Where to Go Clubbing in Playa del Carmen

Fire twirler | © Missie / Flickr
Fire twirler | © Missie / Flickr
With its white sandy beaches and deep blue waters, the stunning Caribbean coastal resort of Playa del Carmen has been attracting beach-loving travelers for decades. However, it’s not just the beaches that draw the crowds, but the vibrant nightlife too. Here are the best clubs to check out in the Playa del Carmen area.

Coco Bongo

Bar, Nightclub, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, $$$
Coco Bongo
Coco Bongo | © Dan / Flickr
Located just one block from Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue, the legendary Coco Bongo nightclub is a must-visit venue for clubbers. Step inside and be amazed by a high voltage carnival featuring giant screens, acrobats, tribute singers, confetti, and balloons. With a capacity of up to 1,800 spectators, the extravagant nightclub is the largest and liveliest in town. A standard ticket costs US$75 per person Monday through Friday and US$80 per person on Saturday. The ticket includes unlimited open bar access and transportation from your hotel. Bring extra money for the transport back.
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Coco Maya

Bar, Nightclub, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, $$$
Coco Bongo
Coco Bongo | © Dan / Flickr
This massive outdoor beach club has really made its mark on Playa del Carmen’s nightlife scene in recent years, hosting world-renowned DJs and boasting a fun, friendly atmosphere. Tucked between the main bar strip on one side and the beach on the other, revelers dance the night away with the waves lapping a stone’s throw from their feet. The venue boasts elegant Mayan-inspired interior design and a first-rate sound system. Coco Maya is also worth a visit during the day when you can find excellent food and drink offers.
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Mandala

Bar, Nightclub, Mexican, Beer, Wine, Pub Grub
Mandala
Mandala | Courtesy of Grupo Mandala
With its stylish setting and well-crafted drinks list, Mandala has established itself as one of Playa del Carmen’s trendiest nightlife institutions. This heaving nightclub, located in an imposing mansion, has elaborate light displays and Asian-influenced interior design. The music is typically house or pop, and you can expect a more typical club experience than that found in the carnivalesque Coco Bongo. Despite having a capacity for 700 people, the venue fills on weekends—and its popularity leads to long lines at the bar.
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Palazzo

Nightclub, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, $$$
Extravagance is the name of the game at Palazzo nightclub. With chandeliers and dozens of disco balls hanging from the ceiling, the club is anything but minimalistic. Palazzo has space for 900 people and hosts theme nights and well-known guest DJs. Expect a typical Mexican club layout—the dance floor is small and surrounded by dozens of tables, with individual waiters assigned to each one. It’s open until 5 am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and is the place for a serious party.
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La Bodeguita del Medio

Restaurant, Cuban, Caribbean, $$$
A mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio
A mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio | © Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha" / Flickr
If you’re after a more Latin vibe, then La Bodeguita del Medio is the place to visit. This spot has an authentic and friendly vibe and is part of a chain of Cuban-themed restaurant-nightclubs. The original venue in Havana, Cuba, was a favorite of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, jazz singer Nat King Cole, and late Chilean president Salvador Allende. Inside, expect salsa and cumbia music, plenty of dancing, and delicious mojitos. The venue also offers free salsa lessons on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm.
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