Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Mexico  #3 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico
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Courtesy of Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Playa del Carmen

Looking for free things to do? Here's our ranking of the best free activities in Playa del Carmen. Popular attractions include Playa del Carmen Beachesand La Quinta Avenida.
  • #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

    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.

  • #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 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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