There are beaches, of course.
And shopping, dining and nightlife.
But there is much more to Playa del Carmen, or simply Playa to those who know it well, in Mexico’s Riviera Maya region. The popular tourist destination south of Cancun and north of Tulum has rich biodiversity and there is much to see and do in the area.
It has the Meso-American Barrier Reef, the second longest coral reef in the world. It is a paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers. It is part of the the Yucatan Peninsula, which has more than 500 bird species several exotic animals, making Playa del Carmen an attractive destination for nature enthusiasts.
This is a guide to what to see and do in Playa del Carmen from an, including getting there and where to stay.
Playa del Carme Hotels
There are dozens of choices of places to stay in the area including the Tukan Hotels. There are four properties and each offers relaxation within steps of lively Fifth Ave., and the beaches. One big benefit to staying here is that they have free WiFi with quick access to the complete outdoor experiences of Playa del Carmen.
Wildlife In Playa del Carmen
The area has sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, reptiles, pelicans, parrots, Yucatan spider monkeys, jaguars and coati or coatimundi (a mammal related to the racoon). There are also Mayan archaeological sites.
Xcaret Park and Punta Laguna Reserve and the Sian Kaʼan Biosphere Reserve are excellent places to observe nature.
More Things To Do In Playa del Carmen
The downtown area of the city revolves around Quinta Avenida is a busy pedestrian street downtown and it is full of places to shop, eat and drink. It’s the perfect place to wind down after a day with nature.
There are also several tour operators in and around Playa del Carmen offering everything from day trips to Tulum to rumbling through the jungle in an open-air Baja-style buggy.
And, of course, there are the beaches: Parque Fundadores, Calle 10 Beach, Mamitas Beach, Playacar Beach, Coco Reef and Calle 2 Beach.
Getting To Playa Del Carmen & Best Time To Visit
Visitors fly into Cancun Airport, about 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen.
The currency is the Mexican Peso. U.S. dollars are widely accepted but exchange rates vary greatly. Hotels such as the aforementioned Tukan Hotels offer exchange services and there are also many “casa de cambio,” places, which translates into “money exchange house.” Today, cashless travel is popular tho it is always a good idea to have some of the local currency, too.
Getting around Playa del Carmen is mostly done by walking, tho there many taxis, as well. You can also rent a bicycle.
The peak of the tourist season is February thru May and while it can get a bit hot, May through August is also a good time to visit Playa del Carmen without the crowds.