March 26, 2023

There are such a lot of unimaginable issues to do in Playa del Carmen that it may be onerous to type by the choices.

Properly, I’m right here to assist. After three months residing right here, I’ve had loads of time to check out lots of the superior actions in Playa del Carmen: and I’ve give you this checklist of the 21 best possible issues to do in Playa del Carmen with a view to enable you to profit from your journey to this stunning city on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.

From the key seaside spots, to the place to seek out distinctive native dishes, to one of the best day journeys, I’ve acquired you coated with an thrilling array of issues to see in Playa del Carmen. This is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Mexico for positive.

Oh, and also you’re positively going to wish to attempt #17 – some individuals adore it and a few hate it, however you’ve acquired to test it out your self to seek out out! (additionally, don’t miss the traveller’s sources on the finish of this text). However first…

Getting From Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen

You’ve got totally different choices to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen — both take the bus, lease a automotive, take a taxi, e-book a shuttle or hop in personal transportation booked previous to arrival.

The quickest, most secure, and most comfy choices are to take personal transportation to Playa del Carmen, or a shared shuttle (for just $25). Don’t waste your treasured vacation time ready for buses and getting ripped off by cabs. Try Cancun Airport Transportation, which gives quite a lot of automobile choices — for solo travellers, {couples} and teams.

An alternative choice for this journey is eTransfers who provide all the things from primary rides to luxurious vans to get you from level A to level B.

Listed here are my high picks for enjoyable issues to do in Playa Del Carmen!

1. Take a Dip in a Cenote (probably the most refreshing issues to do in Playa del Carmen)

things to do in playa del carmen visit a cenote

Imagine it or not, one of the best locations to swim in Playa del Carmen aren’t within the ocean. Ask any native the place to take a dip and also you’re sure to get the identical reply: go to a cenote.

What’s a cenote?

Properly, I’m glad you requested. Cenotes are primarily underground swimming holes shaped the place limestone bedrock provides option to underground rivers and is derived.

There are literally thousands of them within the Yucatan peninsula and visiting one ought to be on the high of any checklist of issues to do in Playa del Carmen.

There are lots of cenotes to select from, however my private favorite is Cenote Azul. You may go to by yourself by taking the “collectivos” that depart for Tulum on Calle 2, you’ll be able to lease a automotive to get there (simply make certain you have got travel insurance covering Mexico), or you’ll be able to be a part of up as a part of a tour. Oh, and in the event you’re licensed, you’ll be able to even go diving in lots of the cenotes!

☞ SEE ALSO: Submerging Into Cenotes – A Cave Dive in Mexico 

2. Discover Chichen Itza

chichen itza best things to do in playa del carmen

Named one of many New Seven Wonders of the World, the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza are a spectacular web site to behold.

One of the vital necessary archaeological websites in all of Mexico, Chichen Itza is positioned deep within the jungle, and a little bit of a problem to succeed in. You may lease a automotive and make the two-hour drive your self, or try any of the many tours from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza.

Professional tip: in the event you can, stand up early and go to the temples earlier than the crowds and the warmth set in.

Click here to be taught extra in regards to the Chichen Itza tour from Playa del Carmen — which is at the moment provided at a reduced fee.

3. Attempt Conventional Mayan Meals (and Grasshoppers) at La Perla Pixan Delicacies

La Perla Pixan Cuisine best things to do in playa del carmen

Discovering genuine native delicacies in Playa del Carmen is usually a little bit of a problem, because the vacationer zone is full of imported restaurant chains began by superstar cooks.

However nestled within the hustle and bustle of La Quinta Avenida (Playa’s predominant pedestrian drag) is La Perla, a gem of a restaurant that serves up conventional and totally scrumptious Mayan meals with nightly performances of dwell music.

Attempt the normal tlayuda or, in the event you’re feeling actually adventurous, any of the a number of dishes made with grasshoppers! Consuming genuine Mexican meals is likely one of the finest issues to do in Playa del Carmen, and Mexico as an entire.

☞ SEE ALSO: Issues To Do in Cabo San Lucas – A Record of The High 21

4. Chill Out at Lido’s Seaside Membership

Lido’s Beach Club in playa del carmen

For a spot whose first title actually means “seaside,” it may be surprisingly troublesome to discover a comfy and reasonably priced stretch of sand. Most of Playa del Carmen’s prime beachfront is consumed by unique resorts or seaside golf equipment charging exorbitant costs for the usage of a seaside chair.

