Top Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Top Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Where is Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen (PDC) is a beautiful coastal town located on the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, just south of Cancún. It is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife. With its perfect blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, Playa del Carmen has become a popular tourist destination.

View of Mexico's Caribbean coast from an airplane

Explore the Pristine Beaches

One of the top things to do in Playa del Carmen is to spend a day relaxing on its pristine beaches. The soft white sand and warm Caribbean waters create a perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Whether you prefer the lively atmosphere of Mamitas Beach or the tranquility of Xpu-Ha Beach, there is a beach for everyone in Playa del Carmen.

Xpu-Ha Beach

Visit Mayan Ruins

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the Mayan civilization by visiting the nearby ancient ruins. Just a short distance from Playa del Carmen, you can explore the famous archaeological sites of Tulum and Coba, and if you have a full day, take a tour to UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza. You won't regret it. Marvel at the well-preserved temples, pyramids, and other structures that offer a glimpse into the fascinating Mayan culture.

The El Castillo / Kukulcan Pyramid of Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins

Experience the Underwater Wonders

Playa del Carmen and the nearby island of Cozumel are a paradise for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, is just off the coast. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and even the occasional sea turtle or stingray.

Snorkeling with a sea turtle in Playa del Carmen

Indulge in Local Cuisine

No visit to Playa del Carmen is complete without trying the delicious local cuisine. From street food stalls to upscale restaurants, the town offers a wide range of dining options. Sample traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, ceviche, and mole, or savor international flavors from around the world. Don't forget to try the refreshing local beverages like margaritas and micheladas!

Traditional Cochinita Pibil taco in Playa del Carmen

Shop at Quinta Avenida

Take a stroll along Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), Playa del Carmen's vibrant pedestrian street. Lined with shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars, this bustling avenue offers a unique shopping experience just one block from the famed beach. Vendors will invite you to sample tequila and mezcal while you browse through local handicrafts, trendy fashion, and souvenirs to take home a piece of Playa del Carmen with you.

Cool off in a Natural Pool

Mexico is home to the largest underground cave system in the world. And when the limestone collapses in on itself, it fills with fresh underground water creating a natural pool or 'cenote." There are thousands of these sinkholes naturally formed around Playa del Carmen and throughout the entire Yucatán peninsula. Because the water comes from underground, cenotes tend to be much cooler in temperature, making them the ideal place to cool off from the jungle heat. Take a microfiber towel with you to quickly dry off and an Ola Bola so you have something comfortable to recline against as you hang out at these natural pools.

A natural sinkhole or 'cenote' pool near Playa del Carmen

Enjoy the Nightlife

As the sun sets, Playa del Carmen comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. From beachfront clubs to rooftop bars, there are plenty of options to dance the night away. Enjoy live music, DJ sets, and performances while sipping on tropical cocktails. Playa del Carmen's nightlife scene offers something for everyone, whether you prefer a relaxed beachside ambiance or a lively party atmosphere.

Enhance Your PDC Experience with Ola Bola

Instead of lugging around a cumbersome beach chair or paying $20+ to rent a chair, bring your lightweight Ola Bola with you to all the beaches, natural pools, and boat activities. With a water-resistant outer layer and zippered compartments, you can store your keys, wallet, phone, tablet, and even a towel while you comfortably sit or recline in style, jump in the water, walk around town, or bike to the next beach. Because it even compresses to fit under your airplane seat as a personal item, Ola Bola is a must-have travel accessory in Playa del Carmen that you can take back home with you.

In conclusion, Playa del Carmen offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you're seeking relaxation on the beach, exploration of ancient ruins, underwater adventures, or indulgence in local cuisine, Playa del Carmen has it all. Don't forget to bring your Ola Bola with you for comfort and convenience at every step along the way!
Back to blog