All-night parties, beer pong, sex, drugs and rock & roll. These are the perceptions of an American spring break, and they aren’t too far off. We don’t really have spring break in England. Our youngsters tend to head to a European based island in the summer to blow off steam (usual suspects being Ibiza, Aiya Napa, Magaluf, Zante etc) but how does it compare? I had to see it for myself, so this British lad dragged 6 of his best friends to a party destination well known to spring breakers… Cancun, Mexico.
My first exposure to the idea of spring break was watching US sitcoms. It seemed to be the thing to do when you’re young, and since drinking age is 21+ in the US, Mexico is the perfect location; where you can drink from 18. In England the legal drinking age is 18, which is why we start drinking at 15.
The perception of spring break is that after a demanding semester of studying, this was a chance to leave it behind for a week and go nuts. Believe me there is a lot of people doing that. The perception also is that it is becoming more universal and people from all over the world were coming to experience it, so why not get the Brits involved, it’s not as if we’re known for causing trouble…
What is the nightlife like – The most popular question I’ve had. Short answer, it’s a bit of a mix. There are elements of Cancun nightlife you won’t get anywhere else, and elements where it’s not too different from home. First off, the famous Coco Bongo. You may remember seeing this place in the movie The Mask; and if you don’t, you’ll be reminded when the main character makes an appearance by swinging through the club. Yep, there’s characters swinging everywhere, think of the first part of your night here a show. You’ll see characters running around such as The Mask, Spider Man, Green Goblin, and also get to enjoy tribute acts such as Michael Jackson, Madona, Guns N’ Roses, LMFAO and KISS. When this first part finishes around the 2am mark (may want to crack open the coffee tequila at this point) the raving begins.
Another marquee club to look out for in Cancun is The City. This place is huge. Picture a small football stadium and the stands and pitch have been invaded by spring breakers, that’s what it is like. It can be a little crazy, but with all of the lighting and performances, it can be pretty epic. Tips for both Coco Bongo and The City, think about getting a table. You will have to pay a little extra, but if you want a place to escape the crowd (although not entirely) then this would be ideal. Other than these there are several bars; Senior Frogs, Congo, Mandala which are not too different to European clubs and enjoyment will most likely be based on yourself. Most of these places are US$40-60 for entry and open bar and then US$100+ for table service.
What on earth to do during the day – I think age could dictate your thought process here. It may be perceived that with the crazy nightlife mentioned previously, the day would be spent sleeping to recharge, but think again, you could be missing a trick! The day time is when the beach parties and pool parties are kicking off, and this (in my humble opinion) is what you should base your trip around. This is where packs of girls meets packs of guys, beer pong contents get started, beer funnels are brought out, wet t-shirt contests happen and horrendous videos are shot, still thinking about being sensible and catching up on sleep? As I said, this could be dictated by your age and you may even think about burning the candle at both ends, which is an option, but a happy medium would of course be advisable.
For all the shenanigans Cancun’s nightlife brings, there are also activities to consider that do not involve giving your liver a kicking. If you can spare the time, there are hundreds of promotional companies that will talk to you about water sports, zip lining, treks in the jungle, going to see Chichen Itza (one of the new seven wonders of the world) swimming in caves and more. You may want to break up your holiday a little, and some of these actives would be an ideal pass time.
Element of people – This one has flavours of what I spoke about in a previous post (Holidays Vs Travelling). Meeting people when in large groups can be difficult, you find comfort and entertainment amongst yourselfs and may not venture out.. big mistake. It’s spring break, most people there are social and will want to make friends. Tip for the fellas, don’t put your hopes on meeting girls are the clubs when they’re getting hounded by drunk idiots (other than yourself). Get talking at the hotel bar, pool, restaurants, trust me it’s not as scary as it looks. And then enjoy 🙂
My closing thoughts on spring break… it was fun. It was something I wanted to experience, I saw the crazy side and managed to fit in some things where I can rest up and do cool activities (watch out for my compilation on Instagram: @omgisthatvik). You can go as hard as you want, or don’t want. My closing thoughts on Cancun… there was something for everyone. We met spring breakers young and old, singles, couples, elder folks, people from all over the world. Your choice of hotel may dictate the tone of your trip, so make sure you do your research! It was quite an experience, and I look forward to my next spring break experience!