Latest Articles

Guide to Running in Playa Del Carmen

running playa del carmen playacar

Running in Playa Del Carmen Guide

Your first thought might be why would someone actually run in Playa Del Carmen? If they are on vacation they should be taking it easy and if they live here they should know the heat will soon put an end to that endeavor.

Both categories, tourist and residents have their runners. Since we are blessed with year round temperatures that allow for outdoor activities, people are drawn here for events, from the basic running events to marathons and the Ironman competition.

Tips for Running in Playa Del Carmen

The heat is going to be the biggest obstacle for running in Playa Del Carmen. This means  going out early in the day or late at night. By 10am it can be hot out so the earlier the better. It does take a while for the heat to subside so running after 7pm or 9pm is best, depending on the season. Believe it or not you can get used to the heat and will acclimate to what was once thought to be impossible weather for running in.

Drink before and after running

Running in Playa del carmenFully hydrate your body BEFORE going for a run and keep your fluid intake up after you run. You will sweat while running here and that is just a fact.

It is a matter of personal preference if you like to take fluids while running. Typical drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde are available here (although not cheap 20-40 pesos a bottle). There is also a hydrating drink that is a local favorite called Electrolit. It cost about 14-18 pesos. Jumex makes a knock off product like Gatorade which cost about 30% less but does have more sugar taste.

Coconut water is also considered a very natural way to rehydrate, and that is available here in both natural form and commercially bottled form.

Here is a fun idea for running and rehydrating, pick a different endpoint after each run. Have the endpoint a healthy café or a great place for a cool drink. One such place is Frutiyogurth. They have great fresh drinks. I recommend the lime and mint frappe. You can also read our article on keeping cool in Playa with ice cream and flavored water spots for more ideas.

Running Playa del carmen Playacar

Running in Playacar next to Mayan ruins.

What to wear running in Playa Del Carmen

Wear loose clothes that will give you airflow to your skin. Good sunglasses and a visor are nice to have.Visors are nice because they shade your face and but still leave the top of your head open for airflow. Thicker socks can help insulate your feet from the hot pavement. Having a sweat towel can come in handy as you wipe sweat off your face and keep it out of your eyes. Make sure you bring your running shoes. Good shoes tend to be 30-40% more expensive in Mexico.

If you need to buy some athletic wear for sports check out our guide on where to shop in Playa Del Carmen.

Tip: If you wear light color shorts, especially like light blue or grey, when the sweat runs down your body it is going to make a funny looking wet mark on your shorts. Wearing black shorts will hide the sweat.

Clean your skin after running

Having sweat on the skin is not a good thing. It not only makes you hotter but can lead to heat rash. Make sure you shower after running and using a scrub pad or loofa sponge will take off dead skin and promote better skin health.

If you are running during the day, protect from the sun with sunscreen. Use biodegradable because not only do most cenotes and water parks require it, you also will not be putting your eyes at risk from running chemicals into them.

Washing your clothes

After your run you are going to have sweaty clothes. If you send your clothes out to be cleaned sometimes even the laundry does not do a thorough  job of cleaning sweaty clothes. I prefer to hand washing running gear. The good thing is most running clothes are lightweight  and clean easily.

If you have a cotton shirt you may want to rinse it then soak in water with a cap full of bleach to kill the bacteria. I do this occasionally with running shorts as well to do a deep clean. After soaking, clean with soap, rinse and then hang to dry.

Running on the beach

If you are going to run on the beach we recommend you wear shoes. One sharp shell or a left over piece of glass will put an end to your run. Running at low tide is better because you have a wider and harder sand to run on. The beach is also flatter at this time. Caution should be taken when running on an angle. One leg and knee works hard then the other and it can result in pain later.

If you do run on the beach avoid seaweed. Sand fleas can be found in damp decaying matter and give nasty bites. They are found closer to the damp tideline rather then dryer parts of the beach. This is usually where you want to run because the sand is harder. The good thing is that in Playa Del Carmen beach teams and machine racks clean up the seaweed from the beach.

Places to run in Playa Del Carmen

Running, Playa del Carmen mapPlaya Del Carmen does not offer a great amount of different places to run to but here are some good areas to run in. The same places we mentioned in our article about bicycling in Playa Del Carmen are the same area you can run in.

