Playa del Carmen is much more than seductive, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. This hot new destination is a swinging town with an upbeat tempo, an eclectic combination of amazing Mayan cutlture and tourists from all over the world.
Whether you're on the beach, walking in town, or having your morning coffee, it's impossible to miss the decidedly cosmopolitan ambience in lively Playa del Carmen. Playa (as the locals call it) is the place to be for visitors of all types and nationalities. Everyone from honeymooners and divers to singles, couples and families finds their place in what's considered the region's capital and commercial center. Less than an hour's drive south of Cancun's international airport, Playa is the place to be with a host of exciting activities, and is the envy of the Caribbean.
A block away from Playa's powder-white beaches ago, you'll find 5th Avenue (Avenida Quinta). Exclusively for pedestrians, it runs north and south paralleling the beach. A variety of shops and boutiques, and a dazzling array of restaurants and cafés line both sides of the avenue.
Everyone who visits this bustling resort is bound to spend some quality time on its magnificent stretch of beach. All that's needed is a thatched palapa (shade from the sun), a dab of sun-block, perhaps some good company, an icy drink and time for a well-deserved siesta. There are several beach clubs where you can rent a lounge chair and palapa by the sea, and enjoy a drink and fresh seafood.
Water sports buffs have it made in Playa. Choose from snorkeling or scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing, sky diving, parasailing and more.
For vacationers who want a relaxing change of pace, there's yoga, massage or lazing about on sunny shores. Pamper yourself at one of the Spas with baths, saunas, massages and an array of other soothing beauty treatments.
End a great day with a delicious dinner. Even if you stay in Playa del Carmen for a month (a nice thought), chances are you probably couldn't try every restaurant. Many feature live music such as marimba, mariachi bands and jazz. The variety is unlimited: Mexican, Argentinean, Italian, Asian, Maya, German, international, Mediterranean, vegetarian, fresh seafood - even deli delights like bagels with salmon, cream cheese and capers. The choices are staggering. And since most restaurants have outside tables, people watching is a fun accompaniment to any meal.
Playa really heats up after dinner with Latin music, jazz, rock, techno and blues - live and recorded. Several clubs on the beach start their party late and keep It going until the wee hours.