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18 Fun Things To Do in Playa del Carmen in 2023

Wondering what the best things to do in Playa del Carmen are? You’re in the right place; here you’ll find 18 amazing activities in Playa del Carmen to have the best time ever when you visit!

The stunning coastal resort of Playa del Carmen is a jewel on Mexico’s Caribbean coastline. A hot tourist destination every year, Playa del Carmen is jam-packed with fun activities to suit all tastes. In fact, there are so many choices that it can be hard to pick one or even know where to begin.

Drone view of Playa del Carmen inserted in a post about the best things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Hopefully, this guide will help you find the very best that Playa del Carmen has to offer, and enjoy it! 

Read on to find the 18 best things to do in Playa del Carmen, Mexico


Before we get started, let’s talk about transportation. If you’re flying to Mexico, your best choice is to fly to Cancun International Airport for Playa del Carmen. It’s the closest international airport and it’s really easy to get to Playa del Carmen from there. Here are your options: 

➤ Take a private transfer from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. It’s not the most affordable option, but it’s certainly the most convenient, and if there are 3 of you then it’s already cheaper than the shared shuttle. You’ll be delivered directly at your hotel, and if you’re carrying many bags it’s definitely a great option to stop worrying about having to carry them around. 

➤ If you travel on your own you should consider taking a shared shuttle. You’ll share the trip with other travelers but you’ll have the comfort of being taken straight to your hotel. However, it might take much longer than a private transfer as you’ll have to drop off passengers at different hotels.

➤ If you’re renting a car, the drive from Cancun to Playa del Carmen only takes 45 minutes.

➤ You can also opt to take the ADO bus, which departs from the airport multiple times a day. 

READ MORE: How to Get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen


Now that you know how to get there, let’s get started on what to do in Playa del Carmen once you’re settled. Firstly, here are the 10 top things to do in the area.

Swim in Beautiful Cenotes in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is home to some incredible cenotes. Three of the of my favorite cenotes in Playa del Carmen are Cenote Azul, Cenote Jardin del Eden, and Cenote Cristalino. 

But first things first…what is a cenote? A cenote is a kind of natural pit or sinkhole that exposes groundwater beneath. They are great spots for swimming, and some for scuba diving, too. A true natural gem, and one you shouldn’t miss for the world! 

Image of a cenote in Playa del Carmen - visiting the cenotes is one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Cenote Azul stands out among other cenotes for its bright turquoise waters, and it’s one of the most family-friendly cenotes in the Peninsula. Cenote Azul is an open-type cenote, which means it looks like a natural swimming pool (it’s not within a cave!) and you can enjoy several activities like snorkeling, swimming and diving in it. 

Cenote Jardin del Eden is also an open cenote, and it’s really large. The blue waters and lush vegetation make it look indeed like the Garden of Eden; a true paradise! Since a portion of Cenote Jardin del Eden extends to an underground cave, diving here is also a thrilling experience. 

Cenote Cristalino (crystal clear in Spanish) does justice to its name. The water is unbelievably transparent, there are cliffs from which you can jump into it and it’s one of the less-visited cenotes, which means you can pretty much have Cenote Cristalino to yourself.  

READ MORE: 11 Most Beautiful Cenotes in Playa del Carmen

There are many more cenotes to enjoy outside of Playa del Carmen, but the local cenotes are beautiful and popular with visitors both for cliff jumping and snorkeling. Their refreshing waters are ideal to cool off on a hot afternoon.

Visiting the cenotes is definitely one of the very best Playa del Carmen water activities.

➤ The 4 Cenotes at Casa Tortuga takes you and a small group to four beautiful cenotes where you’ll have the chance to swim and snorkel with the provided equipment. It includes roundtrip transportation from your hotel. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Private Dream Underground World is a fantastic way to visit an off-the-beaten-path cenote and explore its underwater cave system with a professional guide. Snorkel equipment is provided, as well as transportation from your hotel. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

FOR MORE OPTIONS, READ ALSO: 14 Best Playa del Carmen Cenote Tours

Take a Day Trip to Chichén Itzá

There are many incredible things to do near Playa del Carmen and visiting Chichén Itzá is definitely one of them. 

