Playa del Carmen’s reputation for being a world-famous vacation destination is due to its spectacular attractions that include its gorgeous white sand beaches, Mayan Ruins, and its fabulous 5th Avenue. These are only a few of the reasons why vacationers find Playa a mecca for an extraordinary getaway. Let us look at some of the attributing factors that make Playa del Carmen a published travel marvel.
We will describe the following attractions in brief detail regarding their highlights. They are in no specific order and you can can easily experience each attraction on most days and/or evenings.
Depending where you stay in the Playa area, you can reach these attractions by either a short walk or taxi ride:
On the south end of 5th Avenue is Parque Los Fundadores – Founding Fathers Park.
It is one of the original parks in Playa del Carmen. It is centrally located by the ADO bus station, ferry port and public beach. Along with its daily attractions, there are several vendors along the parks perimeter that sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Its newest attraction is the Portal Maya Statue – constructed in bronze and represents a new Mayan era. The park also has a gazebo, plenty of shaded seating and a fantastic view of the Caribbean Sea. The little white chapel by the sea is a favorite location for weddings year round.
Playa del Carmen is rich in Mayan culture.
One attraction that displays traditional dress and music is the Mayan Dancers. They perform different ceremonies under the Portal Maya Statue with the Caribbean Sea as their backdrop. Thousands of spectators watch these centuries old spiritual dances every day.
There are several cultural acts that perform in Parque Los Fundadores.
One of them is the Danza de los Voladores – Dance of the flyers. These Indigenous Mesoamerican people who are simply known as Voladores originated in the middle of Mexico. A total of five Voladores climb a 100’ pole and perform a ritual which started when asking the gods to end the drought. In brightly colored dress, the ceremony begins with a Volador standing atop the pole beating on a small drum and playing a flute. He stands on a three foot circular platform while entertaining the gods above. The other 4 Voladores prepare themselves to swing upside down in a rotating motion to the ground below. This amazing ceremony is a site to see. Keep your camera ready at all times.
Playa del Carmen has several Mayan Ruins scattered throughout its largest gated community of Playacar.
The Ruins themselves are located in both Phase one and two of Playacar. You can acces to Phase 1 by following 10th Avenida south to Calle Norte 1. Phase 2 is also off of 10th Avenida with its own entrance before the main gate. You can follow the Xaman Ha Ruins signs or ask any of the locals and they can direct you. Once you find the ruins, there are trails that you can follow on foot that intertwine thru jungle terrain. The ruins have been restored keeping their original state intact as much as possible. It is also not unusual to find a few Mayan ruins around north Playa. For instances, there is a ruin on Calle 2 Norte going towards the beach behind the Wah Wah Beach Bar.
One of Playa’s newest attractions that offers lots of fun for adults and kids is the L’ Aquarium.
Just off 5th Avenue and Calle 14 Norte, the indoor aquarium showcases over 200 species of marine life. There are enclosed aquariums as well as walkup tanks with sharks, sting rays and turtles to mention just a few. This is a great attraction that gets you familiar with the surrounding sea life.
Playa del Carmen is famous for its beautiful beaches and gorgeous turquoise water
The Riviera Maya has over 250 miles of pristine coastline that attracts millions of tourist annually. Playa del Carmen’s sugar fine white sandy beaches offer lots of sun and fun for everyone. The beaches on the south side of Playa provide plenty of open space where you can set out a chair and umbrella to enjoy the views or read a good book.The central and northern beaches are lined with a variety bar & grills, restaurants and other activities. There are several water sport companies that offer parasailing, fishing and snorkeling trips, as well as paddle boarding and jet skiing. There is nothing more relaxing than to feel the sand between your toes, a gentle splash of warm water on your legs, and cool breezes swaying the palms above.
Playa is a major port for people who want to ferry across the channel to Cozumel
The enchanting island is popular for its world class diving (snorkeling), its beautiful sunsets, and several points of interest that include ruins and an Eco Park. Cozumel – defined as “The Island of Swallows” by the Mayan language, is an island paradise where dreams come true. Spending a day, week or month can bring plenty of adventures that will last a lifetime.
Another iconic pillar of Playa del Carmen is 5th Avenue.
It has been considered the heartbeat of Playa’s thriving restaurant and retail markets. This pedestrian friendly thoroughfare sees tens of thousands of people traveling from end to end every day. There are a wide variety of shopping opportunities that include boutiques, traditional shops and mall like stores all on one avenue.Playa’s 5th Avenue offers more than shopping and 5 star cuisines, it also provides a variety of entertainment. Starting just after dusk, street performers begin to serenade their captive audience with song and dance. The creative lighting, local music and colorful landscape adds ambience to any occasion. Playa del Carmen’s most popular Avenue is an attraction that no one should pass up.
Other great attractions you can’t miss when visiting Playa del Carmen:
Playa del Carmen is centrally located in the Riviera Maya and is a perfect spot where you can schedule tours to such places like Tulum, Xcaret Park, and Xplor Park to mention just a few themed destinations. There are several tour packages to choose from. They include a variety of transportation modes, admission and other added provisions depending on the selected package. It’s a perfect way to spend the day with family and friends.
There is one more attraction that would appeal to the golfer(s) in the family and that is the Mayakoba Golf Club. This PGA approved and certified course host the PGA’s OHL Classic which takes place in November. This Greg Norman designed links has one of the most exotic settings that winds along tropical foliage and borders the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
The above list of attractions are only suggestions that will lend to an exciting stay in Playa and its surrounding area. Once you arrive, you will have endless opportunities to see and experience what Mexico’s Riviera Maya has to offer! Paradise is only a plane flight away!