A travel guide to Playa del Carmen, Mexico providing Playa del Carmen tourism and travel information with hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping, things to do and tours.
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Playa del Carmen travel guide


Overview

Playa del Carmen is located on the Riviera Maya about an hour’s drive south of Cancun. Many tourists’ first introduction to the town is when they take a bus from Cancun that drops them off at the bus terminal from where they walk through town to the pier. This part of Playa del Carmen is congested and lacking in charm, giving the impression that the town does not have much to offer. This is misleading. The nicest part of Playa del Carmen is not near the port, but a few blocks north where the main street, Quinta Avenida, parallels the sea. This pedestrian-only are, several blocks long, between the Quinta Avenida and the beach, is the most attractive part of town. Here you find shops, restaurants, hotels, and lots of local color. The wide strip of beach here is outstanding, with beautiful white sand that seems to go on forever. Facing this sensational beach is a string of hotels, most of which are nice but usually quite simpe. As you go further north along the beach, the hotels become more expensive. Playa del Carmen gives the impression of being a relatively sleepy seaside town with a relaxed atmosphere. The town is small enough to walk anywhere.

In addition to its beautiful beaches and ocean swimming, the area around Playa del Carmen is well known for its underground rivers that honeycomb the porous limestone of the Yucatan. In some places the limestone collapses, forming cenotes. A cenote is a spot where the underground river comes into view. Sometimes collapsed walls form a deep well, at other times the river runs through a cave.   Because the water in these cenotes is usually pure and clear, many people come to swim, and the really adventurous ones don wetsuits and follow the underground path of the river from one cenote to the next. There are major eco-theme parks nearby such as Xcaret and Xel-Ha, where you can swim in cenotes, but the best are the lesser-known ones that are far less commercial. Since these cenotes dot the countryside, ask at your hotel for suggestions of nearby local favorites.

Playa del Carmen Hotels & Accommodation


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Playa del Carmen tourist attractions


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Popular Restaurants in Playa del Carmen


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