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Puerto Rico Nightlife

314 Calle Fortaleza
Old San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00901
Tel: 787 724 1254

Housed in a colonial Old San Juan building whose ancient foundation trembles to its very crevices with deep bass, Basilika attracts an eclectic twentysomething local crowd, from the baseball hat–wearing to the belly-ringed to the meticulously groomed and perfumed. The scene is more about cocktails and meet-ups than about serious dancing, though.—Leigh Newman

Open Tuesdays through Thursdays 6 pm to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 4 am.

Club Liquid
1420 Avenida Ponce de Leon
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00907
Tel: 787 646 4801

Loved by gays and New York clubbers, Club Liquid in Santurce (not to be confused with the bar of the same name at the San Juan Water & Beach Club hotel) is where die-hard dancers find their bliss. Expect to leave as the sun comes up.—Leigh Newman

Check Web site for event schedule; usually opens at 10 pm.

Lobby Bar at La Concha
La Concha Hotel
1077 Avenida Ashford
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00907
Tel: 877 524 7778 (toll-free)
Tel: 787 721 8500
Fax: 787 724 1949

The recently renovated La Concha hotel has a glam lobby lounge scene, with beautiful people sipping beautiful drinks, as other beautiful people watch them, eating sushi by the pool. The action gets a little less beautiful (but a lot more fun) after 1 am, when everyone dances on the marble designer furniture, and a least one pretty girl ends up thrown in the pool.—Leigh Newman

Officially open daily 5 pm to 1 am but stays open later on weekends.

Nightlife at the El San Juan Hotel & Casino
El San Juan Hotel & Casino
6063 Avenida Isla Verde
Isla Verde
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00979
Tel: 866 317 8935 (toll-free)
Tel: 787 791 1000
Fax: 787 791 0390

The El San Juan Hotel has been king of the San Juan night for years. Here you'll find partyers from age 16 to 76—no exaggeration. Dance fiends grind their toned and tanned booties in the Brava disco. Salsa addicts shake it to live bands at El Chico. And a backup band plays '80s dance tunes in a nearby nook in the lobby, lest the music die for even a moment. Expect serious crowds and serious eyeballing, and dress up.—Leigh Newman

Casino open daily 10 am to 4 am. Brava open Thursdays and Fridays 10 pm to 5 am, Saturdays 10 pm to 6 am. El Chico open Thursdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 3 am.

N Lounge
Normandie Hotel
499 Avenida Muñoz Rivera
Puerta de Tierra
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00901
Tel: 787 729 2929

The Art Deco Normandie Hotel was built in 1942 to evoke its namesake ocean liner. We don't recommend staying there (at least not yet—rumors abound it will be taken over by the Thompson Group of 60 Thompson fame), but it is a great place for a drink. The N Lounge, a terrace bar on the second floor of the hotel, makes you feel as if you're seated on the prow of a ship. The see-and-be-seen crowd gets here early in the evening, chilling out in the aqua-and-cream-colored bar before heading out to the dance clubs.

Nuyorican Café
312 Calle San Francisco
Old San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00901
Tel: 787 977 1276
Tel: 787 366 5074

Weekends can get rowdy at this snug performance space, tucked down an alley in Old San Juan. Salsa is the language spoken here, although other types of island music—from merengue to bomba and even rock—often make an appearance. The crowd is always hip but is otherwise diverse—young and old, straight and gay, locals and tourists. They all mix and mingle while waiting in line to pay the cover, which seldom goes over $5. The inside isn't much to look at, but the dancers that pack the black-and-white tiled floor in front of the stage certainly are. Things tend to get started around 10 or 11 and don't stop until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Open Mondays through Saturdays. Hours vary depending on the performers.

152 Calle San Sebastián
Old San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00901
Tel: 787 725 4407

This bar is the place for younger locals to salsa, samba, and merengue. It's low-frills, welcoming to tourists, and really fun; many of the scenes from Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights were filmed here.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 4 am.

San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel
2 Tartak Street
Isla Verde
San Juan
Puerto Rico 00979
Tel: 787 728 3666

White leather sofas line the periphery of this lounge, perched on the rooftop of the San Juan Water & Beach Club. There's an outdoor fireplace to warm things up on chilly evenings—a very rare event in these parts. If you want something to nosh on, head over to the sushi bar set up in the corner. The chef will whip something up on the spot.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.