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The Nightlife Guide to Playa Del Carmen

Clubs and nightclubs in Playa Del Carmen

Nightlife

Nightlife and going out to a club in Playa Del Carmen is almost a right of passage for most tourist. Playa Del Carmen nightlife is almost legendary and sets itself up as one of the best destinations for going out.

For people staying in the Rivera Maya along the coast, many choose one night to come into Playa Del Carmen and party for real because nightlife at all inclusive hotels can be, how shall we say, amateur. Since many people have a limited time here, it is best to know where to go and have a plan.

Here is our guide to clubs and night spots where you can go out. See what is a good fit for you.

Clubs and Nightlife in Playa Del Carmen

Here are all the big clubs in Playa Del Carmen. They are mostly located on 10th Street or 12th Street. There is a wide range of these clubs so everyone should have something to fit your likes.

  • Palazzo Disco. This club is on the upper level of the building and you cannot see much from the street except the guards and chandelier at the entrance. When you go up you enter a large club with stages and a dance floor. You can get table service here. This club is just open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10:30pm. Palazzo is right next to Coco Bongo on 12th Street.
  • Mandala Night Club is a true club that is always busy. It is one of the top three in Playa to go out to for dancing and a full on club experience. It is decorated in deep red and pinks with an Asian theme. The music is loud and parting crazy. This club opens daily at 9:30pm. You can get bottle service at this club. If this clubs is what you are looking for and you want an epic night out, you can book an night here with entrance and open bar. For details just click the button below.
  • Coco Bongo Club and Disco. You will see a lot of advertising for this show. It is advertised as a dance club but it is more like a Vegas style show and you can dance in your place if you want while you watch the show. This club is open Monday-Saturday night. The show starts at 11:30pm and goes to 3:15am. After 3:15 is plays just music and people can enter just for the club until about 6am. This club is best for the show rather then coming late night to dance, leave that up to the other clubs that are all about dancing like Palazzo and Mandala. But if you are walking around you might just want to go in and see the place especially if there is not cover. To see a video of what the club is like and read more, see our article about Coco Bongo here.
  • Tribeca is a club with music and nothing that makes it stand out among the other clubs. It just is an option if you like what music you hear planning. Sometimes you can get in without a cover when other clubs are charging. Just make sure you ask drink prices before getting them to make sure you are not overpaying for that free entrance. This club is on the corner of 12th Street and the end by the beach.
  • La Vaquita is a loud club with an open front on 12th Street. The large plastic cows are it’s trademark. This is more for younger crowd 20-29. If you like what you hear and see then step into this club.
  • Abolengo. This sits right at the intersection of all the clubs and is a good place to start your night or calm down a little. This place is more  bar then club. You can read more about Abolengo in our article here.
  • Diabito Cha Cha Cha is similar to Abolengo because it is more a bar and also serves food. Diablito Cha Cha Cha is a little more adult and have more food selection. This is a good place to start your night or grab some food while getting ready to go out.
  • Coco Maya is a beachfront club with a large open space. Often people walking down 12th Street get sucked into other clubs before arriving here, so there may not be too many people at first and usually you cannot see in from the street to know if it is banging or not.
  • Salsanera is a Latin style dance club. If you are tired of electronic music and want something different, this club is usually open from 10:30pm-5:00am each day. This club is just across from Coco Bongo on 12th Street.

