Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

If you watch our Instagram Feed, you may remember seeing glimpses of our trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico several weeks ago. Today we’re sharing our photos, experiences, and tips on Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Amazing Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

While most Americans were feasting on turkey and checking out Black Friday deals, we had the opportunity to spend a week in Mexico. So we ate our turkey and dressing early, then packed our bags for a family vacation in the sun and sand.

MY OTHER RECIPES


I spent a couple days in Playa Del Carmen in the spring of 2014, when I went to Cancun for a tourism convention. I was struck by how different the atmosphere was just 40 minutes south of Cancun.

Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is a wonderful place to take a relaxing family vacation… or to go on an outdoor adventure exploring the underwater and inland terrain. Or to do both!

We discovered Playa Del Carmen offers countless activities for families on the move. Yet if you want to sit in the sand, with a tiki drink in hand, and watch the little ones play in the gentle waves… it’s perfect for that too.

So here’s our list of things you need to check out with your family when you go to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Personal tidbits included.

The Beach - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Lay on the Beach. The beaches in Playa Del Carmen are wide, white, and soft on the toes.

In most places the natural grade is very subtle, so you can feel comfortable letting your little guys splash in the waves without (too much) worry.

Beaches - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

We also noticed, most of the beaches are relatively quiet. This of course would depend on the resort you choose, and the time of year you visit. But you can expect to find a spot in the sand without any trouble. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is the perfect place to rest in the sun.

Beach - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Snorkel/Scuba. Right on the edge of the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef, Playa Del Carmen is a great place to snorkel or learn to scuba dive.

Most resorts offer scuba lesson, generally through a local scuba company, that will train you then take you to the best scuba spots in the area.

Swim - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Due the the natural Cenotes (sea caves and tunnels) you can snorkel and scuba dive inland, under ground. If you’ve snorkeled in the ocean lots of times, it’s a unique experience to dive in the dark with a lantern!

Snorkel in Cenotes - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Water Sports. Any water sport you can think of can be enjoyed in Playa Del Carmen. Parasailing, Stand Up Paddling, Boating, Deep Sea Fishing, Wind Surfing, Surfing (beginner surfing, that is), Kiteboarding, you name it. Rest assured, the concierge at your resort will be able to hook you up.

Sandos Beach - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Kiting. Because the beach is so wide in Playa Del Carmen, we noticed lots of families were flying large kites along the beach. Kites are available all through town for purchase.

Kite - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Resort Activities. Choose your resort wisely. If you select a good one, the resort itself will have endless activities available to you, from spa services, games, performances, kid’s clubs, water parks and lavish pools, cultural experiences, and more.

Resort Activities - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

On days you choose to linger around the resort instead of heading out on an adventure, you will still find happy distractions. (We stayed at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, a marvelous place to vacation with the kids.)

At Sandos Caracol - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Visit Mayan Ruins. There are Mayan Ruins speckled all along the Yucatan coast. You can find smaller Mayan Ruins in and close to Playa Del Carmen, or take a day trip south to Coba and Tulum.

Mayan Ruins - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Go to a Festival. Love a lively festival on the beach? Playa Del Carmen hosts some fabulous festivals each year, including the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, which took place while we were in Playa. It was a thrill to sway to the beat, right on the beach, with thousands of music lovers.

Festivals - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Get into the Culture. There are dozens of ways to take in Mayan and Mexican culture. One of our favorites was XCaret Eco-Archaeological Park.

XCaret - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Imagine a Disney-quality theme park (without the rides) that focuses on the culture, history, geography, and wildlife of Mexico. That’s what you experience at XCaret.

ACaret - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Amazing ocean life exhibits and aquariums, exciting shows, regional animal exhibits, beaches, Cenotes, snorkeling, and diving all in one place.

XCaret Show - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

We were overwhelmed by the attention to detail and educational focus found all over the park.

You can swim with dolphins, interact with sharks (small ones) discover the sea turtle protection program, and more. Personally, we loved the Butterfly Exhibit and the Evening Dinner Show with traditional Mexican dancing.

