If relaxing on palm-fringed beaches with your toes in turquoise Caribbean waters isn’t enough for you, we’ll have no problem finding other ways to keep you busy! Whether you’re into diving, ecotourism, golf, archaeology or shopping and having a good time on the town, Playa offers an impressive range of activities with everyone guaranteed to find something to their taste.
The activities listed below are just a sample, be sure to ask at the front desk of our Playa del Carmen hotel for more information or assistance in booking.
With the world’s second longest coral reef continuing the whole length of the Riviera Maya southward to Guatemala, it is hardly a surprise that Playa del Carmen has become a world-class diving destination. Renowned for its spectacular reef formations and the luxuriance of its corals, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is home to dolphins, sea turtles, tropical sponges and over 500 species of fish.
Further inland, and unique to the Riviera Maya, are the freshwater tropical jungle pools known locally as ‘cenotes’. These pools lead down to a vast network of underwater caves known for their crystal-clear water and slow-flowing currents.
To help you discover these underwater marvels, Hotel Riviera Caribe Maya is proud to work with one of Playa’s most reputed diving schools, the Pluto Dive Centre. Managed by its owners, passionate divers themselves, Pluto has an excellent service and safety record and works with experienced and knowledgeable SSI/PADI-certified dive instructors. Pluto offers all level of diving trips, ranging from shallow, close-to-shore waters for beginners to deeper, more challenging dives for the more experienced.
To start diving in Playa del Carmen, why not accept our offer of a free scuba diving class in our hotel pool with one of Pluto’s dive instructors.
If you’d rather stay closer to the surface, there are still plenty of other aquatic activities for you to choose from!
Equipped only with mask, snorkel and flippers, organized snorkeling tours are a much gentler way of discovering the beautiful coral and unique wildlife of Playa’s underwater paradise.
If you’re looking for something more energetic, why not try your hand at kite-boarding or wind-surfing? If it’s your first time, certified instructors are on hand to teach you the basics and keep an eye on you!
With sailfish, marlin, barracuda and tuna in abundance in the local off-shore waters, Playa del Carmen can also provide some exciting deep-sea fishing trips. Check with our front desk for seasonal variations and make sure you book ahead.
Other watersports available at Playa include jet-ski, catamaran sailing and swimming with dolphins.
There are over ten Playa del Carmen golf courses in the area, each with its own level of difficulty and individual charm. One of the most beautiful, and undoubtedly the most exclusive, is the Mayakoba golf course, host to the prestigious PGA Tour and featuring 18 holes in 3 different ecosystems. For more details regarding golf in Playa, please contact our front desk.
A couple of hours’ drive South of Playa del Carmen is the biosphere Sian Ka'an, a vast nature reserve founded in 1986 to protect the unique wildlife of the Yucatan. There are coral reefs, mangroves, fresh and salt water lagoons, cave pools (cenotes), sand dunes and wetlands. With over 100 species of mammals including possum, peccaries and jaguars and an incredible diversity of birds, both permanent and migratory, Sian Ka’an provides organized tours and on-site activities to help you discover this beautiful and fragile tropical ecosystem.
Alternatively you can visit one of the local ecological theme parks including Xcaret, 10 minutes down the road from Playa, or Xel-Ha, an hour’s drive away. Both provide a wide range of on-site activities including snorkeling in beautiful natural lagoons, floating down a river on an inner tube, horseback riding and swimming with dolphins. At Xcaret they put on a spectacular song and dance show each evening where you can discover traditional Mayan and Mexican culture.
ARCHAEOLOGY & MAYAN CULTURE
Playa del Carmen is the ideal starting point for discovering the wonders of the magnificent Mayan civilization. Evidence of this highly evolved society can be found throughout the Yucatan peninsula, there are even ruins in downtown Playa! Be sure to visit at least one of the following spectacular ruins left by the Mayans:
Tulum – 1 hour South of Playa is Tulum, site of a pre-Columbian Maya walled settlement serving as a port for the inland Mayan city of Coba. One of the only remaining Mayan coastal sites, the spectacular temple and other remains are impressively positioned atop steep cliffs overlooking the Caribbean.
Coba – Located around 2 jungle lagoons, Coba is a vast ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, half an hour inland from Tulum. Estimated to have had some 50,000 inhabitants at its peak, Coba features several large temple pyramids, including the tallest in Yucatan (138 feet).
Chichen Itza – If you’re up for a longer day-trip, Chichen Itza is unforgettable. 2 ½ hours’ drive from Playa, Chichen Itza is one of the most significant Mayan archaeological sites and remains in a remarkable state of preservation. Highlights include the magnificent Temple of the Warriors with its countless stone columns and intricate carvings, the impressive Great Ball Court with its 40ft high walls (the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica) and the El Caracol observatory temple.
Information coming shortly!
Hotel Riviera Caribe Maya is a Mayan Riviera hotel that offers unforgettable Playa del Carmen vacations. This Playa del Carmen hotel offers scuba diving, water sports, nature reserves, and ecotourism parks. It also offers archaeological tours of the Mayan culture. The Hotel Riviera Caribe Maya is near popular Playa del Carmen golf courses, Cozumel’s Fifth Avenue shopping, and fine Playa del Carmen restaurants.