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In Defense of Tourist Spots

In Defense of Tourist Spots

by Anders Elmgren

Hanging out at a bar in Cabo San Lucas, a young woman once told me, "Everybody likes everybody on vacation." The people around her offered lots of supporting evidence. Tourists and locals both young and old danced in conga lines, ate jello shots and sang along to their favorite songs. You may have heard of this bar - El Squid Roe - because it's a well-recognized tourist destination. In other words, there were lots of people on vacation.

That's the power of a tourist spot, and why I think that young woman was right. The produced pandemonium of a touristy bar or destination turns the electric feel of being on vacation up to ten. The trick to finding a great touristy spot is to find the ones that became so well-known because they offer something just that special and awesome.

And that's not as hard as it may seem. Here's a quick list of our 3 favorite bars in Jamaica and Mexico where just about everybody's on vacation.

1. El Squid Roe
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Right next to the famous Senor Frogs in downtown Cabo, the entrance to El Squid Roe isn't particularly large, but you can't miss the bright lights and thumping music. The wait staff, dressed in white uniforms and red bandanas, circulates through the crowd, serving drinks, encouraging people to dance and playing games with guests. The tables are covered with brown, paper tablecloths which become a canvas for creative partiers, and there's a platform space on top of the booths for dancing. Though noisy and frenetic, this bar is well-lit and well-maintained. If you go in with a positive attitude and a dancing spirit, you're going to have an awesome time.

Resorts in Cabo San Lucas

2. Rick's Cafe
Negril, Jamaica

Come for the cliff diving, stay for the sunset! Rick's Cafe is a Jamaican institution that has been around for almost 40 years. Perched on cliffs above the Caribbean Sea, guests in bathing suits take turns toeing up to the edge of platforms as high as 35 feet above the water. Then they leap off - some more gracefully than others - and splash into the crystalline sea below. From tourists mustering their courage to the diving troupe that puts on a show of athletic dives, the beauty of the location and the natural drama of people jumping from high places makes for great entertainment. At dusk, the view of the sunset from Rick's is one of the most acclaimed in the Caribbean. Guests lounge around a swimming pool, admire the view from the two-story restaurant and bar, and hang out at the outdoor performance space. And after the sun goes down, Rick's is a cool lounge with people mingling, drinking and talking about the best dives of the day.

Resorts in Negril

3. Zenzi
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Located in the chic and trendy Playa del Carmen south of Cancun, Zenzi is a beachfront bar and restaurant that offers the killer combination of a fun lounge and bar scene with good food and oceanfront views. It's no wonder that this has become a favorite destination for Playa del Carmen guests. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a chic ambiance which extends outside to the beach club. There, patrons relax on the sunbeds and sit with their toes in the sand, sipping margaritas under the shade of palm trees. In the evening, DJs and musicians spin some tunes, and guests dance in the sand with drinks in hand.

Resorts in Playa del Carmen