15 Greatest Day Journeys from Playa del Carmen

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

I spent almost 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 boring second.

Greatest Day Journeys From Playa del Carmen

Among the best issues about Playa del Carmen is its completely central location. Inside a brief drive or bus journey, you’ll find your self in a model new, unbelievable location and be again earlier than time for dinner. These are the perfect day journeys from Playa del Carmen that must be in your itinerary.

1. Cozumel


From the mainland in Playa del Carmen, if you happen to look out east into the ocean, you’ll see the island of Cozumel. You possibly 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 possibly can spend the day purchasing, eating, and swimming within the Caribbean Sea, all only a brief journey from Playa del Carmen.

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

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 45-minute ferry journey. 20 miles/30kms.
Location: Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: The one choice is to take a ferry. It runs typically, and the Ultramar Ferry is mostly the preferred choice. Tickets can vary from $6 (a technique) to $20, relying on the category.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Cozumel: Starfish, Stingrays, and Turtle Bay Snorkeling Tour
Should-Do Actions: Stroll alongside the promenade and buy groceries. Take a taxi to a seaside membership. Hire ATVs. Take a glass-bottom boat tour. Snorkel, swim, and scuba!
The place to Eat: Loopy King Burrito on Cozumel is my favourite restaurant on the island. You actually can’t miss it. Each merchandise is to die for.

2. Coba


When most individuals consider ruins and pyramids within the space, they often consider Tulum (extra on this beneath) or Chichen Itza, nevertheless, you’re doing your self a significant disservice if you happen to 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 advocate renting a motorcycle so you may cruise across the paths that take you from one historic Mayan website to a different.

When you’re feeling up for it, you may 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 got a number of choices to get to Coba. You possibly can hire personal transportation, or you may take a bus or a shuttle. It might vary from $9 to $30 USD.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Coba Day Journey from Riviera Maya
Should-Do Actions: Experience bikes by the ruins. Climb to the highest of the Coba pyramid. Take an archaeological tour.
The place 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 one in every of them is its attractive cenotes. Cenotes are basically sunken underground freshwater springs that maintain crystal clear waters. The Mayans used them for water sources in addition to for spiritual functions.

One of the vital well-known and exquisite cenotes of all is Cenote Kantun Chi, and visiting is by far probably the most distinctive day journeys from Playa del Carmen. The truth is, 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 gorgeous pure marvel. You possibly can even stroll the paths or go spelunking if you happen to’re feeling adventurous. You received’t discover every other 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 possibly can hire a automobile, take a taxi, or prepare a shuttle.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Kantun Chi Cenotes, Snorkel & Jungle Climbing
Should-Do Actions: Swim, snorkel, take a cave tour, hike within the jungle.

4. Valladolid


Considered one of my favourite day journeys from Playa del Carmen was going to the attractive, historic metropolis of Valladolid. Positioned inland on the peninsula, this gorgeous city is filled with character, allure, tradition, and plenty of enjoyable issues to do.

Valladolid is a conventional Mexican metropolis, the place you may actually get a glimpse at native life. It’s much less touristy than Playa del Carmen, however way more “genuine.” There are retailers, stunning cathedrals, historic structure, and even cenotes and ruins simply exterior the town.

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

Distance from Playa del Carmen: Roughly two hours. 88 miles/141 km.
Location: Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico
Getting There: You possibly can hire a automobile, prepare for personal transport, or take a public bus.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid Day Tour
Should-Do Actions: Stroll, stroll, stroll! Go to museums, discover the structure, and swim in a cenote.
The place to Eat: Eat at El Atrio del Mayab Restaurant and thank me later. They’ve a few of the most mouthwatering, genuine Mayan delicacies within the area. And the surroundings 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 plenty of enjoyable boutiques and eating places.

There are three major areas of Tulum. The “central” space of Tulum is positioned somewhat inland and is the place many of the locals dwell. There are many retailers and eating places to discover right here. Then, you’ve the “vacationer strip” by the seaside, the place you’ll discover boutique motels, smoothie retailers, 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 once you need extra of a laid-back vibe. Remember that it could possibly get fairly busy throughout peak seasons and could be 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: Attending to Tulum is simple from Playa del Carmen. Hire a personal automobile, take a taxi, take the bus, or prepare a tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Tulum Archaeological Strolling Tour
Should-Do Actions: Sunbathe on the seaside, swim, snorkel, buy groceries, and discover the ruins.
The place to Eat: Each 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 quite a lot of road tacos.

6. Xcaret

Xcaret flamingos

For an expertise that you simply actually can not get wherever else, you need to spend the day at XcaretXcaret. This iconic park is an ecological protect, amusement park, and water park multi function.