Chichén Itzá is an ancient Mayan city dominated by the iconic Temple of Kukulcan (El Castillo), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chichén Itzá is a cultural and historical treasure trove, thought to be one of the largest and most culturally diverse of all the Mayan cities.

READ MORE: Chichen Itza: A Complete Guide

The nearby colonial city of Valladolid was named for the then capital of Spain, and was first established by the nephew of conquistador Francisco de Montejo. The Valladolid you’ll visit, amazingly, isn’t even the original town because it was moved after its initial establishment from a coastal lagoon to escape the mosquitoes.

Enjoy the historical sights and cultural sounds of Valladolid, including the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena, the Cathedral of San Servacio, and Parque Principal Francisco Canton Rosado, among many others. 

You can get from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza on your own, or you can join a tour.

➤ This Chichén Itzá, Valladolid & Cenote Tour is a great option to explore the history of Chichén Itzá with a certified guide, take a stroll around Valladolid’s city center and swim in the sacred cenote Saamal, part of the network of underground rivers that were venerated by the Maya people, all in one day. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

9 Best Chichen Itza Tours from Playa del Carmen

Relax at the Beach

You’ll be spoilt for choice in Playa del Carmen when it comes to beaches, beach clubs and general beach days. If you’re on this vacation for a good time by the sea, then you’ll probably want to try a few, and what’s best is that they’re one of the few free things to do in Playa del Carmen.

If you're wondering what to do in Playa del Carmen, one of the top things to do is relaxing at the beach!

The most notable local beaches include:

  • Playa Maroma – white sands, clear waters; a spacious beach and not overly crowded, but with plenty of services for tourists.
  • Xpu-Ha – about 20 minutes southward from Playa del Carmen; very quiet, served by a single restaurant, it feels like an unspoilt paradise. It’s great for kayaking and snorkeling.
  • Playa Mamitas – right in Playa del Carmen, very popular and attracts a young crowd; free access and well equipped with comfortable lounge chairs.
  • Xcacel – if you want a beach that’s a little further away, this one is ideal; very quiet, idyllic and a superb spot for fishing.

Playa Mamitas has the most amenities around it, most notably Mamita’s Beach Club, but other highly-rated beach clubs in the area include INTI Beach, Lido Beach Club Restaurant, and Coralina Daylight Club.

If you’re in the area for a week, you can hit a different beach and different club every day to enjoy everything the area has to offer, because the sight of the Caribbean sea stands out among the best things to see in Playa del Carmen, and you don’t want to miss that!

Walk Into the Yucatan Underworld at Rio Secreto

They call Rio Secreto the “Crystal Museum” and it’s aptly named for the incredible geological formations that dominate the area. Visiting this underground river is definitely one of the most fun Playa del Carmen activities!

Image by GetYourGuide

This astounding limestone, semi-flooded cave system, which features striking stalagmites and stalactites, has almost 24 miles (38 km) of caves, and it’s a protected nature reserve for its natural beauty and history. Created by millions of years of water erosion, it’s believed to have been a ritualistic place for the Mayan people, as artifacts such as religious altars and cave paintings were found on the site.

Besides welcoming visitors, Rio Secreto is also the home of quite a few species, so you may find bats, tarantulas, or catfish during your underground journey (don’t let this put you off, though!)

➤ The cost of entry to Rio Secreto is $79 for adults, which is inclusive of a buffet lunch, tour guide, and gear. You can buy your ticket on the official website, however, I recommend buying it on Get Your Guide. The price is the same but it allows you to cancel at no cost up to 24 hours before your tour, so it guarantees much more flexibility if your plans were to change. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

The $79 ticket does not include transportation. If you’d rather have a transfer from and to your hotel, you can get an admission + transportation package. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Head to Tulum for Ruins and the Beach

If the Chichén Itzá tour didn’t suffice your craving for heritage and natural beauty, your next visit should be to the Tulum Ruins.

