Does Playa Del Carmen Have Nice Beaches (and What About Surfing and Snorkeling)?

Crystal clear turquoise waters, diverse marine life, a vibrant town, and plenty of activities to do, Playa Del Carmen is undoubtedly one of the best places there is. Playa Del Carmen or The Playa, one of the Mayan Riviera’s prime jewels - is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Does Playa Del Carmen Have Nice Beaches
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A constant on seasoned vacationers and budget travelers’ travel lists, thanks to the riviera’s reputation. There are plenty of factors that make Playa del Carmen, the Playa to be in.

From beaches, natural wonders, sights to see, people to meet, and marine life to swim with, this slice of heaven is undeniably good.

What Are the Beaches Like in Playa Del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is a coastal city dotted by playas or beaches that are just divine. Its coast has shades of blue and fine white sand.

Some of its beaches are isolated and surrounded by coconut palms; others have reefs just a few swims away, which makes the waves more gentle, and other beaches even have a freshwater body nearby, such as a cenote or a lagoon.

Situated along the Mayan Riviera, in the state of Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen has its rough edges compared to its hippier and trendier neighbors, Cancun and Tulum, but it is definitely worth a visit. Some of the beaches include Secret Beach, Maroma Beach, Paradise Beach, Xcalacoco, Emerald Point, Playa 88, Playacar, and many more.

What body of Water is Playa Del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is a long strip of white sand and blue water beach with a heap of different features and pristine turquoise waters to swim in.

The city itself is a coastal town situated along the Mayan Riviera that stretches from the south of Tulum to Cancun, east of Mexico.

Can You Swim in the Ocean in Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen and all of its beaches is a good swimming spot for divers, snorkelers, and other water activities for beach bums.

Being at the eastern corridor of the Central American nation, Playa Del Carmen faces the majestic Caribbean Sea which has an amazing reputation of its own. The beach strip of the Playa faces the island of Cozumel as well, just along the riviera.

Is It Safe to Swim in Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen has placed protocols that guide and protect swimmers and other holidaymakers. As the coastal city sits in one of the biggest tourist hubs in eastern Mexico – this makes the city rake many of its earnings from tourism, an indication that just like the rest of the riviera it is generally safe to visit and swim in.

There are multiple lifeguard watchtowers along its beaches with flags that indicate the status of the waters. Beware if a red or black colored flag is flying, this indicates that it’s not safe to swim in at the moment. While there are general protocols and safety guidelines systematically in place, a personal logical consideration would do a lot as well.

Is the Water Warm in Playa del Carmen?

The sea in Playa del Carmen is generally warm all year round. Where the water around the coast has a constant average warm.

But for beach bums and vacationers, the best time to run to the beaches and have a nice warm dip in Playa Del Carmen is around mid-May to late March where May is said to have the hottest atmospheric temperatures.

What is the Water Temperature in Playa del Carmen?

The water temperature ranges from around 26°C or 79°F between January and March to 29°C or 84°F in August and September.

The average water temperature throughout the year is 28°C or 82°F which also makes the Playa the best place for water activities.

Does Playa del Carmen Have a Seaweed Problem?

Masses of Sargassum Seaweeds is a thing along the pretty coasts of Mexico. They sometimes get so overwhelming that various organizations and even local authorities in Mexico even made “Seaweed Forecasts”.  A system that warns resort managements and visitors of the tides of this unwanted sea debris.

There are many factors that drive seaweeds along the coast of Mexico like wind and ocean currents. In fact, in 2019, the government of Quintana Roo issued an emergency declaration for the coasts of multiple coastal towns because of the huge masses of floating seaweeds that were too overwhelming.

However, according to SEAS or the Seaweed Early Advisory System predicted that 2020 won’t see the same problem as 2019 did. And they were accurate. The resurgence of Seaweed masses started in May of this year but was mostly gone in mid-September.

For people who are planning to go to the Caribbean coast of Mexico, there are various ways to check for the current seaweed situation and even forecasts. Check out the SEAS forecasts, and the University of South Florida’s Outlook of Sargassum Bloom in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Is There Surfing in Playa Del Carmen?

The Playa doesn’t have a pulsating surfing culture as the city sits across a reef barrier, the coastal area of the Playa receives mostly gentle waves eased by the reef.

However, there is a Kitesurfing culture in the Playa. Since the beach typically receives relatively strong winds from the Caribbean it made the coastal town a popular destination for Kitesurfing and Windsurfing.

With its association with the reputation of the Mayan Riviera, Playa del Carmen remains under the shadows of its surfing hotspot neighbors especially fun Cancun.

Is Snorkeling Good in Playa del Carmen?

Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities in Playa Del Carmen. The second-largest barrier reef in the world starts near Cancun and stretches across the Caribbean Coast, including Playa Del Carmen. Which gifted Playa Del Carmen snorkel-worthy spots across its waters.

