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Riviera Maya nightlife

Nightlife is scarce in this region where sun worshippers outnumber night owls. Just about the only action beyond cheesy shows at all-inclusives or smooth jazz in hotel lounges takes place in Playa, where you can hit the rooftop bar at Básico for spicy micheladas (like Bloody Marys made with beer) or Deseo's, where hipsters recline on beds sipping martinis. Trance and house music echoes from open-air bars and clubs along calles 12, 14, and 16 in Playa del Carmen. Most are outdoor affairs with weak fans stirring the tropical heat (skip the Lycra and heels). For a more upscale experience, come during the annual November Jazz fest, which attracts big names (George Benson, Tower of Power) and highlights groups from the emerging local music scene. Tulum's superhip Mezzanine hosts Friday night parties with guest DJs from London, Ibiza, and Mexico City. Cover charges are generally rare, and the party usually gets started after midnight.

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La Zebra, Tulum

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...more

Editors' Pick
La Santanera, Playa del Carmen

Kitschy lucha-libre posters, calaveras (skeletons) and masks hang from the thatched roof above the second-story bar at this outrageously popular club. Partiers...more

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Fusion, Playa del Carmen

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...more

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Diablito Cha Cha Cha, 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...more

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Coco Bongo, Playa del Carmen

Wildly amusing, this offshoot of a popular Cancún club dazzles the senses with Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga impersonators strutting onstage amid whirling...more

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

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