Skip to Content

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen | What to do In Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Sharing is caring!

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Amazing sunset, Playa Del Carmen

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect destination for an escape that really relieves your worries and stresses, it’s time to look no further than the beautiful location of Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Playa del Carmen has everything you need to make your next vacation one everyone will remember. No matter your age, sex, or likes and dislikes, there will be something for everyone to do in Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen is a magical place in Mexico, and I’m not just saying this based on its sheer beauty. People from all over the world come to Playa del Carmen to unwind, relax, and enjoy the laid-back and fun atmosphere that pervades throughout every beach and bar that dot the landscape here.

There are a lot of places that you could end up going on vacation. Some people like to go to locations that they have never been to before, other people only want to go back as far as the next beach or mountain range. Ultimately, it is all about finding a place that is comfortable for you, and where you can be in touch with your wild side and shed all inhibitions. For many individuals, this may mean heading out to a tropical location like Playa del Carmen, Mexico. 

Read on as I take a look at the best things to do and places to go while visiting Playa del Carmen.

Best Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen

Scuba Diving or Snorkeling

Esquina Calle 40 y, Calle Flamingo, Centro // +1 707-726-1122

Playa del Carmen’s Caribbean waters are the perfect place to learn how to snorkel or scuba dive. No matter what time of year, the water stays at a cool and refreshing temperature. With its beautiful coral formations, and an array of tropical fish, it will soon have you hooked.

It is the perfect vacation destination for snorkelers. There are so many coral formations and marine life that you could spend an entire day just swimming around.

The town itself is enjoyable to walk around and enjoy the beach, even in the middle of winter. You could even go scuba diving to see some larger fish, bosses and sea life.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Cenote Underwater Cave

The diving throughout the Yucatan Peninsula is unique in its ease while still offering a lot of variety for certified divers and non-certified divers alike. 

The barrier reef-like structure of the Yucatan Peninsula creates amazing underwater vistas, which you can see through crystal clear waters that stay at a comfortable temperature year round.

I suggest checking out this trip if you consider choosing this activity while looking for things to do in Playa Del Carmen.

Swimming With Sea Turtles

C.12 Nte Bis 94, Calica // +52 984-806-7432

Playa del Carmen is aptly named the Paradise Beach, where turquoise water is as smooth as a sheet of silk and the air wafts gently in such a way asto tell you it was happy to see you. 

Where fish nibble on your feet, where spoonbills fly out from the trees and wing in harmony with those of the ibis laughing at them.

 Where sea turtles pop their heads up every 15 minutes, and where you can swim with them in the shallow, clear waters of Akumal Beach, only 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen. This attraction in Playa del Carmen has only limited comparisons anywhere else in the world.

{image} Green Turtle in water, Playa Del Carmen {image}

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Green Turtle in the Water

Akumal is one of the best beaches to swim with turtles in the world. It’s also one of the most beautiful, located on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Nestled between Cancun and Tulum, this beach has an atmosphere very different from those popular tourist destinations.

This beach is a major nesting area for marine turtles. You can swim in the waters where loggerhead, green, and hawksbill turtles swim (but they are wild animals, so don’t touch them).

Parasailing Over Playa Del Carmen

Calle 28 Nte. 4, Centro // +52 984-136-3363

Ready to spice up your vacation in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico? Tackling the ocean while hanging from a kite is one of the most memorable experiences imaginable. 

Your adventure begins with a bumpy take off, and once you’re up in the air there’s an incredible sense of serenity.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Parasailing

Feel like a bird when you parasail above the turquoise waters of Playa Del Carmen. You’ll glide through the sky attached to a boat on a kite that lifts you up to 1,500 feet. 

From there, have the freedom to go sideways, spin like a top, or go straight down! Regardless of your experience level – I think ocean parasailing is for everyone!

Whether you’re soaring above the coast of Mexico or diving down to skim the waves, it’s an unforgettable experience, and definitely something to do while visiting Playa del Carmen.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Parasailing on the beach

Explore Rio Secreto’s Caves

Carretera Federal Libre Chetumal- Puerto Juárez Ejido Sur // +52 984-242-0074

Rio Secreto’s Caves is located in the Riviera Maya. It is another adventure theme park with water features. Built into a jungle hill, this unique park boasts a series of underground caves with waterfalls, water lilies, and underwater tunnels.

