7 Great Reasons to Travel to Playa Del Carmen

must do things in Playa Del Carmen

Why travel to Playa Del Carmen?

Picking a vacation spot can be hard with so many places in the world offing beaches, great cities, history, relaxing spots and more. If you have been thinking about Mexico and the Riviera Maya here are 7 great reasons to travel to Playa Del Carmen. These are all things that make Playa Del Carmen a good destination. So why not take advantage of some of these great features of the area. Here they are:

Visit the beaches

Most everyone still wants to relax on the beach when here on vacation. If you stay at a resort outside of town, the Playacar section or in the center of Playa Del Carmen you have access to the beach. There are many beach clubs to relax at or you can just go to the beach and put down your towel (see our articles on the best beaches in Playa Del Carmen and beaches in the Riviera Maya). Most of where people stay in the downtown area is only a few blocks to the beach.

The turquoise waters entice people to get in and the waves are not that big, so it makes for easier swimming.

travel to Playa Del Carmen
A look out at the beach from a hotel in the Playacar section of Playa Del Carmen.

Year round warm weather

It does not matter if it is summer or wintertime anywhere because it is summer weather year round in the Riviera Maya. We average about 27 degrees Celsius or about 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The ocean is always warm enough to swim in, so you can enjoy that as well. We also really enjoy the amount of sunshine and blue skies. We can take it for granted sometimes but when you come  from a place where it is cloudy or just more smoggy, you will really enjoy the clear skies.

Some people wonder when is the best time to come to Playa Del Carmen. There are the busy times around Christmas and New Years and then again around Easter. The dry season from March through June always seems to a little dry in the forest and we prefer the lush greenery. But this same time period also can be a great time to be at the beach and soak up the sunny days during this time.

Travel to Playa Del Carmen for the city itself

Playa Del Carmen was a small fishing village that travelers would come to for the beach.  The beach still is a part of Playa but there has been a shift to the cosmopolitan aspects. The diversity of residents and growth in the city has brought more luxury and conveniences. A restaurant scene has been developing, boutique hotels offer rooftop pools, spas and a multitude of shopping awaits you on 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen.

So if the beach is not for you all the time of your vacation, check out the shopping guide, restaurant guide, and be sure to see all the hotels that are available.

Visit for the Mayan ruins

On the top of everyone’s tour list is usually one of the Mayan ruins nearby. Chichen Itza is the most well known ruins followed by Tulum ruins. But did you know there are the Mayan ruins of Coba and Ek Balam which are also easy to access from Playa Del Carmen? There are also other Mayan ruins that are lesser known that you can visit without the tourist crowds. See our guide to Mayan ruins in the area here.

Having one of the new wonders of the world in your backyard is a great reason to travel to Playa Del Carmen and use it as a base for exploration.

travel to Playa Del Carmen
A different view of Chichen Itza Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Gateway to the colonial past and the Yucatan Peninsula

While usually everyone is focused on the beach, the colonial history of the past often gets overlooked. There are cities that were started in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s that you can visit. Three of the best examples of colonial cities you can visit are Valladolid, Izamal, and Merida. Visiting these cities as a day trip or weekend getaway while here will enhance your vacation. Having a modern Playa Del Carmen as a base, colonial cities and Mayan culture as well, is like getting three cultures in one trip.

travel to Playa Del Carmen
Just some examples of colonial architecture you can see when you travel to Playa Del Carmen and use it as a base.

Cenotes and natural beauty of the area

Cenotes are the fresh water of the ground that has been filtered through the limestone. It collects in areas that have eroded and forms beautiful pools. Some of these are open and some are in caverns. See all the cenotes you can visit here in our guide. Some of these are just south of Playa Del Carmen and a short 18 minute taxi, car or colectivo ride.

Other natural areas to visit include inlets where you can snorkel, Sian Ka’an Reserve, lagoons and islands.

Travel to Playa Del Carmen
Cenote Azul with cliff jump

Mayan culture and people of Mexico

The Riviera Maya is named after the people that once ruled this area and built a massive civilization. Today decedents of the Maya live in the area. You can even hear Mayan being spoken in Playa Del Carmen. While Playa has become a more modern city there is an abundance of influence from Mayan culture and also places where people still live in a more traditional way.

We like to refer to parts of the Yucatan Peninsula as a living museum. Seeing how people have lived for hundreds of years, living off the land and learning the skills of their elders. There are some tours that you can take to see what a real working town is like with a private tour and ask to see some more authentic areas.

Some companies will mix history, culture and fun where you can see more things than just a resort. Here is one example of a tour where you can have excitement, visit Mayan ruins and be embedded in a Mayan community.

All of these 7 things will give you so much to do and see in the area. It makes travel to Playa Del Carmen unique and special in its own way.

Travel to Playa Del Carmen
A traditional Mayan house that is still used today. Just a short drive from Playa Del Carmen you can find Mayan communities like this.

Why do you like to travel to Playa Del Carmen? What things attract you to this area? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. My husband and I have spent the past 2 years (January, February, March months) in Playa del Carmen and love all things you mentioned. Being able to leave the brutal cold weather in Ottawa Canada to spend 3 months in beautiful weather, without a car is wonderful. We love the people, the language, the history and the weather. We’ve just confirmed this coming January, February and March. ?

    • Before moving here it was always nice to come in March because it was winter up north and it was like a reprieve from winter and then it was only a short time until spring. See you in a few months!

  2. Please provide some information on how safe it is to visit/travel Playa and Quintanna Roo region currently – 2018. Mexico is getting some very bad press right now in the US concerning violence and travel safety. Many travel cancellations here over recent news. Thanks.

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