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Welcome to Playa del Carmen!
The town itself is a delightful mix of traditional Mexican culture and modern cosmopolitan flair. Its pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with colorful buildings, lively bars and restaurants, and an array of shops and markets selling everything from local handicrafts to high-end fashion.
Important to note: we don’t get any money from recommending these places/apps, it’s honest feedback so you can make the most out of your stay. We are also travelers and appreciate when we get tips from locals.
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Breakfast in Playa del Carmen
Many people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you have to choose a good place to enjoy this moment. Check our top picks:
Lunch + Dinner = Linner
Alux Restaurant: A unique dining experience in a natural cave setting, with a menu that features a fusion of Mexican and international cuisine.
Harry’s Steakhouse: A high-end steakhouse that offers delicious cuts of meat and an extensive wine list.
Trattoria del Centro: If you are looking for one of the best Italian restaurants in Playa del Carmen, this is it. Trattoria del Centro has pizza, pasta, risotto, steaks, seafood, and more.
The Traveler’s Table: A unique dining experience. This restaurant offers a rotating menu of dishes inspired by the owner’s travels around the world, with a focus on using local, seasonal ingredients. Also, The Traveler’s Table offers a range of cocktails, wines, and craft beers to pair with your meal.
Osteria de Roma: The menu features a range of classic Italian dishes, including homemade pasta, pizza, and seafood dishes. Some popular dishes include spaghetti carbonara, gnocchi alla Sorrentina, and margherita pizza. The restaurant also offers a selection of Italian wines to pair with your meal.
Bars & Nightlife
The Roof at Thompson Hotel: This rooftop bar has a chic and trendy atmosphere, with panoramic views of the city and the sea. The bar serves a range of cocktails, wine, and beer, as well as light bites.
Patio 8: Patio 8 is a restaurant and bar located in the heart of Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue. It has a modern and trendy atmosphere, with an open-air patio area that overlooks the bustling street. In addition to the food and drinks, Patio 8 often has live music and other entertainment, adding to the lively and upbeat atmosphere.
Dirty Martini Lounge: This stylish lounge bar has a sophisticated atmosphere, with low lighting, plush seating, and a range of martinis and other cocktails on the menu. The bar also hosts live music and DJs on some nights.
Alux Bar: Alux Bar is a unique and memorable bar located in a natural underground cave in Playa del Carmen. The bar has a magical and mystical atmosphere, with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, creating a one-of-a-kind experience. The bar serves a range of craft cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as a small selection of snacks and appetizers. Some of the popular menu items include their signature cocktails, such as the Alux Martini and the Cenote Margarita.
Other Things To Do…
Mayan Ruins: There are several ancient Mayan ruins located near Playa del Carmen, including Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza. Take a guided tour or explore on your own to learn about the rich history of the region.
Explore Fifth Avenue: The main shopping and dining district in Playa del Carmen is Fifth Avenue, a pedestrian-only street lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Stroll along the avenue, browse the shops, and stop for a bite to eat or a drink at one of the many restaurants and bars.
Take a Snorkeling or Scuba Diving Tour: The waters surrounding Playa del Carmen are home to a rich variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even whale sharks. Take a guided snorkeling or scuba diving tour to see these incredible creatures up close.
Swim in a Cenote: A cenote is a natural swimming hole formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock, revealing crystal-clear groundwater pools. There are many cenotes located near Playa del Carmen: Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Azul and Cenote Chaak Tun.
Playa del Carmen is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, a region with many interesting day trip options. Here are a few ideas:
Cozumel: A short ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is an island known for its world-class scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors can also explore the island’s beaches, restaurants, and shops.
Tulum: Just 45 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, Tulum is a picturesque town with a stunning beach and a well-preserved ancient Mayan city. Visitors can explore the ruins, swim in the Caribbean Sea, and enjoy the bohemian vibe of the town.
Xcaret: Just 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, Xcaret is an eco-archaeological park with a variety of attractions, including a coral reef aquarium, a Mayan village, and a river float. Visitors can also see cultural shows and participate in traditional activities.
Akumal: About 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, Akumal is a small beach town known for its sea turtle population. Visitors can snorkel or swim with the turtles, as well as enjoy the town’s laid-back atmosphere.