The city of Tulum saw the twilight of Mayan civilization, and it’s where the Mayans lived for up to 70 years after the Spanish conquest began. It is now one of the best-preserved coastal Mayan sites and of the best ruins in Riviera Maya.

The Tulum Ruins is one of the few historical sites that is actually perched on a cliff facing the Caribbean sea, offering not only amazing history and culture, but views that take your breath away

Tulum means wall, and the name corresponds to the enclosed nature of the city and its ruins, surrounded by large limestone walls on three of its sides. Inside the ruins, you’ll be able to identify the site’s main pyramid, El Castillo, which served as a lighthouse during the time of the Mayans, alongside other structures with equally interesting and ancient history.

Regardless of what you may learn about the site and its people from your guide, books or the internet, the Tulum Ruins are always going to be surrounded by an aura of mystery and unanswered questions, and that’s just part of what makes the place magical.     

READ MORE: A Complete Guide to the Tulum Ruins

You can also access the Tulum Ruins beach by climbing down a wooden staircase, which takes the experience to another level. 

And once you’re done, there are plenty of things to do in Tulum, including some other incredible cenotes and some of the best beaches in the region.

This 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour offers you a complete day excursion to visit the Tulum Ruins from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum, taking you also to swim in a cenote (highly recommended!), snorkel through a coral reef and walk in the jungle. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

Have Fun at Xcaret Park

Xcaret Park is a privately owned theme park and ecotourism center in the Riviera Maya and named after the nearby Mayan ruins of the same name.

The park is positioned among the Mayan jungle, underground rivers, stunning Caribbean coastline and a wealth of local cenotes. It’s an entire adventure day all wrapped up in one neat location.

The name Xcaret refers to the small inlet off the sea that enters the island. Activities include exploring the underground rivers, snorkeling, following the rainforest trail, visiting the Living Orchid and Bromeliad Museum, and the chance to see examples of native wildlife, including jaguars, manatees, flamingoes, spider monkeys and more. 

But wait! There’s more to do at Xcaret when the night falls. The park is home to the famous Xcaret México Espectacular, the most complete entertainment show you’ll find in the Riviera Maya that’s been running every night for more than 20 years.

The show takes you on a journey through the history of Mexico from the pre-Hispanic times to modern day, representing legends and culture with typical dances and the cheerful spirit the Mexicans know how to invoke.  The Xcaret Park is one of the best Playa del Carmen activities for families!

➤ You can buy the regular Xcaret Ticket, which includes admission to the park, or choose one of the upgraded tickets. The Xcaret Plus Admission includes a buffet lunch and access to the Plus Facilities, and Xcaret Total also offers an extra activity. With Xcaret at Night you’ll get to enjoy the Xcaret México Espectacular and a great diversity of other shows. ➥ BOOK THEM HERE

➤ Xcaret is very family friendly. If you’re looking for a bit more adrenaline, you might want to visit Xplor or go on another zipline park in Playa del Carmen.

Go Shopping on La Quinta Avenida

When you’ve had your dose of natural beauty and adventure and are craving some city life, you might as well start with a shopping day on 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen, one of the best places to visit in Playa del Carmen.

Don’t expect to find everything you would on its New York namesake, but it’s a nice place to stroll around, check out the picturesque shops and grab a bite.  

For a quieter time on 5th Ave. Playa del Carmen, get there before lunch. If instead you’d rather see the place buzzing with life go in the late afternoon and evening, when the street performers emerge and the tourists fill the avenue with movement, music, and lights, and you can find as many food varieties as you can imagine.

There are great local and international shops to enjoy, so just look around and see what you like! If you enjoy the fun of walking down a street filled with colors and sounds, hitting La Quinta Avenida at night is a must do in Playa del Carmen. 

Party at Coco Bongo

Finished a great day of adventures? Hang on, night owls, there are plenty of things to do in Playa del Carmen at night!

For those looking for a unique local nightlife experience, you should check out Coco Bongo; it certainly holds a preferential place on the top things to do in Playa del Carmen, especially for young people.

