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Best Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen (Don’t Miss These Highlights!)

Activities in Playa Del Carmen
Activities in Playa Del CarmenIssues to do in Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Planning to go to Mexico quickly? These are my favourite issues to do in Playa del Carmen after dwelling right here for over a yr. Fairly seashores, cenote swimming, Mayan ruins and extra.

Playa del Carmen is a enjoyable seashore city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, a part of the basic Riviera Maya route down the coast.

Smaller and fewer touristy than Cancun, it’s turning into a well-liked journey vacation spot for individuals in search of journey experiences which might be extra substantial than your typical all-inclusive resort.

I spent over a yr working and dwelling in Playa del Carmen as a digital nomad.

Recently, associates have been asking for trip recommendation concerning the space — so I needed to share some my favourite issues to do in Playa del Carmen!

Issues To Do In Playa Del Carmen

1: Cenote Diving/Snorkeling

Cenote Near Playa Del CarmenCenote Near Playa Del CarmenSwimming at Cenote Azul

What’s a cenote you ask? It’s an underground cave full of recent water. The Yucatan has tons of them — sinkholes that open up into underground rivers with the clearest water you’ve ever seen.

If in case you have your PADI license, you’ll be able to go scuba diving in these caves with a information. As a result of there’s daylight close to the doorway, a extra technical cave diving license isn’t required.

Not a scuba diver? No drawback. It’s also possible to go snorkeling at most cenotes. A few of my favourite cenotes close to Playa del Carmen are:

  • Cenote Dos Ojos
  • Cenote Azul
  • Backyard of Eden
  • Gran Cenote

2: Go to Historic Mayan Ruins

Coba Ruins PyramidCoba Ruins PyramidCoba Mayan Ruins

The traditional Mayan ruins of Tulum are situated South of Playa del Carmen within the city of Tulum. Tulum was as soon as a small however necessary port metropolis that sits on the sting of a cliff, with a seashore under the place you possibly can swim too.

As a result of Tulum is so in style, the ruins could be crowded until you arrive early within the morning. Coba is one other Mayan website close to Playa del Carmen which sees much less guests. You’ll be able to even nonetheless climb the pyramid there too!

In fact, everybody who visits the Yucatan Peninsula needs to take a look at Mexico’s most well-known ruins, Chichen Itza. This website is a bit additional away, about 2 hours by automotive.

three: Playa Del Carmen Nightlife

Coco Bongo Playa Del CarmenCoco Bongo Playa Del CarmenCoco Bongo Nightclub

Playa del Carmen’s nightlife is enjoyable, however not fairly as loopy as Cancun. It’s a smaller city. Nevertheless it does have one particular nightclub referred to as Coco Bongo that I feel is value a go to.

Half Vegas present, half nightclub, and a bit tacky — nevertheless it’s nonetheless one hell of a celebration.

You’ll see flying acrobats, blockbuster film characters, and rock-star impersonators take the stage in turns all through the night time when you drink from an enormous plastic cup filled with alcohol.

Each ticket consists of full open bar all night time, so take loads of pictures since you in all probability gained’t keep in mind what occurred the subsequent day!

four: Swimming With Sea Turtles

Akumal Sea TurtleAkumal Sea TurtleSnorkeling with Sea Turtles at Akumal

Who doesn’t need to swim with sea turtles? I’ve all the time needed to, that’s for positive. I obtained my probability at Akumal seashore, 30 minutes South of Playa del Carmen.

The shallow blue-green water right here is house to Inexperienced, Hawksbill and Loggerhead sea turtles that you would be able to swim with.

To go to Akumal, the most cost effective approach is to take a colectivo taxi headed for Tulum from the stand situated on Calle 2 Norte between Avenida 15 and 20 in Playa del Carmen. Inform them you need to get off at Akumal.

From the freeway, it’s a 5-minute stroll to Akumal Bay. Deliver your personal snorkeling gear, life jacket or lease some there. Swimming with the turtles is free!

