Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen is a popular beach town located an hour north of Tulum and an hour south of Cancun. One of the main attractions is its nightlife, which caters to people of varying tastes and preferences, ranging from affordable dive bars to upscale rooftop clubs.
We think that the nightlife in Playa Del Carmen is great and in some ways, better than Tulum’s nightlife. There are a variety of people you can meet, such as tourists from Canada, Europe, and even Mexicans on vacation who want to have fun. You can find fantastic beach bars and wild nightclubs that stay early e morning, so there’s something for everyone who wants to party.
There is a popular walking street in Playa Del Carmen called Quinta Avenida or 5th Avenue. It runs parallel to the beach, approximately two blocks in. Walking from one end to the other would take around 45 minutes, and you’ll come across various sights and wonders. If you explore around Calle 12 and the perpendicular streets, you’ll find plenty of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. We can recommend the best nightlife spots for you, regardless of whether you’re staying for two nights or two weeks.
Zenzi is a beloved beach bar that also functions as a small restaurant, offering seating directly on the sand. Popular with ex-pats, the bar transforms into a lively party spot later in the evening. With beer priced at approximately 55 pesos, Zenzi is a great spot to enjoy some drinks before heading out to nightclubs.
To fully experience Playa Del Carmen, you must visit the famous Bar Loco. This bar is situated on the second floor and has a balcony with great views of the walking street at the corner of La Quinta and Av. Constituyentes. They serve almost everything for 30 pesos ($1.50 USD), including beer, tequila shots, and tacos. Bar Loco is an excellent choice to kick off your night before hitting the strip.
However, we advise you to arrive early, preferably before 9:30, to avoid queuing to get in.
The place is often very crowded and becomes a sweaty party later on. People usually mingle and dance to either reggaeton or electronic music. Lately, one specific area has become popular with individuals who identify as gay who tend to gather there.
For those who enjoy live music, we suggest visiting a small restaurant bar located on La Quinta. They typically play classic rock and serve excellent food and cocktails. We recommend attending the live music performance around 8pm as a starting point for your Playa Del Carmen nightlife experience.
Caiman is a bustling bar that serves food and drinks while offering live music almost every night. However, it is recommended to arrive early since finding a seat after 8 pm can be challenging.
Caiman has a very good vibe and is one of the best places to meet people in Playa del Carmen.
One of our favorite places to pre-drink is the Why Not Hostel, which is one of the newest hostels in Playa Del Carmen. It is located on Quinta Avenida between calles 8 and 10, and you don’t need to be a guest to enjoy the party atmosphere. You can walk in and head up the stairs to find cheap drinks, beer pong, and other party games. Plus, you can even take a dip in the pool if you’re feeling adventurous!
You should definitely check out this rooftop bar on Calle 34 if you’re out on a Thursday. They offer unlimited mixed drinks for ladies for just $100 pesos until 11:00pm. The bar gets crowded and features a DJ playing until midnight. It’s a great place to socialize and meet new people!
The Roof is a small venue situated on the covered roof of La Quinta’s south end that is particularly favored by foreigners, particularly those from Argentina. It features excellent DJs that contribute to its great atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for expats or travelers to socialize and enjoy a night out.
This place was initially a budget bar located in Cancun, but now they have also opened a branch in Playa Del Carmen. You can enjoy inexpensive drinks and bar snacks (around 30 pesos for a beer), and they play loud music. Typically, it turns into a party later on.
Club Social in Playa Del Carmen is a popular bar where groups of friends enjoy singing and dancing during the week, especially on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If this type of night out appeals to you, it’s the perfect nightlife spot.
Kitxen is a popular open-air bar with a small stage located along 5 Avenue. They offer cheap drinks, good service, and daily live music events. The ambiance in the evenings is great.
The Palm at Playa, located on Calle 12 with a view of the town and ocean, is an excellent place to spend the day enjoying a rooftop party with fantastic DJs and delicious drinks. You can relax in the pool while enjoying food and drinks, and watch the sunset at this memorable day party spot.
Palazzo is a fully indoor club in Playa. It’s well-air-conditioned and located on the upper level of a building. You might not notice it easily from the street, except for the security outside and a shiny chandelier at the entrance. Despite being easily missed, Palazzo is one of the best nightclubs in Playa, with a large and spacious dancefloor that often features live acts or dancers.
The venue is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 10:30pm onwards. It’s located beside Coco Bongo on 12th street and offers music from Old School RnB to current hits. You can expect to be covered in confetti upon leaving. They offer table service as well.
Located on an open-air rooftop, Clandestino is one of the best clubs in Playa Del Carmen. To fully enjoy the fancy atmosphere, excellent cocktails, and amazing parties, make sure to dress up before coming here. Plan ahead and book a table with friends to party the night away. Visiting Clandestino is a quintessential Playa Del Carmen nightlife experience that should not be missed. Please note that there is typically a cover charge of 200 MXN or more and a lineup on the weekends.
Mandala is a well-known nightclub in Playa Del Carmen that is often the first place people think of when discussing nightlife in the area. It is a fancier spot where you can reserve a table and bottle to enjoy the music and dancing with friends. There is not a large dance floor, so it is more for groups than individuals. However, there is often a lineup to get in, so it’s best to arrive early or make a reservation.
The Santino nightclub is a popular spot among Argentinians. The main floor plays EDM, Reggaeton, and top 40 hits while the open-air roof section plays electronic music like deep house and techno. You can save money by arriving before midnight as they usually offer free entry or lower prices.
The place usually gets crowded at 1:00 am when the bars close. If you’re into electronic music, the rooftop is the hotspot. However, it’s recommended to arrive early to avoid waiting in line. They serve reasonably-priced 1-liter mixed drinks and usually close at 4 am.
Coco Maya is a spacious beachfront club. It may not always be busy and it’s not easily visible from the street, causing people to get distracted by other clubs on 12th. However, once the crowd starts pouring in, it becomes a fantastic nightspot with ocean views.
Don’t forget to visit Coco Bongo – the most renowned club in Playa. It’s an unforgettable experience that you shouldn’t miss. You can find more information about what to expect at Coco Bongo here.
Speakeasy is a secret bar located next to the Roof Bar in the southern part of La Quinta. It has a hidden entrance and only opens late at night. It’s a new club in Playa Del Carmen and a well-kept secret, at least until now.
La VaquitaLa Vaquita is a lively club located at the bottom of 12th street that’s perfect for those who love to dance. Although their music selection may be a bit varied, they have something for everyone. Similar to Mandala, this club is open and easy to spot because of the large trademark plastic cows. It’s important to note that La Vaquita is typically geared towards a younger age group ranging from 20-29 years old. You can easily check out the club as you explore the area and join in on the fun if it suits your interests.
If you prefer to experience the local atmosphere in Playa del Carmen where Mexican tourists like to party, this is the right place for you. You can enjoy inexpensive 1-liter mixed drinks for around 100 pesos and watch live acts with performers impersonating Maluma and Freddy Mercury walking around above. From our experience, this nightclub is one of the most enjoyable places to party with a Mexican vibe that you won’t find in other venues.
Abolengo is a great club to visit at the beginning or end of your night as it’s located at the intersection of all the clubs. Initially, it has more of a bar atmosphere, but as the night goes on, it gets busier and livelier, especially during the early hours.
The bar Santito Tun Tun is situated across from Mandala and shares many similarities with it. Calle 12, the street where these clubs are located, has several other bars and nightclubs like them. On certain occasions, after these venues shut down and people are unable to get in, the whole street turns into a massive party.
The best days to go out in Playa are:
I recommend planning a night out on Saturday because clubs are usually busy with a good vibe and energy.