A Night to Remember in Playa del Carmen's Nightclubs, Bars



Playa del Carmen, Cancun's younger hippy sister to the south has grown exponentially in the last 10 years, and in addition to the new hotels, beach clubs, cafes, shops and restaurants, new bars and nightclubs have opened as well. Many offer electronic, rock, pop and Latin music

Playa, as it is affectionately called by locals, is now home to large "antros" aka nightclubs with booming sound systems, sparking lights and an open bar like Coco Bongo, Mandala and Palazzo.

La Vaquita and Abolengo offer a vibrant atmosphere but are more bars than nightclubs.

Salsa lovers will enjoy La Bodeguita del Medio for dancing and Cuban food, while those looking for a party, club atmosphere during the day will like Coralina Daylight Club. Senor Frogs offers a lively bar/restaurant atmosphere during the day or at night. This is a great place to grab a beer before hopping on the ferry to Cozumel.

Those who enjoy live music will love Caiman Tugurio, Fah Bar, Kixten, Le Lotus Rouge or McCarthy's.



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McCarthy's Irish Pub Playa del Carmen


 

Kitxen, located on 5th Ave. between Constituyentes and 20th, is the best place in Playa del Carmen to listen to live rock music every single night. The open-air bar, which does not serve any food, is owned by famous Mexican rock musician Saul Hernandez. The laid back crowd is a good mix here and includes both locals and tourists. Kitxen is open 7 days a week from 1 pm to 2 am. Happy Hour is 6 pm to 9 pm and live bands play daily. Kitxen may not be much to look at but in this authentic Mexican bar the music is loud, prices are good and the beer is cold.


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Kitxen, located on 5th Ave. between Constituyentes and 20th, is the best place in Playa del Carmen to listen to live rock music every single night. The open-air bar, which does not serve any food, is owned by famous Mexican rock musician Saul Hernandez. The laid back crowd is a good mix here, and includes both locals and tourists. Kitxen is open 7 days a week from 1 pm to 2 am. Happy Hour is 6 pm to 9 pm and live bands play daily. Kitxen may not be much to look at but in this authentic Mexican bar the music is loud, prices are good and the beer is cold.


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Coralina Daylight Club is the perfect spot for those who would prefer to experience a nightlife-type party during the day. This cosmopolitan beach club located on Playa del Carmen's fantastic turquoise blue Caribbean Sea gets the party going very early and it keeps going all day. They feature DJs spinning the hottest music and dancers as well. There's even a stripper pole in the middle of the pool. Guests can enjoy food and drinks from the menu and bottle service. Loungers, umbrellas, tables and beach beds are available. Jet-setters and fashion-forward folks love Coralina.


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Senor Frogs Playa del Carmen


 

Senor Frogs is a popular bar-restaurant chain with locations all over Mexico, but Playa del Carmen's version is right on the water, with seating on the beach or indoors on the covered patio. The views can't be beaten. The fun staff provides a family atmosphere during the day and a party vibe at night means there's something for everyone here. The food is quite good and well-presented. Order guacamole and they will prepare it right at your table on the Guacamole Cart. Senor Frogs features live music most days, sometimes at night and sometimes during the day.


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La Bodeguita del Medio


 

La Bodeguita del Medio was inspired by the original bar with the same name in Havana, Cuba. The decor is similar and you can dine on Cuban food (try the Plato Mixto Cubano) and sip delicious mojitos while you listen to live Cuban music. They serve other non-Cuban food as well. La Bodeguita del Medio is located in a shopping area on 5th Ave. between 34th and 36th Streets and is open every day from 1:00 pm to 2 am. Unfortunately you won't find Cuban beer here, but you will find Mexican beer and find plenty of Havana Club rum. Prices are reasonable.


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Palazzo is the most glamorous of Playa's nightclubs with its dramatic staircase, chandelier and pretty pink and purple lights. Resident sexy dancers, a big stage and large video screens complete the scene. From time to time International DJs appear at Palazzo, and they regularly hold Mardi Gras, Lingerie and Azteca nights and other events like bikini contests and bachelorette parties. Palazzo is open Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 pm until 6 am, and offers different options including bottle service, open bar and pay-as-you-go. Men in with tanks tops will not be allowed to enter but they are a little more lenient with women.


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Mandala is one of Playa del Carmen's most cosmopolitan nightclubs. People of all ages from all over the world go to Mandala for that "time of your life" night that you expect when you're on vacation, complete with pounding music and flowing drinks. Weekends are very busy so if you go during the week you'll have a better chance of getting a table. Bottle service, open bar and pay-as-you-go are all available. Mandala's party doesn't really get started until about 12 am and doesn't end until 5 or 6 am. For a different experience, head to the rooftop terrace where there is a bar, a dance floor and different music than they play downstairs.


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Abolengo calls itself a "bartina", and it certainly is not a nightclub but an open air bar or cantina with high table seating in the center and lower seating on sofas around the parameter. This is a great place to start the evening, or even spend the evening, if you prefer a bar-type atmosphere sans the techno music. What you'll hear here is pop, rock, dance, 80's, 90's and some bachata and reggaton. There's no dance floor to speak of but that doesn't stop people from dancing. Abolengo serves bar food and exotic Mexican cocktails in liter mason jars and is frequented by the mid-20's through 40's crowd.


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La Vaquita is one of those places where you can get up on the bar and dance. "Vaquita" means "little cow" in Spanish and there is a cow dancing around the club and one hanging from the ceiling. This open air club has two levels, the dance floor is downstairs and there is seating on the balcony level where partygoers can watch all the fun from above. Open bar, buy-as-you-go and bottle service are available. La Vaquita holds many contests, including a wet t-shirt contest. Get there early and ask for seating by the street for double the people-watching fun. A variety of music is played and La Vaquita is open until 5 am and beyond.


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Coco Bongo is the nightclub of nightclubs. The arena-like interior features different levels of seating. The best way to experience Coco Bongo is to purchase the Gold Member entrance, which includes round trip transportation from your hotel, no lines, cocktails, excellent seats and wait service. Why do you need an excellent seat? The show! Coco Bongos' show includes acrobats, artist impressions, dancing and more. In between shows various genres of music, along with confetti, balloons and bursts of cold air keep the crowd hyped. There is not a dance floor to speak of, everyone just dances everywhere. Get your picture taken with Beetlejuice and The Mask (extra charge) as a keepsake.


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Meet Kristin Busse

After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.

Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University....  More About Kristin

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