There are two areas you can run where you cannot bike in Playa Del Carmen. One area is the extensive beaches offing beautiful scenery for you to run past. The other area is 5th Avenue from the beginning at Paseo Del Carmen to about 32nd Street. This stretch of 5th Avenue is a pedestrian street and supposedly no bikes are allowed.  If you do run on 5th Avenue it is better in the morning because if you try to run in the evening it is still really busy until about 11pm.The map to the left is a general overview of where you can go running in Playa Del Carmen.

A good place on the north end of Playa Del Carmen is the newly extended section of 5th Avenue that goes up until about 112th St.  This section has a nice sidewalk and only one lane of traffic that is mostly empty. There is a slight slope to this section. There are a few access points to the beach if you want to run out to it. There is no shade in this section. There are a few small stores in this area for drinks. You might see an occasional snake on the grassy side of the trail since there is a large mangrove area there.

running, playa del carmen mexico

Extended 5th Avenue running trail

To the south of Playa Del Carmen along the highway there is a new trail that goes all the way to Xplor eco park. This trail is used by employees of the park while commuting via bike to the park. Expect to see a lot of iguanas next to the trail that scurry under it into tubes when you come running by. Part of this trail is shaded. It gets much nicer once you pass all of the shopping developments on the south end of town. Once you get past the end of town there are no places to stop for drinks unless you cross the highway and even then there are not too many. So if you choose this long run make sure you plan ahead.

Bike trail running path Playa car playa del carmen mexico

The road and sidewalk in Playacar Phase2.

The Playacar neighborhood is the large loop on the map on the south end. On the map below you see there are two sections to this development. Phase 1 and 2. Phase 1 is highlighted with a red line and is a basic straight line on one street in and out. You do see some nice houses in this area and get some nice glimpses of the ocean. Phase 2 is much larger. There are sidewalks on both sides of the road but bikes are supposed to use the inside loop, so running  on the outside will incur less bike interference.

There are a few side streets but they are all dead ends. Along the beach side there are more large hotels and nice larger houses around the rest of this run. There is some shade on this run. There are three noticeable places to stop and get drinks if you need them. That gives you a few options but not exactly a lot so plan accordingly.

Playacar map

Playacar is technically a private neighborhood. However for people running and enjoying sport there this does not seem to be an issue with entrance. Many people from Playa run in this area because it is a quiet area with nice trees.

Playa Del Carmen Running

Airport Road

If you want a very short run, on the south end of town there is the airport diagonal road that is wide and easy to run on. It runs from 10th Avenue untill the Highway. It is not shaded.

The last place is Juarez Avenue. This unlikely place was recently redone so the center of this busy avenue has a bike/running trail planted with trees. It is not the perfect place to run but it is easier to run here then you might think because there is not much cross traffic and you can maintain your pace while cruising down the center of this avenue.

Tip: If you decide to go off the beaten path and run through neighborhoods, be very watchful of dogs. (This applies to the other side of the highway) Some dogs are not on a leash and are not used to people running by and will chase you or come into the street to bark at you. If this happens, most of the time if you stop and say a firm “NO” to the dog he will stop, and then you slowly back away. If you keep running, often a dog will see this as either, a challenge, fun, or a chase.

Running races in the Riviera Maya

The good news is that in the past few years running races have gotten more popular and there are a lot more offered. The winter months here are more active for such events since it is actually a little cooler and more northern climates cannot have such events. A good place to start looking for events is this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Protudec  Sorry it is only in Spanish.

Running Tour of Playa Del Carmen

Are you interested in seeing Playa Del Carmen while getting some exercise and get some great insider tips? running Playa Del Carmen Here is a great idea that has taken off in other cities in the world, a running tour. Tours are up to 1 hour long and for groups of 1-4 people. Tours are conducted in English and can show you the maximum of Playa Del Carmen for your time and money. Tours leave from any location in downtown Playa and can cover a wide range to tour ideas such as a run on 5th Avenue to see what places are good for eating  and shopping, a tour of the best running areas, hidden Playa Del Carmen, beach runs to secret beaches, Mayan ruin run,Mural tour run, or anything that you or a small group is interested in. Tours go at your pace and choice of time. Prices for 1-2 people is 125 pesos per person, 3 people is 110 pesos per person and 4 people is 90 pesos per person. Contact us here at the website for more information!

Happy running everyone!

Where do you like running in Playa? Do you have some tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.

