Playa del Carmen Beaches#1 in Best Things To Do in Playa del Carmen
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Your hotel or resort will 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.
You'll likely walk past the beach at Parque Fundadores while strolling La Quinta Avenida as it sits parallel to the bustling thoroughfare. You'll know you're in the right place when you see the massive arch sculpture that's erected at the beach's main entrance. According to past visitors, this beach is always crowded with both tourists and locals, but it's also chock full of amenities and conveniently located near the ADO bus terminal and the ferry to Cozumel. It's also home to a playground – perfect if you're traveling with kids. The beach is free to access, but lounge chair or equipment rentals will cost you extra.
For a more exclusive experience, head less than 2 miles north of Parque Fundadores to Playa Mamitas. This stretch of sand is home to Mamita's Beach Club. There are lounge chairs and beach towels for rent, along with a kids pool, massage services and well-equipped bathrooms. Some visitors said this beach is better suited to younger visitors, as it cultivates a party atmosphere.
On the hunt for a quiet, off-the-beaten-path spot? Locals and tourists recommend Playa Paamul. You'll need a car to reach this shoreline, which sits about a 20-minute drive south of Parque Fundadores, but the peace and quiet is worth the trek, according to past visitors. Xpu-Ha – another spot best reached by car – is equally lauded for its calm waves and shallow waters.
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#2 La Quinta Avenida
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 of souvenir shops as well selling trinkets and mementos. Some visitors do caution that street vendors can be aggressive hawking their goods along the avenue. Simply ignore their sales pitches and continue on your way and they'll get the message.
Should you need amenities beyond a quick meal or a kitschy souvenir, check out the intersecting Avenida Juárez, the commercial district's main thoroughfare equipped with banks, grocery stores and gas stations. Keep in mind: Because this thoroughfare attracts a large number of tourists, prices at restaurants and bars will be higher compared to other areas of Playa.
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