How to Spend 1 Day in Playa del Carmen
Located about an hour south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a popular Riviera Maya destination. Enjoy its white sand beaches and access to numerous outdoor and cultural activities on a visit. Here are some ways to enjoy 24 hours in Playa del Carmen.
Morning: Get to Know the Area
To visit the ruins of Tulum, an ancient Maya archaeological site about an hour south of Playa del Carmen, opt for an express tour with an early morning start—leaving you time in the afternoon to enjoy the beach or another activity. Or stay in Playa del Carmen and get to know the local cuisine on a food tour. Alternatively, head about 15 minutes south of town to one of three outdoor adventure, jungle, and eco-archaeological parks—Rio Secreto, Xplor, and Xcaret—where all kinds of family-friendly activities are available such as ziplining and swimming in underground rivers.
Afternoon: Discover the Natural Environment
Head out to sea on a half-day catamaran cruise for the chance to go swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters of the Caribbean. Look for tropical fish and sea turtles and admire the scenery as the boat glides along the coastline. Cruises often include lunch and drinks on board. If you’d rather stay on land, head into the jungle on a buggy tour that introduces you to the lush landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula. Drive or ride in an open-air 4-wheel-drive buggy, and stop to swim in a cenote, a natural underground swimming hole.
Night: Eat, Drink, and Be Entertained
You have another chance to sample local cuisine and learn more about the town of Playa del Carmen on an evening food tour. Or, perhaps, you’d rather relax and watch the sunset from the water on an evening cruise. Enjoy Vegas-style entertainment with a Riviera Maya twist at a Cirque du Soleil show, which offers dinner and Champagne options, or go dancing with a nightclub pass to some of Playa del Carmen’s top nightlife venues.