Chichén Itzá

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What can you do in Playa del Carmen?


Carmen beach
What the beach looks like between the Cozumel ferry dock and 12th Street in Playa del Carmen.

Are you thinking about a vacation in Playa del Carmen? Or have you already planned a trip and want to know what there is to do in Playa del Carmen? Well, you’re in good hands here. We’ve been in Playa for over a decade and know the best things to do for visitors. We know that everyone is a little different and has different wants and desires, so we’re going to cover a number of things you can do in Playa del Carmen.

First, the beach of Playa del Carmen

great news Platja del Carmen runs parallel to the beach and most of the central area has easy access to the beach. It can be easy to walk to the beach and leave your towel. You can also go to one of the beach clubs and pay for a chair or bed. Beach clubs make going to the beach a little easier. You have access to a bathroom, food and beverage service and maybe a pool or showers. Check out our guide to beach clubs in Playa del Carmen here.

If you just want to go to the beach and relax on your own, it probably depends on where you’re staying. Chances are you want to go to a beach that isn’t too far away. Most people will stay between the Cozumel Ferry Dock and CTM Avenue. The beach is very accessible and you can find corners along this stretch.

what to do in playa del carmen

View from one of the beach clubs in Playa del Carmen.

What to do on the beach in Playa del Carmen

If you want to do something beyond swimming and sunbathing on the beach, there are things you can do. If you like something a little physical and you like peace and quiet, the Aloha Paddle Club is a great activity to get out on the water. You can check out their Facebook page here. You can go out with them in the morning and have a different view of Playa del Carmen.

If you want something like jet skiing, small catamaran ride, banana boat or parasailing, you can find it mainly on 28th Street and the beach where Mamitas Beach Club is located. Here you will find sellers. You can also find jet skis around CTM Avenue and the beach.

Degree: Some things are not available, such as sunset cruises and catamaran tours. Playa has no port, only docks, so the bigger catamarans leave from Puerto Adventuras, Moroma or Cancun,

What is there to do in Playa del Carmen?

Stand up paddle boarding at sunrise!

Attractions and things to do in or near Playa del Carmen

For many, the most anticipated activity in Playa del Carmen is walking down 5th Avenue. Quinta Avenida, as it is called in Spanish, is a street parallel to the beach that is a pedestrian street. Along 5th Avenue you will find restaurants, shops, street performers, artists and a guaranteed lively atmosphere. We have a detailed video to help you discover the best of 5th Avenue.

In addition to 5th Avenue, there are dining options, the beach, clubs, bars and adventure parks on the outskirts of the city. In Playa del Carmen there are no aquariums, zoos, architectural tours or museums (unless you count the 3D Museum) like many cities in the world. It’s mostly about sunbathing and enjoying the location. Later in this article we will talk about things for a day trip, but for now, let’s mention the things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Activity parks near Playa del Carmen

There are several great adventure parks near Playa del Carmen. Here is a short summary of each. Remember, if you buy your tickets through our links in our articles, we get a referral credit and you still pay the same price. Using our links helps support our website so we can provide you with more information.

  • xcaret This is the largest of all the parks. It showcases Mexican culture and heritage, as well as highlights the natural environment found in the Riviera Maya. This park is a very complete day or tour. We think people of all ages will find this park entertaining. The two hour show at the end is amazing. Make sure if you go here to stay for the show.
  • xplor. This is a real adrenaline park. The best ziplines in the area are here. In addition, there is swimming and paddling in underground rivers and driving in the jungle on all-terrain vehicles. This park is for families, young people and adults who can enjoy all the activities because they have no limitations. degree: Families with small children can enjoy this park, but there are height and weight restrictions for some activities.

  • Xenses This is another Xcaret park. It is a half-day park and is aimed at children. Explore your senses with attractions and crazy architecture here.

