Where is Playa del Carmen?

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Where is Playa del Carmen Mexico Located - Playa del Carmen Map

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Where is Playa del Carmen, Mexico located?

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!


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


Best time to visit Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen Street

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!

Distance to other major destinations:



Estimated travel time by car

Playa del Carmen – Cancun

41 miles (67 km)

~ 1 hour

Playa del Carmen – Tulum

40 miles (65 km)

~ 55 minutes

Playa del Carmen – Merida

182 miles (293 km)

~ 3 hours and 15 minutes

Playa del Carmen – Cozumel

21 miles (35 km)

~ 1 hour and 31 minutes, with a ferry

Where is Playa del Carmen, Mexico on the Map

About Playa del Carmen

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.

Where is Playa del Carmen Mexico

FAQs Playa del Carmen

Is Playa del Carmen in Cancun?

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!

Playa del Carmen Map
Playa del Carmen Map

Is Playa del Carmen better than Cancun?

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!

Is it safe to travel to Playa del Carmen?

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 Map

What is Playa del Carmen best known for?

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!

What is the best month to visit Playa del Carmen?

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!

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.