The Caribbean Sea is integrated into the park, so you may swim, snorkel, cliff dive, and discover to your coronary heart’s content material. In addition they have zip traces, dwell leisure, and the choice to swim with dolphins and manta rays.

What’s cool about Xcaret is you could buy all-inclusive tickets. That means, you’ve entry to the park and limitless meals and drinks for your complete 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 positioned south of Playa del Carmen, and you will get there by taxi, bus, or organized tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Xcaret Park Full-Day Admission with Lunch and Night time Present
Should-Do Actions: Swim with the dolphins, snorkel, cliff dive, and watch a dwell efficiency.
The place to Eat: There are a number of eating choices in Xcaret; nevertheless, my favourite is the El Manglar Restaurant proper on the seaside. Get pleasure from recent ceviche and different recent seafood with a improbable view.

7. Akumal Seaside

Akumal Beach turtle

A straightforward and enjoyable day journey from Playa del Carmen is heading south to Akumal Seaside (Playa Akumal). The seaside itself is idyllic. It has clear, heat waters that keep shallow for fairly a while. Nonetheless, the principle draw to this seaside is the ocean turtles.

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

You possibly can swim, snorkel, and discover by yourself. Nonetheless, if you happen to 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: Simply get to Akumal Seaside by rental automobile, taxi, public bus, or an organized tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Akumal Bay Cenotes and Snorkeling with Turtles
Should-Do Actions: Sunbathe, swim, snorkel, and see sea turtles.
The place to Eat: Make it a degree to get pleasure from lunch or dinner at La Buena Vida. They’ve wonderful fish tacos, and the out of doors surroundings is attractive.

8. Swim with Whale Sharks

swimming with whale sharks

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

The title sounds scary, however don’t fear, they really don’t have tooth and solely eat plankton. From a number of tour websites all through the 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 Might by the center of September. You possibly can even catch a glimpse of their new infants in spring!

Distance from Playa del Carmen: Tour corporations range in distance round city
Location: Numerous places
Getting There: Tour excursions will often depart from marked piers in Playa del Carmen. You possibly can stroll, taxi, or bike.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Whale Shark Tour
Should-Do Actions: Swim and snorkel with majestic whale sharks
The place to Eat: Lunch and/or snacks are often 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 you could stroll out into what seems like ceaselessly, a lot of wildlife, and really, very chill vibes. The truth is, they don’t even enable vehicles on the island – solely golf carts.

It’s positively a full day’s price of touring, however in my view, it’s so price it. As soon as you are taking the ferry or a personal constitution boat to the island, you may 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. Hold a watch 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 may catch a ferry or rent a personal boat to take you to the island.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Holbox Island Tour
Should-Do Actions: It’s all about rest on Isla Holbox. Sunbathe, swim, stroll, and store.
The place to Eat: Get pleasure from lunch on the seaside at Restaurante La Playa De Ñaña. Savor Caribbean flavors at this waterfront, open-air seaside restaurant.

10. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

One of the vital well-known Mayan ruins in all of Mexico is the Chichen Itza ruins. This large UNESCO Heritage Web site sprawls throughout a large 4 sq. miles, is nearly 2,000 years outdated, and is essentially the most steadily visited archeological website on the planet.

One of the vital 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 the town’s major temple. The Nice Ball Court docket is one other standard spot the place Mayans as soon as performed a sport known as Pitz.

Because of its reputation, Chichen Itza will get fairly busy, regardless of the time of yr. 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 possibly can select to drive a automobile, prepare for personal transport, take a bus, or prepare a guided tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Early Morning Chichen Itza, Sinkhole, and Colonial Gem
Should-Do Actions: Take within the historical past and be taught concerning the tradition at this superb historic website.
The place to Eat: After you’re performed getting your cultural repair, seize a chew to eat at Oxtun Restaurant.

11. Isla Mujeres


One other island tour you may 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 Ladies,” 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 automobile, personal automobile, taxi, or bus to Cancun. From there, you may take a ferry to the island. Or, you may prepare a guided tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour with Open Bar and Lunch
Should-Do Actions: Loosen up, sunbathe, snorkel, and scuba dive.
The place to Eat: Do your self a favor and revel in award-winning fish tacos at La Kantina Los Tacos de Humo – you received’t remorse it.

12. Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos

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

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

Simply off the shore from Puerto Morelos is the well-known Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the place you may snorkel or scuba dive amongst all kinds of colourful fish.

Distance from Playa del Carmen: 35 minutes. 22 miles/35 km.
Location: Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Getting There: Hire a automobile for the day, take a taxi, or buy a bus ticket for the fast journey up north. You too can prepare a guided tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Puerto Morelos Snorkel Journey with Lunch
Should-Do Actions: Stroll round city, sunbathe, swim, snorkel, and scuba dive.
The place to Eat: You received’t discover seafood any freasher than you’ll at El Merkadito. Order your self a complete fried fish with a conventional facet of rice and beans.

