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Do you want to know the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen? In this beautiful beach town, there are great options for travelers of all budgets!
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With its beautiful turquoise waters, white beaches, and perfect tropical climate, Playa del Carmen may be the perfect place for a beach vacation.
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Deciding where to stay in Playa del Carmen is no small task, as there are many options to suit all types of travelers.
In this article, I will do my best to show you how to choose the best place to stay in Playa del Carmen. I’ll also give my advice on which areas of Playa are the best to stay, as well as some additional travel tips to help you visit.
I lived in Playa del Carmen for a year. The choices for this article are based on places I know, from visiting places or recommendations from friends and travelers.
If you’ve visited Playa before, I’d love to hear where you stayed and what you thought of your stay! Let me know in the comments!
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There are so many amazing things to do in and around Playa del Carmen that you could easily spend months exploring.
However, I recommend spending five days in Playa to make sure you have time to take advantage of all the great activities in the Riviera Maya (and relax in the sun).
Its central location in the Riviera Maya makes Playa the perfect base from which to explore the area. However, nearby Tulum and Cozumel are both guaranteed to spend a few days as well.
If you are taking a long trip to the Riviera Maya, I recommend splitting your time between us, so you can experience the different lifestyles of each area.
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Actually, the best time to visit Playa del Carmen is between November and February. This month, the weather is good: warm, little rain and no storms.
However, this also happens to be the busiest time of year to visit. If you’re willing to deal with the crowds (and the prices), you’ll enjoy the best the area has to offer.
The weather is good in March and April, but it’s also “summer break,” meaning the entire region is on vacation. It’s still a great time to visit, but remember you can prepare to feel like fighting spring break.
May to August is the rainy season in the Riviera Maya. It is also the hottest and wettest time of the year. If you can handle the heat and humidity, this is a great time to visit.
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The beaches and tourist spots are less crowded, and you can count on endless hours at the resort. The rain usually stops until the afternoon, around 4 pm when it rains for two hours.
Hurricane season technically runs from June to October, but hurricanes can occur in September and October. These two months can be rainy, and while the weather is still warm, rainy beach days are not so pleasant.
I wouldn’t recommend looking at September and October just to make sure you’re getting the most out of your vacation pay.
When it comes to finding accommodation in Playa del Carmen, there is no shortage of options. From hotels and hostels to luxury hotels and resorts, you’re sure to find something to suit your travel needs.
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However, in a big city like Playa, choosing the right place to stay can make or break your vacation.
Unless you’re staying in a public park (or renting a car), I recommend staying in one of the red squares in the picture below. Being centrally located makes it easy to walk, bike, or quickly get anywhere you want to go.
These areas of Playa are also safe and full of all the amenities you need, including grocery stores, laundromats, co-working spaces, restaurants, bars, etc. Best of all, it will make walking on the beach easy for you!
Additionally, many interesting programs can be found outside the red rectangle, but you may want to think about your transportation before you do.
Mahekal Beach Front Resort & Spa, Playa Del Carmen
Taxis multiply quickly in Playa, especially when you consider that they often overbook with tourists. The minimum budget is $60 MXN per trip if you are traveling outside the rectangle.
This beautiful sculpture is located in Parque Fundadores at the southern end of La Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen.
La Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) is the central tourist area of Playa del Carmen. It is a pedestrian street with restaurants, shops, bars, cafes, and hotels. Even if you want to avoid the most touristy areas of Playa, it’s undeniably worth a stop this way.
The north end of La Quinta, from Calle 26 up, is the newest part of this street. Here you will find many modern and modern hotels and restaurants.
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Further north, Calle 38 is one of my favorite streets in Playa. It is surrounded by trees and makes it a beautiful beach. This street is also lined with some of Playa’s top restaurants, including Trujillos Cantina, a popular spot for dinner or drinks in the jungle.
The south end of La Quinta is a bit more crowded. The buildings are old and unlike other places. However, there is still much to appreciate about this town ending. Beaches such as Fusion, Zenzi, and INTI Beach can be found here.
You can also see the port of Cozumel, Parque Fundadores (where you can catch game, including the voladores de Papantla), and the Paseo del Carmen shopping mall. All of this makes Playacar Beach a popular destination for locals.
Playacar is a large gated community south of downtown. It has two levels, Level 1 and Level 2. This place was built in the 80s so some of the things now look a little dated.
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Level 1 consists mostly of apartments, small houses, and some small hotels. There are many beach vacations in this area if you want.
There is also a small disaster in this community. This is not surprising but it is a reminder of what was here before.
To access the beach in Playacar Phase 1, walk to the south end of La Quinta and pass Señor Frog on the beach. Then go south along the coast until you find an interesting place.
Playacar Phase 2 will include several hotels and condominiums in addition to single family homes. There is also a golf course and a small bird sanctuary in this area.
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Even though Playacar is closed, you can still enter the community. It has beautiful beaches and is less crowded than most beaches in the city of Playa del Carmen simply because they are a little further away.
North of downtown, Colosio is where most of Playa del Carmen’s residents live. Travelers will not see anything here because it is mostly a residential area. However, if you’re looking for cheap, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, you’ll find few.
There are also public access points to the Colosio, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds of the city, this can be a great alternative.
Further north of Colosio, along the beach, you enter the luxury hotel area. Here you can find properties like Fairmont Mayakoba, Rosewood Mayakoba, and Grand Velas Riviera Maya.
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There is public access to the beach here, although it is difficult to find. The beaches in the Mayakoba area are well kept and some of the best in the entire Riviera Maya.
One of the best tips I can give for visiting Playa del Carmen on a budget is to stay downtown. This way, you’ll be close to all the important places, and you won’t have to waste your travel budget.
Below are some of the best hostels and hotels in Playa del Carmen for travelers on a budget.
Selina is a popular network of hostels and hostels with locations in Latin America. Playa del Carmen is in a great location, halfway down La Quinta Avenida and one block from the beach. It has a swimming pool, palapa bar/dining room, and co-working space.
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Selina Hostel provides lockers to keep your belongings safe when you leave. If you’re not going to the bedroom, there are also private rooms.
I have never stayed at Selina, but I have visited their restaurant and have always received exceptional service and delicious food at a reasonable price. This is one of my favorite cafe runs from Playa del Carmen.
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