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Things to do in Playa del Carmen

When you're done tanning at one of the hip beaches, head to a nearby jungle amusement park for thrills.

Our most recommended things to do in Playa del Carmen

Xcaret Park: Plus Full-Day Admission with Night Show & Lunch

1. Xcaret Park: Plus Full-Day Admission with Night Show & Lunch

Enjoy full-day admission to Xcaret Park, a paradise theme park on the Maya Riviera, where you can enjoy more than 40 activities and attractions. Your ticket includes access to all the facilities, including showers, dressing rooms, and snorkeling equipment for your convenience. Once inside the park, choose the activities that suit. Highlights include the Coral Reef Aquarium and Marine Turtles Area. Admire the manatees of the Manatee Lagoon, or be dazzled by colorful butterflies in the Butterfly Pavilion. See howler monkeys at Spider Monkey Island, or explore how mushrooms are cultivated at the Mushroom Farm. The Living Museum of Orchids displays Mexican orchids in all their glory. Wander a jungle trail to visit the Regional Wildlife Breeding Farm. Ascend the Rotating Scenic Tower for spectacular views, and watch cultural performances of Mayan and Mexican music and dance. You can even visit a Mayan Village! Colonial history is not neglected at the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, while folk art is displayed at the Hacienda Henequenera. Watch the sky turn a rainbow of colors at the Stained-Glass Plaza, or discover a pre-Hispanic ball court to learn about the Maya sports events. Between October 30th and November 2nd, you'll be able to enjoy activities that are part of the Life and Death Festival.

From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

2. From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Muyil and the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve on a half-day tour from Tulum. You will encounter a variety of birds, plants, and animals before wandering through the ruins to discover the incredible history of this ancient civilization. After being picked up from Tulum you will be transferred to the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve. Walk through this inspiring eco-preserve to the highest point in the reserve and gaze out at an unblemished jungle filled with hundreds of species of birds, plants, and animal life. Enjoy a small hike before a boat ride through the trading canals of the ancient Maya civilization and visit the Maya temple of Xlapak. You will see the detailed facades of these old ruins, located at the bottom of the river valley. Next, float back down through the canals between mangroves and gently make your way back out into the crystal-clear waters around the peninsula. Onboard, enjoy an assortment of Mexican snacks and lunch as the sun sets over this beautiful landscape. Experience the very best of this region. The food, the culture, the nature, and a bit of relaxation make this a perfect day trip from your home base in Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

3. Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

Discover the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá on a guided tour from Playa del Carmen. Immerse yourself in the jungle at an eco-park, with some time for swimming in a cenote and a hearty buffet lunch. Start with pickup from Playa del Carmen and first travel to the jungle eco-park. Marvel at the sacred cenote as you refresh yourself with a purifying swim in crystalline waters. Dig into a delicious buffet lunch at the restaurant at the eco-park, and be ready for a flavor sensation. Try some of the famed Mexican cuisine with regional dishes from Yucatán. After your buffet, head to the world-famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itzá. Take a guided tour of the ceremonial site and listen to fascinating tales of the ancient Maya civilization. Learn more with your expert guides and hear entertaining stories of life at Chichen Itzá. Discover a culture that was way ahead of its time. Then, enjoy some free time to explore by yourself and walk in the footsteps of the Mayan people. Your final stop is in the colonial center of Valladolid for a quick visit to this charming “Magic Town” of Mexico. The imposing church and architecture of the town surrounding the “zocalo'' or town square are perfect photo ops and a chance to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibes of Yucatán, before heading back to Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

4. Playa del Carmen: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

Discover a paradise for thrill-seekers holidaying in the Riviera Maya. Book your all-inclusive Xplor Park ticket and zoom past impressive rock formations on a zip line. Take part in adrenaline-pumping activities, such as rafting and cave swimming, and enjoy a lunch buffet with unlimited drinks. Step into the heart of the jungle and live out your wildest Riviera Maya dreams. Make use of the latest safety equipment and receive instructions from the professional staff. Have access to 2 zip line circuits, 2 amphibious vehicle circuits, 2 unique river swims, and a river rafting experience. Drive for 10 kilometers aboard amphibious vehicles, admire panoramic views of nature as you glide along the zip lines, and see stunning stalagmite rock formations while swimming through the caves. Be treated to a delicious lunch buffet and unlimited drinks throughout the day.

