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Playa del Carmen
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Plan Your Trip to Playa del Carmen: Best of Playa del Carmen Tourism

A paradise for nature lovers, history buffs, and party people alike
Once a sleepy fishing village, Playa del Carmen is now a Riviera Maya destination in its own right. Here, lively bars and cool boutiques sit next to local taquerias and chic luxury hotels—all with a bit more authentic Mexican style than you’ll find up the coast in Cancun. By day, hit the beach or hop the ferry to Cozumel, and at night, stroll La Quinta (the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare) for some people watching and the perfect margarita. And if all of that’s not enough, amazing diving and snorkeling are just off shore, while the ancient ruins of Coba tower over the inland jungles nearby.

Travel Advice

Essential Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Is Great For...

Secret caves and cenotes

Exploring Mayan history

Up-for-anything party scene

Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Playa del Carmen

dogwriter
Try to use at least a little Spanish. “Hola” and “gracias” go a long way.
Monica U
It is best to carry plenty of cash with you when visiting ruins, cenotes, and adventure parks. ATMs can be hard to find.
Monica U
Playa del Carmen is easy to get around on foot, but if you are going to take a taxi, make sure you negotiate the price first!

In the words of those who've been there before ...

mexico02010
Playa Del Carmen is the hidden jewel south of Cancun in Mexico.
Monica U
Playa del Carmen is one of the most romantic places on earth. From cute little spots to watch the sunset, to delicious candlelit dinners at award-winning romantic restaurants, to diving inside a sacred Mayan cenote.
Thel Lina C
From water sports — such as snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba diving — to magnificent white sandy beaches and delicious food; Playa del Carmen is the perfect Caribbean destination where you can relax and have fun.
Monica U
Playa del Carmen may not compete with his older cousin, Cancun, for nightlife and entertainment, but if you are looking for a more chilled-out vibe, sophisticated venues, live entertainment, and even hidden bars; it could be for you!

What is the best way to get there?

Flying:

The closest international airport to Playa del Carmen is Cancun International Airport. Buses, shuttles, and taxis head to the town from the airport. It’s about a 45-minute journey.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Mexico from overseas, use the government’s Visa Wizard to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

Peak season in Playa del Carmen is December through March, when the sunny skies and calm warm waters are ideal for a beach break. Expect temperatures around 74-77°F (23-25°C). To dodge the crowds and peak season price hike, opt for the quieter months of October and May.

Temperatures rise even higher in summer (as does the humidity), but it’s also hurricane season from June to Sept., when storms and showers are common.

On Foot

Playa del Carmen is small enough to get around on foot, and it’s easy to walk between the town and the beach.

Taxi

Taxis are easy to find in Playa del Carmen and can be hailed on the street.

Colectivos

Colectivos (shared taxis) connect Playa del Carmen with nearby towns and towns.

Ferry

Regular ferries depart from Playa del Carmen for the island of Cozumel, an about 45-minute journey.

Ridesharing

Uber is not currently available in Playa del Carmen.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Eastern Standard Time.
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in Mexico is 127V and the standard frequency is 60Hz. There are two plug types — one with two flat pins and another with two flat pins and a grounding pin.
What is the currency?
Mexican peso. US dollars are also widely expected.
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes, in town. Draw money out before heading out on day trips or smaller beach towns.
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Yes, in town. It’s worth carrying cash for markets, street food stalls, and entrance tickets.
How much do I tip for...?
Tipping is not obligatory in Mexico, but waiters and hotel staff will have become accustomed to it in Playa del Carmen.
Restaurants
A service charge is added to the bill at some restaurants; otherwise tipping 10-15% is standard practice.
Hotels/Resorts
$1-$2 US tip for bellmen and housekeeper is the norm.

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking
The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.
Try to speak the language
English is widely spoken in establishments frequented by travelers, but learning a few Spanish phrases will be appreciated.
Bring your own sunscreen
Items such as sunscreen are considered luxuries in Mexico and can be vastly overpriced.
Bargaining
Be prepared to haggle over prices, particularly at markets and street stalls (although food markets and shops typically have fixed prices). A good starting point is to half the initial asking price, then work up from there.
Frequently Asked Questions about Playa del Carmen


Some of the most popular restaurants in Playa del Carmen include:

Playa del Carmen is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:


If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Playa del Carmen between September and November, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between December and February.