Located in the middle of the Mayan Riviera, Playa del Carmen is a bustling ever growing and vibrant city with extensive attractions. Not the little fishing town it once was. Nightlife and bars in Playa del Carmen have multiplied, tenfold, making it a great hot spot for a night on the town.
People of different ethnicities and age groups travel across the world to enjoy the pristine white sandy beaches, clear Caribbean blue water, restaurants, nightlife, and culture that Playa del Carmen has to offer.
5th avenue is where all the action happens. It is bustling with tourists and locals who are all looking for a good time.
From nightclubs to cocktail bars, the nightlife in Playa del Carmen has it all. Choose from a tremendous amount of pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants each offering a different and unique experience.
If you are more of a day-time person, you will find a plethora of beach clubs and beach bars to enjoy a fresh cocktail, stick your toes in the sand and unwind.
Continue reading to learn all about the best bars in Playa del Carmen but first some quick information on safety.
Spending more time in Playa del Carmen? Check out more of our guides to this amazing beach town:
Safety at Night in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is generally a safe city but it is always recommended to be mindful of your surroundings.
Use caution and try not to overconsume your alcohol. This can lead you to be taken advantage of quite easily. Enjoy your night with a group of friends and avoid partying solo if you can.
Remember the biggest and safest rule for all nightclubs, don’t leave your drink unattended.
Lots of bigger nightclubs will have security screening at the entrance and even smaller bars and restaurants will have security staff on-site to keep you safe.
Pickpocketing isn’t a huge issue but please never leave your purse out of sight. I would also recommend leaving your most precious valuables at home.
Taxis will be waiting at the end of the night to take you home but a helpful tip is to record the number on the side of the taxi. This allows reference if you have forgotten something in the taxi or if you have any issues with your driver.
Lastly, do not be afraid of the ice. All the ice used in bars and restaurants is made from filtered water and is totally safe to consume. Read all about our guide to drinking water (and ice) in Mexico here.
In pre-Covid times, the nightclubs in Playa del Carmen used to be open until 5 or 6 am with some nightclubs never even closing.
After the pandemic, the government changed the rules allowing venues to remain open until 3 am. A lot of restaurants on 5th avenue will close at 12 or 1 am, with the bigger nightclubs staying open until 3 am.
Dress Code for Bars in Playa del Carmen
The dress code is pretty casual for most venues in Playa del Carmen as it is a beach town. Don’t be surprised if you find a little sand on the dance floor.
Some of the higher-end venues won’t allow men into the establishment wearing flip flops, but the rules tend to be more relaxed for women. Look your best, don’t forget your smile, and enjoy your fabulous night!
Below I have listed some of the best bars, nightclubs, and best beach bars in Playa del Carmen along with some of my personal favorites.
Map of the Best Bars in Playa del Carmen
1. Clan Destino
Best bar in Playa del Carmen for dancing.
What better way to spend the night dancing away than at Clan Destino.
This open-air rooftop nightclub will keep you entertained with its dazzling light display, bumpin’ DJ, and beautiful decor.
There are multiple levels at Clan Destino with lounge areas and tables spaced throughout so you can mingle as you please. The bar offers everything from highballs, beer, cocktails, and wine.
The bar is located centrally making it easy to refill your drinks. Bottle service is also available along with reserved preferred lounge seating.
With a live DJ and go-go dancers, Clan Destino really takes its entertainment appeal to the next level.
Dress to impress and arrive early to avoid a huge line. Depending on the night you might be charged a cover fee all of which is subject to the season and how busy the club is.
Doors open at 7 pm and you will find a beautiful crowd of locals and tourists ready for a great party.
Best bars in Playa del Carmen for a unique night out.
Located right in the middle of Playa del Carmen’s party street, Calle 12, you will find Mandala Night Club.
Since Mandala opened its doors it has become one of the trendiest and most exciting hot spots in the city.
Mandala’s décor is inspired by Asia and India. Vibrant colors and lush fabrics are used throughout creating an aesthetically rich appeal. The club is also open-air to the street, making it for a fantastic Caribbean night.
Doors open every night at 10 pm playing a mixture of Top music, Electronic, Latin rhythms, Reggaetón, and Hip hop.
Mandala offers different bottle-service and all Inclusive packages to suit your needs. The lineup for the bar can be lengthy at times due to the capacity but the staff are attentive, fast-moving, and happy to serve you.
Upon entry to the club, they have a security screening in place to add extra comfort for your safety. As well there is security staff strategically placed throughout the club.
Put on your best outfit, grab your dancing shoes, and be ready for a memorable party!
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Best nightclub in Playa del Carmen for Latin dancing.
Are you after a great experience of Playa del Carmen nightlife? Make your way over to Santino.
Considered the best “Latin Bar” in Playa del Carmen, Santino offers a fiery party with great music, an alluring ambiance, and a large crowd.
What is special about Santino is that it is split into two floors so you can choose the mood best suited for you.
The bottom floor is inside and normally plays Reggaetón and Latin music. The bottom is air conditioned but you will still break a sweat as you get dancing.
The top floor is open air without a roof so you can enjoy the cool Caribbean evening breeze. Different DJs will be spinning electronic, house, and EDM-style music. Gaze on psychedelic decorations, laser beams, and smoke machines as you dance the night away.
Depending on the season and the night of the week will determine the entry fee. The standard entry is 150 pesos. On weekends Santino offers free entry before 11 pm for ladies and sometimes on slow nights in the down season there is no entry fee at all.
Sip on a great selection of reasonably priced cocktails, beers, high balls, and of course tequila. Bottle service is also available if you wish.
For men, wear closed-toe shoes as they will deny you entry if you are wearing flip-flops. For women, the rules are more relaxed but you are still encouraged to dress to impress.
The entrance is a bit curious looking because it is a single door through a side street. Once you are upstairs your evening will be packed full of fun. Don’t forget to take a picture outside in front of their beautiful art mural to remember the action of your night.
4. Coco Bongo
Best bars in Playa del Carmen for a show.
For unforgettable nightlife in Playa del Carmen, spend an evening at Coco Bongo. Not your average nightclub. Coco Bongo is an extravagant disco with live dancers, acrobatics, drinks, dancing, confetti and so much more.
Located on 10th avenue and Calle 12 in the heart of downtown, Coco Bongo is not hard to miss. Doors to the disco open at 10 pm and the party goes on until 3 am.
Different entertainment acts are performed every 15 minutes throughout the night with great dance music being played in between. Be dazzled with musical tributes from musical genres suiting all ages and generations.
The show is also very interactive. Don’t be surprised if you are caught on the big screen as Beetlejuice is blowing you kisses.
Because Coco Bongo is a nightclub combined with a show the entrance fees are higher and will require a ticket. Tickets start at $90 USD and include entrance, live entertainment, all-inclusive drinks, and a snack option. You can pre-book tickets here and save.
The total experience is about 4 hours in duration so dress to your comfort and be ready for a nonstop party.
5. Mamitas Beach Club
Best beach bar in Playa del Carmen.
One of the best beach bars in Playa del Carmen is Mamitas Beach Club. Relax the day away on a sun-lounger sipping an Aperol Spritz, or party in the pool listening to an awesome DJ.
Known for being the 1st beach club of this style in Playa del Carmen, Mamitas offers beachfront lounge chairs, a pool with a beach view, an extensive menu, festive music, and much more.
Mamitas has a prime location in the main beach area of downtown Playa del Carmen. You can expect white powdery sand and blue waters of the Caribbean.
The pool area usually has a live DJ on the weekends playing a mixture of Electronic, Reggaetón, Top 40, and Throwback music. It’s a great party atmosphere to enjoy with your friends and to mix and mingle.
The food is great, especially their ceviche dish, and the service is of quality to follow suit.
Another great thing about Mamitas is that it has a family-friendly zone so you can bring your kids and enjoy your day.
Entrance packages start at 200 pesos which will provide access to the oceanfront sun loungers, washrooms, and facilities. Day beds near the pool, and food and beverage packages are also available for your enjoyment.
6. Coralina Daylite Club
Best beach bar in Playa del Carmen for Vegas-style pool parties.
Find yourself at Coralina Daylite Club, one of the best beach bars in Playa del Carmen.
Coralina is the go-to place for anyone wanting an Ibiza or Las Vegas-style day party. With multiple pools, beach access, an upscale aesthetic, comfortable day beds, loungers, and great music, Coralina is the place to be seen.
The crowd at Coralina is on the younger side and people are ready to party. Electronic DJs will be playing elevating music all day as beautiful models are bringing out sparkler-lit bottles of champagne and high end liquors to the guests. There is definitely never a dull moment.