13. Izamal


It’s a little bit of a jaunt from Playa del Carmen, so that you’ll wish to begin this present day journey early, however Izamal is a metropolis in contrast to every other. Often known as the Magical Yellow City, each constructing in Izamal is painted a vibrant, vibrant yellow.

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

Along with the fantastic thing about the town, they’ve small retailers promoting native artisan items, so you may deliver 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 automobile, buy a bus ticket, or prepare a guided tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Izamal – The Yellow Magical City Personal Tour
Should-Do Actions: Wander the magical metropolis and snap as many pictures as attainable!
The place to Eat: Restaurante Kinich Izamal is by far the preferred restaurant in Izamal. The recent, 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 may kayak, boat, swim, and snorkel by this ecologically-protected protect.

Translating to “Gate of Heaven” or “A Place The place Heaven Begins,” Sian Ka’an stays true to its title. It’s additionally been a UNESCO Heritage Web 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 automobile or arranging a personal tour.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Sian Ka’an Reserve Tour
Should-Do Actions: Discover the protect by boat, snorkel, and swim.
The place to Eat: After your day in nature, fill your bellies at Ka’an Restaurant. Get pleasure from recent seafood in a shocking seaside setting.

15. Rio Secreto

underground cave

When you’re not claustrophobic, taking a day journey to Rio Secreto is a improbable thought if you happen to’re staying in Playa del Carmen. To be sincere, I’m somewhat afraid 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. In contrast to 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: quarter-hour. 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 automobile is an efficient choice if you happen to’d prefer to buy tour tickets on-site. Nonetheless, reserving a guided tour upfront take away the stress of getting the set up issues your self.
Greatest Tour from Playa del Carmen: Rio Secreto Wild Tour with Lunch
Should-Do Actions: Take a guided tour of probably the most stunning pure wonders in Mexico.
The place to Eat: There aren’t any eating places on-site, nevertheless, many guided excursions embody a lunch.

Greatest Day Journey Excursions from Playa del Carmen

spider monkey

With so many locations to go to close to Playa del Carmen, it could possibly really feel overwhelming to determine the place to start out. Listed below are a few of the greatest day journey excursions that depart immediately from Playa del Carmen.

1. Cozumel: Starfish, Stingrays, and Turtle Bay Snorkeling Tour: Discover 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 Seaside, and Cozumel Turtle Bay as you seek for stingrays, starfish, and plenty of different fascinating sealife. The tour is 4 hours and meets on the Cozumel Ferry port. Click on right here for extra particulars.

2. From Riviera Maya: Coba, Punta Laguna & Cenote Day Journey: Embark on a stunning full-day tour to the Coba archaeological website. Discover the plush jungle both by bicycle or by foot, spot fascinating 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 on right here for extra particulars.

3. Tulum Archeological Web site Guided Strolling Tour: This fascinating 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 Lodge in Tulum. Click on right here for extra particulars.

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

5. From Riviera Maya: Mayan Ruins & Sian Kaan Reserve Tour: Take an exhilarating half-day journey by the center of the traditional Mayan civilization, immersing within the breathtaking fantastic 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 on right here for extra particulars.

Day Journeys Round Playa del Carmen: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to essentially the most generally requested questions on the perfect day journeys from Performs del Carmen:

What’s the hottest day journey from Playa del Carmen?

The most well-liked day journey from Playa del Carmen is to Tulum or Chichen Itza.

What number of days do you want in Playa del Carmen?

I’d advocate at the very least a number of days in Playa del Carmen. A minimal of three or 4 to discover and expertise. Nonetheless, the longer you may keep, the higher!

What are the perfect day journeys from Playa del Carmen with a automobile?

The perfect day journeys from Playa del Carmen with a automobile are plentiful. You probably have your personal automobile or personal transportation, any day journeys can be found to you.

What’s the most stunning place close to Playa del Carmen?

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

What are the perfect day journeys from Playa del Carmen by practice?

Sadly, there isn’t any practice transportation from Playa del Carmen. Solely vehicles, shuttles, and buses.

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

Completely! 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 may take from Playa del Carmen all through the Yucatan Peninsula. Nature preserves, water parks and historic cities are all brief distances away.

What number of days is sufficient in Playa del Carmen?

You’ll wish to keep in Playa del Carmen for at the very least three or 4 days, nevertheless, if you happen to can keep longer, you must!

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

Sure! You possibly 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 journey to the island.

In Conclusion

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

It doesn’t matter what your pursuits or exercise degree, Playa del Carmen gives a mess of experiences that will probably be treasured in your reminiscence financial institution ceaselessly. Expertise all of the magic that the Yucatan has to supply with these distinctive day journeys from Playa del Carmen.

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