Playa del Carmen

Mexico

Starfish Rating of 4.5

Claim to Fame

One of the loveliest white sand beaches in the world, and in close proximity to many ancient Mexican sites and antiquities.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of Jamie Guimond Productions
  • Where is it?35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Cancun on the Mayan Riviera, northern Yucatan Peninsula, on the Caribbean Sea
  • Coordinates: latitude» 20.6314°
    longitude» -87.0731°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: small (but growing) city with active beachfront area and lively downtown core
  • Length of Beach:
  • Type: white sand
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Drenched with sun and heat all year long, Playa del Carmen is a popular destination for people from northern climates. This small city of 100,000 is home to about 100 hotels and countless bars and restaurants; as it grows, it grows with tourism in mind. There is a wide range of prices here for accommodations, from hostels to luxury boutique hotels, and restaurants, from roadside taco stands to elegant fine dining, but the rule is that the closer to tourist areas you stay, the more you pay.

This is a favorite spot for destination beach weddings, largely because of the reliability of the weather, but the cost can be high. If youíre planning to wed on the Playa del Carmen, find a knowledgeable wedding planner to help keep costs in line.

Here on the Mayan Riviera, the water is warm, the sand pure white, and the ocean breezes constant and gentle. Playa del Carmen is well known for its string of beach bars and restaurants, and an excellent modern transportation system, so itís easy to hang beachside or tour about the area.

A Playa del Carmen holiday can mean a day sunbathing and swimming, shopping downtown at the stores and markets on 5th Avenue, snorkeling and scuba diving in the underwater caves, or catching the ferry boat to Cozumel and diving in its world-famous reef. Another great day trip is exploring the island of Isla Mujeres.

In the evening, stroll the beach or find almost any variety of live music in the many bars that dot the streets of the city. This is a vibrant seaside city with friendly hospitality and simply gorgeous beach areas.

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