Our video of clubs in Playa Del Carmen

Nightlife on 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen

There is actually not as much going on at night on the most touristy and most walked street in town. Most of it is on 10th and 12th Street just off 5th Avenue. However there are a few bars with live music on 5th. Avenue. They are:

  • Fah. This is on 5th Avenue between 8th Street and 10th Street. This is an open air space at street level. Here they have a restaurant and bar with a small stage. The theme is mostly light rock.
  • Thompson Hotel Roof. This lively hotel has DJ’s and events on the roof over looking the city. This is a chic way to spend an evening. Some events are free and some have a cover. The entrance for the Thompson is on 12th Street between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue. You can check out what is going on here by looking at the link to their site here.
  • Kitxen. This is an open air bar with small stage. This bar is on 5th between Constituyentes Avenue and 20th Street. There is live music here each day later in the evening.
  • La Bodeguita Del Medio. This is a Cuban style restaurant and bar with live music at nights and dancing. The dance floor is small but if you like the Latin sound and some mojitos, this is a good place to go.
Playa Del Carmen Nightlife

Rooftop at night at the Thompson Hotel where events are held.

What to go out on a nightclub tour in Playa Del Carmen?

If you are coming by yourself you might feel a little shy about going out. Why not join a group and have some fun. All of the work of figuring out where to go is taken care of. If you don’t speak Spanish and want to go out for a night of fun, why not look at going on a VIP tour.

This tour also works for a group. See the reserve now button for details and prices.

Gay Clubs in Playa Del Carmen

There is one gay club that is 100% gay. It is Club 69. This is a bar/club that is down an alley off 5th Avenue between 4th Street and 6th Street. Look for the rainbow flag.

This club is a little older and does have a drag show on the weekend late at nights. This club is usually only busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

Some tourist do find this bar but you should not be limited to just this bar. The truth is many bars and clubs in Playa are mixed and many are 20-25% gay. For more about gay Playa Del Carmen see our complete guide here.

How much are covers at clubs?

Most clubs charge about 100 pesos entrance fee to get in. This goes up to about 200 pesos during holidays and special events.

One big tip if you want to save some money is go out earlier. Many clubs will let you in for free before midnight. Some will give you a wrist band and you are in. The bad thing is that if you decide to leave early they will remove your wristband and you will have to pay to enter since it will be later. Many club do this to lure in people to start filling the club.

What is the best days to go out for Playa Del Carmen nightlife?

You would think that being a vacation destination that it would be a weekend any day of the week. This is not true though and Friday and Saturday are the best times to go out. If you had to pick just one night to go our we suggest Saturday. Usually clubs are more packed and have more energy this night in part because more locals have off on Sunday.

Many clubs and discos are closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays.

Playa Del Carmen Nightlife Dress Code

What should you wear when going out? Well it depends on what bar or club you are going to. Overall, Playa Del Carmen is a casual place by most standards. Not many actually have a strict dress code but here are some rules to go by.

  • Local do like to dress up a bit. Even on those hot summer nights, locals will put on pants and guys will have a button dress shirt. Tourist are usually more casual because you are on vacation after all and most don’t want to bring a huge wardrobe.
  • Bars are more casual then clubs. Most bars you can wear about anything you want. You can wear sneakers, shorts, and t-shirts. Sports bars are the most casual and anything goes.
  • Higher end nightclubs have a two tiered system for judging people and what is allowed for dress code. Tourist get more of a free pass on casual shoes and shirts. Locals are held to higher standards. Some clubs will not allow tank tops on guys or sneakers.
  • Mandala would be the more dressed up club but not by much. Guys usually have a polo or button up shirt but not necessarily tucked in. Women wear  dressier tops sometimes with nice shorts, pants or a flirty skirt.
  • Women normally do not wear too flashy of jewelry. This can be good because it is best to leave the good jewels at home and attract the wrong attention. Outfits are based more on the dress and makeup than jewelry in Playa.
  • Coco Bongo is a very casual club and anything goes. Pants might be better here because it is air conditioned. Also comfortable shoes are recommended because you are standing most of the night unless you paid extra for the limited seats they have.

If you are going out to party hard in Playa Del Carmen, we recommend you read our Dangers and Safety article because there are some things you need to be aware of when going out late.

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to Playa Del Carmen nightlife and reviews of the best places to go. You might also like our Ultimate Bar Guide to Playa Del Carmen here.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments about Playa Del Carmen nightlife in the comments below.

