The jewel of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, all-inclusive resorts are mixed into PDC’s exotic nightlife, shopping streets, and budget-friendly hotels. Several white sand beaches can also be found in Playa del Carmen along the Caribbean sea surrounded by palm trees and some of the finest beach clubs in Quintana Roo.
The gorgeous white sand beaches found in Playa del Carmen and all along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula are surrounded by warm blue turquoise waters and 5-star resorts. Vacationing here in Playa is much more relaxing than in Cancun, and you can easily walk to shopping streets, restaurants, nightclubs, and the pedestrian walkway along the famous Fifth avenue.
PDC is a city you can explore to your heart’s content. Among the many things to do in Playa del Carmen, there are enough beaches, water activities, and shops to visit to keep you busy for weeks. Downtown Playa del Carmen has hundreds of bars and restaurants that offer delicious Mexican food and some of the best live music in Latin America.
On the north end, there are a few golf course resorts and some free snorkeling spots that contain coral reefs full of ocean life. You can also easily take a day trip to visit nearby adventure parks, iconic cenotes, and ancient ruins along the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.
Mexico. The ferry terminal to Cozumel is located here in Playa, while cheap colectivos run all day long to and from Tulum or Cancun where you can hop on a fast ferry to Isla Mujeres.
Best Time to Visit
From Christmas through Easter the Playa Del Carmen area is a tourist paradise with great weather and wave and wave of newly arriving vacationers.
The shoulder season that runs from mid-April through May, along with November through mid-December is the best time to find great deals while still enjoying some of the best Playa del Carmen weather. Flights soon after American Thanksgiving also tend to have very reasonable fares.
Also known as the dry season, Playa del Carmen tourism pinnacle runs from December through April. This is the time of year when it’s still beautiful and sunny, but also not very humid. If you want to be here when the bars are always full, and Quinta Avenida is a constant sea of people, this is the time.
Like everywhere else during the high season, when it comes to renting in Playa del Carmen, the prices for vacation rentals, all-inclusive resorts, and boutique hotels are quite high, while cheap long-term rentals are few and far between.
With an average temperature between 77 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC), you can go swimming, snorkeling, and diving year-round off the Caribbean coast in Playa del Carmen.
While this is technically part of the rainy season, May through September offers the best reef visibility, along with some of the best light conditions for cenote diving and diving in caves. Late spring to mid-autumn will also be your best chance to see whale sharks near Isla Holbox and Isla Mujeres, as well as, loggerhead and green turtles laying eggs their eggs along the Riviera Maya beaches.
The weather at this time is often hot and humid, but typically only has sporadic rain showers rather than torrential downpours. Just be wary of weather patterns as hurricane season ramps up in the Caribbean.
In 2023, the Carnival in Playa del Carmen will run from February 14 to February 21. The parade with start on the famous 5th Avenue with a parade of dancers, floats, and local students filling up Calle 38.
Black Eyed Peas will headline the celebration starting on Valentine’s Day, while an assortment of musical genres will fill the rest of the week.
- February 14 – Black Eyed Peas
- February 15 – The Los Angeles Azuls
- February 16 – The Yerbabuena Group
- February 18 – Mario Bautista
- February 19 – Karenka
- February 20 – DJ Victoria Volkova
- February 21 – Los Súper Caracoles
Aside from the Carnival in February, Christmas through New Year’s Eve is a great time to party in PDC. A ton of spring breakers will also come down in March creating a lot more beach parties and filling up all the Playa del Carmen nightclubs.
April through early May is probably the most optimal time to catch the tail end of great weather, while people can visit popular attractions like cenotes, Chichen Itza, and the Tulum ruins without having to deal with excessive waits and queues.
Below you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions about Playa del Carmen, Mexico including its location, traveler safety, and things to do.
Where is Playa del Carmen?
You will find Playa del Carmen along the Yucatan Peninsula in the southeastern province of Quintana Roo, Mexico, about 37 miles (60km) south of Cancun with Puerto Morales wedged between (22 mi | 35 km}.
The island of Cozumel is visible to the east from the beaches of Playa and is just a just 45-minute ferry ride away. Puerto Aventuras (14 mi | 23km), Akumal (23 mi | 38km), and Tulum (37 mi | 60 km) / are also within easy reach by car or bus to the south. While Vallavoid can be found directly west on the map, you’ll have to veer north along the 305D highway before heading west on the 180D to get there.
Is Playa del Carmen Safe?
Yes, statistically speaking, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya in general offer some of the safest places to travel in Mexico. In tourist areas, armed soldiers can be found all along Quinta Avenida and they often patrol the beaches north of Calle 44 on 4-wheel vehicles too.
From Avenida 10 through Avenida 30, you’ll find many police vehicles roaming the streets, and their noticeable visibility deters crime and pretty theft. Once you pass Avenida 35 and across the highway, police presence is more limited, so it’s best to stick to the tourist areas where possible.