Flyers - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Take a Wild Ride. One of our most memorable days in Mexico was spent with AllTourNative an adventure tour company focused on blending exhilarating excitement with cultural experiences.

Rappelling - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

We went on the Mayan Jungle Tour which included a ride on an all-terrain vehicle through the rain forest, rappelling down into a Cenote cavern, zip lining, and snorkeling in the longest underground river in the world.

Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

It was an amazing experience for all of us… There were a couple moments when I needed to close my eyes and say a prayer as my babies rappelled through the ceiling of a massive cavern, or zip-lined off a swaying jungle watch tower. Yet, doing this provided right-of-passage moments for my little guys that they will never forget. #WorthIt

Rappel - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Encounter Native Animals. There are lots places to see Mexican wildlife and marine life all over Playa Del Carmen. We felt XCaret had wonderful viewing exhibits and interactive exhibits, yet there are animals everywhere you look.

Animals - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Even at our resort, we found regional animals on display. Sandos Caracol has veterinarians on staff to take care of the animals and even supplement the wildlife that wonders onto the property.

More Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Go to a Show. Guess what?! Cirque du Soliel just open their first-ever show with a culinary experience in Playa Del Carmen!!

JOYA - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

JOYA is a vibrant fusion of colorful artistry and athleticism, matched with a theatrical dinner prepared by one of Mexico’s most sought after chefs.

JOYA - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Even the dinner has that element of magic we’ve come to expect from Cirque du Soliel.

Many of the theme parks and resorts have exciting shows for you to experience as well, but do not miss JOYA!

JOYA - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

JOYA - Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Shop. Downtown Playa Del Carmen is filled with fun shops and restaurants to explore. Take an afternoon to peruse 5th Avenue, where most of the action takes place. But make sure to explore the side streets to get the best deals.

Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Eat. From fresh-caught seafood to authentic street eats, Play Del Carmen is a thrilling place to dine. Do your research before you leave, so you don’t get stuck eating at over-priced tourist traps.

Make sure to sample the chilequiles, ceviche, and jugo verde.

Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

If you are looking for a warm place to escape this winter, Playa Del Carmen may be just what you’re looking for. We loved it and will definitely vacation in Playa Del Carmen again!

Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen Mexico #travel #mexico

Disclosure: We were hosted by the Mayan Riviera Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.

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9 comments on “Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

  1. Julie @ Running in a Skirtposted January 3, 2015 at 8:17 am Reply

    Wow! This looks like sooooo much fun! I want to do it all ;)) The rappelling looks awesome! You are right, I’d love this vacation!

  2. Bradposted January 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm Reply

    Take me on your next trip!! Happy 2015

  3. Megan {Country Cleaver}posted January 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm Reply

    What a FUN trip!! I think it’s just about time for a sunny vacation – I might have to tempt Ben down to Mexico STAT!

  4. Barbara @ Barbara Bakesposted January 6, 2015 at 8:58 pm Reply

    Playa del Carmen has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. Now seeing how many fun things there are to do, I’ll have to move it up the list.

  5. Sara | Simply Happenstanceposted January 7, 2015 at 11:36 am Reply

    I LOVE Mexico so much! Growing up, we went to Mexico for the holidays often. So easy to relax there and feel like you’re truly on vacation! I was also in Cancun, a few years ago, and had the best time with my husband {celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary}! Would love to go again and visit Playa del Carmen! Looks like your family had the best time!

  6. Kateposted January 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm Reply

    Oh that looks amazing! What a great getaway with the kids although it’d be hard to peel me away from that beach chair! Looks like fun!

  7. Danielle Moranoposted March 3, 2015 at 11:02 am Reply

    Thank you for this post! I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sending a few Playa restaurant reccommendations my way. My family and I will be there on vacation next week! Thank you again for this great post.

  8. Tammyposted June 27, 2015 at 11:39 pm Reply

    I called today to book a trip to the Bahamas.  Before I got off the phone, I booked a trip to Playa Del Carmen.  lol
    Thanks for your post!  I feel like I made the right decision!

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