34 Comments on The Nightlife Guide to Playa Del Carmen

  1. Scott Spazian // August 19, 2016 at 4:27 PM // Reply

    Great guide to all the clubs in Playa del Carmen. We are a group coming and are looking for some great nights out in Playa.

  2. Macy Vilburge // August 28, 2016 at 5:36 AM // Reply

    We just went to Playa del Carmen and totally liked your guide in helping us to go out at night. The video was good too. We had a good time a Santanera and went to Abolengo for drinks to start our night. Thanks again for all the tips. It made out trip!

    • Hello Macy

      We are so glad you had a good night out or nights our in Playa Del Carmen. The nightlife here is pretty good and now with more music venues and events, Playa seems like it has something going all the time. We hope you come back soon and visit us.

  3. Superb Website and guide. We are coming during BPM this year and look forward to checking our some clubs and will use your guide.

  4. I wanted to ask you how the nightlife is now in Playa Del Carmen? Has everything gotten back to normal after BPM?

    • Hello Adrian

      The nightlife has been a little slower. The Blue Parrot club has not reopened and the Santanera disco closed. So there are less nightclubs open now. You still can have fun going out though and there are still a lot of options.

  5. I heard that Santanera and Blue Parrot are closed. Are there any new nightclubs in Playa Del Carmen opening? How is the nightlife now?

    • Hello Claudia
      It is true that these two clubs have closed. There still are a lot of places to go out to and private parties at higher end hotels. We will have some videos out shortly of music venues at Live Aqua and others. So there is plenty to do and keep you busy.

  6. Hello,
    I was wondering if there are any clubs that play house music or electronic music and go late into the night? I heard that a couple of clubs were shut down. Also suggestions of clubs like this that are right on the beach would be great! Thanks

    • Some of the smaller bars do play house music like the smaller bars on 12th Street but this is not a club like atmosphere. The good thing is that many of the higher end hotels are doing once a week parties or once a month events. Here you can have a great DJ and party in a more luxury environment. We will be having a video oncoming out on one of these parties. It is at the Live Aqua Hotel.

  7. We are a group of 5 that are looking to go out to a nightclub in Playa del Carmen. Is it goo to make a reservation or can we just show up?

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 5, 2017 at 7:31 AM // Reply

      Hello Brian

      Since many clubs don’t even have phone numbers, it is best just to go. If you want VIP service just make sure that is clear at the entrance. Some clubs have separate entrances to the VIP sections. We hope you guys have a lot of fun in Playa!

  8. Good post. I wanted to thank you for your nightlife guide. I came with a group for my wedding party and you gave me advice about a month ago. We had a great time in Playa. It was perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for the guide. We are going this week and are looking to go out a few nights in Playa. Do most of the clubs speak English?

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 9, 2017 at 8:44 AM // Reply

      Hello. We hope you have fun while going out here. Most of the clubs will speak enough English to get you in, tell you prices and take your drink orders. They are used to tourist coming. Sometimes you have to repeat yourself but just be understanding if they don’t understand you at first. It can be loud and people try to accommodate everyone that does not speak Spanish.

  10. Shakira Janos // March 10, 2017 at 2:06 AM // Reply

    We just want to recommend Coco Bongo to the other readers. We were not sure what to expect but it was so much fun! Nonstop party for 4 hours. Would love to go back!

  11. Now that some of the clubs have closed, where is the best place to go out now?

    • Hello Will

      It will depend on what you want to do and atmosphere. Mandala and Palazzo are the more dance clubs now and have the most energy. Some of the rooftops can be fun as well like the Carmen Hotel’s Deck 5. It will depend on the night of the week and if there is an event there or not. It is best to check their Facebook page.

