…a great alternative to exploring the nightlife on your own…
I fell out of bed and answered the door half naked.
So my neighbor starts screaming at me in Spanish, going on about making too much noise last night.
I was like, “Chill out – you mental bat! I didn’t even go out last night.”
Did I go out last night?
Shit…I did go out last night.
Shit…there are two drunk tourists asleep on my floor, and my collection of 70s disco CDs appears to have been heavily played.
When I wake up with so little memory, it can only mean one thing: a Playacrawl.
I think I might have to buy my neighbors some flowers…again.
What Is A Playacrawl?
You have bar crawls in most beach destinations around the world.
It’s a simple concept.
However, most bar crawls are pretty stingy when it comes to the drinks.
You’re wanting to get hammered and they’re limiting it to one shot per bar.
Bar crawls for sissies that’s what they are.
Playacrawl has one crucial difference: it’s free booze all night. Kinda like a booze cruise, but on land!
Well not quite all night, but for more than you’ll probably be able to drink.
A Playacrawl starts at 10:15pm and the free bar continues until 3am.
It involves the following:
- A super-fun guide who knows practically everyone linked to the nightlife here
- Visit to three of the best bars/clubs in town
- Prepaid cover at all venues
- VIP entrance and seating at all of them – NO WAITING IN LINES AT ANY OF THE VENUES
- Table service for all drinks at two (sometimes three) of the venues you will visit
Let’s cut to the chase – you get absolutely wasted and have the time of your life.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out the video below!
Why Go On A Playacrawl?
Organized bar crawls are certainly not everyone’s favorite night out.
I never used to be too bothered about them.
However, you can’t argue with the prices.
Playacrawl costs around $75 USD, but that includes five hours of open-bar access.
So for the big night out, it works out pretty cheap.
You get dedicated tables in the bars / clubs and don’t have to wait in any line for entrance.
Plus you get table service, so no waiting in line at the club.
You also have a cool bilingual guide who can show you the ins and outs of Playa Del Carmen nightlife.
The Real Reason For Going On A Playacrawl
But the main reason for a Playacrawl is that you meet loads of like-minded people.
It’s like a bar crawl mixed with speed dating mixed with unlimited bottles of booze.
It’s probably the number one Playa Del Carmen activity if you want to do a little of the old “in out, in out” with someone of the opposite sex.
You always get a random mix of people.
That keeps things interesting and entertaining, particularly with the different nationalities on offer.
People normally arrive and stick to themselves at first.
But after 3 or 4 drinks, it’s party central!
Where Does A Playacrawl Go?
Playacrawls run every night, and they have a few different routes. (SEE MAP ABOVE)
(NOTE: Of course, this is completely out of my control and therefore always subject to change.)
- Saturday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / TriBeCa / Palazzo
- Sunday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / Mandala / Blue Parrot
- Monday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / La Vaquita / Mandala
- Tuesday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / La Vaquita / Mandala
- Wednesday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / Mandala / Blue Parrot
- Thursday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / Mandala / Palazzo
- Friday: Tequila Barrel OR Abolengo / Mandala / Palazzo
They always start in either Tequila Barrel or Abolengo.
These are two large and very popular bars near Fifth Avenue and in the midst of the nightlife in Playa Del Carmen.
The music isn’t too loud, the vibe is good, and it’s easy to converse with the people there.
Remember: this first place is where everyone meets and gets to know each other and your guide.
From there, it’s going to depend on which day of the week it is.
You can either look at the schedule above, or if you like a more graphical version, see the schedule below.
During your time on the bar crawl, you’ll meet lots of people!
Men, you’ll meet lots of ladies.
Conversely, you ladies on the crawl will meet lots of men.
It’s here that you can either seal the deal, or end up falling off your chair in a drunken stupor.
Either one is okay – I usually do the latter, unfortunately.
Because some people go on a Playacrawl bar crawl multiple times throughout their vacation, the location of each bar crawl changes from day-to-day.
Below you will see what bars/clubs are visited on what days of the week:
How Much Does A Playacrawl Cost And What’s Included In The Price?
Playacrawls change price all the time, depending on the season.
The best price I normally find is ~$75 USD.
On Christmas and at peak times, this will be more.
But it will also cost more in general to go out in Playa Del Carmen during these high seasons.
- A nighlife expert / guide who knows the ins and outs of everything nightlife-related here
- Unlimited drinks from 10:15PM – 3:00 AM (this does not include premium liquor/ energy drinks)
- Party at three of the most popular bars/clubs in town
- Included cover at all clubs / bars you visit
- VIP entrance at all of the clubs/ bars you visit – YOU WILL NOT BE WAITING IN ANY LINES WHATSOEVER
- Table service at (minimum) two of the bars/clubs
So we’re talking one unforgettable night that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
At the time of this writing, Playacrawl doesn’t sell tickets at hotels; you have to buy them directly through their website or one of their reps.
One Club Option – Open Bar / All-Night @ 1 Venue
For those of you NOT interested in doing the full bar crawl, Jorge from Playacrawl also offers a single-club option which is usually $25 USD cheaper.
This involves VIP entry to one club, a reserved table, and VIP bottle service – WITHOUT A GUIDE.
It’s not as popular, and remember that the clubs don’t get going until after midnight.
So while you can drink for free from 10:30pm until 3:30am, it’s not exciting until later in the evening.
If you’re really keen on hitting the Coco Bongo club, then they offer a $75 USD all-night package.
Groups – Doing The Playacrawl Together
If you are already part of a group or organization, then Jorge (the owner of Playacrawl) can organize a private / customized Playacrawl for your group.
You can probably ask for some serious discounts, too!
- Private / Customized Playacrawl for groups is possible
- Playacrawl is VERY POPULAR with bachelor / bachelorette parties
- Discounts offered to groups (depending on size)
Feel free to ask about this sort of package or anything else related to the local nightlife – including, Coco Bongo or any of the other bars / clubs around town.
There are also some pricey VIP Coco Bongo packages that include all premium drinks and getting treated like a movie star.
Book well in advance for any of these nights out.
Should I go on a Playacrawl?
As I survey the damage to my apartment, I’m thinking twice about my next Playacrawl.
You really can’t do it every night because the alcohol content is too severe.
But these random tourists have just woken up and they’re telling me about all the random stuff that happened.
Apparently I had almost picked up some Canadian woman.
But then ended up puking in her shoe instead.
I’m also supposed to be meeting two girls called Simone and Nicky on the beach at 2pm.
Simone and Nicky???
All in all, that’s far more action than I’ve had in the last three months!
Playacrawls are about getting drunk and meeting loads of great new people.
They hurt the liver, and the hangovers aren’t great.
But they’re an insane amount of fun.
I will see you on a Playacrawl soon…
Lots of love,
It’s your turn. Have you experienced a Playacrawl? Tell us about it in the comments section below!