Once the sun goes down, Riviera Maya comes alive. The majority of the action is concentrated in the town of Playa del Carmen, especially along Fifth Avenue and the beachfront promenade. Here you'll find everything from rock bars to comedy clubs, with many venues staying open until the break of dawn. There are one or two other hotspots of nightlife and the occasional beach bar or cocktail lounge in smaller towns – but for those looking for a lively night during holidays in Mexico, Playa del Carmen is the ticket. Below are five of the more animated nightlife hubs from up and down the coast.
There are few better venues for an all-night blowout than the beach. For more than two decades, Blue Parrot has been meeting the needs of party-going beach bums enjoying their summer in Mexico, with its outdoor terraces, nightly fire shows and experienced DJs catering to a young crowd. The eclectic music choice ranges from reggae and dub step to rock and pop, plus everything in between. So, grab a seat on one of the bar-side swings and get ready for a fun-filled night of lights, music and revelry.
With cheap cocktails, strong alcohol and a soundtrack packed with great tunes, it's no surprise L'Ambassade is full every night of the week. At this Playa del Carmen bar, the music is invariably excellent and not too loud to drown out personal conversations. While the chilled-out atmosphere makes it a great place to meet people and make some new friends, it's also versatile enough that if you feel like letting your hair down and busting some moves later on, the rooftop terrace doubles up as a spacious dancefloor.
Travel to Mexico and you'll experience a great range of evening entertainment options that differ from the traditional bars and nightclubs. Comedy Playa offers live comedy twice a week during high season – Wednesdays and Sundays – and once midweek during low season. Attached to the Italian restaurant Lucky Luciano, you can stuff your face with pizza and pasta while you chuckle.. And if you're dead set on working up a hangover to boot, that can be arranged as well.
Aside from in Playa del Carmen there are only a handful of locales which stay open later than 1am or 2am and Curandero in Tulum is the pick of the bunch. Live bands kick off the entertainment every evening, while a DJ takes up the reins later on. Things don't really hot up until after midnight and keep jumping along until 5am. What's more, the bar across the street gets in on the act, meaning that the entire thoroughfare is turned into one giant dancefloor and melting pot of party-goers.
When a bar grows its own mint and sources fresh sugar cane, you know it's going to have a great mojito. That's certainly the case at Batey's in Tulum, where musicians, bohemians and free spirits from all over the world come to trade stories and jam together. The laid-back vibe is only accentuated by the open-air courtyard out front, while the age range is as diverse as the musical styles on show. What's more, the prices are right and the food delicious, making Batey a firm favourite with everyone lucky enough to stumble across it.
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