The now extremely popular seaside resort of Playa del Carmen is a wonderful blend of tropical Caribbean sunshine and endless white sand beaches; European expat culinary influences; a bustling, lively 5th Avenue where the whole world converges on the many shops, restaurants and bars; the surrounding sub-tropical jungle filled with an incredible array of natural treasures and ancient Mayan history; all against the backdrop of the incredibly warm, hospitable Mexican culture.
The list of things to do in Playa del Carmen is endless, suiting all travel styles and with a range of activities that will satisfy travelers looking for anything from classic, solo, family, luxury to active, cultural and eco travel. Adventure tours are readily available and include a wide variety of activities from water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, kite surfing and wave running to nature oriented options like bird watching, whale shark swimming, snorkeling with sea turtles and cenote exploring. Land based adventure activities include biking tours, zip-lining, rappelling and ATV’s.
It is however the unique landscape that offers some of the best experiences for travelers of all types. The formation of the Yucatan Peninsula is a well documented process that started millions of years ago when the Yucatan Peninsula was an ocean reef set under several feet of seawater, was subsequently exposed during the last ice age, and eventually formed a mile thick limestone platform from the decomposed marine coral and other fauna. Over thousands of years massive, intricate cave systems were formed by the falling of slightly acidic rain and the consequent, gradual dissolving of the highly porous coral limestone.
It is here in these underground systems where visitors are able to view unimaginably beautiful scenes. Huge caverns filled with thousands of mostly pure white geological formations that include stalactites, stalagmites, and even stranger helictites, precious cave pearls and awesome columns reaching from floor to ceiling. Entangled roots that have broken through the rock ceiling and fall down to the cavern floor in search of the thirst quenching crystal clear fresh waters that flow abundantly through all of these systems. And the unique surrounding silence that accompanies visitors throughout their exploration, whether walking, swimming, snorkeling or cave diving.
Playa del Carmen may be a trendy place to be on vacation for all of its lively bars, restaurants, beach clubs, shops, and hotels, but a visit here would not be complete without an adventure trip out into one of the spectacular cavern systems that dot the surrounding jungle landscape.