How many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen?

travel secrets

How many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen?

Are you planning  a vacation and wondering how many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen? It will depend on several factors. Are you going to be traveling to other places in the area? Are you traveling independently or are you going to a resort? Is your ideal vacation being in one place to chill? Here are all of our tips for how many days you need to see Playa Del Carmen as well as what is nearby to see.

What type of traveler are you?

What type of vacation you want is going to affect our answer to how many days you need to see Playa Del Carmen. For example, if you are coming to the Riviera Maya and want to travel around, this means you will need to spend a few days getting to know the area. The other type of traveler wants to spend all the time at a hotel or resort to see the area. Below are our suggestions to what you can do and see and the correct amount of time you need.

The independent travelers guide to Playa Del Carmen

There are two types of independent travelers. One type is going to pass through Playa Del Carmen and visit other places in the area. The other type is going to book their own hotel and explore mainly Playa Del Carmen. What can you see in Playa Del Carmen and how many days do you need?

Backpackers and other independent travelers can see most of Playa Del Carmen in three days. It will depend on what type of experience you want though. Playa Del Carmen does not offer really any museums or major cultural experiences. Playa Del Carmen is more about the beach, strolling 5th Avenue (Quinta Avenida), bars, and enjoying dining at some of the many international restaurants.

How many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen?
Year round you can walk on 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen.

The 4 day itinerary to Playa Del Carmen

If you have four days in Playa Del Carmen, here is a suggested itinerary for you.

Day 1 in Playa Del Carmen

Arrive from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen. Check into your hotel (see our article on where to stay in Playa Del Carmen) and take a stroll in 5th Avenue (the long pedestrian street with most of the shops and restaurants) in the late afternoon. Enjoy a good dinner at one of the Mexican restaurants as your introduction to your Mexican vacation.

If you are not tired, you could go out for a drink at one of the many bars in Playa Del Carmen or even stay out later at one of the clubs.

Day 2 in Playa Del Carmen

Beach day! The beach is the main feature of Playa Del Carmen and spending the day there can be a great way to relax. All along the beach you can find beach clubs. These places offer chairs, food and services for your day. If it is not a great day for the beach or you prefer a rooftop pool, check out these great rooftop pools.

how many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen
Beach beds and chairs at a beach club in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

You could also do a half day at a cenote. There are some very nice cenotes close to Playa Del Carmen that are easy to get to without a car.

Day 3 in Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen is a good jumping off point for some of the most exciting Eco parks in the Riviera Maya. Just 15 minutes outside of town you can find Xenses, Xcaret, and Xplor parks. A little further south of here, you can find Xel Ha park.

Insider tip: Buying your tickets in advance is the best way to save. The reserve now button below will take you to the official booking site. Don’t worry, if you want to change the day of your reservation, you can, up to 24 hours before your date of the tickets

Below is just a sample of one of the parks and what it is like. All of these parks are well worth the money and will make for a very memorable day. They are all unique and offer something different to visitors.


Day 4 in Playa Del Carmen

Time for a nice breakfast, a little bit of shopping and then take off for your next location. Of course a short four days will not be enough to click off all the things on our “must do things” in Playa Del Carmen. You can, however, get to see Playa Del Carmen and what it has to offer, and perhaps the next time see more.

The resort traveler

Most people that book an all inclusive resort or want to book a hotel for the entire stay will spend about one week in the Playa Del Carmen area.

Most resorts offer packages for week stays and this allows you to explore the resort and take in a tour or two. If you are staying at a large resort, any less time than 4 days will have you just figuring out where things are and then turning around to leave.

Pro tip: Can’t decide on what resort is perfect for you? Ask Lori, she is an expert on resorts in the Riviera Maya and can help you book the perfect place for you. See the article for contact information for her.

All inclusive resorts are designed for  a week stay. There are a variety or restaurants and shows that rotate each week at these resorts. Staying longer at a resort can get a little repetitive, but then again, relaxing by the pool and not having to cook and clean is something that is hard to get tired of.

how many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen?
How many days would you like to stay here?

Exploring outside of the resort

If you are the type of travelers that likes to stay at a resort, but wants to get off the property to explore a little, here are some great tours. Tours make it easy to get around because they pick you up, take you on an adventure and bring you to your hotel, all in one day.

Many people will wait until they arrive to choose what they want to do, but remember, many resorts only allow certain tours to be sold in the lobbies. See what some of the most popular tours are in our article here.

How many days do you need in Playa Del Carmen

Going beyond Playa Del Carmen?

Now that you are better prepared for your trip to Playa Del Carmen, where are you off to next? We are always out exploring and writing articles for you. Below is a clickable map with many places in the area to explore. We hope this helps you discover some unique places.


How many days do you think people need to see Playa Del Carmen? Have you been to the area before? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. 

About The Author


  1. I have been several times to Playa del Carmen before. You can pretty much see everything in two days but if the weather and beaches are nice, it is good to spend a week there.

  2. What is a nice small all inclusive resort for honeymooners in their 60s .
    If not all inclusive grocery store near by would be helpful.
    Pool, beach, and air conditioner a must.
    7 day stay,

    • That is a little hard because there are mostly only very large all-inclusive hotels. You might like Mahekal in Playa. They offer full or half board so you can go to some restaurants outside. It is also a quieter resort.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.