Is Playa Del Carmen Walkable?
We have great news for you! Playa Del Carmen is the most walkable larger size town in the Riviera Maya. One reason many like to visit and live in Playa Del Carmen, is because it is walkable. You do not need a car or public transportation for some parts of Playa. But we will explain more in this article to give you the best overall answer to just what Playa Del Carmen is like in regard to walking.
Our walking map of Playa Del Carmen
We like making special maps for our readers. This map shows areas of Playa Del Carmen and streets that are the best areas to walk. Playa Del Carmen is known as a walkable town, but this is limited to more the center of town. The downtown of Playa Del Carmen is walkable but once you cross over the 307 Highway or get out of the center, it becomes more broken up areas that are not that walkable. There are 6 marking on this map for you. Here is the explanation.
- Starting on the top or north end of the map is a yellow section. This is the Colosio neighborhood. It is attached to the center and is walkable from the center. This area gets longer term renters and people looking for lower rents but still close to the center. In this yellow shape is a yellow line. This is the extension of 5th Avenue.
- The yellow line through Colosio is 5th Avenue. But this part is not 100% pedestrian. It is however walkable and has space for bikes and large sidewalks. This is a good place to run or walk. You can also walk this street to access some of the less visited beaches.
- The light purple shape in the middle is the center or downtown of Playa Del Carmen. If you stay or live in this area, you can pretty much walk everywhere you need to and can get around by foot. This is the area where almost all tourists stay. See our guide to where to stay in Playa Del Carmen here for more information.
- In the downtown or center of Playa Del Carmen you will see a red line that parallels the beach. This is 5th Avenue. It is a pedestrian street for all of this area. Here is where you find most of the restaurants and shops for tourists.
- The green shape at the south end of Playa is Playcar. This is a private gated community. There is a large oval with walkways on both sides of the street. It is gated but still open to the public since there are shopping centers and restaurants there. This is a good place to run or walk because it is quieter and treelined streets.
- The last line on the map is a dark green line that goes south toward Xplor park. This was built to facilitate workers going to the large parks. It is a nice sidewalk that serves bikes and walkers. This is the longest route to walk.
Walking the beaches of Playa Del Carmen
Walking along the beach is a great way to get some exercise. All beaches in Mexico and public, however, access is dependent on public access. In Playa Del Carmen, there are many streets that lead to the beach. Here are some ideas about where to walk on the beach.
- If you start at the Cozumel Ferry Pier, you can walk all the beach in front of Playacar Phase 1 and 2. You will see many all inclusive hotels and then eventually the beach becomes natural and rocky. It is not possible to walk much further than the end of Playacar because of a rocky outcrop. There are no stores along this route, so take water and what you need. It will take about 45 minute to walk to the end of this beach. Note: Most of Playacar Phase 2 has no public beach access. So, you will need to exit back near the pier.
- Walking north from the Cozumel Pier. You will walk in front of Playa Del Carmen. Around 12th street and also before the Constituyentes pier, you will see some beach erosion and possible seaweed build up. This is because the form of the coastline.
- From Constituyented to just north of CTM Avenue id a beach that is nice to walk. You have some popular hotels and beach clubs along this stretch. It does end just past CTM Avenue because there is no beach at the point.
- In front of Colosio you can access this beach to go for a walk. This beach is more natural and has no hotels. It often is not manicured but you can enjoy a quieter walk here. You can walk up to Punta Esmerelda where there is a cenote and often the beach is cut in half because of water flowing to the ocean.
- Punta Esmerelda north is a nice stretch of beach that passes private condo complexes and hotels. This beach is a far walk from the center of Playa but a nice area to visit if you are up to it.
Can you walk around Playa Del Carmen?
Playa Del Carmen was once a small beachside town. It has grown into a city and has done so at a fast rate. This has affected how walkable Playa Del Carmen is. The original center of Playa has remained densely constructed, making it easier to walk around. once you go beyond the 307 Highway, neighborhoods get more spread out and also many are gated communities you cannot enter unless a resident.
