Playa del Carmen Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Do yourself a favor and stay away from the all-inclusives. Find a nice small motel in town and use the money you save to enjoy the diving, trekking, etc. Also, don't waste your money on souveneirs sold on the main street (Quinta Avenida, or 5th Ave.). You can get the same stuff on side streets for half the price.
There are a lot of attractions in Playa's neighbourhood, some of the best are the Maya ruins of Tulum and Cobá, the white sand beaches, snorkeling on Cozumel island (the ferry to Cozumel leaves from Playa) or in one of the various Cenotes.
If you prefer seaworld-ish kind of tourist parks you could visit one of the numerous parks like Xel-Ha or Xcaret.
An update to bring this to the current (August 2007) state of affairs:
PdC is not a little town anymore. It is noisy and crowded and staying in a nice small motel means you are a very long walk from a crowded and noisy beach and overpriced bars. You might not be saving any money if you enjoy eating out and drinking out. Now, these dreaded all-inclusives may offer you peace and quiet as they are located some distance from the Playa. The beaches and the diving opportunities are no worse (actually way better than in town) and if you shop for a good deal the all-inclusive will save you a lot over small motel / eating out and taking cabs combination. For a nice little town with a nice small motel there are places like Akumal or Tulum.
June 20, 2006 change by dubstar