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Things to Do in Playa del Carmen

Exploring All the Area Has to Offer

Long before modern resorts and restaurants dotted these lush shores, the Mayan people inhabited the Yucatán peninsula. As one of the most developed cultures of the ancient world, the Maya built advanced cities, complete with grand structures stretching to the sky. Many of these examples of early architecture are remarkably well-preserved, despite being 3,000 or more years old. Several local tour companies offer guided exploration of these impressive places.  

La Quinta Avenida, world-famous for stunning artisan-crafted jewelry, handmade home décor, ceramic pottery, runway-ready fashion, and souvenirs, Fifth Avenue is just steps from our front door. No matter what you’re searching for, you’re bound to find it here — and at a very shopper-friendly price. 

For those interested in the mysteries of the deep — or even just a few feet down — Playa del Carmen offers some of the most rewarding diving  and snorkeling experiences in the world. An abundant diversity of aquatic life thrives within the sun-kissed waters of the Caribbean, just waiting to be discovered. Colorful tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine animals make their homes here. The breathtaking Riviera Maya coral reef is also nearby and provides an incredible example of this truly awesome natural formation. Whether you’re an experienced scuba expert or just want to put on some goggles and take a peek, you’ll find plenty of opportunity. Our staff is always happy to help arrange a trek!

When it comes to talking about the most undeniably gorgeous natural landscape features on the planet, Mexico’s cenotes are never far from the top of the list. Cenotes are formed when the rock ceiling of an underground cavern opens, allowing water, sunlight, and vegetation to find space within its limestone walls. The result is a naturally replenishing swimming hole filled with pristine blue water and fascinating rock formations. The ancient Mayan people considered these places sacred — once you experience them, it’s not difficult to understand why. Our staff are happy to recommend local tour groups who schedule regular excursions to these beautiful spots.

Riviera Maya is home to many nature preserves, aquariums, and natural havens for an incredibly diverse array of local wildlife. Xcaret is a family-friendly “eco-archeological” theme park that celebrates the natural beauty of the region with exhibits ranging from a coral reef display to a snorkel tour. Akumal (“Place of the Turtles”) sits between Playa del Carmen and nearby Tulum and offers visitors a glimpse into a local wild sea turtle colony. And the Sian Ka'an (“Origin of the Sky”) Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO-protected biome that is home to wild cats, native primates, and over 300 species of colorful tropical birds.

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