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.
While on vacation in Playa del Carmen there are so many options for a tour to take that it might be difficult to decide. Of course, our concierge at Playa Palms Beach Hotel is happy to advice you and find the perfect excursion for you. But for more fun, take also our quiz to help you find the activity you will enjoy most!
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Mexico is a special place, extremely diverse with a whole lot more to offer than just tequila and good parties. You find the most beautiful beaches at the incredible 9330 km of coastline, volcanoes, 67 national parks, an extremely rich culture and don’t even get us started on the food… Each region has its own charms, and there sure is a reason why the Riviera Maya is so highly ranked among international and national travelers.
Picture perfect beaches
The Riviera Maya has not only some of the most gorgeous beaches in Mexico but in the world. What makes them special apart from the azure water and the palm-tree-framed beaches, is that the powder white sand is not burning hot. Since its composed of crushed coral, the sand stays cool to the touch regardless of how hot the day is. Look forward to not burning your feet, lay back in a hammock, sip on an ice-cold drink and simply enjoy life. These are the most beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya.
Discover a magical underworld of turquoise pools! Cenotes are spectacular spots to swim, snorkel or dive. They are natural pits that developed over millions of years by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock, which has revealed groundwater pools. For the ancient Mayan civilization cenotes where the only source of water in the jungle. They were considered sacred, and portals to communicate with the underworld.Plunge into the crystal clear, fresh, and cool water in a cave or cavern, or swim under a jungle-framed sky! Check out the best cenotes of the region.
In Mexico, you find plenty of pre-Columbian ruins. Many of them on the Yucatan peninsula, like Chichen Itza or Cobá. They are all beautiful in their own way. But none of them has a breathtaking scenery like Tulum. Mayans weren’t really fond of beachfront properties. This makes Tulum’s setting unique, built on a spectacular cliffside, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. There is a reason why Tulum is the 3rd most visited archaeological site in Mexico! Learn all about Tulum.
Every summer, these peaceful giants make a stop in the pristine waters around Isla Mujeres and up north in Holbox. There are only very few things in the world that compare to swimming with whale sharks, and the Riviera Maya is one of only a few destinations where you can live this unforgettable adventure. Peak season is in July and August. Here’s all you need to know to swim with whale sharks.
Cultural Theme Parks
Yes, of course, there are great theme parks wit big names all over the world. But Xcaret and Xel-ha have their own unparalleled magic. The eco-archaeological park Xcaret highlights the best of Mexican and Mayan culture and the natural beauty of the region. More than 40 different attraction await you, like a Mayan village, forest trails, underground rivers, or even swim with dolphins! When the night falls, head to the on-site theater for a spectacular show featuring the best in Mexican culture, dance, and history.
Xel-ha, composed of lagoons, inlets, and cenotes, is known as the world’s largest natural aquarium. It has an enormous estuary with hundreds of tropical fish, featuring some archaeological remains of the Mayans, as well as caverns and cenotes.
Playa del Carmen’s nightlife
Sure, there are great parties in Cancun any many other Mexican cities too. But there’s something special about Playa del Carmen’s nightlife. Besides of the big and famous clubs like for example Cocobongo or Mandala, there are many special events and festivals and quirky places. One of our favorites are Playa del Carmen’s many beachside bars, to enjoy a tasty cocktail with a view. Here’s a guide to Playa del Carmen’s nightlife.
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.