The pedestrian-only Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) runs parallel to the ocean in downtown Playa del Carmen. This bustling tourist strip provides easy beach access and is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Lining Fifth Avenue are shops aplenty, including those selling artisan crafts, fine jewelry, and cigars.
A walk along Fifth Avenue is the best way to experience the lively atmosphere of Playa del Carmen. In addition to abundant shops and eateries, street vendors sell everything from fresh coconuts to handicrafts and sunglasses, and street performers are often seen entertaining the masses. The hotels on Fifth Avenue boast an ideal location, just steps from the beach and downtown attractions.
Visit Fifth Avenue independently or as part of a Playa del Carmen sightseeing tour that includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Cancun. Tours typically include a visit to Maya ruins and/or a cenote swim. There are also popular Fifth Avenue evening tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
Fifth Avenue is ideal for those looking for a meal, a drink, and/or souvenirs and other goods to take home.
Bring sun protection and plenty of water, as there is little shade along Fifth Avenue.
English is widely spoken in almost all of the Playa del Carmen tourist areas.
How to Get There
Fifth Avenue is located in downtown Playa del Carmen. If you take a bus into the city, it’ll likely be the first place you see—the ADO Bus Station sits on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Avenida Benito Juarez. Many resorts along Mexico’s Riviera Maya provide bus service to Playa del Carmen during the week.
When to Get There
As with all of the Riviera Maya, Fifth Avenue is almost always crowded, except for early in the morning before the shops open (businesses have varying opening hours). Winter brings large numbers of travelers to Playa del Carmen, and the weeks before and after Easter are some of the busiest.
Fundadores Park (El Zócalo)
Located just off the ferry dock, Fundadores Park (El Zócalo) is a beachside park that sits along Fifth Avenue. It’s the heart of old Playa del Carmen and the main square from which the rest of the tourist area branches out. The perimeter of the park is lined with shops selling local crafts and souvenirs, restaurants, popular hotels, a bandstand, Our Lady of Carmen church, the arched beachside Portal Maya sculpture, and a playground for kids.