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Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Things to do in  Playa del Carmen

Welcome to Playa del Carmen

With vibrant reefs and laid-back Caribbean cool, Playa del Carmen is a favored diving destination offering plenty of ways to enjoy the coast along the Yucatán Peninsula. See what’s beneath the waves on a dive or snorkeling trip, explore fresh-water cenotes, or visit a family-friendly nature park. The walkable town center is packed with boutiques, cafes, and lively nightclubs, and there are ancient Maya ruins and a thick jungle close enough for an afternoon excursion. With a central location on the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen makes the perfect home base for visiting resort towns, villages, golf courses, and picture-perfect beaches up and down the coast.

Top attractions in Playa del Carmen for Spring

#1
Tulum

Tulum

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Tulum, the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city and a port for Coba, is one of the best preserved coastal Mayan cities in the Yucatan, in tandem with Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Highlights of this archaeological site include the Temple of the Frescoes, which has spectacular figurines of the 'diving god.'More
#2
Rio Secreto Nature Reserve

Rio Secreto Nature Reserve

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Rio Secreto, or the “Secret River,” is a series of caves carved out by the flow of an ancient underground river in Mexico. While the reserve is most famous for its large half-sunken cavern—a popular diving spot—you can also explore eerie passageways, swim in the river, and admire dripping stalactites, stalagmites, and colorful mineral formations.More
#3
Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

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One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá is among Mexico's most visited and iconic archaeological sites. Known for its main central pyramid, this impressive Maya site—once the ceremonial center of the Yucatán—also features temples, ball courts, and a cenote (freshwater sinkhole).More
#4
Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres

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Isla Mujeres (the “Island of Women”) is known for its rich marine life and pristine beaches. Here you can snorkel at Manchones Reef, scuba dive in the Cave of Sleeping Sharks, or stretch out on the white sands of North Beach (Playa Norte). On land you’ll find bustling nightlife, with oceanside bars and restaurants serving fresh seafood.More
#5
Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida)

Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida)

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The pedestrian-only Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) runs parallel to the ocean in downtown Playa del Carmen. This bustling tourist strip provides easy beach access and is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Lining Fifth Avenue are shops aplenty, including those selling artisan crafts, fine jewelry, and cigars.More
#6
Mayan Ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá)

Mayan Ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá)

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In the heart of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula lie the ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá), an ancient Maya city considered to be one of the most important settlements in Mesoamerican history. During its peak between AD 500 and 900, Coba housed 50,000 residents and was the central terminus for the complex Maya system of roadways. The jungle site is still being excavated, but visitors can experience the already discovered remains of thesesacbes, or stone causeways, as well as a number of engraved and sculpted monuments.More
#7
Xcaret

Xcaret

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With unparalleled access to the Caribbean Sea and all of its bounty, a visit to the Xcaret eco-archaeological park is a must when on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Snorkeling, ziplining, river rafting, exploring underwater rivers, and hiking tropical trails through jungle ruins are all options within this natural adventure park, which gives fast access to many of Cancun’s greatest attractions.More
#8
CoCo Bongo Playa del Carmen

CoCo Bongo Playa del Carmen

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From circus performers swinging from the ceiling and dancers crowding the floor, to celebrity impersonators and Broadway-style musicals, Coco Bongo is a nightclub unlike any other. At the Playa del Carmen location, you’ll find extravagant stages, multiple bars, VIP table service, and a dance floor known to rock through the wee hours.More
#9
Cenote Chaak Tun

Cenote Chaak Tun

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At Cenote Chaak Tun, outside Playa del Carmen, venture inside hidden subterranean caves that the ancient Maya believed were sacred portals to the underworld. Follow the beam of your headlamp into an enormous cenote, where centuries-old stalactites drip from above, and swim and snorkel in its fresh water rivers and pools.More
#10
Xplor Park

Xplor Park

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Set in the middle of the Yucatan jungle, Xplor Park allows visitors to experience Mexico’s environmental treasures firsthand. Here you can raft down a stalactite-filled underground river, swim in cenotes, ride in an amphibious vehicle, or zipline above the canopy. There’s also a nighttime option to explore after dark.More
#11
Xel-Ha

