Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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Playa del Carmen: Coastal Fun on the Yucatán Peninsula
White sandy beaches, exhilarating theme parks, scenic golf courses and much more await you in the Yucatán city of Playa del Carmen. Situated along the Riviera Maya, gazing out upon the Caribbean Sea, the city has evolved from humble fishing town into one of Mexico’s trendiest vacation destinations. Visit this particular corner of Latin America and you can expect beauty, serenity, intrigue and a hefty dose of joie de vivre.
Exploring the City
If you’re planning a trip to Playa del Carmen, the chances are you’ll arrive by road, via Cancun International Airport, or by sea. Cruise liners dock just south of the city, with taxis in plentiful supply to take you from the port to your hotel. Most hotels are located in one of two places: along the seafront in the main city centre; or in the neighbourhood of Playacar, which is home to the majority of all-inclusive resorts.
Once settled in, the streets of Playa del Carmen await. Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, is the city’s most famous street and a magnet for domestic and international tourists alike. Here you’ll discover hundreds of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Just about everything you could ever need during your trip can be found along this completely pedestrianized street. Even better, the beach is just two blocks away.
Lazy Days on the Beach
Anybody that visits Playa del Carmen quickly finds themselves won over by the city’s beach. With soft white sands and beautiful turquoise waters, the beach not only looks great but enjoys a friendly and relaxing vibe. Sure, you’ll find the typical trappings of a Mexican resort beach (think sun loungers, hawkers and hordes of people), but it’s still easy to have a good time.
Travellers looking for a quiet spot may wish to consider any of the beach clubs dotted along the shores. Some of these belong to specific hotels, while others have no affiliation. Either way, day passes are often available for those looking to lay back and relax or take advantage of seafront swimming pools and other available facilities.
If you’re really looking for a treat though, take the 45-minute ferry journey to the island of Cozumel, where you’ll discover a host of tranquil beaches, not to mention world-class dive spots.
Keeping Busy in Playa del Carmen
When you’ve had your fill of the beach, or if you have your fill of the beach, there’re plenty of activities to keep you occupied during your time in Playa del Carmen. Snorkelling and scuba diving are wildly popular along the Riviera Maya, thanks to the Mesoamerica Barrier Reef System, the second longest barrier reef in the world. Shore-based dive operators and sea-based operators are available, with novices, amateurs and experts all catered for.
If golf’s your game, be sure to book a round or two at one of the region’s local courses. Golf Club Playacar is a popular choice, particularly with those staying at all-inclusive resorts in Playacar itself. However, El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Club, a PGA course, is the choice for serious players.
Other popular tourist pursuits include parasailing, fishing, sailing and various water sports. Whatever you do with your day, Playa del Carmen comes alive at night, with lively bars and bustling nightclubs open for business.
The Riviera’s Theme Parks
Many visitors to Playa del Carmen make a beeline for the region’s eco-friendly theme parks. Located about three miles south of the city, Xcaret Park is the main attraction here. The park features a number of water-based amenities, including underground rivers and swimming pools. You’ll discover a turtle sanctuary and dolphin aquarium amongst the wildlife-based features, while the evening brings with it light shows and epic performances. Be sure to check out the recreation of the Maya ballgame.
Like Xcaret, the Xplor Adventure Park also features subterranean rivers, with caves and grottoes. Travellers with nerves of steel can tackles the two miles of zip line here, hurtling through the canopy whilst taking in magnificent views. Meanwhile, Rio Secreto offers another opportunity to explore underground rivers.
Revisiting the Maya
A trip to Playa del Carmen wouldn’t be complete without an archaeological adventure. With a vast selection of historical sites to be found up and down the Riviera Maya, you’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to places worth visiting. A host of half-day and full-day trips are readily available, with some hotels offering discounts for guests.
Perhaps the most popular destination for those staying in Playa del Carmen would be Tulum. Located 40 miles south of the city, this picturesque site features an impressive collection of Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean. Other worthwhile sites include Coba and even the El Rey ruins in Cancun.
If you’re serious about your explorations though, a trip to Chichen Itza is a must. It may require a six-hour round trip, but the world-renowned site is something you’ll truly marvel at and remember forever.
Price rangefrom C$22to C$4,602
- Hotel Occidental at Xcaret Destinationdeals from C$170
- Hotel Ocean Riviera Paradise Privilegedeals from C$7
- Hotel Hotel Aqualuna Playa Del Carmendeals from C$7
- Hotel Posada Mariposadeals from C$53
- Hotel Brand New Ocean View Condo With Roof Top Pooldeals from C$63
- Hotel Ocean Maya Royaledeals from C$146
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