From Cancun or Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Mujeres Day Trip

5. From Cancun or Riviera Maya: Isla Contoy & Mujeres Day Trip

Explore Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres on a day trip from Cancun or Riviera Maya. Experience rich cultural heritage and history, have fun snorkeling, relax on beautiful beaches, and enjoy a delicious lunch. Begin with pickup from your hotel in the Cancun area, passing through Playa del Carmen, and arriving at the new private marina, located at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal. Benefit from fast check-in and enjoy a light breakfast that includes sweet bread, fruit, cereal, coffee, and juice. After breakfast and check-in, board the boat and head toward the Ixlache Reef. The reef is located off the coast of Contoy and right at the beginning of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest reef system in the world. Then, try snorkeling with your guide before boarding the ship and heading to Contoy Island. In the event of bad weather, you will do the snorkeling activity on the island in the safety of its shallow waters. Disembark on Contoy Island and have the chance to sightsee with a guide and visit the museum, observatory, and lagoon. Go to the dunes and learn about the flora and fauna species of the island. Alternatively, choose to relax on the beautiful beach or do some more snorkeling in the Caleta area. Next, enjoy a lunch of Pescado Tikinxic, a broiled fish with achiote and other local species as well as broiled chicken, rice, and salad, accompanied by your favorite drink with access to an open bar. Finally, enjoy free time on the beach before boarding the boat and heading to Isla Mujeres. Visit the fishermen’s village or do some shopping, then head back to Cancun.

Playa Del Carmen: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Cozumel

6. Playa Del Carmen: Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Cozumel

Pre-book a quick round-trip ferry service between Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel. Get maximum flexibility with continuous daily departures and a 6-month ticket validation period. Enjoy added perks including a snack bar, open-air decks, live music, TVs, and electrical outlets. On the day of your chosen departure, hop on board a high-speed 157-foot JETLINE Class catamaran type ferry, constructed of aluminum and featuring 3 decks with a capacity between 150 and 800 passengers. Enjoy new generation gangways for express boarding and carry-on baggage handling. On board, take advantage of covered and open-air decks, panoramic windows, TV screens, a snack bar, electrical outlets, live music, and underwater illumination. Ride in maximum comfort with on-board air conditioning, leather seats, and restrooms. As you head to your destination, take some time to relax with plenty of legroom in high-quality ergonomic high-quality leather seats designed and constructed in Europe by the same high technology companies that work with Porsche and Ferrari. Premium Class Tickets include round-trip transportation with general ferry access. If you’re looking to add a little more to your trip, choose First Class Tickets for referred access to the ferry, reliable seats with more space, and access to a lounge area. Whatever ticket option you choose, you’ll get to experience a ferry transfer focused on passengers and making their journey something even more special. The beauty of the islands, coupled with the comfort and quickness of the boats, make this the preferred trip for visitors to this area. 

Cancun/Playa del Carmen: Tickets to Rio Secreto and Lunch

7. Cancun/Playa del Carmen: Tickets to Rio Secreto and Lunch

Immerse yourself in an ancient world of stalactites and stalagmites with a visit to Rio Secret in Playa del Carmen. Roam the labyrinths of dramatic rock formations and tranquil waters in this hidden underground network of rivers and caves. Upon arriving at Rio Secreto, meet your guide and receive a wetsuit, wet shoes, a lamp, and a helmet to get ready for the adventure. Then enter the caves, where you have 1968 feet (600 meters) free to walk, swim, and enjoy the enchanting beauty of your surroundings.  After approximately 1.5 hours, you will be taken back to ground level and treated to a light lunch of delicious local food. Choose the green salsa if your taste buds like it hot. This is a chance for you to relax in the serene jungle habitat and reflect upon your experience in the caves. Next, you may wash and change before heading back to your hotel.

Xcaret Park: Full-Day Ticket with Night Show

8. Xcaret Park: Full-Day Ticket with Night Show

Discover Xcaret Park, a wonderful paradise where you can enjoy more than 40 activities and attractions. Be a special guest at an ancient Mayan ball game, and join the Xcaret Mexico Espectacular celebration during your visit. Enjoy an experience with free access to showers, dressing rooms, bags for belongings, life vests and parking. Encounter colorful cultural performances including the nightly Xcaret Mexico Espectacular celebration. Take part in water activities including underground rivers, the Río del Paraíso journey, as well as time for lazing on the beach, inlet and natural pools. Explore the Coral Reef Aquarium, Marine Turtles Area, Manatee Lagoon, Bat Cave, Butterfly Pavilion, Deer Refuge, and Jaguar Island. See howler monkeys at Spider Monkey Island, and explore mushroom cultivation at the Mushroom Farm. Or visit the Living Museum of Orchids to discover Mayan orchids in full glory. Wander through the Tropical Jungle Trail, and visit the Regional Wildlife Breeding Farm. Take in the Rotating Scenic Tower for spectacular views. Experience cultural performances and see archaeological sites. Visit a Mayan Village. Discover colonial history at the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel and folk art at the Hacienda Henequenera. Watch the sky turn to a rainbow of colors at the Stained-Glass Plaza, and take nature and culture tours as part of your ticket.

