Playa del Carmen is a popular tourist destination on the Caribbean Sea. Located near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, the town of Playa del Carmen is at the center of the Riviera Maya region. Playa del Carmen was once a small fishing village, but tourism has flourished here since the opening of a ferry route between the town and nearby Cozumel Island and its world-class scuba diving. With beautiful beaches and less crowds than Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to unwind.
The beaches in the center of Playa del Carmen are nice, but Xpu-Ha beach is special. Located just 20 minutes down the road, Xpu-Ha is situated on a scenic bay next to the famous Mayan ruins of Tulum. Walk along the perfect white sand beach to work up an appetite before stopping at one of the many excellent seafood restaurants on the Xpu-Ha coast.
Any vacation at Playa del Carmen should include a trip to the island of Cozumel. It is the biggest island in Mexico, but visitors can see much of the island over the course of a single day. A heavy tourist atmosphere diminishes some of the charm, but the snorkeling here is top notch. Made famous by Jacques Cousteau in the 1960s, Cozumel Island has beautiful reefs where you can scuba dive and snorkel. There is no bus service on the island, so people get around with taxis or scooters. Ferries take visitors between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island every hour between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. so plan your visit accordingly.
Sian Ka'an Nature Reserve
The Sian Ka'an Nature Reserve is a beautiful biosphere spanning more than 1.3 million acres of the Riviera Maya. It was founded in 1986 as a refuge for the local wildlife. Explore the mangroves, wetlands, cenote caves, coastal dunes, coral reefs and lagoons of Sian Ka'an. Observe an incredibly diverse range of animals including possum, jaguars, herons, pelicans and dolphins in their natural habitats. Visitors can also trek to a number of Mayan ruins in the reserve.
Article Written By David Thyberg
David Thyberg began his writing career in 2007. He is a professional writer, editor and translator. Thyberg has been published in various newspapers, websites and magazines. He enjoys writing about social issues, travel, music and sports. Thyberg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a certificate in Spanish and Latin American studies.