A former fishing town largely unknown to travelers visiting the Mexican Caribbean, Playa del Carmen has since evolved into one of the most popular hotspots in the region.
Remarkably, it’s now also one of the world’s fastest-growing beach destinations, as evidenced by a recent report by travel booking portal Chase Travel.
Drawing from proprietary booking data, Chase Travel revealed the main holiday destinations this year, plus travel tips and predictions for 2024.
In the top beachfront getaways category, the report named Playa del Carmen as one of the beach destinations experiencing the most year-over-year growth, alongside iconic hotspots such as Aruba, Miami Beach, and Honduras.
Additionally, the report highlighted a few significant travel trends for 2024, which include an increasing popularity of luxury getaways and a surge in family travel.
@tourista2023 Playa Del Carmen -Mexico 🇲🇽 @Tourista #bestcity #bestplacestovisit #bestdestinations #thingstodo #topplacestovisit #foryourpage #tourista2023 #foryou #bestplace #traveling #travel #explore #vacation #fyp #fypシ #mexico #mexican #mexico🇲🇽 #playadelcarmen ♬ Nhịp Điệu Mùa Hè – Vina Mix
So, in light of Playa del Carmen’s inclusion in this comprehensive report, let’s take a look at how well this charming town does by these metrics and delve deeper into the reasons behind its remarkable popularity.
A Mexican Caribbean Luxury Haven
What truly sets Playa del Carmen apart from its Mexican Caribbean neighbors is its perfect blend of beach town atmosphere and unbridled luxury.
As you take a leisurely stroll down the iconic 5th Avenue, you’ll discover quaint arts and crafts shops, bars, and cafes right alongside exclusive brand stores offering the latest in fashion, fragrances, and other high-end products.
@kristen.blackburn Shopping on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen 💌 perfect way to spend a day☀️ #travelwithksb #travelwithcctc #cctctravel #cctc #secretsmaromabeach #secretsmaromabeachrivieracancun #playadelcarmenmexico #5thavenueplayadelcarmen #playadelcarmenmexico #majesticeleganceplayamujeres #majesticelegancecostamujeres ♬ sonido original – ♠️
At the Quinta Alegría shopping mall, you’ll discover an upscale selection of brands, including Victoria´s Secret, Harley Davidson, Sunglass Island, American Eagle, and many more.
And, if you’re in the mood for a treat, you can head to the mall’s gourmet cafes and wineries like Haagen Dazs, Nutrisa, and La Europea.
Yet, this is just a glimpse of what Playa del Carmen offers in terms of luxury, as the more than 2 km-long 5th Avenue is lined with opulent shops and craft stores.
Playa del Carmen’s Lavish Resort Scene
Luxury isn’t confined to just shopping at Playa del Carmen, as the town is renowned for its wide range of luxurious resorts and boutique hotels.
@laxtoluxury Mayakoba in Mexico is a unique getaway where you get the benefit of four luxe resorts in one! #mayakoba #luxurytravel #mexico #banyantreemayakoba #rosewoodmayakoba #fairmontmayakoba #andazmayakoba #laxtoluxury ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
Among this impressive selection, Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and the award-winning AAA 5-Diamond property, Fairmont Mayakoba – ranked as one of the best resorts in Mexico by Travel + Leisure – stand out.
In fact, all of the Mayakoba properties have recently undergone extensive renovations, elevating their upscale amenities and offerings to new heights.
The Perfect Family-Friendly Destination
Playa del Carmen’s laid-back vibe provides a fantastic alternative for families seeking a different atmosphere than Cancun’s lively party scene.
Besides being home to family-friendly resorts such as Wyndham Alltra and Grand Sunset Princess, Playa del Carmen’s pristine beaches are the perfect choice for a family beach day.
Here, both adults and children can enjoy hours of swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and many other water activities.
Moreover, visitors can explore various recreational parks, including the renowned Parque Fundadores.
Overlooking Playa del Carmen’s main beach, this local gem offers several family-friendly attractions, including a playground in the shape of a pirate ship, picnic benches, a stage for music and dance shows, and more.
A must-visit for families is the 3D Museum of Wonders, an interactive museum showcasing colorful paintings, dozens of optical illusions, and many more eye-catching curiosities.
As you can see, Playa del Carmen’s diverse tourist attractions make it the perfect destination for travelers of all ages.
But for a truly memorable experience, visiting the legendary Xcaret parks is a must.
Located about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, the trio’s flagship park, is an eco-theme park where visitors can explore underground rivers, experience entertaining cultural shows, and learn about the local flora and fauna.
Further south, Xel-Ha, an aquatic theme park, offers a more action-packed experience compared to Xcaret, with exciting activities like zip-lining, bike rides, wildlife encounters, and a range of water activities, all set amid lush natural surroundings.
And for families seeking the ultimate thrill, Xplor, an adventure park located just 9 km from Playa del Carmen, is the place to go.
The park offers multiple exciting activities, from exploring underground caves and rivers to embarking on amphibious vehicle adventures through the jungle, enjoying two zipline circuits, and so much more.
With such an assortment of tourist attractions, from luxury shopping to family-friendly fun, it’s no wonder why Playa del Carmen stands as one of the world’s top-growing beach destinations.
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