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A Visitor’s Guide to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Introduction to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Playa Del Carmen is a scenic resort town on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The town is unique because unlike some resorts that have a kitschy Mexican theme to appeal to American tourists, Playa Del Carmen has authentic Mexican culture mixed with distinctly European sophistication.

Whether you are planning a thrilling getaway packed full of nightlife, a relaxing trip spent tanning on the beach or a fun filled family vacation, Playa Del Carmen is the perfect Mexican destination for you. Read on to learn a little more about the top attractions in the area as well as the best options for accommodations.

The Beach at Playa Del Carmen

There can be no doubt that the biggest attraction in the entire area is the large beach for which the entire coastal resort is named. The beach is free of charge and is almost always busy with locals as well as international travellers. There are plenty of water sports to enjoy along the beach thanks to the small stores and vendors that rent out surfboards, snorkelling equipment and even jet skis. Hotels, bars and cafes dot the shoreline and create a fun social atmosphere at the beach. If you would like to rent a sun lounger or even a cabana, that can be arranged through one of the many beach clubs for a price. Expect to pay upwards of $8 USD for umbrellas or lounger rentals.

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A fabulous view of the beach at Playa Del Carmen, look at that sand!

La Quinta

This is the popular shopping and Commercial Avenue found in Playa Del Carmen. Called La Quinta by locals, the full name of the street is actually La Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue. There is no end to the exciting things to do, see or buy along La Quinta. The whole stretch of road is pedestrian and very safe even at night. If you want to enjoy some fine local dining or even enjoy the nightlife along the Mexican coast, La Quinta is the place to be. It is busy even during the late hours of the night thanks to tourists as well as locals catering to the influx of visitors. If you want to buy some souvenirs on your trip, La Quinta is the right place to find a range of charming local goods to remind you of your time in Playa Del Carmen.

A scene from La Quinta, a famous avenue in Playa Del Carmen.

Xcaret

This attraction is an archaeological park just two miles outside of Playa Del Carmen. The park is an Eco-friendly adventure thanks to exciting exhibits, activities and recreation opportunities. Many people consider Xcaret to be the top attraction not just in Playa del Carmen, but in the entire Yucatan Peninsula. Admission price for the entire day is $71 per adult. This includes meals for the day, a cultural performance at night, access to the animal displays, swimming areas, showers and luggage lockers, tours through the jungle, aquariums and over 40 major attractions onsite. Families with children should make a special effort to include Xcaret on their travel itineraries while in Playa Del Carmen.

Parrots and plants photo taken at the Xcaret archaeological park near Playa Del Carmen.

Finding Accommodation in Playa Del Carmen

There is no shortage of accommodation options in this Mexican coastal resort. Budget travellers should look for lodging in one of the handful of youth and traveller hostels found along the beach. Hotels can be found in a range of prices to suit visitors and are located along La Quinta as well as in more secluded areas along the main beach. For a private and exclusive holiday, click here to see some holiday homes in Playa Del Carmen. You can rent authentic local homes or lavish villas depending on your needs, the size of your travel party and your budget.