On this short but satisfying itinerary to the Yucatan Peninsula, 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. Plus, as you'll be staying all four nights in Playa del Carmen, you can enjoy your surroundings more relaxedly.
Best of Playa Del Carmen
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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The 100-mile (160 km) stretch of coast along the Yucutan Peninsula, known as the Riviera Maya, includes some of Mexico's most incredible ruins, idyllic Caribbean beaches, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. And this escape to the Riviera is so packed with memorable adventures you'll be surprised you can do it all in eight days.
For most travelers, five to eight days is the perfect amount of time for a Mexico trip with stops in Playa del Carmen. It's also possible to hit the highlights in four days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favored itinerary extensions include Valladolid, Tulum, or Mexico City. Get inspired with the below Playa del Carmen trip ideas.
Escape to the Yucatán Peninsula on this laid-back, family-friendly itinerary for a week. Based in Playa del Carmen, you'll visit ancient ruins by bicycle or "bicitaxi," enjoying pristine white-sand beaches, swimming in limestone cenotes, and floating down an underground river. A memorable day trip takes you wildlife spotting in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, where you'll learn how the locals protect this unspoiled slice of paradise.
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.
Perfect for a quick escape, this six-day road trip through the highlights of the Riviera Maya takes you south from the beaches of Playa del Carmen to the ruins of Tulum. Along the way, you'll snorkel in the world-renowned reefs around the island of Cozumel, explore the ancient wonder of Chichén Itzá, and learn to whip up traditional Mexican dishes in a Tulum cooking class.
This eight-day adventure in Mexico City & the Yucatan 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 Coyoacan. 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.
For most travelers, six to 10 days are the perfect amount of time for a Mexico trip, with stops in both Tulum and Playa del Carmen. It's also possible to hit the highlights in five days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some of our favorite itinerary extensions include Valladolid, Mexico City, or Puerto Morelos. See more ideas for Tulum and Playa del Carmen itineraries below.
Active families who like to combine beach time with more energetic pursuits in nature will love this 10-day tour of Mexico's Riviera Maya. Divide your time between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, which allows you to delve into the countryside surrounding these popular spots. If you and your kids enjoy swimming in hidden cenotes, cycling through the countryside, and touring around ancient ruins and culture-rich cities, this idyllic tour on the Yucatán Peninsula's Caribbean coast is for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yucatán Peninsula · Mexico City · Oaxaca · Valladolid · Tulum · Mérida · Holbox · Puerto Morelos · Chiapas · San Cristobal de las Casas · Palenque · Cholula · Puebla · Bacalar · Cancún · Campeche · Chunhuhub · Uxmal · Calakmul · Guadalajara · San Miguel de Allende · La Paz · Morelia · Querétaro · Guanajuato · Cabo San Lucas · Pisté · Los Cabos