Playa del Carmen in Mexico, one of the most famous and popular coastal resorts in the state. Excellent base for excursions to discover the Riviera Maya, here are the recommended ones.
Playa del Carmen is one of the most famous and popular places in the Riviera Maya, in Mexico. It is located on the Caribbean coast in the northern part of the state of Quintana Roo. Despite being very touristy and congested with resorts, hotels, restaurants and commercial activities, it is in my opinion a good base for those who want to discover the Riviera Maya area.
From Playa del Carmen in fact you will have it available all means of public transport to visit the major attractions of the area. So here are in my opinion some of the excursions not to be missed starting from Playa del Carmen.
This coastal town is well known for its beautiful white sand beach and for its nice inhabitants: the sea turtles. While snorkeling, you may be lucky enough to come face to face with these noble inhabitants of the sea. The water is really beautiful and very clean. The only drawback: the beach is often very crowded. You can reach Akumal in about half an hour by colectivo or bus.
Directly from Playa del Carmen you can take a ferry that will take you to the wild island of Cozumel. The island in some places is still almost untouched and certainly less touristy than other areas. Here you can find deserted beaches and characteristic places to eat with very few pesos.
Perhaps one of the most inflated images of the Riviera Maya is Tulum, with its Mayan ruins overlooking the sea. In fact, arriving here and finding yourself in front of ancient monuments overlooking an enchanting sea is truly impactful. The famous beach of Tulum is very crowded, but it is worth going to see it. You can reach Tulum from Playa del Carmen either by colectivo or by public buses or private guided tours.
One of the excursions I liked the most was to the Mayan site of Coba. Bear in mind that this is a very large area, so you will need at least half a day to explore it. You can ride a bike or have yourself carried as passengers aboard three-wheeled pedal vehicles.
The ruins are located in the middle of the forest, in a truly suggestive context. If you don't suffer from vertigo, get on the famous pyramid of Cobà, 40 meters high. To reach the Mayan site, I recommend that you rent a car or join a paid excursion with a guide who will explain what you will see.
The area around Playa del Carmen is full of cenotes, that is underground pools and caves, where water has been accumulating for centuries. Here you can experience the thrill of bathing among stalactites and stalagmites in a water that takes on all shades of blue and green. I visited the Gran Cenote, and it was one of the most exciting shows of the trip to Mexico.
To reach the wonderful Isla Mujeres, that is the "island of women", you will have to arrive in Cancun and from there take a ferry for about 20 minutes.
The island is a little Caribbean gem. The colors of its beaches are those of tropical locations and the atmosphere that reigns is that of holiday and carefree small islands. Perfect for a day of leisure and shopping in the local shops.