You'll find a good mix of nightlife in Playa del Carmen. There are mellow lounge bars, cool dance clubs, and full-on party nights as well as live music. It's not just drinking and dancing though, you've also got a choice of good options for nights away from the bar and club scene. Most bars are around Avenida Quinta, and a full Playa del Carmen night out will start here, before moving on to the clubs near the beach on Calle 10 and Calle 12. Most bars open until 2am, and clubs open from 10.30pm until 4am or later, although they don't really get going until about 12am.
Top bars in Playa del Carmen
KitxenOwned by Mexican rock singer Saul Hernandez, Kitxen is a Playa institution. It's got live music every day, a laid-back crowd, and reasonably priced drinks. Where: Av. Quinta between Consityuentes and 20th When 1pm to 2am daily
Senor FrogsThis popular chain is in a great spot right on the beach. It's got a family atmosphere by day before easing into night-time party mode. There's decent food and live music some nights. Where: Av. Quinta near the pier When:10am to 2am daily
Caiman TugurioSet a little away from the tourist trail, you'll find great music and enough space to relax and chat. The food is good too. Where: Calle 24 When:9am to 1.45am
La MezcalinaPopular with a younger crowd this is a great place for dancing. It's open later than most bars and as the name suggests, it specialises in Mezcal. Where: Calle 12 When: 9pm to 3am daily
AbolengoA bit different from other Playa del Carmen bars, this is a great place to start or finish your night. There's a lively atmosphere and the music is 1980s and ”90s rock and pop, so it's great if you want a break from the pounding techno that's in most of the big clubs. It attracts a slightly older crowd. Where: Calle 2 When:10.30pm to 3am
Coco BongoThis is the biggest and most famous club in Playa. You'll enjoy shows, acrobatics and dance music with up to 1200 other revellers. There's an open bar and you can book various VIP packages to skip the queues.
Club Ceno UnoIf you want an authentic club experience this is a good option. It's focused on dancing, and you'll be able to enjoy the sea breeze from the rooftop terrace. There's a good selection of drinks too. Where: Calle 8 When: Tuesday to Saturday 11pm to 4am
Coco MayaA blissful beachfront club where you can dance until late, with a view of the ocean. If you need a break, you're just steps away from the shore, or go up to the roof terrace to enjoy the views. It doesn't get going until late, but when it does it's a great night out. Where: Calle 12 When:10pm to 6am daily
PalazzoYou'll find Palazzo by looking for the sparkling chandelier at the entrance. It's one of Playa's most glamorous clubs, with glitzy décor and a great dance floor. Music is old school RnB, and you can expect to leave covered in confetti. Book online for VIP entry. Where: Calle 12 When:10.30pm to 3.30am Thursday to Saturday
La VaquitaThis is a dance on the tables sort of place, which plays all kinds of music. There are regular competitions, and it's great for people watching. Look out for dancing cows. Where: Calle 12 When:10.30pm to 3.30am every day
Other night-time experiences
Xplor FuegoZiplines, paddling underground streams and the thrill of a 4x4 ride through the jungle make for a memorable night, all rounded off with a moonlit BBQ. Where: Carretera Cancn -Tulum When: 5.30pm to 11pm Monday to Saturday
Cirque du SoleilUsing acrobatics and theatre to tell the story of Joya, this production is captivating. It's a 20-minute drive from Playa del Carmen, and you can make a night of it by booking a dinner package. Where: Carretera Federal Cancun - Playa del Carmen When: 6pm and 9pm
Sunset dinner cruiseFor a different side to nightlife in Playa del Carmen, you'll find several companies offering a sunset cruise. You'll enjoy good food and gorgeous views as the sun sets on the Caribbean sea. Where: Find the best deals by booking online or call into a tour operator in Playa itself.