Playa Del Carmen Travel Guide 2024

2024 Playa Del Carmen Visitors Guide

This resort town in Mexico is roughly thirty miles south of bustling Cancun and is also serviced by Cancun’s International Airport. Playa del Carmen boasts a number of championship golf courses along with lively restaurants and bars.

Visitors often take advantage of excursions to the nearby Mayan ruins or perhaps ride a ferry to the island of Cozumel. Water lovers enjoy swimming with dolphins at Xcaret, a large park and recreational nature preserve. Playa del Carmen hotels are not the high-rise spectacles you’ll find in other tourist spots. Instead, they’re low-rise buildings that reflect the area’s relaxed ambience.

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Playa Del Carmen is one of the most beautiful destinations on the Caribbean Sea. With its wonderful tropical climates, crystal clear waters, and white sandy beaches, this gorgeous place is a traveler’s dream. You can relax on the beach, try all types of water sports like windsurfing, snorkeling and kite surfing. Or why not go scuba diving in one of the largest reefs in the world the Great Mayan Reef. Visit the famous and gorgeous eco-archaeological parks where you can explore all the biodiversity of the Mayan Riviera. Not far away you can also discover the underground river systems and go cave diving.

Venture into the vibrant atmosphere of Fifth Avenue or Quinta Avenida. Here you will find tons of restaurants featuring international cuisine and all types of bars. Stay in this area later at night if you are looking to dance the night away at one of the trendy nightclubs down the strip. On Quinta Avenida, you can also find a shopping mall with many clothing stores, jewelry stores, and smaller boutiques.

After a long day of taking in the sun on the sandy beach, on an outdoor adventure, or a fun-filled day of sightseeing, wouldn’t you like to rest for the night in a comfortable place where you can feel right at home? Playa del Carmen vacation rentals may be just what you are looking for. A vacation rental can accommodate any type of traveler whether single or traveling with family. Playa del Carmen condo rentals offer everything you will need on your visit, a beautifully furnished place with a comfortable bed, fully equipped kitchen, and more. These rentals offer much more space than a hotel room and more privacy as well. Booking a vacation rental is also more affordable so you will get more than you pay for. We offer a large selection of Playa del Carmen rentals so you are sure to find something to suit all of your travel needs. You can take comfort in knowing that we personally select every property to ensure the highest quality vacation rental at the best prices. Book with today and discover why renting on your vacation will be the best way to travel.

Playa del Carmen (PDC) travel guide including activities, hotels, attractions, beaches, restaurants and other original ideas.

Playa del Carmen (also known as PDC) is located on the crystal blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean, just 40 miles south of Cancun, with miles and miles of white sandy beaches. Mayan Explore offers you the best hotels, tours & activities, attractions, and restaurants in Playa del Carmen. The ambiance of the city is unique, the 5th Avenue is the main core of the city that runs parallel to the sea and it’s filled with restaurants, bars, hotels, boutiques, aquatic sports stores, Mexican crafts stores, art galleries and much more.

Playa del Carmen Beaches

With one of the prettiest beaches on the Caribbean coast, Playa del Carmen was the hidden gem of Mexico for years and years. About 10 years ago, the word got out and now Playa del Carmen is exploding. If you’re looking for solitude, this isn’t the place with cruise ships and so on packing the place during high season. On the other hand, this is definitely the place if you like a lot of “resort” in your beach vacation.

Playa del Carmen has a lot to offer to visitors. Of course, the beaches are beautiful and I highly recommend you catch the sunrise, which is some of Mother Nature’s finest work. Staying up shouldn’t be a problem since the nightlife in Playa del Carmen is plentiful.

During the day, you can loaf on the beach or head out for some diving in the clear waters of the Caribbean. Should you get tired of the beach, you can head inland for some surprisingly quality hiking.

Top Activities in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen (PDC) has different types of activities and things to do. You will not get bored! You will find numerous bars, clubs, shopping centers, cultural centers and a large variety of international and Mexican-Caribbean restaurants. In Playa del Carmen, you will find many activities from dawn to dusk. Mayan Explore recommends you these activities in Playa del Carmen:

  • Visit one of the famous Ecological Parks: Xcaret, Xelha, Xplor, Rio Secreto, Kantun Chi, Selvatica and Hidden Worlds.
  • Ek Balam, the newest archeological site.
  • Visit one of the famous sacred cenotes near PDC like Dos Ojos Cenote, Chikin Ha Cenote, Cenote Azul and Eden Cenote.
  • Diving and snorkeling in Cenotes.
  • Visiting Mayan archaeological sites such as Tulum, Chichen Itza, Coba and Ek-Balam.
  • Spending a day in one of the most famous international beach clubs.
  • Visiting one of the multiple ecological parks such as Xcaret, Xelha, Kantun-Chi and more.
  • Enjoying coffee and the shops on 5th Avenue.
  • When the sun goes down, the most famous activity among tourists in Playa del Carmen (PDC) is enjoying a coffee or a typical Italian ice-cream on 5th Avenue.

