What to do, see, eat and go in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen or Tulum
The central area of Playa Del Carmen and it's beaches.

The Everything Guide to the Playa Del Carmen Downtown

The center of Playa Del Carmen has about everything you want for a vacation. Here is our Playa Del Carmen downtown guide to everything. Lets start with a map so you know what is the best area to check out.

Our map of the downtown area

This is the area of the Playa Del Carmen downtown area. It is basically bordered by Juarez Avenue to the south, the beach to the east, 30th Avenue to the west and CTM Avenue (aka 46th Street) to the north.


What is there to do in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen?

If your vacation is going to be here and you are staying in town then you will want to know what there is to do. The biggest things to do in Playa Del Carmen are going to the beach, walking 5th Avenue and going out. If you are going to be going out, see our bar guide and nightclub guides here.

One thing you can do before coming is look at our yearly events calendar and see if there will be something special in town. These are holidays or other events that occur each year.

Playa Del Carmen downtown
Papantla dancers at Park Fundadores.

Where is good to eat in the center of town?

Where to start? There are tons of restaurants to choose from. With the influx of people from all over the world, you can find many international styles. You can find everything from cheap eats to fine dinning on rooftops overlooking the Caribbean. Browse through some of our guides here to see what places are good in the downtown.

Playa Del Carmen Downtown
The view of the beach from Yan Ten Restaurant.

Where is good to stay in Playa Del Carmen?

Most visitors want to be close to the action. This means walking out of your hotel to the beach or 5th Avenue. Playa Del Carmen’s downtown is very walkable and makes it possible not to have a car. Hotel choices range from boutique hotels to larger all inclusive. We made this handy guide on where to stay so you can be where you want to be.


Shopping on 5th Avenue and in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen

If you are a tourist, you will love all the opportunities to shop in Playa. Most tourist will find everything they can imagine on 5th Avenue from the far south end all the way to 40th Street. We do have you covered with what you might be looking for. If you don’t find it or have a question, leave a comment below and we will get back to you.

Best beaches and beach clubs in the downtown

Playa is renowned for the beaches and certainly you can walk right out to the beach from the downtown area. Some of the beaches are more popular with locals and some are more attractive to the younger crowd. See our list of the top 5 beaches in Playa Del Carmen here.

If you want to go to the beach but have access to chairs, some food or drinks and bathrooms, a beach club is perfect for you. Here is our guide of beach clubs here in Playa Del Carmen.

You might also like a rooftop pool to relax at. These can look out at the ocean but not get your feet sandy. Some of the roof tops to look at are the Roof Club at the Palm Hotel, Thompson Hotel rooftop, and the Carmen Hotel’s Deck 5.

playa del carmen downtown
The beach in the downtown at 8th Street.

How to get to and from Playa Del Carmen to the airport

Since most of you are coming to a resort or hotel and not renting a car, here are the best options for getting to Playa Del Carmen from the Cancun Airport.

  1. The cheapest option is the ADO bus which runs from the airport to the Juarez Avenue bus station only. See the ADO website here for schedules.
  2. Most other readers enjoy taking a private transfer direct to your hotel or rental. This transport company is one of the most recommended by our readers.
Playa Del Carmen downtown bus station
ADO Bus Station on 5th Ave.

Getting around from the Playa Del Carmen downtown area

If you are going to other towns in the Riviera Maya, either short or more far, here are some easy transportation options.

  • Colectivos are vans that go from either Playa Del Carmen to Cancun or from Playa to Tulum, these are very affordable and will leave you along the highway wherever you want to stop.
  • For public transportation within Playa Del Carmen and leaving from the downtown to outlaying neighborhoods, see our public bus guide here.
  • Playa Del Carmen has two bus stations. See our ADO Bus Station guide here for more information (also here is the ADO website for schedules in Spanish).
  • For routes and other cities, see our guide how to get anywhere guide here.

If you have enjoyed this guide, see our complete list of guides here for everything Playa Del Carmen and around.

What do you like to do in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you. 

Downtown Playa Del Carmen
A view from one of the beach clubs in Playa Del Carmen.

About The Author


  1. I Love Playa Del Carmen , been there for the past 6 years for at least 1 month each time. Was there in October, November and planning for February. People are friendly. Helpful and courtius. They make you feel welcome with smiles and “Boanas Diaz” or Hola “ .Good food, Nice Beaches , public transportation in town with colectivo is great and cheap. A lot to see in the Peninsula of Yucatan.

    • Hello Pauline

      We are glad you have had such a positive experience here. We hope your upcoming vacation here will be great as well. Thank you for reading our website.

  2. I just got back from Play and loved the downtown. It was energetic like Ibiza but more grown up. Great energy and places to relax and go out. Perfect mix of chill and placed to stay and eat. I will be coming back for sure.

  3. Overall I love your articles! I will be sure to check out some of these places when in Playa del Carmen this fall.

  4. It always surprises me that there are people pushing airbnbs out of the downtown saying it is only 10 minutes to the beach. Tourists should only stay in the center so they can walk and be near everything.

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