- Beach Vibes
ON THE MAP
Playa del Carmen
In the heart of the Riviera Maya region, Playa del Carmen is a vibrant coastal city known for a variety of beach and sea activities as well as a charming and completely walkable downtown area full of delicious food and excellent shopping.
The Crown Jewel
As the crown jewel of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is an irresistible location to visit and is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico. Renowned for it’s silky soft beaches, you’ll find yourself relaxed and sun-kissed in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
All the water adventures you can imagine are popular here including snorkeling, swimming, fishing, sailing, and windsurfing. You can even swim with sharks and get close to stingrays at Xcaret, the city’s outdoor eco-park.
nother special water activity is at Rio Secreto--an underground river through a cave system. Swim through the turquoise colored river and climb into caves full of caramel-colored rock formations. If you’re a scuba diving enthusiast, the island of Cozumel is a short ferry ride away where you can swim in one of the largest coral reefs in the world and see more than 150 species of sea creatures such as queen triggerfish, hawksbill turtles, and Cozumel splendid toadfish.
Take a break between water activities by visiting the endangered spider monkeys at the Jungle Place sanctuary just south of Playa del Carmen. The city is also a great base for day trips to other famous locations like Chichen Itza, Cozumel, and Tulum.
Shopping & Dining
5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen features a long stretch of 22 blocks with shops, entertainment, and restaurants. No need to exchange your money as the U.S. currency is widely accepted on this street. With the latest fashions, artisan chocolate, local tequila, and handmade souvenirs, you could spend a whole day on the street and only scratch the surface of what it offers. Making your way down the avenue, you’ll most likely run into street entertainment from Michael Jackson impersonators to pirate shows.
Playa del Carmen has some of the finest dining in the Riviera Maya wherewith high-end restaurants and rooftop bars. For a completely unique dining experience, visit the Alux Restaurant located inside a cavern more than 10,000 years old. Named after the Mayan folklore of magical elves, Alux is a high-end restaurant known for its exotic menu serving spiced deer, wild pig, rabbit stew and royal pheasant, along with a contemporary Mexican menu. If looking for just a drink, guests can order the house cocktail made of rum and Angostura bitters at the bar and take a walk around the caverns.
Playa del Carmen is 42 miles away from Cancun. To get there from Cancun, you can catch a bus from the downtown bus station. You can also travel by colectivo that are located across the street from the downtown Cancun station. They are slightly cheaper, but don’t provide as much luggage room like the first class buses. Either way, it takes about one hour to drive between the two cities.
You can also go directly to Playa del Carmen from the Cancun airport by taking the ADO public bus. The buses are a comfortable with air-conditioning included. The bus will take you to a stop on 5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue. From there, you can take a taxi to your hotel or hop onto another bus to get to the center of town.
In central Playa del Carmen, you can find everything from grocery stores to nightclubs within walking distance. However, if you prefer taking a taxi, there are plenty in the area and often cost 25-35 Mexican pesos ($1-2 USD.)