Playa Del Carmen Vacations

Welcome to the party! “Playa,” currently Latin America’s fastest-growing community, with a population of more than 150,000. Playa Del Carmen is full of lively bars, restaurants, beach clubs, shops, and hotels.  It is one of the few places on the Riviera Maya where you can have a car-free vacation.

Although building height restrictions have helped to keep Playa Del Carmen from turning into the next Cancún, you’ll have to leave town to get off the beaten path. Much of the area is developed, most recently by a slew of all-inclusive resorts opening up on the city’s outskirts.

Travel to Playa del Carmen for its reputation as one of the top diving destinations in the world. With a distinct and colorful sea life, not to mention its underwater caverns, a dive seems necessary for anyone regardless of experience.  For more information on the Yucatan Peninsula visit here, or visit all the wonderful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula.  Read our Playa Del Carmen Travel Guide to start planning your vacation now.

Playa del Carmen Weather – When to Visit

The best time to visit Playa del Carmen is between April and May, when there are fewer people along the shore. Day temperatures hover between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, dropping slightly in the evenings. From October to March, the climate is generally dry and slightly warm. Summer days and nights tend to offer high temperatures and humidity. Hurricane season lasts from June to September, so check weather forecasts and hurricane warnings before booking your trip.

Best Playa del Carmen Beaches

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Most vacationers will have direct access to the beachfront, lounge chairs and sometimes even water sports equipment at the hotel they’re staying in; the majority of the area’s top resorts and hotels are stationed along this prime stretch of clean, soft sand. The beach is free to access, but lounge chair or equipment rentals will cost you extra.


Mamitas Beach Club, Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Playa Del Carment beaches, best beaches of Mexico, Playa Del Carmen Restaurants, Playa Del Carmen Nightlife, things to do in Playa del Carmen, best Playa del Carmen hotels, Playa del Carmen attractions, Playa del Carmen toursMamitas Beach Club

Mamitas Beach Club is considered one of the most liveliest and popular beaches for the twenty-something crowd.   For a fee, beach-goers may play in the sun and have access to sun beds, lounge chairs and food and drink service.  A variety of water sports such as kite surf, paddle board, wave runner, and catamaran rentals are available.  Every week, DJ’s from around the world travel to spin their pulsating beats at this chic bikini heaven.


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A vast shoreline borders translucent waters in which you can wade out hundreds of feet while the water level remains at your hips.  Packing your beach chairs and picnic lunch is one of the best ways to enjoy this secluded beach.  Located about a 25 minute drive south of Playa del Carmen, this  paradise is both the perfect setting for romance or a memorable family day at the beach.


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The world’s second largest barrier reef here offers snorkeling, diving and fishing opportunities.  It is the only area in the Mayan Riviera where you can swim with sea turtles year round.  Snorkel gear can be rented or diving excursions may be booked at the on-site dive shop. The calm, crystalline waters give you the illusion that you are swimming in a pool.  Bringing a cooler is allowed or there are several options to dine and enjoy a cool Caribbean cocktail while taking in the captivating ocean views.

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Approximately 25 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, Maroma Beach Club is wonderful with its large stretch of  beach and variety of activities.  For a fee, visitors have access to the beach loungers with umbrellas, the volleyball court, soccer balls and of course, the beautiful blue-green sea. A  menu of casual food and drinks is available, as is camel back riding for a rare experience!


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The 45 minute drive south of Playa del Carmen is worth the trip for a day of fun.  Enjoy crystal clear waters with a backdrop of ancient archaeological ruins in the distance. There is a stretch of public beach where you can set up your own cooler and chairs or there are boundless options for beach clubs and restaurants offering loungers with umbrellas, usually for a minimum purchase of food and drink.


