Playa Del Carmen Nightlife
…like Frank Sinatra, it starts late here…
I’ll start with a confession.
When I first thought about making a website I was going to call it “Around Playa Del Carmen In 80 Nights.”
I was going to go on 80 different nights out and write about them.
But I kept trying to type when I was viciously hungover, and certain things always filled the screen –
Like the following:
- “What the hell happened last night?”
- “Why did we get another bottle?”
- “Was I really naked?”
Playa Del Carmen offers some of the best nightlife in Mexico, if not the western side of the world.
There’s something for everyone, and it’s very cheap.
I’ve learned from my mistakes.
So instead of writing about Playa Del Carmen nightlife when I’m hungover, I’m taking the laptop with me so I can write about Playa Del Carmen nightlife as it happens.
I’ll set the scene: it’s 3pm, the sun is shining, I’m sitting at a beach bar, and so our night begins….
The Playa Del Carmen Nightlife Scene
You might have watched programs like “Girls Gone Wild” or some other cable TV alternative that shows ridiculously drunk teenagers getting their boobs out.
Playa Del Carmen doesn’t have the “party till you puke” vibe that you see on these programs.
Essentially, the it’s a bit more sophisticated than that.
As I write this, I’m sipping on a Dulce de Tequila, enjoying the charming surroundings of this sandy beach.
Don’t worry, nightlife does get very exciting.
It’s just not that cheesy.
If you really want party till you puke then Cancun is less than one hour away.
Playa Del Carmen offers lots of different scenes.
Whether you’re into beach bars, all night clubs, Mexican tequila bars, or expat sports bars you’ll find it here.
You can explore a different vibe every night you’re here.
Playa Del Carmen Nightlife Is Cheap
Let’s get down to the important facts.
How much money is it going to cost?
Playa Del Carmen is very cheap when it comes to partying.
Lots of places offer specials and happy hours, meaning that you can always have a good time for very little money.
For example, this cocktail in my hand cost just $2.50.
So I bought one for the nice looking Italian woman across the bar.
She downed it and then left without even saying hello; I think my bloodshot eyes scared her!
Some of these specials are much more like happy nights than happy hours.
For example, El Far Bar on the beach does 2 x 1 drinks from 5pm until 2am.
And Tequila Barrel’s happy hour starts at 11am!
So when you come to Playa Del Carmen, where can you go?
Playa Del Carmen Bars
Seeing as I’m sitting in a beach bar, let’s start with the eclectic bars on offer.
If you wanted to visit them all, then you would need several months in Playa Del Carmen.
Of course there are these bars along the beach.
They give some great views of girls in bikinis, which is why I spend most of my time here.
There’s also nothing more synonymous with paradise than drinking a cocktail with your feet in the sand.
Now I’m taking a step away from the beach to 5th Ave and the surrounding streets.
All along here you’ll find some cool bars.
I’m often drinking here and thinking: “Am I really this drunk at 3pm”
Wait! Of course I am.
It’s special time, and my beer only cost $2.
Each bar has its own vibe, and you’ll quickly find your favorites.
Like La Bodeguita del Medio, Senor Frogs, El Envero, Los Danzantes, or Pez Vela.
Some like El Envero are half bar / half restaurant.
Others like Bar Ranita are huge and regularly have live music and a lively atmosphere.
Then there are the bars where you can drink tequila with the locals.
I’m trying to avoid them at the moment after some particularly bad hangovers recently.
People bring their own cultural influences to Playa Del Carmen, which means it’s never boring.
So it’s now 9pm, and I’ll confess: I’m struggling to stick with my writing task.
I’ve just spent the last few hours in Senor Frog’s and Manne’s Biergarten before that.
So enough bars for now.
If you would like to read more then check out my Playa Del Carmen bars page.
Playa Del Carmen Sports Bars
People don’t spend that much time in Playa Del Carmen watching sports.
It might be important when you’re at home, but there are more important things to do when on vacation.
However, sometimes there’s not much better than a good sports bar to get a raucous atmosphere going.
I’m currently sitting in the Tequila Barrel.
This is one of the sports bars that shows mostly American sports.
They also seem to serve obscenely cheap tequila.
Even better, they do live betting on all the action that’s on the screen.
