Where is Playa del Carmen?
If you’re looking for the ultimate destination to explore in Mexico, look no further than Playa del Carmen! Located on the Caribbean Sea within Quintana Roo‘s Yucatan Peninsula, this coastal town is part of Solidaridad municipality and lies at the center of Riviera Maya.
With its breathtaking sights and fascinating facts, a trip here will be one that you won’t soon forget. So use our helpful Playa del Carmen map to discover all that this 200 kilometer stretch has in store- from Puerto Morelos up until Punta Allen – it’s time to take your vacation dreams out of planning mode and into reality!
When visiting Playa del Carmen, the closest airport to fly into is Cancun International Airport (CUN). The approximate distance between these two locations is 55 kilometers or 34 miles away, which takes about 45 minutes of driving.
Although there is an airstrip at 15 Avenida Sur 3 in Playa del Carmen itself, it’s primarily used for skydiving and short-distance flights. At an exact location of 20.63 latitude and -87.08 longitude, the breathtaking destination of Playa del Carmen awaits!
Estimated travel time by car
41 miles (67 km)
~ 1 hour
40 miles (65 km)
~ 55 minutes
Playa del Carmen – Merida
182 miles (293 km)
~ 3 hours and 15 minutes
21 miles (35 km)
~ 1 hour and 31 minutes, with a ferry
Originally known as “Xaman-Ha,” which translates to “Waters of the North” in English, Playa del Carmen was a major portal for the Mayans to venerate goddess Ixchel at Cozumel. Today, it is more widely recognized as simply – Playa.
Boasting a long-standing history, Playa del Carmen, Mexico was once solely populated by fishermen until the 1990s when construction of resorts in neighbouring Playacar sparked rapid expansion. The Mayan settlers who inhabited this region thousands of years ago even invented their very own form of gum – chicle! And so they are proudly regarded as “Playenses” to this day.
No. Playa del Carmen and Cancun are two distinct vacation spots that both reside in the Yucatan Peninsula. While Cancun remains an important city situated to the north of Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen dominates as one of biggest towns occupying this breathtaking region along the Caribbean coast. Before your trip there, it’s prudent to familiarize yourself with these two iconic tourist destinations!
If you’re searching for a relaxed vibe, Playa del Carmen brings just that. But don’t let this fool you – the city still boasts plenty of modern amenities and exciting nightlife options! So really, it all boils down to your own preference: Cancun or Playa del Carmen? The choice is yours!
Despite its popularity, Playa del Carmen is not exempt from predators and petty theft. When planning a trip between June to September, travelers must conduct their own research into potential natural disasters that could occur during their visit. While the destination is generally considered safe, it’s best to be prepared before you go! Read our detailed Playa del Carmen Safety Guide.
Playa del Carmen, previously a humble fishing village, has now blossomed into an exquisite paradise. Revel in the beautiful beaches and delectable cuisine by day, then enjoy its lively nightlife at night! And if that wasn’t enough to entice you already, check out Sian Ka’an–a World Heritage Site–as well as Chichen Itza–the New Wonder of the World!
If you’re looking for the ideal time to visit Playa del Carmen, April or May is your best bet. The temperature during this time of year offers perfect conditions to explore beautiful outdoor areas while peak season has yet to begin – meaning there are great deals on hotels and other services around town!