Playa del Carmen Tours & Attractions

Early Access to Chichen Itza with a Private Archaeologist

Discover the ruins at Chichen Itza with a private archaeologist guide on this all-day Viator exclusive tour. Skip the lines and the crowds with early morning access and view parts of the ruins that most traditional tours don’t visit.  Learn about Mexico’s past through your guide’s insightful commentary about this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Read more about Chichen Itza VIP Early Access with Private Guide

Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling Plus Cenote and Caves

Explore coral reefs, ancient history, and nature in the Riviera Maya on an combination tour that features some of the best of Yucatan in a single day. Snorkel through the coral reef in the Caribbean Sea, visit the Tulum archaeological site, and swim in a cenote, then explore a limestone cave and take a jungle walk. This tour includes entrance fees, a buffet lunch, and door-to-door transport from hotels in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.  Read more about Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling, Cenote, and Caves

Day Trip to Chichen Itza, Valladolid with Cenote Swim and Lunch

Journey to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to visit the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza on this 12-hour tour, including easy hotel pickup and drop-off. Along with seeing El Castillo and learning how this Pre- Columbian city played an important role in the Mayan civilization, stop at a cenote for a quick swim and enjoy a buffet lunch.  Read more about Chichen Itza Tour

Whale Sharks tour in Cancun & Riviera Maya: Small-Group Eco Friendly

Snorkel with Mexican whale sharks on a full-day group snorkeling tour off the Yucatan Coast from Playa del Carmen. Under the direction of an expert guide, swim with the world’s largest fish while looking out for dolphins, manta rays, and turtles. Immerse yourself in the marine magnificence of Mexico’s waters on this spectacular small-group adventure.  Read more about Cancun Swim with Whale Sharks Small-Group Snorkeling Tour

Islas Mujeres All Inclusive Luxury Yacht & Snorkel

Sail along the beautiful crystal-clear waters of Cancun’s Caribbean coastline on this half-day sailing adventure to Islas Mujeres. Get geared up and go snorkeling, then take a break to enjoy a gourmet lunch on board your catamaran. Stop at the island of Isla Mujeres, and visit must-see spots either on a guided tour or on your own. Afterward, sip on complimentary beverages on the way back to port.  Read more about Cancun to Islas Mujeres Luxury Sailing Adventure

Best Playa del Carmen Restaurants

El Fogon  Under $10

If there is one place you eat during your stay in Playa, this is the one!  The price is incredibly reasonable, the service is top notch and the food is straight out of Mexican heaven.  It’s warm and crowded but completely worth it for the best food you’ll among other Playa del Carmen restaurants! Telephone:  52 984 803 0885 Web:  El Fogon

La Cueva del Chango  $11 – 30

The culinary concept is natural Mexican food.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the juices are made with fresh fruit and they also have a bar with an ample assortment of premium brands. The wines we serve are mexican, thus offering and ample selection.   Telephone:  52 984 147 0271 Web:  La Cueva del Chango

Gluay Maai Thai  $11 – 30

Is it possible to find Thai this good in Mexico?  The dishes are flavorful, fresh, and true to form, an absolute must for your list of Playa del Carmen restaurants. Try their sampler appetizer including chicken satay, pad thai, and yellow coconut curry.  Telephone:  52 984 803 4625   Web:  Gluay Maai Thai

Negroamaro Italian Bar & Restaurant  $11 – 30

The best of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in the Mexican Caribbean.  In Negroamaro you will enjoy authentic flavors and be part of a cutting-edge culinary experience. Their chefs have created dishes that combine the classic and the contemporary.  Telephone:  52 984 147 7050  Web:  Negroamaro Italian Bar & Restaurant

Los Aguachiles  $11 – 30

This upscale taquerìa is an anchor of Playa’s alternative culinary scene, reimagining tacos sautéed in olive oil and topped with cucumber or strawberry-habanero salsa. Local favorites include shrimp tacos with “black gold” (beans), fish ceviche with green salsa, and fish tacos wrapped in your choice of corn tortilla, flour tortilla, or a giant leaf of Bibb lettuce.  Telephone:  52-984-859-1442  Web:  Los Aguachiles.

Best Playa del Carmen Nightlife

Bar Ranita

Attached to the Rana Cansada Hotel, Bar Ranita is a favorite among rowdy expats. The prices are unbeatable, and the margaritas pack a powerful punch. Telephone:  52-984-873-0389  Web:  Bar Ranita.

Diablito Cha Cha Cha

Miami-chic with retro white patent leather chairs and a palapa roof, Diablito Cha Cha Cha serves up sushi and DJ tunes as late as 3 am.  Telephone:  52-984-803-3695  Web:  Diablito Cha Cha Cha.


Hookah-smokers here puff on fruit-flavored tobacco that wafts away into the open tropical night. On weekends, belly dancers weave their way between the tables.  Telephone:  52-984-873-2228  Web:  Kartabar.

