Best of Playa Del Carmen

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Playa del Carmen
The heart of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is a festive seaside town well-loved by expats and foreign travelers for its tropical beaches, open-air restaurants and buzzing nightlife. You can spend the day lounging by the Caribbean or going snorkeling or diving, then cap the afternoon with live music and a fire-dancing show by the shoreline. Nearby attractions include magnificent cenotes (natural pools), Mayan ruins and adventure parks. 

Previous kimkim travelers have enjoyed hiking and swimming in the underground cavern aptly named Rio Secreto just south of town. Stretches of delicate rainforest still survive near Playa del Carmen, which can be explored on environmentally-focused birdwatching tours. The town’s urban art scene continues to turn heads. A street art tour by bike takes in some of Playa’s mural masterpieces.
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Cancun's idyllic coastline
Family Vacation on the Yucatán Peninsula - 5 Days

Bring the whole family on this relaxing holiday on the Yucatán Peninsula. On this short but satisfying itinerary, you'll sunbathe and swim on the white sandy beaches of the Riviera Maya, spot wildlife in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, and explore the water-filled natural cave formations of  Rio Secreto.

Take a refreshing dip in a cenote in the Yucután jungle
Map of Family Adventure in the Riviera Maya - 8 days
Family Adventure in the Riviera Maya - 8 days

The 100-mile (160-km) stretch of coast along the Yucután Peninsula known as the Riviera Maya includes some of Mexico's most incredible ruins, idyllic Caribbean beaches, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. And this family escape to the Riviera is so packed with unforgettable adventures you'll be surprised you can do it all in eight days. From exploring underground caves to hiking up ancient Maya pyramids, you and your family will create memories to last a lifetime.

Bacalar Lagoon
Mayan Culture & Beaches of the Riviera Maya - 8 Days

Enjoy this getaway to the Riviera Maya with a mix of cultural experiences and relaxing on the beach. Base yourself in lively Playa del Carmen as you explore Mayan ruins, swim in picturesque cenotes, and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea along the white sandy coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Riviera Maya
Map of Mexico Culture, Food & Beaches: Mexico City & Playa del Carmen - 8 Days
Mexico Culture, Food & Beaches: Mexico City & Playa del Carmen - 8 Days

This eight-day adventure in Mexico City & the Yucatán is the perfect mix of history, culture, and delicious food. It begins in the capital with various food tours and visits to historic neighborhoods like Coyoacán. Then you'll jet off to Mexico's famous Riviera Maya for fun in the sun on the beaches of Playa del Carmen, plus tours of awe-inspiring Maya ruins and visits to indigenous communities to explore underground lagoons.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Map of History, Culture & Beaches: Riviera Maya & Valladolid - 11 Days
History, Culture & Beaches: Riviera Maya & Valladolid - 11 Days

Escape to the Yucatán Peninsula, a region in southern Mexico known for its unparalleled beauty. On this adventure, you'll spend a lot of time on the famed Riviera Maya, a section of the Caribbean coast lined with white-sand beaches fronting turquoise waters. Aside from beach time, you'll also explore ancient Maya ruins, swim in underground rivers, and hike around nature reserves in and around Valladolid and the coast.

A cenote in the Yucatan
Map of Hidden Mexico: Explore the Yucatán Peninsula - 12 Days
Hidden Mexico: Explore the Yucatán Peninsula - 12 Days

With 12 days to spare, you can discover the best of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula with plenty of time to relax and soak up the beach life. Start in Valladolid to learn about traditional cuisine and Maya cities such as Chichen Itz. Swim in little-known cenotes, explore the Cobá archeological site by bike, and while the day away on Playa del Carmen's beaches. Finish your trip with four days on Holbox Island, where you'll swim with whale sharks, observe exotic birds, and cruise through mangroves by kayak.

Take in the ancient Maya ruins and lie out on the pristine beaches of the Riviera Maya
Map of Riviera Maya Road Trip - 13 Days
Riviera Maya Road Trip - 13 Days

The Caribbean side of Mexico isn't known as the western Riviera for nothing—this stunning section of coast is lined with white-sand beaches home to towering hotels overlooking turquoise waters. More than that, it's filled with ancient Maya ruins, fairy-tale cenotes, and unspoiled nature reserves. You'll see all this and more as you spend 13 days on a self-drive tour around the region's natural highlights and resort towns—from Tulum to Playa del Carmen to Holbox Island.

