15 Best Day Trips from Playa del Carmen


The Yucatan Peninsula is without doubt one of the most magical locations on the planet, for my part. There’s a magnificence and an vitality that may’t be discovered wherever else, and Playa del Carmen is true within the coronary heart of it. The metropolis itself is unbelievable, however there are day journeys from Playa del Carmen that may utterly blow your thoughts.

I spent practically 5 months in PDC and was fortunate sufficient to discover some improbable day journeys round Playa del Carmen. From island hopping and swimming in pure springs to climbing historic ruins and studying concerning the native tradition, there’s no excuse for a uninteresting second.

Best Day Trips From Playa del Carmen

One of one of the best issues about Playa del Carmen is its completely central location. Within a brief drive or bus trip, you’ll find your self in a model new, unbelievable location and be again earlier than supper time. These are one of the best day journeys from Playa del Carmen that should be in your itinerary.

1. Cozumel


From the mainland in Playa del Carmen, for those who look out east into the ocean, you’ll see the island of Cozumel. You can hop on a ferry from the principle pier and spend the day on this stunning island.

Cozumel is understood for its snorkeling and scuba diving, in addition to being a preferred cruise ship vacation spot. You can spend the day buying, eating, and swimming within the Caribbean Sea, all only a quick journey from Playa del Carmen.

There are additionally loads of seashore golf equipment if you wish to lease a lounge chair for the day and snorkel within the reefs. Cozumel was certainly one of my favourite locations to “change up the scenery” for the day with out breaking the financial institution.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 45-minute ferry trip. 20 miles/30kms.
Location: Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: The solely choice is to take a ferry. It runs usually, and the Ultramar Ferry is usually the preferred choice. Tickets can vary from $6 (a method) to $20, relying on the category.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Cozumel: Starfish, Stingrays, and Turtle Bay Snorkeling Tour
Must-Do Activities: Stroll alongside the promenade and buy groceries. Take a taxi to a seashore membership. Rent ATVs. Take a glass-bottom boat tour. Snorkel, swim, and scuba!
Where to Eat: Crazy King Burrito on Cozumel is my favourite restaurant on the island. You actually can’t miss it. Every merchandise is to die for.

2. Coba


When most individuals consider ruins and pyramids within the space, they normally consider Tulum (extra on this beneath) or Chichen Itza, nevertheless, you’re doing your self a significant disservice for those who don’t go to the ruins of Coba.

Experiencing the ruins and pyramid of Coba is without doubt one of the most unusual day journeys from Playa del Carmen. You’ll must take an organized tour or bus from Playa del Carmen to the ruins, and when you’re there, I extremely suggest renting a motorbike so you possibly can cruise across the paths that take you from one historic Mayan website to a different.

If you’re feeling up for it, you possibly can climb the steep ascent to the highest of the Coba pyramid. It’s a dramatic incline, however when you attain the highest, you’ll be excessive above the jungle cover and have essentially the most unbelievable view.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: About an hour and a half drive from Playa del Carmen. 69 miles/111 km.
Location: 77793 Coba, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: You have a number of choices to get to Coba. You can lease personal transportation, or you possibly can take a bus or a shuttle. It can vary from $9 to $30 USD.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Coba Day Trip from Riviera Maya
Must-Do Activities: Ride bikes by means of the ruins. Climb to the highest of the Coba pyramid. Take an archaeological tour.
Where to Eat: El Cocodrilo is the place to eat after a day on the ruins. The meals is top-notch, and the terrace is the proper place to unwind.

3. Cenote Kantun Chi

Cenote Kantun Chi

The Yucatan Peninsula is understood for a lot of issues, and certainly one of them is its attractive cenotes. Cenotes are primarily sunken underground freshwater springs that maintain crystal clear waters. The Mayans used them for water sources in addition to for non secular functions.

One of essentially the most well-known and exquisite cenotes of all is Cenote Kantun Chi, and visiting is by far one of the distinctive day journeys from Playa del Carmen. In reality, there’s not only one cenote right here however 5 of them!

Spend the day swimming, snorkeling, or simply taking within the surroundings at this beautiful pure surprise. You may even stroll the paths or go spelunking for those who’re feeling adventurous. You gained’t discover another place on the planet prefer it.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: half-hour. 16 miles/25 km.
Location: FPRX+F5 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: You can lease a automotive, take a taxi, or prepare a shuttle.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Kantun Chi Cenotes, Snorkel & Jungle Hiking
Must-Do Activities: Swim, snorkel, take a cave tour, hike within the jungle.