5: Self-Guided Taco Tour

Taco Restaurant in PlayaTaco Restaurant in PlayaEl Fogon Tacos are Tasty!

Hey, it’s Mexico. Mexican meals within the Yucatan is reasonable & scrumptious. There are a couple of particular eating places in Playa del Carmen I need to share with you.

When you’re in search of some genuine tacos, take a look at El Fogon. It’s a hangout for native taxi drivers. The place is tremendous primary with plastic chairs and Mexican Idol blaring on the TV, however order three or four tacos pastor, a chilly beer, and also you’ll be in heaven.

One other nice choice for tacos is Don Sirloin. Their taco sauces are one of the best! My favourite is the jalapeno and pineapple one…

Don Sirloin has two places, one on 10th Avenue between 12th Road and 14th Road and one other on Constituyentes Avenue on the nook of 25th Avenue (subsequent to Mega).

6: Salsa Dancing At Zenzi

Zenzi is a seashore bar and restaurant, situated proper off the sand in Playa Del Carmen. Whereas in fact the food and drinks right here is nice, the actual attraction is the salsa dancing!

Each Saturday night time a reside salsa band performs as visitors and guests take part or just watch as native dancers exhibit their greatest strikes on the dance flooring.

7: Boat Journey To Cozumel

Beaches on Cozumel IslandBeaches on Cozumel IslandLovely Seashores of Cozumel

Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Playa del Carmen recognized for it’s pristine seashores. Usually a cease for cruise ships, you possibly can take a 45-minute ferry over by yourself from Playa del Carmen for about $13 USD.

A simple & low cost day journey is renting a scooter and driving it across the island the place all one of the best seashores are. Or, for those who’re feeling additional adventurous, you possibly can attempt hitchhiking across the island as an alternative.

So long as there isn’t a cruise ship in port, you’ll have these white sand seashores to your self. Loads of stops on the best way for lunch & pictures. Leap on the final ferry again to Playa del Carmen round sundown.

eight: Parque Fundadores

Parque Fundadores SculptureParque Fundadores SculpturePlaya del Carmen’s Parque Fundadores

Parque Fundadores, or the “Founding Fathers Park”, is a public park in Playa del Carmen simply north of the Cozumel ferry terminal alongside the seashore with leisure for the entire household.

Whereas a playground entertains youngsters, adults can take a stroll down the seashore and take a look at the Portal Maya statue, sitting over 50 ft tall.

You may also catch a Papantla Flyer’s (Voladores de Papantla) efficiency within the park. A spectacular acrobatic present of males swinging from a 90ft pole by their ft! Please keep in mind to tip them too!

9: Journey A Colectivo

Colectivo in Playa Del CarmenColectivo in Playa Del CarmenColectivo Public Taxi Vans

You’ll be able to’t go to Playa del Carmen with out utilizing a Colectivo (group taxi). You’ll see these vans cruise down the road choosing up locals. It’s an fascinating (and complicated) expertise for those who’ve by no means tried it earlier than.

They stuff as many individuals as attainable into this stuff, and rides can value lower than $1.

Locations are written on the windshield, however for those who don’t know the names, it gained’t make a lot sense. An excellent place to start out is by grabbing one on the Colectivo station on Calle 2 Norte from Playa del Carmen to Akumal seashore (talked about earlier).

Keep in mind to inform the driving force the place you’re going! It’s low cost, enjoyable, and can push you out of your consolation zone a bit.

10: Go Scuba Diving

Playa del Carmen Scuba DivingPlaya del Carmen Scuba DivingScuba Diving in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a superb place to base your self in the event you’re a scuba diver. Together with all of the cool cenote cave diving areas I discussed earlier, there are some respectable reefs close by too.

A couple of of the preferred are Pared Verde Ledge and Tortugas close to Playa del Carmen itself, Gorgonians down close to Akumal, Palancar Reef and Santa Rosa Wall off the coast of Cozumel.

There are tons of dive outlets and faculties in and round city, so should you’ve all the time needed to get your PADI open water diving certification, Playa del Carmen is a superb place to do it!

11: Hit The Seashore!

Mamita's BeachMamita's BeachGreatest Seashores in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen’s seashores have been hit be erosion fairly badly over the previous few years, and admittedly the seashores down in Tulum are lots nicer, nevertheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless discover a spot to take in the solar whereas having fun with a fruity drink.

Mamitas Seashore

One good spot to put out within the solar is Mamitas Seashore Membership. You’ll be able to lease lounge chairs with umbrellas, go jet snowboarding, parasailing, or take a sailboat journey. That is type of the “social gathering” seashore the place individuals go to be seen.

Playacar Seashore

One other good seashore is in entrance of Playacar Part 1 Group. Whereas the gated group is personal, the seashore is public. Simply stroll a couple of minutes South from the Cozumel Ferry Pier. Fewer vacationers, extra sand, and only a nicer seashore. There are not any providers on the market — convey your personal meals/drinks.

Punta Esmeralda Seashore

This can be a busy public seashore on the far North finish of Playa del Carmen, with extra locals than vacationers. At Punta Esmeralda there’s a limestone sinkhole/cenote that’s related to the ocean that acts as a protected swimming spot for teenagers.

12: Stroll Playa’s Well-known fifth Avenue

Playa del Carmen in the YucatanPlaya del Carmen in the YucatanStrolling fifth Ave in Playa

You possibly can’t go to Playa del Carmen and miss strolling down “La Quinta”, aka fifth Avenue. It’s the primary walking-street lined with all method of outlets, seashore bars, and eating places.

The cobbled-stoned road is the place you’ll discover a lot of the metropolis’s nightlife. It’s numerous enjoyable to discover a bar or cafe, sit down, and watch the (typically unusual) parade of individuals stroll by.

You possibly can spend hours wandering down the road, stopping into touristy outlets, cafes, and making an attempt totally different vegan smoothies. At night time, road performers line the edges wearing costumes, or breakdancing for ideas.

13: Rooftop Pool At Be Playa

After a busy day exploring the sights of Playa Del Carmen, what higher than a cocktail whereas lounging by the pool.

In contrast to most of the rooftop swimming pools within the space, the Be Playa pool champions a laid-back environment and supplies a welcome escape from the loud music of the encompassing resorts.

Attracting many locals and expats because of this, Be Playa’s rooftop is small however cozy and an actual deal with after an extended day.

14: Xpuha Seashore Day Journey

South of Playa del Carmen, however earlier than Tulum, there are two nice seashores that make for a terrific day journey away from the bigger crowds.

A 20-minute drive will convey you to Xpuha Seashore; a stretch of lovely white sand lies interspersed with seashore bars and eating places.

The seashore entry charge is 50 pesos, and you may lease seashore chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling gear, and kayaks right here too.

15: Loosen up At Xcacel Seashore

Xcacel Beach from the SkyXcacel Beach from the SkyLovely Xcacel Seashore!

A bit additional south you’ll discover Xcacel, one among my favourite seashores within the Yucatan Peninsula. The ocean is a bit rougher than at Xpuha, however there’s additionally a freshwater cenote to chill off in.

Might-October is sea turtle nesting season, and a few areas of the seashore could also be roped off to guard buried turtle eggs. In the event you’re a great swimmer, there’s some respectable snorkeling on the North aspect of the seashore.

The entry payment for this seashore is 10 – 20 pesos (for sea turtle safety). This distant seashore doesn’t actually have many providers, though there are loos.

16: Alux Cave Restaurant

Alux Restaurant Playa del CarmenAlux Restaurant Playa del CarmenRestaurant in a Cave?

For an upscale eating expertise, take a look at Alux, the restaurant constructed inside an underground cave!

Aluxes are supernatural spirits who shield Mexico’s sacred locations.

Coloured cave lights created a mysterious environment, whereas waterfalls set the tone for a romantic night.

