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Playa del Carmen used to be a little fishing town on the Caribbean coast in western Mexico (state of Quintana Roo, but has grown tremendously the last 10 years. It is now a popular holiday spot. The beaches are beautiful; you will find shopping centers, great bars and clubs, and amazing diving/snorkeling possibilities.
Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) runs parallel to the beach and is closed off for traffic. You’ll find pretty much anything you would ever need here. This is the nicer part of town, it's clean, new and built for tourists.
If you head away from Quinta Avenida you’ll see it getting more local for every block you go west. There are many hotels and good restaurants on the smaller side streets, usually at a better value than right in the centre, but here you'll also get the non stop traffic, which can be a bit noisy.
Going south of town (a 10-minute walk) you’ll enter the “Zona Hotellera” with big resort hotels located one after the other in a nice neighbourhood, guarded 24 hours a day. The beach is not accessible along this area, as it is for hotel guests only.
Playa del Carmen was traditionally a stop-over point for scuba divers on their way to Cozumel, but in recent years many of those same scuba divers have discovered that the waters around Playa del Carmen are great for diving. If you're learning how to dive, shop around a bit and see if you can meet your instructor before signing up for your course.
The best beach is Mamitas. It costs 30 pesos for a sun bed under a parasol.
In the winter months (November - April) the temperature on the Yucatan Peninsula is comfortably warm (23 to 26 °C) and the humidity is low. The summer months (May - August) are hot and humid. Showers can be fierce but are usually short. September and October are the most unstable due to the hurricanes that form off the Caribbean coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cancun International Airport (CUN) is Mexico's second busiest airport and is located a few hours north of Playa del Carmen. It has numerous flights from other cities in Mexico, and cities in mostly North America and Europe.
There are two bus stations in Playa del Carmen.
Most of the street are one way streets, and there's quite a lot of traffic, so navigation is not always easy. You will find that many of the residents in Playa Del Carmen drive mopeds, and motorcycles as well. When driving you need to always be aware of these people as they will often split lanes, and cut through cars in heavy traffic. Also be aware that when you are driving north and south in Playa Del Carmen that you will encounter more traffic, the closer you get to the beach, or the infamous fifth avenue. It is known by locals, and residents that 30th avenue is the quickest route to drive a vehicle north and south through Playa del Carmen. 30th is also a main street that offers grocery stores, and big box stores such as Wal-mart, and Mega making it a useful road.
Local busses go to the ourskirts of Playa del Carmen, but taxis are so cheap that it's probably a better (easier) option. Remember that taxis can't charge you over 40 pesos if it is in the Playa del Carmen area. However the most popular form of transportation getting around Playa, and anywhere from as far north as Cancun to as far south as Tulum are the collectivo's. Collectivo's are mid-size to larger vans that run a solid routes and pick up as many people as they can fit along the way. This shared ride method is very effective at keeping your costs very low. For instance you can catch a ride on a collectivo from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum or Cancun for approximately 25-40 pesos (2-4 US$). The largest collectivo pickup location is on the corner of 2nd (also referred to as Avenida Juarez) and 15th avenue. Here you will find a steady flow of collectivo's leaving every 5-10 minutes.
You can get pretty much anywhere you want within Playa del Carmen by foot.
If you have hired a bicycle it's a great way to get around town, but watch out for traffic as it's not always very predictable.
|Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel||Av. 10 Norte entre calles 20 y 22 Fracc. Xaman-Ha, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo||Hotel||79|
|Happy Gecko Hostel||10 th av. calles 6 y 8||Hostel||69|
|Hostel Rio Playa||Calle 8 Entre 5 y ave 10||Hostel||86|
|Hotel Alux Playa||Calle #14 Norte Entre Av.10 y 15||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Las Golondrinas||Av Constituyentes Nª 178||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Playa Del Karma||Avenida 15 between calle 12 and 14||Hotel||80|
|Magic Express||Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km 291 Esquina 54 Nte||Hotel||79|
|Maria Sabina Hotel & Backpackers Hostel||Calle 6 Norte, n 796, (between 5th &10th Avenue)||HOSTEL||69|
|Bed & Breakfast Popol Vuh||Calle 2 norte con zona federal mar�tima y 5a Av. Col. Centro, Quintana Roo||HOSTEL||78|
|Posada la Paduana||Calle 18 esquina Avenida 55 Norte. Colonia Ejidal||GUESTHOUSE||79|
|Barrio Latino Hotel||4 entre Avenida 10 y 15 Col. Centro||Hotel||84|
|Hacienda Mariposa Boutique Hotel||5ta Avenida y Calle 24||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel El Punto||5ta Avenida y Calle 8 Colonia Centro||Hotel||-|
|Aqualuna Hotel||Avenida 10 Entre Calle 12 y 14||Hotel||-|
|Posada B&B Picalu||Calle 28 Nte e/20 y 25 #7 Colonia Gonzalo Guerrero||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Colorado Playa del Carmen||Calle 4 nte. between 20 y 25 Av. Col. Centro||Hostel||87|
|Residence MexicoNuvole||Calle 92 entre 5 y 10 Avenida Norte||Apartment||-|
|Colores Mexicanos Hostel||15 Ave. between 2nd. St. & Juarez Av.||Hostel||-|
