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Playa del Carmen, Mexico: When To Go & The Reasons To Visit

Playa del Carmen is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean. The beach, shopping, and eating-drinking are what this bustling beach-town is all about.  Too often, the difficult part of the travel is coming up with an itinerary. There are so many sights to see, sounds to hear, and foods to taste in Playa del Carmen. You will need more than a day or two to explore all the city’s wonders for a once in a lifetime experience. This travel guide will help you have this experience. As you browse through our pages, you will get to know more about:

  • Weekend in Playa del Carmen
  • Long Weekend in Playa del Carmen
  • Week in Playa del Carmen
  • Summer in Playa del Carmen

Weekend

We have put together this travel guide to help you plan and arrange a weekend in this ecologically and culturally rich destination. There are many things to consider when you are planning to spend the weekend in Playa del Carmen. Plan your trip well, the time it right, and this gorgeous beach-town will not disappoint you. Here is an example of a weekend itinerary:

Day 1

This day is a good time to sample some of Playa del Carmen’s cuisineComida corridaantojitostostadassalbutessopespanuchospapadzulesquesadilla, gringaflautas, and longaniza de Valladolid. Experience the Playa del Carmen nightlife, which is concentrated around Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue). It provides an entertainment world that caters to different styles and tastes. The culinary delight is an exotic mixture of flavors, aromas, and colors unique to Playa del Carmen.

Make the most out of your limited stay by visiting the lovely beaches. Take a splash and get a very nice tan while enjoying the white, fine sand and the refreshing crystal clear waters. The most popular beaches include CocoChunzubulAlejariShangri-la, and El Faro.

Ecological water parks are a must-visit attractionXel-Ha is popular among snorkelers and scuba divers, offering a great range of fish and flora. Xcaret, on the other hand, has many kinds of wildlife, from butterflies to crocodiles, to jaguars.

Day 2

Do not end your Playa del Carmen weekend without visiting archeological sites, such as Chichen ItzaCoba, and Tulum. Chichen Itza has the largest concentration of Mayan ruins in the Yucatan peninsula. Coba is a less known, but impressive site. Tulum is also one of the more popular Playa del Carmen attractions. While not as big as Chichen Itza, it is still an imposing archeological site.

Shop, shop, and shop. You only have a limited time, so do your shopping very fast. Quinta Avenida, the main shopping street in Playa del Carmen, is open exclusively for pedestrians. Calle Corazón is a beautiful detour from Quinta Avenida. Everything on your last day depends on your flight schedule. Most Playa del Carmen hotels expect guests to check out by 12 noon. They normally store your luggage in the main lobby or in the room near reception if you have an evening flight. You are still allowed to use all facilities including the restaurants.

A Week

A week in Playa del Carmen will have your hours packed full of things to see, taste, and experience. There is something unique about the city that allows you to comfortably spend your busy vacation. Here is an example of a one-week itinerary:

Day 1

Arrival. Get to your accommodation, unpack your bags, go to a buffet, check out your hotel, take a splash, and relax in your room. There will always be one huge night with a show Vegas style. Check the Animations Board to know the schedule of shows. The hotel entertainment staff is called animation, while the board is where the performances of the week are listed. Shows usually start after 9:00 in the evening.

Day 2

Enjoy a breakfast, conduct hotel recognizance (learn where everything is), and take a dip in the swimming pool or walk around the beach. Have lunch, and after resting, take a long walk along the beach. It is always nice to meet new people. After spending some time at the beach or pool, rest for a while and get ready for dinner.

Day 3

Tour to Chichen ItzaCoba, and Tulum. Chichen Itza, the former Mayan capital, houses the largest concentration of Mayan ruins in all of the Yucatan peninsula. Here, you can climb the main temple of El Castillo, which is well-known because of the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. Coba is a less known, but impressive site. It is rather large, having the tallest temple (140 feet) in the northern Yucatan as its major attraction. The Mayan site of Tulum is also one of the more popular Playa del Carmen attractions. While not as grand as Chichen Itza, Tulum is still an imposing sight.

Day 4

Trip to ecological water parksXel-Ha is a snorkeler’s heaven, offering an amazing range of fish and flora. You can swim with dolphins, but prepare to shell out some huge amount of money. Xcaret has many kinds of wildlife, from butterflies to crocodiles, to jaguars. It also offers different shows daily.