4. Valladolid


One of my favourite day journeys from Playa del Carmen was going to the attractive, historic metropolis of Valladolid. Located inland on the peninsula, this beautiful city is filled with character, attraction, tradition, and many enjoyable issues to do.

Valladolid is a standard Mexican metropolis, the place you possibly can actually get a glimpse at native life. It’s much less touristy than Playa del Carmen, however rather more “authentic.” There are outlets, stunning cathedrals, historic structure, and even cenotes and ruins simply exterior town.

You can simply spend all the day simply wandering the streets on foot or by bike. It’s the best spot for historical past buffs and foodies – the Mayan delicacies is phenomenal.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: Approximately two hours. 88 miles/141 km.
Location: Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico
Getting There: You can lease a automotive, prepare for personal transport, or take a public bus.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid Day Tour
Must-Do Activities: Walk, stroll, stroll! Visit museums, discover the structure, and swim in a cenote.
Where to Eat: Eat at El Atrio del Mayab Restaurant and thank me later. They have a few of the most mouthwatering, genuine Mayan delicacies within the area. And the atmosphere is totally attractive.

5. Tulum


Tulum is a type of locations that simply doesn’t appear actual. The laid-back bohemian city is house to attractive white sand seashores, ruins that perch alongside the cliffside overlooking the ocean, and many enjoyable boutiques and eating places.

There are three most important areas of Tulum. The “central” space of Tulum is situated somewhat inland and is the place a lot of the locals reside. There are loads of outlets and eating places to discover right here. Then, you might have the “tourist strip” by the seashore, the place you’ll discover boutique motels, smoothie outlets, and boutiques. Lastly, there are the ruins.

Since Tulum is simply an hour south of Playa del Carmen, it’s an awesome place to spend the day while you need extra of a laid-back vibe. Be conscious that it will possibly get fairly busy throughout peak seasons and generally is a bit pricier than Playa del Carmen.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: One hour. 40 miles/64 km.
Location: Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: Getting to Tulum is straightforward from Playa del Carmen. Rent a personal automotive, take a taxi, take the bus, or prepare a tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Tulum Archaeological Walking Tour
Must-Do Activities: Sunbathe on the seashore, swim, snorkel, buy groceries, and discover the ruins.
Where to Eat: Every time I’m in Tulum, I’ve to cease at Aca Tacos de Canasta. Their tacos are a few of the greatest I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a number of avenue tacos.

6. Xcaret

Xcaret flamingos

For an expertise that you just really can not get wherever else, you must spend the day at XcaretXcaret. This iconic park is an ecological protect, amusement park, and water park multi functional.

The Caribbean Sea is included into the park, so you possibly can swim, snorkel, cliff dive, and discover to your coronary heart’s content material. They even have zip traces, reside leisure, and the choice to swim with dolphins and manta rays.

What’s cool about Xcaret is that you could buy all-inclusive tickets. That manner, you might have entry to the park and limitless meals and drinks for all the day.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 20 minutes. 6 miles/9.7 km
Location: Carretera Chetúmal Puerto Juárez Kilómetro 282, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Getting There: Xcaret is conveniently situated south of Playa del Carmen, and you may get there by taxi, bus, or organized tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Xcaret Park Full-Day Admission with Lunch and Night Show
Must-Do Activities: Swim with the dolphins, snorkel, cliff dive, and watch a reside efficiency.
Where to Eat: There are a number of eating choices in Xcaret; nevertheless, my favourite is the El Manglar Restaurant proper on the seashore. Enjoy contemporary ceviche and different contemporary seafood with a improbable view.

7. Akumal Beach

Akumal Beach turtle

An simple and enjoyable day journey from Playa del Carmen is heading south to Akumal Beach (Playa Akumal). The seashore itself is idyllic. It has clear, heat waters that keep shallow for fairly a while. However, the principle draw to this seashore is the ocean turtles.

Known as “the place of the turtle,” it’s a well-known breeding floor for regal sea turtles, and for those who hand around in Akumal lengthy sufficient, you’re just about assured to see one.

