22 IDEAL Things to Do In Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Whether you’re only in Playa del Carmen for a few days or several days, the things you do will make or break your trip. So if you’ve been thinking about what you could do in Playa del Carmen, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll even show you how to get from your luxury stay in Cozumel, across the street, to this beautiful location to make sure you have the most relaxing and fun experience possible.

Company in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Let’s get to the point with a visit to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

1. take a bath in Kainot

Have you ever heard of the cenote? No? Actually, it’s a cave filled with water. It’s the perfect place to swim in Playa del Carmen!

Over the years there have been many septic tanks in the area that have become filled with fresh water. It will be difficult to find a cleaner place to bathe.

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/22-IDEAL-Things-to-Do-In-Playa-del-Carmen-Mexico.jpg Photo credit: Robert Pittman (Creative Commons / Flickr)

You can even dive there if you have a diving license! However, it is important to note that you are not allowed to wear sunscreen and you will probably have to pay an entrance fee. But trust us, it’s worth it.

There are many cenotes, including the Kenote Hilarios cave and the Kenote La Gloria oasis in the jungle.

2. visit Coco Bongo for nightlife

Those of you who have been to Cancun many times may think that Playa del Carmen brings with it a very festive atmosphere. However, it is not as crazy as you might think.

If you’re looking for a nighttime party, Coco Bongo is the place for you. With terrible bass lines, acrobatics and raging strobes, you’ll be entertained from the moment you step in the door.

Coco Bongo Cancun Coco Bongo – Photo: Abir Anwar (Creative Commons / Flickr).

Just make sure the ticket has an open bar. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to think clearly in the morning!

Tip: If Coco Bongo is not for you, try La Waquita or Mandala.

3. Ocean skydiving

Playa del Carmen is the best place to parasail in the ocean. Countless boats are ready to take you to Cloud Nine – even if you’ve never done it before!

Let’s not lie. Undressing is uncomfortable enough. But once in the air, skydiving is one of the most relaxing activities. With the clear ocean below you and the blue sky above you, you’ll never want to go down again.

Oh, and be prepared to get wet (eventually). Sometimes they like to dip their feet in the ocean for a little fun. So it’s advisable to change clothes (and have a waterproof camera with you)!

4. Salsa dancing in Zenzi

No doubt, a day at the beach is both relaxing and invigorating. And what better way to end a lazy day than with a dance?

Zenzi is a bar and restaurant located on the beach. But food and drink are not the main attraction. Instead, let salsa dance the crowd!

Zenzi in Playa del Carmen Zenzi in Playa del Carmen – Photo: Sean and Lauren (Creative Commons / Flickr).

You can join in by standing up and moving your hips to the rhythm of the live salsa group. Of course, when you are done grooving, the tapas can wait for you.

Tip: If you have never tried salsa, take advantage of the free classes on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

5. Los Fundadores Park

Parque Los Fundadores, also known as Founding Fathers Park, is a great place for both children and adults.

When you land in Cozumel, this park may be the first thing you see. With a playground in the middle and the famous Portal Maya statue in the background, you can spend an hour or two cooling off in the sun.

If you come at the right time, you might get the chance to attend a performance by the Voladores de Papantla. What is it, we hear you ask? It’s an acrobatic show where talented people swing on their feet from a height of 90 meters. Impressive, if you ask us!

6. visit the best beaches

It is true that erosion has led to the loss of many beaches in Playa del Carmen. But there are still a few that you should check out on your walk.

Depending on where you are staying, you may have to call a cab to get to a decent beach. Don’t worry, it’s worth it in the end!

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/1612997524_746_22-IDEAL-Things-to-Do-In-Playa-del-Carmen-Mexico.jpg Mamitas Beach Club – Photo: Becky Lai (Creative Commons / Flickr).

While the “best” beaches are somewhat subjective, our favorites are the following:

  • Playacar Beach – Most vacationers will tell you that this is their favorite. However, it is quite remote and difficult to access.
  • Mamitas Beach Club – For those of you who like to party, Mamitas will become your new favorite place. Get ready for a constant rhythm of dancing in the background of your conversations.

7. discover the Xcaret Park

Technically, Xcaret Park is a theme park, but it’s not just focused on scary attractions. It’s more about nature, caring for our environment, exhibits, museums and everything else! There is nothing you can’t do in this place of universal entertainment.

