Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by Nellie Huang
From swimming in cenotes to exploring Mayan ruins, here are the best things to do in Playa del Carmen, our adopted home.
At just one hour away from Cancun, Playa del Carmen has flourished from a tiny fishing village into the fastest growing city in Mexico. The beach town has become hugely popular with digital nomads, thanks to its walkable downtown, easily-accessible beaches, reefs, ruins, and jungles. These days the multicultural beach town is brimming with international restaurants, high-quality cafes, yoga studios, and trendy apartments.
We moved to Playa del Carmen for many reasons — besides the big expat community and great amenities/infrastructure, there are just SO many things to do in Playa del Carmen that you’ll need a lifetime to try them all! We’ve been living here for 2 years now and we’re still discovering new points of interest and experiences.
Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Playa del Carmen
- 1. Enjoy the Beaches of Playa del Carmen
- 2. Explore the Cenotes
- 3. Explore the Xaman-Há ruins
- 4. Cycle Everywhere!
- 5. Head to Parque Fundadores
- Mexico Travel Requirements
- 6. Stroll along Quinta Avenida
- 7. Browse the Market at Palacio Municipal
- 8. Immerse in Nature at Parque Ceiba
- 9. Hit the Beach Clubs
- 10. Paddle on a SUP at Sunrise
- 11. Do Yoga on the Beach
- 12. Eat Healthy Foods at Organic Cafes
- 13. Try Authentic Tacos
- 14. Taste Mayan Chocolate
- 15. Do an Art Walk
- 16. Visit the 3D Museum of Wonders
- Things to Do around Playa del Carmen
- 17. Explore the Archaeological Zone Tulum
- 18. Go Caving in Rio Secreto
- 19. Visit the Xcaret Adventure Park
- 20. Take a Ferry to Cozumel
- 21. Snorkel with Turtles in Akumal
- 22. Swim in the Unique Yal-Ku Lagoon
- 23. Explore Aktun Chen Natural Park
- 24. Visit the Akumal Ecology Center
- 25. Get Wet and Wild in Xel-Ha Park
- Things to do in Playa del Carmen At Night
- Playa del Carmen Travel Guide
Things to Do in Playa del Carmen
1. Enjoy the Beaches of Playa del Carmen
While Playa del Carmen may not boast the expansive, velvety beaches that are synonymous with Cancún and Tulum, it more than makes up for it with its exceptional beach access. The town’s urban designers have done an excellent job of ensuring that the majority of its 20-mile (32km) coastline is easily accessible to the public.
NOTE: All beaches in Mexico are public i.e. even if you see a resort or beach club occupying a certain stretch of beach, anyone is allowed to sit on the beach.
Best Beaches in Playa del Carmen:
- The busiest beach in Playa del Carmen stretches from the lively main square, Parque Fundadores, to the 16th Street.
- Punta Esmeralda, a favorite among locals in the north, is unique in that it features a cenote right on the beach.
- Playacar Beach (pictured), south of the ferry terminal, is a quiet and pristine shore that is part of a private residential community but open to the public.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, continue walking south from Playacar and climb over rocky formations to reach the rugged and often unoccupied Playa del Pecado.
- Puerto Aventuras, a 20-minute drive from town, has one of the most shallow and clearest waters in the area. It is however in a big gated community and you’ll need to have restaurant reservations to enter.
2. Explore the Cenotes
At just 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen, there lies a trio of cenotes that are cheap to visit and easy to get to by car or colectivo (you don’t need to book a tour to visit). You can easily stop here on your drive from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, and make it a full day excursion by visiting all of them in one day.
Tucked right in the middle of the forest, the natural freshwater pools have clear-as-glass water, with plants growing in it and underwater rock formations blanketed in green moss. You can snorkel amidst the rock formations or jump off the cliffs, and even go scuba diving! They are all kept in their original, natural environment – exactly the way I like it.
The three cenotes are located next to one another:
3. Explore the Xaman-Há ruins
Many visitors to Playa del Carmen are unaware that the area is home to a collection of Maya ruins that date back to the 13th century. Xaman-Há, a pre-Columbian Maya settlement, was established as a starting point for pilgrimages from the mainland to Cozumel Island. Mayans from across the region would pass through Playa del Carmen en route to worship Ix Chel, the goddess of fertility.
