Things to do in Playa del Carmen

As regular readers of this blog will know…. I. Love. Mexico.

In addition to amazing beaches, Mexico’s Riviera Maya offers warm Caribbean water to explore, thick jungle terrain and ancient Mayan archaeological sites to explore. There really is SO much to do in the Riviera Maya, it’s a shame to think many people travel here and never venture beyond the walls of their all-inclusive resorts.

So if you’re traveling to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or anywhere in between, here are my favorite things to do in the area. Get out and explore, there is so much to see!

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Playa del Carmen and the surrounding area of the Riviera Maya.

Visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere

This UNESCO World Heritage site is best known as home to 23 archaeological sites, 336 unique species of birdlife including a large number of migratory birds, and some of the most pristine and untouched beaches on the Mexican Caribbean coast.

From anywhere along the Riviera Maya, it’s easy to visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere for a fun and active day trip. Explore Mayan ruins and discover the mangrove-lined coast by boat.

Sian Kaan Biosphere

The price for the 2-hour boat tour is between US $40 and $45 per person. If you’re lucky you will see dolphins and sea turtles during your boat tour!

Here are detailed driving directions and everything you need to know for a day of fun.

Rent a Golf Cart on Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. There are a number of ferries that run from the mainland to the island regularly each day. This is another great day trip if you’re staying in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Rental

Rent a golf cart on Isla Mujeres and spend the day exploring the safe, charming residential areas, a beautiful sculpture garden and a striking coastline.

Practice Yoga in Tulum

There is something almost indescribable about Tulum, Mexico. Of course Tulum has amazing weather and pristine white sandy beaches. But that alone does not explain why such a strong, and growing, yoga culture has sprung up in Tulum in recent years.

yoga tulum hotels

As one of the Tulum hotels I recently visited put it,“Tulum is indeed a perfect place to unwind and soak in the beauty of this ancient Mayan place with its pristine beaches and its healing energy.” 

I guess you’ll have to visit Tulum, practice yoga at one of these Tulum hotels listed below, and experience that healing energy for yourself!

Wander Around Playa del Carmen

To me travel is about exploring. Meeting locals. Dining at local restaurants. Seeing new places.

And that’s why I love staying in Playa del Carmem. This town has it all, from boutique hotels, to great bars and restaurants.

Getting around Playa del Carmen

Wandering around Playa del Carmen, including the bustling 5th Avenue pedestrian zone and the lively beach scene, is a perfect way to spend a day!

Find THIS Secret Beach

The water here is incredibly calm and clear, the sand clean and white. And if you’re adventurous enough to find this secret beach, you’ll likely have it all to yourself.

sian kaan biosphere

In addition to being remotely located within the Sian Ka’an nature preserve, this secret beach is protected by one of the largest natural barrier reefs in the world which helps keep the waters calm and protected year-round.

Pack a cooler with plenty of food and drink, and then follow these directions to find a remote, untouched beach and spend a day relaxing in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Dive Into a Cenote (… Like This One at Hacienda Tres Rios)

There are literally thousands of Cenotes dotting the landscape of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. But because they are technically underground sinkholes that fill with groundwater over time, Cenotes are not always easy to spot.

Hacienda Tres Rios

Hacienda Tres Rios, an all-inclusive resort and nature park, is home to one of these freshwater lagoons.

Working to preserve this delicate, yet important ecosystem, Hacienda Tres Rios has done an amazing job integrating the jungle into the property and protecting and educating people about it. Swim surrounded by ancient mangrove forests, including Red and Buttonwood Mangrove, and spot fish, crabs and other sea creatures. 

What else would you add to my list of things to do in Playa del Carmen?

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