Fact: A girls trip is good for the soul. I mean what’s better than sipping margs and soaking up the sunshine on a beach in Mexico with your best friends?! Honestly some of my favorite Playa del Carmen memories have been when my girlfriends came to visit and I got to show off all the incredible things to do in Playa del Carmen. But I also know from experience it’s a lot of work to organize a vacation schedule, so in this post I’m sharing a detailed Playa del Carmen itinerary for a girls getaway.
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 less 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
Mahekal Beach Resort is an oceanfront resort located in downtown Playa del Carmen right on 38th Street beach, which is one of the best beaches in Playa del Carmen. 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.
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 spa, it’s the perfect place for a girls getaway.
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.
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. It’s not located on the beach but more centrally located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, just a few blocks from Fifth Avenue. It’s contemporary Mexican design is really cute and it has an impressive courtyard pool.
Playa del Carmen Itinerary
Below is a sample 5 day itinerary for Playa del Carmen. There are so many fun things to do in the 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.
Arrive 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 Famiglia
After a leisurely afternoon, head to La Famiglia for dinner, an authentic Italian restaurant that serves my favorite pizza in Playa del Carmen.
It is owned by an Italian family and they serve a wide variety of homemade pastas and Italian dishes. It has a very homey atmosphere and they have a cute upstairs seating area.
Fire Show at Fusion Beach Bar Cuisine
Fusion Beach Bar is my favorite beachfront bar in Playa del Carmen for a chill night on the beach. They offer live music and a nightly fire show starting at 11:30pm. It’s the perfect place to unwind with your toes in the sand after a long day of traveling.
Breakfast at Que Huevos
Que Huevos is the cutest breakfast restaurant near the end of 5th Avenue. It’s a tiny spot with cute outdoor seating and offers a variety of American and Mexican dishes as well as coffee drinks and house made juices.
Beach Day at Playa Xpu-Ha
Dinner at Catch Playa del Carmen
Catch is a rooftop restaurant at the Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen. It is more upscale but has amazing rooftop views and is a fun place for cocktails and sushi.
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. Some of my favorite clubs are Mandala, Abolengo, and Santito Tun Tun.
I also love Clandestino, which is a chic rooftop club known for its 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
You’ll most likely be hungry after a night of dancing. For late night tacos, head to Don Sirloin or El Fogon, which both have central locations and some of the best tacos in Playa del Carmen. They are open late and will most definitely be busy.
Breakfast at Chez Celine
Chez Celine is a French bistro and breakfast restaurant located right on 5th Avenue. They offer a breakfast menu as well as a full bakery serving freshly prepared pastries, croissants, and desserts. The breakfast dishes are tasty and the desserts are almost too pretty to eat!
Visiting a cenote, or freshwater swimming hole, is one of the most unique things you can do in the Riviera Maya. I would recommend visiting Cenote Cristalino, which is one of the best cenotes near Playa del Carmen.
Related: The Best Playa del Carmen Cenotes
Late Lunch at El Doctorcito
El Doctorcito is a hip and casual spot in downtown Playa del Carmen for aguachiles, ceviches, and fish tacos. It is always packed and they usually have a live DJ playing house music.
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 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 an Isla Mujeres catamaran tour to sail around the island, snorkel, and enjoy the picturesque beaches. It will be a full day adventure but totally worth it!
Dinner at La Perla Pixan
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 craft cocktails, tequilas, and mezcals. Plus they usually have live music which totally enhances the dining experience.
Breakfast at La Cueva del Chango
La Cueva del Chango is a popular breakfast restaurant on 5th Avenue and 38th Street which is known for its natural cave like setting. Their breakfast menu offers tasty chilaquiles, crepes, and egg dishes.
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.
If you’re flying from the Cancun airport, you’ll want to leave Playa del Carmen about 3 hours before your scheduled departure time.
Playa del Carmen Itinerary at a Glance
- Relax at the pool
- Explore Fifth Avenue
- Dinner at La Famiglia
- Fire Show at Fusion Beach Bar
- 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
- Cenote Cristalino
- Late Lunch at El Doctorcito
- Drinks and Salsa Dancing at Zenzi
- Isla Mujeres Catamaran Sail
- Dinner at La Perla Pixan
- Breakfast at La Cueva del Chango
- Shopping on 5th Avenue
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. And check out some of my other recent posts to get more ideas for your trip!
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