Playa del Carmen and its surroundings are a paradise for nature lovers. There are miles and miles of coastline, with many stunning natural attractions to visit that go far beyond the beautiful tropical beaches. Here are Playa Palms Beach Hotel’s top picks.
You can’t talk about natural attractions of the region without mentioning Sian Ka’an, one of the most breathtaking places on the peninsula. The biosphere reserve is just south of Tulum, and thus not part of the Riviera Maya anymore. But the fact that it is home to 103 species of mammals, 345 species of birds, and more than 1400 species of plants makes the trip worth it. Visitors can spot jaguars, pumas, monkeys, deer, boars, crocodiles, and dolphins – to only mention a few. You can take two different tours, either with a jeep or part with a jeep and part on a boat. We recommend the tour with the boat since the streets in the park are pretty rough. Plus, you get to enjoy the scenic ride along mangrove forests, canals, and the lagoon.
Combine nature and culture by visiting this stunning pyramid in the middle of the jungle. Coba is the largest archaeological site on the Yucatan peninsula and boasts the tallest pyramid. Its surroundings are unlike any others too. The site has four lakes and numerous Mayan monuments, which you can see on a short hike or you can get a ride on bike-taxis which is a lot of fun. Also unlike most other archeological sites, in Coba you can climb the pyramid. On top, a spectacular view over the Mayan jungle awaits you. We recommend taking a tour to visit Coba since the explanations about the Mayan culture and the meaning of the buildings really improve your experience. Guests of Playa Palms Beach Hotel can book tours on site, at our tours desk.
You can’t, really, you cannot travel to Playa del Carmen and much less if you’re a nature lover, without visiting a cenote. These natural sinkholes are unique to the region and are breathtakingly beautiful. There is a myriad of cenotes among the peninsula; some of them are open, some are subterranean and in caves, all of them beautiful in their own way. Chaak-tun is very easy to reach. From Playa Palms Beach Hotel it’s about a 15 minutes taxi ride. Don’t miss out on the unique experience of swimming and snorkeling among centuries old stalactites and stalactites!
This gorgeous beach (pronounced ish-kah-cell) truly is a hidden gem, known only by very few tourists. It’s a bit outside of Playa del Carmen, towards Tulum. To get there, you can either use public transportation, get a cab or rent a car. Besides of being a tropical eye-candy with its white, sandy beach, turquoise waters and swaying palm trees, Xcacel is also home to a turtle sanctuary. And just steps from the beach, in the middle of nature, surrounded by the jungle, there is a small cenote. Part of the beach, where the turtles’ nests are, is cordoned off. Starting in July until late fall, you can witness the turtles hatch and crawl towards the sea to start their big adventure.
This lake close to Tulum really is a hidden treasure. You need to rent a car to get there, but it’s absolutely worth it. There are many lakes and lagoons like this among the Riviera Maya. What makes this one so special, is the fact that its center is a cenote. You can tell by the color contrast; the cenote has very blue water, while the sides of the lake are of a turquoise and jade color. The lake is surrounded by jungle which gives it an even more natural feeling.
Contact us or approach our staff at the Playa Palms Beach Hotel if you need any further information or want to organize an excursion.