You can spend your days exploring all that this park has to offer, it’s as good as it gets!

http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/1612997524_67_22-IDEAL-Things-to-Do-In-Playa-del-Carmen-Mexico.jpg Xcaret – Photo credit : Dtraveller Cancun (Creative Commons / Flickr)

Don’t forget to bring your swimwear. You will definitely want to enjoy the thrill of swimming in the underground river. This is undoubtedly a unique park that you will not find anywhere else.

8. visit to a tequila tasting facility

Whether you are already a tequila connoisseur or not, a tasting in Playa del Carmen is just magical.

Not only will you taste the creations of the best tequila makers in the world, but you will also learn how it is made and how to choose the best bottle.

There are many tequila tastings in the area, but we recommend attending a private group meeting at the Tequila Academy. Depending on the package you choose, they can also add food combinations. Not to mention it’s right on the ocean! Unforgettable views and drinks, what more could you want?

9. La Quinta Avenue (5th Street)

If you have not yet been to Playa del Carmen, La Quinta Avenida is a must.

Fifth Avenue, known as La Quinta Avenue, is very colorful and busy. It stretches from the beach and offers restaurants, stores and various entertainment options. You could easily spend a couple of days checking out all the hot spots on the street.

5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen 5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen – Photo credit: Gerald Lau (Creative Commons / Flickr)

Because of his popularity, he is very busy. So if you’re looking for a relaxing walk down the avenue, come during off-peak hours and you’ll be fine!

Insider tip: Stay until dusk to see the street performers doing all sorts of strange and wonderful things.

10. Dinner in the basement of the Alux restaurant

It’s not often in life that you get the chance to dine in a cave that is over 10,000 years old. So, if we were you, we would grab it with both hands while we still can!

Restaurant Alux is built in a mystical cave to offer you a modern and unique culinary experience. You will be surrounded by one of the most breathtaking landscapes in all of Mexico (maybe even the world).

Alux Restaurant Alux Restaurant – Photo credit: Curtis & Renee (Creative Commons / Flickr).

When you enter this restaurant, you feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new dimension. Everything from the delicious smells to the beautiful scenery will make your knees hurt.

Best of all, you can request a visit to the cave after dinner to make sure you experience everything to the fullest. You never know, you might get lucky and see a bat!

11th artist in the Frida Kahlo Museum

Those of you who are deeply rooted in the Instagram art community will surely know Frida Kahlo. She is an icon in Mexico for her self-portraits that combine fantastic imagery with realistic inspiration.

Unfortunately, there are no original masterpieces in the museum. Nevertheless, it is meant to admire and embrace the work – and extraordinary life – of Frida Kahlo herself.

His art was highly controversial at the time, and his courage played a major role in his ability to create the colorful works we know and love today.

Of course, the Frida Kahlo Museum also has a gift store to browse around in. So bring some pocket change with you!

12. take a look at the Mayan ruins

If you can drive three hours to admire the incredible ruins of Chichen Itza Maya, you might prefer a half-day excursion to Tulum or Coba. Both are super impressive, even if they are not among the seven wonders of the world!

Tulum Mexico Tulum, Mexico – Photo credit: Jason Ramos (Creative Commons / Flickr).

Tulum sits above a beautiful ocean and has ruins that date back to about 564 AD. If you are a history buff, you will definitely enjoy visiting these ruins.

For those looking for something more inland, Coba is the place to go. It was only recently discovered, but has quickly become one of the most popular ruins in Playa del Carmen.

13. Xavage Park

Are you looking for an adventure? You’re sure to find it at Xavage Park. The thrill seekers were designed and built by Xcaret, who wanted to focus less on nature and more on adrenaline.

Whether you want to complete a 4-level obstacle course, kayak in muddy water or go off-road in a jeep, it’s all possible at Xavage.

It is not for the faint of heart! Your heart will beat, your blood will pump, and most importantly, your soul will have fun.

This will surely strengthen your bond with your loved ones as you run across the water or zoom in on the trees!

14. Zipper to the treetops

Yes, you can travel almost anywhere in the world. But Xplor Park has some of the best zip lines you can try. They know how to make an exciting park full of adrenaline!