Visiting cenotes near Playa del Carmen

The cenotes (pronounced “see notes tees”), are a unique natural formation in our area. They are fresh water ponds that form at the rocky base of the peninsula. The most easily accessible cenotes near Playa del Carmen are located south along the highway. It takes about 20 minutes in a group to reach these three cenotes.

What to do in Playa del Carmen

A small trail passes through the center of Cenote Blau.

Food in Playa del Carmen

If you are a foodie or just like to eat good food, there are many places to visit in Playa del Carmen. Playa is a species of Ellis Island in Mexico. We have many people from all over the world who bring their dishes and culture with them. So we have a wide variety of cuisines.

Here are some insider tips and places to check out when in Playa del Carmen:

What to do in Playa del Carmen

Bars and clubs to go out in Playa del Carmen

It’s always fun to go out to a bar, live music or a club. Here’s more information on each.

Bars in Playa del Carmen

Most of the bars in Playa del Carmen are smaller, more cheerful places. There are beach bars, expat bars, sports bars and betting bars. Usually in Playa you can find a bar that suits your crowd. Here is a guide to bars in Playa del Carmen.

Live music in Playa del Carmen

For live music, you’ll find most bars on 5th Avenue. In Playa you can find rock, Latin music and some local bands. We have this guide here to know where to go and listen to live music. There’s also this handy Facebook page that tells you who’s playing and what’s on in Playa del Carmen.

What to do in Playa del Carmen

It’s Bloody Mary on 5th Avenue where you can find live music. Just one of the things you can do in Playa del Carmen on vacation.

Clubs to go to at night

Clubs in Playa del Carmen usually start around 11:00 PM and go until about 3 or 4 AM. There are nightclubs with shows like Coco Bongo or nightclubs for dancing and taking selfies. Most of the clubs are centered around 12th Street, between 10th Avenue and the beach. We have a nightlife guide here for Playa del Carmen.

What are the best tours and excursions to do?

As mentioned above, Playa del Carmen is very close to several Xcaret parks. We can recommend all of their parks because they are well made, appeal to each market differently and are good value. We have mentioned the parks near Playa Del Carmen, now here are the other parks you can visit and also other ideas.

Xel Ha snorkeling park

Xel Ha is one of our favorite places to visit. We never get tired of visiting here. Xel Ha is a cove where you can snorkel all day and have all your food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) included. We recommend it for all ages. Everyone can enjoy the time here. This park is located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

things to do

Xel Ha is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and more at this inlet. This ecological park is located north of Tulum.

Xenotes Park

Xenotes Park is one of Xcaret’s projects. This park is designed to get people out of the hotel and into nature. You will visit a private area with 4 beautiful cenotes. In each there are activities such as swimming and ziplining. This is a good activity to do if you want to visit a more natural area and don’t mind getting wet while having a good time. We recommend this for couples and families. Perhaps best suited for families with children aged 10 to 17.

Visit the Mayan ruins

Visiting a Mayan ruin site is often at the top of many visitors’ bucket lists. There are several good ruins to choose from such as the famous Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum. There are also smaller and lesser known ones like Muyil and Ek Balam. We’ve written a whole guide on which Mayan ruins are best to visit because it can be hard to choose which one to go see.

Excursions to Chichén Itzá

Since this is one of the most popular Mayan ruins to visit, here are two tours you can take here. We have a full description and videos so you can see what the tours are like.

things to do

The main pyramid of Chichén Itzá called “El Castillo”.

What to do if it rains during the holidays?

We get this question a lot. A lot of people see a forecast with a lot of rain and people freak out. The good news is that it rarely rains for days and if the weather forecast has predicted rain every day, it usually just means there is a chance, and it might not even rain. However, there are times when a day is a blur and you still want to do something on your vacation. So be sure to check out our guide to things to do on a rainy day in Playa del Carmen.

Thanks for reading our guide to things to do in Playa del Carmen. As you can see, there is a lot to see and do in the area. Be sure to check out our other area guides so you can have a great vacation in the area.


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