Top things to do in Playa del Carmen

Top things to do in Playa del Carmen during the day

Playa del Carmen has a lot to offer from nightlife, ocean experiences to more adrenaline-driven attractions such as zip-lining. Each year more and more tourists return to our beaches and discover this little turquoise-colored watered heaven.


With so many things to do and so little time to do them all, everyone wants to know what are the top things to do in the Mayan Riviera. That is why we decided to put a list of things we love as a tourist from a local perspective.

As a tourist from a Local perspective in Riviera Maya

Top things to do in Playa del Carmen


  1. ATV (four-wheeler) tour with Cenote 

The adventure of riding an ATV through the green jungle as the adrenaline kicks in. Getting to a refreshing and crystal clear cenote (underground caves) to wash off the dust and sweat, is as good as it can get.  

Here are some highly rated companies offering this type of adventure


Xplor Park


  1. A catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres – With an all-inclusive experience that features open bar drinks, food.  An amazing 7-hour tour through the turquoise ocean enjoying music. Which can be set up for family environment catamaran tour or more of party catamaran tour. With 13-15 catamarans going out daily you will get the boating experience you are looking for.  To top it off, if you are a good swimmer enjoy an activity call spinnaker which is a bit similar to parasailing, as you are ending the sailing tour.  


Playa Yachting – With its variety of unique nonprivate catamaran tours to Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and even Tulum.  You can definitely find one that fits your needs whether a booze cruise or just a family-friendly tour.


  1. Private Yacht – Charter or Sailing Catamaran rental companies like Playa Yachting providing you with great options for every occasion.  You can’t miss out on riding a beautiful boat, snorkeling with turtles and even jumping off the boat to complete your experience


Playa Yachting – Simple and easy to find a private charter, vessel, yacht or catamaran to take on the Caribbean’s turquoise color ocean.  If you are looking for a Yacht or a sailing boat in Playa del Carmen Check out popular choices HERE

Best Beach Clubs

  1. Walk on the beach to check out beach clubs – 

 Zenzi – With its live music and a great variety of foods. Our personal food recommendation is their “Tuna Tostada” if you like tuna fish. It’s  made with raw tuna in some kind of mayonnaise that is finger-licking good. 


Coralina Day Club and Beach Club – Coralina is the new day club in Playa del Carmen. It is one of the highest-end party beach clubs in the area. Located inside the Hyatt Hotel it is creating a buzz in town for its unique day party life.


Cenotes  (unique underground cave systems)

  1. Cenotes –  One of the best things to see in the Mayan Riviera. They are underground rivers of crystal clear water to swim and snorkel in.  Some of them forming caves with amazing rock formations.  Others with an open concept where you can jump into the water from cliffs of about 5-10 mts high.


Cenote Azul – A cenote with its unique open concept in the middle of the jungle yet right off the main highway.  Public transportation very accessible for the way there and back


Cenote Dos Ojos  This is an area that is home to 5-6 different cenotes in one, “Cenote Dos Ojos”. It is the best spot for scuba diving with a pit of over 30 feet deep to explore a great cave and with passages from one cenote to another. It’s one of the most highly rated cenotes in the area.


Cenote Chaak tun – Outside playa del carmen you can find this amazing cenote which is 3 caves. Two that are lit by lights with bats flying above ( friendly and smiley bats that eat fruit, they are not bloodsuckers 🙂 )  and it’s great rock formation of stalagmites and stalactites make it one of our favorite cenotes to visit especially for snorkeling.  On this cenote, you might have to hire private transportation since there is no public transportation that can get you there. Although you can get a taxi to take you there you will have a hard time finding transportation to get you back.

Golfing in the Riviera Maya

  1. Golfing –  If you are in the mood for golf the Mayan Riviera has some amazing golf courses from fields within a private residential area like the Hard Rock golfing course in Playacar, to Maya Coba “El Camaleon Golf Course” that hosts the annual PGA Tour. See below for more information.

Hard Rock Cafe Golf Course –  Located in a close residential area called Playacar.  This golf course is an all-inclusive course with food, drinks, and transportation from your hotel and back. Formerly known as Playacar Golf Course.  This is now a great place for golfers to come and learn, practice or enjoy their T-time.

El Camaleon Golf Course in Maya Coba Resort – Hosting each year the PGA tour this course is one of the most popular golf courses around the world.  It is incredibly popular for its unique setting and how the course crosses through different environments, from jungles, cenotes and even the beach area. To top it all off it offers the finest dining restaurant around which makes it the highest-end golf course in the area.

Bachelor and Bachelorette growing destination

  1. BACHELOR (stag) AND BACHELOR (hen) PARTIES PLAYA DEL CARMEN  with private parties and ideas for these types of occasions. Playa del Carmen Bachelorette is one of the leading companies in organizing, planning and executing these celebrations nonetheless there are other companies that offer private boat parties with packages dedicated to Bachelorettes and Bachelors like Playa Yachting  


Playa del Carmen Bachelorette  –  The leading company in bachelorette and bachelor celebrations in the Riviera Maya.  Positioned itself through great ratings on TripAdvisor and with its 10-year experience in the field.  Brings memorable “last flings before the ring” parties to a lot of bachelors and bachelorettes.   


Mayan ruins and pyramids

  1. Chichen Itza Considered one of the wonders of the world.  Due to its unique architecture and historical significance, it is a must-see if you’re in the area. With pyramids that echo back, different animal sounds as you clap your hands in front of them.  Each unique design well thought out by the Mayans to serve a purpose.  The steps of the main pyramid symbolize each day of the day and the snake on the side forms a snake shadow twice a year symbolizing when to plant seeds and when the crops were ready for pick up.


  1. Coba and Tulum –  The Coba site spreading over 2 miles, has one of the only pyramids that you can climb to the top.  We recommend either rent a bike and bring water since it’s a long walk to see most of the site.  As for Tulum which was a communication and crossing port with Cozumel.   This area has amazing views with a cliff directly to the beach.  It is a great place to take photos with the ruins, the white sand, the green jungle, and the turquoise colored ocean. It is just a perfect mix of all of the Mayan Riviera. Tulum also has one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.  They have no buildings where a lot of tourists come to relax and get away from the touristy areas.



Eco and Adventure Parks

  1. Natural Parks  In Playa del Carmen

Xplor Park

Xplore with 24 zip lines has one of the tallest and largest ziplines in the area. It is more than just a ziplining park. It is a great option for a jampack adrenaline ride. This park has a lot of adventure to offer, with ATV activities, an underground river that you ride on with a canoe.   It also offers an amazing lunch or dinner buffet and an open bar for your delight. You can enjoy this park either in the daytime or evening time. At night “Xplor Fuego” which lights up the park with torches and gives you a whole other experience. This is definitely a world-class park. You won’t be disappointed.


Xcaret – Offering a great underground river to swim from one end to the other, in certain parts its pitch black.   An ecological park with amazing wildlife to see including animals like; turtles, jaguars and different types of fishes.  It also offers a great cultural experience, a colorful show full of music and cultural history. You can choose between admission with or without dinner. Part of this park’s charm is seeing the history of Mexico from the indigenous beginning to the changes it went through with the arrival of the Spaniards, and to Mexico we know now.


Xel ha – More natural Park or natural aquarium for different ocean species. This park has many activities similar to scuba diving and a few zip lines landing in the water as its Mayan name says it, “Xel” which means baptism or where the water is born.  Enjoy a full day of the most natural park in the area.

Top things to do in Playa del Carmen is a list of suggestions with the purpose of getting the best out of your vacation from a tourist that now lives here.