Playa del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera continue to be among the most visited beach destinations in Mexico, and around the world. This cosmopolitan town is located about 35 miles south of Cancun, another popular beach destination in Mexico. The holiday and resort destination is home to several beach vacation rental properties, resorts and high-end hotels, but you’ll also find some affordable accommodations and budget-friendly accommodations throughout the area. Whether you want to stay within walking distance to the beach, or are interested in staying in a quiet area away from the tourist scene, you’ll find plenty of attractive properties to stay in during your visit.
The atmosphere in Playa del Carmen is very relaxing and it’s the perfect place to just sit on the beach or lounge by the pool for most of the day. You’ll find a number of seaside bars and restaurants in the area, and you can enjoy great weather year round. Playa del Carmen plays host to a number of music events and festivals throughout the year, and you’ll find that many of the cafes, restaurants and hotels in the area host live mariachi bands and salsa dancing events throughout the week.
If you’re interested in exploring natural sites and wonders, head off on a day trip to explore the cenotes around Playa del Carmen or book a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion. You can spend a few hours exploring the Mayan ruins, head off on a boat trip to Isla Mujeres, or just trek across some of the nature trails to see some of the most beautiful caves and lush forests. You can also spend a good portion of the trip exploring the eco-archaeological parks, natural aquariums and aviaries that serve as natural habitats for dozens of endangered species and small mammals.
Since Playa del Carmen is located right in the middle of the Mayan Riviera, you can enjoy easy access to other small towns and destinations near the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The coastal resort town is an idyllic destination for shopping, sunbathing, dining and just enjoying the beach lifestyle.
Playa del Carmen Weather and Best Time to Visit
With average temperatures in the lower 80s year round, Playa del Carmen is an attractive beach vacation destination almost any time of year. Peak season runs from November through February when travelers from colder climates want to escape and head to the beaches of the Riviera Maya. Hurricane season runs from August to October, and it’s fairly easy to find affordable rates on flights and accommodations during this time. Rainy season runs from May through October, so be prepared for occasional thunderstorms and inclement weather when traveling to the area during this time.
Experience Playa del Carmen
The main tourist area in Playa del Carmen is Quinta Avenida, also known as 5th Avenue. The pedestrian-only area features several great restaurants, shops and bars, and is always abuzz with activity. Beach clubs are a popular choice for locals and visitors throughout the week, and you’ll find many of them have freshwater pools, poolside bar service and great food. The northern area of Playa del Carmen has very strong European influences and is a popular destination for dining, clubbing and shopping. You’ll find many trendy bars and clubs in this area, and this region tends to attract the hip and younger crowds during spring break season.
In addition to the beach, the nightlife scene is one of the major draws of Playa del Carmen. While it’s not as crazy as the nightlife scene further up north in Cancun and other Mexican cities, you will find a handful of nightclubs that are located right on the beach, and some host live entertainment, fire shows and other performances throughout the week.
Playa del Carmen is a nature lover’s delight, a place to explore the beautiful waters and spend a good portion of the trip diving, snorkeling and exploring caves. You’ll find a number of dive centers, scuba diving training facilities and dive tour operators right by the beach, and can also check with your resort or hotel to find out if they have partnered with any dive operators in the area. The cenotes – the freshwater sinkholes around the Yucatan peninsula – are open to the public and are also great places for exploring and diving. Some are very small and can be explored within a few hours, but others run for several miles underground.
Head to Tulum which is just about an hour south of Playa del Carmen and explore some of the majestic archaeological sites and beaches. Cozumel is located off the coast of Playa del Carmen.
It’s fairly easy to get around Playa del Carmen on foot so you won’t need a rental car. If you do plan on traveling up to Cancun or exploring some of the other destinations around Riviera Maya, a rental car may be your most affordable option. Taxis are fairly cheap but it can be hard to find a trustworthy cab driver. Keep in mind that the nearest airport is in Cancun, so you will need to travel to get to your hotel or resort in Playa del Carmen during any given visit.
Long stretches of sands and wide beaches attract beach lovers of all ages to the shores of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo of Mexico. This is the idyllic location for enjoying water sports, going deep sea diving, mingling with locals and enjoying some local cuisine. During the day, spend your time sunning on the white sands and watching the boats. At night, soak up the local nightlife and entertainment scene around North and Central Playa del Carmen.