Today, the Xaman-Há ruins are hidden beneath dense foliage, surrounded by creeping vines and hanging roots, in the Playacar gated community. Here, you’re more likely to encounter iguanas than other visitors, but that’s precisely what makes Xaman-Há so alluring. To visit the site, take a stroll along the Playacar beach or enter through the Playacar Fase II gates and inform the guards that you intend to visit the ruins. Despite being located within a private residential area, there is no charge to explore the ruins.
4. Cycle Everywhere!
If you’re an active traveler who loves biking, you’ll be happy to know that Playa del Carmen has a fantastic city-wide bike-sharing system. BiciPlaya has bike stands all over town, making it super easy to rent a bike and explore the area. Even if you’re a tourist, you can still use the bikes by downloading the app and registering for just M$98 ($4.80) per day.
One of our favorite bike paths is along Tenth Avenue. It’s a beautiful route that runs parallel to the beach, taking you all the way from Parque Fundadores to Avenida CTM. But keep in mind that pedestrians and drivers aren’t used to sharing the road with cyclists just yet, so keep an eye out for them. Get ready to pedal and explore Playa del Carmen on two wheels!
5. Head to Parque Fundadores
Head over to Parque Fundadores during the evening to experience traditional dance performances. As the sun sets and the temperature cools off, locals and tourists gather at the beachfront square to enjoy snacks like elote (grilled corn smothered with spicy and creamy chili) and fresh coconuts while watching the shows.
The setting is truly picturesque with the 52-foot (15.8 meters) sculpture, Portal Maya, creating the perfect atmosphere for a night of live performances. Starting at 4pm every afternoon, a dance troupe performs ancient Maya dance rituals, complete with intricate headdresses, face painting, and conch shell blowing.
In addition, the Voladores de Papantla also put on a mesmerizing show, swinging from a tall pole and spinning down to the ground. Originally from Verazcruz, this acrobatic dance was once performed as part of a ritual to appease the gods during drought, and has now been recognized as UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. While the shows are free to watch, it is recommended to bring some cash to tip the dancers.
Mexico Travel Requirements
- Mexico has no travel restrictions, and there’s no need for proof of vaccine or PCR tests on the plane. Anyone is welcomed to travel to Mexico.
- However, I always recommend travelers to buy travel insurance, whether you’re traveling for a year or a week. These days, it is particularly important to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19. Read my travel insurance guide.
- Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date.
6. Stroll along Quinta Avenida
The city’s main thoroughfare is Quinta Avenida, Fifth Avenue, a bustling pedestrianized boulevard always chock full of people. Just a block away from the beach, the avenue is lined with lively restaurants, tequila bars, and souvenir shops.
During peak season, the Fifth Avenue can be loud and overcrowded. However, while in Playa, it’s hard to avoid going down Quinta Avenida. Although street vendors may try to sell you their wares, they are generally not too aggressive and will move on if you politely decline.
In the evenings, you can enjoy watching street performers showcase their dance moves or even perform fire-swallowing acts along the pedestrianzied street. If you keep walking to the end of the avenue, near Ave. CTM, you will find thinner crowds, less noise, and higher quality restaurants.
7. Browse the Market at Palacio Municipal
The Palacio Municipal is located a few blocks away from the beach and is a less attractive square than Parque Fundadores. However, it offers a more authentic local experience that is appealing to Playenses, particularly families with young children and senior citizens. The park is a popular spot for playing dominoes and other activities.
On weekend evenings, the park transforms into a lively market with various artisanal products such as handicrafts, traditional clothing, and unique jewelry made in Playa. Authentic Mexican street food is available here, including the Yucatán specialty, tacos de cochinita pibil, which is spiced pork slow-roasted in an underground oven. Many stalls sell the locals’ favorite dessert, marquesita, a crunchy crepe filled with condensed milk, chocolate, or edam cheese.
8. Immerse in Nature at Parque Ceiba
Parque La Ceiba is a beautiful jungle park west of the highway, offering a great escape in nature especially for those with kids. The green park spans over 7 hectares and features lush gardens, walking trails, and a cafe in the center. Coming here for afternoon strolls is one our favorite things to do in Playa del Carmen.
Parque La Ceiba also hosts a variety of cultural events and activities throughout the year. From art exhibits to live music performances, the park provides a platform for local artists and performers to showcase their talents. There’s an organic market on Saturdays, where visitors can purchase fresh produce and locally made artisanal goods.
