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Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN BEACHES
The Playa beach starts more or less at the ferry docks. The beach of course continues along southward and northward. Walking north you encounter the main beach which runs the length of the city along the coast. The majority of hotels and resorts run parallel to the beach and most are either on the beach or a close walk to the beach.
It is nice to stay in a room that is facing the ocean but it is not imperative. Of course you pay extra for the experience. Walking to the beach is not a problem. If you are trying to reduce costs, stay at a hotel close to the beach, not on it.
All beaches in Playa del Carmen are open to the public. There are numerous access points to the beach all along the coast. The farther north you walk the less frequent the access points.
Although all beaches are public, access to some beaches is restricted because of private property. You cannot cross private property to access a beach.
The main beach runs from the ferry docks to Calle 14 which is where Gran Porto Real is.
After the main beach the beaches are named primarily after resorts:
Running north from Calle 14:
2010 BEACH RECOVERY PROJECT
Without notice, in September 2009 the Beach Recovery Trust began on a $71 million beach restoration project to rebuild beaches along the coastline of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera.
The beach recovery in Playa del Carmen began in January, 2010 and has been successfully completed.
The beach is now wide with fantastic sand quality all the way up to Playacar Phase 2 past the Reef Club. It is now possible to walk from the Ferry Pier all the way down to Playacar without having to wade through water.
The sand in Playa is white sand, not powder. Powder sand is found in Cancun. White sand is more coarse, like salt. The sand gets quite hot during the day. On real hot days you may need to wear sandals unless you walk along the water's edge. You will definately need sun glasses for the glare off the white sand.
All public beaches in Playa are maintained by the city. This means that seaweed and any garbage that floats up is picked up. On resort beachfronts hotel/resort staff maintain the beach.
What they do is one crew goes along the beach and rakes the seaweed up and puts it into piles. A second crew comes along and either loads the seaweed into a trailer or burries the stuff in the sand. Pop bottles and such are collected and bagged. They do this every morning around 7:00.
There are bars located all along the coast in Playa. You need not walk more than 50 yards at any point to get a drink or something to eat. The distance varies from the actual water line to buildings all along the coast. At the main beach everything is close.
SNORKLING IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN
The snorkeling sucks in Playa. Of course nobody wants to tell you this but this is the truth. The majority of coral is dead along the coast in this region. Where there is no coral there are no fish. You can try snorkeling further north at Coco Beach but the snorkeling here is not even that good. You have to go way out to reach living coral which puts you in the boating lanes. For information on where to snorkel
There are lifeguards all along the beach.
The lifeguards have access to boats and everybody who works on the beach is pretty safety conscious. If something goes wrong the lifeguards will be right on top of it.
There are also police and navy patrols routinely along the beach.
Much of the coastline is suitable for children. If you are staying at a resort located on the coast you may take your beach chairs right up to the waters edge and supervise your children.
Some parts of the beach are rocky and there are boats anchored here and there.
There are parts of the beach that are 100% sand as far as you can walk out and some parts have sea grass not far from shore. You can walk out into the water quite far and only be up to your neck but some spots get deep fast.
The best spot for children along the whole beach is at the north end in front of the Porto Real resort. There is a section of coral that runs for about 20 yards that forms numerous little ponds. The coral is warm and the water that sits in the pools is generally hot and little fish frequent the pools. Kids love playing here.
There are no restrictions as to what you can take into the water to play on. There are also small fish and other marine life that occasionally swim near shore so snorkeling for kids can be fun.
The water is hottest in September and swimming in the sea can be like taking a warm bath. The water is coolest from December to March [the weather is still hot but the water temperature is lower than the summer].
September to December is hurricane season and the water can be quite choppy then as well. If you are visiting during these dates then you should take advantage of the beaches whenever the water is calm. Especially if you are an avid snorkeler or diver.
Visibility decreases during the winter season as currents bring in lots of ocean materials.
You find the water most choppy in the winter December - March.
Playa del Carmen is a family oriented place. Mexicans by nature are very conservative people. There are in fact no nude beaches at or near Playa del Carmen.
However, more women [tourists] are wearing designer bathing suites that quite often show their bum. Lots of women like to sunbath topless and some do walk around topless.
The biggest trend is guys wearing thongs. Yes it's gross. The first time we saw a guy in a thong was Cuba and we couldn't believe our eyes. Then we started seeing these guys popping up in Playa! What's the world coming too?!
Showing off your bum and going topless is illegal and you can be arrested for gross-indecency, even on the beach. We have never actually heard of anybody getting arrested for this but a police officer has the authority. If you were to go nude anywhere within a public area and a police officer or Navy cop saw you then you would be asked to leave or get arrested.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN HOTELSFor current Playa del Carmen hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see:
Playa del Carmen Hotels & Resorts
Cancun Airport to Hotel Shuttle see:
Answers for many of your questions may possibly be found here: