Looking for the top Playa del Carmen excursions to take in 2021? Playa del Carmen is becoming one of the top destinations in the world to visit, especially as the world begins recovering from the craziness of 2020… In this blog post, I’ve included some of my favorite places to visit on a day trip from Playa del Carmen. Having lived there for just over 3 years, I know what I’m talking about.
Just here for the referral?
I work closely with 2 tour operators in Playa del Carmen. Both companies are run by local people that I know and trust. These are the guys I refer my own family and friends to. So if you are just here for a recommendation of who to book your Playa del carmen excursions with then I recommend either Vanessa from Tourismo Channel for small group or private excursions (Contact here by WhatsApp here) and Living Dreams Mexico who offer more luxury private tours in Playa del Carmen. Please tell them you were referred by me to ensure you get the very best deal.
Ok, now we’ve got that over with on with the blog post.
Playa del Carmen is located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and is well known for its natural beauty and adventure activities. Think diving with bull sharks, climbing Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes, and observing dolphins in the wild. There are so many choices of Playa del Carmen excursions where you can roam around the city and the amazing sites close by. If you are looking to know more about the Mayan Culture, there are many day trips from Playa del Carmen that will give you a much deeper understanding of it such as Chichen Itza and Tulum Ruins.
The Best Excursions From Playa del Carmen
Relax In Tulum
Tulum is about an hour from Playa del Carmen and it is super easy to get to (read this for detailed directions of how to get to Tulum from Playa) either by bus, taxi, renting a car, or on a tour.
Tulum is one of the most well know ‘bohemian’ escapes in the world right now. It’s not wrong that in 2021 everyone is visiting Tulum. Since the world shut down more people have been arriving here than ever. While it’s not somewhere I personally want to spend a lot of time, I do love visiting Tulum on day trips.
Some of the top things to do in Tulum include:
- Visiting Tulum Ruins
- Going shopping for cute boho clothes and home decor in Tulum town
- Eating delicious food. There is an especially great range of vegan and vegetarian options in Tulum
- Going snorkeling on the reef
- Hitting up all of the top Tulum Instagram spots (send Vanessa a message for info on her Insta tour of Tulum)
- Cool down in a cenote
I could go on and on!
If you are interested in doing a Tulum tour from Playa del Carmen then get in touch with Vanessa from Turismo channel by filling out this form below.
Taking a Cozumel day trip from Playa del Carmen may be the easiest out of all the options because you just need to take a ferry to the island (click here to read about how to get to Cozumel).
Things to know about Cozumel, it’s a big cruise ship destination, so normally it’s packed with cruise ship tourists. However, as the ships still aren’t sailing it’s nice and quiet over there right now. Making it even more appealing! It’s a small island but the main center is very developed, you will find everything from Rolex to Starbucks on the main road here.
If you go to Cozumel here are some of the top things I’d recommend doing:
- Scuba Diving
- Taking a trip to El Cielo (Book this through Vanessa she can arrange transport from Playa for you too)
- Go on the glass bottom boat
- Rent a car and do a lap of the Island
- Visit the Mayan Ruins
- Chill out at one of the beach clubs
If you want to learn about the organized day trips to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen fill out the form below and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
Learn about the Mayan Culture at Chichen Itza
It is a bit of a drive, but visiting Chichen Itza is normally at the top of many people’s day trips from Playa del Carmen list. Well, it is one of the new 7 wonders of the world after all. I’ve already written a very in-depth blog post about how to visit Chichen Itza that you can read here. I go through how to get there yourself, as well as some recommendations if you want to do the whole tour thing.
The site of Chichen Itza is almost 10 kilometers and will take around 2-3 hours to explore. I also recommend going to Chichen Itza at night to watch the light show during the summer months. I wrote about how to do that here. The only downside is the whole thing is only in Spanish, so if you don’t speak Spanish you will struggle.
For a private tour of Chichen Itza complete the form below and someone will be in touch within 24 hours
Visit Some Cenotes
There is nothing better than cooling off on a hot day in one of the cenotes close to Playa del Carmen. I’m not going to lie, there are a LOT of cenotes close to Playa del Carmen, so it really can feel very overwhelming when trying to pick one to visit.
The way I see it, you have a few options for cenotes.
- Do it yourself
- Go on a tour
- Book a driver
If you want to go with option 1 and do it yourself then take a read of this post about getting to 2 cenotes close to Playa. You can rent a car and drive yourself there, or you can very easily take a colectivo. I cover all options in the blog post.
For option 2 Vanessa my friend has an amazing tour that takes you to 5 different cenotes, plus Xpu Ha beach (one of my top beaches in Playa del Carmen). She has other tours too, but that one is my favorite. You really will be spoilt for choice with cenote tours from Playa del Carmen.
Another option. which I have also done when I had family here, was to just book a private driver for the day and ask him to take you to a few cenotes. They almost always know the good ones to visit that aren’t full of people!
To enquire about booking a private driver or a cenote tour with Tourismo channel fill out the form below, or send Vanessa a WhatApp.
Another of my personal favorite days out from Playa del Carmen is to take a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres. Yes, you can take a bus and then the ferry to Isla Mujeres from Playa del Carmen. But where’s the fun in that? Honestly, these boat trips are probably one of the few super touristy things that the locals partake in too. I used to do it with friends every few months.
You get picked up in Playa and taken to Cancun by road. Then you hop on the catamaran and it’s all drinking, sunning yourself, and relaxing. Once you arrive in Isla Mujeres there is normally a snorkeling tour followed by some time on Playa Norte (officially one of the most beautiful beaches in the world). After that, you get taken to this restaurant where you get a buffet lunch (not terrible), and then it’s home time.
I know it might not sound that special, but if you are with a few friends it can be a lot of fun. Plus Isla Mujeres is so beautiful, you really must see it at least once.
You can book a tour to Isla Mujeres from Playa del Carmen with Vanessa by sending her a WhatsApp message or filling out the form below. Make sure you tell her I referred you for the best deals 😉
Oh Bacalar, one day I will get to visit you I promise. Can you believe I lived in Playa del Carmen for 3 years and didn’t get the chance to visit?!? Fingers crossed I’ll be there in April though so I can come back and edit this then.
What you need to know about Bacalar is that it is a fair distance from Playa del Carmen but it is doable on a day tour if you are short on time. Otherwise, you can take a colectivo, ADO bus or rent a car and drive down there for a few days. Either way, the lake isn’t what it once was and you need to take a tour of the lake to go down to the bit that is still beautiful. The main area where most people stay is still very brown and murky.
That’s why I’m only going on a day tour in April, that way I can do there, do the tour and come back all in one day!
Interested in doing this tour to Bacalar in a day? Send Vanessa a WhatsApp or fill out the form below.
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.