5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen

A good part of your time will revolve around 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen (La Quinta Avenida). This is the most important street in Playa del Carmen. The street runs parallel to the Caribbean Sea with all the intersecting streets that lead to the beach. It is a 2-mile pedestrian cobblestoned street, where you go for coffee in the morning, get lunch, shop for everything from crafts to expensive silver, have dinner, browse art, go dancing, go to see and to be seen.

Top 5 Inexpensive Activities in Playa Del Carmen

Many Playa del Carmen visitors prefer to explore the area by themselves rather than taking a commercial tour from 5th Avenue. What to do during your vacations at Playa del Carmen (PDC)? Mayan Explore recommends you this TOP 5 inexpensive activities in Playa del Carmen and the surroundings: 

Visit Playacar Beach

This beach is also known as being the quietest area in which you can relax and is often lonely. This beach starts next to Señor Frogs and ends just past Sandos Playacar. The walk to the end of Playacar is a nice one, walking past big houses, hotels, and resorts.

Daytrip to the Island of Cozumel

Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island just in front of Playa del Carmen. You can visit the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio as well as “Museo de la Isla” where they have many Mayan artifacts. The Island is declared one of the world’s top diving destinations due to the unusually clear waters and more than 200 species of marine wildlife.

Visit a cenote

An estimated six thousand cenotes have been found in the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo. In some cenotes, archaeologists have discovered thousands of artifacts and human remains, dated from 800 to 1550 A.D. The cenotes are underground caverns and river systems that formed limestone sinkholes. The cenotes are a truly unique natural gift that is a pleasure to explore.

Visit the Ruins of Tulum

Tulum one of the top-visited Mayan archeological site, located on the Caribbean coast overlooking the turquoise waters. The archaeological site of Tulum is about a 1-hour drive south of Playa del Carmen. These Mayan ruins are some of the best-preserved in the Yucatan and have the most beautiful broad white beaches, considered the finest in the Riviera Maya.

Swim with turtles in Akumal

Akumal is well-known as home to many different types of turtles. Enjoy a day in a different bay from all those found in Cancun and Riviera Maya, with calm waves perfect for snorkeling. Take a bus to Playa del Carmen ($48 pesos one way) and then take a “Colectivo” to Akumal, which is located in Calle 2 Norte between Av. 15 and 20 ( $30 pesos one way).

Best Affordable Restaurants In Playa Del Carmen

Wondering about what restaurants are known by locals to be the best as well as inexpensive? These are great options to eat during your vacations in Playa del Carmen at moderate prices:

La Cueva del Chango

The preferred restaurant for locals. The perfect restaurant for a delicious breakfast or lunch with affordable prices and a great natural atmosphere.

Restaurante Adela

A traditional Mexican restaurant on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. We highly recommend it if you want to taste real Mexican cuisine.

Fusion Restaurant

Enjoy the calm ocean breeze and fantastic view from the restaurant and bar overlooking the Mexican Caribbean Sea while dining an international fusion cuisine at affordable prices.

Pizza Stations

If you would like something fast and economic, there exist many pizza stations on 5th Avenue where you can eat a slice for $2 USD.

Playa del Carmen is a destination for everyone; it only depends on your imagination. You will have all the activities you want for the price you want to pay. If you have any questions or you would like our help, feel free to send us an email.

Nightclubs Playa del Carmen

  • Coco Bongo is one of the best nightclubs in Playa del Carmen. It is a huge party venue located on 12th street and famous for its shows that offer a musical mix journeying through 70s, 80s, 90s, dance, trance and hip hop.
  • Palazzo is one of the newest nightclubs in Playa del Carmen, the must to visit for locals every weekend.
  • La Santanera is heaven for electronic music.

Nightclubs in Playa del Carmen have a unique sense of fun for everybody’s desires.

Playa del Carmen Beachclubs

Playa del Carmen’s best beaches are occupied by some famous beach clubs in the area. Mayan Explore recommends you visit the following:

  • Playa Mamitas;
  • Kool Beach;
  • Canibal Royal;
  • Mosquito Beach club;
  • Blue Parrot Beach club;

Playa del Carmen is one of the best places for snorkeling since you have the Mesoamerican Reef 500 meters away from the shore.

The best beaches in Playa del Carmen are in Playacar. You will enjoy an amazing view of the Caribbean Sea and Cozumel without the noise of the famous beach clubs.

Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

Mexican food blends the influences of the old and new worlds. There exist many restaurants in Playa del Carmen to have breakfast or dinner. Many common ingredients (such as tomatoes, chiles, turkey, vanilla, chocolate, and corn) were consumed in pre-Columbian times, whereas others (dairy, beef, chicken, wheat, onions, and garlic) were introduced by the Spanish and French. Playa del Carmen´s 5th Avenue is filled with a variety of restaurants to satisfy every type of vacationer. One of our favorite Mexican restaurants is Casa Adela. Check out our top restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

On Playa del Carmen´s 5th Avenue,  you will find a large variety of restaurants to satisfy every type of vacationer. You will be spoilt for choice with the variety of restaurants Our favorites include “Luna Maya”, which serves exquisite Mexican dishes; and beachfront dining “Fusion” and “Alux” – the famous restaurant located in a cenote. Mayan Explore gives you a TOP 5  list of our favorite restaurants in the cosmopolitan village of Playa del Carmen (PDC).


“Great food, great service, and great location”

For those looking for a typical Mexican restaurant then you will not find a better place than Casa Adela. Not only will you be amazed by the food and service but by the chic artwork that is hanging on every wall. With the Mariachi music in the background and delicious food, this makes for the ideal dining experience.

  • Type of food: Mexican.
  • Opening times: Every day 8am – 12am. 
  • Price per Person: 10-30 USD.  
  • Phone Number: + (52) 984 803 2110. 
  • Address: 5th Avenue between 6th & 8th Street, Playa del Carmen. 


“Exquisite fine dining with outstanding ambiance”

Luna Maya is one of the newest restaurants and is located on “New 5th Avenue” (38th Street). This restaurant offers a modern and creative twist on Mexican cuisine. The head chef, Raul Pineda serves some of the finest foods in Playa del Carmen. Be sure to try his famous Duck Carnitas or the perfectly cooked steak.

  • Type of food: Mexican.
  • Opening times: Every day 6am – 1am.
  • Price per Person: 30–50 USD.   
  • Phone Number: + (52) 984 83 5880.
  • Address: 5th Avenue and 38th Street, Playa del Carmen.


“Dining in one of the most impressive settings in Mexico”

Thousands of years ago, a meteorite hit the Yucatan Peninsula – leaving natural caves (cenotes). Alux is set inside one of these cenotes. Dining here is visually impressive; imagine yourself surrounded by hundreds of stalactites and rock formations. The food is first class category, offering delicious Mexican and International cuisine.

  • Type of food: International/Mexican.
  • Opening times: Every day 5.30pm – 2am.
  • Prices per Person: 20–50 USD.
  • Phone Number: + (52) 984 147 1563. 
  • Address:  Av. Juarez, between 65th  & 70th Avenue, Playa del Carmen.


“Delicious healthy well-priced breakfasts… A must!”

Everyone who visits Playa del Carmen should visit La Cueva del Chango at least once. This is a great low key restaurant set in a lush jungle just a few steps away from busy 5th Avenue. The food and service are excellent. House favorites include Tuna Tostadas, Chicken & Blue cheese salad and the Aztec style soup.

  • Type  of food: Mexican/Vegetarian/Vegan.
  • Opening times: Monday – Saturday 8am –11pm, Sunday 8am – 2pm.
  • Price per Person: 10–30 USD.
  • Phone Number: + (52) 984 147 0721.   
  • Address: 5th Avenue and 38th Street, Playa del Carmen.


“Candlelit dining under the moon and stars at Fusion”

For the perfect Caribbean beach dinner head to Fusion, located on one of the best beaches in Playa del Carmen. This famous restaurant offers delicious international food, using the finest of ingredients. When the sun goes down, the candles light up. This restaurant is the perfect setting for any occasion, from a romantic dinner to a family wanting to dine on the beach.

  • Type of food: International.
  • Opening times: Monday–Wednesday 8am-12am, Thurs-Sat 8am–2am, Sun 8am– 12am.
  • Prices per Person: 30–50 USD.
  • Phone Number: + (52) 984 873 0374. 
  • Address: 6th Street and the beach, Playa del Carmen.


“Sophisticated dining at its best!”

This is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, located just a few steps away from the ADO Bus Station on Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue. Enjoy a wide range of delicious and scrumptious dishes that will delight all of your senses. Be sure to try the Spicy Shrimps, sautéed with onions and garlic and flambéed with White Wine. Simply delicious.

  • Type of food: International.
  • Opening times: Everyday 12pm – 11pm.
  • Prices per Person:  30–50 USD.
  • Phone Number: + (52) 984 803 0232.
  • Address: 5th Avenue and 2nd Street, Playa del Carmen.


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