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Over There - Playa del Carmen - The Heart of Riviera Maya
Since Cancun's miles of high rise beach hotels didn't even exist until the 1980's, it's no wonder that small fishing villages like Playa del Carmen maintained a simple, slow paced way of life until around 2000 when real estate development really began to take off in all directions from the downtown area.


Before the big "sprawl," Playa del Carmen was known more for its ongoing connection and relationship to Cozumel. In ancient Mayan times, Playa served as the mainland departure point for Mayan pilgrims making the journey to give offerings at Cozumel's temples. This relation still exists today between Cozumel and Playa although the dug-out conoes carrying pilgrims have now been replaced with ferries filled with tourists.


Because of it's long history of being a terminal point for Cozumel crossings, Playa (as the locals call it) has a tradition of warmly greeting ferry passengers arriving from the island with their version of "fast food." Just beyond the pier there are traditionally dressed Mayan women lined up with colorful sidewalk stands of fresh cut fruit and yogurt just waiting for hungry arriving passengers. Then farther up the main plaza on the way to the bus station are the "torta (sandwich) stands." Here busy commuters can pick up a fresh made pulled pork torta and beverage before getting on the bus or hailing a taxi to go to the office.

Delicious Fresh Cut Fuit is a Playa tradition!Nothing like a


Aside from being a critical transport link for the island of Cozumel, Playa is considered the heart of the 100 mile long Riviera Maya since it sits mid-way between Cancun and Tulum. Nevertheless, it bears little resemblance to the mega resort filled Cancun nor to the just emerging, primitive area around Tulum. Playa is its own place, comfortable in its own bohemian, laid-back ambiance which makes it all the more irrestitable to travelers.

Simply stroll along the 5th Avenida pedestrian walkway where all the shops and restaurants are gathered and listen to an endless array of languages being spoken. Immediately one gets a sense of Playa's undeniable cosmopolitan flavor. During the daylight hours, the retail shops take the spotlight alongside a multitude of restaurants and bars to discover and enjoy and escape the heat of the day.

But the late night hours awaken a very different Playa where the walkways are jammed with club hoppers and music lovers of all kinds. Many of the bars are open air and dance floors sit right on the sandy beaches so the tropical breeze and smell of the ocean provide their own brand of intoxication for travelers.

Today Playa del Carmen boasts a population of more than 80,000 and enjoys over 1 million visitors annually.





Playa Del Carmen Accommodations - Hotels & Resorts
It was not long ago that Playa del Carmen accommodations alternatives were primitive, rustic and limited in selection. But nothing could be farther from the truth these days as Playa is literally surrounded by mega resorts and golf courses of the finest quality. In addition, there are also small inns, hostels and low cost accommodations to fit every traveler's budget!

Use INSIDER'S Search & Reservation Tool
fo find the best hotel prices available in PLAYA del CARMEN!


Getting to Playa del Carmen - Fly into Cancun Airport
Airlines Serving Cancun
Cancun Aiport
Cancun Airport Comfortable Waiting Areas
Cancun International Airport998-848-7200

Airlines with Terminals at Cancun International Airport
American Airlines1-800-904-6000
United/Continental Airlines998-886-0006
Delta Airlines 1-800-123-4710
Frontier Airlines 987-872-0847
Liberacion998-889-9387
Northwest Air 1-800-367-4700
USAir Airways 987-872-0847
Mayair998-881-9413
Mexicana998-881-9090
Volaris01-800-786-5274
AeroTucan987-869-8172
AeroCaribe987-872-0877

Excursion Charter Airlines operating seasonal flights to Cancun
Apple Vacations
FunJet
Sun Country
WorryFree Vacations


It IS possible to purchase AIR ONLY on these excursion charter carriers so read the fine print for great offers on AIR ONLY options!

List of ALL Airlines from ALL Countries flying into Cancun

Best Airfare Deal Finder Out There!


Without question the best airfare deal finder and price comparison tool online today is offered by a TravelZoo subsidiary called ~

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This search tool for airfares is absolutely free and they do NOT process any reservations for any airlines so no need to worry about any bias in the search finding results!



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Playa del Carmen Transportation - Getting Around the Area
Taxi Services are reasonably priced in Playa because it is so easy to walk everywhere!
Playa del Carmen Car Rentals
Use INSIDER'S Search & Reservation Tool
fo find the best car rental prices available in PLAYA del CARMEN!

Jeep Wrangler - Automatic Transmission

Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc. Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.

Bus Services from Cancun
For the adventurous traveler there are many tourist site excursions on the mainland available by bus. It's a great (inexpensive) way to travel throughout the Mayan Riviera, however there are many pitfalls of which to be concerned.

