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Playa del Carmen

Travel Guide
Playa del Carmen showing a sandy beach, landscape views and tropical scenes

White-sand beaches, bustling nightlife and chic shopping make this beach town one of the Yucatán Peninsula’s most cosmopolitan and exciting destinations.

Playa del Carmen is one of the trendiest towns on the Riviera Maya, populated by well-heeled expats and crowds of European visitors. Spend your days relaxing at beach clubs, browsing upscale shops and exploring some of the wonderful nearby dive sites. At night, dine at glamorous restaurants and dance at glitzy nightclubs.

The main beach at Playa del Carmen is a wide stretch of clean, white sand that draws families, party-goers and fishermen alike. Relax in a lounge chair under the shade of an umbrella or sip a drink at one of the buzzing beach bars lining the sands. Go to one of the numerous watersports vendors on the beach to arrange snorkeling and diving excursions. Tours will take you to one of the excellent sites just off the nearby island of Isla Cozumel. Look for sea turtles, rays, moray eels and colorful coral as you explore the turquoise waters.

Go for a stroll along the town’s bustling main street, La Quinta Avenida, which runs parallel to the coast. This pedestrianized strip is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. During the day, dine at stylish cafés and browse upmarket shops found along the street’s sophisticated northern end between Constituyentes and Calle 38. In the evening, La Quinta is the center of the town’s nightlife scene. Head to the busy southern section of the strip, between Calle 4 and Constituyentes, where the most popular clubs and bars are found.

Take a daytrip to Xcaret, an ecological/archaeological theme park located 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Playa del Carmen. This massive park features an aquarium, a greenhouse, a bee farm and a small zoo, among dozens of other attractions. Walk through the enchanting butterfly pavilion and ride a raft down a jungle river.

Most travelers heading to Playa del Carmen fly into Cancun International Airport, from where regular buses run to Playa del Carmen. Alternatively, get here by taking one of the frequent buses leaving from Tulum or Mérida. The majority of the town’s activities and attractions are found within walking distance of the beach.

Experience the European-style atmosphere of this fashionable beach destination.

Where to stay in Playa del Carmen

Grand Riviera Princess - All Inclusive
Grand Riviera Princess - All Inclusive
4.5 out of 5
Prolongacion 5ta Avenida, Mza 20 Lote 006, Playa del Carmen, QROO
The price is $165 per night from Aug 23 to Aug 23
Located in Playa del Carmen, this beachfront property is in the entertainment district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Playa Xcalacoco, Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya, ...
4/5Very Good! (1,564 reviews)
"Property well kept just beautiful’. Housekeeping did not bring all the supplies needed on a daily basis like towels toilet paper’ Long lines at the bar!...The staff was great but seemed very tired but still had a great attitude"

Reviewed on Jul 25, 2021

Grand Riviera Princess - All Inclusive
Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks / All Fun Inclusive
Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks / All Fun Inclusive
5 out of 5
Carr. Chetumal - Puerto Juarez Km. 282, Playa del Carmen, QROO
The price is $655 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
Nestled on the beach, this Playa del Carmen property is within 1 mi (2 km) of Xplor Theme Park and Xcaret Eco Theme Park. Playa del Carmen Maritime Terminal ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,879 reviews)
"Amazing service!! Beautiful place! Excellent food, overall amazing experience!!!"

Reviewed on Jul 24, 2021

Hotel Xcaret Mexico - All Parks / All Fun Inclusive
Hotel Xcaret Arte - All Parks / All Fun Inclusive - Adults Only
Hotel Xcaret Arte - All Parks / All Fun Inclusive - Adults Only
5 out of 5
Carr. Chetumal - Puerto Juárez Km. 282, Playa del Carmen, QROO
The price is $577 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
This Playa del Carmen property is on the beach, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Xcaret Eco Theme Park, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Playa del Carmen Main Beach and Mamitas ...
3.9/5Good! (14 reviews)
"This was the best resort that I’ve ever been in my life. The scenery is breathtaking. The service is top notch. If you plan to stay here please stay at least a week. There’s too much to do and visit. Take in consideration that the hotel has nice amenities and if you want to enjoy the hotel you need ..."

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2021

Hotel Xcaret Arte - All Parks / All Fun Inclusive - Adults Only
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Capital O Mimi del Mar
Capital O Mimi del Mar
3 out of 5
1a. Norte Zona Federal Maritima, Lote 1-A, Mz. 2, Centro, Playa del Carmen, QROO
The price is $39 per night from Aug 11 to Aug 11
Nestled on the beach, this Downtown Playa del Carmen aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Playa del Carmen Main Beach and Quinta Avenida. Playa del Carmen ...
4/5Very Good! (110 reviews)
"Closest rooms to the beach in Playa. Our room had a wonderful ocean view. A/C was quiet and worked well."

Reviewed on May 28, 2021

Capital O Mimi del Mar
Acinté by Endémico
Acinté by Endémico
3.5 out of 5
Av. 16 Sur esquina con Poniente 3, Región 15, Tulum, QROO
The price is $61 per night from Aug 25 to Aug 25
Situated in Tulum, this aparthotel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Dos Aguas Park and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Tulum National Park. Cenote Crystal is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) ...
4/5Very Good! (6 reviews)
"Front desk was very helpful ."

Reviewed on Jul 20, 2021

Acinté by Endémico
Los Amigos Tulum
Los Amigos Tulum
3.5 out of 5
Calle 14 Sur, Lote 16, Tulum, QROO
The price is $51 per night from Jul 29 to Jul 29
Located in La Veleta, this beach aparthotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Dos Aguas Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Tulum National Park and Tulum Beach. Cenote Crystal ...
4.1/5Very Good! (40 reviews)
"I liked the concierge service"

Reviewed on Jul 10, 2021

Los Amigos Tulum
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Playa del Carmen

If you are like most people who come to Playa del Carmen, you’re probably visiting for the beach, so you might not need much access to transportation beyond taxis. These are plentiful and reasonably priced. Public transportation includes the ADO bus network and colectivos, mini-vans used by locals more than tourists. Biking is an option on some streets. Rent a car to explore destinations outside town. Visit the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation website. Browse Playa del Carmen rental cars.

Best time to visit

The white beaches, blue skies, swaying palms and turquoise waters of Playa del Carmen are absolutely stunning at any time of year, but if you want a peaceful getaway, visit between April and May. Enjoy more beach space in these months, when the main tourist rush is yet to come. Temperatures will be warm and pleasant, usually in the 70s to 80s F (20s C) during the day and slightly less at night.

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