The Best Things To Do In Playa del Carmen

Written By: Carlos González

One of the top travel destinations to Mexico, Playa Del Carmen is a trendy beach town that welcomes visitors from all around the world – and for good reason. Between the soft sandy beaches and welcoming water, Playa Del Carmen is often the ideal alternative for those who don’t want to visit busier areas like Cozumel and Tulum.

Playa Del Carmen, still undergoing some major growth, is the place for visitors to see and be seen – especially the pedestrian area, Quinta Avenida. This vibrant spot is perfect for walking around, shopping and dining at any number of the tasty stops along the way. Another thing that puts Playa Del Carmen favorably amongst visitors is the close proximity to the Cancun International Airport, as well as the nearby resort cities of Tulum and Cozumel. This allows travellers to relax in the peaceful setting of Playa Del Carmen, but by no means are you stuck there with nothing to do.

No trip to the coast of Mexico is complete without spending some time on the water – and Playa Del Carmen is best known for its exceptional dive spots and snorkeling locations. The reefs create the perfect environment for an assortment of tropical fish, as well as other fascinating marine life including sea turtles and moray eels. If you love underwater photography, the variety of reefs and fish make breathtaking pictures!

As a port of call for countless cruise ships, Playa Del Carmen has the potential to get quite busy at times with tourists. Not to worry – head further into the town and you’ll find plenty of authentic shops and experiences all with the European Chic ambiance that the area is best known for. Going a few blocks into Playa Del Carmen will take you from highly tourist areas to a more natural landscape – which is ideal when you want to enjoy this Mexican destination as it’s meant to be enjoyed!

When you’re not laying out on the sandy beach relaxing and soaking up the sun, take a short drive outside of the city to the nearby ruins in Tulum or pick out a cave tour to explore the awesome rock formations.


Chichen Itza

Make sure you take a day trip to Chichen Itza, the ancient capital of Maya and one of the Seven Modern Day Wonders of the World. Meander through the amazing ruins, learning the history of this bygone civilisation. You will see pyramids and sacred temples – 75 feet high – and feel the tension in the Temple of a Thousand Columns, where so many were sacrificed to appease the gods.



For fun and adventure in a beautiful environment, Xel-Há is a must! An hour and a half from Cancun; you can snorkel with the fish and swim through the underwater caves and lagoons! Stroll, bike ride, or take a train through the 9 hectares of lush gardens, test your balance and agility on the Trepachanga, or be truly adventurous and dive off the Cliffs of Courage! There is so much to do here.


CoCo Bongo

It’s party time at CoCo Bongo! With locations in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, CoCo Bongo is the perfect way to let your hair down by the Caribbean Sea! It’s a disco atmosphere but with so much more; cheer the amazing acrobatics and applaud the musical tributes to famous entertainers deep into the night. Eat and drink, but most importantly, party the night away at one of the most exciting nightlife venues around!



The natural wonderland of Xcaret lies in the Riviera Maya District, and it really shouldn’t be missed! This fun packed park offers a ton of excitement for the whole family; snorkel and swim, take a coral reef dive, and meet the dolphins and turtles! Take in the Xcaret Mexico Spectacular and be a part of the Sacred Mayan Journey; there is just so much to see and do here!


Coba Ruins

The mystery of the Coba Ruins starts with when they were built – sometime between the years’ 500 and 900. Walk, or hire a bike or rickshaw, and explore this network of famous ruins and ancient pyramids. As you travel along the stone pathways – built so long ago – and enjoy the forest which surrounds you, take in the history and try to imagine the life of these ancient and mysterious people!


Rio Secreto Nature Reserve

Since the ancient Mayan times, the Rio Secreto Nature Reserve has fascinated all those lucky enough to experience its underground beauty. Opened to the public in only 2007, the caves and the underground secret river that flows through them, are a very popular destination. Swim in the eerie waters of the cavern and soak up the unique beauty for yourself!


Xplor Adventure Park

At Xplor Adventure Park, the natural beauty of the land – above and below the ground – provides the inspiration for a great day of fun that will not be forgotten! Ride an amphibious vehicle to explore the underground caves, head to the skies and zipline above the tree canopies, or raft and paddle through the river rapids! There is just so much to do, you will never be bored!


Sac Actun Cenote System

Take a break from Cancun and leave the world behind at the Sac Actum Cenote System, the world’s longest underground cave and waterway system, located in the jungles of Tulum. Snorkel in the underground caves and then explore the jungle above! If you take the guided tour option, you will also be sure to learn the culture of the region and the characteristics of the local environment along the way.



Cancun is the perfect mix of an all-night-long party scene and picturesque coastal beauty. It’s a pristine paradise where perfect white sands meet the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. With it’s luxury resorts, endless water-sports, and a nightlife that rivals any on earth; get ready for action!



Tulum is a small town situated on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and is home to the world-famous Mayan archaeological site at Tulum National Park. Surrounded by rich history, deep green jungle forests, picturesque cenotes, and its pristine white sand beaches; Tulum is a mix of relaxation and adventure!


Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for fun and relaxation at Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, but make sure you also try to include a visit to the capital, Merida, where the architecture and colour fill your days and nights with splendour. As you explore the region, take in the Mayan history with a stroll through the many ruins on offer, enjoy the pristine beaches of the coast, and dive or snorkel in the pristine turquoise waters. Then, as the sun goes down, let your hair down and take in the spectacular nightlife that the region is famous for!


Isla Mujeres

Just a short ferry ride from Cancun is the picturesque Isla Mujeres. Get away from the mainland crowds and enjoy the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters that the island is famous for. Snorkelling and diving are popular here, as are the trendy restaurants on this island paradise.


Puerto Morelos

You can choose action-packed days, leisurely exploring, or just relax and soak up the beauty of the one and only Puerto Morelos. Snorkel the marine reserve, and be amazed at its kaleidoscope of colour as the fish glide through the corals, or explore the ancient Mayan history, and the natural beauty of the region, such as the underground river and crystal caves. As you stroll through the town keep an eye out for Faro Inclinado; the leaning lighthouse so popular with photographers.

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