9. Hit the Beach Clubs
While beaches in Mexico are all public, you’ll find that beach clubs provide lots of facilities, food and fun that can be great especially for families with kids. In the evenings, grownups can also enjoy the pumping beats and cool vibes of beach clubs. Most beach clubs charge a minimum consumption fee that can be all used towards food and drinks.
- Marena Beach Club — This is our top pick for its reasonable prices, delicious food, shallow pool and pristine beach. Tucked away in the residential community of Corasol, this family-friendly spot is a local favorite. There’s a minimum consumption of 300 MXN ($15) per person.
- Punta Venado — Slightly south of Playa de Carmen, this is located on a really pristine, wild beach surrounded by jungles. It’s absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is definitely more upscale (i.e. less people), but there’s a minimum consumption of 800 MXN ($40) per person.
- Kay Beach Club — This is 20 minutes awsay, but definitely one of the best in the area for the price, stylish decor, swimming pool and great beach. Min consumption: 300 MXN ($15) per person but food is excellent!
- Xpu-Ha Beach Club — Also a 15-minute drive from town, this hip and slick beach club has a beautiful stretch of beach and good food too. Min consumption: 450 MXN ($22.5) per person.
10. Paddle on a SUP at Sunrise
To witness the full splendor of Playa del Carmen, there’s no better time than sunrise. As the tranquil waters glisten with a golden glow and the beach is free from crowds and vendors, it’s a breathtaking sight. Rise early and join the Aloha Paddle Club on Sixth Street for a sunrise stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) session. From the water, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of Playa del Carmen at its finest. These sessions are in high demand, so it’s recommended to book in advance.
11. Do Yoga on the Beach
Playenses are really into fitness and wellness, and there’s no better place to practice yoga than on the beautiful sandy shores of this beach town. Head over to CTM beach at sunrise and join a session with Sunrise Yoga Playa. The peaceful atmosphere and stunning views of the sunrise over the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea are truly unforgettable. No need to book in advance, just bring your mat and a minimum donation of M$100 (US$4.80) and find your center in this blissful setting.
12. Eat Healthy Foods at Organic Cafes
Playa del Carmen is a haven for foodies and health enthusiasts alike, offering a variety of healthy food options at cafes and restaurants throughout the city. For those seeking vegetarian or vegan cuisine, Bio-Natural is a must-visit. This charming restaurant serves up fresh, organic dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Try their Buddha bowl, loaded with nutrient-packed veggies and a delicious homemade dressing.
For those craving a healthy yet filling meal, Peace & Bowl is a fantastic choice. This cozy café features a menu of raw vegan dishes made with organic ingredients, including mouth-watering wraps, smoothie bowls, and hearty salads. Another place I love is Salade, a salad bar where you can pick and choose from a wide selection of proteins, grains and green leaves. They also have fantastic healthy poke bowls, paninis and burritos.
13. Try Authentic Tacos
If you’re looking for more authentic Mexican street food, just walk up Avenida Constituyentes (away from the beach) and you’ll find a string of taco trucks perched on the curbside of the supermarket, Mega Soriana. Hermanos Taco Truck has the biggest following. Adventurous foodies shouldn’t miss their tacos de suadero (made with thinly sliced beef brisket) and tacos de tripa (tacos with crispy pig’s intestines) for just M$25 ($1.25) each.
Across from the road is El Fogón, one of the most famous taco joints in Playa del Carmen. This open-air taqueria serves up the city’s most authentic tacos al pastor, made by grilling marinated meat on a Lebanese shawarma grill. Next door is my personal favorite, Don Sirloin, that slings the best tacos de sirloin in town. Their thinly sliced sirloin beef have crunchy ends and are sprinkled with piquant spicy sauce.
14. Taste Mayan Chocolate
Head to one of Ah Cacao’s locations and savor a cup of authentic Mexican hot chocolate. This homegrown chocolate cafe chain is dedicated to using responsibly sourced cacao from all over Mexico, and they handcraft a range of delicious cacao products. Plus, Ah Cacao is committed to supporting organizations that promote sustainability, like Plant-for-the-Planet and Conservation International. They have several branches around PDC, but the one on 38th St is my favorite as it’s spacious and laptop-friendly.
