The party spirit rules the Caribbean. If locals on most any outpost have a bottle of rum and a drum, they can make a Tuesday night in August seem like New Year's Eve.

But the two islands that never fail to deliver all-out revelry are


and the

Dominican Republic

. The major Jamaican resorts regularly stage extravagant shows that often spill out to indoor and outdoor bars.



Montego Bay

, the island's top tourist towns, feature weekly beach parties, especially in season. But there is no more lively after-hours scene in the region than the multiple dance floors, concert venues and bars at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel and Casino in Santo Domingo, the D.R.'s capital. Many of the hotels in

Puerto Plata


Punta Cana

offer Vegas-style entertainment, too.

Puerto Rico

, particularly

San Juan

, has something for every style of partyer. Gamblers flock to the Condado neighborhood, home to a cluster of casinos. Well-dressed crowds linger all night at the floor shows, piano bars and, naturally, rows of slot machines and gambling tables. Bodegas, cabaret shows, and New York-style dance clubs are scattered throughout the city and across the island.

For bar hoppers, two standout areas on the party map are the St. James neighborhood in

Port of Spain, Trinidad,


St. Lawrence Gap



. Both feature rows of pubs and music and dance venues. In both locales, clubs offer a range of music styles and tropical cocktail specials. Port of Spain has a concentration of clubs specializing in soca and calypso. No serious reveler in the Caribbean misses the Trinidad Carnival, a raucous up-all-night (and day) dance and music celebration with a colorful parade, held every winter.


, with 10 major casinos, is one of the biggest gambling scenes in the region. Most of the gaming venues also stage cabaret and comedy shows and live music acts.

St. Maarten/St. Martin

also has a party and gambling scene, but the casinos, concentrated in hotels on the Dutch side, are smaller, and the bars are more upscale.