This nightlife venue has locations in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and it has been said that it puts Vegas nightlife to shame (Fran agrees!), as well as being New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s all rolled into one, so be prepared.

You should book your tickets in advance and expect a night to remember (let’s hope you do at least!) Besides offering drinks, music and burlesque-style shows, they also cater to group and bachelorette parties. 

➤ The Regular Ticket to Coco Bongo grants you skip-the-line entry so you can head right in to start enjoying your night. Five drinks and bottled water are included ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Gold Member Ticket to Coco Bongo includes skip-the-line access to the nightclub, shows, premium open bar, and exclusive entry to a reserved area. ➥ BOOK IT HERE  

Go Ziplining in Playa del Carmen 

Ziplining is one of the most exhilarating activities you can enjoy in Playa del Carmen. The lush Mayan Jungle is the perfect scenery for adventure sports, and there’s nothing like soaring above the tree canopy on a high-speed line! Check out the best ziplining experiences you can choose from to have the time of your life.

➤ The Xplor Park All-Inclusive grants you access to one of the best adventure parks for a whole day. There you’ll get to zipline over the trees but also explore the underground rivers, and drive through thrilling jungle trails. Transportation is included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Selvatica Adventure Park also offers a variety of exciting adventures and 10 different options to soar among the treetops. Choose among the zipline coaster, the Superman zipline, the Aquazip (in which you’ll get soaked!), or try them all! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Relax on a Catamaran Cruise

Setting sail on a luxurious catamaran to enjoy the warm waters of the Caribbean (or merely doze under the sun while sipping cocktails) is probably the best way to relax in Playa del Carmen. If after all the jungle adventures and partying you’re in need of some cruise therapy – which is very likely – the most fabulous options are the following.

➤ The Beach Escape takes you to Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres, two gorgeous islands with pristine beaches and surrounded by coral reefs and crystal waters, where you’ll enjoy some snorkeling. It includes breakfast and lunch, and some free time to lay by the beach or explore. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ With the Private Boat Rental you’ll get to dictate your itinerary and the water activities you want to enjoy as you sail on your very own catamaran for 4 idyllic hours. It includes a delicious lunch, paddleboards, and snorkel equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


Enjoy All the Food in Playa del Carmen

While you’re at Fifth Avenue, you can enjoy some of the great local eateries, although they are not limited entirely to La Quinta, of course. Mexican food is famous for a reason, and trying everything you can (and dare to!) is one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen. 

Notable eateries on Fifth Avenue include:

  • La Fisheria – Local seafood based on the cooking style of a celebrity Mexican chef;
  • Chez Celine – A wonderful bakery perfect for those visiting 5th Avenue in the morning and looking for baked goods;
  • 500 Gramos Grill – A perfect spot for steak, other meat dishes and pasta.

La Quinta Avenida is also a great spot to find local street food carts and vendors. 

There are few fixed locations, but if you stroll around and keep your eyes open for bicycle trolleys and rolling carts, you’re bound to find something delicious. Always be on the lookout for both Elote (grilled corn) and Cochinita Pibil (slow-roasted pork). Tamales and empanadas are also plentiful. The more adventurous street food eaters can try local grasshoppers!

Beyond La Quinta Avenida there’s a wealth of great food to enjoy. For more street food options, hit the other tourist-heavy areas of Playa del Carmen, namely the beach areas. You’ll find many vendors on the beaches lugging food containers up and down, ready to serve. There’s also the open-air public market on Avenida CTM.

The best restaurants in Playa del Carmen include:

And many more of course. You’ll never be short of delicious local and international food to enjoy!

Spend a Day at Cozumel

Cozumel is a beautiful island just off the coast of the peninsula. It’s an amazing place to spend a whole day if you enjoy any and all beach and seaside activities, and that includes scuba diving and snorkeling.

