Are you a diving enthusiast? Playa del Carmen is among the top diving spots in the world. The rich caverns underwater and dynamic sea life have attracted many divers to pay a visit to the village. The area was once a traditional fishing village; and now it’s getting modernized with entertainment facilities. Golf course and visiting The Jungle Place sanctuary are some of the major travel activities. Traveling through the ancient ruins of Coba Mayan Village to discover the local history; and going shopping in the 5th Avenue are both worth some quality time.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JULY 11: Unidentified tourists on the beach of Playacar at Caribbean Sea in Mexico, July 11, 2011. This resort area is popular destination with the most beautiful beaches. (Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN,MEXICO-NOV 29, 2015: Unidentified tourists on the beach of Playacar at Caribbean Sea in Mexico, Nov 29, 2015. This resort area is popular destination with the most beautiful beaches. (Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JUNE 28 – Portal Maya monument as a window to the Caribbean sea on June 28, 2013. The Portal Maya is a work of art depicting the history, culture and origins of this city (Jose Ignacio Soto / Shutterstock)
Green turtle swimming at tropical island of Caribbean Sea (Copyright: Patryk Kosmider)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JUNE 28 – Voladores (acrobat performers) at “Flying Men Dance” ceremony on June 28, 2013. The ritual pleased the rain god Xipe Totec and was started in 5th Century. (Jose Ignacio Soto / Shutterstock)
Lighthouse in Playa del Carmen, near Cancun, Mexico (Chepe Nicoli / Shutterstock)
Beautiful brown pelican on mexican beach in Playa del Carmen (Copyright: Maciej Czekajewski)
Beautiful brown pelican on mexican beach in Playa del Carmen (Copyright: Maciej Czekajewski)
Typical white Mexican church in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico (Copyright: Jose Ignacio Soto)
Mayan ruins of Xaman Hai. In pre-Hispanic times acted as port to the island of Cozumel and it’s currently the city of Playa del Carmen, in the Riviera Maya, Mexico (Copyright: Jose Ignacio Soto)
Mexican Iguana resting on a rock in Playacar, Mexico (Copyright: Maciej Czekajewski)
Bell tower of old Spanish church near Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Copyright: Maciej Czekajewski)
Modern apartment buildings in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. (Copyright: karamysh)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JULY 13: Main hall interior and reception of RIU Yucatan Hotel in Playa del Carmen on July 13, 2011. RIU Hotels & Resorts has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries. (Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock)
Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen near Cancun, Mexico. (Chepe Nicoli / Shutterstock)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – FEBRUARY 7, 2010: Tourists along city streets. Approximately 2 million tourists per year visit Playa del Carmen and its surroundings. (CristinaMuraca / Shutterstock)
Playa del Carmen – Mexico (Joyce Sherwin / Shutterstock)
Colorful skulls souvenirs in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Copyright: Maciej Czekajewski)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico – January 4 2016 – People on 5th Avenue, the main street of the city. The city boasts a wide array of tourist activities due to its geographical location in the Riviera Maya. (posztos / Shutterstock)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico – January 4 2016 – Cigar shop in the downtown. The city boasts a wide array of tourist activities due to its geographical location in the Riviera Maya. (posztos / Shutterstock)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico – January 4 2016 – The cashier office of Cozumel ferry. The city boasts a wide array of tourist activities due to its geographical location in the Riviera Maya. (posztos / Shutterstock)
XCARET, MEXICO – January 6 2015 – The beautiful beach of Xcaret, a Maya civilization archaeological site located on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula. (posztos / Shutterstock)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JULY 20: Scenery of luxury swimming pool at RIU Yucatan Hotel in Playa del Carmen on July 20, 2011. RIU Hotels & Resorts has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries. (Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JULY 20, 2011: Scenery of luxury swimming pool at RIU Yucatan Hotel in Playa del Carmen. RIU Hotels & Resorts has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO – JULY 14, 2011: Unidentified people swimming with dolphins at Caribbean Sea of Mexico. It’s a largest dolphin habitat in the Mayan Riviera and popular tourist destination. (Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock)
Seagulls on thatched roof in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Copyright: Maciej Czekajewski)
Chichen Itza, Yucatan peninsula, Mexico (Copyright: posztos)
CHICHEN ITZA, MEXICO – MARCH 21,2014: Tourists watching the feathered serpent crawling down the temple (Equinox March 21 2014) (kravka / Shutterstock)
Relaxed cheerful woman enjoying tropical caribbean vacation at the beach in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Water Sport at Caribbean, Riviera Maya near Playa del Carmen and Tulum. One of the common activities in the area. (Copyright: DC_Aperture)
Playa del Carmen, Mexico – January 7 2016 – People on beach at sunset beach of Playa del Carmen. The city boasts a wide array of tourist activities due to its geographical location in the Riviera Maya (posztos / Shutterstock)
Amazing sunset at Caribbean Sea in Mexico (Copyright: Patryk Kosmider)
A Concise Travel Guide to Playa Del Carmen
By David Urmann
Playa Del Carmen is a city along the coast of the charming Caribbean Sea. It is also the Solidaridad Municipality’s county seat. In 2005 alone, its population has reached 100, 383, making it Quintana Roo’s 3rd largest city. This is following Chetumal and Cancun.
