Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. It is situated I the center of the Mayan Riviera, approximately 43 miles south of Cancun, 12 miles west of Cozumel, and 40 miles north of Tulum. It’s known for beautiful palm-lined beaches, coral reefs full of exotic fish, and for pedestrian thoroughfares brimming with shops, restaurants and nightlife.
The closest airport to Playa del Carmen is the Cancún International Airport (CUN), which will require a 50-minute airport shuttle into Playa del Carmen ($10-$70). You may occasionally find a deal flying into Cozumel International Airport (CZM) and be able to take a ferry across, but these flights are generally much more expensive.
To reach Playa by car, you will need to take Highway 307. As you approach Playa del Carmen from Cancun, you’ll need to turn left to Playa. If you wish to go around Playa del Carmen, you can head right on an elevated express highway. The first east-west artery, Playa Avenida Constituyentes, will get you to northern Playa. Avenida Juárez will take you to the main square in town.
Visit www.mexonline.com to learn more about the various import restrictions, particularly if you will be traveling with:
Once you are in Playa del Carmen, you can get around by:
Mexico as a whole gets a bad rap as far as safety is concerned, but Playa del Carmen is one of the safest places to travel. The biggest crime is “the crime of paying too much” – for shopping, dining, and taxis. To avoid this, shop around instead of buying the first item you see. Street vendors may be willing to haggle. Local restaurants are not legally allowed to tack on taxes, tips or fees onto their advertised prices, so be sure to add up your bill to see that there is nothing extra. Only about 10% of local cabbies are able to speak good English, so it can save you at least five pesos to brush up on your Spanish. The cheaper taxis are usually hailed from the street, rather than from stands. Some taxis charge more at night.
Should you have an emergency, you may dial:
No one wants to imagine an emergency occurring while on vacation, but you are wise to plan for unforeseen circumstances. Fortunately, Playa del Carmen is blessed with some of the most modern medical facilities in all of Mexico. The ones listed offer advanced diagnostics and fully equipped surgical suites, as well as English-speaking staff accustomed to treating visitors and expatriates.
The main facilities equipped to handle urgent care in Playa del Carmen include:
Playa del Carmen is blessed with wonderfully warm weather and a subtropical climate all year round. With 340 days of sunshine per year, you are pretty much guaranteed a nice vacation, no matter when you decide to travel. The average temperature reaches a low of 69 degrees in January or as high as 92 in July. The summer months (May-September) can be humid. The water is always good for swimming, but the locals don’t usually enter the water during the winter months (December-February).
There is technically a “hurricane season” from June through September, but a major hurricane has not hit Playa del Carmen in more than 10 years, so it’s more likely a “rainy season.” September and October typically see more than 8 inches of rain. If you do get hit with a rainy day, you can always go for a massage, ride ATVs through the mud in rain jackets, check out the underground caves at Rio Secreto, or see a movie.
Keep in mind, the weather forecast is always subject to change and it’s rarely accurate looking two weeks out. Before planning your day, you can check The Weather Network, World Weather Online, or WindGuru for more detailed information regarding projected time and amount of rain, wind speed, and hours of sunshine.