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Playa del Carmen, Mexico - Brief Summary of the area

If you’re looking for the perfect Mexican wedding, on the Caribbean Sea, look no farther than Playa del Carmen.  Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa del Carmen boasts an assortment of outdoor water activities including scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing or diving in nearby reefs. 

Not to be left out, nightlife is definitely happening in Playa del Carmen, but is not as wild as its neighbor to the north, Cancún.  If you’re itching to dance or have a few drinks, there are plenty of clubs to choose from.

Each year many brides and grooms-to-be chose this popular Mayan Riviera spot for their ceremony.  Now it’s your turn as wonderful beaches, remarkable water and superb weather awaits you!

Most popular Beach Locations

The white-sand beaches of Playa del Carmen provide the best setting to do many outdoor activities, such as hiking or horseback riding, while you enjoy the warmth of the sun, the ocean breeze and the wonderful landscapes characteristic of the Quintana Roo coast.

Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc) How to get there - Buses can be taken directly from Cancún airport, for around $8.00 USD to Playa del Carmen.

Getting around Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is pedestrian-friendly town and you can basically walk to everything.  The main thoroughfare, 5th Ave, does not allow cars except in the early morning hours for deliveries.  A bike is a fun alternative to walking; there are a number of bike rental shops at the north end of 5th Ave.

By taxi - 5th Ave. ('Quinta Avenida' or '5ta Av.') is a pedestrianized street and taxis are available at various intersections along its length.  A taxi taken from a 'sitio' (place where taxis park) will cost a few dollars more than a taxi hailed on the street.  It costs around $5.00 USD to get to Playacar, and about $1.50 USD to get around the rest of Playa del Carmen.

By bus - Scheduled bus service to destinations in the region such as Xcaret, Xel-ha, Tulum, Cancún airport, Cancún, etc. and beyond depart from bus station at southern end of Fifth Avenue near Playacar and Ferry terminal to Cozumel.

Entry Requirements: passports, visa, etc. - Traveling to Playa del Carmen, México doesn’t require a passport only an official ID.  However, effective December 31, 2006, passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to or from the United States regardless of destination.  If you are not a citizen of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, or most Western European countries, you will need to have a visa. 

Visitors must carry a Mexican tourist permit while in Playa del Carmen, which is issued free of charge after proof of citizenship upon arrival.  This permit must be given to officials on departure.

Languages Spoken / official language – Spanish is the official language spoken in Playa del Carmen.

Currency – The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Play del Carmen.

Tipping – Since most travelers in Playa del Carmen, Mexico come from the United States and Canada, it's considered best (and is generally the practice) to tip the same people one would tip in the United States or Canada.  Ten to fifteen percent is a good tip for good service. 

Even though All-inclusive tours say that tips are included, it’s always appreciated in Playa del Carmen if you tip for good service, whether at a bar, restaurant, or other service.  In an All-inclusive, where there is no value guideline for meal service tipping, a tip at each meal and for the bellboy is always appreciated.

Taxes – In Playa del Carmen, there’s a sales tax of 15 percent.  The tax applies to the purchase of most items and is paid by residents and visitors alike.  Often this tax is hidden in the total cost of restaurant bills, store purchases, and tours.

Electricity - 120V 60 Hz

2 parallel flat prongs - "American" type

Other (immunizations, health issues) - It’s highly recommended that you buy bottled water during your visit to Playa del Carmen.  Bottled water, depending on size, typically costs 30 - 50 pesos ($2.77-$4.62 USD). Otherwise, do not drink the water unless your hotel has a water purification system.  Most of the resorts in Playa del Carmen have purified water at all of the facilities located inside the resorts including the bars and restaurants.  The upper-scale restaurants usually have purified water as well, but the water outside of these areas is not safe to drink. {Source – Wikitravel}

If you’re in Playa del Carmen and your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations.

Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

Planning a wedding at home can be quite an experience.  Planning a wedding in a foreign country and flying your guests in can become a challenge, but if you do your homework and utilize a professional Wedding Planner your dream wedding in Playa del Carmen can become a reality.

