The beautiful Playa del Carmen is located between Cancún and Tulum; Playa del Carmen doesn’t have an airport, you can choose to fly to Cancún or Cozumel Island.
If you’re flying to Cancún the best option is to take an ADO bus to Playa (45 min.)
The ADO bus station in Cancún is downtown, so first you have to take a bus to go directly to ADO station. My recommendation is to avoid taxis at the airport because it’s more expensive.
The ADO bus station is located at the 5th avenue in Playa, if your hotel is near you can easily walk; but if you need to take a Taxi that is easy too.
If you’re flying to Cozumel Island you can take a taxi to the ferry terminal and then the ferry to Playa. (40 min.) The Ferry terminal is also at the 5th avenue, near to the ADO bus station.
My first time in Playa del Carmen was in 1999 and it was so different; the 5th avenue was not that long, it was just a few hotels, restaurants and bars.
A lot of things change after the Hurricane Wilma in 2005. A lot of business suffered and closed doors. But now Playa del Carmen is better than ever. I eat in a different restaurant every time I go and it’s always a nice surprise.
Playa del Carmen is for everybody, it doesn’t matter your age, if you’re single, have kids, etc.
It’s perfect for traveling with friends, family vacations, honeymoons, relax or party!
Where to stay in Playa del Carmen
- There are a lot of options here. You can choose from hostels, guesthouses, fancy hotels or the best all-inclusive resorts.
Of course, it depends on you and the price and amenities you prefer. My favorites are hotels near to the 5th avenue, because you can walk easily to restaurants, stores, night clubs and of course you have the beach. When I stay in this area I like to take breakfast at my hotel, enjoy the beach for a few hours, take a quick shower and wander while I find the perfect restaurant for lunch. Later some shopping and maybe a drink after dinner. So, if you accommodate near to the 5th avenue, it is going to be easier for you to explore more of the charming Playa del Carmen.
Tips to move around Playa del Carmen
- My first choice is to walk, you can walk to most places; but if you prefer you can rent a bike too. It’s cheap and there are a lot of places to do it.
- A taxi can be a good idea too, it’s safe and everything is near. It shouldn’t be expensive.
- If your plan is to explore more options of places renting a car should be the best. But only if you are going to different and far places. Ask in your hotel first, cause maybe you don’t need a car at all.
- My last option are the local vans, those are cheap, but crowded sometimes. But if you don’t mind you can experience local adventure.
The Best Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen
Playa del Carmen have a lot of things to do and I will talk about all of them in different blogs, but my favorites are here.
- Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xenotes, Xoximilco, Xenses and Xcaret.
One of the best experiences you can have in the Riviera Maya are the several ecological parks. Very different one from the other, and you can choose to pay for only one or more for different days.
My favorites are Xplor because it is more extreme and Xenses because it is so different from everything. Both are crazy funny.
- You can walk on the 5th avenue and enjoy the local stores, explore different restaurants with local and international food, maybe spend some money shopping at Calle Corazón, La Quinta Alegría or Paseo del Carmen.
At night, there are plenty of bars and clubs; you can decide if you want just a drink or two with good music or party all night.
Talking about food, there is one place in Playa del Carmen that you should consider to visit.
ALUX Restaurant; It’s a restaurant inside a cave with more than 10,000 years old. International cousine with Mexican touch. I dream about a wedding there.
- Of course, another option is visit Cozumel Island, Cancún, Puerto Morelos.
- Watersports are a must in Playa, you can take a sailing trip, dive, rent a jet ski and more.
I can tell you a million reasons to visit Playa del Carmen, but the most important is that is a paradise for sure.
Take a lot of photos and enjoy every moment!
Do you like to explore more the Riviera Maya? Puerto Morelos.
The best of México.