When planning your vacation to Playa del Carmen, keep in mind the other travel destinations that surround it. Carve out some time in your agenda to dedicate a couple days – at least – to exploring beyond Playa’s beaches. From scuba diving to theme parks and idyllic cenotes, there’s a day trip for all tastes. Take a gander at the following list of the best day trips you can take from Playa del Carmen.
This is a day trip you just can’t miss, is a landmark of the Riviera Maya and a must-visit when visiting Playa del Carmen. Take a bus from the station at 5th Avenue (Quinta Avenida) and you’ll be there in 40 minutes. In Cancun, make your way to Playa Delfines, a beach with a “Cancun Spot,” so shoot a selfie and drink a refreshing piña colada on the beach or terrace; it’s an excellent way to start your day trip. There’s so much to do: take a boat tour through the mangroves of the Nichupté lagoon, enjoy the city, visit downtown, and have lunch in a market to immerse yourself in the local folklore. In the afternoon and into sunset time, enjoy a breathtaking view of Cancun from the sky in the Scenic Tower located in El Embarcadero. You might want to visit the Island Mall for a dinner at the shore of the Nichupté lagoon. At night, hit the nightclubs along Kukulcan Avenue.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Make some time in the agenda for a complete day at one of the theme parks around Playa del Carmen. There’s a wide range of choices: from natural aquariums, to zoos and jungle adventures, Xel Ha and Xcaret are good options for swimming and chilling out in rivers, sinkholes, and beach, while Xplor and Selvática offer thrilling adventures in the Mayan jungle. If you want to immerse yourself in a natural landscape to snorkel and fly in a tirolesa, Xenotes Park is a good spot. As a versatile destination, even zoos have places where you can swim, so if that sounds like something you might like, try Bel Air Animal Park, it has exotic animals and more. For rainy days, Xenses is the place to go.
Cenotes and Underground Rivers
There are more than 2,500 cenotes (sinkholes) in Mexico’s Yucatan. Close to Playa del Carmen, you’ll find the Cenotes Route, which is a path in the jungle with both underground and open-air sinkholes (called cenotes by the locals) where you can swim, snorkel, and dive. Though they’re in the jungle, they’re safe places that sometimes include ziplines and even rappelling. Some of them also include bathrooms, restaurants, and services for your comfort. The cenotes closer to Playa del Carmen are Cenote Azul and Dos Ojos. The underground river, Río Secreto, is an incomparable experience where you’ll have to descend 25 km in caves to get to the secret amazing river.
Located right across from Playa del Carmen, this is the third biggest Island in Mexico. Cozumel possesses great natural wealth; its coral reefs are a paradise for scuba diving lovers. The activities you can do on a trip to such a stunning place includes snorkeling or diving in the crystal waters of the Chankanaab Park or National Park Palancar. Take a tour around the island; the main spots are the Malecón, which is downtown, where you will find the Isla Museum, restaurants, boutiques, and store to buy souvenirs. Take your date to this romantic island and walk around the silent beaches and enjoy the sunset of the Mexican Caribbean.
The tours to the archaeological site Cobá allow for a closer experience with Mayan culture: visit the archaeological site on a guided tour and follow the path to a Mayan village, where they offer typical Mayan gastronomy, theatrical performances with stories about their ancient civilization, and an artisan workshop. And if you want adventure, take time to do some rappelling, admire the jungle landscape from a zip line, or swim in the fresh waters of a cenote.
Holbox is a calm island only 42 km. long; because of its remote location, only small groups of tourists visit it, which makes possible to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. If you want to connect with nature and de-stress, this is the day trip for you. Holbox is home to flamingos, pelicans, and other exotic birds. If you go by yourself, take a bus to Chiquila and then take the ferry – in 30 minutes, you’ll be there. What type of activities can you expect? There’s a little island called Isla Pajaros, which is a bird sanctuary, only 30 min. by boat. Visit the sinkhole Yalahau and take time to go downtown to eat and check out the workshops of the musical instrument mandolin, and the handmade hammock factory. End your day with a tasty drink, chilling out on the sandy beach under the Caribbean sunshine.
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