Things to do in Playa del Carmen

A 45-minute drive from Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a made-for-tourists resort town in Mexico. Things to do in Playa del Carmen invariably focus on the beach, which is perfect for days spent lounging and swimming. Other Playa del Carmen attractions include shopping and luxury hotels, while snorkeling and fishing rank as some of the best Playa del Carmen activities.

Playa del Carmen Beaches

Unsurprisingly, one of the very best things to do in Playa del Carmen is spend a day or more on the beach. The main beach is known as Central Playa del Carmen, a sandy strip of coastline that is the focus of the local tourist industry. Expect tourists aplenty, then, along with helpful amenities such as changing rooms, bars, restaurants, beach vendors, and sports operators. North Playa del Carmen, meanwhile, is quieter and wider, with facilities for plenty of Playa del Carmen activities such as windsurfing.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Playa del Carmen attractions include the wonderful coral reef that’s situated just off the town’s shore. For those who like to skim the water and remain in the sun, snorkeling is probably the best bet. Scuba diving, on the other hand, requires more equipment, but the payoff is a closer look at the coral. Most Playa del Carmen hotels have a diving desk where you can arrange your scuba diving or snorkeling trip. A boat is needed to take you to the start of the reef.


As Playa del Carmen is a resort for tourists from around the world, it’s logical that shopping for souvenirs is one of the more popular things to do in Playa del Carmen. Fifth Avenue is the heart of things, featuring clothes and memorabilia shops, as well as excellent restaurants, which cover traditional and international dining options for dining in Mexico, and the occasional bar and nightclub. Fifth Avenue runs the length of Central Playa del Carmen, and exploring it is one of the important activities in Playa del Carmen to consider for your itinerary.

Playa del Carmen Luxury Hotels

While you’ll find most types of accommodation in this beachside town, Playa del Carmen luxury hotels are a particular hit with vacationers. The Royal Hideaway Playacar, for example, is an adult-only complex of eleven stunning villas, each with its own balcony overlooking the ocean. One of the top things to do in Playa del Carmen is watch the sun go down from the privacy of your own balcony. Other top-notch luxury hotels in the area include the Esencia and the Viceroy Riviera Maya.

Xcaret Ecological Park

Playa del Carmen attractions come by the handful at the Xcaret Ecological Park, which includes some fascinating flora and fauna, not to mention an archaeological site, an ecological greenhouse, and a traditional Mayan village. The park also offers the option to swim with dolphins, which is one of the Playa del Carmen activities definitely worth seeking out.



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