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Wanna jump into a cenote, explore ancient ruins and live like royalty in a sun-drenched Caribbean paradise that won’t break the bank?
Yucatan resort town Playa del Carmen (one hour south of Cancun) abounds with natural wonders, history, adventure, vibrant culinary offerings and breathtaking views—and yet remains a stellar value for travelers. Here are 9 reasons why we love it that have nothing to do with baking in the sun, because a few beach days are, of course, a given!

Zipline like a superhero

Everyone knows that ziplining is a thrilling recreational activity. However, have you ever zoomed over the jungle while upside down? Or perhaps while flying horizontal to the ground like a superhero? How about while lounging in a hammock? Tour company Aventuras Mayas can make these types of adrenaline-fueled experiences happen. Plus, landing platforms are provided, so you won’t wind up slamming into padded tree trunks when you land!

Dive into a waterfilled sinkhole

Chukum Cenote, Mexico

Chukum Cenote, Mexico

As you travel though the state of Quintana Roo, you will find numerous natural wonders, including cenotes (sinkholes filled by underground rivers). Cenotes have served as fresh water wells for local Mayan tribes for many generations. However, there are several cenotes in Mexico which have been designated for the visitor experience, including Hacienda Chukum which opened to the public earlier this year and is quickly becoming a must-do experience. The water here is extremely clear and its temperature typically runs about 60 degrees. In addition to being very picturesque, visitors can swim, platform dive, zipline and even rappel into the cenote from its opening! Tours (including lunch buffet) are only $25 per person.

Give the kids a trip to remember…

The all-inclusive Panama Jacks Resort Playa Del Carmen is an activity-filled beachfront property perfect for families. Whether its mom and dad playing a game of water volleyball with their kids, or enjoying a couples spa experience while the little ones are off having fun at the resort’s Camp Jack, the possibilities are endless.

…or give yourself one

Couples will have a resplendent experience at the adults-only all-inclusive Hilton Playa del Carmen. This AAA 4-Diamond property is an all-suites resort and each one includes a whirlpool tub. If that isn’t relaxing enough, try rejuvenating with a Mayan and organic treatment at SPAzul.

Shop Fifth Avenue, but not in New York

One bonus feature about staying at the aforementioned properties: You will be within walking distance of Playa del Carmen’s  Fifth Avenue. This pedestrian walkway is a shoppers paradise. From flea markets to upmarket stores—and everything in between—you will quickly find out that Fifth Avenue is popular among locals and tourists alike.

Honor Frida Kahlo

While strolling Fifth Avenue, visit the Frida Kahlo Museum. Here you will experience the life and times of one of Mexico’s most famous artists. Unlike the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, this outpost doesn’t include any original works of her art, but uses multimedia to illuminate the artist’s life. Admission is only $15.

Visit a different kind of beach

If you’re traveling with children who aren’t all that interested in shopping, near to Fifth Avenue is Aquarium Beach, which is home to more than 200 species of marine life including giant turtles, rays, tropical fish, seahorses, sharks and more. Both kids and adults will enjoy a visit here, especially if there’s a rainy day during your trip.

Try a rocky road (not the ice cream)

Trek jungle trails on the most powerful ATVs in Riviera Maya with Aventuras Mayas. Their fleet of ATVs can handle virtually any type of terrain with ease, plus the speed and acceleration coming from these machines are very impressive. You’ll have the chance to make tight turns, climb and descend hills and traverse rocks and other obstacles during your journey. And of course, you will be provided a helmet for your ATV rides.

Explore ancient Mayan ruins

chichen itza

Spending a week in Carmen? Take advantage of the destination’s close proximity to nearby notable places of interest. A day trip to Mayan ruins Chichén Itzá and its El Castillo pyramid are essential as is a side trip to culturally vibrant 16th-century city of Valladolid.

Tagged: Beach, Caribbean, Family, Mexico, Romance & honeymoon, Uncategorized

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