Playa del Carmen
Located between the resort city of Cancun and Cozumel Island, Playa del Carmen is growing coastal community on Mexico's Mayan Riviera at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico. Commonly referred to as "Playa," visitors to Playa del Carmen enjoy the stark blue waters of the Caribbean. In addition, Playa del Carmen is an alternative to the resort experience of nearby Cancun. Still, Playa offers all the trappings of a beach vacation including a number of archeological parks and sites including Chiche-Itza.
Visitors may find a variety of activities including deep sea fishing, snorkeling, diving, ocean kayaking and swimming in water caverns.
Cozumel is an island off the Yucatan Peninsula and about 40 miles south of Cancun. Tourists typically arrive by airplane or take a ferry from Playa del Carmen. Like Playa, Cozumel is not a commercial beach and is akin to a relaxed coastal community despite the steady flow of visitors from inland Mexico and cruise ships. In fact only an estimated 5 percent of the island is developed. To get a look at the undeveloped beaches, tourists may elect to rent a scooter or Jeep to get there. Accommodation on the island includes a few resorts and hotels in the island's town of San Miguel de Cozumel. The pristine Caribbean waters have become a world-class scuba diving and snorkeling venue that attract amateurs and professionals alike.
Acapulco is one of the classic beach destinations in Mexico whose popularity has endured for decades. Known as the Pearl of the Pacific, Acapulco is visited by foreign tourists and nationals alike. As a large resort town, Acapulco provides a large variety of resort accommodations including Diamante, the high-end district in Acapulco. Visitors enjoy a vast nightlife and several water sport options during the day. These include diving, snorkeling, jet skiing, power boating, river rafting, fishing and cliff diving off 130 feet cliffs of La Quebrada.
Tulum is a lesser-trafficked beach on Mexico's Caribbean coast. The area is also dotted with Mayan ruins including ruins with views of the beach. These tours are easily accessed with local tour operators. In addition, Tulum is undeveloped beachfront, which gives visitors a break from the active atmosphere in nearby Cancun.
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are two Pacific coast towns within four miles of each other. Ixtapa is a more modern resort town, while Zihuatanejo is a more traditional Mexican town by comparison. Depending on tastes and budget, Ixtapa and Zihutanejo provide a taste of resort amenities and tradition. Activities in the area typically include fishing, horseback riding, eco-tours and adventure tours on mountain trails. In addition, bicycles are a popular mode of transportation and allow visitors to get a closer view of both towns.