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Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Things to do in  Playa del Carmen

Welcome to Playa del Carmen

With vibrant reefs and laid-back Caribbean cool, Playa del Carmen is a favored diving destination offering plenty of ways to enjoy the coast along the Yucatán Peninsula. See what’s beneath the waves on a dive or snorkeling trip, explore fresh-water cenotes, or visit a family-friendly nature park. The walkable town center is packed with boutiques, cafes, and lively nightclubs, and there are ancient Maya ruins and a thick jungle close enough for an afternoon excursion. With a central location on the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen makes the perfect home base for visiting resort towns, villages, golf courses, and picture-perfect beaches up and down the coast.

Top 10 attractions in Playa del Carmen


Rio Secreto Nature Reserve

Kept hidden from the public until 2007 and strictly adhering to its sustainable tourism model, the evocatively named Rio Secreto, or “Secret River,” is deserved of its reputation as the best kept secret of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. A dramatic series of caves carved out by the flow of an ancient underground river, the Rio Secreto is most famous for its large half-sunken cavern, one of few in the world that is accessible to non-professional divers. Venturing underground, visitors can explore the eerie passageways that once formed part of the mysterious, yet much talked about Mayan underworld; swim in the fabled underground river; and admire the unique natural caves, dripping with stalactites, stalagmites and strikingly colored mineral formations.More

Cirque du Soleil Joya

Cirque du Soleil has brought its award-winning magical theater to Mexico’s Riviera Maya with Joya, the troupe’s first resident production in Latin America. From dazzling theatrics and incredible acrobatics to otherworldly costumes and death-defying stunts, this fantastical show is truly an unforgettable experience.More

Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida)

It’s hard to miss Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida) in Playa del Carmen as it is the city’s main street running through the downtown area. Fifth Avenue stretches parallel to the ocean and serves as both a street for cars and a pedestrian walkway for visitors exploring the city. Fifth Avenue is a popular place to rest your head while in Playa del Carmen as the hotels on the street boast an ideal location that provides easy access to the beach as well as being easy walking distance to shops, clubs and restaurants. The shops that line Fifth Avenue are aplenty and visitors can find local artisan crafts, clothing and other fashion accessories, fine jewelry and cigar shops (you can find Cubans here). It’s also not uncommon to see street performers entertaining the masses on Fifth Avenue.More

Cenote Chaak Tun

The ancient Mayans believed hidden cenotes were sacred portals to the underworld. Given the dark, eerie surroundings and stalactites dripping from above, it’s easy to see how these subterranean caves inspired the paranormal awe. At Cenote Chaak Tun outside Playa del Carmen, venture inside an enormous cave where early Mayans once roamed, and splash in the cool, almost secret waters that are hidden back in the forest. Unlike some of the larger cenotes on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Cenote Chaak Tun is still relatively unknown and has half the amount of crowds. Follow the beam of your powerful headlamp into the twisting cave, where the faint squeaks of bats on the ceiling add to the spooky soundtrack. Cool off in the refreshing waters that twist their way through the cave, and hear traditional Mayan tales of the legends, myths, and sacred beliefs towards this mysterious and powerful place.More

CoCo Bongo Playa del Carmen

From circus performers swinging from the ceiling and dancers crowding the floor, to celebrity impersonators and Broadway-style musicals, Coco Bongo is a nightclub unlike any other. At the Playa del Carmen location, you’ll find extravagant stages, multiple bars, VIP table service, and a dance floor known to rock through the wee hours.More

Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo)

Explore the life—and contextualize the legacy—of Mexican surrealist artist and feminist icon Frida Kahlo at Playa del Carmen’s Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo). At one of the city’s first cultural spaces, learn about Kahlo’s work, illness, and tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera by way of interactive and sensory exhibits.More

3D Museum of Wonders

Jump into the art at Playa del Carmen’s 3D Museum of Wonders. Created by a visionary American artist, this interactive museum is truly in a genre and mind-bending class of its own. It doesn’t take long for reality to blend with illusion, and pretty soon you’re splashing beneath a waterfall, surfing a wave, or trapped inside a bubble.More

Kantun Chi Ecopark

Built around the cenotes and jungle of the Riviera Maya, the Kantun Chi Ecopark is a subterranean playground of cenotes, underground caves, and grottoes. Filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and ancient columns, it offers a unique way to explore the dramatic natural scenery and learn about the region’s long Maya history.More

Fundadores Park (El Zócalo)

Located just off the ferry dock, Fundadores Park (El Zócalo) is the center of Playa del Carmen. This beachside park sits along Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue, and it’s the main square from which the rest of the tourist area branches out. From El Zócalo you’ll have a gorgeous view of the ocean and easy access to the beaches.More

Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

Think you have to fly all the way to Australia to experience one of the world’s great reefs? Think again. Off the shore of the Riviera Maya region of Mexico is a portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere and the second largest reef in the world. It is also commonly referred to as the Great Mayan Reef or Great Maya Reef. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef stretches from Mexico all the way down to Honduras and though it’s half the length of the Great Barrier Reef (the world’s largest), that doesn’t take away from its beauty and it’s a must-see while visiting the Riviera Maya if you love the ocean. For visitors to the Riviera Maya, which includes popular resort cities like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, you can easily arrange a snorkel or scuba diving excursion to experience the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. You’ll have the chance to see the colorful, live reef and the many sea creatures living among it, including tropical fish and sea turtles.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Playa del Carmen

