Things to do in Playa del Carmen, between snorkeling and Mayan ruins

September 18, 2019

Playa del Carmen develops around a single pedestrian street called Quinta Avenida, just a few meters from the beaches and the sea, where you can find everything you need during your vacation.

Beach at Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Just booked a vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico? Good choice! This beach resort on the Riviera Maya is lively and full of fun options for all needs and all types of travelers.

Here is a mini guide to enjoy anything that this city has to offer.

La Quinta Avenida

Playa del Carmen develops around a pedestrian street, called Quinta Avenida. It is just few metres from beaches and sea and provides everything is necessary to spend a holiday or some time here: bars, restaurants, fast foods, souvenir shops, two big shopping malls but also other services such as pharmacies, car rental shops, wellness centres and spas.

This street is 4 km long and represents the real cultural and commercial hub in Playa del Carmen. In the surrounding alleys it is possible to find many hotels and hostels. Accommodations for tourists in Playa del Carmen are different if compared to those in Cancun, this is why this area boasts buildings harmoniously integrated with the surrounding environment.

Where to eat in Playa del Carmen

If you are looking for restaurants to taste Mexican culinary specialities, Playa del Carmen won't disappoint you! Strolling along Quinta Avenida it is possible to choose among different options, although prices are higher compared than in the restaurants located in other areas of the city.

If you want to avoid the most touristic restaurants, you have to pass Quinta Avenida, leave the sea behind and pass the ADO bus station on your right: 2 - 3 km far from the sea it is possible to find a park where several stands prepare burritos, tacos and quesadillas. Here, it is possible to taste a delicious street food, or comida callejera, at a low price. Anyway several cheap restaurants are situated around the park or nearby.

Of course, Playa del Carmen doesn't only offer Mexican food, you can also choose among Italian restaurants, Argentinian steak houses, tapas bars but also Mc Donald's or Burger King, or even Starbuck: there are four in Quinta Avenida.

Fun in Playa del Carmen: what to do at night

Just like Cancun, also Playa del Carmen boasts several clubs and discos on the beach, the perfect places for those who love wanton fun. Coco Bongo is for sure the most famous local in the whole Riviera Maya. Spending a night here is an unmissable experience during your Mexican holiday. The price of the entrance will be compensated by the services: you will admire performances with professional actors and enjoy the barre libre treatment, a real open bar, where it is possible to have countless drinks.

Other bars and clubs are situated at the 12 km of Quinta Avenida, near Coco Bongo.

Mamita is the most popular beach club during the day, here it is possible to relax in the morning and dance from the afternoon to the evening, following the music rhythm.

Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Beach in Playa del Carmen.

Isla Cozumel, for those who love diving

Isla Cozumel faces Playa del Carmen and is 20 km from the beach. Every day, fast and modern ferries connect Playa del Carmen and the island and many tourists decide to visit this earthly paradise away from the chaos of Playa del Carmen.

The island is a perfect destination for those who love scuba diving, this is why many diving centres are located on the island. On the contrary, if you want to spend your day relaxing, you can lie down on a beach and eat something in one of the several characteristical restaurants enjoying an amazing sea view.

Akumal, for those who love snorkeling

By taking one of the several colectivos it is possible to reach Akumal, a place near Playa del Carmen. Here, it is possible to snorkel and swim next to the turtles, inhabiting this famous and beautiful beach. It is possible to rent the equipment directly on the beach paying just few pesos.

Sightseeing in Playa del Carmen

Taking a ADO bus it is possible to reach Tulum, an important archaeological site boasting Mayan ruins. Tulum is one of the most characteristic spots in the entire Mexico, thanks to its white sandy beach. Furthermore, it is a picturesque place and one of its archaeological structure, El Castillo, falls sheer to the Caribbean Sea offering a breath-taking landscape.

Although Playa del Carmen is a tourist destination, it has been capable to preserve its Mexican style. It is worth a visit if you want to have fun, practice sports or only relax on the Caribbean Sea shores.

White beach in Playa del Carmen.

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