Cancún
Map of Mexico Ruins, Beaches & Nightlife: Cancún, Tulum & Playa del Carmen - 6 Days
Mexico Ruins, Beaches & Nightlife: Cancún, Tulum & Playa del Carmen - 6 Days

If you're in need of a quick escape to a tropical paradise, you can't do much better than Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Over six packed days, you'll visit the highlights of the region's famous Riviera Maya, from the resorts and nightlife of Cancún to the ancient Maya fortress ruins at Tulum. You'll even venture below the earth for a dip in the largest underground river in the world.

Join a boat tour through captivating Sumidero Canyon
Map of Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days
Highlights of Chiapas & Yucatán - 13 Days

This 13-day adventure covers the highlights of two of southern Mexico's most historic and naturally beautiful states: Chiapas & Yucatán. In the former, you'll tour natural wonders like Sumidero Canyon and the Agua Azul waterfalls. In the latter, you'll visit its most famous archeological sites, like Palenque and Uxmal, while also enjoying the white-sand beaches of Holbox Island and Playa del Carmen.

Maya ruins near Tulum
Map of Explore the Real Riviera Maya – 8 Days
Explore the Real Riviera Maya – 8 Days

Discover authentic Mexican life on this sustainable tour of the Riviera Maya. Take a road trip from Valladolid to Tulum, stopping at sparkling forest cenotes, biosphere reserves, and ancient Maya ruins like the UNESCO-listed Chichén Itzá. Along the way, you'll meet corn farmers, rap groups, and the founder of a wildlife conservation project. Soak up some Mexican culture with a traditional steam bath and mariachi evening, then finish up on the white-sand beaches of Playa del Carmen.

Ancient Maya ruins of Ek'Balam
Map of Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas &  Yucatán - 12 Days
Highlights of Southern Mexico: Chiapas & Yucatán - 12 Days

This family-friendly itinerary of southern Mexico combines cultural activities with plenty of natural exploration. The first half of your trip will see you exploring Chiapas' Sumidero Canyon, el Chiflón and Misol-Ha waterfalls, and the impressive ruins of Palenque. From there, you will head to colonial-era Campeche where you will pick up your rental car and tour the Yucatán: from modern Mayan communities to ancient ruins, from refreshing cenotes to the white sands of Holbox Island.

Tulum, Mexico
Map of Mayan Discovery:  Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days
Mayan Discovery: Sumidero Canyon, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cancun - 11 days

Get a full dose of sun and sea while learning about Mexico's rich Mayan history as you travel from the beaches of Tulum to the wonders of Chichén Itzá pyramid. This journey through a few regions of Mexico will give you ample time to relax while experiencing the country's mystical, handicraft, and culinary traditions, and seeing its significant architectural monuments.

Relax on the pristine beaches of La Paz on the Baja California peninsula
Map of Mexico City, Baja & the Yucatán - 13 Days
Mexico City, Baja & the Yucatán - 13 Days

Over 13 days, you'll visit some of Mexico's most naturally beautiful and culturally rich areas. Experience the food, culture, and history of Mexico City, hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán, then immerse yourself in indigenous culture on the Yucatán Peninsula. You'll also go off the tourist trail in Baja, California, with a boat tour of Isla Espíritu Santo, hikes through desert mountains, and snorkeling at Cabo Pulmo.

Take a dip in the Caribbean Sea after exploring the Tulum Archaeological Zone
Map of Cultural Highlights of Mexico - 13 Days
Cultural Highlights of Mexico - 13 Days

A great thing about Mexico is that its cultural highlights also make for some of the most fun activities. You'll experience many such adventures over 13 days as you tour the historic center of Mexico City, hike the pyramids of Teotihuacán, and visit colorful neighborhoods like Xochimilco. Then you're off to the famous Yucatán Peninsula to tour the ruins of ancient Maya cities, participate in indigenous cultural exchanges, and enjoy beach time on the Caribbean coast and the Holbox Island.

The archaeological site of Palenque in the state of Chiapas
Map of Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days
Archaeology & Culture in Mexico - 15 Days

Discover Mexico, a country home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (35) than any other nation in the Americas. Over 15 days, you'll tour many of these archeological marvels, like the ancient cities of Teotihuacán, Palenque, Chichén Itzá, and more. Beyond that, you'll visit natural highlights like the majestic Sumidero Canyon, the waterfalls at Agua Azul, and the marine reserve at Puerto Morelos.

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Yucatan Peninsula · Mexico City · Tulum · Valladolid · Oaxaca · Holbox · Chiapas · Puerto Morelos · Merida · San Cristobal de las Casas · Cancun · Palenque · Cholula · Bacalar · Puebla · Campeche · Uxmal · Chunhuhub · Calakmul · Guadalajara · San Miguel de Allende · La Paz · Morelia · Cabo San Lucas · Pisté · Los Cabos · Guanajuato · Querétaro