Playa Del Carmen: 15-Minute Panoramic Helicopter Tour

9. Playa Del Carmen: 15-Minute Panoramic Helicopter Tour

Admire green jungle, crystal clear waters, reefs, and the popular 5th Avenue on a helicopter tour in Playa del Carmen. Soar high above land and soak up panoramic views of the Mexican Caribbean from the air. Check in and listen to a security prep talk before boarding the largest and safest helicopter in all of Mexico. Then get on board the helicopter and head off on your flying adventure. Enjoy breathtaking views of the area from a different perspective. Leave your tour feeling giddy with adrenaline, excitement, and with a fresh perspective of Playa del Carmen.

Riviera Maya: Aqua Nick Park Admission Ticket

10. Riviera Maya: Aqua Nick Park Admission Ticket

Cool off and enjoy a day of family fun at Aqua Nick, a Nickelodeon theme park in the Riviera Maya. Enjoy access to the park's many attractions, which include thrilling water slides, a lazy river and adventure river, activity pool, multiple swimming areas and a dedicated area perfect for toddlers. Upgrades available for a hassle-free day. Spend the day enjoying the slides, rivers, pools at Aqua Nick, Loungers and snacks provided. Upgrade your ticket to include food Lockers and pick-ups available at many Cancun and Riviera Maya The food at Aqua Nick is just as amazing! Every member of the family will be able to enjoy their favorite dishes at the Aqua Bite stations, where you will find hamburgers, bowls, hot dogs, poke bowls and all kinds of drinks, poke bowls and soft drinks, water, beer and national open bar. The pool for the most daring activities, offers scheduled activities and experiences. programmed experiences. Attractions include: Wave Ball: A colorful ball that creates waves for an ocean-like experience. experience similar to being at sea. Climbing wall: climb to new heights and increase your strength. Water walking system: a play area that helps the little ones to challenge the water through the children to challenge the water by means of floating cushions.

Available activities

  • Mayan ruins & cenote trips
  • Riviera snorkeling & more
  • Jungle adventures & more
  • Caribbean beach adventures
  • Tropical amusement parks
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Frequently asked questions about Playa del Carmen

What top attractions are a must-see in Playa del Carmen?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Playa del Carmen?

The best day trips and excursions from Playa del Carmen are:

Tulum

Other Sightseeing Options in Playa del Carmen

Want to discover all there is to do in Playa del Carmen? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Playa del Carmen

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 4,438 reviews

What an excellent tour! This trip was one of the highlights of my time in Mexico. Our guide Jacqui was knowledgeable and passionate about Mayan history and the Chichen Itza. Even though the pick up was very early, it was definitely worth it as we made it to the site before all the other big tourist buses. The guide gave an invaluable information about the site and helped us to see hidden details that we would have otherwise missed. The only downside was that it would of been nice to have more free time around Chichen Itza site, as half an hour seemed very rushed, especially if you want to see the cenote which is a 5 min walk (one way) from the main area. The Ikl Kil cenote was astonishing, We spent nearly an hour swimming around it and just admiring the surroundings. It is definitely worth going into the cenote first and then going for the buffet lunch. Just a minor thing-the van didn't have much leg room and some seats were broken. Would of been nice to have a better transportation.

This was the absolute best tour if you are interested in birds at all. My husband’s hobby is bird photography and this was probably his favorite part of our honeymoon. The driver, Axel, and the guide, Lope, were professional and very friendly! We ended up seeing 52 different bird species in the morning and were provided a delicious homemade breakfast. If we were back in the Cancún area I am sure we would do the tour again!

Amazing tour guides and both the underground Cenote and the K’aan Laguna were incredible! Speechless!

well organized, car was there with sign and had the same driver on return. great experience.

Fantastic tour in the middle of nature, swimming in the lagoon was a great experience.