Best of Playa del Carmen




Chichen Itza


It is the most famous Mayan city in the world and is located around 200 Km northwest of Playa del Carmen (2.5 hours driving). This ancient Mayan city is one of the most popular destines in Mexico and the most visited archaeological site in the country. The Mayan name "Chichen Itza" means "at the mouth of the well of the Itza". The word Itza in Spanish is often translated as "Brujas del Agua" (witches of water) but a more precise translation would be magicians of water. It says that Chichen Itza is the Egypt of the Americas. The city has several impressive pyramids which are very tall and have beautiful carvings. The complex contains also many temples, palaces, stages, markets and baths. It highlights the Temple of Kukulcan also named the Castle which is a pyramid that has several square terraces and staircases to 4 sides of the temple.


Coba


Coba is a Mayan city located in the Yucatan Peninsula near two lakes to 40 Km of the Caribbean Sea and 90 Km east of Chichen Itza. It believes that Coba had 50000 inhabitants in its peak of civilization (from 600 to 900 AD). The name Coba means water stirred by wind. The most of structures in Coba were made during the middle and late classic Mayan period. The city is 50 square Kilometers and is surrounded by the jungle. It highlights the "Nochuc Pyramid" which is 138 feet (around 43m) high.

 


Cozumel Island


Cozumel is the largest island in the Caribbean Sea of Mexico; it has 300 square miles of extension. There is only one town in the island "San Miguel de Cozumel"; the most of hotels and tourist attractions are located in this town. The island has many beaches where you can do a great number of activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, windsurfing, and much more. Since 1996 the "Cozumel Reef National Park" is a protected area thanks to its coral reef barrier; which is the second largest coral barrier in the World. Another attraction in Cozumel is the archeological center of San Gervacio, which is located at center of the island, where there is a ancient temple dedicated to Ixchel a former Mayan god. You can arrive to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen by Ferry (the trip lasts 40 minutes approximately).


Cozumel Island located in front to Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playacar


It is a great tourist complex, one of the most important in "Riviera Maya". There, you can find many hotels, residential areas, luxury clubs and commercial zones as well as golf fields. In this place there are also some Mayan vestiges. Besides, there is an important natural reserve known as "El Aviario" (the aviary); where you can watch flamingos, macaws, storks, pelicans, toucans, ducks and many others wonderful animals in their owned habitat. Admission costs $6 in the aviary.


Playacar in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

XeiHa


This place is considered the greatest natural aquarium in the world, its name means "where the water is born". Here the ocean is combined with the flow of fresh water from the streams and rivers below ground. It is a remarkable recreational site; amongst its main attractions are the maze of waterways and paths through the tropical jungle, lagoons of transparent turquoise water, private inlets, subterranean rivers and ancient coves. XeiHa is a great place to do snorkeling and swimming. One of the best experiences in this place is swimming with dolphins (the tourist program "swimming with dolphins" costs $55).  Admission in XeiHa costs $19 for adults and $11.5 for children.

 

Xcaret


This is an ecological park located at "Chetumal to Juarez" Highway Km 282 at south of Playa del Carmen. Its name means small inlet. It is the ideal place to exploring or relaxing during yours vacations. Here, there are also a museum dedicated to Mayan culture, an archeological area and a butterfly pavilion. Besides, you can do many activities like swimming with dolphins (it costs $80), snorkeling, scuba diving and much more. The place also has wonderful night shows.

 

Mexican Museum


This museum is opened to public since 2003. It is dedicated to customs, traditions and lifestyles of the Mexican population, mainly from Yucatan Peninsula. The museum's collection is composed by many art works and typical objects from Yucatan; highlight "Las Tres Cruces de San Juan de Chamula" (The Three Crosses from Saint Juan Chamula) and "El Altar del Día de Los Muertos" (The Altar of Death Holiday). There are also some copies of archaeological pieces. The museum opens from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 and Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00. It is located at "6 Street" and "25 Avenue" and admission costs 60 pesos ($6 approximately).

 

Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue)


Quinta Avenida is the commercial district of Playa del Carmen. There, you can find many stores, hotels, restaurants and clubs. The main brands of the world have stores in this avenue. Besides, this place is the heart of the nightlife in the city.


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