Since most people stay in the downtown, it is a very walkable place for people on vacation. For those that want to live in Playa Del Carmen, if you live in the downtown, you can get by without a car. Outside of the center, it makes it much harder to get around without the use of public transportation or taxi.
What is the main street for walking in Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen has a great street for walking. It is actually one of the avenues that parallels the beach. The entire Avenue was turned into a pedestrian street that is lined with stores and restaurants mainly for tourists. It is called 5th Avenue or “Quinta” as it is called in Spanish. The pedestrian part of 5th Avenue goes from the same street as the Cozumel Ferry and goes to CTM Avenue. That is about 2.2 Km (1.37 miles) of pedestrian walkway.
In fact, one of the main tourist attractions is 5th Avenue. People like to come and walk the avenue to shop or search for a place to dine. It is also the number one spot that people staying at all-inclusive hotels just outside of Playa Del Carmen come to visit. At all hours of the day, you can find something to see and do. It is however most active from about 6:00pm-10:00pm.
Is Playa Del Carmen safe to walk around?
Walking around the center of Playa Del Carmen is pretty safe to do at most hours. Playa Del Carmen is known as a tourist town and many people walk around the downtown. Playa Del Carmen can be divided into two parts, the downtown and all the other areas which tend to be less densely built up and have more residential areas. So, we have a little bit of difference guidance as far as safety goes depending on the area.
During the day in both areas, it is extremely safe. In the downtown, it is very rarely you hear about muggings or pickpocketing. This does not mean you should be aware of where you keep your money and limit the access. Also, for people with purses and bags, keep them close to you while eating at restaurants. This is just a commonsense thing to do that most busy tourist destinations would require.
One note about walking around in supermarkets in Playa Del Carmen. A common scam is the bump into someone or spill something on you. then someone helps you and at the same time pickpockets you. This is often targeted at older people or women with large purses in the cart.
But what about walking around at night? that is what we will talk about next.
Walking around Playa Del Carmen at night
Again, both the downtown and other areas have different guidance.
Walking around Playa Del Carmen at night in the downtown
In the downtown there are many people walking around until about 10:00pm and then it drops off except by busy clubs and bars. It is safe to walk around the downtown and 5th Avenue in the evening and many feel safe walking home on 5th Avenue at most hours. There are a lot of cameras installed on and near 5th Avenue and this keeps an eye on potential problems. Where some people run into problems is walking home after going out. People walking alone, tipsy are targeted by thieves or even police stops. Usually, it happens just out of the busy center on streets that are less lit and less populated. To eliminate these potential issues, walk home with friends or don’t plan on partying so much that is makes you appear drunk or out of it. Also, another small note is running into prostitutes or overly friendly people in bars. It might seem like a beautiful person is coming on to you, only to find out that they are making you feel comfortable only to get a chance to steal from you. This can happen to both men and women as there are some very aggressive women and transexuals that target drunk men and get handsy with them. They don’t have any desire to sell sex, but rather snag your wallet. See our guide on safety for tourists in Playa Del Carmen here.
Playa Del Carmen is not as dangerous as many cities in the world, we just mention some possibilities of issues so readers can be fully aware of potential issues.
Walking around Playa Del Carmen in the other parts
Much of the other parts of Playa Del Carmen are more divided up and people do not walk large distances. Often there are areas with no sidewalks or blocks with nothing but scrubland. Since most people are staying close to where you live or stay, it is very safe to walk around. The only thing we would caution readers is from walking longer distances and in areas that are not populated. It should also be noted that some areas do not have good lighting and have narrow shoulders. It can be dangers with walking and traffic in some parts of Playa.
thank for reading our article about walking around Playa and what is possible. We like to cover all topics on our website. If you use the search box, you can discover many topics we cover so people can get the most out of their time in Playa Del Carmen.
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Your so true about how fun it is to walk on 5th Avenue. We love walking at night and getting some ice cream. So much to see and shop.