Getting there also involves swimming underground rivers and other activities that will get your heart pumping.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Rio Secreto’s Caves

At Rio Secreto, you’ll go deep into a craggy, split-limestone environment to find some of Mexico’s most breath-taking underground formations. Smell crystalline water and feel its cool mist as you swim past dripping stalactites. 

You can float through “Niagara Falls” or take a deep breath and dive through the “Devil’s Throat” – an underwater chasm with plunging vertical passages. Whichever approach you take, this is one of the top things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Explore Chichen Itza

Av. la Luna 4B, 48, 77506 Cancún // +52 998-500-2133

The island which the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are located on is only accessible by boat. You can book a tour or rent your own boat to get there. Once on the island, you’ll need to purchase a ticket in order to visit the archaeological site. 

The ticket covers admission to both the ruins and the museum on-site. There are also ticket packages that allow you to explore more of the local area from Playa del Carmen.

Once the capital of the Mayan empire, and considered the cultural center of the now-vanished Mayan people, Chichen Itza is home to several different pyramids and temples built by these amazing architects. 

The Pyramid of Kukulcan is not only the most famous site at Chichen Itza, but also one of the best-preserved. While the interior is off-limits to tourists, you can climb to the top for a spectacular view of the surrounding jungle.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Temple of Chichen Itza

When the day of your Chichen Itza tour arrives, pack a camera or two, an ample supply of drinking water, and something comfortable to wear. A snorkel kit is also highly recommended for first-timers to Chichen Itza — the cenote where the tour begins can be deceivingly deep. 

When you reach the ruins, you’ll be greeted by a vast ball court, a giant pyramid named El Castillo (below), and a smattering of smaller pyramids.

Look up and you’ll notice dozens of stone carvings (the largest of which stands over 65 feet tall). For a peek at Mexican antiquities, and edifices that are centuries old, visiting Chichen Itza is one of the best things to do near Playa del Carmen.

Relax at Lido’s Beach Club

Av. 1era. Norte Bis, Mz. 22, Lote 3, Centro // +52 984-803-1090

Few people who visit Playa del Carmen will spend all their time inside its historic walled city, and fewer still at its cultural attractions or shopping centers. Most of the time spent in Playa del Carmen is going to be on its beautiful beaches, and that beach experience can make or break a vacation.

Lido’s Beach Club is Playa del Carmen’s first free beach club, where you can only pay for what you use. Here, you can watch an endless stream of sunsets, lounge on a private beach in total comfort, and just enjoy the sea. Lido’s is located on the beach of the Hotel Lucero.

Lido’s beach club is the perfect antidote for sweltering days. 

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Beach View

There’s no fee at this friendly spot, and anyone can grab a chair in the sand under a palm tree, next to the free beach bar — whether you choose to sip on tequila with lime and honey or PBR with pickled vegetables. No pressure here, only relaxation, which makes it a perfect place to go in Playa del Carmen.

Zip Line Adventure

Ruta de los cenotes Km 18 Carretera // +52 998-881-3034

Zip line tours are one of the most memorable activities to do in Playa del Carmen. On your way down on the zip lining course, you’ll get a birds-eye view of Playa del Carmen and the Caribbean Sea.

The zip line packages for Selvatica cost extra, but can be a great add-on to your vacation, especially if you have kids along. It isn’t an easy process to book the tickets. I would advise you to plan in advance and buy them through your hotel or finalize a package ahead of time.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: 
Zipline Ride

The Playa del Carmen zip line packages include a guide, transportation to the canopy tour base from your hotel (but not back), helmet, harness, life jacket, and an instructor. For the adventurous spirit, this is one of the fun things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Dine In A Cave At Alux Restaurant

Av Benito Juárez Mz 217 Lt 2, Ejidal // +52 984-206-1401

Alux is a large cave-like setting that offers dimly lit ambiance. The table covers have thoughtful quotes and the servers are dressed in trendy, yet simple and elegant clothing. 

A meal at Alux should be considered an event, and the prices reflect this. The food is excellent and it is a treat to experience something different from the usual meals in Playa del Carmen. 

