Playa Del Carmen Bars
…you know where to find me…
Let’s discuss my absolute favorite topic: Playa Del Carmen bars.
There are tequila bars, sports bars, beach bars, bars that you never remember leaving, bars that always have specials, and bars where you’ll find me in a drunken stupor.
I would be lying if I said that bars were the reason why I came to Playa Del Carmen.
But they’re certainly one of the reasons why I’m not leaving.
Playa Del Carmen bars have sometimes been a roller coaster ride.
I’ve lost many things in them – including keys, money, girlfriends, and all semblance of sanity.
But they’re always there for me, regardless of how I feel!
Where Do You Find Playa Del Carmen Bars?
Sometimes you walk through Playa Del Carmen and think, “Is there anywhere without a place to buy alcohol?”
Even on the back streets out of town, you can find some dingy Mexican establishments where everybody chain smokes like demons.
Bars on 5th Ave tend to be open all day and then close down by midnight.
Go here first.
Those on the southern end of 10th Ave don’t get lively until around 11pm.
Head down here after 5th Ave and you’ll find a happening party zone.
Of course you’ll also find plenty of bars on the beach that are perfect for pre game cocktails.
These bars are also perfect for dancing until well past sunrise.
Different Styles Of Bars In Playa Del Carmen
Don’t be coming to Playa Del Carmen and spending all your time in the bars that look identical to those back home.
Just go to Endzone or Legends Sports Bar to experience this.
But on any night in Playa Del Carmen, you can really experience different vibes and styles.
So here is my run down of the different types of Playa Del Carmen bars and my favorite choices.
Mexican-Style Playa Del Carmen Bars
You’re in Mexico…so you have to try the authentic Mexican saloons.
There are some great Mexican style bars.
There are also some terrible ones that haven’t been redecorated for 20 years.
But they’re also fun.
The best ones are in and around 10th Ave, particularly some of the streets that lead directly off 10th Ave.
Los Danzantes is a good choice.
Great atmosphere, local drinks, and lots of smoke filling the bar.
Senor Frogs is another good one.
It’s kind of a tourist friendly Mexican / American mix – so it’s perfect if you’re not sure about going too local.
Definitely check out Bar Ranita.
It’s got a fantastic mix of locals and foreigners as well as cheap drinks, a huge courtyard, and live music.
It’s also a fave of expats living here.
Authentic Salsa Bars
This is Mexico, so forget the cheesy 70s and 80s music.
Let’s hear some salsa!
NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, salsa and merengue are NOT Mexican dances. Actually salsa originated in New York with strong influence from Puerto Rican and Cuban dances. Merengue originated in the Dominican Republic. These dances are far too elegant to be Mexican!!!
I think the salsa bars have a bit more sophistication than the classic Mexican bars, particularly when they have live bands playing.
La Bodeguita Del Medio even offers free salsa lessons on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
This is probably the biggest salsa bar and they have both local and imported drinks.
Salon Raices is more intimate and a great choice if you’re on a date and want to get drunk in a cool environment.
Playa Del Carmen Beach Bars
Of course you’ve got the classic beach bars.
These establishments usually start out in an uppity mood, but generally descend into drunken debauchery by the end of the night.
I prefer them during the day as there is little better than sipping a cocktail with your feet in the sand.
Many of them are situated inside big hotels.
However, I prefer the ones that don’t have that exclusive poncey hotel vibe.
Like the infamous Blue Parrot bar.
El Pirata on the beach is just next door.
A bit further down the sand you’ll find La Tarraya and Wah Wah Beach Bar.
Playa Del Carmen Bars And Restaurants
These are often the best place to start an evening.
Steak and beer?
They’re also where a slightly older crowd hangs out, and things are just a little bit more chilled.
For style and character try the La Azotea Lounge Bar.
It’s pricey, but you’ll be taking photos of the wonderful interior.
Carlos & Charlies is a Mexican bar and grill with an authentic atmosphere.
I’ve spent many many evenings getting drunk here.
Most restaurants tend to have lively bars, so you can just extend your dinner by a few hours.
Remember to ask for the restaurant’s special cocktail.
This is usually a very cheap chef’s special that gets you wasted.
Live Music At The Playa Del Carmen Bars
You can find live music all across Playa Del Carmen, and what you might like really depends on what tantalizes your ear buds.
These places are where you’ll usually find many good looking women.
For old school funk and house try the DJs at Diablito Cha Cha Cha.
If you’re into serious house music, then check out my suggestions on the Playa Del Carmen club page.
Also try Bliss on Calle 4.
It’s has live rock music on the weekends.
Large All-Night Party Bars In Playa Del Carmen
So now the one you’ve been waiting for.
I’m sure most of you are looking for a list of the biggest bars with the most people and best parties.
Tequila Barrel on 5th Ave is very famous.
Happy hour starts at 11am, there are dance competitions, lots of mischief, and it’s pumping almost all day, every day.
In fact there are many bars on 5th Ave that fulfill the party vibe.
Pretty much everyone who visits Playa Del Carmen ends up having one night in The Beer Bucket on 10th Ave.
Tequila Barrel, to Beer Bucket, to La Ranita, is a famous bar crawl here.
Between Beer Bucket and Blue Parrot, you’ll find the Playa Del Carmen party zone, where every bar seems to offer neon lights, drink specials, and drunken chaos.
Anything Else About Playa Del Carmen Bars
It’s good to have a general idea about the bars in Playa Del Carmen.
But I find that the best nights are when you leave the hotel and randomly stumble around and into any doorway offering booze.
Everything is within walking distance, and you won’t get lost.
Just remember to give me one of your 2 for 1 cocktails if you’ve enjoyed this advice!
Lots of love,
It’s your turn. You have any tips or suggestions about the bars here? Please leave them in the comments section below!