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Long thought of as the town where the ferry to Cozumel departs, Playa del Carmen is earning its own reputation as paradise on the coast of the Yucatán peninsula. Now, this town acts as a gateway to the resorts of the Riviera Maya, where secluded beaches, tropical jungles and mysterious Mayan ruins provide the perfect backdrop for the ultimate escapist vacation.
Playa del Carmen offers a plethora of options for a Mexico Caribbean vacation. Water adventures abound from diving along the Great Maya Reef, the second largest reef in the world, to exploring mysterious inland cenotes, freshwater sinkholes formed by underground rivers. Snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, boating and fishing are also popular at Playa del Carmen hotels and up and down the Riviera Maya.
The great outdoors beckons travelers to the Riviera Maya with a number of eco-parks where you can swim, relax and simply admire the breathtaking views. Xcaret's 200-acre park offers rivers for swimming, a butterfly sanctuary, play with dolphins, snorkel, snuba (diving without a tank) and enjoy the lush tropical surroundings. Xel-Ha, which is also located in Riviera Maya, is a private lagoon park that also offers a variety of nature activities. Don't miss out on Sian Ka'an, a 1.3 million-acre ecological park
The best time to visit is December to April. May through November is the rainy season. However, the rains are brief and tropical, and prices are much lower in the off-season. During the winter season, when the weather is nicest, prices are usually highest.
The Riviera Maya is home to amazing Mayan sites. From the ancient temples amid thick jungles of Coba to the picturesque Tulum located on the Caribbean coast, Mexico has some of the richest and most diverse archaeological ruins in the world. Day trips to even more amazing Mayan sites like Uxmal and Chichen Itza are also available. See our guide to Mayan sites in the Riviera Maya.
Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya are also fast becoming a top destination for golf enthusiasts with some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. See our golf guide.
*Terms and conditions for hotel-only rates: Sample prices for hotel rates are for select midweek (Sun.-Thurs.) dates. Offers subject to change. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Based on availability.
*Terms and conditions of air + hotel packages and promotions: Advertised air + hotel package prices include all domestic taxes and Mexico.com-imposed air + hotel package fees. Sample prices shown are updated every Tuesday and are per person, based on double occupancy, from select departure cities unless otherwise cited on select weekdays between 33 and 53 days out. Offers are subject to change. Based on availability. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights. Some airlines charge baggage fees at airport or online check-in. See specific airline websites for details. Some hotels charge additional fees at check-in.