Xel-Ha

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Named after a Mayan word meaning “the place where the waters are born,” the Xel-Ha aquatic park encompasses 14 acres (5.7 hectares) of jungle and ocean just south of Playa del Carmen. A must-visit family-friendly attraction, Xel-Ha is home to cenotes, a lazy river, fish-filled lagoons, and other natural attractions.More
#12
Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo)

Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo)

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Explore the life—and contextualize the legacy—of Mexican surrealist artist and feminist icon Frida Kahlo at Playa del Carmen’s Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo). At one of the city’s first cultural spaces, learn about Kahlo’s work, illness, and tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera by way of interactive and sensory exhibits.More
#13
Kantun Chi Ecopark

Kantun Chi Ecopark

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Built around the cenotes and jungle of the Riviera Maya, the Kantun Chi Ecopark is a subterranean playground of cenotes, underground caves, and grottoes. Filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and ancient columns, it offers a unique way to explore the dramatic natural scenery and learn about the region’s long Maya history.More
#14
Fundadores Park (El Zócalo)

Fundadores Park (El Zócalo)

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Located just off the ferry dock, Fundadores Park (El Zócalo) is the center of Playa del Carmen. This beachside park sits along Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue, and it’s the main square from which the rest of the tourist area branches out. From El Zócalo you’ll have a gorgeous view of the ocean and easy access to the beaches.More
#15
3D Museum of Wonders

3D Museum of Wonders

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Jump into the art at Playa del Carmen’s 3D Museum of Wonders. Created by a visionary American artist, this interactive museum is truly in a genre and mind-bending class of its own. It doesn’t take long for reality to blend with illusion, and pretty soon you’re splashing beneath a waterfall, surfing a wave, or trapped inside a bubble.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Playa del Carmen

How to Spend 3 Days in Playa del Carmen

Top activities in Playa del Carmen

Jungle Buggy Tour from Playa del Carmen Including Cenote Swim
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Xcaret Park Admission Ticket

Xcaret Park Admission Ticket

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Playa del Carmen Buggy Tour with Cenote Swim and Mayan Village Visit
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Best ATV Tour, Ziplines and Cenote Swim with Lunch and Transport Included
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3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves
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Tulum and Cenotes Tour
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Tulum and Cenotes Tour

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Half-Day Sea Turtle and Cenote Snorkeling Tour from Cancun & Riviera Maya
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Priority Access: Xel-Há All-Inclusive Day Trip with Transportation
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VIP Chichen Itza Private Tour
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VIP Chichen Itza Private Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Playa del Carmen

