What is better Cancun or Playa Del Carmen

Posted on May 31, 2023 by Eduardo

Probably you have heard about the wonders of Cancun and Playa del Carmen and that can create a little conflict when planning your vacation to the Caribbean Mexico and ask yourself what is better Cancun or Playa Del Carmen?

What is better Cancun or Playa Del Carmen?

For anyone who likes to enjoy the waves, the sun and the sea wind it is difficult to choose among the best beaches in Mexico, since there are many quality beaches. Among those choices there is a constant question: Which is better Cancun or Playa Del Carmen?

And that is a question that is asked almost every time, because both the city of Cancun and Playa del Carmen have similarities and differences that make them unique.

We will always recommend dividing your vacation days in 50% in Cancun and 50% in Playa del Carmen, but in the end you choose which one you will enjoy.

But to help you a little to decide we will know what are the differences, crowds, advantages and disadvantages of these two tourist destinations in Mexico.

Cancun VS Playa del Carmen

Cancun is a vacation destination par excellence and it is no secret to the world that the city of Cancun enjoys being a tourist destination visited by thousands of people in season.

Playa del Carmen is a site of wide beaches, open space hotels and a perfect place for eco-tourism. In addition, it is a fresh place with abundant vegetation, perfect for relaxing and spending a quiet and happy vacation.

If you are a tourist and you are looking for transportation to your destination, no matter if it is Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you should know that Cancun Shuttle is a company that can take you wherever you want.

And if you are looking for a discount just enter the code TRANSFER10 to receive a 10% discount on your transportation service. Click to book

Differences between Cancun and Playa del Carmen

Cancun is possibly the most Americanized area in all of Mexico. It is a place where you can feel as if you were anywhere in the United States and most of the people involved in tourism are bilingual due to the constant traffic of foreigners through the place.

In addition Cancun is very quiet despite being a threshold of tourism, its greatest concentration of activities are very few during the day and at night.

While Playa del Carmen is a very cosmopolitan place and although it is not Americanized it has become the venue for the best music events in the Rivera Maya.

On the other hand also, there are several places of interest, important of the Yucatan Peninsula, as the largest aquarium in the world: Xel-Ha, adjacent to the ruins of Tulum on the beach or the ruins of Coba in the jungle.

Characteristics of Cancun

It is very probably that the reason why Cancun has become so popular is its proximity to the airport. The hotel zone is only 15 minutes away by cab or private transport.

Which immediately means that you can take a flight from wherever you are and be enjoying the beach soon after landing.

Below, we will introduce you to several of the features that make Cancun an ideal place to visit:

Its Beaches

The beaches of Cancun are very wide and well equipped, which is why most of them are located in front of a hotel. Although the beach is a public place, it is usual to have to spend a little money in food and drink if you want to rest under an umbrella or sit on a chair to enjoy. The good thing about this is that the sand is very clean, there are bars around and several bathrooms. You can enjoy snorkeling on the south side of the Hotel Zone, you can make excursions if you want to recreate.


There are different types of restaurant chains on the side of the road. In the city there are several fast food establishments, as well as family and traditional food places. There are also places behind the Aloft that are more economical and you can enjoy tacos and beer.


There is a great diversity of places to have fun at night, especially in the Hotel Zone. Due to the large number of people who come to the area, it is unlikely that you will be able to get into one or two of them late at night. However, the popular bars have a permanent party atmosphere and there are night clubs that keep live music until the early hours of the morning.

Playa Del Carmen Characteristics

There is no airport in Playa del Carmen, to get there you can take a flight to Cancun and there take a cab, private transportation or public transportation to Playa del Carmen.

Another way to get there is to sail to Cozumel and from there take a ferry to Playa del Carmen. Once there, you can walk around the tourist area. Going from one end of the beach to the other takes about 30 minutes.

Do you need to go to Playa del Carmen? Visit our page: Transportation to Playa del Carmen

Below, we will introduce you to several of the features that make Playa del Carmen an ideal place to visit:


All Playa del Carmen beaches are public, but not all are equipped. This is because there are stretches that are served by hotels and others that are not.

So, if you want to enjoy chairs, umbrellas and bathrooms you will have to pay for them. The sand is not clean in all its sections, you can find algae in the sand in some sectors. There are several beach clubs in the area.


During your stay you can enjoy a variety of places to eat. There are restaurant chains, fast food places and westernized versions of international cuisine in Playa del Carmen.

The restaurants that are located along the pedestrian area have menus displayed outside and people who sell their food on the street, it is an economical place, but with quality food.

Night life

There are several options when you decide to go out at night to have fun and spend a good time with your friends or family. There are bars, nightclubs and bars with live music. There are specialized places where, for example, you can listen to Latin music any night of the week and learn to dance salsa. Also, you will find improvised bars on the beaches with special drinks and outdoor chairs.

Particularly any of the two places are excellent to spend a pleasant time among family or friends.

Vacationing in Cancun or Playa del Carmen depends on what you want to enjoy, the ambiance you want to get and the experiences you want to have.

We recommend you to take into account the characteristics of each place in order to make the best choice, which fits your entertainment and fun needs. Remember that the important thing is to be able to enjoy the time you have and have a good time.

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