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One of the most justifiably popular towns on the Yucatan Peninsular is Playa del Carmen. People seek out this gem for its snow white beaches, colourful coral reefs and chilled out atmosphere. However it can get busy, but if crowds don’t faze you, then you can relax on the sands during the day and experience the pulsating nightlife when the sun sets.
Most activities in town are centred on the beach. The calm azure waters of the Caribbean Sea are extremely inviting to those who want to swim, snorkel or dive on the reefs. Away from the sea there are many golf courses catering to players of all abilities.
The more active tourists can walk along the scenic coastline and stop at the many top-notch seafood eateries lining the beaches. One of these walks takes you to the resort’s lighthouse which allows visitors access and from the top affords spectacular views of the environs. And for bird lovers there is the Xaman-Ha aviary, which features over two hundred birds in a tropical forest setting.
The main shopping street is Avenue 5. Here and in the surrounding side streets, you’ll discover a diverse range of Mexican handmade pottery, handicrafts and clothing.
No trip to Playa del Carmen is complete without a visit to the Mayan ruins at Chichén-Itzá and Tulum. The impressive pyramids and temples still project grandeur even though the jungle has long since reclaimed much of the settlements.
Playa del Carmen is 68kms south of Cancún. Highway 307 connects Cancún with Tulum and is the only highway that passes through Playa. The closest international airport to Playa is in Cancún. Several airlines from the USA offer direct flights to and from Cancún, as do major Mexican domestic carriers. Another option is to fly into Cozumel, which also has an international airport, and then take the passenger ferry that has frequent daily departures. There are two ferries from Cozumel - the WJ Mexico is a fast waterjet that only takes 25 minutes and the Xel-H or Cozumelero ferry takes 45 minutes.