Having grown from a once quiet fishing village to an internationally renowned tourist destination, Playa Del Carmen offers a mix of old and new world culture. The expanding resort zone is dotted here and there with remnants of ancient Mayan structures reminiscent of the great civilization which once populated the region. Along the town’s bustling Quinta Avenida or Fifth Avenue, you will find restaurants and open cafes offering culinary delights from traditional Mexican dishes to international and fusion cuisine. Handcrafted arts and goods are offered by artisans on the streets or in the many shops and galleries lining the tourist area near the beach.

Further west from the downtown avenues, you will find a quieter Playa Del Carmen, off the beaten path. Here you can see the more authentically Mexican life of the town, with fantastic low-key restaurants and shops that offer clothing and goods for prices far more reasonable than those on the Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) strip. At least a basic command of Spanish will help you in the areas of town outside the resort center.

Playa Del Carmen has a growing underground music scene as well, featuring local artists and attracting rock, pop and folk musicians from across the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa.