Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Few who enjoy long and lazy sun-soaked days can resist the relaxed and distinctly vacation-oriented atmosphere of Mexico’s Playa del Carmen. Beautiful beaches on the Mayan Riviera, featuring creamy sands and vibrant blue waters as well as the city’s fascinating Mayan ruins, draw visitors with an array of agendas. With its eclectic mix of attractions, Playa del Carmen is an interesting holiday destination.

No longer the sleepy Caribbean outpost it once was, the city which sits along two and a half miles of beach attracts visitors in their thousands throughout the year and is home to some slick resorts and tourist developments. Life for visitors is easy here, if not downright luxurious. In spite of all this, the city center remains distinctly Mexican, presenting typical urban traits and ethnic influences.

Beach and water sports are king in Playa del Carmen and anyone prepared to get down to their trunks or bikini will find a veritable gamut of coastal activities on offer. At the shores, backpackers mix with affluent holidaymakers and academics who are taking a break from the historic trail to enjoy what is some of the finest coastline in North America.


Ruined cities of the Maya: the remains of four ancient cities including Tulum and Cobá are located within easy reach of the city; don’t forget your camera!

Nature parks: local tour operators arrange trips to Xcaret and Xel-Ha where a variety of activities can be enjoyed in what are essentially self-contained environments.

Cozumel: daytrips are available to the popular island, but an overnight or weekend trip is likely to do this beautiful destination considerably more justice.

Cavernas Chaaktun: explore what is the Yucatan’s most beautiful cave system and get to see some of the amazing rock formations among which are the obligatory stalactites and stalagmites.

Nightlife: Playa del Carmen comes alive at night as everybody dons their glad rags and heads out to the city’s many evening entertainment venues to enjoy good food, live music, drinking and dancing.