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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Top 10 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Things to Do

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico known as Playa is located south of Cancun and north of Tulum, Mexico.

Playa del Carmen was the tenth most popular international travel destination for U.S. travelers with over a million tourists passing through the city annually.


Playa Del Carmen is known for its turquoise beaches, Mexican food, Mayan culture, trips to Chichen Itza: Wonder of the World, and ease to travel to incredible cities in the Yucatan like Bacalar, Mexico, known as the Maldives of Mexico.


With my travel to 7 continents now 35+ countries, my spirit and soul called me to spend time in Playa Del Carmen with its accessibility of exploring the city with walking and biking, digital nomad community, closeness to the best Cenotes in Mexico, and to other cities in Mexico like Valladolid, Mexico. I visited Playa Del Carmen before 3+ times stopping for a day, or passing through on the way to other cities.


During my full-time travels in Playa Del Carmen, my Airbnbs included five places in about two months. I planned to stay in one, but due to various reasons I ended up changing five times. I finally discovered my favorite Airbnb in Lorena Ochoa.



It is time to put Playa Del Carmen, Mexico on your bucket list.


TOP 10 PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO THINGS TO DO






Whether you will spend one day in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico or 2 months like I did, you will love it.

It's not easy to narrow down Playa Del Carmen, Mexico to a Top 10 Things to Do, but here goes!




Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Top 10 Things to Do

  1. Visit Beaches Playa 88 and Mexicos Named Most Beautiful Beach, Punta Esmeralda

  2. Walk on the Most Beautiful Street in Playa del Carmen: 38

  3. Vibe on Fifth Avenue walking, biking, shopping, eating

  4. Self-Love and Self Care like Sunrises, Yoga, Ice Baths, Temezcal, Biking, and Gym

  5. Experience the Best Cenotes in Mexico in Rivera Maya

  6. Must Do Bucket List Adventures Swim with Turtles in Akumal, Mexico

  7. Explore Tulum, Mexico to discover if all the Instagram reel hype is real

  8. Witness a Wonder of the World, Chichen Itza, and Travel to Valladolid, Mexico

  9. Travel to the Maldives of Mexico, Bacalar, Mexico

  10. Enjoy food like Chilaquiles at La Cueva del Changa and Coconut Ceviche at Amate 38



Top 10 Tourist Destination for US Travelers
TOP 10 Tourist Destination for US Travelers





Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is a must on any global travelers list for its top 10 tourist destinations for US travelers, central location in Rivera Maya, ease of exploring the city, and beautiful Rivera Maya beaches.

Language

Spanish


Climate

It has a hot and humid climate year round with a rainy season and heavier seaweed season in summer months.


Currency

Pesos


Banks

Debit and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Mostly souvenir and street food stands take only cash. You may find ATMs virtually everywhere.



Paseo Del Carmen in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico





All shots are my own on Canon EOSM100, Sony A330, and/or my iPhone 13 or via Airbnb.





Travel to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Travel to Playa is easy with all major airlines flying in and through Cancun. I have flown to Cancun with United and Southwest Airlines typically. From Cancun, you can easily take the Ado Bus to Playa and/or rent a car.








Where I Stayed in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

My favorite Airbnb in Playa

My intention before traveling to most destinations I am traveling to for more than a month is to stay at one Airbnb. However, sometimes life has other plans. I experienced 4 Airbnbs my first month in Playa, and finally found my favorite one that I spent my second month in via Alegria Rentals.




Airbnb in Playa Del Carmen with Alegria Rentals
Airbnb in Playa Del Carmen with Alegria Rentals






Top 10 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Things to Do

Undoubtedly, Playa Del Carmen and Mexico offers countless experiences in the city and country. Although I experienced a lot during my almost two months of travel, I barely scratched the surface.

Mexico is a travel destination I have returned to again and again, and will continue to.


The last time I visited Mexico was in 2021 in the middle of the pandemic. I spent over 4 months in Mexico, traveling to Tulum, Bacalar, Valladolid and Mexico City.


No matter how much time you have to visit Playa Del Carmen, make the most of it.

Whether you spend a day, a week, or months in Mexico, always make any travels your own!


In putting together the Top 10 Playa Del Carmen Things to Do, I considered how I would experience travels knowing what I know now to make it easier and more enjoyable for you.



My Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Top 10 Things to Do includes:

  1. Visit Beaches Playa 88 and Mexicos Named Most Beautiful Beach, Punta Esmeralda

  2. Walk on the Most Beautiful Street in Playa del Carmen: 38

  3. Vibe on Fifth Avenue walking, biking, shopping, eating

  4. Self-Love and Self Care like Sunrises, Yoga, Ice Baths, Temezcal, Biking, and Gym

  5. Experience the Best Cenotes in Mexico in Rivera Maya

  6. Must Do Bucket List Adventures Swim with Turtles in Akumal, Mexico

  7. Explore Tulum, Mexico to discover if all the Instagram reel hype is real

  8. Witness a Wonder of the World, Chichen Itza, and Travel to Valladolid, Mexico

  9. Travel to the Maldives of Mexico, Bacalar, Mexico

  10. Enjoy food like Chilaquiles at La Cueva del Changa and Coconut Ceviche at Amate 38



Lets Taco About Mexico


 

1 Visit the Best Beaches in Playa: Playa 88 + Punta Esmeralda

One of the reasons I chose to travel to Mexico again is to spend hours at the beach. My favorite experiences include sunrises and sunsets at the beach. I shocked myself waking up for countless sunrises during my two months in Mexico.


