Playa Del Carmen is a city along the coast of the charming Caribbean Sea. It is also the Solidaridad Municipality’s county seat. In 2005 alone, its population has reached 100, 383, making it Quintana Roo’s 3rd largest city. This is following Chetumal and Cancun.
Playa Del Carmen was initially a small fishing town, starting their tourism industry with only ferry services to Cozumel, a small island adjacent to the Cozumel Channel and a world renowned scuba diving destination.
It has greatly improved through the years, and Playa del Carmen is today regarded as the Riviera Maya’s central location, acting as the stop over port of many cruise ships. Xcaret, a Mexican-themed “eco-archaeological” Park is one of its most loved tourist destinations.
A short travel guide to Playa Del Carmen will make your stay here more worthwhile.
You should never miss seeing the Xcaret Show. This is one of the most loved attractions in Playa del Carmen. It depicts the history of the Mayans. You will also find here a ball court game where in players merely use their hips in order to hit the ball. They also have fire hockey. It may be quite a lengthy show but you will enjoy watching almost a hundred people dancing along with live music.
Tipping in Playa Del Carmen is customary. Since most hotels and resorts here are all-inclusive, make sure you have loose change or $1 bills to give as tip, especially to waiters and maids. Even if this is included in their package, to get better services, consider this something you can do so as not to spoil you vacation. However, don’t overspend on tips. About $30 up to $40 worth of $1 bills are enough for a week stay here.
History says that Playa del Carmen was formerly a “sleepy” fishing village. At current, it is a fast growing tourist destination. It is calmer and smaller as compared to Cancun. If you prefer a smaller area and more privacy, Tulum is the best destination for you. It is just off south.
While in Playa del Carmen, you can tour the entire Yucatan Peninsula. You can also ride a ferry and reach beautiful Cozumel. Activities you can do include snorkeling and diving.
In Tulum, you will witness fascinating ruins that overlook the vast sea. You can also check out the Mayan ruins. They also have a lot of Cenotes or underwater wells. It is best to go with tour organizers to avoid missing the most important and popular attractions. The theme parks you may visit are Xel-Ha and Xcaret.
One activity you can do in Playa del Carmen, especially if you are already bored, is to play in the sand. The locals love to make sculptures out of sand. There are even competitions for the best sand sculptures. Maybe it is time to unleash your creativity and join the contest.
As for money concerns, in the Yucatan Peninsula, US dollars are widely accepted. However, it is better to use the peso, their local currency. It is also a better option to go to Scotia Bank located along the corner of Juarez and 5th Avenue if you need to withdraw from an ATM machine. Aside from this, if you are using a credit card, make sure the currency is specified and you check on this before signing your credit card slip.
Always book your tours in advance. Aside from not worrying about availabilities, you will also be able to determine the weather conditions. This way, you will know if the date you booked is hurricane region in Playa del Carmen. This is usually on the latter part of July to the 1st few weeks of August.
Playa Del Carmen really has a lot to offer its visitors. During the summer season, it gets crowded here and the hotels and resorts become all booked up. So that you won’t miss out on the best lodging accommodations, make sure you plan ahead and make the necessary reservations in advance.