13 Free Things to do in Playa Del Carmen!

Park Fundadores
Papantla dancers at Park Fundadores.

13 free things to do while in Playa Del Carmen

Looking for some free things to do in Playa Del Carmen? You vacation does not need to break the bank. Here are 13 things you can enjoy in Playa Del Carmen that will not cost you anything.

  1. Hit the beaches

    We have a lot of different beaches along the front of Playa Del Carmen. You don’t need to pay for a beach club to enjoy them. In fact all beaches in Mexico are free and open to the public. Either take a walk on the beach or take your beach towel with you and soak up some sun. To see what the Top 5 beaches are in Playa Del Carmen, see our article here. If you do want to go to a beach club, many will give you free chairs if you have purchase a minimum in services like drinks and food. You can also snorkel off the beach if you want in Playa Del Carmen.

  2. Hang out in Park Fundadores

    (Also called Founding Fathers Park) This is the block size park just at the foot of Avenue Juarez and the beach, also by the Cozumel Ferry Pier. This park keeps adding attractions for guest visiting Playa Del Carmen and it can be an entertaining place. On one side of the park is the beach with the large “Portal Maya” statue. Under this statue in the afternoons and evenings you can find Mayan dancers putting on a free show here. In the center of this park you will see a tall pole. This is where the Papantla dancers perform (see photo above). They do this throughout the day and it is free but a tip is nice to give. Also in this park there is a children’s play area, also free. To see where this park is and read more, see our article here.


  3. Walk 5th Avenue for free entertainment

    This is the pedestrian street in Playa Del Carmen that runs about 22 blocks. This is one of the main attractions in the city. There are tons of restaurants, shops and life to watch here. There is an electric air on 5th Avenue and it is different in the day than the night time.

    When the sun goes down, people come out to dine and stroll the avenue. It can be very entertaining to go into shops and see what they have and if you are not into shopping to much, there are some fun places to take photos along this avenue. Be sure to keep an eye out for street performers. There are impersonators and people acting as statues. Some of the best spots to look are on 5th Avenue and Calle 3 Sur by Paseo Del Carmen shopping center and on 5th Avenue in front of Quinta Alegria Mall.



  4. See Maya ruins right in Playa Del Carmen!

    You think you have to go to Chichen Itza to see Maya ruins? Think again. There are three places you can see these ancient ruins in Playa Del Carmen. These ruins are certainly not large but they are a reminder of the people here before us. Two spots where you can find Mayan ruins are right in the center of Playa and they are hidden from view. You can see where they are in our article on Hidden Playa Del Carmen. The largest ruins are right in the Playacar Phase 1 neighborhood on the south end of town. Best of all, these are all free to go see. You can see a map of this neighborhood in our article on Playacar Phase 1.

    free things to do in Playa Del Carmen
    Maya ruins in the Playacar section of Playa Del Carmen.


  5. Check out the art for free in Playa Del Carmen

    Every Thursday on 5th Avenue usually from about 26th Street to 30th Street there are artist displaying their work in the middle of the pedestrian way. These works are from local talented artist and some of them are famous outside of Playa Del Carmen and display in galleries around the world. You get to see it for free here! Also check out 16th Street next to Quinta Alegria Mall on 5th Avenue where local artist set up and you can see paintings and photographs here.

  6. See the street art and murals in Playa.

    There are hundreds of murals painted around the city and many are very good. You can see more in our gallery and there is also a general map where you can walk to and see some of these murals. Many of these are just our of the downtown area.

    free things to do in Playa Del Carmen
    Mural on 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen


  7. Stop by 28th of July Park

    This is the park in front of the Palacio Municipal or City Hall. This is between 15th Avenue and 20th Avenue and 8th Street and 10th Street. This park is home to many concerts and celebrations. Sometimes there are expos from Oaxaca, Mexico where you can see products that are made there or there are music venues. Around Christmas time there are dance recitals here and it can warm your heart and get you in the mood. You never know what is going on here and it is a good place to stroll over to and see if something is going on. Best of all, these events are some of the free things to do in Playa Del Carmen.

    Tip: If nothing is going on you can still go inside the courtyard of the Palacio Municipal and see the large mural there. It represents some of the local history and it makes for a nice photo op.

  8. Taste some tequila and see how it is made

    Hacienda Tequila Store is one of our recommended places for tourist to stop and shop. It has good air conditioning, a large selection of gifts and a very large selection of tequila. In the back of this store is a touristy tequila display that roughly shows the process of where tequila comes from. If you look like a potential buyer they may offer you a closer look at this and possibly a sample of tequila. This does not happen everyday but even if you just go in you can see the display and take photos. This store is on 5th Avenue near 14th Street. Look for the bright yellow front.

    free things Playa Del Carmen Mexico
    Hacienda Tequila Store
  9. The annual Jazz Festival

    Each year usually in late November is the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. Large names come to this multi day event. The festival is on Mamitas beach and is one of the free things to do in Playa Del Carmen. Everyone brings blankets and some food or drinks to sit on the beach and enjoy the music. It is crowded, so go early for closer seating. free things to do in Playa Del Carmen

  10. Enjoy the holidays in Playa Del Carmen

    Most holidays in Playa Del Carmen bring out a celebration. Some of the big holidays that are fun here are: Carnival, Day of the Dead, Halloween, Hanal Pixan, Christmas and New Years.