To get to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen you’ll need to take a ferry that takes around 45 minutes to get to the island. The ticket costs $26 and it departs several times throughout the day. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

READ ALSO: How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel

Many agree that a great way to get value for the day in Cozumel is to get a day pass to Playa Mia, which enables you to enjoy the water park, the beach, paddleboats and kayaking (including couples kayaking!), and snorkeling, among various other services that include an international buffet and open bar. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

A more cultural alternative in Cozumel is a visit to El Cedral, the site of a ruined fertility temple which is thought to have been a very important ceremonial site, and one of the best Mayan ruins in Cozumel. Locals hold it in very high esteem, and it remains the cultural and heritage highlight of the island.

➤ You can also take part in a Private Jeep Excursion to visit various hotspots on the island, including El Cedral, the San Gervasio archaeological site, the Local Market, and a spectacular viewpoint. You’ll also get to snorkel and have the chance to customize your itinerary, adding activities such as horseback riding or jetskiing. Lunch and beer are included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Don’t want to leave the water? Then the Catamaran Snorkel to El Cielo and Tortugas Beach Club should suit you. This delightful half-day experience takes you to Cozumel’s astounding location, El Cielo, for some snorkeling along the coral reef barrier. You’ll also enjoy refreshments and the facilities at Tortugas Beach Club. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Swim Responsibly with Whale Sharks

Swimming with Whale Shark is arguably the most life-affirming and unforgettable experience to enjoy in the area, and the highlight of all water activities. If you’re adding a whale shark tour from Playa del Carmen to your bucket list though, remember to do it responsibly!

Thankfully, in Quintana Roo there are strict regulations to ensure the well-being of the animals, limiting the number of people who visit every day and prohibiting either feeding or touching the Whale Sharks. 

Regardless of this, it’s very important that you choose a sustainable tour operator for your Whale Shark encounter. I’ve researched the available tours for this experience and found that those operated by Eco Tours Adventure are a safe choice, for their priority is to respect the wildlife and to have a minimal environmental impact. 

➤ Their Whale Shark Encounter takes place at Isla Mujeres. You’ll be taken to swim and snorkel in a specific spot where the whale sharks will gently glide by. The swimming lasts about 15 minutes, after which you’ll enjoy lunch and some time to chill at Playa Norte on the popular Isla Mujeres. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Explore Underrated Sian Ka’an

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a unique natural attraction and a local UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its name translates to ‘‘Gate of Heaven’’ or ‘‘Where Heaven Begins’’, and the amazing 1.3 million acres of land and sea really live up to this meaning. 

From tropical forests to marshes, lagoons, Mayan-built canals, all the way to a barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea, this reserve is home to a rich flora and fauna, constituting one of Mexico’s largest protected areas and a paradise for an exceptional diversity of life. 

In the Sian Ka’an reserve, you’ll be able to see from an array of local sea life, including stingrays, manatees and dolphins. Mammals such as jaguars, pumas or central American Tapirs also inhabit the biosphere reserve (although you probably won’t see any of them), as well as over 300 species of birds. 

➤ On this full-day Sian Ka’an Adventure you’ll travel on a marine safari through the reserve, among its lush jungle and lagoons, and snorkel around the barrier reef system. You’ll also get to take a dip in Punta Allen’s natural pool and enjoy a local lunch. Pickup is available from Playa del Carmen. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


Go on a Jungle Tour

The Riviera Maya stands out for its lush jungles and vegetation, and you shouldn’t leave Playa del Carmen without spending some time among its forests, a source of natural beauty. 

A fun way to lose yourself (metaphorically!) in the Mayan jungle is to go on a Jungle Buggy Tour. You’ll be able to drive your own 4×4 Buggy and enjoy the powerful scenery as you pass it by along the 18-mile Buggy trail.

But don’t worry! You don’t have to drive the distance all at once; a stop at a cenote for some snacks and a welcomed swim is included on the tour, which lasts about 3 hours. Pickup from your hotel is available, and since it only takes small groups you’ll be able to escape the crowds for a while. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

READ ALSO: A Guide to the Best Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen ATV Tours

Climb Pyramids at Coba

The Coba Ruins are not as popular as Chichén Itzá or the Tulum Ruins, but back in the day the site was one of the most important cities in the Mayan civilization, both social and politically, as it controlled many trading routes and farmlands.

