Playa del Carmen

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Mexico’s beaches are known for their nightlife and Playa del Carmen is no exception. It’s far less Spring Break here than other places up the coast, so expect sophisticated and trendy nightspots and lounges that could rival Miami or LA, especially around La Quinta Avenida – the epicenter of nighttime cool. Occasionally, along the same street, you’ll find mediocre expat hangouts imported straight from the US suburbs – it’s easy to spot them – they are the places that lack any sort of character. People start heading out to party around 11pm.

Playa del Carmen Nightlife

Blue Parrot Beach Club

The beachside bar that Newsweek called one of the ten best in the world in 1998 is still a Playa must. The 10:30pm fire show is a highlight for many, though the crowd doesn't die down until the sun comes up. It's pretty casual, with a sandy floor and lounge chairs under the open sky surrounded by palms.

At the beach at Calle 12, 011-52-984-206-3350, www.blueparrot.com
Tags: things to do | great value | nightlife | bar | waterfront | editor pick

Di Vino

The owners of the Glass Bar restaurant have another hit on their hands with Di Vino, which ranks among the most sophisticated nightspots in Playa. Tables spill out of the long, narrow wine bar and restaurant onto the Fifth Avenue sidewalk. Their astounding 26-page wine list is perhaps the most complete in the neighborhood.

Corner of Ave. Quinta and Calle 12, 011-52-984-803-1270, www.divino.com.mx
Tags: nightlife | bar | notable wine list

La Bodeguita del Medio

This Cuban bar and restaurant is based on the eponymous original in Havana, Cuba – a place famous both for having invented the mojito (or so some claim) and for being a favorite hangout of Ernest Hemingway. With its sleek bar and modish hanging lamps it’s far trendier and less rustic than the first Bodequita del Medio, but it’s equally famous for its mojitos.

Ave. 10 #47, 011-52-984-803-3950, www.labodeguitadelmedio.com.mx
Tags: trendy | nightlife | bar

La Santanera

Playa's most popular club shares some DNA with the clubs on L.A.'s Sunset Strip - expect long lines at the door, unwavering doormen, and high cover fees that can go up to $30 per person on some nights. The lure? All of the region's hottest DJs, the prettiest faces, and the deck-side palapa.

Calle 12 (between Aves. Quinta and 10), 011-52-984-803-2294, www.lasantanera.com
Tags: trendy | nightlife | dancing | cover charge

Om Lounge Bar

This outdoor sidewalk lounge with Buddha statues and hookah pipes is the center of the Playa chill-out scene. It’s a mish-mash of tropical themes, specialty drinks and tequilas, a laid-back vibe, and a seriously chic crowd.

Calle 12 North 195, 011-52-984-879-4784, www.omplaya.com
Tags: trendy | nightlife | bar

Senor Frogs

Senor Frogs has multiple locations in Playa del Carmen, including a main location right on the beach. This is a popular indoor/outdoor bar and lounge that attracts a younger crowd in their 20s and 30s. There’s a full lunch and dinner menu, and the bar serves until 3am daily. The atmosphere is crowded, loud and festive – day or night. Oh, and like Hard Rock Café, Senor Frogs has a fully stocked merchandise shop.

Playa Marina Mall loc. 17, 37, 38 y 44, Quintana Roo, 011-52-984-803-3498; 011-52-984-876-2424, www.senorfrogs.com/int_restaurantes.php?id=13
Tags: nightlife | bar | patio | bar menu | happy hour | beer

Tequila Barrel

You won’t miss a game at this open-air sports bar and grill, where a multitude of 42-inch flat-screen TVs broadcast athletic entertainment from around the world. In true Mexican style, tequila is their specialty, with 85 varieties on offer. Get two for one at their happy hour, between 11am and 4pm, or dance on the bar for a free shot. They also have a large menu, with American pub standards like chicken wings.

Ave. Quinta (between Calles 10 and 12), www.tequilabarrel.com
Tags: nightlife | bar | pub

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