Playa del Carmen, or simply Playa as locals call it, has a very privileged location in the Mexican Caribbean, because of that, it is known as the Heart of the Riviera Maya. To help you prepare your next trip we show you the top 10 things to do in Playa del Carmen.
Recommended: The top 10 things to do in Cancun.
1. Playa del Carmen beaches.
Playa del Carmen beaches have been named by different publications as one of the most beautiful in the world, with its white sand and its warm blue turquoise sea. Some of these beaches are Playa Paamul, Playa Paraíso, Playa Tukan y Playa Mamitas. If these are not enough for you, check out our list of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya.
With a direct connection from Playa del Carmen, and just 45 minutes by Ferry is Cozumel, a paradisiacal island with a lot of natural parks, wonderful beaches, archeological sites and the second largest reef in the world. Your visit to Playa is not complete without visiting Cozumel.
Official site: cozumel.travel
3. Quinta avenida.
Quinta Avenida, Playa del Carmen’s fifth avenue, is the main street of Playa del Carmen, is a stupendous place for shopping, eat, rest and cool down. Located along at the beach side and with a big amount of options, this warm street is something you can’t miss.
Cancun, Playa del Carmen’s big brother, don’t need much introduction, located only 45 minutes by car (How to get to Cancun from Playa del Carmen), it is a very good option for its nightlife, shopping malls, and gastronomic offer.
Official site: cancun.travel
Tulum is the only Mayan city located on the shores of the beautiful Caribbean Sea and only 68 km (42 miles) south Playa del Carmen. Its majestic location and its architecture are vestiges of the history and achievement of the Mayan civilization.
If you also enjoy discovering Mayan ruins, check out 10 archeological sites you can visit in the Riviera Maya.
Official site: turismo.tulum.gob.mx
Coba is located 42 km (26 miles) from Tulum, this old Mayan city was the home of 50 000 population and can have an idea of its size walking by its hundreds of roads and climbing some of its monumental pyramids.
Xcaret is an outstanding ecological theme park, it perfectly combines culture with adventure, tradition with technology and interaction with awareness. An underground river, a Mayan town, an aquarium, beach, theater, lagoons, giant turtles and a lot more attractions and activities make Xcaret one of the most popular sights in the Riviera Maya. Check out the top 10 things to do in Xcaret.
Official site: Xcaret.
8. Chichen Itza.
Named one of the seven new wonders of the world, Chichen Itza is an impotent archeological site. Among the many sights inside the site, you will find the Kukulkán castle, the sacred cenote, the plaza of a thousand columns, El Caracol (The Snail) astronomical observatory y great ball court.
Cenotes are natural pits or sinkholes resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath and only found in the Yucatan peninsula. There are more than 2400 cenotes and a lot of them can be visited from Playa del Carmen. One of them is even an ecological theme park: Kantun-Chi. You can also check out the list of the 10 most impressive cenotes in the Riviera Maya, all of them around Playa del Carmen.
Historically, Akumal was the first tourist destination in the Riviera Maya, currently is an excellent place to relax and take a rest, but that peace is not interrupted by some other options like sport fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving or swimming with the turtles.