Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen (also known locally as Playa) is a year-round sunshine paradise with beaches and luxury hotels. It is located in the state of Quintana-Roo, Eastern Mexico, and It is the state’s third largest city. Diversity and variety are the main life characteristics of Playa. The town settled parallel to the beach, so you are never too far from it. The excellent reefs give you a unique diving and snorkeling experience where you can see rays, moray eels, sea turtles and a wide variety of corals. The Mayan Rivera is considered a safe area. However, like in any other place, take standard security measures.

SAFETY INDEX

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La Quinta

La Quinta, also known as Fifth Avenue, is parallel to the beach, and it is mostly for pedestrians. Here you can find small hotels, small stores, outdoor cafés, bars, restaurants, and day spas among others.

Playacar

Playacar is to the south of downtown Playa del Carmen. It is known for its large traditional and all-inclusive resorts, a golf course, designer shops and luxury residential and timeshare properties.

Avenida Juarez

Starting at the Zócalo, all the way to Highway 307, this street leads you to the more authentic Mexican areas of Playa del Carmen. You won’t find many tourist strolling down this avenue unless they are leaving town. However, it is considered a safe area.

North of Downtown

If you are looking for some quiet time with less crowds, solitude, and the best beaches like Xcalacoco are found here.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, Playa del Carmen is safe. Non-narco-related crime varies in nature and regularity, but it is generally low. As tourism is the main source of economy in the peninsula, local authorities keep the streets safe and welcoming for all its visitors.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpocketing is the most common crime, so always keep your wallet in your front pockets and keep your pocketbooks close to your body.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Kidnapping for ransom are rare. “Express kidnappings,” in which the victims are taken for a short time and are forced to withdraw money, are more frequent, but still uncommon.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

There is a high report of telephonic extortions and frauds in the peninsula of Yucatan. Be careful with the personal information you reveal. Be cautious with your cash transactions on the streets. A hurried transaction for merchandise has often left clients with counterfeit goods or fake money. When withdrawing money from ATMs, always go inside a bank as there have been reports of organized groups cloning ATM/credit cards.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Although everything is within walking distance, you may have to use public transportation or a taxi depending on where you are staying. However, drivers can be untrained and do not always follow driving rules, so accidents are common. There are two types of public transportation: “Collectivos” which are small vans and are found on 30th Avenue and large buses that will take you to other areas of the town. If you are grabbing a taxi, it is important to know that there are no meters. The prices vary from zone to zone, and it is best to agree on a price before getting on the taxi. You can find more information here, to avoid getting overcharged.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

As Playa del Carmen is located in the Yucatan peninsula, it falls within the Atlantic hurricane season from June-November. Storms have caused flooding and interruption of utility services.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Playa del Carmen is a safe city in respect to terrorist threats.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Overall, it is safe for women to travel in Playa del Carmen, but it is important to stay alert at all times, especially on public transportation. Reports of sexual harassment occur mostly in bars and nightclubs, and the predators target intoxicated travelers. Women may hear some cat calling from street vendors on 5th Avenue, but it is mostly to catch your attention to shop at their store. It is best to ignore them.

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Useful Information

All visitors to Mexico will be issued a traveler’s permit upon arrival (costing about USD 15). Some nationalities require Visas, but citizens of the US, Canada, EU, Israel and Japan are exempted. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso or MXN M$. As of June 2016, 1 Us Dollar= 18.6 MXN. Mexico is an inexpensive country to visit, they are many cheap accommodations for backpackers and those travelling on a shoestring. There are also many options for those who want to spend more money on their trip. Expect to pay from 800 MXN to 2000 MXN per day.
Mexico City and other large cities can be visited year long. Between December and April is the country’s high season, particularly in the Yucatan peninsula. Cabo is best visited between October and March.
The main international airports are in Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page