Playa del Carmen travel guide

Playa del Carmen Tourism | Playa del Carmen Guide

You're Going to Love Playa del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen is a modern Mexican town by the Caribbean Sea. Formerly a small fishing village, Playa Del Carmen is now one of the most popular tourist spots for nightlife and electronic music aficionados. This town is located just across from the island of Cozumel.

Playa Del Carmen attracts thousands of tourists each year who come for the BPM Festival, the nearby ruins, and the warm climate. Traveling to this area of the Riviera Maya is a great way to discover Mexico while avoiding large and crowded urban areas.

This city is known for hosting PGA Golf tournaments and has been featured as the main shooting location in the telenovela Peregrina. Playa Del Carmen is a unique mixture of modernity and authenticity with its luxurious resorts and shopping malls contrasting against the nearby ruins and jungle.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Playa del Carmen

1. The Vibrant Nightlife

Playa Del Carmen is one of the hottest clubbing spots on the Yucatán Peninsula with people flocking to spots such as the Playacrawl, L'Ambassade, or La Vaquita.

2. The Jungle

The Jungle Place sanctuary is the perfect place to see wild animals and feel like an adventurer. Besides discovering the unique fauna that grows in the region, you will get to see the many spider monkeys that have been rescued and now live at the sanctuary.

3. Cozumel Island

The Cozumel island is right across from Playa Del Carmen and is one of the most famous spots in the world for scuba diving.

4. The Festivals

Playa Del Carmen hosts a world-famous electronic dance music festival every January known as the BPM Festival. If electronic dance music is not your cup of tea, plan your trip in November so you can enjoy the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.

5. The Coba Mayan Villages

Discover the ancient Mayan civilization and the ruins they left behind by touring the Coba Mayan Villages. You can climb the Coba pyramid, walk, or ride a bike through the jungle and see where the descendants of the Mayans live today.

Where to Eat in Playa del Carmen

Make sure you try the local seafood. A lot of places offer traditional Caribbean and Mexican fare, though you can also find Italian, French, and Thai cuisine as well as sushi. If you are looking for an upscale dining experience, try La Casa del Agua for traditional Mexican food, Di Vino for Italian fare, and Oh Lala or Pavo Real by the Sea for some seafood. Expect to pay at least Mex$200 for a meal in one of these eateries. There are also many local cafes and cheap eats that serve traditional Caribbean and Mexican street food. Try the Kaxapa Factory, El Tenedor, Mr Dog del Caribe, and BROchetas. Expect to pay Mex$30 for a fast-food meal.

When to visit Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen in May
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel
Playa del Carmen in May
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel

It is best to avoid traveling to the Yucatán Peninsula during June and July due to the risk of tropical storms and hurricanes. The rainy season lasts from May to October and traveling to Playa Del Carmen early in the rainy season can be a good way to avoid crowds. The high season typically lasts from December to April. Expect to run into large crowds during the BPM Festival in January.

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Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Playa del Carmen


Cancun International Airport (CUN) is 35 miles away from Playa Del Carmen. You can easily get from the airport to your hotel by booking a private transfer for around Mex$500 or by getting on an ADO bus. Taking the bus from the airport to Playa Del Carmen only costs Mex$146. A bus leaves every 30 minutes and the trip should not take more than an hour. The ADO bus will take you to the Playa bus station on 5th Avenue (Avenida 5) and Avenida Benito Juarez. If you would rather ride in a taxi, the fare from the airport to Playa Del Carmen should cost around Mex$650.


Playa Del Carmen is a straight shot south from Cancun on Highway 307. There are several options available for renting a car at the airport and nearby. You will find international franchises such as Alamo, Avis, or Europcar.


ADO bus and Mayab run services to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun, Coba, Tulum, and a number of other places.