Coco Bongo

Following the success of its sister property in Cancún, CoCo Bongo has flying acrobats, bar-top conga lines, live bands, and DJs mixing everything from rock to hip-hop. The cover charge includes unlimited drinks. Telephone:  52-984-803-5939  Web:  Coco Bongo.

Best Playa del Carmen Hotels

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort features an outdoor pool and fitness center. The resort has a sun terrace and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is provided and private parking is available on site.  You will find a 24-hour front desk, hairdresser’s, and gift shop at the property.  The resort also provides bike rental and car rental.

Mahekal Beach Resort

Showcasing a year-round outdoor pool and views of the sea, Mahekal Beach Resort is located in Playa del Carmen. The resort has a spa center and fitness center, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar.  There is a gift shop at the property.You can play ping-pong and pool at this resort, and bike rental and car rental are available.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

A breathtaking getaway for relaxation, rejuvenation, romance and world-class dining, it is also the region’s most sustainable five-star resort. With its revitalized culinary concepts, Thai-inspired therapies at the Banyan Tree Spa, 14 event-venues and the Greg Norman signature 18- hole El Camaleon golf course, home to the PGA Tour Mayakoba Classic, the resort raises the bar for premium leisure options and event planning. Perfect for private getaways, family trips and group events, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers 118 villas, ranging from romantic Bliss and Serenity Pool Villas to Family Residences and Ocean Front Villas. All include outdoor areas with private pools and terraces.

Viceroy Riviera Maya

Viceroy Riviera Maya is a serene hideaway set on the turquoise Caribbean amid a lush jungle ambiance. Recently named the #1 Mexican Resort hotel by Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and has claimed the #20 spot on Top 100 hotels in the World list, Viceroy offers world-class amenities, personalized pampering, exquisitely appointed villa accommodations with private patio and plunge pool and refined Mexican cuisine accented with international touches.

Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba is situated on the Riviera Maya. This luxury resort in Mexico offers spacious suites and is located south of Cancun and north of the charming seaside village of Playa del Carmen. Surrounded by the emerald embrace of the jungle and caressed by warm Carribbean breezes, is a resort of rare luxury and indulgence. Rosewood Mayakoba is imbued with the unique spirit of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. A journey to this serene world, immersed in the dense green perfume of the jungle, captivates the soul with unimaginable tropical beauty, and pure, simple refinement.


  1. Jerilyn Winstead

    This is so awesome – we’ve been working on taking our family to Playa del Carmen, it was recommended to us by the passport agent. This article is so informative, just what we need!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you found exactly the information you need for your Playa Del Carmen vacation. You and your family are going to have a wonderful time. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. jackie

    Thank you for sharing with us. We have been considering Mexico for a vacation, and this post is great. I have fallen in love with Playa del Carmen. We are going to start planning a vacation here. I never really knew Mexico had such amazing beaches. We are interesting in the Mayan Ruins as well. That is at the top of our list!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You will not be disappointed. As you say the beaches are amazing and the Mayan Ruins are just something everyone should see, history or no history buff. Please let me know if you need any help in planning your vacation! Thanks for visiting Playa del Carmen Vacations.

  3. Fred

    Playa del Carmen looks amazing! I love the list of must sees and things to do! I will have to keep this place in mind for our next trip. Thanks for the info.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Fred! Glad you found it as amazing as it really is. Hope you can make it to Playa del Carmen soon! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Andrew

    One of these days i am going to treat myself to a real holiday, and Mexico really looks inviting. The Playa Del Carman is absolutely packed with places to see and places to go. And the food, out of this world. Maybe when i am a rich man, i will definitely go.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hey, I am a single mom and I have been over 15 times. It is actually quite reasonable. Finding the right hotel for the right price is the key. Flying there is fairly cheap, depending on where you are flying from. Thanks for visiting Playa Del Carmen Vacations.

  5. Michael

    Hi When I read everything about what you highlighted, It,s the one place I want to be there. I live in Ireland with the cold weather and I can only dream on what I see here but I will go there and make this a reality one day, The details on this are amazing and you describe it very well. this makes me want to come back and what other beaches you have in store? Playa del Carmen looks amazing and I hope one day I will come and visit this beautiful place in Mexico. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Michael, and yes, you need to get out of the cold and head somewhere warm for some time in the sun 🙂 Keep coming back as I will continue to add beach destinations. Thanks for visiting Playa del Carmen Vacations!

