Playa Del Carmen is just south of Cancun on the stretch of beautiful coast called the Riviera Maya. It draws 17 million visitors each year and is the #1 destination in Mexico.
Read on for the best tips when you travel to Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen is Cancun’s little sister. Everything is smaller and more condensed here. That’s a good thing for tourists because the town and beach are close.
Plus, the smaller scale of Playa means that you can enjoy a quiet vacation while still having access to vibrant nightlife, good food and many things to do in the area.
You should be aware that the locals drop the del Carmen and just call the town Playa for short.
Now, let’s look at the best places to visit in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen.
Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) is the heart of the tourist attractions of Playa. The great thing about this town is that the streets are named logically. All the avenues run parallel to the beach and are numbered starting at one and then go up by 5s.
5th Avenue is full of shops, stalls, bars, and restaurants. The entire street is for pedestrians only. You could spend half a day exploring this one street alone.
The Calles (streets in English) run at 90° to the beach and are all even numbers from 2nd all the way up to 110th street.
The tourist area goes from 2nd-46th street.
Playa del Carmen has many resorts, hotels, and home rentals for you to choose from. Whether you want budget accommodations or luxury sweeping beach views, you can have it.
The biggest choice to make is whether you want to stay in Playacar or in Playa Centro. Both are beautiful options.
It really just depends on what you want. If you prefer quiet, Playacar is the better option. In Playa Centro, you will be in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
The best time to visit Mexico, and in particular, Playa del Carmen, is during April or May. There will be fewer people on the beaches and the temperatures peak somewhere between 70-80 degrees F.
Hurricane season is from June to September so be sure to check the forecast before booking your trip.
October through March is typically dry in Playa though the temperatures aren’t as warm. The days and nights may be humid.
You’ve probably heard that the food is excellent in Mexico. That’s true! Authentic Mexican food, as well as tourist favorites like Chicago deep-dish pizza, is up for grabs in Playa.
Here are a few of the best restaurants to grab some grub at while you’re here.
This restaurant is without a doubt one of the best spots to eat in Playa. It ranks high on TripAdvisor. You can even talk to the locals who will agree that the tacos here are legit.
That’s why after 7 pm you can see a long line to get in the door at the most popular location on Avenue Constituyentes and 30th.
If your stomach is growling, don’t worry. There are two other locations within walking distance of this one.
Right by Walmart, El Fogon is at Calle 6 & 30th Ave. The other is at Ave 30 Norte between 30 & 32.
Go ahead and order anything from the menu, it’s all good.
Another excellent option is Nativo. There are various locations throughout Playa so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one.
If you go for breakfast, try one of their 1L fruit smoothies. You won’t regret it.
Nativo is open daily from 7 am until midnight every day.
If you’re wondering where to go in Mexico for the best beaches, you can find many superb ones in Playa.
The entire length of the town is beaches. But there are some spots that are rocky, eroding or for boat docking.
White sands and aqua blue water await you on Constituyentes street north to 46th street. This long section of the beach is clean and well maintained and has plenty of beach clubs.
You can find clean and quiet deep beaches on the south side of the large pier on 2nd (Cozumel Pier) where Playacar starts.
If you want a fun and popular beach club, head over to Mamita’s. There’s a DJ spinning most days and this club even hosts some of the major music festivals throughout the year.
Head over to Mamita’s if you enjoy a party atmosphere during the day.
The Be Roof located on the roof of the Be Playa hotel. You don’t have to pay to get in. If you buy food or drinks. you can use the pool and lounges.
Be Roof is open from 10 am until midnight daily.
Most night clubs in Playa are located on 12th Street between 10th Avenue and the beach. It’s common to see clubgoers wandering the streets hopping from one bar or club to the other.
Those who prefer sports bars, there are a few good ones to choose from. The Tequila Barrel on 5th Avenue between 10th and 12th streets is a good choice.
Playa del Carmen is one of the best places to visit in Mexico and now you know why!
We hope this guide has given you the insight you need before you travel to Playa del Carmen.
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