When planning for your vacation the destination plays a critical role in the kind of vacation that you will have. A Mexican Caribbean vacation can be challenging to choose because these two locations have some of the best tourist destinations in the Caribbean and pacific. Cancun and Playa del Carmen are two spots that have gained a huge reputation in the recent past. These two locations can be quite difficult to isolate unless you have all the relevant information. Although these two locations are popular for their beach resorts and the amazing features, they have it is critical that you note that each of them has peculiar differences that you can use to make the best decision. These two locations offer the best tourism spot that you can ever find in the Caribbean and the Americas.

If you are unable to decide between the two places then it is critical that you read the information below so that you will have the best pointers to use during your decision-making process. When it comes to first-time travelers to Cancun or Playa del Carmen choosing one spot can be challenging and we have made a comprehensive article to give you all the insights that you might need during your travel to the region. When you are armed with this information you will be able to make a sound decision. Both Playa del Carmen and Cancun have a healthy atmosphere that you will enjoy your vacation. There are tons of tourists in both locations and the beaches offer a natural space for your excursion. Playa del Carmen is a popular spot because it tends to be calmer than its counterpart Cancun. However, this does not negate the fact that Cancun has all this vibrant energy that will give your holiday the much need boost.

What differentiates Cancun and Playa del Carmen?


A Beach in Cancun

Cancun is a large city with inhabitants of over six hundred thousand. The city has more variety when it comes to bars, restaurants, shopping centers, and there are endless activities that you can enjoy during the day or night when you visit the region. Cancun has a major place that features a hotel zone that has all major types of hotels and you can stay in this part of Cancun if you are looking to enjoy your vacation in the region.

The city is also popular among American tourists and a younger population. The nightlife in this area is exceptional. The beaches of Cancun feature both private and public beaches with the public beaches less crowded. Cancun is the best location if you are looking for a place to have a time of your life as you check out the all-exclusive resorts and beaches as well. You can read more about Cancun and Punta Cana.

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Mexico

Playa del Carmen is located in the Riviera Maya which was a fishing village that was developed and grown into one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The town has undergone tremendous changes and it still retains the charm of a small tourn. Playa del Carmen is a well-maintained city with all features kept in to make it a perfect tourist destination. Playa del Carmen offers you a unique atmosphere where you can relax and unwind with ease because it is calm and relaxed.

The main street features shops, art galleries, unique dining hotels where you can sample local as well as international cuisine. Playa del Carmen attract more European tourists. There is a street that features major hotels and here you can find all-inclusive resorts that are going to take your experience to a new level. Since the location is close to the Riviera Maya you get the chance to explore the ancient Maya ruins and all the water parks in the country.

The hotels in Playa del Carmen tend to be on the lower side especially if you are a budget traveler. You can spend your time on the most amazing beaches in the region.

Things to do


There are many fun activities that you can do in Cancun. Cancun allows you to visit the jungle, snorkel, drive your motorboat. You can enjoy scuba diving as well as see the coral reefs and marine life in the region. There is so much that you should look into the Cancun underwater museum where you can learn more about the history of Cancun and Mexico as well.

More about Islands and Beaches:

Playa del Carmen is a fun place that is filled with activities and things that you can do as well during your visit. Some of the fun activities that you can do include diving, snorkeling, visiting the reef, and sampling the local cuisine at the authentic Mexican restaurant. If you are an outdoor enthusiast then there is a lot of fauna and flora that you can check out in the region.

Cancun vs play del carmen


The climatic conditions of Cancun and Playa del Carmen are relatively similar with a few variations. Most of the time of the year the temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainfall is usually torrential and it lasts for a few minutes replaced with amazing sunshine in a few. Cancun has a higher chance of experiencing hurricanes or storms during the hurricane season.

Playa del Carmen experience a tropical climate and temperatures during the day do not fall below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to know that the climate of this location is generally dry from October through march hence the best period that you can visit the area. The hurricane season is from June through September. Although Playa del Carmen receive fewer hurricanes and storms it is important that you always keep eye on the weather reports to avoid complicated situations.

More about Islands and Beaches:

How is the atmosphere?

Cancun is known to be a place that is often associated with young people and the crowds in this region are always excited and ready to have fun. Since the location is filled with bars, restaurants, and nights clubs it is a perfect location for your holiday if you are looking for an upbeat location to spend your time. The area attracts tourists from different parts of the world and many of them from North America. Nudity is not allowed on Cancun beaches and there is a great variety of places that you can choose to go and enjoy your meal or drink.

