Playa Del Carmen

Blessed with some on the most beautiful beaches on the Mayan Riviera, in recent years Playa del Carmen has blossomed from a small fishing village into a popular and chic resort. Many people visit Playa simply to relax and sip Margaritas amidst the unspoiled white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. However, for the more active, the resort also lies within easy reach of many impressive Mayan ruins.

Playa also offers some of the best nightlife on the Riviera, with an abundance of cafés, restaurants and bars lining the Avenida Quinta, the pedestrianised road set back one block from the sea.


Stunning beaches are undoubtedly Playa’s main attraction. Miles upon miles of un-crowded white sand means that for most visitors, the priority will simply be to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

For those wanting to make the most of the turquoise Caribbean waters, scuba-diving is the area’s most popular sport. The reef along the coast is the second largest barrier reef in the world, exceeded only by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Dives and courses of all types and levels are available.

Other water sports are also very popular. Playa offers numerous water activities, including wind surfing, kayaking, sport fishing, kite surfing and parasailing.

The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its abundance of Mayan ruins, and Chichen Itza and Coba are both reached within three hours. Tulum, dramatically situated on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean sea, is only an hours drive from Playa.


Avenida Quinta is lined with souvenir shops, selling everything from hammocks and tacky sombreros to designer clothes. There are also exclusive boutiques for those interested in Mexican silver-jewellery.

Playa is a good place to purchase arts and crafts from around the region.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Playa’s cosmopolitan atmosphere ensures that there is a huge variety of restaurants, offering everything from Japanese to Swedish cuisine. Most of these are situated along Avenida Quinta, with outside dining, high quality food and prices to match.

For a more authentic Mexican experience, the roads set further back from the beachfront offer tacos and other Mexican staples at local prices.

There are also a vast array of bars and nightclubs, many of which are on the beach itself. Constant happy hours and a wide variety of themes and music ensure that Playa’s nightlife is affordable and offers something for all tastes, from chic candlelit European bars to American happy-hour diners.

Tourist Information

Mayan Riviera Tourist BoardStreet 28 Mza. 4 Lote 1 Col. Ejidal Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico 77710 Tel: +52 (984) 206


Most visitors fly to Cancun International Airport, which is about one hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen. There are many charter flights to Cancun from across Europe and Latin America, and direct scheduled flights from North America.

Playa does have an airstrip of its own but this largely handles small charter aircraft, mainly used to service Cozumel and ruins such as Chichen Itza and Palenque.

All car hire locations in Mexico