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Playa Del Carmen highlights

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There are a variety of highlight activities for all visitors to the Playa Del Carmen area, with something for everyone. Here are a variety of recommendations that cover all interests and preferences. Enjoy what Playa Del Carmen has to offer! The order in this guide was chosen to be from central places in Playa Del Carmen to peripheral places (further away). And the last few options are beach clubs and a night club back in the central area of Playa Del Carmen, plus a jewellery store outside of PDC.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

19 Places

6 City Tips

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19 Places

5th Avenue (Avenida 5)

Flea & Street Markets, Gift & Speciality Shops

Galeria de Arte 5ta Avenida

Art Galleries

Viva Margarita Bar

Restaurants

Yaxche Maya Cuisine

Restaurants

Dune Mexico Blue Dream

Scuba & Snorkeling

Xaman Ha Aviary

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Zoos

Rio Secreto

Caverns & Caves

Xplor

Theme Parks

Cenote Chikin Ha

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Akumal Beach

Beaches

Yal-ku Lagoon

Bodies of Water, Reefs

Cenotes Dos Ojos

Reefs, Caverns & Caves

Chichen Itza

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Ek Balam

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites, Ancient Ruins

Mamita's Beach Club

Bars & Clubs, Beach & Pool Clubs, Spas

Canibal Royal

Restaurants

Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen

Bars & Clubs

Lapis

Gift & Speciality Shops

KW-Canada's City Tips

  • Many activities can be a 1/2 day or less, and I recommend they be planned in the morning or mid to late afternoon which can keep you out of the mid day heat in the area.
  • Bring pesos for your visit. Consider food, drink, and shopping. Food and drink on 5th avenue can be similarly priced to US and Canada cities.
  • Credit cards are broadly accepted and I've never had an issue with their use in Playa Del Carmen.
  • Bring sunscreen and a hat.
  • If you are around 5th avenue, bring your walking shoes. No vehicle rentals necessary or taxis. Lots to see and do.
  • While some all inclusive resorts offer a shuttle to PDC, I recommend a taxi. It isn't expensive and you can be on your own clock. Shuttles don't give much time to visit and explore
  • 5th Avenue (Avenida 5)
    Flea & Street Markets, Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    The must visit tourist avenue for a few miles near the beautiful beachfront of Playa Del Carmen. The most central place to go for shopping, restaurants, art galleries, bars, and to people watch. It is an entirely walkable mini-community and is filled with the hustle and bustle of tourists and vendors who vie for your attention. There is also a very large nightlife that many people enjoy.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • If visiting for the first time, you can spend many hours going through this. Take a taxi, don't rush, and enjoy!
    • Bring sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes.
    • Shoppers may wish to consider asking for directions and walking to Wal Mart in the same general area for great products and prices.
    • There are public bathrooms in a variety of places on 5th avenue, and an excellent large one just in from the cozumel ferry terminal in the plaza square (and west of 5th avenue).
    • Families are everywhere and late into the evening. A very safe place to visit and walk around, so enjoy.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 82 Shopping in Playa del Carmen
    • Be prepared 17/10/2018
    • Fun and as expected 15/10/2018
    • 5th Avenue (Avenida 5)
    Phone:
    +52 984 179 1879
    Other:
  • Galeria de Arte 5ta Avenida
    Art Galleries
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    A must visit for art and culture lovers in Playa Del Carmen and on 5th Avenue. Excellent owners

    Good for
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Check out their web page for featured artists, artwork, and activities
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Playa del Carmen
    • Very busy, lots to see and worth an afternoon 21/03/2018
    • This place doesnt exist anymore 19/03/2018
    • Galeria de Arte 5ta Avenida
    Address:
    5ta Avenida
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 879 3389
    Other:
  • Viva Margarita Bar
    Restaurants (Bar)
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    Has previously been voted best margarita in Playa Del Carmen! Large drinks, mucho alcohol and variety. A great break and place to visit on 5th avenue and people watch. It is now a stand in the plaza on the south end of 5th avenue where the cozumel ferry dock comes up from.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #316 of 1,138 restaurants in Playa del Carmen
    • "FabulousO" 18/06/2018
    • Best Margarita??? Best looking, maybe! 08/02/2018
    • Viva Margarita Bar
    Address:
    Av 10 Nte Con 1ra Sur
    Paseo del Carmen Mall Shop
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 803 0999
    Price range:
    USD 3 - USD 30
  • Yaxche Maya Cuisine
    Restaurants (Caribbean, Seafood, Mexican)
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    A highly recommended restaurant in the area for quality cuisine.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Permanently closed! 25/09/2016
    • Worth a visit 21/08/2016
    • Yaxche Maya Cuisine
    Address:
    Av. 5ta
    Calle 22, Colonia Centro
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 873 3011
    Price range:
    USD 10 - USD 30
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 am - 11:00 pm
    Other:
  • Dune Mexico Blue Dream
    Scuba & Snorkeling
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    An excellent and well reviewed scuba and snorkelling shop in the heart of Playa Del Carmen. Good prices as well. They will do basic training and scuba without full certification necessary.

    Good for
    • Nature Lover
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 275 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Playa del Carmen
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Professional and comfy 12/10/2018
    • The Real Dream 12/10/2018
    • Dune Mexico Blue Dream
    Address:
    Calle 28
    Between 1st Ave and Mamitas Beach
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 143 7400
    Price range:
    USD 35 - USD 35
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Other:
  • Xaman Ha Aviary
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Zoos
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    A quiet sanctuary in the middle of Playacar and Playa Del Carmen. This aviary doesn't attract a huge amount of visitors and it has many species of birds to view, including some beautiful tropical species. While not highly reviewed, it caters to a certain crowd and I found it enjoyable.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It can be quite hot and humid as it basically is in a mini-jungle. Don't over dress, bring some good walking shoes, refreshments, and your camera!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 62 things to do in Playa del Carmen
    • Interesting place for visit 16/09/2018
    • This is a massive con! 29/07/2018
    • Xaman Ha Aviary
    Address:
    Paseo Xaman-Ha
    Playacar
    Playa del Carmen
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 873 0593
    Other:
  • Rio Secreto
    Caverns & Caves
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    Tours of one of the biggest underground cave systems in the world. The yucatan has the most extensive underground cave systems in the world and Rio Secreto is one of the biggest of them! There is no scuba or snorkelling, rather you put on a wet suit, water shoes and life jacket and take a tour of one of 4 cave systems in the area in small groups. Food and drink is provided free after the tour.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Trendsetter
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Bring your own water shoes if you have them
    • Walk-ons are easily accepted in the mornings. So no reservations are needed!
    • Go early before the crowds. Tours start as early as 9 am.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 62 things to do in Playa del Carmen
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Extremely unique hiking experience! 15/10/2018
    • Beautiful rainy day activity 14/10/2018
    • Rio Secreto
    Address:
    Carretera Federal Libre Chetumal _ Puerto Juarez Km 283.5
    Ejido Sur
    Playa del Carmen 77712
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 147 6050
    Price range:
    USD 79 - USD 79
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Other:
  • Xplor
    Theme Parks
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    The place to go for the adventure seeker in Playa Del Carmen. No expense was spared in developing this park and it is very impressive. Just look at the reviews! Activities include zip lines, amphibious vehicle tours, underground rafting and life vest cave visits. Food is included.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are day time and night time options.
    • Better not be afraid of heights for the zip lines!
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 62 things to do in Playa del Carmen
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Adrenaline 100% 16/10/2018
    • Best excursion on our honeymoon! 16/10/2018
    • Xplor
    Address:
    Federal Highway Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km 282
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 998 883 3143
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 am - 10:30 pm
    Other:
  • Cenote Chikin Ha
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    Part of a group of cenotes across the highway from Barcelo Maya resort. These facilities are less established than major tourist operations, and thus very appealing for quieter days and more unique experiences. Expect more locals, and a lot of fun!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It can be very hot. Bring nature friendly sunscreen.
    • Bring your snorkelling gear.
    • It is an easy collectivo to the collection of cenote options
    • Consider all the different cenote operators here before choosing a vendor. Multiple visits will be needed to see them all!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 62 things to do in Playa del Carmen
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • PAID ENTRY ONLINE VIA WEBSITE AND DENIED ACCESS 05/10/2018
    • Amazing 30/09/2018
    • Cenote Chikin Ha
    Phone:
    +52 984 147 0065
    Other:
  • Akumal Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    A great local beach outside of the hustle and bustle of Playa Del Carmen. World famous for its turtle feeding bay where turtles can be found year round. Snorkel here to see the turtles and sea life in the reef protected bay. Bars and restaurants are off the beach for further enjoyment. The bay has gotten busy with visitors and there are now areas cordoned off within the bay.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Go early or late to avoid the crowds.
    • An easy collectivo and walk into the bay from the highway
    • Bring your own snorkelling gear.
    • Lockers are available to rent near the restaurant.
    • Find the description of bay cordoned sections.
    • A guide is not needed.
    • Consider also visiting Yal Ku lagoon.
    • Bring organic sunscreen and a towel to relax on the beach. Shade can be hard to find.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Akumal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • What happened to Akumal? 17/10/2018
    • Nice beach with great turtles 17/10/2018
    • Akumal Beach
  • Yal-ku Lagoon
    Bodies of Water, Reefs
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    Amazing snorkeling location to see fish. The lagoon is filled with nooks and crannies for a fascinating snorkelling and related exploring experience. It has been quiet typically, but this place is getting more popular now.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Consider visiting after Akumal beach if doing both. Walking out to the entrance arches, take a taxi or rent golf carts. It is about 2 km further in from Akumal Beach.
