A guide to nightlife in Playa del Carmen

If Cancun is the nightlife capital of the Yucatan peninsula, Playa del Carmen could be seen as its slightly more mature and relaxed older sibling. It boasts all of the massive discos, fire shows and other nightly entertainments but without the Spring Breakers who travel to Mexico to descend on Cancun every April. On a holiday in Playa del Carmen you can dance the night away in a club, witness – or partake in – fire dancing on the beach or enjoy a relaxed cocktail in a quietly soothing bar. There are a range of great options to choose from, so we’ve singled out some of the best for you.

Bright lights at Coco Bongo

This nightclub features light shows, dancing entertainment and loud music in a vibrant and colourful setting. Paying extra to upgrade to the ‘gold’ experience will entitle you to free drinks, your own private seating area and a queue jump. While those wishing to look after the pennies might find themselves more at home on the dancefloor. The show lasts several hours – roughly 11pm to 3.30am.

You can have it all at Abolengo

This versatile music lounge can be as energetic or as tranquil as you like. The open-air setting makes for the perfect place to sink some cold beverages under the stars, while the dancefloor is always busy and the music a good variety of Latin beats. The servers are also excellent at their job, making sure your drink is never empty.

You'll be having a laugh at Comedy Playa

Attached to the Italian eatery Lucky Lucianos, this comedy club is the perfect place to laugh your haunches off while sipping on a cocktail or sampling some delicious Italian cuisine. With shows in English twice a week during high season and once during low season, it’s an ideal choice to get your fix of hilarity while on holiday in Mexico.

Nothing but drinks and good times at Kitxen

Kitxen provides an eclectic mix of live music, micro-brewed beers and expertly mixed cocktails. The excellent selection of locally-sourced bands is complemented by exemplary service and a great atmosphere. Be warned – there’s no kitchen, so make sure you line the stomach before your arrival.

Easy drinking at Don Mezcal Bar

This diminutive bar in the centre of town specialises in the Mexican favourite, mezcal. Both aficionados of the spirit and first-timers keen to learn more about it would do well to pay the place a visit. For those in search of a smoother drink, the litres of beer come at unbeatable prices. Though it’s tiny inside, the clientele regularly spill out onto the street and carry the good vibes with them.