15. Do an Art Walk
The town has become a hub for artistic expression, with colorful murals popping up all around. The most vibrant street art can be found in the northern district of Colosio. Start at Tenth Street and work your way up to 30th Street to see massive paintings of Frida Kahlo and other iconic Mexican symbols covering the walls. It’s a feast for the eyes and a great way to explore the town’s creative side.
16. Visit the 3D Museum of Wonders
The main thing that Playa del Carmen lacks is a cultural spot. There’s basically only one museum, and it’s more of a photo-taking spot than a museum. The 3D Museum of Wonders in Playa del Carmen showcases optical illusions and surreal artworks that feel like they’re jumping off the walls. My daughter loves this place but honestly, I wouldn’t come here if I didn’t have a kid.
Things to Do around Playa del Carmen
17. Explore the Archaeological Zone Tulum
One of the best Playa del Carmen activities is visiting the Tulum Archaeological Zone (just a bike ride away from Tulum town). Of all the Mayan ruins, this site has the most spectacular setting. It sits high above the turquoise Caribbean Sea, with different shades of blue as its backdrop.
Thanks to its strategic location, Tulum proved to be one of the most powerful city-states during the 13th and 14th centuries. However, shortly after the Spaniards began their occupation of Mexico, the ancient Mayas who once called this majestic site their home abandoned it.
18. Go Caving in Rio Secreto
Located just a few miles away from Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto is definitely the coolest cenote in Riviera Maya in my opinion. Having been discovered only a few years ago, Rio Secreto only opened to the public in 2007 as a protected nature reserve.
There are no artificial lights inside the caves other than some scattered wireless flashes and there is an active effort from the authorities to conserve this largely unexplored cave system. You can only visiting Rio Secreto through organized tours offered by reserve. It’s an incredible experience and I highly recommend it!
19. Visit the Xcaret Adventure Park
The most famous eco-adventure park in the Yucatan Peninsula, Xcaret is a great option for all the family and is about an hour away from central Playa del Carmen. Float through underwater caves, cross rope bridges, take a boat ride through the cenotes, and ride on a rotating watch tower. Also enjoy the evening events, which include performances exploring the area’s Mayan past.
Park admission (some activities included) is pricey, costing approximately $90. Having said that, there are numerous tours, packages, and discounts offered year-round. Read the Tripadvisor reviews.
20. Take a Ferry to Cozumel
The beautiful island of Cozumel is just a 40-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. Unlike the coastal towns, the 34-mile-long by 11-mile-wide island is largely undeveloped, with expanses of jungle and untouched shoreline. Check out my full list of things to do in Cozumel.
Just off Cozumel’s southwestern coast lies the world’s second-longest coral reef system (only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef beats it). The exceptionally clear waters put Cozumel high on many divers’ bucket lists. It’s common for divers to see vast coral heads, vivid sponges, tropical fish, and tunnels and caves housing species found only here, such as the Cozumel splendid toadfish.
21. Snorkel with Turtles in Akumal
Just 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen is the quiet beach town of Akumal, famed for the loggerhead and green sea turtles that swim and feed in the bay. The protective reef in the bay at Akumal is so large that waves can’t disrupt the bay and that makes for some great snorkeling. It’s not allowed to swim with the turtles on your own; you need to hire a guide and pay the marine park fees to snorkel with them. We visit Akumal often on weekends and it’s one of our favorite beaches in the area.
22. Swim in the Unique Yal-Ku Lagoon
Close to the main Akumal beach is a unique inlet from the ocean known as Yal-ku Lagoon. It contains a mixture of fresh and salt water and is home to sea turtles, tropical fish and manta rays.
The lagoon itself has many areas to explore. Most of the lagoon is 5 to 15 feet deep and there are rocks where you climb on and rest. Look for starfish, parrot fish, blue tangs and queen trigger fish, among other Caribbean species. Surrounding the lagoon is a sculpture garden with bronze statues that you can explore.
23. Explore Aktun Chen Natural Park
Take a break from another day at the beach, and pay a visit to Aktun Chen Natural Park just minutes away from Akumal town. The 5 million year old cave is the largest dry cave system in the Riviera Maya. The National Geographic Society included Acktun Chen on the list of the “Top 10 Underground Walks”.
You can only visit the natural park through guided tours organized by the reserve. Walk inside the domes and marvel at the natural dome, tall stalactites, and translucent curtains that glow in the soft blue light. Book here!
