Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Mexico  #4 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico
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Courtesy of Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Playa del Carmen

Most activities revolve around Playa del Carmen's renowned beaches, a handful of which are located just minutes from the main thoroughfare, La Quinta Avenida. At the nearby marina, you can charter either a fishing boat or a diving boat and explore nearby Cozumel and the Caribbean Sea. Just a few miles south, the popular Xcaret eco-park showcases the Mayan Riviera's animals and marine life. And throughout town, you'll find some appealing golf courses. If you're interested in sampling Playa's nightlife, check out the Coralina Daylight Club.

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Things to do in Playa del Carmen
    View all Photos
    #1 in Playa del Carmen
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Yourhotel or resortwill likely occupy a stretch of pristine white sand, but if you feel like venturing off the property to explore more of Playa's shore, you'll find a bevy of alluring beaches.

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    La Quinta Avenida
    View all Photos
    #2 in Playa del Carmen
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Playa del Carmen's main street, La Quinta Avenida, runs parallel to the shore and serves as a pedestrian walkway for travelers and locals. The avenue is lined with an assortment of street performers, restaurants, hotels, hostels, condominiums and bars, making it one of the best nightlife spots in the city. There are plenty

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
    View all Photos
    #3 in Playa del Carmen
    Sports
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sports
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Playa del Carmen offers access to some of the best diving spots in the Western Hemisphere, especially just offshore nearCozumel. Travelers say you can't come to Playa del Carmen without taking a dip under the sea to explore its colorful population of fish. Many diving companies have set up shop

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Rio Secreto
    View all Photos
    #4 in Playa del Carmen
    Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Often lauded as one of the best-kept secrets on the Yucatan Peninsula, Rio Secreto (or Secret River) is an underground river and collection of caves. The bright turquoise water contrasts with the caramel- and mocha-colored rock formations within the caves, which include stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can swim in the

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Xplor
    View all Photos
    #5 in Playa del Carmen
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Swimming/Pools, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Swimming/Pools, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Similar toXcaret, this all-inclusive park is an outdoor playground with adventures that range from zip ling to rafting to spelunking. Among the park's offerings are two circuits of seven zip lines, amphibious vehicles, river rafting, underground river swimming, caves and caverns, and an unusual hammock ride that ends in a

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Golf
    View all Photos
    #6 in Playa del Carmen
    Golf, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Golf, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The area's golf courses are picturesque and challenging – in addition to drawing Playa del Carmen travelers, many Cancún vacationers venture south to play a round on the links. The most popular courses are the Hard Rock Golf Club, the Iberostar Golf Club Playa Paraiso, the Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya and El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Xcaret
    View all Photos
    #7 in Playa del Carmen
    Beaches, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Both experts and travelers say that Xcaret is a sort of Yucatán-style Disneyland, a large outdoor "eco-park" filled with an aviary, a dolphin aquarium, a turtle sanctuary and a beach perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling. The park also offers various excursions like dolphin interactions, stingray encounters, shark swims, snuba

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Xel-Ha
    View all Photos
    #8 in Playa del Carmen
    Natural Wonders, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    In the Mayan language, Xel-Ha means "where the water is born." So, expect a trip to Xel-Ha to include plenty of time underwater. Xel-Ha is a natural aquarium centered on an inlet and lagoon that visitors can swim and snorkel through, accompanied by schools of tropical fish, dolphins and turtles.

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Coralina Daylight Club
    View all Photos
    #9 in Playa del Carmen
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Drawing on inspiration fromLas Vegaspool parties andIbizabeach ragers, Coralina Daylight Club offers party-hungry travelers a chance to dance, listen to music and day drink in the heart of Playa del Carmen. Coralina features several pools, direct beach access, private cabana areas and a restaurant with seating – and it's the

    ...Read More »
  • Tequila Academy
    View all Photos
    Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • 3D Museum of Wonders
    View all Photos
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Chichen Itza
    View all Photos
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

Explore More of Playa del Carmen

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