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  1. The Complete Playa Del Carmen Guidebook •
  2. #2 Don’t Leave Airport Transfers to Luck
  3. 5th Avenue (Avenida 5)
  4. Ultimate Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Cancun airport is the main airport that services the area. Cozumel has an airport that is international but is often more expensive to fly into and out of and you would need to take the ferry to Playa Del Carmen. The center of Playa Del Carmen is where most things are. This street is about 20 blocks and keeps growing.

It has tons of restaurants, shops and entertainment for you. See our guide to discovering 5th Avenue here. The entire city is lined with a nice beach which provides easy access from all the downtown areas. Playa Del Carmen is a city in Mexico but it has a very international flavor. People from all over the world visit here and come here to live. The city also is not that tall, most buildings are four stories or less. The scale of the city is more like a town. That is what makes it more different than Cancun. No, but it is nice to speak some, but not necessary. Since Playa Del Carmen is very international, English is the common language.

Most people at hotel front desk, shops and restaurants in tourist areas all speak Spanish and English and maybe even some other languages. For more about visiting and speaking see our article on Spanish. Everyone wants to know what the weather will be like for their vacation. You will be happy to know that the weather in Playa Del Carmen is great for the beach year round. The Most rainfall is historically in September but that is also the most active hurricane month so it knocks the records out of whack.

For more on the weather and the best time to visit Playa Del Carmen, check out our article with charts. Playa Del Carmen is not a huge city and actually the area where most tourist go is relatively small. This area is also where the famous pedestrian street of 5th Avenue is. The red area is about 20 blocks long and about 4 blocks wide. So it is not a huge area where tourist normally go but it does offer a lot in a small area.

The yellow circle is the private community called Playacar which is part of Playa Del Carmen. In this area there are many hotels that are all inclusive resorts. The streets go in even numbers and avenues go in multiples of 5. Starting at the south end of Playa Del Carmen is 2nd St, then 4th, 6th, 8th and so on. Most places are described at being on a street and what it is between. House or business numbers are not used. If you search for hotel on the internet for Playa Del Carmen you will get about a 40 mile coastline option because booking sites consider the large area around Playa Del Carmen to be labeled that way.

This makes it very hard to know exactly if your hotel is in the city or along the coast. You have to decide between two things. Do you want an all inclusive hotel or would you like a hotel with the option of doing your own thing for meals?

The Complete Playa Del Carmen Guidebook •

These two things will narrow down what to look for. If you cannot decide between all inclusive or hotel you can see our article listing the pros and cons of each. We also made a recommended hotel list for all of the Riviera Maya that might help you narrow your search. In the map above with the red circle on it, this is where is it best to be in Playa Del Carmen center. It is basically from 2nd St. If you want to check prices of hotels in the Rivera Maya and Playa Del Carmen, click the link below for more information.

Renting a car is relatively easy in Mexico and useful if you are going to be doing some day trips. See our article on road rules and driving in Mexico. If you are staying at a resort along the Riviera Maya, they often have shuttles that take guest into Playa Del Carmen for the night or there are tours that pick up guest right from the hotel. If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen you can also take tours with transportation provided and most places in Playa Del Carmen are walkable. A taxi in Playa Del Carmen is not too expensive and easy to take. See our article on taking a taxi in Playa Del Carmen.

You can also rent bikes and scooters to see a little more of the area and get some exercise. If you want to go to Cancun or Tulum there are small vans that service those areas. Here is more information on the colectivo van service to Tulum and Cancun. If you want to take a bus to other parts of the Yucatan Peninsula there is one main bus company called ADO.

Playa Del Carmen is a modern city in Mexico and offers a high standard of hotels, transportation and food. So prices are a good value for what you get normally, but maybe not a huge difference from where you might live. The largest expenses are already going to be known when coming, the flight and hotel. Some of the all inclusive hotels that have food can be a good value when you figure the cost of meals and hotel together. Here are some sample expenses all prices are in US dollars: Most places on the resort property or nearby will accept USD and maybe Euros.

For a small amount of money it does not really matter. Places that accept dollars will do it at a worse rate then you can get at the ATM. The best way to exchange is simply the ATM. You will get a better rate then the Casa De Cambios on the street that exchange money. Banks in Playa Del Carmen can exchange money but it is really just for customers of the bank and you should just use a secure ATM or the small exchange booths located all over 5th Avenue.