Wikimedia Commons by Fraguando
24. Visit the Akumal Ecology Center
To learn more about Akumal’s fragile ecosystem, plan a visit to Centro Ecologico Akumal. It is a non-governmental organization that focuses on sustainability issues and improving the ecosystem in Akumal. They do research, education and protection of the sea turtles.
The center has several exhibits on reef and turtle ecology. They offer a four-week volunteer program focused on protection, conservation, and research of female sea turtles, their nests and hatchlings.
25. Get Wet and Wild in Xel-Ha Park
Just a 12-minute drive from Akumal is Xel-Ha, an outdoor adventure park built to take advantage of the natural landscape. Translated from the Mayan language, Xel-Ha means “the mixture of the waters.” This natural park is excellent for families, but adults would love the adventure activities here too. Book your pass here.
Choose from snorkeling in Aventura Cenote, swimming in underwater grottos, kayaking across the Black Lagoon, or floating on a tube down a lazy river. The bold ones can try the Cliff of Courage where you jump 5 meters (17 feet) from a bridge into the river below.
Things to do in Playa del Carmen At Night
26. Eat at the Jungly Calle 38
There’s something special about the lush jungle ambiance of Playa del Carmen’s Calle 38. The street is flanked by towering banyan trees with overhanging roots that create such a beautiful oasis in the beach town.
One of my favorite spots to eat in town is La Cueva del Chango, or “Monkey’s Cave,” popular among locals and tourists alike. Its menu features regional delicacies like chicken in poblano mole sauce. The restaurant also boasts a stunning terrace shaded by palm trees, surrounded by cascading streams and vibrant red bromeliad flowers.
Across the street, Amate 38 offers a more understated dining experience with a small waterfall flowing into a koi pond, nestled among towering tropical flora. Dine on the open-air patio and witness the staff expertly crafting fresh tortillas by hand. On Sundays, both restaurants are particularly bustling, as the city has a strong breakfast culture.
27. Hang out at a Food Truck Park
With Playa del Carmen being such a small town, I was pleasantly surprised to find there’s a gourmet food truck park here (between Av 25 and Calle 28). Located in a vibrant outdoor setting, the park has an inviting bar and food trucks offering a variety of gourmet tacos, barbecue, Arabic shawarma and Louisana-style fried chicken. There are craft beers from Belgium as well as well-priced house wine and mezcal cocktails. I love the lively atmosphere at the park, especially on weekends when there’s live music.
28. Dine in a Cave
If you’re looking to treat yourself or celebrate a special occasion, treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind dining adventure at the Alux Cave Restaurant, where you can savor gourmet cuisine inside a natural underground grotto. The contemporary menu features delectable dishes like pineapple curry pork terrine and chili-glazed roasted bone marrow. As you dine, soak up the atmosphere with quirky neon lights and awe-inspiring views of the cavern.
Upon arrival, each guest is guided into a cozy air-conditioned wine cellar with an impressive selection of pricey European wines. Be sure to inquire about the cost before ordering, and don’t feel obliged to select a bottle that doesn’t fit your budget. While a meal here comes with a hefty price tag, take advantage of the opportunity to explore the ancient cave, which dates back thousands of years.
29. See a Show at the Cirque du Soleil
Anyone who’s seen the Cirque du Soleil perform knows it’s an experience unlike any other. The world-renowned circus troupe has set up a permanent venue in the Riviera Maya, complete with a custom-built theater that can seat over 600 people. The show, called “JOYÀ,” is a stunning display of acrobatics, music, and storytelling that takes audiences on a magical journey through the history and culture of Mexico. From aerial acts to contortionists, every element of the show is designed to amaze and entertain.
Entry to the Cirque du Soleil shows come with luxurious canapes and champagne. The ambiance is upscale and sophisticated, with every detail carefully designed to create an immersive and unforgettable evening. It’s one of my favorite Playa de Carmen activities.
30. Chill at Le Lotus Rouge
Come experience the artistic atmosphere of Le Lotus Rouge, where art and theater come together in a distinctive and imaginative space. Each corner of this charming establishment is adorned with artwork designed to inspire your creativity.
The cabaret-style stage plays host to an array of live performances, from acrobatic aerial acts to traditional Mexican shows. On Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., they provide complimentary guided tours and shows, although donations are appreciated from Tuesday to Thursday.
