Playa del Carmen Holidays
Playa del Carmen Overview
Peaceful holidays: Playa del Carmen holidays are a little quieter than nearby Cancun holidays. On the Mayan Riviera, around 70km from Cancun, Playa del Carmen holidays are fast gaining a reputation as a place where people come to chill out in hip surroundings and smaller boutique hotels.
Natural beauty: With its ever increasing popularity, Playa del Carmen holidays have thankfully retained the natural delights which attracted people in the first place. Specifically, we’re thinking of the powder-soft white beaches leading into glistening turquoise waters, and the wondrous eco-parks of Xcaret and Xel-Ha.
Activities in Playa del Carmen
Xcaret: An intriguing mix of an ecological park and archaeological site, Xcaret is only around 4 miles south of Playa del Carmen holidays. It boasts an array of wonders within its grounds, from underground rivers to butterfly houses and Mayan ruins. You’ll even have the opportunity to swim with dolphins or watch nightly themed Mexican entertainment shows with live dancing and singing.
Xel-Ha: Mexico holidays seem to specialise in eco-parks – a style of park filled with natural wonders yet also aimed at ease of access and entertainment for tourists. Xel-Ha is one such eco-park with a number of interests, ranging from turtles, dolphins and stingrays in its waters, rapid rivers and dramatic cliff faces. There’s also a buffet included with the entry fee for the park.
Diving holidays: Playa del Carmen holidays are some of the most popular for diving holidays in Mexico. It’s not surprising really, as there are several vibrant reefs located close to the shore in relatively shallow waters, making the diving exciting for both beginners and experts alike. Turtle reef is the most renowned dive site in the area, as aptly it’s filled with (now rather rare) sea turtles.
Beaches in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen central beach: The main beach on Playa del Carmen holidays is just what you’d expect of beach holidays in Mexico – supremely soft white sand, turquoise waters and rustic thatched beach huts. But this beach is made all the more appealing by the width of the coastline, giving you extra space to spread out during your sunbathing! Water sports are quite a big feature of beach holidays in Playa del Carmen too, with many boats ready to take you on tours to the nearby dive sites.
Restaurants in Playa del Carmen
Season Bistro: The modern style of this classy restaurant is matched by the appetising presentation of everything which comes out of its kitchen. The wonderfully inventive menu includes dishes such as spiced apple soup, pear & parmesan ravioli and flourless chocolate cake – all original dishes that’ll really make dining during your holidays memorable.
Carboncitos: A great place to go if you want authentic Mexican food at very cheap prices. They serve all the classic Mexican cuisine you’d expect, everything from freshly baked quesadillas to spicy salsa, fresh guacamole and crispy fried cheese. Eat here often and you’ll find that very cheap holidays to Mexico are quite possible.
Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe: The Mexican cuisine is known for using chocolate in lots of innovative ways (like putting dark pieces of chocolate in spicy dishes such as chilli con carne), so it should come as no surprise that Ah Cacao is a cafe with a strong focus on all things chocolate. Try the delectable chocolate brownie, and for something truly different, how about spicy chocolate ice cream or thick, decadent hot chocolate? You can even buy chocolate souvenirs to bring back home from holidays here too.
Nightlife in Playa del Carmen
Lively bars and clubs: Although Playa del Carmen holidays are often considered to be quieter than nearby holidays in Cancun, there’s certainly no shortage of lively bars and clubs where you can spend your evenings. 5th Avenue is the main shopping street in Playa del Carmen and it also doubles as a bustling nightlife venue when the sun goes down. Los Secretos play live music and pool tables, while La Bodeguita del Medio plays energetic Cuban music and welcomes a mix of tourists and locals in a warm atmosphere. For a more modern clubbing crowd, head to places such as La Santanera or Bali.
Shopping in Playa del Carmen
Street stalls: Shopping on Playa del Carmen holidays is slightly more understated than on holidays in Cancun, but there are still plenty of places to pick up souvenirs. T-shirts and colourful beads and bracelets are quite commonly sold at most stalls, but if you’d like something more uniquely Mexican to remind you of your holidays here, look out for the high-quality cigars and huge selection of Tequila (there are hundreds of varieties).
Shopping centres: If you’d prefer to buy big name brands in a clean, cool environment, you’d be best off heading to the Centro Maya mall or Plaza Las Americas. Both offer a very modern shopping experience, complete with glossy floors, air-conditioning, supermarkets and even cinemas.
th Avenue: We thought we’d make special mention of this street as it offers around 3km of shopping paradise! There are shops selling all kinds of items on this street, from cigars made right in front of you to crafted bracelets, designer clothes and sports brands.