Originally a sleepy fishing village and for many years a haunt of nature lovers and European backpackers, today Playa del Carmen is a vibrant city and one of the fastest growing destinations in Mexico
. With its white sandy beaches and gentle turquoise waters, Playa del Carmen beaches
are simply breathtaking, and the location is a favorite spot for sun worshipping, diving, snorkeling and even nightlife. Playa del Carmen cruises, too, are quite popular and increasing in numbers. Despite its growth, this artsy, laid-back community exudes charm and Mexican authenticity, and local authorities are doing their best to ensure that Playa del Carmen retains its rustic flavor and remains an unspoiled oasis.
Located in the Riviera Maya
, the stretch of land that runs from the edge of Cancun south to Tulum and the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve, many Playa del Carmen vacations start with a stay in a plush Playa del Carmen all-inclusive resort, of which there are many. The Grand Real Porto is a Playa del Carmen hotel that sits along an alabaster white section of beach and boasts hacienda architecture, lush gardens overflowing with Borganvillia, a large swimming pool area and an excellent all-inclusive package that promises to pamper the most discerning guests.
Another lovely Playa del Carmen all-inclusive resort is the Hacienda Vista Real, a delightful gem with 75 beautifully appointed rooms, a poolside restaurant,
a golf course
and a swim-up bar
. The personalized service and sweeping views of the golf course and the beach make a stay in this intimate Playa del Carmen hotel part of an unforgettable Playa del Carmen vacation
Once just a tender stop for cruisers on their way to Cancun
, 35 miles north, today Playa del Carmen is a bustling cruise port named Calica (actually located three miles south of Playa del Carmen) and attracts cruisers from around the world, but primarily from Europe and the U.S. Europeans actually discovered Playa del Carmen in the early 1980s and have been coming here ever since. Cruise lines offering Playa del Carmen cruises include Carnival, Celebrity, Princess and more.
Playa del Carmen’s numerous nature theme parks, including Xcaret, Xel-Ha and Aktun Chen, offer a chance to partake in snorkeling, cave diving and swimming with dolphins. Spectacular Mayan ruins are just down the road in nearby Tulum, and Playa del Carmen’s vast network of cenotes, openings to hidden underwater caves that the Mayns considered doorways to the spiritual world, are also waiting to be explored during a Playa del Carmen vacation.