How to Spend 3 Days in Playa del Carmen

Top activities in Playa del Carmen

Coba, Tulum and Cenote Swim

Coba, Tulum and Cenote Swim

Day Trip: Tulum, Coba, Playa Del Carmen and Cenote Swim from Cancun

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Recent reviews from experiences in Playa del Carmen

Interesting and good
Consuelo_R, Dec 2020
Day Trip: Tulum, Coba, Playa Del Carmen and Cenote Swim from Cancun
The trip in Playa del Carmen disappointed I was expecting to see the beach, no to be walking in the street at 6:30 pm The lunch was good
Excellent Private Tour - Tulum Ruins & Cenote Swim in Caves and Open Fresh Water
Jessie_G, Jan 2021
VIP Tulum Private Tour
He spoke impeccable English and was brought along a presentation of visual materials which made the description of the archaeological ruins at Tulum that much more interesting and complete.
A Real Teaching Tour of Tulum
DonaldC_M, Jan 2021
VIP Tulum Private Tour
His ability to communicate in English was excellent and his unique presentation of visual material he had, made the description of the archaeological ruins at Tulum that much more interesting and complete.
One of the best things to do while...
fabricio s, Oct 2015
Jungle Buggy Tour from Playa del Carmen Including Cenote Swim
One of the best things to do while in Playa del Carmen ..
Great tour!
BBeam, Mar 2020
Private Tour: 2 Mayan cities in one day, Tulum and Coba
He was knowledgeable, had a great sense of humor and spoke English very well.
Long day but worth it!
Kathryn_H, Feb 2020
4x1! Tulum, Coba, Cenote & Playa del Carmen for 1 price from Cancun and Riviera
Tulum and Coba were great sites to visit and learn about the ancient Mayan culture.
One of the most memorable moment during our vacation trip.
charlottevanacker89, Feb 2020
Tulum Cenote And Swim With Turtles From Playa Del Carmen
The beach itself is wonderful and what you get to see underneath even more beautiful.
Beautiful ruins and once in a lifetime cenote experience!
sunnyhale20, Jan 2020
3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves
They were both stunning and wonderful natural beauties to visit!
An early morning visit to Chichen Itza
DosCenotes, Jan 2020
Chichen Itza Sunrise with lunch,Tequila & optional Valladolid, Cenote & Pick up
It was enough time to see everything.
Lovely tour
dianyfox, Jan 2020
Chichen Itza All-Inclusive, Valladolid, Tequila tasting, Cenote Swim & Buffet
My Fiancé is English and doesn't speak any Spanish but Cesar managed to speak both languages during the whole trip, this was a plus.
Tour of Holbox Island
DenizzeGeo, Dec 2019
Holbox Island Tour
Ad because there is a natural reservation expect to see all kind of animals around (most of them spectacular but the island was full of holes, from snakes I think, which doesn't gives you the best feeling).
Sunday excusion!
edimarzio5064, Nov 2019
Best Tour to Tulum, Coba, Cenote and Playa Del Carmen
Comfortable a/c van with great tour guide (Ricardo) who explained everything to English/Spanish speaking tourists.
great tour
ElineV185, Jul 2019
Bacalar Muyil
Once arrived in Bacalar, we had a short time to see the fort from the outside, but we couldn't go in there.
An Adventurous Day on Chichen Itza Private Tour
Wander29407, May 2019
Chichen Itza Private Tour with Sacred Cenote
Next we drove to a hacienda where we ate the best Mexican food ever and had a refreshing swim in a cenote that had a waterfall.
This tour was amazing
Roving29679763378, May 2019
Río Secreto Nature Reserve from Playa del Carmen
Our tour guide Olek Sanders, was very informational and spoke god English.
Excellent Day
Relax53555922209, May 2019
Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and Cenote Hubiku Tour
Ek Balam our 3rd site, was also a great site to visit.
A long day, but overall worth it
Curiosity59390167225, Apr 2019
Chichen Itza, Ek Balam and Cenote Hubiku Tour
Glad we got a chance to visit Ek Balam while the buildings are still available to climb - our guide indicated that will probably not last much longer.
Excellent Trip but very long day
Cyntra B, Jul 2018
Chichen Itza All-Inclusive, Valladolid, Tequila tasting, Cenote Swim & Buffet
After all of these activities, we headed towards home and ended up meeting with our initial driver in Playa del Carmen, who took us to our resort.
A nice day trip
Guide20810518837, Mar 2019
Coba, Tulum and Cenote Swim
We climbed the pyramid (our son was 5-yr old), which was not as terrifying as I anticipated, but still scary to see my little one climbing up and down.
This was an excellent day with a...
Kristine B, May 2018
Coba Ruins, Cho Ha Cenote, Tulum and Paradise Beach Day Trip with Lunch Included
We were on a bilingual Spanish and English tour so we had 2 great guides, Poncho and Joel.

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