and I love to dance Salsa and Bachata. We’re looking for a SAFE environment where we won’t get overcharged for cover and drinks. Any suggestions? Please point us in the right direction, thank you.

    Alex

    • Hi Alex, all of the places in my post are safe and I just updated all of the information.

      You’d better go out on Saturday night because none of the clubs will be open the other days you are here. Have fun!

  22. I went to Mambo Cafe last year and was a bit disappointing as a person who really want to dance salsa seriously :). I feel like it’s just a regular clubbing with some latin flavor. Last night I went to a social through a local salsaero and really want to recommend to you all.
    https://www.facebook.com/Themotionlatinstudiocancun

    They dance on 1 and everyone is really passionate. As a solo dancer, it’s easier for me to dance with people there.

    I haven’t been to Macumba yet but heard lots of serious salsa dancer there, including some of my local friends. It’s also close to the bus stop of R-2. Should be easy to get there.

  23. Hi!

    I’m planning to visit Cancun in summer and I’m so happy to have found your blog because I make it my personal job to visit all the salsa places of the world 🙂 Thanks and probably see you in Summer!!

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