Cocobongo Playa del Carmen

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen Review: Is it worth the hype?

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Are you thinking about visiting Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen? You may have heard about the legendary show and are wondering if it’s worth it?

I’ve lived in Playa del Carmen for over two years but only recently visited Coco Bongo for the first time. As one of the more expensive Playa del Carmen attractions, I was always pretty skeptical if it was really worth it. 

Would I like it or would the experience be a bit much? You’re about to find out!

In this post, I’m giving you my 100% honest Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen review and everything you need to know about the show. 

About Coco Bongo

First, let’s start with some of the basics on Coco Bongo in Riviera Maya Mexico. 

What is Coco Bongo?

If you’re like me, when you hear the word “Coco Bongo” tacky images of “The Mask”, Beetlejuice, and Spiderman come to mind.

These advertisements are plastered all over Playa del Carmen and can even be seen at the Cancun Airport right after you step off the plane. 

Advertised as a Las Vegas-style show, Coco Bongo Cancun was first established in the late 90s and now has locations in Playa del Carmen and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

In Playa del Carmen, the venue is a massive, multi-level hall holding up to 1,800 spectators.

The Coco Bongo Mexico experience attracts vacation-goers from around the world for a 4-hour long pop culture inspired production featuring giant screens, acrobats, confetti explosions, celebrity impersonators, and tribute singers. 

Cocobongo Playa del Carmen

What makes Coco Bongo unique?

What makes Coco Bongo in Playa del Carmen unique is that the production keeps up with the times. 

The musical sets are constantly changing to incorporate new pop culture references from popular TV shows, movies, and songs.

While the dancing and performances are fun and memorable, another unique feature of the attraction is the open bar experience. 

Unlimited alcoholic beverages fuel the crowd’s energy for a fun and lively party atmosphere. 

Where is Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen?

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen is located in downtown Playa del Carmen at the corner of 12th Street and 10th Avenue, just one block away from the famous 5th Avenue.  

The venue’s close proximity to the nearby nightclubs on 12th Street puts you in the heart of Playa del Carmen’s nightlife. 

Who is Coco Bongo suited for?

Coco Bongo is a fun place for adults of all ages looking for a high energy party experience while visiting Playa del Carmen. If you like to sing and dance, you’ll likely have a great time at Coco Bongo.

It’s an especially great option for bachelor or bachelorette parties as there are plenty of opportunities for spectators to dance on stage, be on camera, or even be part of the show. 

Who is Coco Bongo not suited for?

If you’re uncomfortable with drunken and slightly inappropriate behavior, then Coco Bongo probably isn’t for you. There isn’t any nudity during the show, but you will see a lot of skin and sexual connotations.

On the physical side, it’s a four hour show where you will likely be on your feet for most of the time.  If you’re not able to stand for long periods, be sure to purchase an upgraded ticket for guaranteed seating.

How long is the Coco Bongo show?

Currently, the Coco Bongo show runs every night of the week except for Mondays. In the past, the Coco Bongo show ran from 11 PM to 3 AM for a late night party experience. 

However, with the Covid restrictions currently in place in Playa del Carmen, the show now runs from 9 PM to 1 AM. 

What’s the Coco Bongo dress code?

The Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen dress code is standard clubbing attire.  It’s recommended to wear the same type of Mexico vacation clothes you’d wear out to the clubs or bars in Playa del Carmen.  

In Playa del Carmen, tourists tend to dress in more casual beachwear.  Most girls will wear fitted dresses, rompers, or pants with a dressy blouse.  

For shoes, I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes like sandals, wedges, or platforms as you will be standing and dancing most of the time. I personally wore a fitted black dress and these platform sandals for all night comfort. 

Are there Covid restrictions at Coco Bongo?

If you’re thinking about visiting Coco Bongo, you might be concerned about the Covid risks in a crowded enclosed venue. Currently, masks and temperature checks are required for entry.  

Once inside, most people are drinking or eating so many people won’t be wearing a mask. However, all of the staff, performers, and dancers wear masks or face shields throughout the entire show. 

There are quite a lot of people that attend the show and while it doesn’t feel packed, it’s probably not the best place for high risk individuals. 