Thank goodness, then, for Lido’s beach club, the place there’s no charge for utilizing the seaside loungers and no minimal spend. Simply pay for no matter you order, and benefit from the comfortable inexperienced loungers or the swings on the laid-back bar.

Replace – you should pay 500 pesos ($23) per chair with an umbrella. Nevertheless, any meals and drinks you order might be subtracted from that quantity.

Associated Publish: For one of the best neighbourhoods and lodging choices, try our information to the place to remain in Playa del Carmen.

5. Swim within the Rooftop Pool at Be Playa

Be Playa is the best pool to swim in playa del carmen

One of the vital enjoyable issues to do in Playa del Carmen is to hang around at one of many metropolis’s many rooftop swimming pools. My favourite of the bunch is the pool that sits atop the fashionable Be Playa hotel.

You’ll must spend a minimal of 200 pesos ($9.60) per particular person to benefit from the pool, however it’s nicely price it and that whole remains to be solely half the minimal spend at most different rooftop swimming pools within the space. The drinks listed below are stable and the pool is never overcrowded. It’s an effective way to beat the warmth year-round.

6. Wait in Line at El Fogon

I do know what you’re pondering: Why on this planet would ready in line be on an inventory of one of the best issues to do in Playa del Carmen?

Properly, attempt the meals at El Fogon first after which we’ll see in the event you’re nonetheless asking that query.

Simply the most well-liked restaurant in Playa del Carmen, El Fogon is a Mexican cantina so busy that its predominant location on Avenue Constituyentes sports activities a sizeable line each night time beginning round 7:30 PM. Don’t fear although, the road strikes quick, and the wait is nicely price it (simply ask the numerous locals who frequent the joint).

7. Take a Day Journey to Xpu Ha

Xpu Ha day trip from playa del carmen mexico best things to do in playa del carmen

There are lots of unimaginable seashores only a quick experience away from Playa del Carmen Mexico, however my favourite is the secluded seaside at Xpu Ha.

You’ll must both lease a automotive or take a collectivo minibus to get there, however the journey will reward you with entry to a pristine white sand seaside with clear water and with out the crowds.

There’s a 50 pesos ($2.40) entrance charge to the seaside. You will get that again in the event you meet the minimal spend at one of many handful of seaside golf equipment, or you’ll be able to simply carry your personal towel and settle in on any of the numerous wide-open stretches of sand. A go to right here is likely one of the finest issues to do close to Playa del Camen.

☞ SEE ALSO: Issues To Do in La Paz – A Record of The High 21

8. Dine in a Cave at Alux Restaurant

things to do in playa del carmen mexico dine in a cave

Proper off one of many busiest and most chaotic streets in Playa del Carmen is the understated entrance to the Alux restaurant.

You’ll really feel such as you’ve left town behind as you descend into the spectacular underground cavern (full with its personal mini-cenote) that performs host to the restaurant.

Should you’re trying to splash out, Alux additionally gives a few of the finest effective eating on the town with predominant programs beginning at 350 pesos ($16.75).

The meals is a bit on the dear aspect, and there are higher eating places in Playa, BUT, it’s positively price going to Alux for one in every of their cocktails, or a bottle of wine from their onsite cellar!

9. Examine Out the Frida Kahlo Museum

Frida Kahlo Museum in playa del carmen is a great thing to see

One of the vital well-liked issues to do in Playa del Carmen is to go to the fashionable Frida Kahlo Museum. Conveniently positioned on La Quinta, the museum is open every single day from 10 am to eight pm and the doorway charge for most of the people is round $15 USD.

Inside you’ll discover a sequence of displays devoted to the life and historical past of Mexico’s well-known portrait artist (observe that, sadly, there normally aren’t authentic works on show).

10. Attempt Some Elote

Elote is a neighborhood road meals dish that’s primarily grilled corn coated in a form of mayonnaise and cayenne pepper paste.

Okay, I notice that doesn’t sound tremendous appetizing however belief me… it’s.

You’ll find elote at road vendor stalls round city for only a greenback or so: one of the best guess for locating it’s on Avenida Juarez across the intersection with Calle 15.