Xplor Park Xplor Park – Photo credit: Dtraveller Cancun (Creative Commons / Flickr)

In addition to the tree top zipper line, you can choose from three other activities. There’s so much to do here that you’ll probably want to go back a few more times. Plus, you can strap on your Xplor adventure late into the night with the Fuego backpack for long trips.

All the activities offered in the park become even more exciting at nightfall. Please note that the menu varies depending on the time of day. Also, at nightfall, the route of the raft changes slightly to ensure everyone’s safety.

15. “Nice living by the rooftop pool.”

It has been a long time since people have been able to have fun in rooftop swimming pools. But in recent years, Generation Z has raised the stakes and rooftop pools have quickly become very popular.

Fortunately, there is plenty to do in Playa del Carmen!

For some of you, it won’t be as tempting as sunbathing on a white sand beach. However, if you want sun and fun without sandwiches, a rooftop pool is the answer.

While you’re sure to have fun with any of them, here are some of our favorites:

  • Purobeach Rooftop Club – This is where you need to get a lounger quickly. This rooftop pool, both cool and chilled, is the hottest in the area.
  • Deck 5 – The infinity pool overlooks the ocean, so you feel like you’re swimming in the sea without having to worry about algae! Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

16. The underground rivers of Rio Secreto

Playa del Carmen is filled to the brim with underground rivers. Although the ancient Maya believed that these passages led to the underworld, they are now open to the public. One of the best places to see them is Rio Secreto.

When you walk into the theater, you feel like you’ve been caught and thrown onto the set of a science fiction movie. It is one of the most complex and “constructed” underworlds imaginable – all thanks to Mother Nature.

Don’t forget to bring your wetsuit to discover the full extent of the rivers. Swimming in crystal clear freshwater lakes among thousands of stalactites is an unforgettable experience.

17. Try Mexican food

Traditional Mexican food is one thing, but preparing it is another. You and your family can take an incredible cooking class with sole chef Alejandra Cahuachi.

Ale, as she is affectionately known, runs a workshop and traditional cooking school near the Mayan Riviera. The opportunities to participate in the Mexican culinary scene are endless – it would be a shame to miss it all.

The course takes 5 hours and 30 minutes, so you have time to enjoy (and try!) everything you do. We recommend that you choose your course carefully, as they offer different packages to cook different things. Make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy cooking later!

18. swimming with the turtles

Almost everyone we know has this problem on their to-do list. Fortunately, in Playa del Carmen you have the opportunity to go swimming with the turtles!

Head south to Akumal beach to make your dreams come true. There is nothing more magical than seeing animals in their natural habitat.

Since the water at Akumal beach is shallow, you are likely to see hawksbill, green and loggerhead turtles. Chances are you won’t even want to get out of the water.

Want to know the best part? It’s free! !! Some places require you to pay to swim with these magnificent creatures, but at Akumal beach it costs you nothing.

19 Playa del Carmen – street food

Nothing screams “immerse yourself in culture” like street food. If you’re in Mexico, eat street food!

We recommend that you try a large Elote or Esquite.

Alote is similar to corn on the cob, except that it is sprinkled with salt, butter, chili powder, lime juice, mayonnaise and cotija cheese. It is then cooked on an open grill. Seriously, you have to try it.

It is almost the same. However, the corn kernels were removed from the cob and put into a cup. This is perfect if you don’t want to chew like a beaver in public.

20. Escape to Xpu Ha

If you’re not a fan of large crowds, you might want to flee to Xpu Ha.

This beach is about 20 minutes from the bustling city. Everything around you is white sand and crystal clear sea.

They’ve tried to keep the crowds under control, so the entrance fee is 50 pesos. But that’s an incredibly low price for peace and quiet, isn’t it?

If you wish, you can rent a deck chair, umbrella, kayak or diving equipment for a small fee.

21. Go to Gaston Charo’s art gallery.

The Gastón Charo Art Gallery is the perfect place for those who want to immerse themselves in the creative side of Mexico. The building is filled with traditional, locally crafted masterpieces for you to enjoy.

To date, 30 of Playa del Carmen’s finest artists have submitted their paintings, jewelry, sculptures and more for the gallery. The result is an amazing display of vibrant, colorful and boundless imagination.

