Playa del Carmen for Adventure Lovers!

There are many opportunities for adventure lovers in Playa del Carmen and the surrounding Riviera Maya. From sky-diving to cenote diving, from zip-lining to snorkeling with whale sharks and more!

Xplor Adventure Park

There are a few adventure parks along the Riviera Maya, the main one being Xplor, which has zip-lining and underwater cave discovery tours. It’s a great day out for the whole family with a wide range of activities on offer.

Tickets can be arranged through your concierge which include transportation, food and drinks, as well as access to the entire park for the whole day.

Aktun Chen Natural Park

The full day tour of Aktun Chen Natural Park starts with zip-lining over the jungle canopy, then a walking tour of an underground cave system. After lunch, visit some interesting animals such as reptiles and spider monkeys, before snorkeling around a pristine underwater cenote. It is absolutely magnificent and the clearest cenote I’ve ever been in.

Cenote at Aktun Chen Natural Park	 - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Horseback riding at Rancho Baaxal

Why not spend a day horseback riding along the beach at Rancho Baaxal, about 20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen? It is a great day out, riding through the jungle then along the beach. The owners of Ranch Baaxal are dedicated to the health and well-being of their horses, which are mostly rescues from other ranches.

Rancho Baaxal horseback riding - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Whale Shark Tours

The season for snorkeling with these giants of the deep is technically May to September, with July being the best time to go. We went in mid August and saw plenty of sharks. Your concierge can organize a tour for your group which includes an on-board lunch at the beautiful Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun.

It is absolutely worth it for this once in a lifetime experience.

Whale shark watching - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

If you are prone to sea-sickness, come prepared for a long boat ride out to the whale’s feeding ground (about 1 1/2 hours).

Cenote Diving

Divers will love diving these caverns filled with fresh water. Most dive centers around town offer cenote dives, and a popular spot is Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) cenote, located 51 KM south of Playa del Carmen, just north of Tulum.

This is a unique experience to the Yucatan and one you are not likely to forget.

Sky Diving

For true adrenaline junkies, try a tandem skydive with Skydive Playa, Playa del Carmen’s one and only skydiving company with over seventeen years experience in the area.

Skydiving Playa del Carmen

Check out my video of the experience here!

Contact your concierge for more information on these adventure-loving activities in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

Family friendly activities in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is the perfect destination for your next family vacation. Just one hour from Cancun airport and easily accessible from almost any international destination, there are plenty of family friendly activities in Playa del Carmen to entertain everyone, young and old.

1. Sailing

Why not rent your very own catamaran for the day and take the whole family for an afternoon of sailing on the Caribbean? Your kids will love being on an exciting sailing adventure, spotting silver fish through the crystal clear water and keeping watch for other boats at sea.

Sailing Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

2. Snorkeling

Sign up for one of our custom snorkeling tours to the outer reef and catch a glimpse of the second largest barrier reef in the world. Spot colorful fish and uniquely shaped coral and discover why the Caribbean coast of Mexico is an underwater lovers paradise.

3. Zip-lining

Fly through the jungle and experience an adventure like no other at one of two zip-lining parks near Playa del Carmen. Xplor has the longest zip-line in Mexico, with a range of other family friendly activities such as driving an amphibious vehicle on land and water and swimming in an underground river.

Aktun Chen Nature Park has a great zip-line through a lush green jungle and a tour of an ancient cave system. The day finishes with a snorkel tour of one of the region’s most beautiful cenotes, or natural sink holes.

4. Horse Riding

Catch the free shuttle from Condo Hotels to our secluded beach club at Blue Venado, twenty minutes south of Playa del Carmen. From here you can snorkel, swim and participate in a range of water sports and activities.

Horse Riding Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Horse riding along the beach is a great activity for animal lovers and adventurers alike, and fun for the whole family!

5. Fish Spa 

Fun for mom, dad and the kids, the fish foot spa on Fifth avenue is an experience like no other! Let these hungry fish nibble your feet until they are smooth and clean, if you can stand the ticklish sensation! This is something you simply must try once, and what better place than on vacation in Playa del Carmen!

Of course there are many, many more family friendly activities in Playa del Carmen to discover, and our knowledgeable and friendly concierge is at your service to ensure your family has a vacation to remember.

Snorkeling with Whale Sharks

One of the biggest draw cards of the Riviera Maya is the opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks in the Caribbean Sea from June to September. The waters off the coast off Cancun, less than an hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen, offer one of the best sites in the world for whale shark spotting. Condo Hotels can arrange a professional tour, including all equipment, breakfast and lunch with guaranteed sightings of these majestic creatures.

