Playa del Carmen
Mexico
By Ryan Austin

The jewel of Playa del Carmen is situated in the southeast of Mexico, along the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the heart of the booming tourist district known as the Mayan Riviera. Although it is one of the fastest growing resort towns in the region, Playa del Carmen (simply Playa to the locals) is known for its extremely laid-back vibe, and is perfect for travelers looking for an alternative to the rowdy crowds that frequent Cancún. With the scuba-diving mecca of Cozumel a short ferry ride away, and the Mayan ruins at Xcaret just minutes to the south, Playa’s strategic location ensures that adventure is never far out of reach. WhatsCheaper.com invites you to book your vacation to this tropical paradise today.

Cancún International Airport (CUN) is one of the largest and busiest airports in Mexico, and the most common arrival point for travelers to Playa del Carmen. To book your flight to Playa del Carmen, click the following link: (https://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). From there it is a short ride down the coast via bus, taxi, or shuttle to any of Playa’s numerous hotels and resorts. Book your accommodations at WhatsCheaper.com by clicking the following link: (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).

Once settled in, visitors should find little difficulty adjusting to the leisurely pace and subdued atmosphere of the town. Considered by many to be one of the best places in Mexico to simply “be on vacation,” Playa offers miles of immaculate white beaches and crystalline turquoise waters that are among the most picturesque in the world. Running through the center of town is Avenida Quinta, or Fifth Avenue, a peaceful pedestrian-only strip lined with the area’s most popular restaurants, bars, and shops.

And of course, while there are few settings better suited to simply do nothing at all, those seeking a bit of excitement won’t have to look far. Playa del Carmen was originally built up around a convenient ferry service to the nearby island of Cozumel; one of Mexico’s hotspots for eco-adventure tourism.  WhatsCheaper.com highly recommends that scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts make a detour to the island, deemed one of the world’s best places for underwater exploration by well-known adventurers, such as Jacques Cousteau.  WhatsCheaper.com also recommends visiting the vast system of caves and cenotes (freshwater sinkholes) found immediately to the south of Playa. Dozens of tour companies offer daytrips through these magnificent natural wonders, which are unique to the geography of Yucatán and were considered sacred by the ancient Mayans.

Speaking of the Mayan civilization, no visit to Mexico would be complete without absorbing some of the land’s fascinating, ancient history. Mayan ruins abound in the Yucatán Peninsula, including some directly in the heart of Playa del Carmen, right on Avenida Quinta. Many other famous archaeological sites are within the town’s immediate proximity as well, such as Xcaret and Tulum, which are about 15 and 45 minutes to the south, respectively, and are home to some of the oldest known Mayan pyramids in existence.

WhatsCheaper.com invites nature lovers to check out some of the region’s renowned wildlife parks. The enormous Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is one of the most popular eco-tourist destinations in the country. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is located less than an hour to the south of Playa del Carmen, and is easily accessible to tourists wishing to visit this exciting attraction. Xcaret Park, site of the aforementioned Mayan ruins, is also a vast ecological reserve, complete with several aquariums, greenhouses, and exotic animal shelters, as well as guided tours that let visitors snorkel, scuba dive, and swim with dolphins. There is also the smaller aviary Xaman-Ha, located within Playa itself, which features many rare species of birds from the Yucatán Peninsula in their natural habitat. All the ecological parks charge a modest admission fee and be prepared to pay an additional fee for excursions.

Playa del Carmen has a large international influence, and there are several European and American expatriate communities within the town itself. Whatever cuisine you’re craving - Italian, German, Japanese, Thai - and of course plenty of authentic Mexican and Mayan fare - can be found in Playa’s many excellent restaurants. In keeping with Playa’s laid-back atmosphere, the nightlife tends to be a little more subdued than that of Cancún, but there are bars and nightclubs aplenty, so those looking for some late-night excitement will not be disappointed. Live music is everywhere, and there is even the occasional all-night beach rave for those who don’t plan to spend their vacation sleeping.

Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in an unspoiled natural paradise, or a gorgeous landscape where you can turn off the outside world and relax, Playa del Carmen is the perfect remedy for the daily doldrums.

MUST SEE IN Playa del Carmen LIST:

  • 1. Avenida Quinta
  • 2. Xcaret Park
  • 3. Biosphere Reserve
  • 4. Mayan Pyramids at Tulum
  • 5. Xaman-Ha Aviary
  • 6. Playa del Carmen Cenotes
  • 7. Isla Cozumel
  • 8. Akumel Beach
  • 9. Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Gardens
  • 10. Playacar Golf Club

Playa del Carmen EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. BPM Festival - January
  • 2. Mayakoba Golf Classic - February
  • 3. Carnival - February/March
  • 4. Cinco de Mayo - May
  • 5. Sacred Maya Journey - May
  • 6. Playa del Carmen Anniversary - July
  • 7. Tulum Sea Turtle Festival - October
  • 8. Day of the Dead - November
  • 9. Taste of Playa - November
  • 10. Riviera Maya Jazz Festival - November

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Hotel Riu Playacar
Av. Xaman-Ha S/N, Mz.6, Lote 1, Condominio Playacar, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
By Sara Falardeau

The beautiful white-sand beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico are a popular hotspot for vacationers of all kinds, from families to spring breakers. If you’re planning a trip to this particular south-of-the-border paradise, the Hotel Riu Playacar offers all the elements essential to your getaway in a worry-free, all-inclusive package. Located directly on the beach less than 2 miles from Playa del Carmen proper, the hotel is convenient to Playa del Carmen’s many attractions and busy nightlife – but with the abundance of amenities and activities on-site, you may not even make it that far!

Rooms combine comfort with charming Mexican flair. Book a standard room with two double beds and the option for interconnecting rooms, or opt for a junior suite with two beds, a dressing room area and living room. All rooms have flat-screen satellite TVs, regularly restocked mini-bars and liquor dispensers, and Wi-Fi for a small fee. An in-room safe and ATM in the lobby for withdrawing pesos (necessary for cash purchases at the hotel) ensure your hard-earned vacation funds stay both safe and accessible to you.

In addition to covering your accommodations, taxes and gratuities, your stay includes 3 meals a day, unlimited domestic and imported beverages, 24-hour snacks, entertainment and activities, and access to all of the above at the nearby Riu Yucatan and Riu Tequila hotels. The Hotel Riu Playacar offers 6 restaurants and bars on-site, including a swim-up bar in one of the 2 pools. When you’re not relaxing by the pool with a cocktail, take advantage of the many activity options – you can try windsurfing, kayaking, body-boarding, snorkeling and more. Later on, enjoy dancing at the La Piñata nightclub at the Riu Tequila hotel, or stay at the hotel for the nightly music and entertainment – there’s shows for both adults and children.

With so many dining and activity options within easy reach, the Hotel Riu Playacar allows you to spend more time enjoying the beach and less time planning your day. For a booking experience that’s just as simple, go to WhatsCheaper.com and select your room at Hotel Riu Playacar today (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).

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