Make sure you communicate with the driver ahead of time where you want to be dropped off. Some stops are not bus stations (like in Playa del Carmen) but just stops along the highway which are unmarked. The driver won't stop unless there is someone waiting at the stop or a request is made from a passanger to stop. So speak up if you need to exit the bus.

Rivera Shuttle Bus When purchasing a bus ticket, all you get is the bus ticket. Nothing is included in the form of admittance into the destination, tour guide, or translation of tour itself.

The best option for purchasing bus tickets is to either do so online if one is familiar with the bus line or simply purchase tickets upon arrival at the bus station in Cancun.



For travelers in Cozumel wanting to explore the mainland via bus there is an ADO (one of the most popular bus lines) Ticket office near the corner of Calle 2 Norte & Avenida 10 next to TELCEL store. Pass by to check schedules, destinations and/or approximate costs for budgeting purposes and to buy tickets.

The main bus station for Cancun is in the downtown area of Cuidad de Cancun in the business/commercial district. Across the street is a hotel and there are many nearby restaurants as well in case travelers want to linger awhile before venturing on to another destination.

Some approximate sample fairs and travel times from Cancun include:
(These are subject to change. Check for Tours to these places also!)

Destination Cost (Pesos) Travel Time
Merida 246 5 hour
Chetumal 228 5 hours
Coba 46 2 hours
Chichen Itza 140 3 Ĺ hours
Akumal 100 2 hours
Puerto Morelos 18 30 minute
Cancun 36 1 hour
Tulum 54 1 hour
F. Carrillo Puerto 144 2 hours
Xcaret 37 10 minutes
Xel-Ha 53 45 minutes


Typically there are 2 levels of bus service in Mexico, first class and coach. First class buses generally adhere closely to the maintained schedule and rarely have any stops between the departure and destination points. However, coach service can be quite different as schedules can and usually will deviate from stated departure and arrival times. Donít be surprised if many spontaneous stops are made along the way to pick up passengers.


For those wanting to catch a glimpse of Cuidad Cancun and explore a bit, just jump on one of the public buses that pass on the streetside of the hotels. The public buses run frequently and go all over Cuidad de Cancun for just a few pesos. One favorite place to end up is PLAZA OF THE AMERICAS. If you do this, just plan on taking a taxi back into the Hotel Zone (i.e. take extra money for cab fare) it will be easier and faster. Have fun!

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 Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
Tired of visiting the sights as part of the "herd?" Not seeing an excursion that exactly fits how you'd like to spend your day on the mainland? No problem! COZUMELINSIDER can custom design a mainland excursion just for you and your group!
From US$168
 Cancun - Tulum Express
Visit this city that is icon of the Maya culture in the Mexican Caribbean and the only built facing the sea. Due to its amazing architecture and location on a cliff facing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea, Tulum is the third most visited prehispanic site in Mexico.
US$ 57.00 Adult / US$ 41.00 Kids
 Cancun - Tulum Xel-Ha' All Inclusive
Visit this city that is icon of the Maya culture in the Mexican Caribbean and the only built facing the sea. Due to its amazing architecture and location on a cliff facing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea, Tulum is the third most visited prehispanic site in Mexico.
US$ 159.00 Adult / US$ 79.50 Kids
 Riviera Maya - Dolphin Swim Adventure
Share a series of sensational and safe activities while establishing a unique bond of trust. With a handshake, kiss and belly ride will enjoy moments of great spontaneity during your free time together. It is an unforgettable experience!
US$ 119.00 Adults / US$ 89.00 Kids
 Riviera Maya - Dolphin Encounter
Enjoy a learning and interactive experience fun for all ages! A great way to introduce young and old to the wonders of dolphins and sea life!
US$ 89.00 Adults / US$ 89.00 Kids
 Riviera Maya - Dolphin Royal Swim
This most popular program can be described in two words: "action" and "speed". Get a handshake, a kiss and then you give them one. Feel the strength of your new friends as they push you across the water from the bottom of your feet in the thrilling foot-push. It is "the experience of a lifetime!"
US$ 149.00 Adults / US$ 89.00 Kids
 Riviera Maya - Tulum Express
Visit this city that is icon of the Maya culture in the Mexican Caribbean and the only built facing the sea. Due to its amazing architecture and location on a cliff facing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea, Tulum is the third most visited prehispanic site in Mexico.
US$ 57.00 Adults / US$ 41.00 Kids

Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
What a ride!
Riviera Maya - Dolphin Royal Swim

Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
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