If you’re looking to visit Mexico’s most sought after coastline, the beachfront town of Playa del Carmen should be at the top of your list.
So where is Playa del Carmen exactly?
You’ll find this typically Mexican gem located halfway between the two cosmopolitan conglomerates of Cancun and Tulum. Forming part of the classic Riviera Maya route down the coast, and both smaller and less touristy than most big cities, it’s evolving into a popular travel destination for people looking for travel experiences that are more substantial than your typical all-inclusive resort.
The cenotes near Playa del Carmen, specifically – like most that are riddled throughout the Riviera Maya – make for astonishing experiences. These underground freshwater cave systems have some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen. And if you have your PADI license, you can even go scuba diving. Not a diver? No problem. You can partake in some of the best snorkeling in Mexico at most of these cenotes. Some of the best ones include Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Azul, Garden of Eden, Gran Cenote, and more!
Elsewhere, the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum are located south of Playa del Carmen, and is a must-visit if you’re in the area. This walled city was occupied all the way up until the 15th Century and saw the arrival of the Spanish. Today this is the most well preserved coastal Mayan city.
The shallow blue-green waters of Akumal, on the other hand, has year-round resident Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead sea turtles, and they are a definite crowd-pleaser. The coastline runs parallel to the 2nd largest reef system in the world, so it is certainly worth the effort to stop by Akumal Bay, savor up the exquisite views, and have a swim with sea turtles.
If you’re looking for a trendy, beautiful, family friendly trip, Playa del Carmen is the place to be. From its beaches overflowing with people from around the globe, adrenaline-rich ATV tours, and waters clear enough to spot the diverse sea life, you’ll undoubtedly have one of the best vacations Mexico has to offer.