You won’t go hungry either. Coralina offers a medium gourmet menu to delight your taste buds. A must-try is the mixed ceviche dish served fresh inside of an open coconut.
Entrance and minimum consumption to Coralina starts at 500 pesos ($25 USD) and increases upward. Their doors open at 10 am and they close at 6 pm. Grab a great bikini, a stylish sun hat, and be ready for a fabulous fiesta!
7. Caiman Tugurio
Best bars in Playa del Carmen for live music.
If you desire a night of quality live music head on down to Caiman. Located on the famous 5th avenue, this open-air restaurant/ bar will have you entertained all night.
Almost every night of the week they will feature a different band playing a variety of Rock and Alternative music.
With humble décor, the music is absolutely fantastic. Here I have heard some of the best artists playing covers of Radiohead, Aerosmith, Soundgarden, and many other rock favorites.
A great perk is that there is no cover charge to Caiman. If you enjoyed the music simply leave a tip for the band. Due to the great music, this Playa del Carmen favorite is always busy.
If you can’t find a table inside you are free to enjoy the band from the street. Just be cautious of cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicle traffic passing through.
Caiman offers food and drinks with some killer options. Be sure to try the Caiman potatoes! They are delicious and so flavorful. Caiman is not really a cocktail bar but they make a great margarita! Fresh, cold, strong, and full of lime!
Menu prices are very reasonable just remember to bring cash as they don’t accept cards.
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8. La Bodeguita del Medio
Best bars in Playa del Carmen for Cuban music.
A Playa del Carmen favorite with a Latin flare is “La Bodeguita del Medio”.
Sister of the original restaurant in Havana of 1942, La Bodeguita del Medio takes you on a walk down memory lane to Old Cuba.
The décor is Bohemian style inspired by the original Havana location. You will find a lively atmosphere with charming attentive staff, live Latin music, and guests ready for a great night.
In the early evening sit down and enjoy traditional Cuban dishes, smoke a Cuban cigar, and sip on an authentic mojito. Sink your teeth into the Cuban sandwich stuffed with tender meat and full of flavor. Also, the portion sizes are very generous so you won’t leave hungry!
One of my favorite things about La Bodeguita is that they have a separate menu just for Mojitos. Of course, they offer a simple and delicious original, but they also have many different infusions and unique flavors.
After your dinner, don’t be shy about heading to the dance floor. Grab a partner, enjoy the Latin music, and Salsa the night away. Dancing, mixing, and mingling is a great memory you will take away from this place. A great celebration of Cuba in its purest form.
9. Las Helodias Bar
Best bar in Playa del Carmen for unique beers.
For all you beer lovers out there you must make a stop at Las Helodias Bar.
With its strategic location one block away from the ever-popular Mamitas beach entrance, this is a great pit stop before or after your day at the beach.
From huge liter size cocktails to flavored tequila shots you will find a drink for all. Their main attraction is the flavored beer they serve.
This peculiar way of preparing their beers makes them stand out from all of the other bars in the city. Try all the different flavors such as mango, strawberry, tamarind, and of course a local favorite, shrimp. Yes, shrimp-flavored beer!
Food matches the quality of the top-notch drinks. With an extensive menu of Mexican and seafood dishes, you won’t go hungry. Your plate will be served nice and hot and you receive a selection of homemade salsas to entice your taste buds and add extra flavor.
The décor is totally Mexican and the music is lively playing all your Reggaetón favorites creating a really fun vibe.
Prices are very affordable and the staff is very charismatic and engaging. One thing I really love is that the manager will even come and say hi and greet you. Makes for a great neighborhood atmosphere and sense of community.
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10. Off The Vine
Best bar in Playa del Carmen for wine lovers.
On the northern end of La Quinta avenue, you will find a cozy little wine bar named Off the Vine. A perfect spot for the wine connoisseur.
With a tapas-style menu and a great selection of wines from Mexico and across the world, there is a flavor for everyone. Not a fan of vino? Sip on an artisanal or domestic beer or a cocktail crafted by the bartender.
Often, Off the Vine will have live music playing or you can be captivated by the bustling crowds and entertainers of 5th avenue.
The service staff are attentive and speak English very well. Off the Vine is a great place to try some incredible Mexican varietals that might not be offered in other parts of the world.
What makes this place really special is it acts as a liquor store as well, with a greater selection of wine than most bars in Playa del Carmen. The perfect little spot for an intimate date or a friend’s night out.