If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen and not at an all inclusive hotel then you have the opportunity to eat out at the many great restaurants.

#2 Don’t Leave Airport Transfers to Luck

Show more Show less. I decided to include the answer here on my front page because I get this question so often via email, comments, in-person, etc. No matter how many times I answer this question, I always give the same response:. Despite the fact that I know many of you are traveling on different dates and staying for different durations, the truth is that you have hundreds or even thousands of options to choose from.

Luckily, and for all practical purposes — nearly all the activities here are quite fun! BUT — and this is important — most activities you can do here can also be done in Miami, the Bahamas, the Philippines, and other parts of the world. Like most tourist destinations, some activities here are very unique; others are not.

5th Avenue (Avenida 5)

My point is this: This really narrows things down a lot and gets to the essence of why you chose Playa Del Carmen in the first place. So, instead of trying to answer the first question, let me take a shot at the second. There are four things in Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding area that you will likely never see again: Here is a very brief introduction to each of them:. Below is a list of the essentials to get you started on planning your trip here.

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They mirror my sentiment from above about activity priorities. However, they were also chosen for several other distinct reasons:. Without more ado, here is my list of activities that you absolutely must not miss during your vacation here:. Take a ride through the jungle in buggies before visiting a remote and beautiful cenote. Inside a cenote with amazing artificial lighting. A view of the brightly colored lights and several fish swimming inside a cenote cavern. Several people jumping from the "Cliff of Courage" above a local cenote. Best Mayan Ruins Tour — Option 1. Explore one of the most majestic and fascinating sites in Mayan history: A Chichen Itza tour guide explaining the history of the Mayan ruins.

A group of tourists and a tour guide gathered in front of El Castillo pyramid. Another group of tourists standing in front of the large pyramid El Castillo. A strange and scary Mayan face on the side of the ruins at Chichen Itza. Best Mayan Ruins Tour — Option 2. Coba is one of the top three most visited Maya Ruin sites on the Yucatan Peninsula.

An aerial view of the front of the Tulum ruins and beach. An aerial view of the Tulum ruins with the Caribbean Sea in the background.

Ultimate Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

The Mayan ruins at Tulum with a beautiful sunset sky in the background. Secret River Guided Tour. Take a tour through an underground cavern and aqueous system that dates back hundreds of thousands of years. The ancient Mayan people considered these cave systems a path to the sacred underworld. Xcaret — Eco-Friendly Park. Be sure to start this tour with an empty stomach, as you will stop at 8 different restaurants around 5th Avenue — and beyond. An aerial view of Xcaret. A traditional dance and ritual performance in the Xcaret Stadium. Xel-Ha is the second most popular of the X-Parks.

At Xel-Ha there are many, many things to do, from simple snorkeling to over-water zip lines.

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  • 1. Take a Dip in a Cenote (one of the most refreshing things to do in Playa del Carmen).
  • Mamita's Beach Club.

You can swim, eat, drink, visit lagoons, and even swim in cenotes. The beautiful water and beach surrounding the area. A man and a woman walking along a double rope line above the water. Xplor is the third most popular of the X-Parks. Xplor includes a number of zip lines, underground cave paddling, and following others around a trail in a small dune buggy.

A group of visitors swimming in an underground cave at Xplor themepark. A picture collage of the various different activities available at Xplor. Several people with life jackets who are swimming in a large cenote. Two people riding in an amphibious all-terrain vehicle at Xplor themepark. They were emails telling me that that they heard about this website through a friend.

I believe people from all around the world are banging on about this website for several reasons:. Maybe when we return from Playa in September we will be able to contribute a photo and story to you. We visit the area regularly and love seeing the diversity that has accompanied the growth of the community. Love the sense of humor and tips!

I bookmarked your page and will definitely check it out for my upcoming trip in November! My 18 year old son and myself. Would love to meet you. Look for Cancun International Airport when pricing tickets. A nd be very careful with the spelling! You will first fly into Cancun and then take a minute ground transfer to Playa Del Carmen.

How do I know this? Because I was one of them! Did the same thing happen to you?