The Top Attractions and Riviera Maya Activities
Playa del Carmen is nothing short of one of the most exciting destinations in the world. Not only is the natural beauty of the region absolutely spectacular, but the abundance of amazing things to see, do and experience is second-to-none. So if you’re looking for truly memorable ways to enjoy your time here, take a look at our guide to the top Riviera Maya activities, and start planning your itinerary!
New York isn’t the only town with a can’t-miss “Fifth Avenue.” Playa del Carmen’s most popular thoroughfare runs just along the beach, so the sunshine, sea breeze, and views are nothing short of spectacular. Even so, the reason you’ll want to go is to browse the incredible shops, most of which are unique to this street. Here, you’ll find souvenirs, gifts, original art, colorful clothing, and more at hundreds of stops.
Many visitors to the area enjoy swimming in the warm Caribbean waters off the coast. And the beaches certainly are breathtaking! But if you want to take a dip like a local, you’ll need to make your way to one of our many cenotes. What is a cenote? It’s a natural underground pool formed when underground springs wash away limestone, forming a depression filled with cool, crystal-clear water. And there are hundreds of cenotes located very near to us.
As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the incredible archaeological site at Chichen Itza draws thousands of visitors per year. This ancient, pre-Hispanic city was built by the Mayan people, and much of the site has remained intact for more than 1,500 years. Its most impressive feature is the multi-tiered, pyramid-shaped Temple of Kukulcán, which stands nearly 100 feet high. An awe-inspiring amount of original art and architecture still survives at the site.
The caves at Rio Secreto (or “Secret River”) are an absolute must-see when visiting the area. The limestone caverns of this protected nature reserve an impressive sight to behold, with nearly 24 miles of semi-flooded limestone chambers stretching off in multiple directions. Stalactite and stalagmite formations formed over thousands of years conceal twists, turns and natural halls, many of which were used in rituals by the ancient tribes of the area.
The beautiful Parque los Fundadores is, in many ways, the heart of Playa Del Carmen. This public park area is a gathering place for the people of the city, a public performance venue for music, dance and cultural festivals, and also hosts street vendors selling colorful art, clothing, and delicious food. The centerpiece of the park is one of the most famous pieces of public art in Mexico: the Portal Maya statue. It’s mandatory to get a souvenir photo beneath it.
The waters off of Playa Del Carmen are world-renowned for being a premier site for scuba diving — and for good reason. The incredible variety of the underwater ecosystem means you’ll see abundant plant and animal life here, including bull sharks, sea turtles, and rays. There are many underwater cenotes and caves to explore as well as kelp forests and colorful coral. The best part? The water is warm and welcoming at all times of the year.
Planning a visit to Playa del Carmen? The team at Mahekal Beach Resort is always happy to suggest amazing things to see and do in the area. Be sure to take a look at our Special Offers page to select the travel bundle that’s right for you. We look forward to helping you explore the area!