11. Go Salsa Dancing at Zenzi

One of the vital enjoyable issues to do in Playa del Carmen at night time is to get your groove on. And there’s no higher place to do this than Zenzi, an upbeat however not-too-crowded joint with dwell music and a vibrant dance ground. Sundays are normally salsa nights, however verify the schedule on to make sure.

Have two left toes? That’s effective, you’ll nonetheless love the enjoyable ambiance, reasonably priced costs, and unimaginable beachside location.

12. Discover the Caverns at Rio Secreto

visit rio secreto on a day trip from playa del carmen

Have you ever ever been swimming inside a cave earlier than?

Properly, if not, you positively want to take a look at this distinctive factor to do in Playa del Carmen.

Positioned just some minutes outdoors town, Rio Secreto is a fancy of 5 gorgeous caves which are full of underground rivers and is derived.

You’ll don a wetsuit and join a small guided tour by a cave that features the unimaginable expertise of swimming inside a pitch-black cave. It’s positively one of many superior issues to do in Playa del Carmen.

Goats On The Highway visited Rio Secreto just a few years in the past and we nonetheless take into consideration how unimaginable the expertise was! The cave actually is gorgeous and swimming by it’s one thing we’ll always remember. That is positively one of many issues to do in Playa del Carmen that you simply received’t wish to miss. Click here to e-book your entrance tickets together with transportation and lunch.

☞ SEE ALSO: Rio Secreto – Cave Exploration within the Riviera Maya

13. Trip a Jet Ski

hire a jet ski for a fun thing to do in playa del carmen

At at the very least $50 per hour, it’s not an affordable exercise in Playa del Carmen, however renting a jet ski is unquestionably an thrilling option to benefit from the water in and round Playa del Carmen.

You’ll find distributors renting jet skis alongside La Quinta Avenida, or e-book a package deal tour together with jet skis prematurely.

14. Stroll the Outlets of La Quinta

The primary artery of Playa del Carmen is La Quinta (fifth Road), which is a vibrant pedestrian road working nicely over a kilometer parallel to the seaside.

La Quinta is lined with lots of of retailers and distributors providing all the things from designer purses and questionable prescribed drugs to funky trinkets and distinctive paintings.

Positive, it’s greater than slightly touristy, however a go to to La Quinta ought to be on each checklist of issues to do in Playa del Carmen, particularly while you department off onto Calle 38, and ensure to stroll fifth ave all the way in which to Colosio neighbourhood.

In search of extra Mexico posts? See Additionally:
Issues To Do in San Pancho
Issues To Do in Puerto Vallarta 
Issues To Do in Guanajuato
Locations To Go to in Mexico
Journey Information to Manzanillo Colima

15. Go Paddleboarding

The Caribbean water in Playa del Carmen is blissfully nonetheless, particularly throughout dawn or proper earlier than sundown, which makes it an excellent place to check out paddleboarding. Paddleboarding leases or classes will be organized by Aloha Paddle Club, beginning at round $45 USD.

The situation is on the Fusion seaside bar, which additionally makes an excellent cease for a drink or three (plus, some nice dwell music) after you’ve come again off the water from this superior exercise in Playa del Carmen.

Should you’d somewhat be a part of a small group journey, or e-book a non-public one, this experience units off at dawn, whereas this trip takes off at sundown. Each of the excursions are by Aloha Paddle Membership (above) and provide an teacher/information and gear.

16. Get together the Night time Away at Coco Bongo

party at coco bongo is one of the most fun things to do in playa del carmen

Okay, so it might be slightly cliché, however there’s no denying that Coco Bongo is the mainstay of Playa del Carmen’s throbbing nightlife scene.

At over $80 U.S. {dollars} for a ticket, an evening at Coco Bongo doesn’t come low cost.

However your admission contains drinks, a spectacular present that includes rotating acts (this previous Could noticed a Star Wars-themed present), and an evening you received’t simply neglect (or perhaps you’ll….). Partying at Coco Bongo is likely one of the hottest issues to do in Cancun as nicely.

17. Attempt a Marquesita

street food in playa

A marquesita is a neighborhood dessert that form of resembles a crunchy hand-held crepe. The standard model is served with Nutella and Edam cheese, which makes for fairly the distinctive flavour mixture, although you can too get them with peanut butter, cream cheese, chocolate syrup, or quite a lot of different toppings.

Marquesita are served up by cell road meals distributors, so you could must preserve your eyes open to seek out one.

