A resort-city just outside of Cancun, Playa del Carmen is the center of the region known as the Riviera Maya. Playa del Carmen prides itself on its reputation and charm as a fishing village and artists' colony, away from the crowded metropolis of Cancun.
The Quinta Avenida is the center of activity with boutique hotels, shops, and restaurants when you want to take a break from the beach and resort golf courses. "Fifth Avenue" is a pedestrian hub, especially for shopping as many of the latest fashion trends from Europe are sold here. In addition to pure white sand beaches and perfect turquoise waters, Playa del Carmen has freshwater cenote diving for adventurists, making it a perfect spot for vacation and a destination for Mexican travelers as well.
Playa del Carmen was named for Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patron saint of Cancun. Known simply as "Playa" to the locals, Playa del Carmen became a tourist destination as a ferry stop on the way to Cozumel and its world famous scuba diving. But the city's proximity to Cancun also attracts visitors through other nearby coastal attractions including Xcaret Eco Park and local Mayan ruins.