Art is for sale. Yet the staff is aware that one can just admire it without spending money. So they leave you alone to enjoy your experience.

22. Experience live glass blowing

Finally, it is a truly unique experience. Although there are many other things to do in Playa del Carmen, a visit to a glassworks is one of the best.

We recommend a trip to Vidrio Soplado Mexicano. Why should we? Because not only do they give live demonstrations of glass blowing, but they also give you the opportunity to touch and buy the finished pieces. Whatever your style, you’re sure to find something to suit you here.

You are now ready to enjoy your trip to Playa del Carmen! But if you have any questions, please check below to see if we can answer them.

Frequently asked questions about the Playa del Carmen site

Is it safe to walk at night in Playa del Carmen?

To be honest, walking at night in Playa del Carmen is no safer than walking at night in any other tourist city. While not particularly dangerous, it is better to be in a group when walking the streets at night.

Other than that, you just know what’s around you. However, we recommend taking a cab back to the hotel if you are a small group or traveling alone.

Playa del Carmen, is it expensive?

The answer is yes and no. In general, Playa del Carmen is an expensive city, more expensive than what you are used to in Mexican cities. Indeed, rents in the city are high and most goods are imported. However, you can enjoy Playa cheaply by choosing where to spend your money. For example, avoid hotels and tourist stores on 5th Avenue and eat or store where the locals do.

When is the best time to go to Play del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is a year-round destination. However, there are a few factors that can help you decide when to visit. If you don’t like crowds, avoid major holidays like Christmas and Holy Week. If you are looking for the best time of year, visit just after the holidays. For clear, dry and not too hot weather, try December through April.

How do I get from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen?

Fortunately, the journey between your cruise, Cozumel, and the destination of your choice, Playa del Carmen, is quite easy.

Cozumel’s ferry terminal is in the city center, so accessibility depends on where your cruise ship is located. If you are not docked in Punta Langosta, you will need to take a cab to get to the ferry.

You will spend about 45 minutes on the ferry before arriving in Playa del Carmen. However, Ultramar has expanded its fleet with super-modern boats, reducing the travel time by 25 minutes!

Trip from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen.

The Cozumel Ferry Terminal is located in downtown Cozumel, across from the Palmeras Restaurant on Benito Juarez Avenue.

How to get to the dock depends on the terminal of your cruise ship. There are three cruise terminals in Cozumel, and outside of Punta Langosta you will need to take a cab from the cruise terminal to the ferry landing.

A cab ride costs about $6 and it takes seven minutes to get to the ferry terminal. However, cruise ships docking at Punta Langoste can walk to the ferry terminal, as it is very close by.

There are two ferry companies that have a connection to Playa del Carmen. They are Winjet and Ultramar. Normally, the ferries cross the channel between the two cities in 45 minutes. However, Ultramar has some modern boats that can cross the channel in 20 minutes, weather permitting.

You can use the ferry every hour between 5:45 am and 10:00 pm. The Playa del Carmen ferry terminal is located in the center of Playa, a block and a half from the town square. From this terminal, it is easy to travel around the city. There is another fast ferry service here.

Read also: Waterfalls in Cozumel, Mexico, for cruise ship passengers

Is there anything else I should know before I go to Playa del Carmen?

There are a few more little things to keep in mind before you head to Playa del Carmen for the adventure of a lifetime. In particular, keep the following in mind:

  • The national currency is the Mexican peso.
  • Bring sunscreen or it will cost you 500 pesos!
  • Visit 5th Avenue, but save money by eating out.
  • Tips are not included in the bill. A tip of 15-20% is the norm.

Playa del Carmen Mexico

Frequently asked questions

Should I go to Playa del Carmen?

One hour south of Cancún, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, lies the town of Playa del Carmen. Since the two cities are very close to each other, a day trip to Playa del Carmen is a must …

Is Cancún safer than Playa del Carmen ?

Safety in Cancún and Playa del Carmen Although you should be careful wherever you travel, these two tourist cities are safer.

Is it safe to walk in Playa del Carmen?

Is it safe to visit Playa del Carmen? Playa del Carmen, Mexico is a safe place to visit, especially compared to other tourist destinations or even where you might live.

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