Another popular beach town just 1 hour north of Tulum and 1 hour south of Cancun, the main reason people flock here is to party. Playa Del Carmen nightlife offers something for everyone, from cheap dive bars to fancy rooftop clubs.
In our opinion, the nightlife here is superior to Cancun and even better in some aspects than Tulum’s nightlife (unless you are loaded). You’ll meet tourists from all over the place (Canada, Europe) and Mexican locals on vacation looking to party it up. From amazing beach bars to crazy nightclubs open until the early hours of the morning, Playa Del Carmen offers something for everyone looking to party.
Playa Del Carmen Nightlife Overview
In Playa Del Carmen there is one main walking street known as Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) that runs parallel to the beach approximately two blocks in. It would take you around 45 minutes to walk from end to end, filling your senses with all kinds of sights and wonders along the way.
On this street and streets perpendicular to it (especially around Calle 12) you’ll see lots of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. We’re going to sort out the best nightlife spots for you to check out, whether you have 2 nights or 2 weeks.
Dress code: It’s a beach town so most bars will let you in with flip-flops and shorts. If you’re heading to a fancy club, be prepared to dress up in at least shoes – shorts will be fine. The cheaper clubs will still let you in with flip-flops.
Cover: Most nightclubs will charge a cover, ranging from $100 MXN pesos at the cheapest places to $500 MXN at the fanciest spots. A lot of spots offer free cover before a certain time and they might give you a wristband with which you could re-enter at a later time.
Best Days to Go Out: Of course Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. But because it’s a party town and everyone there is on vacation, you can find something every night,
Cheapest place to drink: Bar Loco
Best nightclub: Santino
Best Bars in Playa Del Carmen
No visit to Playa Del Carmen is complete without checking out the notorious Bar Loco. With almost everything being 30 pesos ($1.50 USD), including beer, tequila shots, and tacos, it’s a great place to start the night before hitting the strip.
Located right on the corner of La Quinta and Av. Constituyentes, it’s a small bar located on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the walking street. We recommend going there before 9:30 or you will probably have to wait in line to enter.
The place is usually packed, and turns into a sweaty party later on, with everyone mingling and dancing to reggaeton or electronic music. Recently one section has become sort of a gay bar, with like-minded individuals crowding into the same spot.
One of our favourite bars located right on the beach, Zenzi is a beautiful little restaurant with seating right in the sand and also a bar popular with ex-pats that becomes a party later on. With beers only around 55 pesos, it’s definitely an excellent venue to drink before heading out to nightclubs.
Why Not Rooftop Party Hostel
Why Not is one of the newest Hostels in Playa Del Carmen, and happens to be one of our favourite places to pre-drink. Located right on Quinta Avenida between calles 8 and 10, you don’t have to stay at the hostel to enjoy the party atmosphere. Simply walk in and make your way up the stairs to enjoy cheap drinks, beer pong and many other party games, or jump naked in the pool!
Lobo De Mar
If you find yourself out on a Thursday, you must visit this rooftop bar over on Calle 34. Thursday is ladies night, for only $100 pesos they can have unlimted mixed drinks until 11:00pm. The place gets really busy and there is a DJ playing until midnight. Excellent spot to meet people!
Guandola Playa Restaurante Bar y Cervecería
Originally a cheap bar in Cancun, they have recently expanded to Playa Del Carmen. The drinks and food are cheap here (think 30 pesos for a beer, and bar snacks), they have loud music and it typically turns into a party later on.
*As of 2023 Tequila Barrel is no longer in operation, due to a shooting on the premises*
When one thinks of Playa Del Carmen nightlife, Tequila Barrel is the perfect example of what to expect, and maybe the first place people think of when talking about partying here. It’s a small sports bar/club with beautiful ladies ‘working’ there offering to party and drink with you. Typically you’d just get a table with friends and enjoy the music.
The Roof Bar
A place popular with foreigners (especially Argentinians), the Roof is located on the south end of La Quinta and is upstairs – on a covered roof. The small space and great DJs give this place an excellent atmosphere and is an ideal place to meet other ex-pats or travellers partying for the night.
Club Social Karaoke Box
If your idea of a night out is singing with your friends, then Club Social is the nightlife spot for you in Playa Del Carmen. Located further back on Avenida 25, this cool bar is typically popular during the week, think Wednesdays and Thursdays, where you’ll find groups of friends singing, dancing, and having a good time.
If you’re into live music, then this small little restaurant bar on La Quinta is definitely worth checking out. Usually playing classic rock, they also have excellent food and great cocktails. We recommend coming here for live music around 8 pm to start off your Playa Del Carmen nightlife adventure!
The Palm at Playa
If you’re looking to spend the day partying on a rooftop with awesome DJs and great drinks, then The Palm at Playa is a great spot on Calle 12, overlooking the town and ocean. Cool off in the pool with drinks and food and wait for the sun to go down in this unforgettable day party spot.
Best Clubs in Playa Del Carmen
One of the best clubs in Playa Del Carmen, Clandestino is located on an open-air rooftop. Dress up before coming here, with a fancy atmosphere, excellent cocktails, and amazing parties, grab a table and bottle with friends, and party the night away.
Clandestino is the quintessential Playa Del Carmen nightlife experience, and you can’t visit this beach town without coming here at least once. There is typically a cover and lineup on the weekends (200 MXN+).
Another spot popular with Argentinians is the popular Santino nightclub, with the main floor that plays EDM, Reggaeto,n and top 40 hits and the open-air roof section that plays electronic music such as deep house and techno. If you arrive before midnight you can usually get in for free or at least cheaper.
The place doesn’t typically get busy until around 1:00 am when all the bars start closing. The rooftop is the place to be if you like electronic music, but get here earlier before the crowd or you may be waiting in line for quite a while. They offer 1-liter mix drinks at pretty good prices and are typically open until 4 am.
Hidden beside the aforementioned Roof Bar in the south section of La Quinta, Speakeasy is, well, a speakeasy that has a hidden entrance and only opens late at night. A new club in Playa Del Carmen and one of its best-kept secrets (until now?).
If you’re more into the local scene, where the Mexicans on vacation in PDC like to come to party, then this is where you want to be. With cheap 1-liter mix drinks (around 100 pesos) they also have live acts, with Maluma and Freddy Mercury impersonators on the walkways above. In our opinion, it’s one of the most fun nightclubs to party at and has more of a Mexican vibe than the others.
Perhaps one of the most famous nightclubs and the first places most people think of when Playa Del Carmen nightlife is discussed, Mandala is more of a fancy spot you get together with friends, get a bottle and a table, and enjoy the music and dancing. There’s not much of a dance floor and it’s typically a spot you’d enjoy with friends rather than go alone. 9 times out of 10 there is a lineup to get in so show up a bit earlier or make a reservation.
Santito Tun Tun
Right across from Mandala is Santito Tun Tun, a very similar venue to Mandala. In fact, the whole walking street known as Calle 12 has several bars and nightclubs such as these, and sometimes the whole street becomes one big party, especially after they close and when people can’t enter.
After Bali Rooftop
This place used to be a late-night club, but now it closes at 3:00am. Playing mainly electronic musuic, specifaclly house. Located on top of a hotel, they play hard electronic music like techno, keeping the neighbours awake all night.