Welcome to Playa del Carmen


The town is ideally located: close to Cancún’s international airport, but far enough south to allow easy access to Cozumel, Tulum, Cobá and other worthy destinations. The reefs here are excellent and offer diving and snorkeling close by. Look for rays, moray eels, sea turtles and a huge variety of corals. The lavender sea fans make for very picturesque vistas.

With cruise ship passengers visiting from Cozumel, Playa can feel crowded along the first several blocks of the tourist center.


Top experiences in Playa del Carmen

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Playa del Carmen activities

$54 Cultural & Theme Tours

Chichen Itza VIP Early Access from Playa del Carmen with Guide

Start your day trip with an early morning departure, making sure you don’t miss the chance to be one of the first visitors of the day to explore the wonders of Chichen Itza, the ancient capital of the Mayan Empire. With essential background knowledge provided by a specialized archeologist guide just for you and your group, you’ll easily imagine how the Mayans once inhabited this city. As you wander through the well-preserved ruins in relative peace and quiet, learn how Chichen Itza played a pivotal role in Mayan society from around 600 to 1200 AD and endured as a base of worship and pilgrimage until the Spanish landed. The Maya people of the Yucatan Peninsula today still regard Chichen Itza, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, as a sacred place. Listen to your guide about how archeologists unearthed the abandoned site, buried over time by the jungle, and how their discoveries provided Chichen Itza with UNESCO status. With your guide’s presentation of Mayan mythology, philosophy and cosmology, gain a deep understanding of the meaning behind the stone carvings, platforms, ball courts and staircases. Then see the famous ruins with a new perspective. Make your way through the observatory and the Temple of the Warriors. You’ll of course visit the legendary Kukulcan Pyramid, also referred to as El Castillo, a four-sided structure constructed with a keen knowledge of astronomy. Your guide will explain that during equinox on a clear day, a snake slithers down the pyramid stairs, which is actually a shadow created by the setting sun.  Stand on one of the platforms at the colossal ball court where Mayans played sports, and have another person from your group whisper from 150 feet (46 meters) away. You’ll be surprised to hear every word. This acoustical engineering feat of the Mayans is not entirely understood even today. After your tour, ride back to Playa del Carmen and return mid-afternoon. With this Viator Exclusive, your early morning visit to Chichen Itza allows you to explore the site before the crowds so you can enjoy the rest of your day on the beach.

$98.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tulum and Coba Ruins with Cenote Swim and Lunch from Cancun

Tulum Ruins Tour (7 hours)Following morning pickup from your hotel in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, travel two hours by air-conditioned minivan to the southern tip of the Riviera Maya, where the archaeological site of Tulum awaits. An ancient walled city perched high on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Tulum was built by the Mayans and dates back to the pre-Columbian era. The city thrived during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, but fell following attack from the Spanish conquistadors. Today it’s among the best-preserved of all coastal Mayan sites.Take a 45-minute guided tour of the site to learn about ancient Mayan civilization and hear how the walled fortress of Tulum served as a gateway to the heart of the Mayan Empire. Follow your tour with an hour of free time to explore independently.Cool off from the sun at your next stop, a cenote — a cavernous sinkhole created by the erosion of limestone bedrock. Take a dip in the waters of this incredible subterranean world, and then head to a local restaurant for a buffet lunch of Yucatán Peninsula specialities such as pork, chicken or beef quesadillas with salad, served with beer, soda or water. Follow lunch with a late-afternoon drive to Coba.Coba Ruins Tour (4.5 hours)An hour from Tulum lies the ancient Mayan village of Coba, surrounded by lush vegetation and large lagoons. It was once a busy commercial center and traded extensively with other Mayan settlements in the Quintana Roo area, and today boasts many impressive archaeological wonders. During your 1-hour guided tour, climb the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan region, the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, and enjoy panoramic views over the rainforest canopy from 140 feet (42 meters) high. Admire the engraved-stone buildings in the Mayan Ball Court and learn of the beliefs and lifestyles of the ancient Mayan people. Explore on your own for another hour after your tour.After a long day of exploring ancient Mayan ruins, relax on the 2-hour drive back to your Cancun or Playa del Carmen hotel.