Airports near Playa del Carmen

Airlines serving Playa del Carmen

United Airlines
Good (69,486 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (47,665 reviews)
Good (28,401 reviews)
Good (3,806 reviews)
Good (30,738 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,361 reviews)
British Airways
Good (23,345 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,610 reviews)
Excellent (9,188 reviews)
Good (6,162 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,532 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (4,859 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,044 reviews)
Excellent (15,776 reviews)
Good (5,579 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (30,310 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Okay (63,084 reviews)
Excellent (20,177 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (6,759 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (3,263 reviews)
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Where to stay in Playa del Carmen

There are several all-inclusive resorts and boutique hotels in Playa Del Carmen. A beachfront hotel would be an ideal option if you want to enjoy a view on the Caribbean Sea; try out the Reef Playacar, the Riu Yucatan, the Mahekal Beach Resort, and the Sunset Fishermen Resort & Spa. If you want a boutique hotel experience, the Hotel Be Playa, the Magic Blue Boutique Hotel, the Allegro Playacar, or the Hotel Eurostars Hacienda Vista Real are worth considering.

Popular neighbourhoods in Playa del Carmen

Playacar - the Playacar area is where you will find most of the hotels and resorts. The area is home to Hard Rock Golf Club, the aviary, several stores, and many restaurants, bars, and cafes. As you get further from the beach, you will find several residential areas, including La Toscana, Bosque Real, Ejidal, Santa Fe, or Misión Del Carmen.

Centro - the Centro can be found north of the Playacar area. Here, you will find more boutique hotels, a Walmart, and many other shopping and dining options.

Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya - fancy putting your putting skills to the test? Head out to this large golf course, which lies north of Playa Del Carmen.

Where to stay in popular areas of Playa del Carmen

Most booked hotels in Playa del Carmen

Hotel Xcaret Mexico
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun - Adults Only
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa, An IHG Hotel
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
The Reef 28
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Iberostar Cozumel
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
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How to Get Around Playa del Carmen

Public Transportation

White vans known as colectivos go up and down Highway 307. A trip typically costs Mex$20 to Mex$30 and you can get dropped off anywhere along Highway 307. Catch one of these vans on Calle 2 Norte between 15th and 20th Avenues. You will also find a bus terminal on 5th Avenue and Avenida Benito Juarez. You can catch an ADO bus or a Mayab bus to travel to other nearby towns.


Taxis have fixed rates in Playa Del Carmen so you will always know how much a trip should cost. It is very easy to find taxis waiting along 5th Avenue or near hotels. Playa Del Carmen is divided in different zones and taxi fares should be around Mex$20 if you stay within the same zone. Traveling to a nearby zone should cost Mex$25 and the price will go up if you want to travel to further areas. Private vans might be a better option if you want to leave Playa Del Carmen and travel to nearby attractions such as Chichen Itza or the Tulum Ruins.


You can rent a car at the airport in Cancun or at one of the several Avis and Hertz locations in Playa Del Carmen. Expect to pay Mex$1,130 per day for a rental car, which includes the price of insurance. The town was designed with a grid system and the streets are numbered so you should easily find your way around.

Car hire agencies in Playa del Carmen






Find car hire in Playa del Carmen

The Cost of Living in Playa del Carmen

Shopping Streets

5th Avenue, or Quinta Avenida, is where you will find most of the bars, restaurants, and shopping options. Stores sell souvenirs, jewelry, clothes, and crafts. You will find smaller shops owned by locals as well as larger stores such as Zara, H&M, and a Sunglass Hut. The busiest section of 5th Avenue goes from Calle 1 Norte to Calle 40. The Centro is also worth your time if you want to find malls and souvenir shops.

Groceries and Other

You will find a Walmart in the Centro area. This is the largest grocery store and the most affordable one in Playa Del Carmen. There are several smaller grocery stores in the Centro area, including a Super Aki and a Mega. You should expect to pay around Mex$17 for a quart of milk, Mex$35 for 12 eggs, and Mex$16 for a loaf of bread.

Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
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