Playa del Carmen FAQ


How big is Playa del Carmen?Playa is a small city that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to Highway 307. It is approximately one km wide [running parallel to the coast].
Where is the Zona Tourista [tourist zone]?The tourist zone is 5th avenue [which runs parallel to the beach] to the beach, with Playacar to the south end.
mayan_riviera_popular See: Interactive Tourist Map

Can I buy a bathing suit in Playa?Yes, all forms of clothing and shoes are sold, from cheap junk to expensive fashion.

Can I buy snorkel gear in Playa del Carmen?Yes there are many dive-shops.

Are there jewelry stores that sell silver and gold?Yes, many along with amber stores.

mayan_riviera_popular For more info see: Jewelry

Can you get water outside the hotel in Playa del Carmen?Yes you can get bottled water at most stores, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Are there laundromats in Playa?Yes many, but be forewarned, for some reason laundromats are expensive in Mexico.

Is there an AA Chapter in Playa del Carmen?Yes. Meetings are in english and located on the corner of 25 ave nte y calle 4.

Is taking a taxi safe?Taking a taxi in Playa is safe. Taxis that leave Playa have to drive through a checkpoint that is monitored by police. This is to ensure the safety of passengers.

Are there drug stores?Yes, quite a few.

Can you get contact lens stuff or glasses in an emergency?You can get contact lens fluid and stuff at the drugstore and there are many eyeglass stores in both the tourist zone and outside the zone.

Can you buy Cuban Cigars in Playa del Carmen?Yes see Cigars and Tequila.

Is there a nude beach in Playa?No. According to some published guides there is allegedly a clothing optional beach at Punta Bete. This is not quite accurate and the police can arrest a woman for going topless on the beach if they wish. It is not common but it can occur. Even all-inclusive resort beaches are patrolled by federal military and police.

Where are the ferry docks in Playa del Carmen?They are located at the South end of town just before Playacar begins.

What exactly is a colectivo?Colectivos are full size vans. They drive up and down the highway between Playa and Tulum and Playa and Cancun. The cost is 15 pesos or 1.50 USD.
The vans have air-conditioning [always on full] and are in good shape [they used to be real beaters].

mayan_riviera_popular For more info see: What is a Colectivo

Where do you get the colectivo in Playa del Carmen?You catch the colectivos in Playa at Calle2 between 15th & 20th Avenue.

Arriving in Playa del Carmen on the colectivo?When you get off the bus [mini-van] you walk East up Calle2 to 5th Avenue.

How do you get a colectivo to get back to Playa del Carmen?You stand on the side of the highway and wait for the van. When a colectivo approaches the driver will flash his lights [if he has room in the van]. Wave to him and he will stop. Most drivers will stop even if you do not wave because what would a gringo be doing on the side of the highway anyway?

Should we take American or Mexican money?It is best to use Mexican currency [you are in Mexico]. In the tourist zones you can use American if you wish. If you are not American do NOT use U.S. currency because you will get mixed up.

Where is a good place to go snorkeling?Playa del Carmen is okay for beginners and children but the snorkeling is not good around any of Playa’s beaches. For great snorkeling you need to go up the highway a little or cross to Cozumel.

mayan_riviera_popular For more info see: Mayan Riviera Snorkeling Info

Are there ATM [bank machines] in Playa?Yes, they are everywhere now. When we say “everywhere” we mean that there are ATMs conveniently located throughout the tourist zones, all major grocery/department stores and banks.

Will my cell phone work in Playa?Most do now… see: Playa del Carmen Vacations

Do we need to book our tour on-line before we go?No it is not necessary but it does help solidify an itinerary. There are lots of tour companies in Playa and every hotel will have one or more tour companies operating out of their lobby or for smaller hotels they can “recommend” a company for you and make arraignments.

Can we hire a taxi driver to take us places instead of booking tours?Yes and the taxi driver will wait for you at each destination while you visit. Arrange cost upfront before you leave.

Can we hire a taxi driver to take us places instead of booking tours?Yes and the taxi driver will wait for you at each destination while you visit. Arrange cost upfront before you leave.

Is Playa safe at night?The tourist zone in Playa del Carmen jostles with tourists of all ages right up until the shops and then restaurants close. After that things start to thin out quickly, after 1:00ish things simmer down considerably and only a few late night after hour clubs and cafes remain open. Even then police are present as well as local workers on late shifts and hotel security.

What kinds of beer is sold in Playa?Sol
Negra Modelo
Modelo Especial
Tecate Light
Dos Equis Special Lager
Dos Equis Draft
Dos Equis Amber