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Alux Restaurant

The Alux is a super-cool underground gem: once you’ve descended the stairs to the wonderfully decorated and enchanted cave, you’ll be in for a treat. 

What makes the Alux restaurant stand out in Playa del Carmen is the ambiance created by the cave-like structure in which it’s housed.

But be warned, dining in Alux can be a pretty expensive experience. Never the less, it is something you should try to do while in Playa del Carmen.

Visit Frida Kahlo Museum

Calle 8 entre Quinta Avenida y el mar, Gonzalo Guerrero // +52 984-311-9797

You don’t need to be an artist in order to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum.

 Located on La Quinta and open daily from 10 am to 8 pm, the high-quality exhibits provide visitors with a unique look at the life of one of Mexico’s most famous artists. 

The museum features hundreds of photographs, letters, paintings, drawings and personal items owned by Frida Kahlo.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Frida Kahlo Museum

Learn about the life and legacy of Frida Kahlo as you visit her museum in beautiful Playa del Carmen. You can take a self-guided tour or follow the audio tour, which will help enhance your experience.

There are plenty of souvenir shops and daily activities, such as yoga classes, going on at the museum. You should not miss this fine example of Playa del Carmen history and culture.

Salsa Dancing at Zenzi

Calle 10 y la Playa, Centro // +52 984-803-5738

Whether you’re a social dancer or just a spectator in training — there’s no better place to shake your groove than at Zenzi. They have live music every night.

Zenzi is centrally located across from the football stadium. The atmosphere is casual but fun. There are lights everywhere and a decent-size dance floor with plenty of room to add your moves to the mix. 

What makes Zenzi different from the other clubs in Playa del Carmen is the variety of classes it offers, including salsa. For a fun evening out in Playa del Carmen, try Zenzi.

Visit Parque Fundadores

Av Benito Juárez, Centro 77710 Playa del Carmen

In the southwestern part of Playa del Carmen, you’ll find Parque Fundadores or Park of the Founders. This small area has a statue known as Portal Maya which is a sculpture depicting two figures reaching upwards to connect. 

This statue represents rebirth and protection from above, and is part of the Mayan calendar. There are also lots of street vendors selling snacks and souvenirs.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Parque Fundadores

With its lovely waterfront vistas, it’s difficult to imagine that Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen was anything but pristine nature for hundreds of years. 

Originally founded as a town by the Maya in the 11th century, the area thrived until the 16th century when a large number of people died from an illness coupled with famine. 

Take time to visit the Portal Maya at Parque Fundadores, currently one of Playa del Carmen’s only points of interest and site of many lovely photo opportunities.

Try Street Food Named Elote

The street elote is usually served on a piece of paper on a wooden stick for easy eating. The corn is grilled, then covered with mayonnaise and sprinkled with shaving chile powder (a spice made by grinding up dried chiles). 

It definitely is an acquired taste, but once you acquire it, there’s no looking back.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Elote

Street vendors selling Elote will be set up outside of many of the restaurants and bars along Avenida Juarez. 

The best value is from the street carts, where a small cup of Elote goes for $1.00 US or so. Make sure to try this culinary treat while in Playa del Carmen.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Calle 6 Norte c/o Fusion Beach, Centro // +52 984-164-1971

If you have ever dreamed about the feeling of gliding effortlessly on a stand up paddle board in the middle of a stunning tropical sunrise, then go to Playa Del Carmen Aloha Paddle Club, a stand-up paddle boarding company located in Playa del Carmen. 

They offer private and group tours to the surrounding areas, such as Puerto Aventuras, Tulum, and the Maya Riviera.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen:  Paddle Boarding

The tours include locally crafted paddleboards built in Mexico with rust free materials, comfortable water shoes, life jackets (PFDs), and safety equipment. 

Whether you’re a beginner looking to try it out or an experienced surfer alike, there is always fun to be had on the water with all weather conditions year-round. If you feel the need to get your feet wet, make sure to try this fun activity in Playa del Carmen.

Volunteer Dog Walking

Playa del Carmen Voluntarios Perrunos is an excellent example of a volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to taking care of abandoned dogs.

 They do this through a shelter where dogs are given medical attention and food, and later adopted by good families.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Volunteer Dog Walking

The organization shelters dogs who have been abandoned and rescued from abuse. On certain days of the week, volunteers take the dogs on morning walks to get them out of their cages. 

