I ran a quick search about this topic and landed some posts about great parties in Cancun but not a lot of elaboration. My friends and I are considering being out there the first week of January 2008 (including New Year's Eve) but closer to Playa del Carmen. Is this a good idea? Are there a lot of tourists? Is it an American hot spot like spring break? Also, would the sites still be open just like any other time of year, like Chichen Itza and Tulum & Xel-Ha, as well as the beaches and the water activites?
I know these are a lot of questions but any thoughts on any question you can help us with are greatly appreciated.
Playa del Carmen will definitely be touristy. That's basically what it is... mostly just a tourist resort. And around New Years it will probably be completely full. However, whether thats bad or not is up to you. It means there will be lots of parties open to visitors. All the hotels will be having special activities. All the sites should be open, maybe not on New Years Eve, but definitely the days around it. Beaches are always open, usually you just go straight through the hotel to the beach.
Thank you for replying. We really wanted to try something warm and thought maybe this was the way to go. I think my concern with the beaches is if the water is nice and warm and if there isn't anything too threatening in the water that will keep us out. My friend hasn't been snorkeling and I would like for her to be able to get something out of it. It would also be nice to meet other people of our age group while we're out there. We're in our twenties. Any more thoughts?
I went snorkelling for the first time, pretty close to Playa del Carmen... and well, im deeply terrified of the ocean, and I did it, so it should be ok. as fas as scary sea creatures go... haha. well, thats always a risk i guess, but it should be totally fine. the water was nice and warm when i was there... almost shockingly warm, really. You'll totally be able to meet other people there, especially in their twenties. just keep in mind when you're booking hotels, that you dont book one that strictly caters to families and you'll meet tons of new travel buddies.
I don't know if you are into this.. but in Tulum (the town), you can stay right on the beach in a cabana. its pretty basic, but the ocean there is absolutely amazing. then, the archaeological site is within walking distance. you can sit on the beach, take in the sun, and see the Mayan ruins overlooking the ocean. its pretty great. you'll find lots of cool young backpacking types there.