According to archaeological evidence, the first settlement in Coba was around 50 BC and 100 AD (imagine!) and it maintained its influence until the Spanish arrived in the late 1400s (a very, very long time if you ask me).

In case you needed more excuses to visit, the Coba Ruins are home to the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, the second tallest pyramid in the world (137 feet tall) after Quetzalcóatl, and a pyramid that you can actually climb! 

It takes 120 steps to get to the top, but the view of the jungle all around it makes every one of them worth it! It’s a humbling experience to sit there and gain a whole new perspective and appreciation for the awesome beauty and deep-laden heritage of this area. It’s definitely one of the best day trips from Playa del Carmen. 

➤ This Coba Ruins, Cho Ha Cenote, Tulum and Paradise Beach Day Trip takes you to the Coba Ruins and the town of Tulum, with a stop at the magnificent Cho Ha cenote to cool off after climbing the pyramids and rounding off your day with a visit to Paradise Beach. The tour includes a buffet lunch and only takes small groups. ➥ BOOK IT HERE  

READ MORE: Coba Ruins: A Complete Guide

Buy a Day Pass for a Rooftop Pool

If you were wondering what to do in Playa del Carmen besides hanging at the beach or going on day trips, the rooftop pools are a great alternative. Visit a pool on a weekday and you’ll enjoy a quiet, well-catered experience with terrific service. 

Day passes for a Rooftop Pool cost around 400-850 pesos, (20 to 40 dollars at the time of writing), and in most rooftops you’re likely to get food and beverages included in your ticket. 

The following are ranked as the best rooftop pools in the city:

  • Marquee Playa Hotel – downtown, very chic. There’s no Day Pass but you have to consume at the bar and restaurant (no minimum) to gain access to the pool. 
  • The Palm – The Day Pass currently costs 450 pesos (22 dollars), and 300 of those (15 dollars) go toward your consumption at the bar. Views aren’t the best, but it’s quiet and relaxing.
  • Alessia Day Club at the Thompson Hotel – This Rooftop Pool is for adults only. It’s a bit cheaper on Monday through Thursday (around 32 dollars), and most of the ticket fee goes toward your bar consumption, so it’s a good bet.  
  • The Fives Rooftop – This one has the best infinity pool facing the ocean and the view from there is a must see in Playa del Carmen. The day pass costs 500 pesos (25 dollars) Monday through Thursday and 700 pesos (35 dollars) Friday through Sunday, which can be used for consumption of food and drinks.

Take a Cooking Class

Once you visit the area you’ll realize that there are quite a few unique things to do in Playa del Carmen, and one of them is learning about Mexican food and local markets by signing up to a cooking class. 

You’ll meet with your host and fellow classmates at a local spot, shop for your ingredients in local markets, and head to the host’s home where you’ll learn to make authentic corn tortillas, salsas, guacamole and other traditional Mexican recipes.

➤ In this Mexican Cooking Experience and Local Market Tour, vegans and vegetarians are welcome, and you’ll enjoy a good meal made by your own hands. If you’re a foodie, this is one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


As you may have noticed, there are tons of really fun things to do in and around Playa del Carmen, so it’s a good idea to stay for a few days and get the chance to see it all. Here are some accommodation options for all budgets.

Looking for the perfect all-inclusive in Playa del Carmen?

Wyndham Alltra Playa del Carmen is an Adults Only All-Inclusive Resort, ideal for a couple’s retreat with upscale amenities and service. There are two outdoor swimming pools and a hot tub overlooking the sea, a fully-equipped gym and plenty of spa and wellbeing treatments to relax and reconnect. 

The resort also offers live entertainment, activities, and several dining outlets to try tasty and varied dishes every day.

▶ Book your stay at Wyndham Alltra Playa del Carmen ON THEIR WEBSITE or on BOOKING.COM.

LUXURY: Banyan Tree Mayakoba – This 5-star resort boasts several luxurious villas, each with a private pool and sun terrace. The villas are fully-equipped, and the resort has 11 restaurants offering international cuisine and 3 bars serving cocktails next to the communal pool. The resort also has a spa, gym and private beach area.

