The Hidden Treasures of Playa del Carmen

September, 2019

Located almost exactly between the ancient coastal ruins of Tulum to the south and the bustling tourist mecca of Cancun to the north, Playa del Carmen is a perfect mix of contemporary and traditional. 
The picturesque resort town of Playa del Carmen is an ideal spot to take in the natural beauty of the Riviera Maya while enjoying the luxurious comforts of resort life at Playacar Palace.

With world-renowned tourist attractions like Quinta Avenida, Parque Fundadores, and ferry terminal to Cozumel just to the north, Playacar Palace is located amongst the hidden treasures of Playacar, an upscale residential area that features an aviary, flora that reaches out to the sea, and a general lack of concrete that is refreshing at the southern end of town. 

Next time you take a day trip to Playa del Carmen, or better yet spend a week or more enjoying the brilliant sands and beaches of Playacar Palace, make sure to take time to explore these 4 Hidden Treasures in Playa del Carmen.

Luxury hotel Playacar Palace

Hidden Ruins of Xaman-Ha

One of the great things about Playa del Carmen is its proximity to some of the Yucatan Peninsula’s most amazing ruins. The world-famous pyramid at Chichen Itza and beachfront ruins of Tulum are popular day trips only a couple of hours away. But if you feel like seeing some amazing Mayan ruins without leaving town, you can enjoy Xaman-Ha within the city limits.
Located just a stone’s throw from Playacar Palace (but, please, don’t throw the stones, they are historical gems!), the temple of Xaman-Ha is unknown to most visitors. Though small in comparison to some of the region’s more well-known pre-historic marvels, Xaman-Ha is impressive in its own right with intricately stacked stones rising up in the middle of a beachfront jungle. It’s an amazing spot for photos, and look out for a variety of iguanas.

The Secret is Out on Rio Secreto

With thousands of cenotes found in the Yucatan Peninsula, exploration of these fresh-water filled limestone wells is an absolute must on any trip to the region. Still, finding one that is equal parts awe-inspiring and ecologically friendly can be a challenge. That is exactly what makes Rio Secreto the perfect destination to marvel at Mother Nature while treating her well at the same time.
A designated nature reserve just south of Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto boasts over 1 km of crystalline waters that visitors can hike and swim through. The tour goes deep underground where stalactites and stalagmites dominate. Though guides are always present, and kids are welcome, visitors will need a sense of adventure as they navigate the cavernous waters. Rio Secreto tours are available from Playacar Palace and even Moon Palace Cancun.

Trip to the Riviera Maya as a family

Art in Three Dimensions

It’s easy enough to appreciate artistic beauty in all its forms in Playa del Carmen – including nature, fine art, and even performance art – but for something out of the box, literally, visit the 3D Museum of Wonders, just off 10th Avenida
Optical illusions and whimsical wonderment are the order at the museum and you and onlookers never quite know if you are part of the art or just appreciating it. The museum hosts over 60 “pavement art” pieces where you actually step into author’s Kurt Wenner creations that, when viewed from the right angle, provide incredible visual scenarios.

Cavernous Culinary Fun

Not too long ago, Playa del Carmen was just a small fishing village. And while its international stature has exploded it has managed to preserve itself through an amazing array of gastronomical choices– from top class seafood restaurants, to street tacos, to the Italian culinary artistry on display at Playacar Palace’s Bocelli. But if you are looking for a truly unique experience, it’s time to go underground to Alux Restaurant.
Don’t let its unassuming street address fool you, The Alux Restaurant and Lounge is all underground as it is spread out in a visual stunning cave. International cuisine is served alongside seafood, of course, with the unmistakable flavor of the Mayan’s present in dishes and cocktails. But make no mistake, the star of the show is dining underground in caves with a cenote included. The cave formation has existed for an estimated 10,000 years, but if you want to experience it make sure you go at night, as it only opens for dinner.

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J Curtis
J Curtis
Dallas, Texas

#BestServer of our entire stay 7 night vacay

I want to give a BIG shout out to Fernando for his #TopShelfService. My family and I have been on vacation for 7 nights at the #SunriseMoonPalace and his service was the perfect example of why you would come to this resort. If you enjoy Indian cuisine, this is your spot! Enjoy


Swimming with dolphins was wonderful: they were humanely treated and not mobbed by tourists.

Overall great experience: the rooms, food (many options were available), drinks and service are all great. Grounds neatly kept.
However, the beach and water has a lot of trash in it (beware, swimmers).

Thomas C
Thomas C

Love it!

We celebrated our daughter’s graduation from Dental school and my birthday May 23-30. From start to finish we had a great week! The accommodations were fabulous, the restaurants were excellent and the service was over the top!