The dogs absolutely love it!

Walk Playa’s Famous 5th Avenue

When you visit Playa Del Carmen, be sure to check out the main attraction, 5th Avenue. It’s what everyone calls the most popular street in this beach town. 

It’s lined with shops, bars and cafes, restaurants, and is the place to be for nighttime fun. Whether you’re looking to purchase a necklace at one of the many shops or just sit back and relax with a drink, you’ll find it here.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: 
5th avenue of Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue is a wide paved avenue with open skies, palm trees, and decorated with beautiful flowers.

All year long, the avenue is filled with stores that are crammed with all sorts of merchandise. You have to look to see what you might find because you never know what kind of surprises you might stumble onto. If you enjoy shopping, this is one of the best things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Do a Dune Buggy Trip

Immerse yourself in the stunning nature of southern Mexico by taking a half-day dune buggy trip through pristine terrain near Playa del Carmen. You’ll be picked up directly at your accommodation by an English-speaking driver, and after about a 20-minute ride, you’ll arrive at the Ranch in the jungle.

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Dune Buggy Trip

The tour begins by driving through the jungle and onto a large salt flat, which is famous for its prehistoric dinosaur tracks. After this initial sightseeing experience, you’ll be escorting two dune buggies on an adventurous trek alongside the beach to stop for lunch and go swimming at the edge of a lagoon.

The great thing about the trip is that it’s just around three hours long, meaning your entire day isn’t taken up, and you’ll still have much of the day left to enjoy the other things to do in Playa del Carmen.

Take a Ferry To Cozumel

Quinta Avenida 5, Centro // +52-987-872-1588

You can hop on a ferry from Playa del Carmen’s main dock to Cozumel in 30 – 45 minutes, and 250 pesos later. Designed to transport vehicles and pedestrians, each ferry offers an enclosed cabin with heating and air conditioning, two restrooms, a snack bar, and also life jackets. 

16 Best Things To do In Playa Del Carmen: Ferry

A quieter and more laid-back option is to take one of the smaller passenger ferries, which are equipped with chairs for those who’d prefer to relax while enjoying the stunning views. Whichever you choose, there is no doubt that your travel experience will somehow feel incomplete if you do not take one of these fast trips to the island Cozumel.

There are two ferries that run regularly to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen – Winjet and Ultramar. Each ferry runs in a predictable manner: Ultramar operates on odd days, and Winjet on even days. Both run between 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily.

How to get to Playa del Carmen, Mexico from the airport?

Take a private transfer if you’re a group sharing is caring but with your own party! Every driver is bilingual so he will be more than happy to answer any questions you have along the way regarding the surroundings.

Feeling like you want to experience the full Playa del Carmen Vibe? Go with a luxury service, reserved just for you and your company of up to 6 people in brand new luxury SUV’s.

You know what you want? Then, just get a quote from the search box below instantly: 

Playa del Carmen is a city like no other. This exotic place can take you back to the days of Mayan splendor, whether you choose to get lost in one of its many stunning white sand beaches, or experience a true cultural collision while wandering down 5th Avenue. 

Spot treasures from around the world at Playacar Flea Market and explore as much or as little as you like throughout the day. There’s so much to do in Playa del Carmen that you might feel overwhelmed with all these amazing options

So be sure to take plenty of pesos with you, and if you need to exchange some of your US dollars for pesos, make sure to look for the guy offering the best rate, because a lot of them can rip you off. 

One great spot to find someone who can help you exchange money is in front of or inside the HSBC Bank building, located on La Quinta Avenue, right across the street from La Quinta Inn.

Whether you want to escape the concrete jungle or plan your next adventure with friends or family, there are activities in Playa del Carmen that have a little bit of everything for everyone.

Wondering where to satisfy your hunger needs while in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico?
Check out the article below to find out which are the must-try restaurants in Playa Del Carmen:

Traveling to other Mexico destinations? Check out 9 Amazing Things To Do In Cozumel!

While in Playa Del Carmen don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):

How to get to Playa Del Carmen?

You can book your ground and sea transportation with Bookaway, so click here to book your tickets.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.