star-5
Amazing experience
Patrick_H, May 2022
Day Trip To Tulum and Coba Ruins Including Cenote Swim and Lunch from Cancun
Was able to see a lot, didn’t get to see the Cobá ruins, but got to go see playa del Carmen!
star-5
So much more than a cooking class
Eric_E, Mar 2022
Playa del Carmen Mexican Cooking Experience and Local Markets Tour
Lovely home, Loved to visit the markets and learn about Mexican foods.
star-4
Great way to see the real Playa del Carmen
Sarah_R, Mar 2022
Graffitis & Munchies biketour Playa del Carmen
Great way to see the non-tourist parts of Playa del Carmen!
star-5
Exciting scooter ride
Christian_G, Jan 2022
Amazing Guided Electric Rides Tour Around Playa Del Carmen
Able to see things we otherwise would have missed in the local neighbourhood.
star-5
Great trip
Catarina_R, Dec 2021
Cobá, Cenote Cho Ha, Tulum and Paraiso Beach, Reduced Group.
This trip is quite long (we went from Playa del Carmen and it took us about 12 hours total), but you also see a lot: two archeological sites with plenty of time to visit, one cenote, and a visit to Playa Paraíso, where we went for a short snorkeling expedition (extra).
star-4
Good Trip, Long Day!
Pritesh_M, May 2022
Chichen Itza Monolingual Tour, Buffet Lunch, Cenote,Tequila tasting & Valladolid
5-3 hours and we were the first coach to arrive at 9:30am although the tour guide was still briefing us (dual language in English and Spanish so it takes some time!
star-5
WOW JUST WOW!!!
Veronica_R, May 2022
Chichen Itza total experience
Since the minute I booked the tour Jose immediately reached out introducing himself and also offering much needed insight on pre-travel and what other activities he recommends.
star-5
Good experience, cool places
Emma_H, Apr 2022
Tulum and Cenotes Tour
It was cool to see the ruins and walk around the grounds, and the cenotes afterward were very refreshing.
star-5
Felipe was the best! Our...
James_P, Apr 2022
Private Transportation to/from Cancun Airport & Hotels / AirBnB - Playa del Carmen / Playacar 1-6 pax
He spoke very good English and provided colorful discussion on the road to Playa Del Carmen!
star-5
BEST SNORKELING EXPERIENCE EVER!
Ashley_G, Feb 2022
Half-Day Luxury Sailing Experience in Tulum with Open Bar
One thing to note, they took us to a reef near Playa Del Carmen so we weren’t in Tulum technically, so I would check to see if they are taking you near Playa or Tulum.
star-4
Great day at the Cenotes with a great guide.
Alex_R, Feb 2022
From Riviera Maya Visit a Cenote and Swim with Turtles in Akumal
You can’t quite appreciate how amazing this is to see in their natural habitat.
star-4
It was ok could have been better
Shalini_D, Feb 2022
Tulum and Cenotes Tour
Victor was talking too much for n entire hour n giving us so much information that we didn’t get much to see in Tulum!
star-5
Book this tour now!
Lilian_L, Jan 2022
Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour
Once you're all fueled up again, you can go for a swim in the Cenote, it's a very deep one, hence you need to wear a life jacket here, there is a really awesome waterfall and many people were jumping in to the Cenote if you're into that!
star-5
This is a must go!!
Natalie_C, Jan 2022
Magical Holbox Tour from Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya
Spoke great Spanish and English.
star-5
Great and unique experience
STEFAN_W, Dec 2021
3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves
The 3-in-1 offers insights into the variety of activities around Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun and should be understood more as a first introduction than a deep-dive into any specific activity.
star-5
Highlight of our Visit
Kara_R, Nov 2021
3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves
I was really surprised and excited to see multiple stingrays and turtles!
star-5
Must try!
Lorenzo_G, Jun 2021
Local Walking Food Tour
An amazing experience we got to visit some really great food places along with some history behind it.
star-5
Great place to visit, don't miss out.
Livio_R, May 2021
Rio Secreto Underground River Tour with Crystal Caves
Fantastic place to visit - a must for anyone visiting Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
star-4
Interesting and good
Consuelo_R, Dec 2020
Tulum, Coba, Playa Del Carmen and Cenote Day Tour
The trip in Playa del Carmen disappointed I was expecting to see the beach, no to be walking in the street at 6:30 pm The lunch was good
star-5
Magical/Beautiful Experience
Sherry_H, Oct 2020
Río Secreto Playa del Carmen
It is in National Geographic's top 10 places for families to visit.

People Also Ask

What is Playa del Carmen known for?

Playa del Carmen is known for its soft Caribbean beaches and its dining and nightlife scene. It’s also a great base for visiting the nearby island of Cozumel and for exploring some of most popular attractions on the Riviera Maya, from jungle cenotes to the Xcaret family of theme parks.

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What is there to do in Playa del Carmen during the day?

Playa del Carmen offers tons of daytime activities, from hanging out at the local white-sand beach to checking out the shops along 5th Avenue, the city's main drag. Playa del Carmen is also a great place for snorkeling, with plenty of half-day cruise options for those who want to get out to sea.

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What is the best month to go to Playa del Carmen?

April is arguably the best month to visit Playa del Carmen, when the chances of rainfall are low and the temperatures are hot, but not unbearably so. April is at the tail-end of the tourist season so it tends not to get too many crowds, except during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter).

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Are the beaches in Playa del Carmen nice?

Yes, the beaches in Playa del Carmen are quite nice indeed, offering all the typical features one would expect from the Caribbean. You can expect white-sand expanses flanked by palm trees, turquoise-hued waters, and plenty of spots to stop for a drink or a seafood dinner right by the shore.

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What do locals do in Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen locals enjoy many of the same things tourists do, from hanging out at the beaches to enjoying meals with family and friends. You'll also find plenty of locals hanging out at shopping malls such as Centro Maya or watching films at one of the city’s many movie theaters.

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Is Playa del Carmen a party town?

Playa del Carmen is certainly a party town, with tons of lively restaurants and nightclubs right in the heart of the tourist district. Many stay open well into the wee hours of the night, making this city a popular destination for spring break revelers from the US.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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