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30 Ultimate Things to Do in Playa del Carmen

By: Rosie Bell in Seasonal Travel / 06 Nov 2022
30 Ultimate Things to Do in Playa del Carmen

Consider this your greatest-hits list of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Swinging yet serene, Playa del Carmen is the not-so-secret antidote to Cancun. The Mayan Riviera is the coast with the most and Playa del Carmen is its most eclectic destination. Combining rich Mayan culture, culinary diversity, year-round warmth, otherworldly subterranean swimming pools, and a gorgeous beach or two, this city might just blow you out of the water.

Previously known as Xaman-Ha or "waters of the north" in Maya, Playa del Carmen was named for Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Cancun's patron saint. Situated on the Mexican Caribbean coast, this once sleepy fishing village is now a cosmopolitan city in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo where many come to meet the world. To be able to say you've visited this Mayan Riviera gem, tick the following scintillating experiences off your list.

Here is a definitive list of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen, a tropical playground that might just blow you out of the water.


The weather and waters stay warm enough to welcome you 365 days a year, but the best months to visit Playa del Carmen are November through March when the heat and humidity are less punishing.

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Begin at Quinta Avenida

A street with colorful flags and palm trees

Get ready for an unforgettable experience in this dreamy destination in Mexico! Discover and enjoy the vibrant lifestyle and impressive beauty of Playa del Carmen, a paradise for both beach lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, relax on its white sandy beaches, and explore the fascinating marine life. Additionally, you can enjoy a wide range of exciting activities such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and thrilling jungle tours. Don't miss the chance to live unforgettable moments in this dream destination!

Playa del Carmen is the largest (and fastest-growing) city in the Mayan Riviera, yet it retains its charm as a walkable destination. Quinta Avenida (or "La Quinta") serves as Playa's main street, running parallel to the beach. A stroll along this vibrant avenue is like a baptism of fire, igniting your excitement and setting the perfect tone for your journey ahead.


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Frolic in a Rooftop Pool

A pool and buildings by the ocean

Escape to The Fives hotel's elegant rooftop pool and have an artful mixologist whip you up a cocktail to accompany your sunset while you teeter on the edge of bliss. The Reef 28's sky-caressing pool  of hotel The reef 28, is a place to see and be seen and Thompson Playa del Carmen's rooftop is similarly stylish. From here you can take in purple and blue sunset hues from a cabana or the ivory in-pool loungers. The party crowd loves Deck 5 Pool and Skybar on weekend afternoons while The Palm at Playa boutique hotel is popular for its poolside workshops, yoga classes, and pulsating day-to-evening parties. Over at Be Roof atop the Be Playa hotel, the atmosphere is laid-back and the bar staff always seem to have just the right music playing.

See the rest of the list of things to do in Playa del Carmen by reading the full article.

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