You can swim, snorkel, and discover by yourself. However, for those who go for a booked tour, your information will take you to sanctioned-off areas that aren’t accessible to the general public.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 40 minutes. 24 miles/39 km
Location: Carretera Tulum, Yodzonot, 77776 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Getting There: Easily get to Akumal Beach by rental automotive, taxi, public bus, or an organized tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Akumal Bay Cenotes and Snorkeling with Turtles
Must-Do Activities: Sunbathe, swim, snorkel, and see sea turtles.
Where to Eat: Make it a degree to take pleasure in lunch or dinner at La Buena Vida. They have glorious fish tacos, and the out of doors atmosphere is attractive.

8. Swim with Whale Sharks

swimming with whale sharks

Playa del Carmen is without doubt one of the few locations on the earth the place you possibly can stand up shut and private with whale sharks. These huge creatures and delicate giants swim up and down the shoreline, offering vacationers with the chance to swim alongside them.

The identify sounds scary, however don’t fear, they really don’t have enamel and solely eat plankton. From a number of tour websites all through town, you’ll get on a ship, snorkel up, and take a swim subsequent to a 30-foot sea creature.

Whale shark season typically runs from the center of May by means of the center of September. You may even catch a glimpse of their new infants in spring!

Distance from Playa del Carmen: Tour corporations differ in distance round city
Location: Various places
Getting There: Tour excursions will normally depart from marked piers in Playa del Carmen. You can stroll, taxi, or bike.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Whale Shark Tour
Must-Do Activities: Swim and snorkel with majestic whale sharks
Where to Eat: Lunch and/or snacks are normally supplied with a scheduled tour.

9. Isla Holbox

Isla Holbox golf carts

I’ve by no means been to a spot fairly like Isla Holbox. The largely untouched island has pristine shallow seashores with heat water that you could stroll out into what seems like eternally, a lot of wildlife, and really, very chill vibes. In reality, they don’t even enable vehicles on the island – solely golf carts.

It’s positively a full day’s price of touring, however for my part, it’s so price it. Once you are taking the ferry or a personal constitution boat to the island, you possibly can spend the day wandering on foot or renting a golf cart to get round.

On the island, there are cute boutiques, beachside eating places and bars, and miles and miles of sandy seashores. Keep an eye fixed out for horseshoe crabs and flamingos – they’re well-known and cherished residents of Isla Holbox.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 3.5 hours. 76 miles/122 km
Location: Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: You’ll must drive or take a bus to the city of Chiquila. From there, you possibly can catch a ferry or rent a personal boat to take you to the island.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Holbox Island Tour
Must-Do Activities: It’s all about rest on Isla Holbox. Sunbathe, swim, stroll, and store.
Where to Eat: Enjoy lunch on the seashore at Restaurante La Playa De Ñaña. Savor Caribbean flavors at this waterfront, open-air seashore restaurant.

10. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

One of essentially the most well-known Mayan ruins in all of Mexico is the Chichen Itza ruins. This huge UNESCO Heritage Site sprawls throughout an enormous 4 sq. miles, is sort of 2,000 years outdated, and is essentially the most often visited archeological website on the earth.

One of essentially the most well-known buildings right here is the long-lasting El Castillo; it’s essentially the most photographed construction on the positioning and was as soon as town’s most important temple. The Great Ball Court is one other standard spot the place Mayans as soon as performed a sport referred to as Pitz.

Due to its reputation, Chichen Itza will get fairly busy, regardless of the time of 12 months. I like to recommend planning to reach earlier than 10 am to beat the crowds.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 2.5 hours. 115 miles/185 km
Location: 97751 Chichén-Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico
Getting There: You can select to drive a automotive, prepare for personal transport, take a bus, or prepare a guided tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Early Morning Chichen Itza, Sinkhole, and Colonial Gem
Must-Do Activities: Take within the historical past and be taught concerning the tradition at this superb historic website.
Where to Eat: After you’re accomplished getting your cultural repair, seize a chunk to eat at Oxtun Restaurant.

11. Isla Mujeres


Another island tour you possibly can plan for the day is to take a ferry to Isla Mujeres. It’s a sleepy, laid-back island that’s standard on cruise ship routes.

Translated as “The Island of Women,” Isla Mujeres is a good spot to put on the sand, swim in turquoise waters, snorkel, and scuba diThere’sre’s even an underwater artwork museum that scuba divers can go to. It’s additionally a preferred spot for swimming with whale sharks.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 2 hours. 53 miles/85 km.
Location: Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: You’ll want to rearrange transportation both by rental automotive, personal automotive, taxi, or bus to Cancun. From there, you possibly can take a ferry to the island. Or, you possibly can prepare a guided tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour with Open Bar and Lunch
Must-Do Activities: Relax, sunbathe, snorkel, and scuba dive.
Where to Eat: Do your self a favor and revel in award-winning fish tacos at La Kantina Los Tacos de Humo – you gained’t remorse it.

12. Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos

Just a brief drive north of Playa del Carmen is the cute and quaint port city of Puerto Morelos. I cherished developing right here for a change of surroundings and fewer crowds.

Puerto Morelos is an genuine Mexican fishing city with only a few vacationer facilities. However, the seashore is attractive and quiet; there are outlets, distributors, and loads of cute cafes to sit down and watch the world go by.

Just off the shore from Puerto Morelos is the well-known Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the place you possibly can snorkel or scuba dive amongst all types of colourful fish.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 35 minutes. 22 miles/35 km.
Location: Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: Rent a automotive for the day, take a taxi, or buy a bus ticket for the fast journey up north. You can even prepare a guided tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Puerto Morelos Snorkel Trip with Lunch
Must-Do Activities: Walk round city, sunbathe, swim, snorkel, and scuba dive.
Where to Eat: You gained’t discover seafood any freasher than you’ll at El Merkadito. Order your self an entire fried fish with a standard facet of rice and beans.

13. Izamal


It’s a little bit of a jaunt from Playa del Carmen, so that you’ll need to begin at the present time journey early, however Izamal is a metropolis in contrast to another. Known because the Magical Yellow Town, each constructing in Izamal is painted a brilliant, vibrant yellow.

At the middle of town is a grand plaza referred to as the Convento de San Antonio, the place you’ll discover a attractive nightly gentle present that illuminates the small metropolis. There’s additionally a small pyramid that you could climb referred to as Piramide Kinich Kak Moo.

In addition to the fantastic thing about town, they’ve small outlets promoting native artisan items, so you possibly can convey house an Izamal memento.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 3 hours. 148 miles/239 km.
Location: Izamal, Yucatan, Mexico
Getting There: You’ll want to rearrange for a personal automotive, buy a bus ticket, or prepare a guided tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Izamal – The Yellow Magical Town Private Tour
Must-Do Activities: Wander the magical metropolis and snap as many pictures as attainable!
Where to Eat: Restaurante Kinich Izamal is by far the preferred restaurant in Izamal. The contemporary, handmade tortillas are one thing I nonetheless dream about.

14. Sian Ka’an Biosphere

Sian Ka’an Biosphere

Nature lovers will go completely gaga over the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. A lush getaway with marshes, lagoons, and Mayan-built canals, you possibly can kayak, boat, swim, and snorkel by means of this ecologically-protected protect.

Translating to “Gate of Heaven” or “A Place Where Heaven Begins,” Sian Ka’an stays true to its identify. It’s additionally been a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1987.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 1 hour 20 minutes. 45 miles/73 km.
Location: Sian Ka’an, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: Your greatest choices for transport are renting a automotive or arranging a personal tour.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Sian Ka’an Reserve Tour
Must-Do Activities: Explore the protect by boat, snorkel, and swim.
Where to Eat: After your day in nature, fill your bellies at Ka’an Restaurant. Enjoy contemporary seafood in a shocking seashore setting.

15. Rio Secreto

underground cave

If you’re not claustrophobic, taking a day journey to Rio Secreto is a improbable concept for those who’re staying in Playa del Carmen. To be trustworthy, I’m somewhat terrified of tight areas, however I’m so glad I used to be courageous sufficient to expertise this tour.

This underground cave and river system is a magical wonderland filled with stalagmites and stalactites that make you are feeling such as you’re on one other planet. Unlike different pure parks within the space, there aren’t any bells and whistles right here – simply the pure glory that’s Rio Secreto.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 15 minutes. 5.2 miles/8.4 km.
Location: Carretera Federal Libre Chetumal – Puerto Juárez Km 283.5, Ejido Sur, 77712, 77712 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Getting There: A personal automotive is an effective choice for those who’d wish to buy tour tickets on-site. However, reserving a guided tour prematurely take away the stress of getting the arrange issues your self.
Best Tour from Playa del Carmen: Rio Secreto Wild Tour with Lunch
Must-Do Activities: Take a guided tour of one of the stunning pure wonders in Mexico.
Where to Eat: There aren’t any eating places on-site, nevertheless, many guided excursions embrace a lunch.