Playa del Carmen on the other hand is a place where it is a bit relaxed and you will find tourists from different parts of the world especially Europe.it is an eye-catching destination that you should not miss on your next travel to North America and the Caribbean. This location is eco-friendly and artistic and you will find bars and restaurants that are open all night. If you are looking for a perfect spot to relax and unwind with your friends and family then this is the right place.


Accommodations in Cancun and Playa del Carmen

When looking for a holiday destination the first thing that comes to mind is the accommodation of this location. One of the top destinations that you should consider is Cancun. Cancun has accommodation that caters to all groups, whether you are a budget traveler, midrange budget, or luxurious traveler. You will have something that will suit you in Cancun. There are over 140 hotels in the stretch of Cancun and if you are traveling on a budget, you will get Airbnb or hostels. There are midrange priced hotels as well and high-end all-inclusive for your budget.

On the other hand, Playa del Carmen are a tranquil location where you will find all sorts of accommodation. It is imperative that you make your booking earlier as this will help to avoid crowding. If you are a budget traveler you will get Airbnb and a hostel. there are hotels that have modern amenities that will cater to you if you are traveling on a medium budget. For people who want to feel the experience of Playa del Carmen on the top range then there are high-end all-inclusive hotels for you.


Cancun is the entertainment of the world and it is characterized by a glamorous life and nightlife. If you are looking for the best place where you can enjoy the latest music drinks and dances then Cancun is your destination. The area is filled with huge nightclubs that feature shows and performances from artists and international deejays. You can enjoy barhopping if you are into that because the drinks, music, and vibe in Cancun are exceptional.

Playa del Carmen is a city in itself and it is quite extensive when it comes to nightlife because you have options to enjoy different types of music and drinks from the clubs around the area. There are live bands and performances from artists from different parts of the world. It is critical to note that when you are in this location you are sure that you will have a time of your life because the people are charming, friendly and will guarantee you the best entertainment.

Shopping experience

Shopping in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen

Cancun offers visitors a wide range of shopping locations for people of all budgets and it is critical to note that you are sure that you will find a place where you can do your shopping at your own time. Whether you are looking for high-end shops or you want local stuff then Cancun is your place. There are open facilities near downtown and you can venture into such premises to check out what they have.

On the other hand, Playa del Carmen have several malls such as Centro maa and plaza las Americas. These places are critical because you can shop for your items at a budget of your choice. You do not have to struggle to look for shopping locations because this area has you covered.


A beach in Playa del Carmen

Cancun has the longest beachline and in as much as it stretches kilometers and it is covered with white sand and turquoise blue waters splashes alongside cool ocean breeze. There are different places where you can find a beach that you can go to and enjoy your watersports in the area. Whether you are looking for a public or private beach you are sure that you will find something in Cancun.

Playa del Carmen on the other hand has its unique beaches and the water is clear. The shoreline is inviting and you should visit during the low tide because during the high tide the shoreline is often eroded by the strong waves. There is so much that you can enjoy when you visit play del carmen.

Food and drinks

Food and Drinks in Mexico

Cancun has a large dining option and you can explore different food stalls and high-end restaurants as well. Whether you are looking for something major or you just want to sample the local stuff then Cancun is your location. The chain of restaurants in this area gives you a wide array of options of what to choose from and the food quality is high as well.

On the other hand, Playa del Carmen is an amazing destination that you should check out on your next travel. The location has different restaurants where you can sample the local and international cuisines as well. The authentic food and the range are what makes Playa del Carmen a perfect location. You can sample the best local and international meals. The Michelin-starred restaurants serve nothing but the best meals in the country.


When it comes to costs, the average daily cost in Cancun is around $100 especially if you are traveling on a budget. For a midrange budget traveler, they will spend $180 while someone on a luxurious budget will spend $200 and above per day when in Cancun. This cost is usually spread on food, transport, and entertainment.

Playa del Carmen on the other hand is a unique destination that you should check out because the average cost per day for a budget traveler is $70. A midrange traveler will spend $130 while a luxurious traveler will spend anything from $200 and upwards. These costs are usually for food, transport, and entertainment. The cost of visiting both destinations will depend on what you are looking for in the region and your budget. When you have this, you can make the right decision.


It is important to note that Cancun and Playa del Carmen are both safe for tourists. You should not feel scared to visit these destinations because they have something unique to offer. However, it is always important that you keep your valuables safe in your hotel room and avoid flashing cash or jewelry because it might attract thieves.

In conclusion, Cancun and Playa del Carmen both offer amazing travel experiences depending on your budget, taste, and preference you should choose one destination and visit it.