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Playa del Carmen

4.2 /5 19 votes

Weather:

Best Time: April - May, October - March Read More

Ideal duration: 6 days

Nearest Airport: CancĂșn Check Flights

"Drool over the fancy beaches and reefs"

Playa del Carmen Tourism

Outlined by the exotic Carbbean Sea, Playa Del Carmen is a beach resort town that also touches Riviera Maya to bring a natural bliss to this Mayan habitat. Close to Cancun and Cozumel, this blooming tourist spot is home to many European expats. As a result, you can find a blend of authentic Mexican flavors and sophisticated lifestyle in this beach-side city.

Playa Del Carmen is a perfect destination for those seeking a laid-back vacation on a beachside. In addition to sunbathing and swimming on the shore, you can also go for diving into the crystal-clear water, or snorkel into the ocean to befriend colorful tropical fishes. La Quinta Avenida is the most happening street in the city with an exuberant nightlife, a vibrant shopping spree and mouth-watering authentic delicacies. Come to Playa (that's what locals love to call it) and discover the mesmerising beauty of marine life, centuries-old Mayan culture, and the ultimate joy of relaxing in an indigenous fishing village.

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History of Playa del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen was a home to Mayan civilization during its earliest stage. Until 1500, it was an important center for religion and trade for Mayans. Spanish invaders brought Catholicism and small pox along with them in 1518. This dwindled the population of Mayans, although some of them managed to set up small fishing villages in the area to preserve their losing culture. It gradually continued to grow as a vital port for trade in Mexico. Until 1980s, it was just an intermediary between Cozumel and Cancun which had already gained popularity as tourist destinations. However Playa Del Carmen soon caught the attention of travellers, and tourism started flourishing in the city.

Nightlife in Playa del Carmen

Most of the night clubs in Playa stay open till 6 am. Although there are not a lot of happening bars and clubs here like Cancun, but still you can find some great places between the Fifth Avenue and the beach.

Shopping in Playa del Carmen

Popular souvenirs to buy in Playa Del Carmen are ceramics, embellished mirrors, leather items, blankets, embroidery works and alcohol. 5th Avenue (La Quinta Avenida) is the most buzzing area to spot flea markets, street shops and some branded stores. Don't forget to haggle over the prices.

Currency in Playa del Carmen

Visa and MasterCards are usually accepted at several shops and restaurants, but cash is still the best option to consider. Some shopkeepers might agree on accepting payments in USD, but it won't be a great deal for your pocket. Making payments in MXN is a smart choice for tourists.

Exchanging Money in Playa del Carmen

There are very few banks which offer exchange services to people who are not their customers.The best way is to withdraw the local currency using ATMs. You'll get a much better rate, without any problem. Make sure you inform your bank about your trip in advance.

Daily Budget for Playa del Carmen

A budget traveler would easily manage food, bottled water, entertainment & activities, transportation and a drink with MXN 200 - 300. Mid-ranged expenditures increase this cost upto MXN 500 - 700. A luxurious day spent in Playa would cost more than MXN 1200 depending upon the preferences.

Religion of Playa del Carmen

Catholicism

Playa del Carmen Customs

Being in a beach city, people here can usually be seen wandering in their shorts and sandals. Though you must dress properly when walking in a high-end restaurant or hotel. People in Playa are fashionably late, particularly for social gatherings. Try matching up with the laid-back pace of the city, you'll feel less annoyed (business meetings are an exception). 10% - 15% tip is expected by waiters, while taxi drivers expect you to round up the bill.

Language of Playa del Carmen

Spanish is the language majorly spoken. Since it is a tourist-town; hotel staff, shopkeepers and some locals would usually talk to you in English. But it'd be better if you come prepared with a basic knowledge of their language.

Restaurants and Local Food in Playa del Carmen

There are a lot of traditional Mayan dishes you can try out to get an authentic gastronomic experience in Playa. You'll need to ditch the main tourist area to look for restaurants offering local dishes, such as Pibil (made of chicken or pork), poc chuc (grilled pork marinated in orange), Molletes (bread with beans, cheese and veggies) and Churros (a fried snack). Other than these, you can always please your tummy with popular Mexican food, such as tacos, tortillas, tamales, etc.
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How To Reach Playa del Carmen

After arriving at the Cancun Airport, you can take a bus to reach Playa, where the bus stops at 5th Avenue and Juarez. If you're coming from Cozumel, you'll have to ride in a ferry to reach the city.

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