    • Food and other non-alcoholic drinks are available on site for purchase. There is a store with beer for purchase between akumal beach and Yal Ku. Look for a sign on the beach side.
    • Snorkelling gear is available for rent and you can bring your own.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 11 things to do in Akumal
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Big shoals of fish 13/10/2018
    • Terrific snorkeling spot 08/10/2018
    • Yal-ku Lagoon
    Address:
    Calle Acceso Etapa H
    Akumal 77776
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 875 9065
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Cenotes Dos Ojos
    Reefs, Caverns & Caves
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    One of the more impressive Cenotes in the area, but close to Tulum. Snorkelling and scuba is available here.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 52 things to do in Tulum
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fun and interesting place 17/10/2018
    • Cenote diving 16/10/2018
    • Cenotes Dos Ojos
  • Chichen Itza
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    The most impressive ancient mayan ruins in the yucatan area, well excavated and lots to see. Voted one of the seven wonders of the world. Amazing. If the pyramids interest you in Egypt, this is a must visit. Unfortunately the ruins are not climb-able.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Hire a guide. It will make a huge difference
    • Go by private tour with your own driver and vehicle. It will make the day much shorter and more enjoyable. Consider bringing a cooler with food and drink.
    • Go early! The earlier the better. Large crowds start around noon, and you also can avoid the mid-day heat.
    • Tip your guide and driver.
    • Avoid Sunday visits as it will be busy with free access for Mexican citizens.
    • Consider also visiting Ek Balam.
    • It can get very hot in the jungle interior. Bring sunscreen and a hat.
    • Bring a camera!
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Chichen Itza
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The only (main) Maya site I had not visited.. AMAZING. 16/10/2018
    • Amazing site, must see 16/10/2018
    • Chichen Itza
    Other:
  • Ek Balam
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites, Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    Amazing smaller scale mayan ruin site. And the site is totally climbable! This site is not as well known and there are much fewer visitors than Chichen Itza. It is a much quieter and less hectic site and visit. The temple is particularly impressive with some of the best preserved mayan sculptures in all of Mexico. It is worth visiting alone, and a no-brainer to add if doing a chichen itza trip.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It can get very hot in the jungle interior. Bring sunscreen and a hat.
    • Go by private tour with your own driver and vehicle. It will make the day much shorter and more enjoyable. Consider bringing a cooler with food and drink.
    • Consider visiting Vallodolid if on a private tour.
    • Bring a camera!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Ek Balam Village
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A complete must!! 14/10/2018
    • An hidden gem! 17/09/2018
    • Ek Balam
  • Mamita's Beach Club
    Bars & Clubs, Beach & Pool Clubs, Spas
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    A great public beach club for the beach lovers in Playa Del Carmen.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 59 Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
    • Enjoyable 09/09/2018
    • Great spot for pool and beach 27/08/2018
    • Mamita's Beach Club
    Address:
    Calle 28 Norte Mza. 10 Lote 8
    Zona Federal Maritima y 5ta Av.
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 803 2867
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:30 am - 6:00 pm
    Other:
  • Canibal Royal
    Restaurants (Fusion, Mexican, Mediterranean)
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    A great public beach club for the beach lovers in Playa Del Carmen. Food and drink are available.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best Beach Spot! 22/01/2018
    • Fresh, spicy, local, perfect lunch 15/01/2018
    • Canibal Royal
    Address:
    48th North St & Mar Caribe
    Col. Colosio Between Flamingo & Albatros Street
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 169 2807
    Price range:
    USD 16 - USD 53
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Other:
  • Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen
    Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    World famous night club and party. Just check out the reviews and Youtube videos!

    Good for
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Strongly consider VIP.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 59 Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Coco Bongo damn fun 15/10/2018
    • Awewooo carnal... 14/10/2018
    • Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen
    Address:
    Av 10 y calle 12
    Playa del Carmen 77710
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 984 803 5939
    Other:
  • Lapis
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    KW-Canada Says:

    While catering to a smaller demographic, it is an interesting jewellery shop and manufacturer that you may wish to consider visiting.

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • There are free tours available for Lapis from some all inclusives. That may also be the case for some street tour vendors.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 39 Shopping in Cancun
    • IMPRESSED WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE 11/05/2018
    • Keep your money in your pockets! Stay away! 18/03/2018
    • Lapis
    Address:
    Carretera Federal Cancun Felipe Carrillo Puerto
    Cancun
    Mexico
    Other:
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