Top 10 things to do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

IMG_0193  Xel ha  IMG_0200  IMG_0205  WhaleShark

So you’re thinking of going to Cancun, but don’t want the hustle bustle of a HUGE city. With a 1.5 hour ride from Cancun airport you’ll find the small town of Playa Del Carmen.  Playa is extremely tourist friendly to all nationalities, completely walk able (for the able bodied, active traveler), has beautiful beaches, and is close to the main excursion sites.

  1. Ruins – Short drive to some amazing architectural wonders of the area. Check out Tulum, Coba,  Ek Balam, and/or Chicken Itza.  Because many of these are protected sites, you can only climb the main pyramid in Coba, and one in Ek Balam.
  2. Cenotes – Try to rent some snorkel gear for the day and hit up these beautiful caverns.
  3. Cozumel – Take a ferry over for the day.  Beautiful beaches. While here head to Stingray beach where you can snorkel right up to Stingrays!
  4. Scuba – Tortugas, cozumel.
  5. Excursions – There are A TON!
  • Chicken Itza – One of the 7 wonders of the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is however closed off to tourists so you can not climb the pyramids. Check out Coba or Ek Balam if interested in walking up one.
  • Xcaret – This eco-archaeological park hosts over 30 attractions. Most are included in your park entry price.  Snorkeling, beautiful beach, underground lazy river.
  •  Xel Ha – Tranquil lagoon offers easy snorkeling access to kids and those who don’t have a lot of experience snorkeling. All inclusive feature paid in park pass, so food and drinks are included all day.
  • Adventure Tours
    • Coba & Mayan Adventures takes you to a local small Mayan town, offering zip lines, a traditional mayan cleansing ceremony before repelling down into a Cenote,  and a traditional mayan lunch before heading off to Coba for the afternoon.
    • Jungle Maya Expedition – Jungle trek, ziplines, repelling into a cenote, snorkelling, mayan cleansing ceremony.
  • Snorkeling with Whale Sharks – AMAZING experience snorkelling up next to the largest fish in the ocean. These Whale sharks can get up to 12m (60 feet), and are beautiful and amazing creatures. I would recommend this to swimmers that are comfortable in the water. These guys can move pretty quickly and you can quickly get caught in between a group of them.
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