ALL-INCLUSIVE ECO RESORT: Sandos Caracol Eco Resort – This 5-star eco resort is situated on the beachfront, offering beautiful views of the Cozumel Island and many water activities. It also hosts an outdoor swimming pool and an aquatic park which is ideal if you travel with children. Full-service spa, 9 different restaurants, fitness and yoga classes and evening entertainment are also part of the deal, and you’ll end your stay planting a native tree.

BOUTIQUE HOTEL: Illusion Boutique Hotel – This hotel is located right in the city center, near the beach. It features a rooftop terrace with a pool, and there’s also a spa, a bar and a restaurant on-site, serving breakfast and snacks during the day. The rooms are spacious and the location is ideal both for excursions and nightlife.

ON A BUDGET: Che Suites Playa – This budget hotel offers rooms with private bathrooms, a shared kitchen and lounge area, a terrace and a swimming pool. It also provides continental or buffet breakfast and organises tours for its guests. The hotel’s location is within walking distance of the city center and really close to the beach.


Is it safe to go to Playa del Carmen Mexico right now?

Playa del Carmen is a generally safe destination for all kinds of travelers. Nonetheless, you should exercise some common-sense safety measures like avoiding side streets or lonely places at night, keeping your belongings close, and being aware of common tourist scams in order to avoid them. 

Is Playa del Carmen worth visiting?

Playa del Carmen is one of Mexico’s top destinations, and there’s a reason for it! Playa del Carmen is worth visiting and has tons of activities to do so you never get bored. It’s full of natural gems, history and adventures, so whatever appeals to you, you’re likely to find it here.  

What is Playa del Carmen known for?

Playa del Carmen is a hotspot tourist destination, best known for its glorious beaches facing the Caribbean sea, cenotes (oh, the cenotes!) and Mayan ruins. But aside from these, there are other tons of activities and attractions to experience in Playa del Carmen. 

What’s the closest airport to Playa del Carmen?

The closest airport to Playa del Carmen is Cancun International Airport. To get from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen, you can easily opt for a private transfer (my recommended option especially during the current health crisis), a shared shuttle, or take the ADO bus.

What is the best month to go to Playa del Carmen?

Since Playa del Carmen experiences a dry and a rainy season throughout the year, there are certain months when you’re most likely to get great weather. The best months to visit are December through early April; if you want to escape the crowds, avoid Christmas/New Year’s holidays and the week preceding Easter!

Can you drink water in Playa del Carmen?

Tap water is nor drinkable in Playa del Carmen (nor anywhere in Mexico)

Is Tulum better than Playa del Carmen?

Tulum is much smaller than Playa del Carmen, and is a better option if you’re looking for a glam destination with a boho vibe. Tulum has beautiful natural scenery and it’s well connected but is not the destination for those looking for action, all-inclusive accommodation and plenty of parks and activities. If that’s you, then Playa del Carmen will suit you best. 

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

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6 Best Cities in Mexico for Digital Nomads [2023] - Every Steph

Wednesday 28th of December 2022

[…] ✔️ It’s been a tourist hotspot for many years now, so it has a great infrastructure and plenty of facilities, from supermarkets and shopping malls to cafes and restaurants, and quite a few coworking spaces as well. There are plenty of things to do in Playa del Carmen. […]

How to Get from Cancun Airport to Riviera Maya Resorts & Hotels

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

[…] most popular destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, and it’s often confused with the city of Playa del Carmen, or thought of as a singular […]

The Ideal Tulum Itinerary (3 to 5 days) - Every Steph

Monday 19th of December 2022

[…] an hour away from Tulum, Playa del Carmen is super easy to get to. The cheapest option is to hop on a colectivo (shared minibuses), which run […]

24 Unmissable Day Trips & Excursions from Playa del Carmen -

Monday 12th of December 2022

[…] vibrant, and with plenty of things to do please even the most demanding tourists, Playa del Carmen has become the heart of the Mayan […]