Located along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline, Playa del Carmen is one of the greatest vacation destinations on the planet. Here, you’ll find luxurious all inclusive resorts, white-sand beaches, rich Mayan culture and much more. Here’s everything you need to know about Playa del Carmen.
Getting to Playa del Carmen
The closest airport to Playa del Carmen is the Cancún International Airport, which is easily accessible from multiple North American airports – the beach is within reach! From Cancún International Airport, you can get to Playa del Carmen in style and comfort in just about 45 minutes. If you’re not renting a car, there are multiple shuttle services to whisk you away to your all inclusive Playa del Carmen resort.
Where to stay in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen all inclusive hotels and resorts offer luxury, exclusivity and pure awesomeness. Here are a few options:
- Royal Hideaway Playacar – Set on an idyllic, pristine stretch of white sand in Playa del Carmen, the AAA Four-Diamond, adults-only Royal Hideaway Playacar effortlessly blends world-class service and luxurious accommodations. Bask in the sun around one of six pools or beachside where the Pool & Beach Butlers ensure that refreshments are just a moment away.
- Barceló Maya Grand Resort – Situated on one of the Mexican Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, the 24-hour all-inclusive Barceló Maya Grand Resort is comprised of six resorts: Barceló Maya Palace, Barceló Maya Tropical, Barceló Maya Colonial, Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe – and the brand-new adults-only Barceló Maya Riviera.
- Occidental at Xcaret Destination – The 24-hour, all-inclusive Occidental at Xcaret Destination is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya amidst a natural and cultural environment. The resort also offers two exclusive entrances to the adjacent Xcaret eco-archaeological park, which offers over 40 cultural attractions and exhibitions.
The best Playa del Carmen beaches
Let’s face it: your Playa del Carmen vacation is going to be focused on beach time. The destination is home to some of the best Caribbean beaches – perfect stretches of sand with sparkling ocean views and gently swaying palm trees. Royal Hideaway Playacar’s beach is the ideal place to relax and unwind. When you’re a guest here, you’re always just steps away from pure beach bliss. For a real Playa del Carmen beach party try the always vibrant Mamitas Beach. Or discover the quiet solitude of the pristine Akumal Beach, where you can snorkel, sunbathe and encounter amazing Mexican sea turtles.
The best Playa del Carmen attractions
Beyond the beach, there are incredible things to do during your Playa del Carmen vacation.
- Mayan culture – Playa is just a short distance from Tulum, one of Mexico’s most famous Maya ruins. Here, you can wander amidst structures that were built centuries ago, demonstrating the technological and architectural skills of this civilization. Good to know: Vacaciones Barceló’s Tulum Explorer offers expert guidance throughout the site and much more.
- Playa del Carmen museums –The Museo Frida Kahlo Riviera Maya showcases one of Mexico’s most famous artists in an interactive setting. The 3-D Museum of Wonders features an array of eye-popping optical illusions – you have to see them to believe them! And the Tequila Museum provides a pathway to instant expertise on Mexico’s signature spirit.
- Cenote Azul – Cenotes are natural swimming holes with beautiful water and the area around Playa del Carmen is full of ‘em! Cenote Azul, located in a lovely Mayan jungle, is a family friendly option.
Where to eat in Playa del Carmen
The best restaurants in Playa del Carmen offer authentic flavors, spectacular settings and diverse menus.
- Las Ventanas is Royal Hideaway Playacar’s fine dining spot. Michelin-Star Executive Chef Sanchez’s menu was inspired by the rich culinary traditions of southern Spain. Every dish is made with ingredients sourced directly from local farms and providers.
- Tacos, anyone? El Fogon, located in Playa del Carmen’s buzzing downtown, is often cited as one of the city’s greatest taco joints.
- For fresher-than-fresh seafood, make a beeline to Los Hijos de la Tostada. The tuna burger comes highly recommended, as does the seafood tostada.
Shopping during your Playa del Carmen vacation
For an extraordinary shopping spree during your Playa del Carmen vacation, head straight to La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue). Here, you’ll find everything from quirky souvenir shops to upscale brand name boutiques. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it on La Quinta! A recommended “all-in-one” Playa del Carmen shopping destination is Paseo del Carmen, Mediterranean-style outdoor shopping mall.
Playa del Carmen nightlife
No matter what kind of after-hours mood you’re in, you’ll find a nightlife destination during your Playa del Carmen vacation. Royal Hideaway Playacar’s Allegria Bar is a laid-back lounge with expertly mixed cocktails and live music. The Dirty Martini Lounge is a Playa del Carmen cocktail hot spot with outdoor seating along La Quinta Avenida. Feel like dancing? Hit Coco Bongo, where the music is loud, the vibes are fun and the crowd is always lively.
The wonders of Playa del Carmen await. Stop dreaming of coming to this magical place – and start planning.