Playa Del Carmen was initially a small fishing town, starting their tourism industry with only ferry services to Cozumel, a small island adjacent to the Cozumel Channel and a world renowned scuba diving destination.
It has greatly improved through the years, and Playa del Carmen is today regarded as the Riviera Maya’s central location, acting as the stop over port of many cruise ships. Xcaret, a Mexican-themed “eco-archaeological” Park is one of its most loved tourist destinations.
A short travel guide to Playa Del Carmen will make your stay here more worthwhile.
You should never miss seeing the Xcaret Show. This is one of the most loved attractions in Playa del Carmen. It depicts the history of the Mayans. You will also find here a ball court game where in players merely use their hips in order to hit the ball. They also have fire hockey. It may be quite a lengthy show but you will enjoy watching almost a hundred people dancing along with live music.
Tipping in Playa Del Carmen is customary. Since most hotels and resorts here are all-inclusive, make sure you have loose change or $1 bills to give as tip, especially to waiters and maids. Even if this is included in their package, to get better services, consider this something you can do so as not to spoil you vacation. However, don’t overspend on tips. About $30 up to $40 worth of $1 bills are enough for a week stay here.
History says that Playa del Carmen was formerly a “sleepy” fishing village. At current, it is a fast growing tourist destination. It is calmer and smaller as compared to Cancun. If you prefer a smaller area and more privacy, Tulum is the best destination for you. It is just off south.
While in Playa del Carmen, you can tour the entire Yucatan Peninsula. You can also ride a ferry and reach beautiful Cozumel. Activities you can do include snorkeling and diving.
In Tulum, you will witness fascinating ruins that overlook the vast sea. You can also check out the Mayan ruins. They also have a lot of Cenotes or underwater wells. It is best to go with tour organizers to avoid missing the most important and popular attractions. The theme parks you may visit are Xel-Ha and Xcaret.
One activity you can do in Playa del Carmen, especially if you are already bored, is to play in the sand. The locals love to make sculptures out of sand. There are even competitions for the best sand sculptures. Maybe it is time to unleash your creativity and join the contest.
As for money concerns, in the Yucatan Peninsula, US dollars are widely accepted. However, it is better to use the peso, their local currency. It is also a better option to go to Scotia Bank located along the corner of Juarez and 5th Avenue if you need to withdraw from an ATM machine. Aside from this, if you are using a credit card, make sure the currency is specified and you check on this before signing your credit card slip.
Always book your tours in advance. Aside from not worrying about availabilities, you will also be able to determine the weather conditions. This way, you will know if the date you booked is hurricane region in Playa del Carmen. This is usually on the latter part of July to the 1st few weeks of August.
Playa Del Carmen really has a lot to offer its visitors. During the summer season, it gets crowded here and the hotels and resorts become all booked up. So that you won’t miss out on the best lodging accommodations, make sure you plan ahead and make the necessary reservations in advance.
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