About Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a popular beach town located south of Cancun on Mexico's Caribbean coast. The accessible beaches and ever-growing international community is what makes this a desirable place to vacation and explore.

Unlike other Riviera Maya towns and cities, Playa del Carmen has created a cosmopolitan atmosphere while staying true to its roots. Highlights of this destination include long stretches of white sandy beaches, the famous 5th Avenue for pedestrians only, a variety of world class evening shows and discos and over 700 restaurants and eateries nestled in its many neighborhoods, the most unique neighborhood being the residential and hotel zone of Playacar.

Playa del carmen beach is the focal point of this ocean-side destination with various beach clubs, oceanfront condos and hotels offering guests a place to chill or meet others while enjoying the Caribbean. With the second largest barrier reef located off its shores, the Mesoamerican Reef, ocean diving, snorkeling and water sports provide visitors with an opportunity to experience a wide range of sea life and corals in clear waters. During the evening in Playa del Carmen, the beach transforms into a dining and dancing destination where visitors take in the ocean breeze, dance under the stars, and share their adventures.

La Quinta (5th Avenue) is a 7 km pedestrian walkway located one block from the beach. The street is lined with 3 kilometers of shopping and restaurants that range from international brand names to local artisans. In the mornings, 5th Avenue is a runners and walkers haven as locals and visitors take in their daily exercise. Foodies love the sidewalks cafes and visitors utilize the wealth of information that is openly shared by local tour operators and residents. This is the hub of the Playa del Carmen, and a unique addition to this beach town not found in any other city along the coast.

If you enjoy a vibrant nightlife Playa del Carmen has a variety of evening music shows, nightclubs and restaurants that keep visitors entertained after the sun goes down. With a strong European influence, restaurants fill up later, evening shows run nightly. Xcaret, a popular eco-park, offers dinner theatre that artfully explains the history of the Mayas. Coco Bongo offers high energy Vegas-style shows that appeal to a varied audience. In true Mexican tradition, the city regularly hosts free events like the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in November and an International Outdoor Film Festival in March.

Playa del Carmen has grown, it has become a small city made up of neighborhoods. Playacar is the most unique and the oldest neighborhood located south of the main downtown area. This residential and all inclusive hotel district has distinct features not found in the main town. Among large villas and world class hotels are small Mayan ruins, a golf course, and aviary all open to the public. Visitors can walk to these attractions by beach or brick laid roads and find the attractions to be worth the visit.

Playa del Carmen has slowly grown into an international destination that is close to popular Yucatan Peninsula attractions, offers beautiful beaches, and has successfully developed interesting neighborhoods that reflect the lifestyle, history, and environmental diversity this area has at its fingertips.

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What People Say

I visited both Cancun and Playa del Carmen and I'd like to say that I liked Cancun more. However Playa del Carmen is also good. There are a lot of shops and restaurants on its main street "The 5th Avenue" which is 3 km along. There are a lot of beaches: 1.Playa Maroma - it is rather expensive (100 pesos for the entry) but very beautiful, especially its colourful reef and preserved nature. I advice you to visit it at least at once, it is worth seeing; 2.Playa Xpu-Ha - it is also has its entrance fee but it is only 40 pesos. There you can see a lot of fishing boats of local residents and even practice yoga. 3. Playa del Carmen beach - the most popular both among tourists and residents.

There are a lot of activities around Playa del Carmen. I think the main one is Xcaret park. One day isn't enough to see and to try everything there (botanic garden, diving, snorkeling, Carribean see, reefs, underground rivers, zoo, butterfly area, evening show and a lot of other things to do). The second most popular place in the surrounding area of Playa is Extreme Park Xplor where you can try zip line, ride buggy or four wheel, explore cenotes etc.

As for me Playa del Carmen isn't so beautiful as Cancun but it is closer to get to some sightseeings than from Cancun.
A fantastic place to visit. I just love Playa del Carmen. We did so many things, visited xplor park and cenotes, chilled in the beach, tried different cuisines, went for a day in Cozumel island...
In my personal experience Playa del Carmen was good town, but it was little expensive. One of things that you should go in Playa Del Carmen is the Fifth Avenue (La Quinta Avenida), which is a long street with a lot of shops where visitors of all nationalities roam. Although, the day of that I visit was cloudy, this is a traditional Mexican place to hang out in a good way. The hotel that we slept that night was somewhat expensive, so we decided to stayed for a few nights and then go back to Cancun. The difference was remarkable both price and quality, it was seedy but acceptable.
Dave M
I had amazing time in Playa del Carmen. 5th avenue is full of great restaurants and bars. Very beautiful beaches with easy access. I will be back soon, for sure!
Playa del Carmen is close to Cancun and its very good place for young people. There are lot of activities and parties going on every night. Playa del Carmen beach is amazing and the local people are nice and friendly!

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