My beaches to visit include Playa 88 and Punta Esmeralda on the north side of Playa.

They are calmer with no beach clubs, music, or crowds other than weekends. or sunset. You can find them both easily by putting the names in your GPS. They both have showers, restrooms, and palapas (little huts to sit in the shade)


According to the Cancun Sun and a International Center for Training in Beach Management and Certification, Punta Esmeralda was voted the best beach in Mexico. I love how a cenote is adjacent to the beach. For me, so far, the most beautiful beach in Mexico is Holbox. I experienced Holbox on an Airbnb Adventure, and will be back.


Mexicos Most Beautiful Beach Punta Esmeralda










 


2 Walk the Most Beautiful Street in Playa: Calle 38 Norte

My favorite street in Playa Del Carmen is jungle themed or Tulum styled street, Calle 38. In between 5th Avenue to the beach, Calle 38 is jungle themed with condos, restaurants, and nature that is beautiful to experience day and night.


My favorite restaurants, La Cueva del Changa and Amate 38 are located on Calle 38 too.






 

3 Playa Del Carmen's Most Famous Street: Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue in Playa Del Carmen is a whole vibe. In my prior travels to Playa, I visited the south side of Fifth Avenue near Parque Fundadores, Playa Del Carmen Beach, Ferry to Cozumel, and Ado Bus Station. In comparison, the north side after CTM is less developed. Here, you will find, restaurants like El Capitan, Tierra Verde, Paseo Cafe, and Gran Cafe.


I love pedestrian streets like Fifth Avenue or 5TA Avenida. You will find everything from shopping to souvenirs to shopping malls and everything in between. The Ado Bus Station is even here!






Walk with Me on Playa Del Carmen's Most Famous Street






 

4 Practice Self-Love and Care in Playa

Playa Del Carmen offers countless ways to experience self-love and care like sunrises at the beach, yoga at sunrise with @sunrise.yoga at Reef Club at 6 am, ice baths on the beach at 8:30 at Muelle Constituyentes with Recnnct, Temezcal Mayan experience, coworking on the roof with Herbalife snacks, biking all over town, and gyms like Evolve Fitness.










 

5 Experience the Best Cenotes in Mexico

I first discovered Cenotes in 2018 in Mexico during an Airbnb Adventure. Cenotes, or sinkholes, are millions of years old. I fell in love with cenotes and decided to put together a guide of the Best Cenotes in Mexico.






Experience swimming in the Secret Cenotes with me



Top 10 National Geographic Underground Walk


 

6 Must Do Bucket List Adventures: Swim with Turtles

I dreamed of must do bucket list adventures to swim with turtles for years! I never imagined I would do it in Akumal, or the place of the turtles, near Playa Del Carmen. In less than 2 hours, I saw 8 turtles in the Meso-American barrier reef.












 

7 Explore Tulum, Mexico

A great day trip or add on to your adventures in Mexico is travel to Tulum. I spent over 3 months in Tulum in 2021 and loved it! See for yourself if all the Instagram reel hype is real.





 

8 Witness a Wonder of the World: Chichen Itza

Witness a Wonder of the World, Chichen Itza, and Travel to Valladolid, Mexico. In 2021, I spent about 2 weeks in Valladolid and visited Chichen Itza on a day trip. It is well worth visiting the Mayan Ruins and nearby Cenotes.





 

9 Marvel at the Maldives of Mexico: Bacalar, Mexico

It is easy to see why I or anyone returns to Mexico over and over. I often say Mexico is like 10 countries in one. If you haven't added Travel to the Maldives of Mexico, Bacalar, Mexico to your Bucket List yet, it is time to! Within about 4 hours from Playa, or 2 hours of Tulum, it is easy to get to.





 

10 Enjoy Food in Playa del Carmen

Mexican food is some of the best food in the world. It is easy to taste why! Some of my favorite spots in Playa Del Carmen included Cueva Del Changa, Amate 38, Bajo Cafe, Gran Cafe, El Capitan, and Lido Beach Club,


First Row: middle picture is vegan Chilaquiles with green sauce from La Cueva del Changa and Coconut Ceviche from Amate 38 on Calle 38 Norte.


Second Row: vegan Chilaquiles from Bajo Cafe.


Third Row: Fruit Ceviche from Lido Beach Club, Oat Pancakes from El Capitan, and Beet Hummus from Lido.


You may find all the food spots on Google GPS and Trip Advisor.






 

Top 10 Things to Do: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Mexico will delight you at every twist and turn in Playa Del Carmen.


Whether you want to experience the breathtaking sunrises at the beach, practice self-love and care, vibe on Fifth Avenue, or do a must do bucket list adventure with swimming with turtles or the best cenotes in Mexico, with or any of my other Top 10 Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico you will love it.


What activities interest you to do for Top 10 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Things to Do?


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