After dinner, ensure to ask for a fast cave tour, as a result of the entire complicated is MUCH greater than it first appears! You might even see a bat or two flying round.

17: Frida Kahlo Museum

Frida Kahlo is a type of artists you both know otherwise you don’t. An area icon in Mexico, Frida created portraits and self-portraits impressed by the character and artifacts of Mexico; mixing sensible pictures with fantasy.

The museum doesn’t include any unique artistic endeavors, nevertheless it does embrace the life and works of Frida Kahlo; giving guests an opportunity to study her controversial artwork by means of pictures, movies, diagrams, and collages.

Every little thing could be very inventive and colourful, proper via to the inevitable vacationer present store, and it’s value a go to if just for a short while!

18: Eat Some Road Elote

What’s elote? Elote is actually corn-on-the-cob, roasted on an open grill with a decadent coating of salt, chili powder, butter, lime juice, cotija cheese and mayonnaise.

Elote is known as Mexican Road Corn, well-known for its candy and smoky flavors with a salty hit as you chew via the surface, and located at many Mexican grills, or road meals carts.

The perfect elote in Playa del Carmen may be discovered bought from carts on the primary drag of Avenida Benito Juarez — particularly within the evenings.

19: Lease A Jet Ski

Riding a Jet Ski in MexicoRiding a Jet Ski in MexicoRacing Jet Skis off Mamita’s Seashore!

I’m positive we don’t have to do a lot convincing right here – who doesn’t need to whizz round on a jet ski as a part of their vacation? Notably when the situation is as beautiful as Playa Del Carmen!

Mamitas seashore might be the perfect place to lease one to drive it such as you stole it. The flat seas make for a speedy and exhilarating journey, making jet ski rent properly value the price!

20: Take A Crusing Journey

Sailing in the OceanSailing in the OceanTake a Crusing Journey off the Coast

From booze cruises to full-day crusing excursions, the alternatives for getting out on the water are endless in Playa Del Carmen.

Whereas the booze cruises are nice for spring breakers, I want extra enjoyable journeys to coral reefs for snorkeling. For probably the most romantic choice, there’s additionally sundown journeys.

21: Ocean Paragliding

Ocean paragliding is a massively common exercise in Playa Del Carmen, with many boats prepared to tug their passengers via the sky over the ocean.

Take off may be fairly a bumpy journey, when you’re up within the air paragliding is among the most serene and peaceable experiences on the busy seashores of Mexico.

As a bonus, paragliding provides you a superb view of the shoreline from above. Nice for pictures if in case you have a water-proof digital camera!

22: Dawn Stand Up Paddle Boarding

You continue to haven’t seen the ocean in its true magnificence till you do a dawn paddle board session. The Aloha Paddle Membership provides dawn periods for combined teams.

Paddleboarding is obtainable for all ranges and skills, with instructors current to offer steerage to anybody who may have it. An unimaginable solution to respect the dawn!

23: Seize An Acai Or Quinoa Bowl

Bio-Pure is an natural retailer and vegetarian restaurant, with loads of vegan choices and wholesome choices. It’s extraordinarily widespread in Playa.

Their fruit bowls are made recent from scratch you possibly can make certain that any dietary necessities you will have might be taken care of. Additionally they have some superior cold-pressed juices.

Bio-Pure is value a go to – notably for the health-conscious! I typically got here right here for breakfast, selecting the wholesome & hearty quinoa bowl with a glass of carrot juice.

The place To Keep In Playa Del Carmen

Playa has grow to be a well-liked vacationer hub for vacationers to base themselves whereas exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. Should you’re questioning the place to remain in Playa del Carmen, listed here are my suggestions relying in your price range.


Greatest Lodging In Playa del Carmen


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Playa Del Carmen Ideas & Recommendation

In the event you’re in search of a superb time, need to find out about greatest issues to purchase in Mexico and need one thing totally different than Cancun, you actually can’t go flawed by basing your self in Playa del Carmen to discover the most effective of what the Yucatan Peninsula has to supply. ★

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