    For carnival there are parades in town with floats that you can go see and they end up at the Plaza Municipal in the 28th of July Park. Here there is free dancing and music.

    The three holidays all associated with Day of the Dead including the Mayan holiday of Hanal Pixan, all are around Halloween time. In stores and businesses you will see alters for Hanal Pixan and for Halloween Playa’s 5th Avenue turns into the largest costume parade. People walk up and down 5th Avenue and take photos and give candy to kids.

    For New Years Eve many people go out to a late dinner and stay up. Fifth Avenue becomes crowed with people and around midnight the area around 12th Street gets packed. There are fireworks and people party in the street. All of this excitement is  associated with free things to do in Playa Del Carmen all around holiday times

  11. Swim in a cenote for free

    Cenotes are unique to the area and there are some famous ones that tours go to. There is no need to pay to visit this one though. At the north end of Playa Del Carmen you can find a cenote where the fresh water bubbles up and runs into the ocean. This makes for shallow rivers of fresh water where you can play and swim or just take in this beautiful spot. You can read more in our article about this place, the secret beach where the local go.

  12. Go out clubbing

    Playa Del Carmen has some fun clubs and you don’t have to spend money all the time to go out. The best secret is going out before the magic hour, when is that? Usually  this is 12 midnight. Many clubs want to start to fill up, so they have free entry early. This is usually most of the year when it is not a major holiday.  Also be sure if you are a lady to check out ladies nights all over Playa Del Carmen. Most are during the week and you can have free drinks! See our guide to nightlife in Playa Del Carmen here for more details on where to go.

  13. Get up and see the sunrise!

    Free every morning is the sunrise. It seems to be different all the time. If you want to see what you have been missing, see our gallery of sunrises in Playa Del Carmen here. We also have an article on where to best see the sunrise from

We hope you have a great time on vacation and enjoy some of the free things to do in Playa Del Carmen. For how to save money and also have a cheap vacation, see our article: How to do Playa Del Carmen Cheap and on a Budget.

Free things to do in Playa Del Carmen
Golden morning by Park Fundadores.


  1. Hello. We were searching for free things to do in Playa Del Carmen and found your guide. It looks great and we cannot wait to be there November 17!

  2. Just wondering about tours ? Will the ado buses take you to the parks ? We are staying in a condo and looking to do as much as we can for the cheapest price … Love your website ❤️

    • Hello Tasha

      Many of the large parks, Xcaret, Xel Ha and Xplor are available by public transportation. In each article we give you the details. You can take ADO to some but we like the more flexible colectivos. There are only a few ADO busses a day to the parks. See if the colectivos will fit your schedule and type of travel. Most will only be about 5 USD rt per person. That is much less than the $27 USD that the parks include transportation for.

  3. Love your list of things to do that are free. We wish there were more cultural events but we know it is a beach town.

  4. Your list is awesome and perfect for our family of seven. We are currently visiting and used many of your suggestions. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Yoli

      Welcome to Playa Del Carmen! We hope you have a great time! Let us know if you need anything.

  5. What is the significance of July 28th? It is obviously important being commemorated by the park in front of City Hall and an arterial boulevard.

    • Hello Brent

      The 28th of July is when Pancho Villa surrendered and thus came the conclusion of the Mexican Revolution.

  6. We are so excited to be going to Playa del Carmen in June. Anything we should watch for in June? Also, do collectivo’s have certain destinations or will they bring you where you want to go? We are staying at Xcaret and would like to easily get back and forth to the town.

    • June is a pretty calm time in Playa. It is the end of the dry season. The colectivos don’t have pre planed stops but will pick people up and drop them off where needed. The Xcaret Hotel is not on the highway so you would need to get from the Highway to your hotel. Most likely a taxi. It is not the easiest connection. A taxi might just be easier but not cheaper.

  7. Thank you. We are staying at Occidental at Xcaret. Is that different from the hotel? Would it be on the highway?

    • The Occidental Xcaret Hotel is not on the highway. We are not sure what hotel in this article you are referring to?

  8. Is there anything going in around may 12th 2019 ? I will br there with my wife…last time we watched a wedding in town it was wonderful soooooo joyous

  9. Hi
    We are staying at the Tequila for 2 weeks June/begin July is it cheaper to get buses to the excursions ourself or are the excursions cheaper this time of the months & also is there anything going on. I no it’s nice & quiet then

    • Hello Jen

      Most tours include the pickup for you at your hotel. Was there any excursions you wanted to do in particular? We can recommend options for transportation based on where you want to go. As far as events, June is a quiet month but the usual places like 5th Avenue and Park Fundadores are always active.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.