Most 4 and 5 star All-Inclusive hotels have Wedding Planners on-site.  In Playa del Carmen, the hotel can make all arrangements and supply catering and entertainment utilizing the hotel resources.  Playa del Carmen beach weddings are common and most hotels offer beach weddings, usually in the midst of all their hotel guests, or weddings in their chapel, if they have one.

A Wedding Planner from Playa del Carmen will also do all of the running around for you to gather the necessary forms and paperwork for a civil or Catholic wedding, arrange for all your wedding suppliers, schedule your blood test with a local clinic for a civil ceremony, etc.

You’ll need the following documents for a wedding in Playa del Carmen:

• Passports – A valid passport and photo-copy of passport for Bride and Groom. The passports must be valid for at least six months.
• Tourist Visa - One copy each of the tourist visas for Bride, Groom and Witnesses.  These are usually handed out on-flight or presented to you at your port of entry.
• Divorce Decree - If either party was previously married, authenticated copies of the Divorce Decree are required.  Exceptions can usually be arranged if the Bride’s passport is in the maiden name of the bride.
Widowed - If either partner is widowed, authenticated copies of Death certificate are required.  Exceptions can usually be arranged if the Bride’s passport is in the maiden name of the bride.
• Birth Certificates - A Birth certificate is NOT required for a groom if he has a valid passport.  Birth certificates are only required for the Bride if she is divorced and her passport is NOT in her maiden name.
Marriage Application Forms - These forms are attained from any registry office in Mexico.
• Blood Tests - It’s best to get this done in Mexico a minimum of three days prior to the wedding.  Otherwise if the tests were done in the U.S., they’ll have to be translated.
• Four Witnesses - You’ll need to have four witnesses present for a legal ceremony, and they must have valid passport - no other ID is accepted.  Witnesses can be provided if necessary. Witnesses not from Mexico must have:

• Proof of citizenship
• Original Birth Certificate (2 photocopies) or
• Valid Passport or
• Drivers license (2 photocopies)

Tourism Office address, Phone and Web site

Street 28 Mza. 4 Lote 1 Col. Ejidal
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico 77710
Phone: +52 (984) 206 3150

Other Travel Related Websites

Climate Information & Best Time of Year to Travel

Playa del Carmen has a sub-tropical climate, which means it's almost always warm.  The annual average temperature is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Temperature is not the only consideration when in a tropical climate.  Year-around the humidity level is very high, often around 90 percent.  Weather in Playa del Carmen is pretty reliable, but there can be exceptions, as always the case when it comes to weather.  Regardless of what time of year you get here, you will have great beach days and the ocean is always warm enough to swim in.  Here are the guidelines for Playa de Carmen during the year:

February to May - Spring is a beautiful time of year here, with very little rain and flowers everywhere.  The ocean gets calmer and warmer, as temperature rises.  Nights can still be a little cooler, but sweaters are rarely called for.

June to August – The summers in Playa del Carmen are hot.  This is also when the sea is the calmest, and has the best crystal clear turquoise look to it.  The water is so warm you can stay in for hours.  Blue skies prevail.  Rainfall is seen, usually as short heavy afternoon showers after a hot day.  There can be some wicked thunder storms this time of year, but they only last for an hour or so.  Nights do not get cooler.

September and October - September and October is the time for tropical storms and hurricanes.  That doesn't mean there are hurricanes every week, or even every year, but it can be rainy and windy this time of year.  It doesn't rain every day for two months, but there may be a period of more persistent rain.  It's still warm.

November to January - November, December and January are the coolest months for Playa del Carmen, which means it's very comfortable.  There might be some rain, but not on a daily basis.  This time of year nights can be chilly.  Cooler winds from the U.S. often find their way to Playa, but please remember that the sun is still powerful.

