What is the best area to stay in Playa del Carmen?
Playa del Carmen is a city full of life and colors, which welcomes thousands of tourists every day in search of sun, beach and all kinds of exotic experiences.Its wonderful tropical beaches have made Playa del Carmen one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, competing with its neighbor Cancun, and although the city is full of people all year round, it is still a paradise where you can relax by sunbathing on a deck chair and enjoying a quiet swim.
The best area for to stay in Playa del Carmen is the area between the beach and Fifth Avenue The Fifth Avenue is the closest street to the beach, and close to it is where most of the tourist attractions are concentrated.Between Fifth Avenue and the beach you can stay in a variety of establishments that cover a wide range of prices, from simple hostels and cheap bed and breakfast , to large luxury hotels with stunning sea views.
If you are interested in knowing where to stay in Playa del Carmen you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in Cancun, where to stay in Tulum and where to stay in Mexico DF.
Between Fifth Avenue and the beach, the best area to stay in Playa del Carmen
The area between Fifth Avenue and the beach is the best place to stay.The area is well connected to the rest of the city, with excellent roads and bus lines, and frequent connections from Playa del Carmen to the Cancun International Airport, as well as being a very safe place, as the local police have a presence throughout the city, especially in this area due to its popularity and the high influx of tourists.
The area between Fifth Avenue and the beach is also a perfect place to walk, as most of its streets are pedestrianized and closed to traffic – except for delivery vehicles, but they make deliveries first thing in the morning, so you will hardly see them.If you don’t want to walk or get on a bus, you can move around the city with a bicycle, which you can rent from one of the various shops on the promenade, and with which you can walk along the specific cycle lanes or many other routes adapted to enjoy the landscape while pedalling.
The beach is the main attraction of the city.Here you can enjoy a nice swim in its clean and crystalline waters, which will surely refresh you, and you can also lie down to rest on the fine white sand or on a sunbed in the shade of a parasol made of dried palm leaves. In addition, on the beach you can hire various activities and practice all kinds of water sports such as swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing , paragliding and many others.Its great length along the coast favours that there are no big crowds of people, although near the docks they are a little bit busier, since it is where several of the activities offered by the place are concentrated, such as fishing, diving and several excursions to different exotic places.
Besides the beach the area has many other places of interest, such as buildings with exceptional architecture and many other colorful buildings decorated with flowers, as well as several bazaars where you can buy various souvenirs and sinister items to practice voodoo and other types of traditional magic, picturesque bars set in traditional Mexico and various spectacular statues, the most famous of all, the Mayan Portal.
Along Fifth Avenue you will find many travel agencies that organize various outings and excursions where you can sign up, ranging from short activities that last a few hours, to visits that cover a whole day.You can hire activities such as scuba diving in ceñotes, caves full of fresh water; visits to the paradisiacal island of Cozumel, and guided excursions where you can visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Xel-Ha, Coba Laguna and Chichen Itza; if you travel with your family, you will not be able to spend a magnificent day in the Mayan theme park of Xcaret, full of attractions and cultural shows.
Walking along Fifth Avenue you will surely find several street artists such as magicians, fire spitters, illusionists, musicians and painters, who make this place a little more spectacular.The same avenue is also home to many shops and malls such as the Centro Maya and the Plaza de las Americas, where you will find various leisure offers and all kinds of shops selling various products, from clothes and accessories of both local and internationally famous brands, to technology, beach equipment and sports equipment, not to mention the famous Mexican and Cuban cigars.
The night in Playa del Carmen is bustling and lively, the area is full of pubs and bars with karaoke, happy hour and live music, where you can have a cocktail while contemplating the wonderful views of the beach, you will also find several clubs and discos near the beach where you can dance and have fun until the sun comes up.There is a wide range of restaurants along Fifth Avenue and along the beach, where you can taste traditional Mexican and native food, as well as many others where you can enjoy typical food from other parts of the world.
If you want to spend a few days in Playa del Carmen, between Fifth Avenue and the beach you can stay in a variety of establishments that cover a wide range of prices, from simple hostels, apartments and cheap bed & breakfast , to large luxury hotels of international chains with stunning sea views, and various beach resorts where you can perform all kinds of activities.
Hotels on Fifth Avenue
Playa del Carmen, which is now one of the largest cities in Quintana Roo, sits at the height of Tulum as one of the most modern places on the Riviera.sitting coldly on the leeward side of Cozumel, the city’s beaches are packed with superb Europeans.the waters are not as clear as those of Cancun or Cozumel, and the sand is not as perfect as the dust further north, but still, «Playa» grows and grows.
Stay in Playa del Carmen Center
Once a small fishing village, Playa experienced a huge tourism and population boom after the Cozumel ferry began serving here.Since 1995, the residential population has grown tenfold, and most of the people working in the tourism industry cater to the millions of travelers who arrive through the hundreds of new hotels and resorts that have sprung up.the city center is home to a large number of resorts, mostly located along the long public beach that runs through the city and beyond.
Playa’s downtown is known for its lively atmosphere, especially along Fifth Avenue, the beach and 12th Street North.Quinta Avenida runs for four kilometers, starting at the Paseo del Carmen shopping center in the southwest and ending near Paradisus Resorts at its northwest end. The first three or more kilometers are for pedestrians only, each side is filled with shopping malls, street vendors, the best restaurants in town and quiet bars.The newest and most striking part of the city is here, near the Quinta Alegria shopping center, and the beach is home to several beach clubs with lots of music, cocktails and snacks, the best of which are Mamita’s Beach Club and Coralina Daylight Club.The biggest clubs are Coco Bongo, Mandala and La Vaquita, all of which have sister properties in Cancun, but the best is Diablito Cha Cha Cha.
Best hotels in Playa del Carmen Centro
- Mahekal Beach Resort
- Playacar Palace
- Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen
- Live Aqua Boutique Resort
- Thompson Playa del Carmen
- Thompson Beach House
- The Carmen Hotel
The best restaurants in Playa del Carmen Centro
- Las Hijas de la Tostada – $$ – $$$ – Seafood Toast Pumps starry guacamole and creative cocktails, served outdoors.
- Oh la La!- $$$$ – Intimate and exclusive price with local ingredients and international flavors.
- Ah Carbon!- $ – Casual, authentic, set of tacos, with the best al pastor in town.
- Byblos – $$ – $$ – French and Italian dinner with an excellent selection of wines.
Stay in Playa del Carmen North
At the far end of Quinta Avenida, the North Playa area is home to several luxury resorts, residences and restaurants, along an impressive stretch of beach.This area is substantially less populated than the downtown area and at the same time is easily accessible, only a twenty or thirty minute walk to downtown (depending on the resort) or a quick ten minute drive. This is an ideal place for travelers looking to have all the varied experiences the city has to offer, while being far enough away from the party atmosphere for a quiet rest.
Best hotels in Playa del Carmen North
- Viceroy Riviera Maya
- Paradisus La Esmeralda
- Blue Fives Hotel
- Paradisus La Perla
Best Restaurants in North Playa del Carmen
- Los Asados de Patzcúaro – $$ – $$$ – Impressive hole in the wall for fantastic grilled meats and more
- XG Extra Flavor – $$ – $$$ – Family breakfast and lunch spot for authentic flavors, popular with locals.
Stay at Mayakoba
This is a luxury resort on the northern edge of Playa del Carmen.Its design incorporates the natural geography of the area, with cenotes, lagoons and a sandy beach, and is home to a variety of native animals, such as coatis, iguanas, spider monkeys and tropical birds.The complex includes a PGA golf course and the village of El Pueblito, designed after a traditional Mexican town square with a chapel, art gallery and restaurants. Most people travel by boat taxi on the lagoon, included in the hotel rates, but guests can also walk or use the bicycles that the resorts offer to tour the nature trail.
Best hotels in Mayakoba (Playa del Carmen)
- Banyan Tree Mayakoba
- Rosewood Mayakoba
- Fairmont Mayakoba
- Andaz Mayakoba
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Best Restaurants at Mayakoba (Playa del Carmen)
- Koba Club – $$ – $$$ – Mexican and American casual favorites at El Camaleón Golf Course.
- El Jardín del Arte – $$ – $$$ – Fresh Mexican favorites in a funky garden setting. daily breakfast and lunch, open late with live music on Fridays.
Stay at Riviera Maya North
Riviera Maya runs along the coast, from south of Cancun to south of Tulum, with Playa del Carmen in the center.The stretch of beach on the mainland is led by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which stretches from Cancun to Guatemala.
The northern Riviera Maya, between Playa and Cancun, is home to some of the largest all-inclusive resorts.Most of them sit in mangrove forests on long stretches of reef-protected beaches, mostly for gentle waves.outside the two main towns here, Puerto Morelos and Punta Maroma, the resort beaches are almost private, because they are not within walking distance of anything.Near Puerto Morales, the northernmost of the towns, travelers will find a botanical garden and the Croco Cun Zoo, with several refreshing cenotes inland. Punta Maroma has a more pristine beach, as well as dolphin encounters and more at Maroma Adventures.
Best hotels in Riviera Maya North (Playa del Carmen)
- El Dorado Maroma
- Blue Diamond
- Generations Riviera Maya
- El Dorado Royale
- Valentin Imperial Maya
Best restaurants in Riviera Maya North (Playa del Carmen)
- DK – $$ – $$$ – Amazing restaurant in a shipping container.Their signature menu item is lionfish, prepared as tacos, burgers or Thai style.
- La Sirena – $$ – $$$ – Mediterranean and Mexican flavors with balcony seating, live music and a dance floor.
- Doña Triny’s – $ – Just like home, Mexican cuisine with authentic flavors, open all day.
Stay in Riviera Maya South
The southern Riviera Maya, between Playa and Tulum, has long strips of white sand beach, protected by the reef and Cozumel, which makes the waves softer.The main city between Playa and Tulum is Puerto Aventuras, with a Dolphin Discovery park, along with restaurants and resorts. Some of the biggest attractions in the southern Riviera Maya are the adventure parks, such as Xel-Ha, Xcaret and Rio Secreto. This is also home to the largest and most popular cenotes; Akumal, Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, and many more.
Best hotels in South Riviera Maya (Playa del Carmen)
- Hotel Esencia
- Hotel Xcaret Mexico
- Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
- Grand Palladium
The best restaurants in Riviera Maya South (Playa del Carmen)
- El Arbolito – $ – Cheap and cheerful taco shop excellent local experience.
- Makito Fusion Restaurant – $$ – $$$ – Really impressive Sushi, killer Thai-Japanese dishes and beautiful views of the marina.
- See Also: Best Hotels in Playa del Carmen