We’ve received many questions about whether we celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Halloween in Playa del Carmen. The answer is (of course) both! Playa del Carmen rarely misses a chance to throw a party and the nights of October 31st-November 2nd are no exception. The two celebrations may seem similar but are actually so distinct that I’m going to break this topic down into two separate posts – Halloween in Playa del Carmen here and a Dia de los Muertes post in the next day or so.

Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in Mexico. However, Playa del Carmen is a┬ávery diverse town where people from all over the world have brought the traditions of their home countries. Add in the Playaneses’ (people who live in Playa) love of a fiesta and you get huge parties from a variety of traditions. Remember Oktoberfest?

Deidre and I love a party as much as the next person but this Halloween we had a problem – we had an early meeting in Cancun the next morning and parties in Playa don’t start until late. What to do? Well we did what any good Playense would do and headed out early to see where the night would take us.

Halloween Playa del Carmen
Halloween is really the only reason to wear makeup or long pants here. Or in some cases, makeup AND long pants.

After getting some funny looks riding our bikes into town we met up with some friends at Zenzi for dinner, drinks and salsa music on the beach.

Playa del Carmen Halloween
Aging American Rockstar meets the White Stripes.

And that’s when they found us. The trick-or-treaters. We had been warned to take some candy out with us but we underestimated our opponents’ voracious appetites. Once the word went out that we were packing we were quickly surrounded and needed to make a tactical retreat.

These little monsters were everywhere!
These little monsters were everywhere!

They were calling in reinforcements and we were running low on ammo so it was time to go, lucky for us there are about 1,249 bars in Playa so we had plenty of places to hide. We ran to the Dirty Martini and ducked in. And saw this –

Dr. Frank N. Furter and Columbia
Dr. Frank N. Furter and Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Best costumes of the night!

Once we stopped laughing and cheering we recognized that under the make up these were two more of our friends! Feeling a little safety in numbers we grabbed a drink and began to settle in for some people watching. It was actually us watching people who were watching us but whatever, you get the picture. However that didn’t last long, we were no longer mobile and the trick-or-treaters had triangulated our position. Hopped up on sugar and not taking no for an answer they quickly overran us and wiped out our remaining candy supply.

I don't think we were this little guy's first stop.
I don’t think we were this little guy’s first stop.

Once we were out of candy we decided to head to the nightclub district of Calle 12 between Avenida 1 and 5 for our own safety. There we hoped that the thudding OOONCE, OOONCE, OOONCE of the dance music roaring out of the clubs would keep the sugar-crazed monsters largely at bay. The plan worked and I no longer feared for my life, only my hearing. Upon running into a couple of more friends we had some drinks and enjoyed the parade of humanity (and assorted goblins and ghouls) dancing and drinking the night away.

Thankfully these guys didn't ask us for any candy. I would give nearly anything for that hat though.
Thankfully these guys didn’t ask us for any candy but I would have traded it all for that hat.

We had that early meeting the next day and knew that other Dia de los Muertes celebrations were on our agenda for the next couple days so we eventually had to call it a night and head home before our bikes turned into pumpkins. Unfortunately since we had to pack it in “early” we missed the big party and costume contest at La Rana but sometimes being a responsible adult and heading home early is just the right thing to do. Especially when early is 1:00AM on a work night.