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Favorite things to do in Playa del Carmen – tips from a local


Playa del Carmen beach in the riviera Maya - Hotel Cielo

We must be asked this a few times a day. As a resident of Playa del Carmen, commonly known as a local, what do we like to do in Playa del Carmen other than work and make sure you have  great time while you are here! Days off are few and far between, it is true and we have little opportunity to really hang and do the fun things that guests do while on vacation, but we do have a few things that we love to do when there is a minute to chill.

What a local likes to do in Playa del Carmen

1. Try new Mexican foods and experiment with local ingredients. This is fun for us and we love to try new products that are only found here in Mexico. We have been living and experimenting for so long that we miss our Mexican ingredients when we go north for a family visit. Dac is our grocery store of choice or the Organic Saturday Market in Tulum. Here we source new ingredients, things that are new to us, not new to Mexico and experiment.

mexican food ingredients we like to try - Hotel Cielo

2. Hang on the beach. Really we do but we don’t do it often enough. So when you see us working give us a nudge and invite us to the beach…we may actually go with you.

Playa del Carmen beach day for a local - Hotel Cielo

3. Experience festivals in Playa del Carmen. There are many festivals through out the year, the underground film festival, Jazz Festival, Taste of Playa, and more. Find out when they are and combine your vacation with one of these great festivals that we make time for.

Taste of Playa food festival in Playa del Carmen

4. Chill at home. We admit it, we like to chill at home. We would be lying if we did not include this in one of our favorite things to do.This is one reason why we live in Playa del Carmen, to chill in our Mexican inspired home not far from the beach.

5. Explore a new cenote. There are many, many cenotes to explore in the Riviera Maya and when we are up for swim, usually in the summer and fall months, we find a new cenote that we have not been to yet. Cenote Azul, Cenote Jardin and Dos Ojos are a few of our favorites. The tours at Aktun Chen are impressive and the guides really are great at providing a guided tour and explanation of the dry and wet cenotes on their property.

Gran cenote in the Riviera Maya - Hotel Cielo

6. Take off to Tulum for the day. By far one of our favorites. It helps that we have another villa hotel in Tulum Casa de las Olas and we love hanging with Jimmy. Saturdays we combine Casa de las Olas with a trip to the organic market in Posada Frida. If we feel like staying longer it is dinner at Hartwood or Hechizo both on the Tulum beach road and a favorite of ours.

7. Drive into the Biosphere Sian Kaan. This is a treat and we love hanging out at Cesiak for the day, taking out a kayak, hanging with the guides and chilling. In the heart of the Sian Kaan is a project and tour company called Cesiak that does sustainable tours in this protected park.

8. Walk 5th Ave. True, we like to walk 5th Ave. New places pop up all the time and it is fun to stroll in the evening and see what is happening on the 5th. How else could we keep you posted on the latest and greatest if we did not experience it ourselves.

Recommendations from a local in Playa del Carmen

So there you have it. Some of our favorite things to do in Playa del Carmen sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, sometimes with guests and if family is in town, for sure we show them a good time and how we live in this beautiful city. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know what your favorite things to do are. We might learn something new or we might just share in your pleasure and endorse your favorite thing to do.


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