The very best locations to search for them are on Calle 2 and Avenida Juarez round their intersections with Avenida 20. Or, the place thirty eighth meets fifth avenue.

18. Escape the Crowds at Punta Esmerelda

Playa del Carmen’s predominant seashores get crowded rapidly, so do just like the locals do and head north to the a lot quieter, a lot much less business seashores at Punta Esmerelda. It’s one in every of my private favourite locations in Playa del Carmen.

You received’t discover enormous seaside golf equipment right here, however you’ll find a small cenote and a few of the finest seashores in Playa del Carmen. You will get to Punta Esmerelda by taking a brief taxi experience from city, or by strolling north alongside the seaside for 45-60 minutes from central Playa.

19. Go to Parque Fundadores

parque fundadores in playa del carmen mexico

Playa del Carmen doesn’t have many conventional factors of curiosity (town is essentially constructed round tourism), however one of many extra fascinating locations in Playa del Carmen that you’ll find is in Parque Fundadores.

There, you’ll discover the Portal Maya Statue, a beautiful sculpture depicting two figures rising as much as contact one another. You’ll additionally road distributors promoting snacks and wares, in addition to the occasional public efficiency by dancers.

20. Swim With Sea Turtles

Only a quick experience south of Playa del Carmen lies the quiet seaside outpost of Akumal, top-of-the-line locations on the planet to go swimming with sea turtles.

You may entry Akumal as a part of the numerous guided excursions that provide snorkeling right here, or you’ll be able to take a collectivo south from Playa del Carmen, stroll to the seaside, and lease your personal gear.

You don’t even want a ship to swim with the turtles – you’ll be able to normally discover a number of only a quick distance off the shore. An alternative choice is to join this tour which incorporates transportation, a information and gear.

21. Take a Ferry to Cozumel

visit cozumel on a day trip from playa del carmen

A day journey to Cozumel ought to be in your agenda!

Hop on a ferry from Playa del Carmen’s predominant dock and in 30 – 45 minutes, and 250 pesos later, you’ll end up whisked away to the island of Cozumel, residence to a few of the bluest water on this a part of Mexico.

There are at the moment two ferries working from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. Winjet runs on “even” days, whereas Ultramar runs on “odd” days. Go to every of their respective Fb pages for up to date occasions and costs.

As soon as in Cozumel, you’ll be able to benefit from the world-class diving and snorkelling scene (try Scuba Tony). Or you’ll be able to lease a automotive (my favorite: the outdated VW convertible beetles!) and take a drive across the island, stopping on the many seaside golf equipment that dot the route.

Extra Actions in Playa del Carmen

There are such a lot of issues to do in Playa del Carmen that I had so as to add just a few extra to this checklist!

Canine Strolling

Why not give again while you go to Playa Del Carmen? There are some nice organizations the place you’ll be able to donate your time and assist out by strolling canine — and giving them some much-needed consideration.

walking dogs things to do in puerto vallarta
Spend a morning strolling the beautiful rescue canine in Playa del Carmen

Voluntarios Perrunos shelters canine and puppies who’ve been rescued from abuse and/or abandonment. Seeing these candy canine and showering them with love is an effective way to spend a morning. To be taught extra about how one can assist out, go to the Facebook Page.

Be part of a Dune Buggy Journey

This jungle buggy and cenote trip is likely one of the high actions in Playa del Carmen in the event you’re trying to get off-track and do one thing slightly extra adventurous!

day trip from playa del carmen dune buggy

The beauty of the tour (for my part) is that it’s simply round 3 – 3.5 hours lengthy, which means your complete day isn’t taken up, and also you’ll nonetheless have a lot of the day left to benefit from the different issues to do in Playa del Carmen.

You’ll be picked up instantly at your lodging by an English-speaking driver, and after a couple of 20-minute experience, you’ll arrive on the Ranch within the jungle.

Put in your protecting goggles and bandana (there might be lots of mud!), simply find out how your dune buggy operates and head off — teams are small.

Bouncing across the grime street with nothing round however the jungle is a lot enjoyable! After rushing alongside for round 20 minutes, you’ll arrive on the most beautiful cenote.

best cenotes in playa del carmen

Throughout our journey, solely our group was there (6 individuals whole) and nobody else. It was such a peaceable place within the jungle and the cenote had extremely clear water.

When you’ve cooled off and loved a break, it’s time to do some extra driving. Every dune buggy matches 2 individuals, so you’ll be able to share the drive.

