The Riviera Maya offers a great variety of outdoor activities, which is a large part of what makes it such a special travel destination. Gorgeous beaches, cultural sites, stunning landscapes, cenotes, and coral reefs to only name a few, ensure you will enjoy your vacation in Playa del Carmen. To make the decision what Riviera Maya tour to take a little easier, take our quiz and look which tours guests at Playa Palms Beach Hotel like most.
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to countless archaeological sites. Many of them close to Playa del Carmen, from modest settings to large and spectacular ancient Mayan cities. And every site has its own captivating history.
One of the biggest draws in Mexico is without a doubt the iconic Chichen Itza, the remains of a big Maya city. Impressive enough as it is, only twice a year you can witness a truly awe-inspiring event.
Are you planning to spend your weekend in Playa del Carmen? You’ll find yourself in the best place on earth! With plenty of activities to do and gorgeous beaches, awesome parties, lots of culture, the most delicious food, water sports, parks… Here’s a guide to how you can get the most out of your time!
Day 1 – Stay Local at the Beach
- Start your day with a delicious breakfast from the buffet at Indigo Beach (1 – see map below), overlooking the Caribbean Sea. By the way, guests of Playa Palms Beach Hotel benefit from a discount on their breakfast buffet (or just enjoy the breakfast we serve in your room).
- Now that you’re loaded with fresh energy, let’s continue the day with a fun and wild adventure: parasailing! Ask the guys at the blue booth next to Indigo’s right at the beach. And off you fly over Playa del Carmen.
- Next stop: Mamitas (2)– Playa del Carmen’s most famous beach. Relax, cool off in the waves of the crystal clear ocean, listen to the vibes of the DJ’s at the beach club, sip on a margarita and watch the crowd.
- Later, it’s finally time to explore the infamous 5th Avenue, with plenty of shops and restaurants.
- Dinner will be at Playa del Carmen’s most unique restaurant: Alux Restaurant (3). It’s located in a cave (underground cenote) and they serve a fusion of local cuisine. More than just having dinner, this restaurant offers a whole new experience of dining you sure shouldn’t miss out! Make sure to reserve a table.
- At night get ready for the party of your life at Coco Bongo Disco & Show (4)!
Day 2 – Culture meets Jungle
- Start the day with a breakfast at Restaurant Imprevist (5) – one of the best places for breakfast in town, with something for every taste. And you know what? Guests of Playa Palms Beach Hotel benefit from a discount on their breakfast as well!
- The second day is culture infused. Because you can’t possibly visit the region without seeing its world famous ruins, that are one of the seven world wonders: Chichen Itzá. Experience the country’s rich culture and history, while strolling through the archaeological site in the midst of the jungle. If you have a rental car you can go on your own account, but we advise to take a tour. They are reasonably priced and include not only the transportation and a guide in your language, but you also get to swim in the beautiful cenote Ik-kil, the lunch buffet is included and on your way back you visit the cute colonial town Valladolid.
- You will be back in Playa del Carmen around 8 pm – perfect time for dinner at the Brazilian Churrascaria Bovinos (6). You pay a fixed prize, and will be served different cuts of quality meat as much as you want. But not only meat lovers will feel like in paradise, there’s also a buffet with a great variety of vegetables, salads, cheese, bread and surprisingly good seafood.
- If you still have some energy left, on the 12th Street are plenty of clubs waiting for you to party!
Day 3 – Viva Mexico!
- Start your last day with a breakfast at Chez Celine (7), a lovely place on the 5th Avenue with the probably best Croissants in town. Insider tip: top your breakfast off with an ice cold Mimosa.
- Then off you go to visit all of Mexico in one place: Xcaret, “Mexico’s majestic paradise”. The park offers about everything you expect from an unforgettable day trip, merging nature with fun activities and culture. There’s a tropical jungle trail, underground rivers and lagoons to go snorkeling, a museum of Mexican Folk Art, a Mayan village with its own, incredibly beautiful cemetery and many, many animals, from jaguars, to monkeys, turtles, dolphins, stingrays, butterflies and flamingos to only name a few. You can even watch Mayan ceremonies and they perform a breathtaking show about the Mexican history and culture.
- You will be back to Playa del Carmen late, around 10 pm. Since you are in Mexico it’s about time you try some real Mexican food at La Parilla (8) just 3 blocks from Playa Palms Beach Hotel. End your stay in Playa del Carmen with a real Mexican experience beyond the palate, enjoying Mariachis playing music!
We hope you come back soon and discover the many, many more adventures that are waiting for you at the Riviera Maya! Our staff at the front desk and Carlos are happy to assist you in reserving tours, entrance at Coco Bongo or make a reservation at restaurants.
You’ve probably already heard about the park, where you fly through the Riviera Maya skies and waterfalls on a zip line. Did you know you can visit Xplor also at night? Discover the night flying with zip lines and riding an ATV through the park that’s lighted by torches, bonfires and fireflies. Your entry also includes a buffet with unlimited BBQ ribs, snacks and beverages.
Get to know the rich Mexican culture in the most fun and romantic way possible: in Xoximilco! It was built to pay tribute to the original Xochimilco in Mexico City, which is considered a Culture World Heritage, and one of Mexico’s most iconic places. In Xoximilco Riviera Maya you will probably live your most authentic Mexican experience while floating on colorful gondola-like boats (trajineras) through the canals. On the boat you will be served a wide variety of Mexican food and drinks, listen to Mariachis play, and, after some Tequilas, you will probably even dance with them.
We can’t possibly talk about nighttime activities in Playa del Carmen without mentioning its famous 12th street, just around the corner of Playa Palms Beach Hotel. Even though you’re not a party animal, it’s worth just strolling through the street. Listen to the music blasting from the open air clubs, watch the fire-artists juggling burning cones while strutting on stilts through the 12th street, or just people-watch Playa del Carmen’s party folk. If you are in the mood of a good party, we highly recommend Coco Bongo and its amazing show.
Night of Kukulkán
Chichen Itzá is a must see in this region. Now you can also visit the archaeological site by night, with its centerpiece, the pyramid El Castillo, shining through the night, illuminated with colorful lights. After a guided tour you will watch a light show on the walls of El Castillo, telling you the fascinating story of Chichen Itzá and the Mayan Civilization. Please know that if you want to visit Chichen Itzá for the night show, you have to go on your own account, since there’s no tour providing this nighttime activity. At morning or afternoon just ask at the box office on site to sign up for the show. Our staff at Playa Palms Beach Hotel is happy to help you organize transportation.
Are you looking for a whole different scuba diving experience? Try diving at night. Experience a whole new world, since the underwater environment is completely different with nocturnal creatures starting to wake up and emerging from their hiding places. Especially during full moon a night dive is a unique, beautiful and mystique experience. One of the most amazing things to experience during a night dive, besides the calmness, is the bioluminescence. Invisible during day, the plankton seems to gently glow in the darkness, making you feel like you’re swimming through the starry sky.