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All about Playa

Located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is approximately 70 KM south of Cancun and 20 KM west of Cozumel. It is a coastal resort town in Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula with a lovely atmosphere and a distinct European flavor.

The famous 5th Avenue or Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen is pedestrian friendly as well as the whole town of Playa del Carmen and the only cars that travel through are delivery cars in the early morning. Whether you walk la Quinta or rent a bike, you will be delighted by the life the small street breathes. With a distinct European flair, 5th Ave is aligned with hotels, restaurants and small shops and just a block away, the blue Caribbean Sea with spectacular beaches run parallel to 5th Avenue.

At night, la Quinta (and 12th avenue) light up to welcome the night with a number of distinct bars, restaurants, and nightclubs for all tastes.

Playa del Carmen preserves that fishing village atmosphere with all the commodities of a modern city.

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México

  • Population: 149,923
  • Location: 20º 37'39'' North, 87º 04' 53'' West
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Other languages spoken: English, Maya
  • Electrical Outlets: 127V 60Hz
  • Time Zone: Central (GMT -6) Playa del Carmen also observes Daylight-Saving Time in winter
  • Weights and measures: Metric
  • Climate: Semi-tropical

Playa Del Carmen Shopping Guide

Playa Del Carmen most famous attraction is its pedestrian-friendly Quinta Avenida. It is one of the most laid-back main streets in the Americas. For 2 miles, you can find a number of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops of all kinds. You can find all kind of articles from music, purses, earrings and necklaces, clothing items and Mexican souvenirs.

Tours and Attractions in Playa Del Carmen

The best beaches in Mexico are located in Playa del Carmen. The distinctive turquoise Caribbean Sea and white sand beaches of Playa del Carmen opens its arms to welcome its visitors to its cooling sea and strong sun rays. The beaches run parallel to 5th Avenue just one block away from the party center. Many restaurants and hotels offer visitors spectacular views of the sea while you sit and dine. Apart from its fabulous beaches, Playa del Carmen offers a number of activities for all tastes. Located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Playa provides adventure, culture, relaxation, fun, and more!

Adventure and Aquatic Activities

Extreme sports lovers can venture into the sea for scuba diving in open water or some snorkeling in the Caribbean. The best reefs are located just 30 KM away in the beautiful island of Cozumel. In addition to underwater expeditions, you can also enjoy a number of aquatic activities such as fishing, deep-sea diving, cave diving and more. Adventure lovers can also parachute or skydive to enjoy some of the most amazing views.

  • Swim with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat is one of the best vacation experiences and the area has become an expert in making this dream come true. Swim with dolphins in paradise and closely interact with one of the smartest animals in the planet. There are programs for all ages and swimming levels on different locations such as Isla Mujeres, Puerto Aventuras (Riviera Maya) and Cozumel.

  • Caves and Cenotes

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to the most extensive underwater cavern and cave system in the world. Cave diving in this underground river system is one of the most exciting experiences as you explore nature from a different perspective and discover the mysteries of the underwater world. The Yucatan Peninsula is also home to a number of nature parks that offer tours where you can snorkel, take a jungle tour, and explore underground cave systems such as Aktun Chen Natural Park, with its three main caves that you can explore.

  • Ecology Parks

The Riviera Maya, where Playa del Carmen is located, is home to a number of ecological parks that look to preserve the environment and at the same time allow us to explore nature without causing harm to it. Xcaret Eco Park offers more than 25 activities that include swimming in underground rivers, a butterfly pavilion, beaches and natural wells, and a coral reef aquarium. Xel-Ha Park is the world’s most spectacular aquarium, especially designed for nature lovers. All along the Cancun-Tulum highway, you can find a number of eco-parks to become one with nature.

  • Mayan Archeological Sites

Playa del Carmen is home to several of the most important Mayan archeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. Tulum—the only walled Mayan city—overlooks the most picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea and is only an hour away from Playa. Chichen Itza is one of the most impressive and important Mayan sites and is located only about 2.5 hour drive from Playa. Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Playa Del Carmen Restaurants

Since Playa del Carmen was discovered, it has been receiving international and national visitors that have just made Playa their home and have brought their world flavors to this Mexican fishing village. This melting pot of flavors and regions has made Playa del Carmen a hub for restaurants for all tastes. The town offers anything from Mexican, Yucatecan, and Italian to International cuisine in a vast variety of restaurants.

You can taste traditional regional food such as panuchos, cochinita pibil, fajitas de pollo and the infamous Mexican tacos. There are Mexican dishes that mix strong and light flavors, combining indigenous and colonial ingredients with modern techniques, making for a rich and varied combination.

You can also find excellent Italian cuisine with its selection of delicious wines, and fascinating French food in a jovial atmosphere typical of a French bistro.

Dining in Playa del Carmen is a delicious experience.

Nightlife in Playa Del Carmen

As the lovely Caribbean sun sets, Playa del Carmen lights up to welcome its visitors for an exciting night out in the town. The lively 5th Avenuenightlife offers anything from a delicious coffee to an exotic cuisine experience all accompanied by the warm Caribbean nights and exciting Playa del Carmen nightlife.

The entire cobblestone street is lined with bars offering beer, tequila, wine, and cocktails as music ranging from rock in Spanish to Salsa fills the streets. After enjoying a delicious meal or some relaxing drinks, head over to any of the exciting clubs that line up 12th Avenue, running perpendicular to 5th Avenue.

Playa is always on the most avant-garde trends with rustic and Mexican styles, all the way to the latest and most popular music of the day. Or simply swing the night away at the Blue Parrot’s swings bar by the beach while you listen to the hits of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, reggae classics, and Caribbean rhythms.

If it’s dancing that you want, enjoy the latest DJ’s electronic beats or dance the night away to some live Cuban salsa. Receive the new day by the beach.

Playa Del Carmen Weather

Playa del Carmen—like its sister city Cancun—has a relaxing, tropical weather envied by the rest of the world year-round. Aside from a few rainy days, sunny skies are always inciting you to enjoy a delicious day at the beach or in a number of tours exploring the Yucatan Peninsula. By most standards, the warmest season is between March and September. These months are also considered high season for national tourism. The temperature lowers a bit between the months of October and February—but never cold enough to not be able to enjoy the beaches. There are some rainy days during the summer months, but they never last too long. Average temperature: Annual – 80ºF/ Summer – 95ºF/ Winter – 68ºF Annual Rainfall: 800 to 1600 mm Water temperature: consistently around 76ºF

Helpful tips when traveling to Playa del Carmen:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Use plenty of sunscreen and dress lightly.
  • Use plenty of bug repellent for mosquitoes.
  • Common symptoms of a heat stroke include slight headaches, feeling dizzy or week.
  • Sit immediately in the shade and drink water.
  • Park casual clothing, sandals, comfortable shoes, a light sweater (winter), cap or hat
  • For trips to the jungle, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

Resorts and Hotels in Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen accommodations range from luxurious hotels to chick and smaller hotels along 5th Avenue. Most Playa del Carmen hotels offer a friendly bilingual staff, concierge services, and information for tourists. Most all inclusive resorts are located along the Riviera Maya on the Cancun-Tulum highway before reaching Playa del Carmen. These all inclusive resorts offer open bars, all meals, and recreational activities for guests. The smaller hotels along Playa’s 5th Avenue and its surrounding areas range from moderately price to luxurious. We recommend you research in advance for the right choice for you. Our hotel directory will be an accurate guide to help you plan your trip.