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Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

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4.5 out of 5
131 member's reviews
35,079 people visited Playa del Carmen
A tropical paradise situated along the Mayan Riviera on the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa del Carmen has been quietly growing into a vacation powerhouse over the past decade. While the beaches aren't quite as perfect as the white sand in Cancun, Playa (as it's known locally) reels in visitors with its small-town, European vibe. When the jewelry stores and taquerias on and around Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) close, the seafood restaurants, late-night bars and dance clubs are just getting started. Sleep off the next day on the beach, dining on fish tacos or fresh coconut (your coconut vendor will often slice open the shell with his handy machete). Most people don't just come for Playa; witness the wonder of the Yucatan day trip. Nearby is the over-the-top Xcaret Eco-Park, the Disneyland of Mexican nature and archaeological preserves. Visit a sacred Mayan cemetery, swim with dolphins and buy souvenirs. Playa is near dozens of cenotes, fresh-water sinkholes filled with snorkel-worthy fish. Playa hosts everyone from spring breakers to luxury vacationers, so hostels and hotels cover every budget.
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Tribes: Who likes this place?

Who Likes This Place?

What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Luxury Travelers
  • 97%
    Nightlife Lovers
  • 89%
    Family Travelers
  • 86%
    Local Culture
  • 86%
    Green Travelers
  • 86%
    Students
  • 85%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 77%
    Budget Travelers
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Member Reviews (131)

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  • Playa del Carmen
    Marce
    Member of
    Students
    5 Mar 17, 2014

    Your Caribbean Adventure starts now!

    Save Mayan Culture & discover Caribbeans by becoming Social Innovator in Playa del Carmen #Mexico

    Your mission?
    Impact positively the world! APPLY here:

    http://www.latinomics.org/en/fmp/

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersGreen TravelersLocal CultureStudents
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Faustino Ramirez
    Member of
    Budget Travelers
    Family Travelers
    Adventure Travelers
    5 Mar 13, 2014

    I love Playa!
    Stroll on 5th at night.
    Spend the day at the beach. It is one of the nicest since Cozumel shelters the coast.
    I stayed at condominios Xaman-ha. it is right on the beach and the view from the condo is awesome. It is in the Playacar Fase 1 section. So close to many parks like Xplor and Xcaret.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesLuxury TravelersNightlife Lovers
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Zora O'Neill
    2 Oct 23, 2013

    Dammit. Playa used to be the sweet spot of a beach town, in my estimation--chilled out, but big enough to have a lot of good things to eat. Now it has expanded and the cheesy chains have come in to La Quinta (5th Ave, the main pedestrian drag). It's like Cancun Lite in some spots, which makes me think I should just go back to Cancun, where I can still eat well right on the water. Still, the beaches are beautiful, and the class of tourist who comes here (rather than Cancun) is generally a little more Euro in a good way, and generally hotter, so that's a plus. And the long pedestrian strip is still a nice enough feature.

    Recommended for:Nightlife LoversTrendsters
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Amisha Upadhyaya
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Family Travelers
    Foodies
    + 3
    • Local Culture
    • Family Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    4 Sep 20, 2013

    We went during the rainy season -- and even then I gave it four stars because it was a wonderful beach town. Lots to do although we couldn't fully enjoy them all: cenotes (cave swimming), historical sites (Mayan ruins), snorkeling, diving, and of course, the beach. There's also 5th Ave which boasts some great restaurants, shops, bars, and a few clubs. Every type was there: couples, groups of friends, families, those on budget and those who were in the upper tier resorts. Next time, though, I'll go during peak season!

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  • Playa del Carmen
    Pamela Granoff
    5 Sep 09, 2013

    Stay at hotel Le Reve (http://hotellereve.com/) it is beautiful! very relaxing! For more adventure, make sure you go to Xplore (http://www.xplor.travel/) it is one of the coolest adventure parks! there is a 16+ zip line course which includes going into the water, swim and paddle through underground caves, go off roading.

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  • Playa del Carmen
    Connie Pistilli
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Foodies
    + 5
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Foodies
    • Luxury Travelers
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Jan 05, 2014

    Playa del Carmen is my favorite destination in Mexico. The downtown area has a European feel to it, with cobblestone streets and a variety of Italian, French and Spanish restaurants to dine at. There are also a bunch of fun sky bars and beach clubs to party at. Some of the best diving is found at Cozumel, which is a short ferry ride away. Tulum, Cancun and various other beautiful beach towns are a short drive away.

    The Royal is my favorite all-inclusive resort to stay at. It's luxurious, right on the beach and just a few steps away from the bustling downtown strip.

    If you had only one excursion to take, go swimming with whale sharks. They can only be seen between the months of June and September. It's the most amazing experience you'll ever have!

    Recommended for:Green TravelersFamily TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Stacey Stark
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Business Travelers
    Luxury Travelers
    5 Jun 26, 2013

    The Royal Playa del Carmen is a high luxury resort with five star service and outstanding cuisine. Have been back five times. Only challenge is that they try to sell you a timeshare. Stay away from anyone in the reception area in white uniforms offering tours as they want to try to get you to attend a timeshare workshop. If you say no to them, the rest of the resort is outstanding and you will have an amazing experience.

    Recommended for:Business TravelersLuxury Travelers
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Lisa Bille
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Family Travelers
    + 1
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Family Travelers
    • Backpackers
    2 Sep 15, 2013

    Too much tourism. The Beach was nice. I think it's good to make party. But if you want to see Mexiko, don't go to playa del Carmen. It's not realy Mexico.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersStudents
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Nancy Roberts
    5 Jun 16, 2013

    Playa del Carmen is a more relaxed, refined alternative to the spring break vibe of Cancun. Only a 45-minute drive from the Cancun Airport, Playa del Carmen offers a myriad of accommodations, from the luxury resorts dotting highway 307 to pensiones and backpacker hostels in town. There is a distinctive European feel, especially along Avenida 5, the pedestrian-only promenade, where you can get a cappuccino with your huevos rancheros. Playa del Carmen is close to the historical sites, eco-parks, and cenotes near Tulum so you can enjoy some excellent excursions or just chill out with a margarita at a rooftop bar.

    Recommended for:VegetarianGreen TravelersStudentsLuxury Travelers
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  • Playa del Carmen
    Jay Ross
    5 Apr 06, 2014

    A great town to stroll and shop. Be sure to stay the night and try one of the beach bars/restaurantsx

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