Cocobongo Playa del Carmen

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen Tickets

Coco Bongo tickets do cost more than your regular Playa del Carmen club cover charge, but it’s also one of the only places in Playa del Carmen that offers an open bar for an all-you-can-drink party experience.  

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen Ticket Types

Here’s a breakdown of the ticket options:

Regular Entrance

The Regular Entrance ticket is priced at $90 USD and includes:

  • Regular entry
  • Dance Floor Zone (standing room only)
  • Up to 15 alcoholic drinks
  • 1 snack (choice of mini burgers or hot dogs with fries)

Gold Member Entrance 

The upgraded ticket is the Gold Member Entrance which is priced at $136 USD and includes:

  • Skip the line entry
  • Seating in the VIP Zone
  • Up to 15 alcoholic drinks (premium alcohol)
  • 1 snack (choice of mini burgers or hot dogs with fries)

VIP Entrance

The highest level ticket is the VIP Entrance which is priced at $166 USD and includes:

  • Skip the line entry
  • Front row seating in the VIP Zone
  • Up to 15 alcoholic drinks (premium alcohol)
  • 1 snack (choice of mini burgers or hot dogs with fries)

What kind of ticket should I purchase?

No matter what kind of ticket you purchase, you will still have a good time.  But if you can, I would definitely recommend upgrading to the Gold or VIP ticket.  

It’s a four hour show and the Gold and VIP tickets will give you a table and seating.  If you don’t want to stand the whole time, then go for the Gold or VIP entrance tickets. Plus, you’ll have premium drinks and a better view.

I personally had the Gold Member ticket and thought it was worth it for the added benefits of skipping the line to get in, higher quality drinks, and having preferential seating. Plus, you’ll feel like a total VIP! 💁‍♀️

How to buy Coco Bongo Tickets

The best way to reserve Coco Bongo tickets is to purchase them online in advance.  This can be done on the Coco Bongo website or by booking through a third party such as Get Your Guide.

What’s important to know is that tickets booked on the Coco Bongo website are not refundable.  They will allow you to change the dates but you will not get your money back if you need to cancel.

For this reason, I would recommend booking your tickets on Get Your Guide, which is the exact same price but you will be able to cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund. 

The flexible cancellation policy on Get Your Guide allows you to reserve your Coco Bongo tickets Playa del Carmen ahead of time but gives you the peace of mind that if your plans change or get interrupted by Covid, you can still cancel and get your money back. 

Coco Bongo Transportation

Coco Bongo’s central location in the heart of Playa del Carmen makes it very accessible.  If you’re staying in the downtown area, you can likely just walk to the venue. 

If you’re staying further away at a Riviera Maya resort, tickets do include transportation from your hotel but you’ll want to double check inclusions when purchasing your ticket as this depends on where you’re staying and must be pre-arranged.  

It’s important to note that transportation back to your hotel is not included, so you’ll want to bring some cash for the taxis that will be waiting right outside the venue on 10th Avenue. 

Coco Bongo Production

Here’s an overview of the Coco Bongo show:

Entrance and Seating

When you first arrive at the venue, you’ll see the long lines in front to get in.  I would recommend arriving 15-30 minutes early to get your tickets scanned and to receive your wristband.

If you purchase the Gold or VIP Entrance tickets, you’ll be able to skip the line and go directly inside.  This is definitely a nice perk! 

Depending on your ticket type, the staff will escort you to your assigned seating area which is either on the ground floor or in the second level seating area. 

With our Gold Member ticket, we were seated in the tiered seating on the ground floor so we still had a good view of the main stage but had a table and couch seating to sit down if you prefer.

While everyone is getting seated, you’ll be able to get your first round of drinks from your server or at one of the two bars, while watching choreographed dancers on the central platform. 

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen

Musical Numbers

The show is basically a series of pop culture musical and aerial acrobatic performances with brief intermissions between each set for dancing and some rowdy audience interaction.

There isn’t any live singing, but rather lip syncing and dancing to popular musical numbers. 

The current pop culture references feature numbers from Game of Thrones, 300, Squid Games, Moulin Rouge, and Money Heist to name a few.

