Fact: A girls trip is good for the soul. I mean what’s better than sipping margaritas and soaking up the sunshine on a beach in Mexico with your best friends?!
As a Playa del Carmen local, some of my favorite Playa del Carmen memories have been when my best friends have come to visit and I’ve gotten to show off all the incredible things to do in Playa del Carmen.
But I also know from experience there’s a TON of work and research required to organize the perfect vacation itinerary!
In this post, I’m sharing a detailed Playa del Carmen itinerary for the ultimate girls getaway to help you take the stress out of your vacation planning.
Playa del Carmen Itinerary Overview
This is detailed 5 day itinerary for Playa del Carmen full of restaurant recommendations, day trips, and nightlife including plenty of beach time, margaritas, and dancing!
This schedule is perfect for a Playa del Carmen bachelorette party itinerary, girls trip, or long weekend getaway.
Note it is geared towards those staying in downtown Playa del Carmen but I’ve included a lot of fun restaurants, bars, and excursions to try even if you’re staying at a Riviera Maya all-inclusive resort.
Best time to visit Playa del Carmen
Because Playa del Carmen is warm and sunny all year round, there really isn’t a bad time to visit. However, there are seasons where it is drier and there is less humidity.
High season is considered to be during the months of December–February, when the weather is still very warm and sunny but much less humid. This is a great time to visit but is also the most expensive and crowded time of the year.
I’ve found that the months on the border of high season (March/April and October/November) are still great weather-wise but will be less expensive and have much fewer people. You can also find some great hotel deals during this time.
Where to stay in Playa del Carmen
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Playa del Carmen for a girls trip, below are a few hotels I would recommend in the downtown area.
All of these Playa del Carmen hotels are super centrally located and either beachfront or just a few blocks from the beach.
Staying at one of these hotels will put you right in the center of all the action in Playa del Carmen.
Mahekal Beach Resort
With bungalow-style accommodations and multiple pools and restaurants, it’s a true Mexican retreat but still close enough to the liveliness of Fifth Avenue.
👉 Check rates and availability for Mahekal Beach Resort on Booking.com
Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen
Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen is one of the newest and most modern hotels in downtown Playa del Carmen.
It’s located on the beach and offers an infinity pool and plenty of poolside cabanas, and the views of the ocean from the lobby are really impressive.
With multiple restaurants and a full-service Cenote Spa, it’s the perfect place for a girls getaway.
👉 Check rates and availability for Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen on Booking.com
Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen
Located in the heart of the downtown area, the Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen is a chic hotel with a killer rooftop pool. It’s not located on the beach, but just a few blocks away.
I would definitely recommend the Thompson for bachelorette parties as it’s known for its rooftop pool parties and is just a block away from the most popular spots for Playa del Carmen nightlife.
👉 Check rates and availability for the Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen on Booking.com
Travelista Tip: For a beachfront option, check out their sister property Thompson Beach House.
Hotel HM Playa del Carmen
Hotel HM Playa del Carmen is a moderately priced hotel in downtown Playa del Carmen.
While not located on the beach, it’s more centrally located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, just a few blocks from Fifth Avenue.
Its contemporary Mexican design is really cute and it has an impressive courtyard pool.
👉 Check rates and availability for the Hotel HM Playa del Carmen on Booking.com
Playa del Carmen Itinerary
Below is a sample 5 day itinerary for Playa del Carmen. There are a million fun things to do in Riviera Maya but I’ve tried to incorporate most of the must-see attractions.
This itinerary can definitely be modified if you’re staying for more or less time. However, if you want to get the most out of your visit, I would recommend staying for at least 5 days to really get to experience the destination.
Take a transfer from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen and check-in to your hotel. Make sure to let the front desk if you’re celebrating any special occasions.
Relax at the pool
Take some time to soak up the sunshine and enjoy some frozen cocktails or margaritas by the hotel pool. ¡Salud!
Explore Fifth Avenue
Spanning for over 20 blocks, Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen is a pedestrian-only street where you’ll find all of the restaurants, bars, shops, and nightlife.
It’s a lively and colorful place where you can just stroll and explore at leisure. Head to the main square in Parque Fundadores at the start of Fifth Avenue to see a free aerial performance from native Papantla performers.
Dinner at La Perla Pixan
Located on the beautiful and trendy 38th Street, La Perla Pixan is an upscale Mexican restaurant serving a creative variety of Mexican and regional specialties.
La Perla Pixan has some of the best Mexican food in Playa del Carmen as well as high quality craft cocktails, tequilas, and mezcals.
Plus they usually have live music and colorful native dance performances which totally enhances the dining experience and is a nice welcome to Mexico.
