Day Trips in Playa del Carmen

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Playa del Carmen is surrounded by several other interesting areas on the Yucatan peninsula. Because of their close proximity, these areas can be visited on Playa del Carmen day trips.

Cancun

Shopping in Mexico is duty-free, and Cancun has the best shopping in the area, from designer stores to flea markets to touristy souvenir shops. A few of the most popular shopping centers are the trendy La Isla Shopping Village, with more than 150 shops, Kukulcan Plaza & Luxury Avenue, with boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Cartier, and Market (or Mercado) 28, a large flea market with handicrafts and art. Cancun is also known for its nightlife, offering a variety of nightclubs, bars, lounges and live music venues, including the famous Senor Frog's and Carlos 'n Charlie's.

Cancun is 45 minutes to an hour from Playa del Carmen, with transportation available via taxi, bus or shuttle. Taxi fare will be approximately $65.00, a direct bus will cost approximately $7.00 each way, and the shuttle van, or "colectivo," is approximately $18.00 per person.

Cozumel

The island of Cozumel is rich in natural beauty. On land, El Mirador is a great example of the island's diverse terrain. Located on the coast, El Mirador is made up of several natural arches surrounded by crashing waves and sea spray. The arches can be explored by foot and provide great views from the top.

Chankanaab National Marine Park is home to the Chankanaab Lagoon, a world-famous ecosystem and natural aquarium with a coral reef and more than 60 types of tropical fish. The park also features a botanical garden with many species of tropical plants. Other attractions in the park include a dolphin encounter, a sea lion show and a model of a Mayan village.

On the northern part of the island, the San Gervasio ruins provide a glimpse into Mayan culture from 300 to 1500 A.D. Most of the structures here were used for governmental meetings or altars where ceremonies were held to honor Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility and the moon.

Ferries run every hour to Cozumel from the dock in Playa del Carmen. The ride is about 30 minutes long and should cost around $15.00.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is an island accessible by ferry from Cancun for about $6.00. This peaceful former fishing village offers a wide variety of water activities, but perhaps the most popular thing to do is explore the island itself. Bikes, mopeds and golf carts are available for rent and allow visitors to create their own self-guided tours. Points of interest include the turtle farm, Punta Sur (the highest point in the Yucatan, with temples honoring the Moon Goddess and a great view of Cancun), the gardens at Hacienda Mundaca, and Garrafon Park, which is known for its reef formation. Zip lining and bungee jumping are also available at Isla Mujeres.

Contributors
April 07, 2010 new by amy.h

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