Destination guide

Staying in a Playa del Carmen vacation rental

Day or night, the party never stops in Playa del Carmen, a Mexican resort town on the Yucatan Peninsula. The sun shines almost year round over white sand beaches and swaying palm trees which give way to turquoise Caribbean waters filled with coral reefs and colourful tropical fish. There's a host of activities for passing the time in the area, but locals and tourists alike love to go sailing, surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving. When the sun starts to set, Quinta Avenida, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare, comes alive with bustling shops, restaurants, bars, and dance clubs. Lavish resorts, hotels, condos, and vacation rentals offer excellent accommodation for everyone from families to solo travellers.


It's something of an understatement to a call a region historic when it has Mayan ruins in its backyard. You'll find scores of tour buses in the area offering transportation to such nearby sites as Chichen Itza, the massive Mayan city with ruins dating back to 600 AD. As if that wasn't jaw-dropping enough, the iconic El Castillo, a 30-metre step pyramid, serves as the city's dramatic centrepiece. Nearby is the less famous but equally impressive Ek Balam, another set of well-preserved ancient Mayan ruins. For a more recent glimpse into the past, visit Playa del Carmen's Frida Kahlo Riviera Maya Museum, an institution that honours and explores the life of the celebrated Mexican artist.


Activities and attractions in and around Playa del Carmen

Are you searching for things to do during your stay? Although it can be tempting to stay in your comfortable vacation rental, you'll want to experience everything that makes Playa del Carmen a fun place to get away. These are some of the major attractions to see, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Xcaret Eco Theme Park (4.4 mi / 7 km)
  • El Camaleon Golf Club (5.2 mi / 8.3 km)
  • Yucatek Divers (0.2 mi / 0.3 km)
  • Playacar Golf Club (1.3 mi / 2.1 km)
  • Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya (3.2 mi / 5.2 km)
  • Xplor Theme Park (4 mi / 6.4 km)

Seasonal weather in Playa del Carmen

Travelers speak highly of Playa del Carmen for its snorkeling. If you're hoping to enjoy some warm-weather activities on your vacation, August, July, September and April are the hottest months to visit, when temperatures average 88°F.

Natural features

Exploring the beaches and other natural features in Playa del Carmen

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or just want to spend some time taking in the scenery, Playa del Carmen is a great spot to appreciate mother nature. These are some of the area's most enchanting sights, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Xcaret Eco Theme Park (4.4 mi / 7 km)
  • Xpu-ha Beach (15.9 mi / 25.6 km)
  • Paradise Beach (15.9 mi / 25.6 km)
  • Akumal Beach (22.6 mi / 36.4 km)
  • Playa del Carmen Main Beach (0.3 mi / 0.5 km)
  • Mamitas Beach Club (0.8 mi / 1.2 km)
How to get there

Transportation to and around Playa del Carmen

Fly into Cozumel, Quintana Roo (CZM-Cozumel Intl.), the closest airport, located 12.2 mi (19.7 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that's convenient for your trip, you could also fly into Cancun, Quintana Roo (CUN-Cancun Intl.), which is 31.4 mi (50.5 km) away.

How to get around

Getting around town from your Playa del Carmen vacation rental

There's no need for a car in Playa del Carmen's city centre as most attractions are within walking distance of one another. Do like the locals and use a bike to get around town – just keep in mind that cyclists are not permitted on Quinta Avenida. Instead, you'll find scores of bike paths and rental shops along 10th Avenue. Taxis are readily available across the city as well, particularly outside large resorts. The city also offers an extensive public bus system, with each vehicle offering comfy seating and air conditioning. Colectivos are minivans that zip through town as a cheap alternative to buses, but you'll probably have to sacrifice comfort.

Food & drink

Tostada, tacos, and tortas – dining fun in Playa del Carmen

Like most seaside cities, Playa del Carmen offers menus rich with seafood. Fish tacos and ceviche are especially common in the area. Locals often start their day with chilaquiles, a popular breakfast dish of fried tortilla strips topped with salsa, Oaxaca cheese, and an egg. In this region, el pastor tacos reign supreme – pieces of succulent roasted pork shaved from a spit and served inside a corn tortilla. Make like a local and top yours with salsa, chopped onions, and cilantro. You can wash down almost any meal with one of the many locally crafted beers and tequila available in the area.

Essential info

Key facts for your Playa del Carmen vacation rental stay

Although it's teeming with tourists throughout the year, Playa del Carmen is also home to nearly 150,000 permanent residents. The local currency is the Mexican peso, although some vendors will accept US dollars. Spanish is the official language, but, if you're in a bind, many residents also speak English. Playa del Carmen is a safe town for tourists, but be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night; women should always keep an eye on their drinks while in bars. Most established restaurants and bars filter their water, but it's probably best to avoid tap water otherwise and stick with bottled water. The legal drinking age in town is 18.

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