Whale Shark in Playa del Carmen

We departed Playa del Carmen at 6:30 AM, arriving at the marina near Cancun about an hour later. After a quick breakfast, we boarded the speedboat and were given a briefing on the feeding patterns of the sharks, as well as a safety briefing.

The boat ride out to the feeding site was about 45 minutes, and I would recommend taking precautions for sea sickness, as some people on our boat did suffer. Of course, once we spotted the first fins, tails and enormous heads gliding through the water with huge gaping mouths, all was forgotten.

Whale shark mouth

We were in awe already, and we hadn’t even taken to the water yet.

Though there were about ten on our boat, only three people were permitted at a time with each guide, ensuring the safety of both the sharks and swimmers. It is a privilege to be able to observe these majestic creatures carry out their natural feeding patterns in the wild, so touching them is not permitted.

There were times, however, when the sharks came quite close, especially the huge tail fins which power the enormous creatures through the water.

Our guides encouraged us to swim towards the head of the shark, in the direction they were swimming, then swim alongside them for as long as we could keep up.

Staring into the eye of these magnificent fish and watching them filter water through their huge, gaping gills was an experience I will never forget.

whale shark eye

Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

After the group had two turns in the water each, we headed to the gorgeous Isla Mujeres for lunch. The boat anchored in the crystal clear waters of the shallow lagoon at the north end of the island, and we had a refreshing dip as the crew prepared a delicious lunch of sandwiches and fresh ceviche.

It was a wonderfully relaxing end to an exciting day swimming with the giants of the sea. Check out the video for a glimpse of what to expect, although keep in mind that nothing compares to seeing them in person!

Discovering the Yal-Ku Lagoon

Visiting Akumal has always been my favorite day-trip from Playa del Carmen. Whenever I meet a new visitor to Playa it is THE place I recommend they visit. The beach is pristine and the crystal clear water is filled with sea turtles who feed in the bay. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed snorkeling with those majestic creatures.

Just last week I discovered yet another treasure of Akumal – Yal-ku lagoon. I’d heard of it before and had created a picture in my mind of a sandy inlet like some of the other lagoons I’d seen along the Riviera Maya. Upon entering the lagoon via a jungle-clad path dotted with bronze sculptures, however, I realized that Yal-ku was indeed a very unique place, unlike anything I’d seen in the area.

Yal-kul lagoon Akumal

Yal-ku is located to the north of the main beach. Upon arriving in Akumal from the highway, follow the road to the end and turn left. After about five minutes, take another left at the sign for the lagoon which leads to the parking lot and registration area. Here, tickets are available for 150 Pesos per person, or about US$12. Snorkels, fins and life jackets are also available for hire, or you can bring your own.

If I had to describe the lagoon, I would say it is half-cenote, half-ocean. This description is fairly accurate, as Yal-ku is fed by both natural ground water and sea water which flows in from the Caribbean.

The lagoon is most famous for its snorkeling, and whilst you wont find any sea turtles here, you will see a lot of fish of all shapes and sizes. It was some of the best snorkeling I’ve done in the area, swimming around in the clear, protected lagoon and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

Yal-kul lagoon snorkeling

The lagoon is rather large, and there are many islands and rocky coves to explore. Snorkeling around the large mangrove island was a unique experience as I’d never seen mangroves from under the water before; with fish hiding and feeding in its slimy roots.

I went with a group of ladies and we hired a thatched palapa for the day for 200 Pesos (about $18). You don’t have to do this, and there are lockers and some seating areas available to leave your belongings, but it was really nice to have our own shaded area complete with a large round table, chairs and even a hammock.

Palapa at Yal - Kul

It was just a few steps from the palapa to the entry of the lagoon, which made for a lovely relaxing day of snorkeling and chilling out. We brought our own drinks and snacks (alcohol is not allowed) and enjoyed views out over the lagoon which stretched towards the Caribbean.

Snorkeling at Yal-kul lagoon

We enjoyed ourselves so much we were one of the last groups to leave when the staff came around at closing time to rouse everyone out of the water for closing time.

So now when I’m recommending places to visit to first-time visitors to Playa del Carmen, I’ll have to include the Yal-ku lagoon in Akumal on my list of the top places to visit. A beautiful, natural environment which has been well preserved for all to enjoy. Especially the fish!

Tip: Yal-ku lagoon is located in the area of Akumal, about a 40 minute drive south of Playa del Carmen. It is best reached by car.