37 Comments on Guide to Running in Playa Del Carmen

  1. Andie Marais // January 23, 2016 at 3:36 PM // Reply

    Hello – what a great website! I will be visiting Playa del Carmen next month, and I am very interested in booking a running tour. I am training for a 1/2 marathon but I am a very slow runner (12 minute miles). On Saturday, Feb. 13 I would like to do an 8 mile run, but I’ve never been to Playa del Carmen, so I would love to go with someone. Since right now I am training in 20 degree weather, I imagine running in the heat will be a little different. Would it be possible to book a run for 5:45 am? I am staying at the Wyndham Azteca. Thank you! Andie

    • Hello. Yes a running tour is possible and we would love to take you on a run here in Playa. We will send you an email to set it up. Thanks for reading and sending us a message.

  2. This information is very useful! I will be vacationing in Playa Del Carmen next week and would love to be able to take a running tour. I’m a pretty slow jogger (11-12 minute miles) and usually go between 3-4 miles but maybe I can push myself a little more on vacation. I’m coming from a cold climate though so I’d want to go early in the morning. Can you take me for a run?

  3. Fantastic – thanks so much for taking the time to set up this information! It is a great help!

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 14, 2016 at 7:25 AM // Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment. We hope you got some good running in while here in Playa Del Carmen. The weather is not always the easiest but we do get a good amount of people that are looking to stay fit on their trip and they go out for a run. We hope the rest of your trip was good too.

  4. What a lot of great info i am overthere from the 13th of july an keen runner and fancy a few different runs please can send me some info?

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 2, 2016 at 1:26 PM // Reply

      Hello Darren. We will send you an email about running in Playa Del Carmen. Thanks for your comment on here. Talk to you soon.

  5. Will you please give me information about a possible long run this Saturday morning? Thanks

    • Mr.Yucatan // July 7, 2016 at 12:53 AM // Reply

      Hello Laura

      We are not sure if you wanted to go for a run with us or you wanted information on a nice run for this Saturday? In case you wanted to run with us this Saturday in Playa Del Carmen we are booked for an event and cannot go out with you. So we will make some suggestions. It will depend on where you are staying and how long of a run you want to make. A great first timers run in Playa Del Carmen is Playacar phase2 this is a round loop through a treed neighborhood. 5th Avenue is a good run before 10am. After 10 it starts to get too crowded. Also for the heat it is better to go before 9am. On 5th Avenue you can run from the Cozumel Ferry Pier to 40th Street. This will show you the best of 5th. If you want a longer run you can keep going unilt 100th Street if you feel so inclined. If you want a really long and uninterrunpted run you can go along the 307 Highway on a trail all the way t Xplor. It is a little interrupeted uptil you get past the Centro Maya Mall area but then it is all trail on the east side of the road.
      We hope you have some good runs in Playa Del Carmen and soory to have missed you. Feel free to comment on any article you have a question about or if you don’t find what you need just shoot us a message. Thank you.

  6. Hello, I will be vacationing in Playa this week and would like to sign up for a guided run. Can you please help. Thanks

  7. I’d love to set up a run for next week. Please send me info. Thx

    • Hello Amanda. We will send you an email with details from EverythingPDC. Talk to you soon and thanks for writing us.

  8. Carrie McDowell // August 25, 2016 at 3:00 PM // Reply

    looking to set up a running tour 9/1-9/5

    • Hello Carrie

      We would be happy to go on a run in Playa Del Carmen with you. We will send you an email and ask you some questions and set up a time and place. Thank you.

  9. Hi Darren

    I have a couple of questions about being a solo female runner in Playa – is it safe/ are there “no go” places? Would be grateful for your tips!

    Thanks!

    • Hello

      We are glad to give you some running tips. Past 46th Street on 5th Avenue during the day there are sometimes street dogs that can chase you. This of course can affect both male and female runners. After dusk this part of 5th Avenue is more local and sometimes guys can be hang out or drinking. It is not necessarily dangerous but better to not run in this area after dusk. Most of the other places to run on our map are good at all times of the day. 5th Avenue from the Cozumel Pier to 46th is good all the time except it gets crowded in the day. Playacar is always a nice place to run, safe and with some shade.