  12. Karla Canevazzi // September 12, 2017 at 4:23 PM // Reply

    I just got back from Playa Del Carmen and wanted to give an update on how my trip went. I went out three nights in Playa. Mandala was ok, loud music and not much space to dance. Drinks were very low quality. Palazzo was more fun and more energetic. I liked the fact it was AC. Coco Bongo was a riot. Non stop action but you don’t really dance there. By the time the show is over at 3:30 it is sort of late to party more.

  13. Hi,

    I would like to go out on NYE in Playa Del Carmen, what tips do you have?
    not to busy, good music(Urban/Hip Hop/RenB).
    Do you guys have good idea’s?
    maybe a package? dinner and party?

    • Hello Jay

      As we get closer places start letting us know what they are offering. Usually The Thompson roof or Carmen Hotel on 8th Street are what you are looking for. Mamitas does a dinner and concert usually. We have not heard what they are doing this year.

  14. I am planning of going to playa for a bachelor party during memorial weekend last weekend of may. We are looking for crazy partying. We are hesitating between cancun and playa. We love everything about playa, however we are hesitant as we heard it might not be busy. We want to make sure there will be lots of tourists and partying all night. Let me know. Thanks

    • There are always people going out and you can find a good time in Playa. Cancun offers some big bars or clubs but so does Playa. So if you like the vibe of Playa we recommend coming here. There is a range of places that can fit your wants fornyou night out.

  15. Great article for guiding me the places I should visit in Playa del Carmen. I am planning to come with my friends for vacations.

  16. Hello, good post. Any advice on where to stay in Playa del Carmen if you want to party all day ?

    • Well near the beach for one. If you like a hostel the Che Hostel or 3B is good. Maui suites on Constituyentes and 1st is a party place as well. In general the area from 12th to 46th and near to the beach is good.

  17. Hey guyz, where is the better spot for good electronic/house music (more underground/techno, not the commercial EDM stuff); Cancun or Playa del Carmen? Any hotels with clubs inside playing good electronic/house music there? Thanks for any information and suggestions (planning to go in March, April or May 2019.

    • Hello Patty

      Cancun is very generic and for basic tourist so the music scene is not much of what you are looking for. The clubs in Playa have been narrowed down as more have closed. There are less options now and most play basic dance music. Only the hotel rooftops get into sessions but it can be hard to plan exactly where and when they are playing. Tulum is actually cutting edge now with more festivals in the jungle. There are no big clubs there and not regular places but more beach clubs and special parties. https://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/best-area-to-stay-in-tulum/ See our guide here if you want to visit Tulum. Papaya Playa might be a place for you as well in Tulum.

  18. hi, ive been to cancun many times with a group of male friends. we love the clubs in cancun but we was thinking about trying somewhere new. is the set up the same in playa? so in cancun you go through the reps to get club tickets and they organise transport and tables. then once we are there we sought out the waiters throughout the night. or do you have to do it yourself? im happy to go back to cancun but other friends are wondering if we’d have a better time in playa so all I want to know is what do you think is the better party zone in your opinion?
    many thanks
    peter

    • Mr.Yucatan // March 23, 2019 at 5:42 PM // Reply

      Hello Peter

      It will depend on what type of vacation you want and where you want to stay. If Playa you can bar hop and walk around without booking anything. If going out in Playa you can stay outside of town but it is nice to be in town and then it is easy back and forth. If you like an all inclusive, Playacar section of Playa might be best because it is a short taxi ride into town. Some of the same clubs are the same set up in both Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. There is both a Coco Bongo and Palazo in both cities.

  19. Hi, i am planing to go to Playa on december this year. Is it a good month to go if i want to party every night? Thanks

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 26, 2019 at 6:39 AM // Reply

      This is a good month because there are more people in town and clubs are a little more hopping. The weather is also nice. You can go out at night most of the time with just a short and pants or shorts.

  20. Yes! Looking forward to going out in Playa del Carmen again. It has been a few years. I see a lot of places have closed and new ones are around. Thanks for keeping this guide up to date.

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