I cherished this present day tour from Playa del Carmen and extremely advocate it. There are 3 totally different occasions per day, we opted for the morning because it was the good temperature of the day. Study extra about this enjoyable journey here.

fun things to do in playa del carmen

Discover a Hidden Cenote

Positioned 8 kilometers into the jungle, this off-track cenote is one in every of a sort. Meet up along with your information, Guilhem, and descend down into the magical cenote.

All gear is included, as is transportation to the cenote, meals, and drinks. This expertise may be very extremely rated and is likely one of the high issues to do in Playa del Carmen. Find out more here.

Be part of a Meals Tour

For foodies, this expertise is a should. Depart the touristy eating places behind and luxuriate in some genuine Mexican delicacies! You’ll cease at many alternative locations to pattern the meals and a few non-alcoholic drinks are included additionally. Discover out extra here.

Now You Know What To Do in Playa del Carmen

There’s a lot to do in Playa del Carmen that you simply may really feel overwhelmed with all these superb choices, however the reality is that you would be able to’t go mistaken with any of the objects on this checklist.

I’ll depart you with a fast tip that will help you avoid wasting money throughout your keep in Playa del Carmen: whereas many distributors settle for US {dollars} and the ATM on La Quinta even dispense them, the change fee you’ll get is prone to be an enormous rip-off. So pay with pesos and use the cash you’ll save to do just a few extra issues in Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen: Assets & Suggestions

Journey Insurance coverage


There are lots of journey actions on this metropolis! Be sure to’re protected with a great journey insurance coverage coverage. We use and advocate Security Wing for journey insurance coverage.

Hire a Automobile


It is a great spot to lease a automotive! We all the time e-book with Expedia as a result of they let you cancel totally free on most bookings and also you’re by no means charged till you truly choose up your experience.

Ebook Excursions On-line

We Advocate Get Your Guide and Viator

There are some actually cool excursions out there. We all the time prefer to verify on Get Your Information and Viator as a result of they’ve so many choices and you’ll select one of the best ones primarily based on one of the best opinions.

Ebook a Low cost Room

Try offers

For one of the best offers on short-term motels, visitor homes and hostels, we all the time use Be careful for last-minute offers!

High Resorts, Hostels & B&B’s in Playa del Carmen


Playa Centro – rated “Very good” 9.4/10. Simply an 8 minute stroll to the seaside, 2 minute stroll to fifth Avenue, whereas the bus station is simply 1km away. The property incorporates a welcoming proprietor, air-conditioned rooms and customary kitchen space. Double rooms right here go for round $25/night time within the excessive season. Click here to be taught extra and e-book this lodging.

Casa Seloa – rated “Very good” 9.4/10. This property is positioned far sufficient away from the vacationer space that you would be able to get pleasure from peace and quiet, but it’s simply a straightforward 20 minute stroll to the seaside, or a fast 5 minute bus experience. Rooms are brilliant and spacious, and the property gives BBQ amenities and a backyard space for enjoyable in. Double rooms go for round $30. Click here to be taught extra and e-book this casa.


Embarkadero Maya B&B – rated “Very good” 9.4/10. There are all kinds of rooms right here on the completely positioned B&B. Rooms are brilliant, vibrant and in conventional Mexican fashion. The water is only a 5 minute stroll away, whereas a few of the rooms get pleasure from improbable views of the ocean. The homeowners are very pleasant and there’s a superb breakfast included. Double rooms begin at $52 within the excessive season. Click here to be taught extra and e-book this B&B.

Newport House Playa Boutique Hotel – rated “Distinctive” 9.6/10. It is a high finish, stylish house fashion lodging…at reasonably priced pricing. The seaside is only a 6 minute stroll away, however there’s additionally a rooftop, out of doors pool. Rooms are geared up with a kitchenette, fridge, microwave and extra. Complimentary bikes can be found for lease. Don’t miss this boutique! Suites begin at round $75Click here to be taught extra and e-book this boutique.

High Finish

CondoHotel Fabiola – rated “Very good” 9.2/10. This stunning property gives company an out of doors pool, scorching tub and tastefully adorned rooms. Right here you’ll be only a 5 minute stroll from the seaside and a few blocks from fifth Avenue. There are a selection of residences right here providing glorious worth at round $100 / night time. Click here to be taught extra and to e-book this suite.

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