Breakfast at Que Huevos
Located towards the end of 5th Avenue, Que Huevos is one of the cutest local breakfast spots that serves some of the best breakfast dishes in Playa del Carmen.
Que Huevos is a small cafe with outdoor seating shaded by tropical palms. The breakfast menu features a ton of classic American and Mexican dishes, as well as fresh juices, smoothies, and coffee.
My favorite breakfast dish is the avocado toast with poached eggs paired with an Horchata espresso. But you really can’t go wrong with any of their breakfast items!
Beach Day at Playa Xpu-Ha
Located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, Playa Xpu-Ha is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya and is less well-known to tourists.
You can grab a taxi to get there and spend the day relaxing on your own or enjoying one of the fabulous Xpu-Ha beach clubs.
Dinner at Catch Playa del Carmen
Catch is a trendy rooftop restaurant at the Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen perfect for a more upscale dinner.
With amazing rooftop views overlooking the ocean, it’s a fun place for cocktails, sushi, and seafood dishes.
Experience the Playa del Carmen Nightlife
The majority of the nightclubs in Playa del Carmen are located on 12th Street, which is a lively street that is always full of people and a fun place to start the night out.
Then head to nearby Clandestino, which is a chic rooftop club known for its open-air atmosphere and house music. Be sure to get there early if you want to get in without paying cover.
Late Night Tacos at Don Sirloin or El Fogon
Serving some of the best tacos in Playa del Carmen, they are open late and will most definitely be busy.
Breakfast at Chez Celine
One of the most popular breakfast restaurants in Playa del Carmen, Chez Celine is a French bistro located right on 5th Avenue.
Its charming French-inspired decor and superb reputation attracts both tourists and locals, meaning there is almost always a line. Be sure to get there early if you want to beat the crowds!
Chez Celine offers a breakfast menu as well as a full French bakery counter serving freshly prepared pastries, chocolate croissants, fruit tarts, cakes, and desserts. The pastries are elegantly presented and almost too pretty to eat!
Shopping on 5th Avenue
A trip to Playa del Carmen wouldn’t be complete without shopping on the famous 5th Avenue.
Here you can purchase a wide variety of Mexican souvenirs, clothing, leather goods, artwork, tequila, and novelty food items.
Lunch at Las Hijas de la Tostada
Las Hijas de la Tostada is a hip and casual seafood spot in downtown Playa del Carmen known for its ceviches, tostadas, and seafood dishes.
With two locations on 5th Avenue as well as a beachfront restaurant (Las Hijas Beach Club), it’s a great spot to take a break from shopping and refuel.
Drinks and Salsa Dancing at Zenzi
Located right on the beach, Zenzi is a large open-air bar with a full-service restaurant, along with tables and chairs where you can sit with your toes in the sand.
They offer live music and free salsa lessons every week making it a fun place to enjoy drinks on the beach with friends.
Isla Mujeres Catamaran Sail
Isla Mujeres is a tiny island off the coast of Cancun with the most stunning turquoise water.
For a group I would definitely recommend booking a catamaran tour to sail around the island, snorkel, and enjoy the picturesque beaches. It will be a full day adventure but totally worth it!
👉 Book an Isla Mujeres catamaran sail by clicking here!
Dinner at La Famiglia
It is owned by an Italian family and they serve a wide variety of homemade pastas and Italian dishes. It has a very homey yet casual atmosphere with a cute upstairs seating area.
Breakfast at La Cueva del Chango
La Cueva del Chango (“Cave of the Monkey” in Spanish) has consistently been named as one of the best breakfast restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
The restaurant’s most unique feature is its cave-like interior, which makes the atmosphere especially unique.
With mostly Mexican breakfast dishes on the menu, La Cueva del Chango is probably best known for their chilaquiles. My personal favorite are the chilaquiles verdes (green chilaquiles) – they are to die for!
If you’re flying from the Cancun airport, you’ll want to book your Cancun Airport transfer for about 3 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time.
Playa del Carmen Itinerary at a Glance
- Relax at the pool
- Explore Fifth Avenue
- Dinner at La Perla Pixan
- Breakfast at Que Huevos
- Beach Day at Playa Xpu-Ha
- Dinner at Catch Playa del Carmen
- Experience the Playa del Carmen Nightlife
- Late Night Tacos at Don Sirloin or El Fogon
- Breakfast at Chez Celine
- Shopping on 5th Avenue
- Lunch at Las Hijas de la Tostada
- Drinks and Salsa Dancing at Zenzi
- Isla Mujeres Catamaran Sail
- Dinner at La Famiglia
- Breakfast at La Cueva del Chango
I hope this Playa del Carmen girls trip itinerary is helpful for your travel planning!
There are so many fun things to do in Playa del Carmen that you can pick and choose what works best for your schedule.
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