I just put $5 on the Buffalo Bills – and immediately regret it.
Most of Mexico is soccer crazy.
If you say football they shout, “Messiiii!” or “Ronaldoooo!”
So in many of the sports bars, like Legends Sports Bar, they primarily stick to football.
There are also a couple of dives that play soccer with Mexican commentary.
It’s funny, especially when the commentator says, “GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!!!!”
But enough sports.
I want to meet some women.
So I’m off on a Playacrawl.
This is a bar crawl that’s been put together specifically for tourists.
For a low price, you get taken to several different bars and clubs.
You get unlimited alcohol for five hours as well as VIP access in the clubs.
It saves you money, particularly if you like to hammer the drinks.
German, British, American – there are chicks on Playacrawls from everywhere.
There’s also a couple of Asian looking girls on this particular one.
That’s the best thing about the Playacrawl.
You immediately get to meet a load of like minded people.
It’s like a bar crawl mixed with some speed dating.
So if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got some women to try and pick up.
Visit my Playacrawl page to see where you go, how much it costs, and other important info.
Playa Del Carmen Clubs
I’m not usually one for clubs and pounding dance music.
I prefer places where you can talk to friends without HAVING TO SHOUT.
However, I got absolutely nowhere with the women on the Playacrawl.
So perhaps it’s better if I don’t talk and just dance!
I always forget that I have two left feet.
However, the clubs in Playa Del Carmen have an entirely different vibe to what you might expect in some random US city.
They’re generally pretty upscale and intimate.
While you’ll find many run down bars, you won’t visit any shitty looking clubs.
Playa Del Carmen is also big on underground music.
Every year they have a techno music festival called BPM, where some of the best DJ’s from around the world descend on this city.
So in most clubs you do hear good tunes.
The biggest and most famous club here is Coco Bongo.
But there are plenty to try, like Mandala Club, Pink Elephant, and La Santanera.
There are also some cool ones on the beach that sometimes continue past sunrise.
My Playa Del Carmen clubs page has all the information.
Just remember that the drinks are much pricier in clubs than they are in bars, so if you’re short of cash, then down a bottle of tequila before you go in.
Alternatively, check out some of the open-bar-1-club-all-night deals.
Right now it’s 2am, and everyone is thinking: “What’s this idiot doing on the dance floor with a laptop?”
So excuse me while I bust some new moves….
Playa Del Carmen Exotic Clubs
Why do I always end up here?
It’s 4am and I’m in a strip club, trying to convince the bouncer that I’m writing a very important article and not just using my laptop’s webcam to record some dancers.
Strip clubs in Playa Del Carmen are a little more liberal than their American counterparts.
So you don’t just have to sit on your hands.
Which is good because I’m trying to type while this Mexican chick waves her boobs in my face.
Most dancers usually allow some light touching and kissing.
But you can’t go too far without giving a very good tip.
I’m in Marlins right now, but there are some others you could check out, even if they do have a shady reputation.
My wallet is empty, so I’m getting out of here.
You’ll have to read more on my Playa Del Carmen exotic clubs page.
Alternative Playa Del Carmen Nightlife
Wow my head hurts.
Why didn’t I stick to the more sedate side of Playa Del Carmen nightlife.
Like Xcaret, which offers an incredible night show.
Or taking a romantic walk on the beach with a nice looking female (“Who’s going to accompany you with that one Rufus?”)
If you’re really curious, then why not try participating in some Mayan rituals after dark.
The Best Thing About Playa Del Carmen Nightlife
I’ve been rewriting this article and realize that there are a couple of important things that I didn’t mention.
Firstly – I forgot to mention what I was drinking last night.
It went something like this: 2 for 1 cocktails, Corona, Corona, tequila chaser, bottle of red wine at El Envero, assortment of Mexican beers, shots, then even more shots on the Playacrawl, bottle of tequila from the liquor store, rip off beer in the strip club, remains of a mescal bottle at 5am.
The other thing I forgot was to mention how diverse Playa Del Carmen’s drinkers are.
On every night out you meet people from all around the world!
That’s what makes Playa Del Carmen nightlife so great.
I hope to see you on the Fifth Avenue strip soon…
Lots of love,
It’s your turn. Do you have anything to add to this conversation about the nightlife here? Please leave it in the comments section below!