Welcome to the Riviera Maya, a natural paradise where beautiful sceneries of the Caribbean Sea, rainforests, mangroves, lagoons, and even underground rivers await you. Here is where you get the best out of the stunning landscapes and wildlife nearby Playa del Carmen.
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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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.
Rain? In the Caribbean paradise of Playa del Carmen? Yes, it happens. But that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your vacation, as there are plenty of activities to do when the weather strikes. Check out our suggestions below!
Head underground and visit one of the many cenotes. Even though outside it’s pouring, you won’t feel a bit of it while exploring underground rivers.
In Rio Secreto for example you can hike and swim through canals while admiring stalactites and stalagmites. The nature reserve forms the longest partially flooded cave system in the Yucatan peninsula. Expect a lot of awe and adventure!
Also very close to Playa del Carmen is the cenote Chaak Tun. Chaak being the Mayan god of rain – maybe while you are at it, ask him to calm the pouring down a bit? The cenote is only a short cab ride from downtown Playa del Carmen and definitely worth a visit.
If you don’t mind getting wet a little and are looking for fun and adventure, Xplor might be your choice. Fly on zip-lines over the trees and enjoy the view over the Mexican Caribbean! Or drive an amphibious vehicle through the jungle and caverns, and discover the underground rivers on a raft. For a very special experience, visit the park after sunset.
Definitely worth a visit, regardless of the weather, is Xcaret. The natural park is focused on Mexican culture and has a lot to do and see. Like a beautiful Mayan cemetery, an indoor-aquarium, or a hacienda. Make sure you don’t miss the epic show at night!
Just as epic is the Cirque Du Soleil’s Joya Show. Music, dancing, animals, planets, flavors and the Mexican culture are part of the show. It can be booked with or without dinner, and why not start the evening with drink at the cenote?
Shopping malls are a good choice too. You cannot only explore the stores there, but also go to the movies. About a ten minutes cab ride from downtown is Plaza las Américas, or visit the significantly bigger Plaza las Américas in Cancun. Both malls have a cinema, you can check online what movies they are showing and if they are shown in English.
For further information or to book a tour or transportation to one of the places mentioned, just ask Carlos, our concierge.
Most importantly, don’t let the rain get you down and make the best of it. Good news is, it probably won’t last for long.