Playa del Carmen Vacation

A place to play and a place for peace, Playa del Carmen is at the centre of the Mayan Riviera. Close to Mayan history, steeped in culture, surrounded by freshwater caves offering the bluest, clearest, swimming, and white sand beaches, soft under your feet, Playa del Carmen is a not-so-secret destination for those looking to have it all on their vacation.

  1. Quinta Avenida
    Fifth Avenue (Quinte Avenida) is at the heart of Playa. This pedestrian street is approximately 3-miles of shops, restaurants, bars, and live comic book characters, to name just a few. While there is a great deal more to discover beyond 5th, it is a fun way to spend an evening.
  2. Rooftop Pools
    There are a multitude of stunning views to be had from an ever-growing number of rooftop pools. Many are at the top of hotels, and they offer day passes so that you can use a lounger, access the pool and their rooftop amenities. It’s a great place to watch the sun go down.
  3. The Ring of Cenotes
    Around 70 million years ago a giant asteroid hit planet earth and wiped out the dinosaurs. But did you know the asteroid landed here, in the Yucatan? Well, it did, and the artistic reminder of its landing is the Ring of Cenotes. At its core (but not accessible) is the Chicxulub crater – the centre of it all – and around the crater, in ever-widening circles, are the “smaller” impact craters from the debris of the asteroid as it hurtled toward earth. This cornucopia of holes constitutes the largest submerged cave system in the world and, where they are open to the air, those who visit can enjoy the beautiful, crystal clear waters, just as the Mayans once did.
  4. Beach Clubs
    All along the coastline from the south of Cancun, through Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, and into Tulum, there are beach clubs galore. As each town has its own feel, so do beach clubs. Some are laid back, some are beat thumping, and still others are quiet little spots for a drink, where you can just listen to the waves. Find your preference by trying out a few. While there is a cover charge, most places put that cover as credit toward whatever you eat or drink from their menu. Seems fair for a comfy lounger, beachside service, and some good music!
  5. Wildlife Rescue
    There is no shortage of ways to interact with the local wildlife, up and down the coast. But make sure you do it safely and with their well-being in mind. There are monkey sanctuaries, crocodile zoos, turtle centres, and bird sanctuaries as well, all the way from Puerto Morelos to Akumal.
  6. Visit Isla Holbox
    Holbox is that place the marketing companies use when they want to show you paradise. Warm waters, over-water hammocks, wonderful sand, stunning sunsets, this car-free island is also not terribly concerned with wifi either! Just a three-hour drive, it’s worth it to get away… like really away.
  7. Snorkel & Dive in Cozumel
    The ferry to Cozumel runs regularly from downtown Playa and takes just 45 minutes. Cozumel is the home to the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. If you dive or even if you prefer snorkel, it’s the place to go for underwater sightseeing.
  8. Learn about the Mayans with a visit to Chichén Itzá, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
    Just two and half hour’s from Playa del Carmen, this amazing example of Maya architecture and culture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are some great tours that include transportation, lunch, fast-track tickets and English-speaking guides. You can also drive there yourself and take a self-guided tour.
  9. Visit the X-Caret Group Parks
    These theme parks have become a little like Disney land here in area: Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xel-Ha, Xoximilco, Xesnses, Xavage, and of course X-Caret. Over 40 attractions are offered including a coral reef aquarium, an underground river an archeological site, beach, butterfly pavilion and even a Mexico Espectacular cultural show presented each evening.
  10. Take a Food Tour – Self-Guided
    There are far, far too many amazing restaurants to name but, I will say that most of them are NOT on 5th Avenue. While I may have started out telling you to start at 5th, I hope you don’t end there. In Playa there are amazing seafood restaurants, local fare, and world-wide cuisine that rivals any of the large metropolitan cities of the world. I challenge you to find them all!