Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Playa del Carmen is one of Mexico’s fastest growing cities, turning from a budget campground haven for adventuresome travelers, into the trendiest spot on the Atlantic coast. Even though the waters aren’t as clear as those around Cozumel or Cancún and the sands are a bit coarser than further north, Playa del Carmen continues to grow at a fast pace. The city has become a mass-tourism destination which manages to retain its distinct European feel.

Located within the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen’s main attractions include several popular beaches, excellent waters for snorkeling and diving, and great opportunities for a wide-range of water sports. The various competing restaurants and night establishments present plentiful nightlife opportunities. Playa also makes a great base for exploring the surrounding regions of the Yucatan Peninsula.

A good range of accommodation options are available, from affordable small hotels giving a better feel for the town, to luxurious all-inclusive resorts. The city’s rectangular grid layout makes getting around very easy.


Playa del Carmen was originally a small fishing town up until the passenger ferry service to Cozumel was opened. Recent extreme rapid development restaurants, entertainment venues, boutiques and luxury residential condominium buildings have increased the Playa’s population to the third largest city in the Yucatan. The Quinta Avenida has already become an economic and cultural hub for the region, and further development is planned.