Playa Del Carmen having numerous spots and snorkeling tours set for every tourist’s delight it’s difficult to choose which places to go. Whether you’re looking for vibrant coral reefs, gigantic sea turtles, or schools of tropical fish, there are various spots for eager snorkelers. Some of the most suggested places are Akumal, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, and Jardin Del Eden.

With the Playa’s strong reputation for having clearer waters, snorkeling, and tons of water activities offer more fun and diverse experiences for everyone.

Is the Water Clear in Playa Del Carmen?

Playa Del Carmen is known for having clear turquoise waters, perhaps clearer than its trendier neighbors.

The entire Mayan Riviera boasts pristine blue waters and white powder sands – but Playa Del Carmen’s rising up to the ranks of Cancun and Tulum make it a sure candidate for the best waters across the riviera.

Can You Snorkel Off the Beach in Playa Del Carmen?

Depending on the size of the waves off of the beach at whichever Playa del Carmen hotel, it’s possible to explore this reef from there.

However, many seasoned snorkelers book trips to one of the many snorkeling sites near Playa del Carmen to get the most out of the experiences it has to offer.

What Kind of Fish Are in Playa Del Carmen?

Fishes that can be found in its waters range from, the pretty and colorful like the Butterfly Fish, Drum Fish, Blue Tang, Grunts, Parrot Fish, and Sea Horses, to the intimidating and a tad bit dangerous like the Puffer Fish, Scorpion Fish, and the Barracuda.

The Playa sits near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that gave it a plethora of Marine Life, from Fishes to Turtles and yes, even Sharks.

Where Can I See Sea Turtles in Playa Del Carmen?

Various tours in the Playa takes you along to protected waters where these turtles inhabit. The stretch of the Mayan Riviera, and Playa Del Carmen in it, has some of the most interesting marine life thriving in its waters, and not only the fishes mentioned but Turtles as well.

One such location is Akumal Bay, where you’ll be able to wander the waters along with one of nature’s beloved creatures no more than 8 feet deep. Another place to revel in for turtles are Cenotes. A cenote is a sinkhole, formed after the limestone bedrock collapses, in turn exposing groundwater beneath. Exploring Cenotes by snorkeling offers a magical experience but a chance to see green sea turtles makes it even more amazing.

The marine biodiversity in Playa Del Carmen houses a number of species of sea turtles. The smaller Hawksbill Turtle, the famous Green Turtle, and the heart-shaped carapace Logger Head Turtle.

Are there Sharks in Playa Del Carmen?

While different kinds of fish and turtles makes Playa Del Carmen’s marine life already interesting, sharks can be spotted too. Bull Sharks in Playa Del Carmen aren’t a usual sight in its shallow waters but there are times in the year that they go near it.

Other than Bull Sharks, there are Nurse Sharks and Whale Sharks as well, which are relatively harmless.

From November to December, also called Bull Shark Season – wherein Bull Sharks dwell on shallow waters enough for visitors to see them, and sometimes encounter them. During this season there are Bull Shark Dive tours that allow divers to get close with Bull Sharks using baits enticed by shark feeders.

Are There Dolphins in Playa Del Carmen?

Thanks to its marine biodiversity, pods of dolphins make appearances around the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and even across the Mayan Riviera as well. The entire stretch of the Caribbean sea is so gifted that spotting dolphins is a thing.

Dolphins do not only frequent Playa Del Carmen’s seas some of them also made it their home. These beautiful sea creatures can’t only be found in the deep blue sea, but in water parks and dolphin centers as well, often part of tours available in the city.

Can You Swim With Dolphins in Playa Del Carmen?

Playa Del Carmen offers two varieties of experiences with dolphins. Swimming with dolphins in the deep blue waters of the Caribbean or, in water parks and dolphin centers. Now what makes these experiences different from each other is the kind of interaction you’ll get with our lovely finned friends.

If you’re comfortable under the sea, you can swim with dolphins in the Caribbean waters of the Playa. This rare opportunity of interacting with them in their natural habitat is guaranteed a fascinating experience. You’ll get a chance to experience them underwater through a snorkeling mask, as well as on the surface. You can even do memorable exciting things like belly rides, and riding a boogie board propelled by dolphins across the water.

If you’re not comfortable at sea, or you have kids with you, Dolphin encounters is the best option. You’ll interact with real live dolphins on a 3-foot water platform. The dolphins can give you hugs, kisses, handshakes, and let you feel and pet them. They’ll even do different tricks and acrobatics. What makes this option ideal is that it lets you encounter them closer, and kids younger than 4 can participate.

Playa Del Carmen, often overshadowed by its mainstream famous neighbors remain a charming, beautiful place that offers a diverse experience that is very quintessential Mayan and Caribbean. It’s clearer waters, less overwhelming crowds, vibrant town, natural wonders and yes, Dolphins, make it the Mexican vacation of the future and beyond.