Last week we showed you what to do in Cancun. And this week it’s Playa del Carmen’s turn. Also here we stayed a week in our transit through Mexico. The lists of Cancun and Playa del Carmen will look alike because of course they are only an hour’s drive from each other. I hope you have something to do with this list when you stay in Playa del Carmen.
What to do in Playa del Carmen?
If you stay in Playa del Carmen for more than 3 days, you should have just been in Xcaret! This natural water theme park is more than just that. With experiences that you can only put on there, such as swimming in an underground cave or with dolphins, this is paradise on earth. Not to mention the many shows that are going on throughout the day, with the big closing show as the absolute highlight. This was definitely one of our highlights in Mexico. With the only downside being that this is quite pricey, because you pay about 110 euros per man, and not all attractions are included. Xcaret does have some little brothers where in some cases you pay less and still get a lot for your money. We also visited Xplor where you can do a lot of daring activities and enjoy a nice buffet for a whole day. You can easily reach all these water amusement parks by taxi or use one of the free buses if you have already purchased your ticket in advance.
The next attraction is one that is a little further away. But don’t let that be an obstacle, because this is a very nice day trip. Tulum is a very well known place due to its Instagram-worthy bars and beaches. But the main reason to go there is the archaeological ruins of the Mayans. These are beautiful, just like in Chichen Itza, with the difference that you also have a nice view over the sea here. Where you can take very unique pictures. Tulum is best reached from Playa del Carmen with the ADO buses. There are also a host of other travel companies that offer this as an outing but this is of course much more expensive. This isn’t really located in Playa del Carmen, but it’s worth doing if you’re staying in Playa del Carmen.
We ourselves did not visit Cozumel because we visited Isla Mujeres from Cancun earlier. And according to a lot of people, this is about the same thing. But it seems like a very nice day trip that you can make with the yellow Ultramar ferries that leave every hour. You pay about 50 euros for a return ticket. This island is especially popular with divers and people who like snorkeling.
Nearby you will find a lot of beautiful cenotes that you can visit and where you can swim. A cenote is a cave or pool of water and where wild plants grow along it. Which often makes these places beautiful. It’s best to find these hidden treasures through Google Maps where they are well signposted. Or you can check out where 3 absolute toppers are put in the light. Visiting the cenotes is best done with a taxi which you then rent half or all day. This is usually not that expensive.
You can easily visit Cancun from Playa del Carmen with the ADO buses. But outside for the beach and the sea (this one is nicer in Cancun) this is a bit of lost money because Playa del Carmen has at least the same amount to offer. But of course that is different for everyone and that is why we put it on this list. After all, Cancun is an outing that many tourists like to make.
6 Chichen Itza
From Playa del Carmen you can visit a wonder of the world and that is highly recommended. Chichen Itza and the entire Mayan culture is impressive and just part of the history of Mexico. Couple a visit to Chichen Itza to the town of Valladolid and to the cenote I Kil where you can swim in an unforgettable location. This trip is offered by a lot of companies in Playa del Carmen, but you can also plan this trip yourself. Which makes it cheaper, but also gives you more time at each location than the tours offered by organizations. We visited this wonder of the world from Cancun,but you can also do the same from Playa del Carmen. If you’re still travelling to Cancun, you’d better do it from Cancun.
7 Shopping Street 5th Avenue
The largest shopping street of Playa del Carmen is also called 5th Avenue (just like that of New York). They are absolutely not comparable to each other, yet this 5th Avenue of Playa del Carmen is also worth while. There are cosy bars, souvenir shops and a shopping centre. And the nice thing about this street is the variety between typical Mexican shops and the western shops of ours. For some this street can be busy but we found it especially a cozy bustle.
What to do in Playa del Carmen according to you?
This was our list‘What to do in Playa del Carmen’. Hopefully it will help you or maybe you have some additions to this list? Then we’d like to hear that in the comments.
Are you looking for some inspiration about Mexico? Be sure to check out our travel stories of our tour of Mexico.