White-sand beaches, bustling nightlife and chic shopping make this beach town one of the Yucatán Peninsula’s most cosmopolitan and exciting destinations.
Playa del Carmen is one of the trendiest towns on the Riviera Maya, populated by well-heeled expats and crowds of European visitors. Spend your days relaxing at beach clubs, browsing upscale shops and exploring some of the wonderful nearby dive sites. At night, dine at glamorous restaurants and dance at glitzy nightclubs.
The main beach at Playa del Carmen is a wide stretch of clean, white sand that draws families, party-goers and fishermen alike. Relax in a lounge chair under the shade of an umbrella or sip a drink at one of the buzzing beach bars lining the sands. Go to one of the numerous watersports vendors on the beach to arrange snorkeling and diving excursions. Tours will take you to one of the excellent sites just off the nearby island of Isla Cozumel. Look for sea turtles, rays, moray eels and colorful coral as you explore the turquoise waters.
Go for a stroll along the town’s bustling main street, La Quinta Avenida, which runs parallel to the coast. This pedestrianized strip is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. During the day, dine at stylish cafés and browse upmarket shops found along the street’s sophisticated northern end between Constituyentes and Calle 38. In the evening, La Quinta is the center of the town’s nightlife scene. Head to the busy southern section of the strip, between Calle 4 and Constituyentes, where the most popular clubs and bars are found.
Take a daytrip to Xcaret, an ecological/archaeological theme park located 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Playa del Carmen. This massive park features an aquarium, a greenhouse, a bee farm and a small zoo, among dozens of other attractions. Walk through the enchanting butterfly pavilion and ride a raft down a jungle river.
Most travelers heading to Playa del Carmen fly into Cancun International Airport, from where regular buses run to Playa del Carmen. Alternatively, get here by taking one of the frequent buses leaving from Tulum or Mérida. The majority of the town’s activities and attractions are found within walking distance of the beach.
Experience the European-style atmosphere of this fashionable beach destination.