Best Day Trip Tours from Playa del Carmen

spider monkey

With so many locations to go to close to Playa del Carmen, it will possibly really feel overwhelming to determine the place to begin. Here are a few of the greatest day journey excursions that depart instantly from Playa del Carmen.

1. Cozumel: Starfish, Stingrays, and Turtle Bay Snorkeling Tour: Explore the colourful underwater world of marine life throughout this exhilarating snorkeling tour in Cozumel. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of El Cielo, El Cielito Beach, and Cozumel Turtle Bay as you seek for stingrays, starfish, and many different fascinating sealife. The tour is 4 hours and meets on the Cozumel Ferry port. Click right here for extra particulars.

2. From Riviera Maya: Coba, Punta Laguna & Cenote Day Trip: Embark on a stunning full-day tour to the Coba archaeological website. Explore the luxurious jungle both by bicycle or by foot, spot charming spider and howler monkeys within the wild, take a refreshing dip in a crisp cenote, and savor a tasty conventional meal on the lakeside. The tour is 9 hours lengthy and consists of resort pick-up. Click right here for extra particulars.

3. Tulum Archeological Site Guided Walking Tour: This charming strolling tour takes you thru the Tulum Archaeological Zone, the place you’ll uncover the wealthy historical past of the traditional Mayan metropolis, together with its temples, fortress partitions, and different exceptional ruins. The tour is a fast 75 minutes and meets on the Andreas Hotel in Tulum. Click right here for extra particulars.

4. From Playa del Carmen: Whale Shark Tour: Experience the final word thrill within the Caribbean by being conveniently picked up from your Playa del Carmen resort and embarking on an interesting journey snorkeling alongside mild giants, the magnificent whale sharks, whereas additionally encountering the varied marine lifetime of the realm. The tour is 7 hours lengthy. Click right here for extra particulars.

5. From Riviera Maya: Mayan Ruins & Sian Kaan Reserve Tour: Take an exhilarating half-day journey by means of the guts of the traditional Mayan civilization, immersing within the breathtaking great thing about the Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve. You’ll see jungle wildlife, and peacefully float within the crystal-clear turquoise waters earlier than ending your memorable journey. The tour is 6 hours lengthy and consists of resort pick-up. Click right here for extra particulars.

Day Trips Around Playa del Carmen: FAQs

Here are some solutions to essentially the most generally requested questions on one of the best day journeys from Plays del Carmen:

What is the preferred day journey from Playa del Carmen?

The hottest day journey from Playa del Carmen is to Tulum or Chichen Itza.

How many days do you want in Playa del Carmen?

I’d suggest no less than a number of days in Playa del Carmen. A minimal of three or 4 to discover and expertise. However, the longer you possibly can keep, the higher!

What are one of the best day journeys from Playa del Carmen with a automotive?

The greatest day journeys from Playa del Carmen with a automotive are plentiful. If you might have your personal automotive or personal transportation, any day journeys can be found to you.

What is essentially the most stunning place close to Playa del Carmen?

The most stunning place close to Playa del Carmen is the picturesque Tulum Ruins.

What are one of the best day journeys from Playa del Carmen by prepare?

Unfortunately, there isn’t any prepare transportation from Playa del Carmen. Only vehicles, shuttles, and buses.

Can you are taking a day journey from Playa del Carmen to Tulum?

Absolutely! Tulum could be very accessible and solely an hour away from Playa del Carmen.

Which standard place could be very near Playa del Carmen?

Tulum and Cancun are the 2 of the preferred locations near Playa del Carmen.

What journeys can you are taking from Playa del Carmen?

There are dozens of journeys you possibly can take from Playa del Carmen all through the Yucatan Peninsula. Nature preserves, water parks and historic cities are all quick distances away.

How many days is sufficient in Playa del Carmen?

You’ll need to keep in Playa del Carmen for no less than three or 4 days, nevertheless, for those who can keep longer, you must!

Can you do a day journey from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel?

Yes! You can simply do a day journey from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. Hop on the Ultramar Ferry from downtown Playa del Carmen for a 45-minute ferry trip to the island.

In Conclusion

Even although I spent 5 months in Playa del Carmen, I may have simply spent 5 years. Not solely is town stunning, cultural, and vibrant, however there are such a lot of unbelievable day journeys close by.

No matter what your pursuits or exercise stage, Playa del Carmen provides a mess of experiences that might be treasured in your reminiscence financial institution eternally. Experience all of the magic that the Yucatan has to supply with these distinctive day journeys from Playa del Carmen.

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