|UH Urban Hostel||av. 10 e/ 4 y 6||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Cohiba||Calle 12 y Primera Norte||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Playa||Avenida 25 con Calle 8||Hostel||-|
|B&B Hacienda El Sol||Calle 26 between Ave 120 & 125||APARTMENT||-|
|Hostel Casa Fairy||Calle 3 sur entre 25 y 30 avenidas Centro. Playa d 3st between 25th and 30th avenues. Downtown.||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Lunata||5ta Avenida, entre calles 6 y 8||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Vive la Vida||Calle 2. Col Centro Playa del Carmen, QRoo||Hostel||81|
|White Elephant Hostel||15th Av. 845 Almost corner with 2nd street||Hostel||-|
|Hostel 3B||Ave. 10 Esquina Calle 1a Sur||HOSTEL||86|
|Apart Hotel Casaejido||C/3 sur entre 65 y 70 mza 11 lote 9||Hotel||82|
|Hostel Che||Calle 6, entre Avenida 15 & Avenida 20||HOSTEL||85|
|Hacienda Real by Encanto||Av. 10 esq. Calle 10||Hotel||-|
|Encanto Paseo del Sol||Avenida Xaman-Ha Mz. 12 LT.4 Y 5 Fase II||Hotel||-|
|Hacienda del Caribe||2nd St. Between 5th Av. and 10th Av.||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Encanto El Faro||1st. Av. North and 10th St.||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Encanto Corto Maltes||1st. Av. North and 10th St.||Hotel||-|
|El Duende Del Mar||Av. 30 Sur esquina calle 3 Sur Colonia Centro C.P.||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Illusion||Calle 8 Norte entre 5a Av y la Playa||HOTEL||-|
|Blue Pearl Suites||First Avenue North 331||Apartment||-|
|Casa Kan Balam||Calle 17 sur Lote 8 - Entre Av 70 y 75 Ejido sur||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Posada Mariposa Boutique Hotel||5th Avenue between 24th and 26th Street||HOTEL||-|
|Hacienda Maria Bonita||Avenida 10 Norte No. 215 entre calle 10 y 12 Col. Centro||Hotel||79|
|Playa Suites Hotel||Av 10 N°: 8 Entre 24 y 26 Colonia Centro||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Copa||5Ta Av. N° 209 Entre 10 y 12 Colonia Centro||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Cielo||Calle 4 entre 5ta y 10ma Avenida Quintana Roo,||HOTEL||-|
|Villas Picalu B&B Boutique||Bahia Xcacel 18, lote 11 manzana 9 Puerto Aventuras||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Tres Mundos Hostel||Calle 6 Norte Entre Avenida 20 y Avenida 25||HOSTEL||81|
|Grand Hostal Playa||Avenida 20 Entre Calles 4 y 6||Hostel||81|
|Casa del Shiva||Calle 2 Nte Mz 228 LT 6 Y 7 Entre Av 120 Y 125 Nte, Col Ejido||HOSTEL||78|
|Hostel Quinta Playa||2nd Street Between 5th Avenue and Ocean||HOSTEL||80|
|B&B Messico Amore||Calle Aruba n.14 Frac. Mundo Hubitat||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Old Jack's Hotel||Calle 12 Norte con 1.Ra Privada, n.195 Quintana Roo (MX)||HOTEL||-|
|Tequilita Hostel||Calle 6 entre Av.15 Y AV.20||HOSTEL||-|
|B&B Casa Coral||Calle 110, Avenida 35||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostel 6-15||Avenida 15 Norte Esquina calle 6||HOSTEL||-|
|Suites Fenicia Playa del Carmen||Av. 30 Norte por Calle 46 C.P.77720||APARTMENT||82|
|Hotel Plaza Playa||Calle 20 entre 25 y 30 No. Ext. 83 No. Int. 2.||HOTEL||78|
|Playa Beach Hostel||Lot 5 Xcalacoco||HOSTEL||-|
|Green Monkey Hostel||primera norte con 22 street Two blocks from Mamitas||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel White Sand||Calle 24 Entre 24 / 5ta 10a. Av. Col. Centro||HOTEL||-|
|Casa Felicidad Mexico||Calle 6 y Avenida 40||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Condo 46||Av 46 CTM entre 25 y 30 NTE n°15||APARTMENT||-|
|Playa del Karma||Av. 15 norte Lte. 9 entre Calle 12 y 14 “Colonia Centro”||Hotel||-|
|The Yak||Calle 10 Norte Bis, entre Av. 10 y Av. 15||HOSTEL||89|
|Xtudio Comfort Hotel By Xperience Hotels||5th Avenue, between 4th and 6th||APARTMENT||-|
|The Spot Bed & Breakfast||Fuente de Cervantes, Lote 38, Residencial Santa Fe||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa del Carmen||Calle 26 northe avenida 45 entres av 40||Hostel||-|
|Excel Sense||Paseo Xaman HA mza 16 Lt 16 PlayacarFase||HOSTEL||-|
|Posada Naranja||Avenue number 20, corner with street number 28||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Graffiti Playa||Calle 4,between 15 y 20 Avenues||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Maya Inn||Avenida 10 Corner calle 12||HOTEL||-|
In order to work in Mexico you will need a work permit. Depending on how long the work will go on for and where you’re from you’ll need different kinds of permits. These are gained from the Mexican Government and are issued to people who are sponsored by companies in Mexico (or foreign companies with Mexican operations/subsidiaries), or by people with specific skills required in Mexico. The rules are quite strict, and there’s a lot of paperwork involved in getting a proper work permit. It’s hard to do by yourself, going through a company that already has the procedure set up is much easier.
Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.
See also International Telephone Calls
Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.
The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.
Just a couple of stores down from Dive Shop Mexico (see above) you find a really good and trustworthy laundry place called PlayaLav. The couple who own it speaks English and you can wash 1 kilogram for 12 pesos.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Playa del Carmen searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Playa del Carmen and areas nearby.
Ask keithandhelen a question about Playa del Carmen
We have stayed in Playa del Carmen for 2 months in each ofl the past 4 years and have travelled extensively in the area and beyond.
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