There are millions of reasons – both on land and under water – to visit Playa del Carmen! While snorkeling off our shores, you’re bound to see spectacular creatures of all shapes and sizes. During the summer months, the Riviera Maya is graced with the presence of oceanic giants – whale sharks. You can swim with these mesmerizing creatures from June until August. On your snorkeling journey, you may run into countless other remarkable species.
Now is the time to book your special whale shark tour with The Snorkel Shop.
As the largest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more, whale sharks have an enormous menu from which to choose. Fortunately for most sea-dwellers—and us!—their favorite meal is plankton. They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water’s surface.
The whale shark, like the world’s second largest fish, the basking shark, is a filter feeder. In order to eat, the beast juts out its formidably sized jaws and passively filters everything in its path. The mechanism is theorized to be a technique called “cross-flow filtration,” similar to some bony fish and baleen whales.
As you enjoy many fine restaurants of Playa del Carmen, the romantic, captivating sounds of mariachi will follow you from place to place. Pull up a chair at one of the outside tables (most Playa del Carmen restaurants are in the open air), and you will soon be asked to be serenaded by a mariachi. A mariachi band generally consists of a violin, trumpet(s), classical guitar, a vihuela (a high pitched five string guitar) and a guitarron (a big acoustic bass guitar). The dress is silver-studded charro outfits.
Mariachi are closely intertwined with Mexican culture and are a natural expression of the romantic and spiritual side of its people. Their songs speak about all the strong emotions: love, betrayal, country heroes, and vary from nostalgic and sad to upbeat and happy.
The mariachi originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco sometime in the 19th century, though no one is sure where the name comes from.
It’s only natural that today mariachi stroll the streets of Playa del Carmen sharing their passionate art with visitors, guests and locals. If they realize that you are a gringo, they will play songs like Cielito Lindo (ah ya ya ya) and Guantanamera, but you can request anything to your heart’s desire – so come prepared! My personal favorite is a very happy song called “Mariachi Loco.” The chorus of the song suggests that the crazy mariachi should dance and a good mariachi will entertain you with some interesting dancing while playing the song. When I hear this song, it instantly put a smile on my face.
I happen to live across from a restaurant and every night around 7 – 10pm I am entertained with live mariachi music. That’s another reason why Playa del Carmen is my happy place!
Playa del Carmen and the surrounding Riviera Maya has something for everyone, from relaxing on white sand beaches to zip-lining through the jungle at top speed. Whatever your vacation style, you’ll find what you are looking for on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
Those who prefer a side of adrenalin with their breakfast won’t be disappointed with the range of adventurous activities on offer. From Skydiving to swimming with sharks, the following extreme experiences in and around Playa del Carmen will be sure to get your heart racing.
The ultimate rush of free-falling from 10,000 feet is an experience you are not likely to forget. Skydive Playa have been operating for over 17 years and offer tandem jumps daily. Strapped to your guide, you’ll experience the unique feeling of free-fall above the sparkling Caribbean Sea, before landing softly on the white sand beach of Playacar in the south of town. It is the ultimate rush!
High on almost every traveler’s itinery is swimming with these majestic creatures in their natural environment. Since it’s a seasonal activity from May to September, this unique adventure is even more highly sort after. Bookings are recommended, gear is provided and our experienced team will ensure you have a once in a lifetime experience snorkeling with these giants of sea. Come in and see us or drop us an email to reserve your place on our small group tours today.
Fly over the tree-tops and observe the Mexican jungle from above on a zip-lining adventure. Xplor Adventure park boasts one of the longest zip-lines in Latin America, stretching 3 KM above the earth. Aktun Chen Nature Park also has an impressive zip-line system erected above the jungle, about 40 mins south of Playa del Carmen. Also known as Indiana Joe’s, they have a range of other activities such as cenote snorkeling and exploring ancient underground cave systems.
Discover the many underground treasures of the Riviera Maya by diving in a cenote, or natural sinkhole. Explore caverns formed by thousands of years of geological activity, and discover a side of the world few people will ever see. There are many different locations for cenote diving. Your dive company will choose a location to suit you dependent on your experience level, to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience. Of course if you can’t dive, snorkel with The Snorkel Shop, we are above diving!
Jump on a four-wheeled, all terrain speed machine and tackle jungle paths and beach trails along the Caribbean coast. ATV Explorer jungle tours is located just south of Playa del Carmen, and offers guided adventures through the jungle which includes a refreshingly cool swim in a fresh water cenote.
There is certainly no shortage of adventure activities in Playa del Carmen ! We hope you adrenalin junkies enjoy these extreme experiences, taking life-long memories back home with you.