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.

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

2. 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. 

Playa del Carmen: Coco Bongo Nightclub Experience

3. Playa del Carmen: Coco Bongo Nightclub Experience

Immerse yourself in a night of non-stop action at Coco Bongo with this entry ticket. Experience flying acrobats, live music, and an unforgettable party atmosphere. Be amazed by confetti and light shows, as you sip on delicious cocktails at this Playa del Carmen spectacular. Head for the dazzling doors of Coco Bongo, a club just one block from the majestic Caribbean Sea, and prepare to have one of the most shocking and memorable nights of your life. Once inside, be amazed by flying acrobats, impressive musical tributes, and the continuous party atmosphere that has made Coco Bongo world famous. Hit the dance floor under falling glittering confetti or savor a delicious cocktail while tribute acts bring the best of Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé. Choose from entry tickets including Drink Pack, Regular, Gold Member, Double Gold, and Front Row options. Depending on the option selected, enjoy different benefits throughout the night, such as national drinks, premium drinks, snacks, and much more. Take advantage of complimentary access to the Beach Club, whichever option you pick.

Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Valladolid Tour

4. 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.

Akumal: Akumal Monkey Sanctuary Tour

5. Akumal: Akumal Monkey Sanctuary Tour

Enjoy a fun and educational day out to a monkey sanctuary near Playa del Carmen, the only of its kind in Mexico that is authorized to operate an educational bonding program with primates. Spend the day exploring the sanctuary and its grounds, located in a tropical jungle. In the company of an experienced guide, meet over 200 animals including monkeys, that were orphaned, injured, abused, or unwanted pets. Learn more about the needs of each animal and their personal history and get educated on the existential threats to their ecosystem and communities.

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

6. 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. The tour begins 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 continental breakfast that includes sweet bread, fruit, cereal, coffee, and juice. At 9:45 AM after breakfast and check-in, you will 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. Snorkeling gear is included and you will be accompanied by a bilingual guide. This activity will last around 45 minutes. After snorkeling, board the ship and head to Contoy Island. In the event of bad weather, you will do the snorkeling activity at 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 the 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. At lunchtime enjoy Pescado Tikinxic, a broiled fish with achiote and other local species as well as broiled chicken, rice, salad, accompanied with your favorite drink. Once lunch is over, have more free time on the beach. Board the boat and head to Isla Mujeres, where there will be free time to visit the fishermen’s village or do some shopping. After Isla Mujeres, head back to Cancun, arriving at the marina at the Punta Sam Ferry Terminal around 6:00 PM.

Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

7. Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

Punta Allen is a picturesque and perfect place to park yourself on a boat tour. Here explore the local lagoons and come face to face with the incredible wildlife of this region. You'll have the chance to see beautiful birds and maybe even the opportunity to see wild dolphins and sea turtles that live in these waters. On the tour, also stop at the 2nd largest coral reef in the world, where you can jump out of the boat and enjoy a pleasant snorkel adventure (subject to sea conditions). You'll be amazed at the colors of this very healthy coral reef and the varieties of fish are absolutely stunning. The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish. Then, head to the beach, where the picture-perfect sandbar awaits. Here enjoy a delicious Caribbean lunch of fresh fish and fruit before heading back out to explore a bit more. The biodiversity of the Yucatan Peninsula is essential and the aim is to share this passion with you and teach you how you can all work to keep this great natural land safe for future generations. It became a World Heritage Site in 1987 and you'll understand why.

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.

From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

9. 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: Xplor Park All-Inclusive Entry Ticket

10. 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.

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 4,229 reviews

Wonderful experience. Surprisingly spent a good amount of time swimming with the turtles, also got to see stingrays. The cenote experience was also very memorable, we got lucky and went at a time where we had them completely to ourselves, these cenote’s are way cooler than a fully open one. The organisation was excellent and our tour guide Francisco was the best! My boyfriend developed a man crush.

Rodrigo was an excellent tour guide who provided a lot of detailed information on Chichén Itza. It was very informative, but also very laid back. I would definitely recommend his day trip to anyone who wants to see more of Mexico, eat good food, and jump into a cenote. Thanks for a day well spent!

Rodrigo and Arturo made this an unbelievable trip! So much local knowledge and the friendliest people you will ever meet. My family and I truly enjoyed our tour with the best tour guides around.

Great trip, the main event is going to Isla Contoy. There you will have a great lunch and a beautiful Island to discover. The crew was amazing and super friendly. Highly recommend this to anyone

The tour guide was very enthusiastic and had a lot of interesting information about the history. Very friendly.