Close to Cozumel and recognized as one of the most desirable vacation sites of the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa Del Carmen has a population, both resident and tourist, that is rapidly increasing. It is now considered the third largest city in Quintana Roo, and as it grows, so does its reputation as a place to find hip European flair on the coast of Mexico. The nightlife, the culture, and the attitude draw visitors to Playa Del Carmen even more than the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters. "Quinta Avenita," or 5th Avenue, is the main drag around which life in Playa Del Carmen is centered, lined with stores, restaurants, and local businesses. But no matter what draws you to Playa Del Carmen, you'll have plenty of exciting and relaxing things to do here. And in this hip but also warm hearted coastal town, it's likely that you'll find yourself striking up conversations with friendly locals or fellow travelers.
Here are a few suggestions of things to do in Playa Del Carmen:
-Shopping and dining: These are two of the main activities that draw people to Playa Del Carmen. Sample some of the best Mexican cuisine you'll find anywhere after spending a day on the Avenue.
-Visit the Mayan ruins: Some of the most spectacular and inspiring ruins along the coast can be found near Playa, including Tulum and Xel-Ha.
-Scuba diving and snorkeling: For excellent snorkeling, visit the Xel-Ha Eco-park.
-Visit the Yaax Che Botanical Gardens: These beautiful gardens are located just south of Puerto Morelos.
-Take an Aktun Chen Dry Cave and Jungle Tour: These caves are just south of Akumal.
-Live music: Listen to reggae, salsa, and traditional Mexican music at any number of venues along 5th Avenue after the sun goes down.
Playa Del Carmen is an excellent place to begin your exploration of Mayan Culture. For your stay, book a condo or apartment rental in the heart of Playa, or if you feel adventurous, rent a beautiful ocean villa beyond the city limits. No matter how you plan to spend your vacation, you'll be close to the beach, the jungle, the ruins, the chic downtown shopping district, and the bustling nightlife. Make sure you allow time to tour Cozumel and swim with dolphins in Cancun too!
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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