Playa del Carmen Travel Guide
How to Get to Playa del Carmen
The gateway to Playa del Carmen is Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is just 1 hour away. Find out how to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.
Flying into Cancun from the US is really affordable. You can fly from New York to Cancun for as little as $300 return (4.5-hour flight). Flights from Los Angeles to Cancun are slightly more expensive around US$350 return (4.5-hour flight).
Flying from Europe to Mexico is also affordable, especially from London and Madrid. We took direct return flights from London to Cancun once for $400.
Best Time to Visit Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen enjoys pleasant weather year-round, but the winter months (December to April) are considered the best time to visit the city. We recommend visiting Playa del Carmen during the shoulder season (September to November) when there are fewer tourists.
June through November is hurricane season here. There are chances of a hurricane striking during your vacation, with days of heavy rainfall and storms. Check the weather forecast before your trip and as always, we recommend getting travel insurance in case of any incident.
TIP: It’s important to have travel insurance whether you’re traveling for weeks or years. Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers worldwide travel. Refer to my travel insurance guide for more details.
Is it Safe to Visit Playa del Carmen?
Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico and is generally safe for tourists. Most crimes don’t involve tourists; and they are usually drug-related. As long as you steer clear of drug cartels and drugs in general, you should be fine.
That said, there have been a few shootings in 2022 and 2023 in bars along the popular Quinta Avenida. I highly recommend avoiding going out late at night and steering clear of dodgy company.
A common scam targeting visitors is money switching, particularly at gas stations. You may hand over a 500 peso note and the attendant swiftly changes it for a 50 peso note, insisting you need to pay more. Make sure when you hand over the correct amount, keep your eyes on them and don’t leave until you have the correct change.
How to Get Around Playa del Carmen
If you’re staying in the center of town, you’ll be able to walk everywhere. That’s the best thing about Playa del Carmen, it’s a small city and most of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen are within walking distance.
Some of the Playa del Carmen attractions I mentioned above are outside of town, so I recommend hiring a compact car. It’s easy to drive here and drivers with foreign licenses are allowed to drive. You’ll also get to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of exploring at your own pace.
I always book my car rental from Discover Cars as they offer the best prices and excellent customer service. An economy rental car in Mexico average just $100 for a whole week, which is less than $20 a day. The current price for gas is 16.50 pesos per liter (about $2.50 per gallon), though this varies throughout the country.
Colectivos (shared minibus or minivan-like vehicles) run all around Playa del Carmen. The colectivo fares are cheap, and you just need to flag them down along when you see one. Be sure to have Mexican pesos in hand to pay the fares. The colectivo station is on 25 Av. Sur next to Chedraui Centro and McDonalds. Click here for the address.
You can easily flag down a taxi from anywhere in Playa del Carmen, but taxi drivers tend to jack up the price with foreigners. Make sure you negotiate and agree on a rate before starting the ride. Also taking a taxi further away from the beach will get you better prices.
Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen
Budget: Ahava Hotel
With a prime location in the centre of Playa del Carmen, Ahava Hotel has simple but clean and affordable rooms within walking distance from everything. Check rates.
Mid Range: Playa Maya by MIJ – Beachfront Hotel
A small but well-priced hotel right on the beach and just steps from most Playa del Carmen attractions. You’ll be in the heart of town, so be prepared for some noise. Check rates here.
Luxury: The Fives Downtown hotel
With an excellent central location, this Hilton hotel has comfy suites, a host of cafes and bars, and a rooftop pool with glorious ocean views. Check rates here.
All-Inclusive: Barcelo Maya Palace
If you’re looking for a large all-inclusive, this is the best in Playa del Carmen. But note that the upscale resort is a 20-minute drive away, right near Cenote Azul and Cenote Jardin del Eden. Check rates here.
Further Reading on Mexico
I hope you’ve found this list of things to do in Playa del Carmen useful! I have tried to include as many things as possible. Let me know in the comments field below if there are any other fun activities in Playa del Carmen worth mentioning in this article.
For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:
- 10-Day Yucatan Road Trip Itinerary
- 30 Cool Things to Do in Tulum
- 30 Fun Things to Do in Cancun
- 30 Best Things to Do in Merida
- 20 Fun Things to Do in Valladolid, Mexico
- 15 Cool Things to Do in Cozumel, Mexico
- Isla Holbox Travel Guide
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!
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