Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is one of the most charming spots on the Mexican Caribbean and a hub from which to visit the stellar attractions of the Riviera Maya. Playacar, as the locals call it, is a radiant city in the middle of the country blessed with a blue, cloudless sky and the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Located in the heart of the Mayan world — 42 miles south of Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo — Playa del Carmen has a semi-tropical climate, making it popular for aquatic activities such as diving and exploring beautiful coral reefs.
The growth of tourism has been unprecedented here, as it was still a small village 15 years ago. Its original name is Xaman-Hu, and it has grown from a small fishing village into a cosmopolitan city with outdoor restaurants, bars, designer shops, boutiques, and craft markets. One of the world’s favorite tourist destinations, life in the city has an international flavor, thanks to the many visitors who fall in love with the area and come back to live here.
On the narrow streets of Playa del Carmen, visitors will find restaurants with signature cuisine and exclusive boutique hotels, which have been covered by the world’s most famous travel magazines. Hotels in Playa del Carmen abound and range from luxury properties like the Grand Riviera Princess to smaller hotels and inns. There are also all-inclusive Playa del Carmen resorts, including the Fairmont Mayakoba, the Bluebay Grand Esmeralda, and the Occidental Grand Xcaret.
It is also a great place to camp and enjoy golf and natural attractions suitable for ecotourism.
Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, is the most important commercial, cultural, and social center in Playa del Carmen. It’s where colorful shops, grand hotels, and beautiful squares bring tourists and residents together.
If you are visiting Playa del Carmen and plan to dive, cross over to the nearby island of Cozumel. There, you will find the Cozumel Reefs National Park, including the Gran Arrecife Maya (Great Mayan Reef), part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and considered the second largest in the world.
Among the most memorable experiences that await include sailing, kayaking, fishing from a luxury yacht, traveling to the archaeological remains of Tulum, or visiting cenotes (from the Mayan word for a sinkhole formed by a collapsed cave ceiling) in the surrounding villages.
Playa del Carmen is breathtaking with its beautiful beaches and Mayan culture fused with modernity, which is evident on every street corner.
- Extreme Sports
- Traditions and Festivities
- Theme Parks