Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Playa del Carmen is a cozy holiday oasis on the Riviera Maya. Playa del Carmen is one of Mexico’s most popular beach resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula.


Sunny beaches and Caribbean waves

Playa del Carmen is a resort town in Mexico with about 200,000 inhabitants . Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, this popular resort is part of the Riviera Maya, named after nearby historic Mayan cities. Playa del Carmen is a great place to combine a relaxed beach holiday with historical attractions and local culture.

The trump card of the Riviera Maya region is the white shimmering sandy beach that gets a stunning contrast from the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Another popular holiday destination is Cancun – Playa del Carmen is like a little sister to a lively party destination that is especially appealing to family travelers. There is a functioning bus connection between the cities, which enables, for example, shopping trips.

Construction of Playa del Carmen began for tourists in the early 1990s and has quickly hatched into a full-service resort. Tourism has made the city an easy holiday destination with something for everyone.

Hobby opportunities do not end there

Hobby opportunities do not end there

For water sports travelers, Playa del Carmen is an ideal destination, with the island of Cozumel, known for its clean waters, close to the city. Diving, snorkelling, surfing and fishing are also available at Playa del Carmen itself.

If you want to enjoy the turquoise Caribbean Sea without getting wet, boat trips are a fun program number on hot summer days. Families, on the other hand, should head to the numerous theme parks on the Yucatan Peninsula, where you can admire the animals and revel in the water slide.

Playa del Carmen also has an 18-hole golf course, as well as horse riding, tennis and cycling.

Hammock and tequila to take home

Playa del Carmen has some shops and plenty of souvenir shops. The most popular gifts include local art, jewelry and crafts. Many grab an independent or bottle of quality tequila made from traditional Mexican-style fabric.

More shops and American-style shopping malls can be found in Cancun , where it is easy to take a day trip by bus or your own rental car.

Playa del Carmen has plenty of restaurants where Finnish tourists have a great opportunity to try authentic Mexican cuisine that is slowly landing in their homeland. The most common fast food in Mexico is the soft-shelled Taco, which is usually stuffed with meat, fish, or vegetables seasoned with lime and coriander. The heat of the portions can be controlled by means of sauces.

The busiest nightlife in Playa del Carmen is concentrated in the Quinta Avenida area. Live music and dance are an integral part of the Caribbean night – even the Nordic hips are mobilized in Mexico with a guarantee.

Good to know about Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is best suited for beach holidaymakers who want to try a variety of activities in addition to lounging on the sand. Water predators in particular thrive in the warm waves of the Caribbean Sea. Playa del Carmen is also a great holiday destination for families with children, as there are several fun theme parks in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The best time to travel to Playa del Carmen is during the winter season, as there is a risk of hurricane in Mexico from June to November. Christmas and New Year are the bustling tourist seasons in the area, so it’s worth preparing for congestion.

Playa del Carmen is a safe resort that does not show the often reported problems in the Mexican border region. As this is a popular area for tourists, it is worth keeping your reserves for pickpockets.

Thanks to the abundance of tourism, the locals usually speak fluent English, but it is good to learn at least a few words in Spanish for reasons of courtesy. A small dictionary may be helpful in restaurants, for example.



Package to Mexico

The easiest way to travel to Mexican beach resorts is with tour operators’ ready-made travel packages. Many Finnish tour operators offer package tours to Playa del Carmen during the winter months.

Flights arrive in Cancun, about 80 kilometers from Playa del Carmen, from where there is still a shuttle bus to the destination. It is easiest for self-employed travelers to inquire about flights from tour operators, as there are no direct scheduled flights from Finland to the destination.

Accommodation focused on resorts

Playa del Carmen has lots of resort-type accommodation and large hotel complexes. There are options for both honeymooners looking for luxury and families looking for a child-friendly hotel. You can search for cheap inns or hostels in a tourist destination and the prices are not as low as elsewhere in Mexico.

Getting around

Playa del Carmen is easy to reach on foot or by local bus. A rental car is not necessary at the destination, but car rental makes it easier for independent travelers to go to the surrounding area. However, special care should be taken in Mexican traffic, and car rental is not recommended for inexperienced drivers.

When driving by taxi, the price should be agreed with the driver in advance. There is a ferry to the neighboring island of Cozumel, which folds in just over half an hour.



The stalactite cave is a nice place to visit

The Aktun Chen stalactite cave is an easy trip from Playa del Carmen, as the beautiful natural site is just over 30 km from the resort. The exciting area includes an animal park and the opportunity to cross the jungle along the cable car.

Theme parks with children

Bathing with dolphins is a memorable experience for children, which can be experienced at Xcaret Theme Park in Playa del Carmen or in the Xel-Han Lagoon area, about 50 km from the resort. Xa-Manhan Bird Park with its colorful wings is also a fun excursion destination for the whole family.

The fastest travelers will enjoy a day at the Xplor Adventure Park, where you can ride ATVs or try a wild cable car, among other things.

When visiting Cancun with children, you can also pop in the fast-paced Wet’n’Wild water park, where water enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy.

Excursion to the Mayan ruins

Playa del Carmen is an easy day trip to, for example, the historic Mayan city of Tulum, just over 60 km from the city. Chichen Itza, on the other hand, is considered to be the best-preserved Mayan ruins to which tour operators make day trips. You can spend a lot more time on the ruins if you want, so those who are interested may want to spend the night at the destination.



The best experiences in Playa del Carmen

  1. Enjoy the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean.
  2. Visit the small island of Cozumel.
  3. Take a trip to Mayan ruined cities like Tulum.
  4. Try water sports in the clear waters of the area.
  5. Dive into the Mexican night and learn to dance like the locals.

Cons of Playa del Carmen

  1. Mexico’s hurricane season runs from June to November.
  2. There are a lot of tourists in the Riviera Maya area.
  3. In the resort area, prices are more expensive than in the rest of Mexico.