Day 5

Snorkel and scuba dive at the Great Mayan Reef. About 100 meters away from the Playa del Carmen seashore, the reefs start at Catoche Cape, continuing through Guatemala and Belize. They hold plenty of flora and fauna and they work as a huge barrier against the surf. They soften it and form peaceful natural pools, perfect for aquatic sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.

Day 6

Wander around the Playacar Complex, one of the most important tourist centers of the Mayan Riviera. It is filled with exclusive and elegant hotels, a golf course, commercial zones, and spacious residential areas. Also, do your shopping. Quinta Avenida, the main shopping street in Playa del Carmen, is open exclusively for pedestrians. Calle Corazón is a beautiful detour from Quinta Avenida.

Day 7

Everything on this final day largely depends on what time your check-out time or flight. Most hotels in Playa del Carmen expect their guests to check out by 12:00 noon. They usually store your baggage in the main lobby or in a room next to reception if your flight is in the evening. You are still allowed to use all facilities including the restaurants.

Long Weekend

Playa del Carmen offers some extraordinary things to attract all generations of visitors’ interest with a wealth of culture, great beaches, beautiful ecological water parks, the Great Mayan Reef, and a combination of excellent restaurants, first-rate bars, and a colorful nightlife. This makes the beach-town a perfect long weekend getaway. Here is an example of a long weekend itinerary:

Day 1

This day is a good time to sample some of Playa del Carmen’s cuisine: Comida corrida, antojitos, tostadas, salbutes, sopes, panuchos, papadzules, quesadilla, gringa, flautas, and longaniza de Valladolid. Experience the Playa del Carmen nightlife, which is concentrated around Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue). It provides an entertainment world that caters to different styles and tastes.

Day 2

Hit the beach. Your visit to Playa del Carmen will not be complete without visiting its lovely beaches. Enjoy the white, lukewarm, fine sand and take a dip in the refreshing glasslike waters. The beaches are bordered by enormous walls of coral reefs, appeasing the currents and lulling the waves. The most popular beaches include CocoChunzubulAlejari, Shangri-la, and El Faro.

Snorkel and scuba dive at the Great Mayan Reef. It holds plenty of flora and fauna and works as a huge barrier against the surf. It softens the surf and forms peaceful natural pools, perfect for aquatic sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.

Day 3

Tour to Chichen Itza, Coba, and Tulum. Chichen Itza houses the largest concentration of Mayan ruins in all of the Yucatan peninsula. Coba is a less known, but impressive site. It is rather large, having the tallest temple (140 feet) in the northern Yucatan as its major attraction. The Mayan site of Tulum is also one of the more popular Playa del Carmen attractions. While not as grand as Chichen Itza, Tulum is still an imposing sight.

Do your shopping. Quinta Avenida, the main shopping street in Playa del Carmen, is open exclusively for pedestrians. Calle Corazón is a beautiful detour from Quinta Avenida.

Day 4

Everything on this final day largely depends on what time your check-out time or flight. Most hotels in Playa del Carmen expect their guests to check out by 12:00 noon. They usually store your baggage in the main lobby or in a room next to reception if your flight is in the evening. You are still allowed to use all facilities including the restaurants.

Summer

A sub-tropical climate characterizes Playa del Carmen. The area is warm, if not hot, most days of the year. The average temperature (year-round) in the city is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). The humidity is also high, mostly around 90%. Summer in Playa del Carmen offers a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Summer arrives in the area in June, normally lasting until August. At this time, the area becomes extremely hot although the sea is at its clearest and calmest. Tropical storms and hurricanes usually happen during September and October. Finally, comfortable and cool weather is normally expected from November to January.

The rainy season is generally experienced throughout the last part of May until October. This season is characterized by recurrent tropical showers in the late afternoon. The rain, however, does not last long. The humidity becomes especially high from June to August, although temperature usually does not exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) during summer in Playa del Carmen.

If you are planning to spend your summer in Playa del Carmen, we advise that you bring airy and light clothes in linen or cotton. It is also a good idea to bring hats, sandals, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Since the heat and sun in the city can sometimes be very overwhelming, it is best to always bring a bottle of water to protect yourself against dehydration.

Sandy

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