Playa Del Carmen Beaches
…lots of babes, lots of beer, and lots of cool dudes…
It’s practically a cliché, the idea of soft white sand beach at some resort town in Mexico.
But the choicest among us know that not all beaches are created equal.
And they’re definitely not all the idyllic white sand expanse that you picture when you’re thinking about taking a vacation.
But Playa Del Carmen actually is that perfect beach.
If the beaches here were a dog, it would be one of those really furry ones with hair so soft that you just can’t seem to stop yourself from stroking.
Even better, it has several beach areas to choose from.
When you’re on vacation you might as well just accept your fate as a temporary beach bum and try them all.
That’s definitely what I’ve done!
Navigating All That White Sand
Here’s what you need to know if you intend to be a Playa Del Carmen beach connoisseur like me and impress all the ladies (or gents).
If you’re looking for a quieter beach experience, the beaches just north of the main town area have fewer restaurants and clubs.
As a reference, you can access them just past the Porto resort.
Although there’s less to do in terms of clubs and bars, it can be a nice respite from the active areas of the beaches slightly to the south.
Other than snorkeling, you don’t really have the water sport options in the North Playa Del Carmen beaches.
But if laying under a palm tree and sucking in some tranquil silence is your thing, it’s a pretty good alternative.
The central beaches, on the other hand, have tons of things going on – dive shops, open bars and places to rent equipment for water sports.
But even with all that activity, the beaches are still long and wide so you don’t feel packed like a sardine with all the other not-so-savvy tourists.
Both the northern and central beaches are footwear optional, with mostly soft white sand up to the water’s edge and beyond.
What To Do On The Land
As far as activities go, one of the more obvious options is to go for a stroll and discover the Fifth Avenue area and all it has to offer.
But I recommend investing some quality time on the beaches themselves and just off shore.
Mamitas Beach Club is located in the central beach area and usually has a beach volleyball game going, or about to start.
The nearby Kool Beach Club is another popular spot, especially for those who prefer the upscale club feeling.
It has a fairly popular pool for fresh water swimming – and the patrons there love to put back some cold ones. It’s also pretty well known for attracting some of the most beautiful people in Playa Del Carmen.
Incidentally, that’s where you’ll find many of the area’s European tourists.
One high-octane beach activity that has always been popular in the area is parasailing.
Due to a parasailing accident several years ago, this activity has attracted more attention from authorities and tourists.
As a result, it is more regulated now than in years past.
However, if you’re up for it, parasailing is a fantastic way to enjoy the natural beauty of Playa Del Carmen – and scout the beaches while sailing in the sky.
You can’t beat the panoramic experience of parasailing.
Just make sure you check out the company that you use to parasail.
Some are more professional than others, and obviously some are more established.
Given the possible dangers involved, it’s worth the time investment to do your research.
I’ve never seen any accidents in the time that I’ve been here, but you never know what could happen.
Play It Slow
On the more tranquilo end of things, there are also the quintessential “doing nothing at all” activities.
Along the beach you can find no shortage of places renting lounge chairs for sun tanning, socializing, or just sipping cocktails.
You also have the option to rent towels, umbrellas, or beach beds for more comfortable lounging.
The good thing about Playa Del Carmen is that the beach chairs aren’t all packed in as far as the eye can see.
Sorry, Europe, but Mexico has you beat there.
You’re also bound to pass more than a few hammocks, in true beach vacation style.
The shallow waters just off the coast are safe, so going in for a dip should also be on the agenda.
Slightly further inland, you can find some botanical gardens worth exploring (if that’s your thing).
Water Sports And Beyond
If you’re adventurous, you might venture out to Isla Mujeres. (The direct translation to English is “Women Island.”)
It’s about four miles off the coast of Cancun and only a short ferry ride from there.
Unfortunately, it’s not the fabled city of the adventurous Amazon women.
However, it does boast some of the best snorkeling and diving Mexico has to offer.
Snorkeling around Palancar Reef also comes highly recommended for its variety of plant and animal life.
Along the mainland, there are several companies that offer jet ski rentals for a change of pace.
Although you can find some windsurfers and kite boarders in Playa Del Carmen, most of them are out around Cozumel or on the south beaches near Playacar where the wind and waves are optimal for that sport.
Moreover, the beaches are not as busy there. Nothing would be worse than seeing a kite boarder smash into a drunk tourist!
Alternatively, there are a few places to rent boards for body surfing off the mainland.
Basically, there are a ridiculous amount of things you can do in and around Playa Del Carmen.
You just can’t find beaches like this north of the border.
If you’re super organized, you can plan your beach attack before arriving.
But then again, this is Mexico. Going with the flow is practically a way of life here.
If you decide to just kind of show up, rest assured you’ll find no shortage of opportunities to relax, party, and get your sport on.
Lots of love,
Beach Bum Checklist
- swimsuit/bikini (white or light color)
- good pair of walking sandals
- a waterproof watch that is not shiny
- biodegradable sunscreen
- towel – rental optional
- money for any activities, food, or drinks
- identification if you plan on renting a jet ski or going parasailing
- beach toys – if kids are part of your group