Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

From small group tours to theme parks, there’s never a chance to be bored with things to do in Playa del Carmen. An excursion rich with mystery and exploration makes it easy to decide what to do in Playa del Carmen that’ll make every member of the family satisfied. The all-inclusive opportunity offers sweeping views of the Mexican landscape and sea life. To get an even closer look at the tropical fish, give snorkeling a try at a nearby aquatic theme park, which offers underground cave adventures or strong sun rays for the beach bums at heart. An Xcaret day trip will have you knee-deep in Mayan history. The eco-archaeological park hosts more than 30 attractions, leaving no shortage of things to do in Playa del Carmen. Spend a day being one with the underground rivers, take a tour of The Little Inlet, where ancient Mayan ceremonies took place, or soak in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. For the night owls, Mandala Disco is the clear answer of what to do in Playa del Carmen any night of the week. Meet others among the cosmopolitan crowd in this spacious club filled with trendy Asian décor.

Sure, you could book shiatsu, but this spa’s specialty is heavenly Mayan-inspired treatments. Everyone’s visit begins with an outdoor steam-cleansing ritual using resin from the revered copal tree.

Where It Is: The limestone bedrock that underlies Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is pocked with freshwater-filled sinkholes called cenotes. For divers, one of the best known is the 48-foot-deep Cenote Taj Maja, just south of the Caribbean coastal town of Playa del Carmen.

Bargoers here, a short taxi ride from Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, descend by candle-lined stairs into a subterranean lounge, trying to recall the little saying they learned as children to tell stalactites from stalagmites.

Get your fix of Mayan criollo chocolate—bitter and complex, with hints of fruit, smoke, and vanilla, a “food of the gods” that’s exponentially richer than the forastero cacao used in 90 percent of blends.

The Blue Parrot dates to 1984, making the club one of Playa del Carmen’s elder statesmen. What started as a casual hotel and bar now includes the 5th Avenue Hotel’s 19 rooms, plus 22 curvy units in the Blue Parrot Suites.

On an unassuming side street, this little shop run by two sisters—owner Beatriz Urtuzuastegui and Victoria Lemus, the attentive but unobtrusive manager—stocks fun-but-unfussy styles perfect for the beach or a romantic dinner: affordable ($20 and up) cotton dresses, halter tops, and guayaberas, lo

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