High & Low Season for travel – The best time to visit Playa del Carmen, part of the Yucatan Peninsula, is during the drier, slightly cooler months between November and March.  The rainy season last from mid-August to mid-October, when you can guarantee afternoon showers most days and humid, sticky conditions.  Peak holiday season is Christmas to April - outside this time, hotel prices can fall by 40 percent depending on demand.

Map of Playa DelCarmen

Map of Playa del Carmen

Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Playa del Carmen provides an enormous variety of water activities, ranging from swimming or laying on the beach, or more strenuous sports such as windsurfing, sailing or diving in the nearby reefs to going on boat trips or using other types of watercraft.

Extreme sports enthusiasts will enjoy scuba diving in the open seas in the crystal-clear waters of Playa del Carmen.  You can go snorkeling and scuba diving on the Great Mayan Reef, located less than 100 meters out from the beach.  Alternatively, you can go diving in the caves, which is a great experience.

Playa del Carmen is also an ideal spot for visiting one of the most beautiful parks in Mexico: Xcaret, which is also the place where ferries set off to the Island of Cozumel.  It is also near the natural well area of Puerto Aventuras while the largest natural aquarium in the world, Xel-Ha, is just forty-five minutes away.

Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Royal Hideaway Playacar - the evolution of the all inclusive resort.  This is a place where service and style come together in such grand fashion that it will forever change the way you view the word vacation.  This resort is ideally located on 13 acres of lush, tropical foliage that opens onto the most beautiful stretch of beach on the Yucatan Peninsula. Upon arrival to this awe-inspiring resort, you will be welcomed and indulged with attentive service.  You'll reside in luxurious villa accommodations, complete with spacious rooms, private terraces, magnificent marble baths and countless other appointments.  Royal Hideaway's two and three story-villas represent a fusion of Spanish and Mexican - colonial architecture while winding rivers, waterfalls and fountains connect the villas to the main building.  When the time comes to invigorate the body, choose from a myriad of exhilarating land and water activities.  At Royal Hideaway Playacar, the staff wants to cater to your every whim and desire so that's why they have extensive concierge service and poolside attendants to ensure you spend more time relaxing and less time thinking.  Royal Hideaway Playacar - where everything around you, from service to food to amenities, is nothing but the best.  

Nestled near Playa del Carmen along a two-mile stretch of white powder sand and against a sea of crystal blue water, Esencia Hotel and Spa, exudes the essence of simplicity, elegance and beauty.  This resort features spacious accommodations, twenty-nine in total, feature mesmerizing sea and garden views along with large terraces, deep soaking plunge pools and private solariums.  Guests can experience Esencia in an ocean view suite, garden suite or in a one of a kind private home.  Food, wine tasting, and intimate gatherings with friends will come alive here.

Located on the white sands of the Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen and nestled in the tropical forest, The Tides Riviera Maya, formerly Ikal Del Mar, is the resort counterpart of being invited to an exclusive private villa and stunning spa.  Its beachfront Playa del Carmen resort refuge has a full service luxury spa, an award-winning restaurant and lounge featuring "Mayaterranean Cuisine," seven-miles of white-sand beach, and trips to nearby ancient cities and ruins.

The Wyndham Azteca offers 270 well-appointed rooms and its intimate size affords guests attentive service and a tranquil atmosphere, making this one of the top choices for Mexico All-inclusive resorts.  On your Mexico travel, unwind in rooms with thoughtful amenities like balconies, beach towels, a safe, and a mini-bar with water and soft drinks.  This Mayan Riviera resort is ideal for unforgettable Caribbean weddings, surrounding you with beachfront splendor, an array of on-site recreation and facilities including a beach bar, two cocktail lounges and three restaurants. Besides enjoying the Riviera Maya beach, during the day guests have an array of activities and sports from which to choose, including exciting Scuba Diving and a nearby 18-hole championship Playa Del Carmen golf course.

The Mayans chose one of the most ideal spots in the world to develop their culture.  The staff of the Sandos Caracol Beach resort and spa has followed their example by positioning this resort on a large tract of land alongside an exotic jungle, surrounded by luxurious vegetation, where you can discover all the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean.