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Playa Del Carmen Clamping Down On Beach Vendors This Winter 

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As the charming destination of Playa del Carmen reaches almost full occupancy this winter season, the influx of tourists in the area means popular hotspots like beaches and shopping malls are busy, busy, busy. 

Playa del Carmen has some pretty beautiful beach locations, such as Parque Los Fundadores and Playa Punta Esmeralda, where many tourists set themselves to waste the day away under the hot Mexican sun. 

Now, authorities are clamping down on street vending after visitors have reported complaints of unfair sales tactics and overall disruption to their experience. 

street vendor in Mexico with colorful umbrella

Authorities Banning Beach Vendors

The beaches of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya are part of the Federal Maritime – Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat), which means they are protected. 

While luxury accommodations and beach clubs situate themselves on these beaches, they must all adhere to certain restrictions by not completely taking over the areas and still allowing everybody to walk freely and experience the beaches without restriction. 

Unfortunately, these measures have not been adhered to by several businesses and groups who have illegally set up areas with poles and ropes, creating make-shift shops to ‘hawk’ food, drinks, and other wares to the public. 

beach in playa del carmen with beach vendors

These unofficial businesses are preventing visitors from walking freely throughout the beaches which is a direct violation of the regulations, leaving tourists feeling frustrated. 

Not only are these businesses not allowed to operate but are also generating pollution, unfair competition and risks to the health of tourists who purchase from them. 

Initially, officials had attempted to strike a balance with the sellers during the winter holiday season, by making sure they were properly registered to do business and enabling them to make money for themselves and their families.

However, as more and more street and beach vendors appeared on the beaches of Playa del Carmen, it was clear that this compromise was not going to work. 

sunrise on beach in playa del carmen

With reports of some vendors harassing tourists to make sales and also misrepresenting the goods they had sold, officials decided to step in. 

They are now in the process of shutting down unregistered vendors and preventing them from holding areas/ selling on the beach. 

Playa del Carmen is continuing to grow in popularity, and with that, a certain image must be held if it has any chance of retaining tourist interest. 

Officials want to preserve the natural heritage of its locations, and well as a high level of safety and quality in its tourist services, so that visitors want to keep coming back. 

colorful buildings in a beach in playa del carmen

Beach Locations In Playa Del Carmen You Don’t Want To Miss

Playa del Carmen’s coastline has exactly what you are looking for when it comes to beaches: sugary white sands and crystal clear waters, with the backdrop of palm trees making it look like something out of a postcard. 

Three of these beaches are platinum-certified areas; the most prestigious award that a beach can receive from the platinum beach scheme, of which only 16 beaches in the whole of the Mexican Caribbean qualify for. 

beach shoreline in playa del carmen with hotel in the background

These beaches stand out for their popularity among locals and tourists, as well as being environmentally sustainable, safe, and pollution-free. 

The three beaches in question are Playa Piñatas, Punta Esmeralda and Calle 38, all offering luxury experiences and a slice of paradise that you certainly won’t get at home in most places this winter. 

Playa Piñatas 

One of the most popular beaches in Playa del Carmen, Playa Piñatas is situated next to the iconic Parque Fundadores, with the well-known sculpture that so many people associate with the area.

famous playa del carmen statue on beach with busy tourists

With plenty to offer, from breathtaking views to brilliant options for food and drink, the location has everything you could ever need from a beach spot and is kept to a high standard all year round, making it extremely popular with all visitors. 

An expanse of perfect sand and turquoise waters, along with restaurants, bars and other charming amenities, you won’t be dispaointed here. 

Punta Esmeralda 

If beauty is what you are looking for most from a beach, then look no further than here. 

Not only does it offer everything you’d expect from a paradise location, it has even more to it. 

Punta Esmeralda is also home to a small cenote, a naturally formed sinkhole, that offers a perfect swimming spot with waters from the ocean that are the bluest of blue!


With shallow waters and calm, tranquil vibes, this location is a firm favourite for all the family and gives the feeling of seclusion from the busier parts of Playa del Carmen which adds to its charm. 

Be sure to bring food and drink along with you when visiting, however, as there are no amenities offered like the previously mentioned location.

Calle 38 

Known for its lush greenery and plethora of gastronomic options, this beach offers a pristine, golden shoreline that stretches 15 metres wide and is another firm favourite of visitors who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the downtown area.

The location offers a relaxed and laidback atmosphere that is not so easily found in Playa del Carmen, and gives visitors the chance to not only have a sun-soaked day on its beach but also offers incredible restaurant and bar options as the sun starts to set and the balmy evening kicks in. 

people on a street in playa del carmen

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Abel Gomez

Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Unfortunately, things will only get worse with vendors the lack of action of the federal government after the disaster of Otis the devastating hurricane will make an exodus to the Riviera Maya. Just give it time and see