send to printer

Riviera Maya Nightlife

Coco Bongo
Avenida 10 at Calle 10
Playa del Carmen
Mexico 77710
Tel: 52 984 803 5939

Wildly amusing, this offshoot of a popular Cancún club dazzles the senses with Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga impersonators strutting onstage amid whirling acrobats and mimes on stilts. Once the crowd is thoroughly stimulated, the dancing begins—on tables, the floor, wherever a free space appears.—Maribeth Mellin

Open daily from 10:30 pm.

Diablito Cha Cha Cha
Calle 12 between Avenidas 1 and 5
52 984 803 3416
Playa del Carmen

Spicy Mexican-Asian tapas (tempura calamari, tuna tostadas) fire up the taste buds while DJs spin an increasingly intense hip-hop beat beneath this peaked palapa bar. Locals casually dressed in camis and shorts sink into wicker chairs to chat and dine or congregate around the bar sipping cool mojitos. Serious dancers move on to La Santanera after midnight.

Open daily 1 pm to 3 am.

Calle 6 at the beach
Playa del Carmen
Mexico 77710
Tel: 52 984 873 0374

As the name suggests, this beach bar and restaurant presents everything from fire shows to belly dancing to bossa nova bands. Similar action takes place all along Playa's beaches, but Fusion has a casual, amiable ambience that attracts locals as well as tourists. The music oscillates between reggae, jazz, and blues, but thankfully you can still find quiet spots at the red lantern–lit tables far from the bar. Should hunger strike after one too many margaritas, the cooks make a mean burger.—Maribeth Mellin

Open daily 5 pm to midnight.

La Santanera
Calle 12 between Avenidas 5 and 10
Playa del Carmen
Tel: 52 984 803 4771

Kitschy lucha-libre posters, calaveras (skeletons) and masks hang from the thatched roof above the second-story bar at this outrageously popular club. Partiers arrive en masse after midnight and dance until dawn beneath spotlights and mirrored disco balls on the main first-story dance floor. Expect a mix of international house music with a Latin bent, and a mixed crowd of locals and in-the-know tourists. However, since this is still the Riviera Maya, you don't have to worry about the interminable lines and grumpy bouncers that usually come with such a club.

Hotel Photo
La Zebra
Carretera Tulum–Boca Paila, Km 8.2
Mexico 77780
Tel: 52 984 115 4726

There's no need to be intimidated about hitting the dance floor for the Sunday night salsa fiestas at La Zebra. Free lessons are offered at 6 pm, giving you two hours to practice before the real party starts. If you still need some help, the tequila flows freely at the bar while the Cuban salsa band plays a sultry beat. The scene at the restaurant at this eco-hip cabaña hotel is fun every night, but it gets downright wild when locals from Playa del Carmen and Tulum come by to wrap up their weekend breaks.—Maribeth Mellin

Open daily 6 pm to midnight.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.