Live the Mayan Riviera, meet Playa del Carmen
Extraordinary pristine waters, white sand beaches and the mystic ambiance that surrounds the Mayan Riviera, make Playa del Carmen a true paradise in the Mexican Caribbean. Being the largest city of the Mayan Riviera, Playa, as the locals call it, it’s strategically located between the cities of Cancun and Tulum and only 45 minutes away of two international airports. In this city, lined up by the beach, the visitor can take advantage of the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and its pedestrian-only strip, 5th avenue, which offers an interesting and live walk by the coast, while you can visit the majority of stores and restaurants. Playa del Carmen is a young city, with only 15 years of touristic history; however, its sudden growth has made it one of the main destinations for travelers around the world.
Our hotels in this destination:
Wrap yourself around the magic of Playa
Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular places in the Mayan Riviera, and overall the Southeast of Mexico, is a cosmopolitan city with constant population growth that offers its visitors a little bit of everything. From five-star international hotels in Playacar to the silver jewelry salesmen all 5th avenue long.
In Playa, almost nothing is more delightful than the sea; you can entertain yourself by participating in diverse water activities like scuba diving, fishing, boat parasailing, swimming with dolphins or simply a nice relaxing ride in a catamaran enjoying de sun rays.
After taking part in these activities, you should continue by enjoying a good meal; restaurants in Playa del Carmen have a relaxing and friendly environment, with an undisputable Caribbean spirit and a culinary so diverse that could transport you to almost any place on the planet.
If there is one thing that Playa is known for is its nightlife; many bars at the beach and in the city provide music and live entertainment.
Fifth Avenue, during the day is the center of commerce and touristic activity, at night becomes a great fiesta. Bohemians walk the strip; while couples all dressed up go out to dinner and later to the bars. The music moves them all and the differences in nationality disappear, at that moment they share the international language of fun. The best part of it is that at the end of the night, after bar hopping and enjoying a night full with stories to tell, you can freely walk back to your hotel. For many others, the party has a more profound meaning; each year hundreds of couples from around the world come here to make their dream of getting married in Playa del Carmen come true. The majesty of the landscape, it seems, seals those unions and makes them everlasting.
A bit of history
Mayans called Xaman Há, which means North Water; from here pilgrims visited the Sanctuary of Ixchel in Cozumel. The first settlement in this area, after the arrival of the Spaniards to America, is registered at the beginning of the 2oth century; fishermen and coconut and gum tree growers started a small city whose growth was paused until the beginning of the nineties. By mid-nineties, the population of Playa del Carmen wasn’t more than 1,500 inhabitants. However, the touristic development of the city changed the course in an impressive way. What was once a small fishermen village, became a buoyant city of approximately 60,000 inhabitants and an international visitor’s flow that overpasses two million every year.
Yucatan Peninsula, home of the Mayan Riviera, is a place of incommensurable beauty: impressive beaches, secluded coves, Mayan ruins, lush jungles, mangroves and caves that give an aureole of majesty to the area and pleases the most demanding visitors. The Mayan Reef is part of the second longest barrier reef in the world, which runs from the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula south through the neighboring countries of Belize and Honduras.
About Playa del Carmen
Playa has everything you need within the touristic zone; it won’t take you long to get acquainted and know your way around. There are many stores, spa, beauty salons, gyms, tattoo parlors, hardware stores, Laundromats, etc., where you can receive an array of services. In the stores of the area, you can buy swim suits, sandals, accessories, beverages, etc.
There’s also a lot you can buy on the street, such as jewelry made out of Mexican silver, crafts (hammocks, sculptures, hats, etc.), and Aztecan calendars made out of different materials, souvenirs, among other things.
There are two bus stations in Playa, one on Fifth Avenue and another at the corner of avenue 20th and 12th street. If you prefer having your own means of transportation and want to enjoy nature riding in the city, there are motorcycle and bike rentals.
If, apart of the many attractions in Playa del Carmen, you want to get to know other places in the Mayan Riviera, you can take advantage of some nearby places that are ideal for adventure and ecological tourism. The island of Cozumel is in front of Playa del Carmen, just 45 minutes away on the ferry; by land, six kilometers south of the city is the Archeological Park of Xcaret. There are also other two options to see: the archeological zone of Tulum and the Ecological Park Xel-Ha.