5th Avenue and Beach area, the best area to stay in Playa del Carmen
This neighbourhood is one of the best located connections for buses, taxis, cars and even boats as it is the most popular district in the city due to it being incredibly tourist friendly, which means it is the safest neighbourhood to stay in too. There are frequent connections to and from the closest airport, Cancun International Airport and the main tourist area too as the central bus station is found here.
Generally the city is a perfect place to walk around as it is a mainly pedestrian friendly place with 5th Avenue not allowing vehicles apart from those that are making deliveries in the early morning hours. Another great way of getting around the neighbourhood is by bike and there are numerous bike rental shops where you can hire bikes and take one of the many cycle routes through the area. One of the biggest crowd pullers is the beach that sits in front of 5th Avenue and is known for its glorious white sand and pollution free waters, which offers excellent swimming, snorkelling, windsurfing, parasailing and many other types of sea-orientated sports.
The closer you get to the ferry docks, the busier the beaches get and this is where you can arrange fishing, diving and cruising trips to various places, which make for an eventful day out and at a cheap price. Along 5th Avenue, you will notice the bountiful amount of travel agencies and tour companies that will be more than happy to arrange your day outs from Playa and there is plenty to choose from including: Cenote Diving (freshwater sinkholes, which are open to the public for diving, swimming and snorkelling and were first used by the Mayans to seek refuge from storms), Cozumel (requires taking a ferry to the nearby island that has world class diving sites as well as decent shopping places) and many Mayan ruin sites like Tulum, Xel-Ha, Coba Laguna and of course the legendary Chichen Itza.
A great day out for all the family is the magnificent Xcaret, which is a Mayan Eco Disney World and has various rides and cultural performances to do with the Mayans. Moreover, there are jungle, cave, garden and Eco park tours as well as trips to Mayan communities.
5th Avenue is a very enjoyable experience to walk through and you will be sure to see many different street performers like artists, magicians, fire-breathers, illusionists and lots of other characters, who make this place very vibrant.
The street is also home to numerous shopping opportunities with a diverse range of shops and malls with Centro Maya and Plaza Las Americas being the most famous. You can buy all sorts of products like clothes, jewellery, technology, electronics, snorkel and beach equipment, food, cigars (both Mexican and Cuban), camping equipment, entertainment shops and much more. Famous stores like Hurley, Gucci, Chanel, Adidas and lots of other international as well as domestic brands can be found along the street. At night, this place really comes alive and there are a wide range of restaurants to select from that are found along 5th Avenue as well as the streets off it and beach area, though most are Italian or Mexican orientated but there are also some American, French, Spanish and Asian places to check out with seafood restaurants being located close to the dock area.
There is no shortage of bars and clubs in the area with some of the best views and cocktails found by the beachside and there is usually happy hour, karaoke, live music and performers at the majority of the places. There are many bars found along 5th Avenue but most have to close by 12am due to the noise levels but this is when the clubs by the beach open and is where you can dance till the early hours of the morning. There is probably no need to book anything in advance in terms of hotels as you will see that this area has plenty of options ranging from budget to top quality places with some giving you views of the spectacular ocean.