TripAdvisor users have ranked Playa del Carmen as the top tourist destination in Mexico for the seventh year in a row, and also named it 15th in the entire world, citing the Mexican Caribbean beach town’s hip, cosmopolitan vibe, stunning natural beauty and dizzying array of shopping, entertainment and dining options. What’s more, Playa del Carmen was the only city in Mexico that ranked among TripAdvisor’s 25 most popular destinations in the world. Read on to learn more about what makes Playa one of the Riviera Maya’s crown jewels!
“This is one of the top diving destinations in the world, thanks to vibrant sea life and dazzling underwater caverns”, wrote TripAdvisor. “On dry land, Playa is a hipper and more modern version of the fishing village it once was”.
Best Things to Do in Playa del Carmen
The entire region is home to some of the world’s best golf courses, so if a day on the links is your idea of heaven, be sure to book some quality time out on the green. But if you’re looking for an experience unlike anything you will find back home, Playa won’t disappoint! You can visit The Jungle Place Sanctuary to see the playful spider monkeys, or explore the ancient ruins of the Coba Mayan city, then spend time people watching while you shop and dine along 5th Avenue in downtown Playa del Carmen.
Of course, no one should ever visit Playa del Carmen without spending some serious quality time on the best beaches in the world, and since the beach is just a few blocks from 5th Avenue, getting there is a breeze if you’re staying downtown. Of course, you can also get out on the water by taking the ferry to the island of Cozumel, which lies just offshore, or by chartering a boat to go deep-sea fishing or diving along the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Here, the possibilities are truly endless.
2018 Riviera Maya Tourism Surge
This has already been a great year for tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, with the region reporting an 18.19 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals and hotel occupancy rates hovering upwards of 90 percent. More than 40 percent of visitors were from the U.S., while around 17 percent came from Argentina, nine percent hailed from Canada and about eight percent were from Brazil. The local tourism bureau also revealed that the number of visitors from England, Germany and Spain has been steadily rising, along with the number of Mexican visitors opting to vacation here from other parts of the country.
Last year, tourism numbers in the region grew by 5.3 percent compared to 2016, with 17 million visitors coming from around the world. During the month of March alone, the Cancun International Airport saw more than 2.8 million visitors, representing an impressive 14.5 percent increase over March of 2017. This growth has prompted major airlines to increase the number of flights to Cancun for the upcoming summer season and brought the average annual occupancy rate for the entire Mexican Caribbean region to 82 percent, creating an ideal market for real estate investing in turnkey vacation rentals, undeveloped land and luxury condos of all kinds.
Yes, Playa del Carmen is Safe!
Despite what you might hear elsewhere, rest assured that the entire Mexican Caribbean is safer than many cities in the United States, including Orlando, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Dallas, Cleveland, Saint Louis, Atlanta and New York, among others. In fact, travelers are much more likely to face violence in top U.S. destinations than while visiting the Riviera Maya! Take the city of Orlando where Disneyland is located, for example, which has an average murder rate of around 7.5 per 100,000 people, according to the FBI. Now, compare that to Cancun, which has a murder rate of just 1.83 per 100,000 people, according to a Stanford University report. It’s also important to note that Mexico is safer than other Caribbean beach destinations, including the Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica, which have all reported much higher homicide rates.
“Mexico remains a popular getaway for people in the U.S.”, wrote MarketWatch. “The number of tourists visiting Mexico soared to reach 35 million visitors las year, up 9 percent from 2015 and there are no known reports of American tourists being targeted”.
Have you ever been to the Riviera Maya, or anywhere else in Mexico? Let us know in the comments!
Read Downtown Playa del Carmen: Modern Luxe Meets Old World Style to learn more about this charming Mexican Caribbean beach town!