  6. Kobe M

    Thanks for all the tips, i have had Mexico on my list for quite some time now, it just sounds like such a beautiful place to visit!
    I have heard that it is best to stay at resorts, is this true or do you feel like it seems safe there?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I have been over 15 times to Mexico without any incident.  I feel it is totally safe.   I do feel that resorts are great, especially when in a foreign country.  Thanks for reading about Playa del Carmen Vacations Kobe!

  7. Jessica

    I would love to vacation! These are beautiful places. Especially with this never ending winter in New England, it would be great to get out! I need to start planning!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think everyone wants and deserves a vacation such as visiting beautiful Playa Del Carmen! And yes, it has to be cold there right now! I live in beautiful Florida on the beach, but I still like my beach vacations out of the state 🙂 Thanks for reading Playa del Carmen vacations!

  8. Jeny

    wow, I have been thinking about traveling to Mexico, just thinking about the food, the beaches, the weather… oh my!! Great article, thanks for the tips!!!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome Jeny! Ya, just thinking about it make me want to hop on a plane and go back! Thanks for visiting Playa Del Carmen Vacations!

  9. Melissa

    Wow what a beautiful and relaxing place to be. It seems there is a lot of fun things to do here or with the beauty of it just be able to sit back and relax as well.
    I am glad that you let us know that it is very easily navigable upon foot. Yes we all expect to spend money when going on vacation but any tips on how to save money is always a plus.
    Thank you for giving us a glance into this wonderful destination.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Melissa and thank you for visiting Playa Del Carmen Vacations!

  10. Michael

    Wow what an amazing sounding place. I’ve never been to Mexico before, but now I’ve read this I definitely want to go.
    I would absolutely love to go diving there as it’s a big passion of mine and I’m sure diving there would be a fantastic experience.
    Thanks for this very detailed post. I have to say that I’m getting excited just thinking about going there.
    Best wishes,

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I get excited about going to Playa del Carmen! Mexico is just a wonderful and beautiful place. But then anywhere there are amazing beaches, I’m all in 🙂 Thanks for visiting

  11. Stefan

    Hi, Playa del Carmen Vacations seem to be the perfect recommendation.

    I love the beaches but do not like if they are too popular. I also not want to have to use a car all the time.

    Thank’s for this great review. I’ll be back for more 🙂

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Stefan and anytime I can help you with a beach destination, just shoot me a message. Thanks for reading about Playa del Carmen vacations.

  12. Lauren

    This is extremely helpful, I want to book my trip now. The amount of detail you provide makes it so easy, I wouldn’t have to think of all the overwhelming details!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Lauren! Glad you enjoyed and you can most certainly book your trip to Playa del Carmen now 😀 Thanks for visiting!

  13. Charlie

    Wow what a beautiful place thanks for also letting me know when you can travel weather permitting its always good to know that info and the hotels and places to visit when there. I have been considering Mexico, specifically the Yucatan Peninsula. The information is great and very informative. Thanks!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes Charlie Playa del Carmen is a very beautiful place to vacation to. I am glad you found all the information you need to start planning your beach vacation. Thank you so much for visiting

  14. AJ

    I love mexico alot. Only been a few times, but whats funny is I have never been to the beach there. So now after reading this, I’m going (2 months) and will have to get a sea shell for the experience lol. Excellent read. Are you a huge beach fan when traveling?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yeah, you could call me an avid beach bum, lol. I have my share of sea shells too. I live close to the beach, so now I try to find shells I don’t already have….not the easiest task! I love Mexico too, been many times 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  15. Curtis

    I love Mexico beaches, Playa del Carmen looks awesome with so much stuff to do. I’ve been to Cancun but it seems very touristy to me. Playa del Carmen looks much better! One of my favorite places in Mexico is San Jose del Cabo but maybe this should be next on the list. Thanks, Curtis

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Curtis, I too love Cabo. I have been there so many times, I have lost count. But, you will like the slower pace of Playa del Carmen. It is less expensive, less crowded, yet still has amazing beaches. Thanks for visiting Playa del Carmen Vacations.


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