I have to say one of my favorite trips I have been on is when I went to Playa Del Carmen and Cancun. You may say Playa Del Carmen really? I actually liked it more than Cancun. The relaxed atmosphere beat the chaotic few days we spent in Cancun.
Playa Del Carmen is about 45 minutes from Cancun international airport. You can take a taxi which costs about 65 dollars but be careful because a lot of the taxi drivers that are from Cancun don’t know Playa Del Carmen very well so you may be wondering around the city trying to find your hotel. You could take a colectivo (usually a van) that holds ten people and costs around 18 dollars pp. You could also take a direct bus from the Riviera Bus Company. The bus costs about 7 dollars pp each way. If you hotel is close to the bust station on 5th Ave. and Juarez. We used the bus system and thought it was great. The buses had air conditioning and were super convenient.
Downtown Playa Del Carmen
When we stepped off the bus we felt like we had just entered Downtown Disney. The main tourist and city area is closed to cars. Our favorite part was just walking up and down the street. Enjoy the smell of the fresh Mexican food and visit the local shops.
Why do people come to the Cancun area? For the beaches! Our hotel was one block from the beach and we were there a lot! You can just sit and read at the beach or choose an exciting water sport. You can find anything from snorkeling to paragliding.
You may see cruise ships in the distance and wonder where they are going. The answer is Cozumel. Cozumel is an island just off the cost of Mexico. The ferry costs $13 dollars per person each way and they run every hour or two from about 6 AM to 9 PM. Cozumel has great shopping, water activities, or you can just explore the island on bikes.
About 45 minutes from Playa Del Carmen sits a view into ancient history. The Tulum Ruins sits on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The entrance fee for ruins cost $3-5 dollars and a tour guide cost around $35 dollars for 1-4 people but most people will book a package.
I have done a lot of things but nothing beats swimming in the Cenotes. Imagine snorkeling or scuba diving in the ocean without the salt water. Throughout the Yucatan Peninsula is an underground river system where you can explore limestone caves and see beautiful fish. I promise you out of all the things you can do in Playa Del Carmen this will be one of your favorites.
Many people ask me if I have visited Xcaret (which I have) but honestly it wasn’t my favorite and is quite expensive for what it offered. The “underground river” was okay but felt pretty fake and there wasn’t as many fish as I was hoping for. The rest of the park feels like a small zoo. Maybe my expectations were too high but it is something I could do without.
Make sure you spend time at the amazing restaurants in Playa Del Carmen; however if you are worried about money walk a few blocks away from the tourist area and you can find more reasonable priced food.
We spent 4 days in Playa Del Carmen and 3 in Cancun, and both my friend and I loved Playa Del Carmen so much more that Cancun. Make the trip down to Playa Del Carmen you won’t regret it while visiting Cancun.