Traveling to Playa del Carmen doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation. Below are what I consider to be the top 7 free things to do in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. From sun-tanning to salsa dancing, there’s so many fun options for free and affordable entertainment.
1. Be a Beach Bum
All of the beaches in Playa del Carmen are public beaches. This means you can literally plop down your beach blanket and umbrella wherever you please, even if that’s right in front of a flashy beach resort. Most weekends you can find me parked at the beach near 38th street and then I usually work my way down towards Mamitas Beach Club. There are plenty of Oxxo convenient stores near almost every beach entrance where you can stock up on snacks and drinks on the cheap.
2. Take a Stroll Down 5th Avenue
Although I’ve walked down 5th Avenue dozens of times, I never get tired of feeling the vibrant energy of this lively pedestrian-only avenue, which spans for over 20 blocks. With hundreds of shops, restaurants, and souvenir stalls, there is ALWAYS something new to discover.
3. Watch an Aerial Performance
Venture down to Parque Fundadores at 5th Avenue and Avenida Juarez to enjoy a free aerial performance. These native Papantla performers unwind around a tall pole hanging upside down from decorated ribbons tied to their ankles. Set to native music, it’s definitely a unique performance.
4. Take Part in a Tequila Tasting
Another free thing to do in Playa del Carmen is to take part in a tequila tasting. Head down 5th Avenue and it won’t take long for you to be approached by someone outside a tequila shop. Most offer free tastings to passerbys. Fabrica Tequila is a modern shop with a good selection and they have a few locations on 5th Avenue. Just be careful that they don’t try to overcharge you.
5. Admire the Local Art Scene
Playa del Carmen is definitely an artsy town that attracts local and international artists. You can find several art galleries and photography studios along 5th Avenue as well as regular artwork and canvases on display on 16th Street behind Quinta Alegria Shopping Mall.
6. Enjoy a Ladies Night Out
It definitely pays to be a lady in Playa del Carmen! There are Ladies Nights literally every single night of the week. Yes, you really can drink for free any night of the week. My favorite Ladies Night are at Soma (Clandestino), Be Roof, The Palm, and Lobo de Mar. The ladies nights can change often so be sure to check local Facebook pages for days and hours.
7. Learn to Salsa Dance
Zenzi Beach Bar offers salsa dancing on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday nights. This is more of an informal dance lesson with the experienced dancers swapping partners to the rhythm of the live salsa band. IMO less pressure and more fun! Bodeguita del Medio is a Cuban restaurant and also offers free salsa lessons Tuesday – Friday nights from 7-8pm.
I hope you found these free things to do in Playa del Carmen valuable for your travel planning! Here are some more helpful tips to save money and travel more. What are your favorite free things to do when you travel?
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