Our Playa del Carmen Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

It’s all compiled in this Playa del Carmen Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip to Playa del Carmen.

  • When is the best time to travel to Playa del Carmen?

    When is the best time to travel to Playa del Carmen?

    Playa del Carmen has a tropical monsoon climate, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C to 28°C all year round.

    • The rainiest time of the year is between June and November, with an average of 12 rainy days per month. Note that even during the driest time of the year, between February and May, you can expect 4–5 rainy days per month.
    • February–May is the best time to visit Playa del Carmen. It's also peak tourist season, with hotel and flight prices rising accordingly. Try to book your hotel at least 3 months in advance for better prices.
    • May–August is also a great time to visit. Although the weather is hotter and more humid, you’ll avoid the peak season’s throngs and flight and hotel prices are more affordable. Don’t forget to pack an umbrella, though.
  • Playa del Carmen basics

    Playa del Carmen basics
    • Languages:
      Primary: Spanish
      Most of the Mexicans working in the tourist industry speak/understand English
    • Plug types: A and B
    • Electricity: 110 V
    • Currency: Mexican peso (Mex$)
    • International dialling codes: +52 984
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
  • How to get to my hotel in Playa del Carmen?

    How to get to my hotel in Playa del Carmen?

    Cancun International Airport

    Cancun International Airport is the main airport for Playa del Carmen, and one of the largest and busiest in Mexico. It sits 50 km northeast of the city centre and has no less than 4 passenger terminals. Here, you’ll find a great range of dining and shopping options, as well as facilities like free Wi-Fi, bank and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Playa del Carmen:

    • The airport taxi services feature a good choice of vehicles, including shareRide, taxiX, taxiXL and taxiSUV. They take around 50-60 minutes. To pay the prices mentioned, online reservations must be made beforehand.
    • The ADO Bus takes around 60-70 minutes to reach Playa del Carmen. It’s the cheapest way to get there.
    • Car rental agencies can be found within the grounds of the airport.

    photo by Falco Ermert (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • How to get around Playa del Carmen?

    Travel tips

    How to get around Playa del Carmen?

    Playa del Carmen city centre is compact and can easily be explored on foot. It hosts a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. The developed parts of the beach stretch for 8 km, and you can enjoy long romantic walks along the Caribbean Sea there, especially before 10 am and after 6 pm, when temperatures are cooler. Scooters are available for rent in Playa del Carmen, but it’s not recommended due to the chaotic roads. For longer journeys, to Downtown Cancun or nearby beaches, it’s best to use the public and private transport services.

    photo by Falco Ermert (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • Tusca City buses and Colectivos

    Colectivos are white minivans with a turquoise stripe on both sides. They travel along the beaches and to destinations such as the large shopping malls in Playa del Carmen. You can hail them from the roadside and get dropped anywhere you want.

    • Colectivos and Tusca buses run similar routes for the same price. The latter is just larger and slower.
    • Tusca buses have proper stops along the roads. Look for the blue and white signs marked with Paradero Servicio Urbano and the pictogram of a bus.
    • You can also take ADO Buses to get to Cancun or Tulum. The ADO Bus Terminal is in the city centre, diagonally opposite Fundadores Park.
  • Taking a taxi

    Taking a taxi

    You can easily find cab stands outside hotels and near the main attractions and shopping areas.

    • You can directly call popular companies such as Taxi Tours Riviera Maya (984 190 2228), Taxi drivers union "Lazaro Cardenas del Rio" (984 877 3860) or Taxigo Aeropuerto (984 125 6661), just to name a few.
    • If you don't speak Spanish, have your address written down ready to show the driver.
    • Hailing a taxi from a stand is usually more expensive than hailing one down on the street.
    • Always have small change with you as most taxi drivers can’t break large bills.

    photo by GorissM (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • What are the main annual events in Playa del Carmen?

    What are the main annual events in Playa del Carmen?

    Playa del Carmen Carnival

    • What: Expect parades, dance performances, and live music in Plaza Municipal, and lots of fun. 
    • When: The week before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent)
    • Where: Downtown Playa del Carmen

    Day of the Dead

    • What: One of the most famous events in Mexico, Dia de Muertos is celebrated with cultural events, live music performances and loads of street food.
    • When: First 4 days of November
    • Where: Xcaret Eco-archaeological Park

    Independence Day

    • What: Mexican flags float all around the city for the celebration of Mexico Independence Day. Expect parades, parties and fireworks.
    • When: 16 September
    • Where: Throughout the city

    photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo (CC BY 2.0) modified