$109 Day Trips & Excursions

Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling, Cenote, and Caves from Cancun

This wonderful tour starts with early morning pickup from your Cancun or Playa del Carmen hotel between 6:00 to 9:00 AM.  Discover the Mayan archaeological site of Tulum, world famous for its unique location alongside the Caribbean coastline. Built on a natural outcrop facing the rising sun, the stunning turquoise blue ocean backdrop makes this beautiful site one of the most picturesque in the world.Afterwards board local motorboats to reefs where you will explore the fascinating underwater world of the Mexican Caribbean on a leisurely snorkel tour. Brightly colored tropical fish, spectacular coral, amazing rock formations, turtles, rays and unbelievable visibility makes this an unforgettable experience.Then journey deep into the subtropical rainforest of the Yucatan to relax, swim and snorkel in the crystal clear fresh waters of a massive “cenote”, and marvel at the thousands of spectacular stalagmites and stalactites that surround you at every turn.

$138.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tulum from Playa del Carmen with Cenote Snorkeling, Ziplining

Enjoy convenient morning pickup from your hotel in Playa del Carmen, and travel with your guide to Tulum, the Walled City that boasts an enviable location. Mounted on the edge of a bluff, Tulum towers above the Caribbean Sea and a flawless white sandy beach. At the ruins, learn about the now-abandoned city that was only inhabited by Maya nobles, high priests and prominent citizens, and then enjoy free time on the nearby beach. Afterward, visit Rancho San Felipe, a Maya community of 30 residents; part of your tour proceeds goes to the sustainable development of local Maya communities. Meet a shaman during a traditional purification ceremony. Afterward, take a short trek into the jungle and enter Sac Actun ("White Cave") and Nohoch Nah Chich ("Giant Bird Cage"), the Yucatán region’s second and third longest cave systems. Follow your guide’s lead inside the caves, and learn about the discovery and ongoing exploration of the extensive underground river network that included passageways to Tulum. Arrive at a cenote (natural underground pool) and snorkel in clear waters, surrounded by dramatic rock formations like stalactites and stalagmites. Next, travel within the lush forest aboard a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, a massive 4x4 vehicle. You'll stop to rappel your way down 40 feet (12 meters) to Yaxmuul, another cenote. Enjoy thrills through the treetop canopy along three ziplines; be prepared for a splashy ending. Wrap up your day with a satisfying buffet lunch of homemade classic Maya fare. Then board your air-conditioned transport and relax during the ride back to Playa del Carmen. Your full-day tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel in the evening.

$79 Day Trips & Excursions

Chichen Itza, Ik Kil Cenote and Valladolid with Lunch

After getting picked up from your hotel between 7am-8am, travel to one of the most famous ancient Mayan cities: Chichen Itza. During a comprehensive guided tour, admire Kukulkan Pyramid (one of the new seven world wonders), the Temple of Warriors with its thousands of columns, the centuries-old astronomical observatory, and the sacrificial pit. After your 2.5-hour guided tour, enjoy some free time to explore the ruins on your own.Next, cool off by plunging into the clear, fresh water of a cenote: a naturally created, underground swimming pool. Admire the cave formations as you swim and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, then tuck into a hearty buffet lunch of traditional Mexican fare. Combined time for swimming and lunch is around two hours.After lunch, visit Valladolid; the third-largest city in Yucatan. Get to know the 16th-century Spanish colonial town before being dropped back off at your hotel between 6:30-7:30pm.*The  tour’s intinerary may change for the purpose of providing the best service possible & depending on a season.*The tour is operated from Cancun everyday. *The tour is operated form Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen & Tulum everyday, except Saturday. 

$119 Cultural & Theme Tours

Chichen Itza from Riviera Maya

This famous archaeological site is one of the most impressive examples of the Mayan civilization. The site is dominated by the large central pyramid called El Castillo and the surrounding buildings include the Temple of the Warriors or 1,000 Columns, the Ball-court and the well or cenote from which Chichen Itza takes its name.This site is surrounded by underground rivers, natural wells, and limestone that the Mayans used to construct their magnificent buildings. Discover an entire city that is only just beginning to reveal the secrets of their founders' glorious past!After a comfortable ride in our air-conditioned buses, the guided visit to the site will start, it usually lasts about 60 minutes, followed by 45 minutes of free time to explore on your own or to give the more energetic, the opportunity to bargain with the locals for some of the handicraft items for sale.