  10. Hello, great little site. I’m will in Playa from Nov 24 to Dec 1. I run ultras & do triathlons etc. and I’m looking for some space to run and /or even do some road bike training. Hope you can help me out on this! thanks a bunch for your time and have a fantastic day!!

    • Hello Patrick

      When people say they are coming to Playa that can mean the center of Playa or along the coast. So exactly where you will be staying, we will tailor our info to you. How far do you want to ride and run? Will you need to leave from where you are staying or will you have access to a car so you can run in several locations? Would you like to go on any fun bike tours while here or are you strictly into training?

  11. Hi, I’m training for the NYC marathon and will be in playa del Carmen on October 13-20 for my daughters wedding. I will need to get a long run about 34km. Do you have long distance running groups? You say the tours are 1hr. That’s not long enough for me. We’re staying at grand riviera princess. Suggestions or offers of running with me would be great. How safe is it to run on my own? I’m hoping to run long Friday morning or Monday. I can do shorter runs through the resort. I’m also a triathlete so renting a bike and doing a ride would be cool too.

    • Hello. Thanks for sending us a message. We do like running but don’t do longer run because it is hot and we are not triathletes. 🙂 Your hotel is outside of Playa Del Carmen and you are very limited to places to run. You can run out to the 307 highway and run into Playa and the route from Playa south along the highway to Xplor had a nice sidewalk. These are some places you can run. Let us know if you need any more information.

  12. Hi I’m going to be in playa between 18th and 31st of Oct. Do you know of any races to do at this time?? Also can you email details of how to book a running tour please. Thanks in advance Mark

    • Hello Mark. We do not know of any races as of yet. Usually around Halloween there is a very amateur race of zombies in Playa Del Carmen but we are sure this is not what you are looking for. We will email you with details for running with us. Thank you.

  13. Great thanks, zombie race sounds run ha ha

  14. We will be in Playa and Puerto Morelos Oct -28 to early Nov and like to do organized runs. Will any be going on… someone mentioned ‘zombie runs’. Sounds fun! Where can I obtain more info please.

    • Hello Sharon. We only do runs in Playa Del Carmen since it is a casual and easy way to get out and see the town plus discover good places to run here. At this time we don’t do runs outside of Playa Del Carmen because of the transportation time and we like to keep cost low. Puerto Aventuras is 20 minutes away from Playa Del Carmen.
      The zombie race/run is usually before Halloween. Like many events here in Mexico, they only announce them a few weeks before they happen and often with very bad advertising. It is frustrating as to our readers to find out the week of for an event and we try to get news as fast as we can. We will keep a look out for this event and post it here when we hear something.

  15. Hello, I will be visiting Playa between 19NOV-03DEC. It’s my first time in Playa and would like to do a running tour to see/discover the less touristy sites of Playa (maybe including some Maya ruins along the route?). Your reply and more information on the running tour will be highly appreciated. 🙂

    • Hello Kevin. We will send you an email about possible places to go running and will ask you some questions. We hope to see you soon here.

  16. Colin Mc Keown // October 26, 2016 at 3:16 PM // Reply

    Hi. Some friends and I will be in Playa next week and looking to book a running tour if possible.

    Thanks,
    Colin

    • Hello. Yes that is totally doable. We will send you an email today for some questions about running. Talk to you soon.

  17. Avery Martin // November 4, 2016 at 7:21 AM // Reply

    Staying at Secrets Capri and would like running route information along with running tour info. January 8-January 14 2017.

    • Hello Avery
      The secrets Capri is about 15 minutes outside of Playa Del Carmen and unfortunately the resort only has a driveway that leads to the highway. There is no where to run there. We do running tours inside of Playa Del Carmen because there are places to run and it is interesting to show people some things like murals, ruins or talk about places to visit. If you would like to come into Playa for a running tour, let us know. We know this is not the easiest but it is the best way and place to do a running tour.

  18. Hi! I’m in Playa now and would love to set up a running tour! That sounds great. Im also a blogger and would like to write a post on this. Thanks!

    • Hello Laura
      We can set up a tour this week. We will send you an email right now and get some information.

      Thanks

  19. Hi – I’ll be staying in Playa Saturday 19 Nov – Friday 25 and would like to do a few guided runs – pls could email me some information regarding this / who to contact? Thanks Ben

    • Hello Ben. Sure we will send you an email today about running in Playa Del Carmen. The weather has been perfect lately so it should be nice. See you soon here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*