Plus, you’ll be treated to old classics like Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Queen, and the Rolling Stones. 

During the show, you’re free to move around the dance floor but most people pretty much just stick to their assigned seating area.

There are also a couple of intermission periods where audience members are brought on stage for dancing.

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen
Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen

Closing Performances

The show concludes with a few over-the-top performances including an epic battle between Spiderman and the Green Goblin – plus tons of colorful confetti and balloon explosions. Be sure to get your last round of drinks before the lights come on!

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen Review

Now that you know more about the legendary Coco Bongo nightclub, here are my personal thoughts on the experience:

First Impressions

As I mentioned, I honestly wasn’t really sure if the Coco Bongo carnival-like experience would be something I would actually enjoy, which is probably why it wasn’t at the top of my things to do in Riviera Maya list.  

But at long last, a friend invited me to the show so I finally decided to give it a try! I went into the show with an open mind and honestly had no idea what to expect.  I really hadn’t even done much research on what I was about to experience.

From the moment I arrived, I could feel the high energy of the place.  With upbeat music, choreographed dancers on the center platform, and attentive service as soon as we were seated, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall vibe. 

Honest Opinion

I have to say that Coco Bongo definitely won me over!  I honestly had such a good time – I don’t think I stopped dancing and singing the entire night.  

Perhaps it was the open bar contributing to my enjoyment but it was so fun getting to let loose and be surprised by each acrobatic performance, dance number, and pop culture reference.

It’s the type of place where you really don’t know what’s coming next!

What I also liked about Coco Bongo is that there is a good mix of old and new classics, so it really caters to all generations and different nationalities too.

All of the songs are recognizable so you won’t be able to help yourself from singing along. 

Sure, there were a few numbers that are a little dated that I didn’t particularly care for like Beetlejuice and The Mask. 

However, with such a broad audience, I get they have to cater to multiple age groups and genres. 

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen

But then came along newer numbers like performances inspired by Money Heist (pretty much my fav Netflix show ever!), Squid Games, and Game of Thrones which I was super excited to see. 

If I had to rate Coco Bongo on the dancing and acrobatics, the performances were impressive but probably not the best in the world at least professionally speaking.  

But it’s the overall high energy experience with good music, special effects, smoke machines, and confetti explosions that definitely contributes to the lively atmosphere and keeps the crowd entertained. The experience did not disappoint!

Note on Alcohol Quality

If you’re thinking about visiting Coco Bongo you might be concerned about the alcohol quality since it’s an open bar which a lot of times is known for watered down drinks. 

That is one thing I had always heard about Coco Bongo was that the drinks were really weak so it was better to stick to beer.  I’m personally not a huge beer drinker, so I opted for mixed drinks. 

With the Gold and VIP Admission tickets, premium alcohol is included.  I honestly found the drinks to be decently strong and it didn’t take long to get a fun buzz!

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen

Pros and Cons

Let’s recap some of the pros and cons I’ve outlined in this post:

Pros

  • Open Bar
  • Impressive acrobatics
  • High energy
  • Mix of new and old classics
  • The musical set is always changing to stay current

Cons

  • Lots of standing
  • Lower quality alcohol
  • No live singing performances, just lip syncing
  • Dancing could be better
  • Not the easiest place to meet people

Alternatives

There aren’t many other shows or theatrical performances in Playa del Carmen.  The only other regular show is La Joya, which is a Cirque Du Soleil production located at Vidanta Resorts. 

I’ve personally seen La Joya twice, and it’s an excellent production with highly trained performers.

It’s a better alternative if you’re looking for a more tame and sophisticated atmosphere. La Joya is a seated show, where dinner and drink packages can be purchased. 

Final Thoughts

So, is Coco Bongo worth the hype? In my honest opinion, I do believe Coco Bongo is worth the ticket price.  It’s such a unique experience with good energy that you won’t find anywhere else in Riviera Maya.  

But if there’s one thing to take away from this Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen review, it’s that you have to go in with a good attitude and be prepared for a party atmosphere. 

It’s not going to be the most superb performance you’ve ever seen but you will still be impressed by the overall experience and positive energy and are sure to have a memorable night.