Part of a local experience is smelling, seeing and understanding a city. What we love about Playa del Carmen and what has made Playa so popular is that this location is a walking city. You walk to the beach, you walk to the grocery store. The focal point of the city, 5th Avenue, is a pedestrian walkway filled with restaurants, shopping, and small bars. The beach is always a great place to walk along the coast.
No matter where you choose to stay in Playa, there are various walking routes that immerse you into the local scene or get you out of the tourist zone and into daily life. If you are a walker, you will love these routes. If you are someone who wants to experience a city, these routes are perfect.
A few years ago 5th Avenue was expanded to the north. There is a one lane brick road, with sidewalks, benches and street lights. It has become a great place to walk and does not have all the activity found on the popular portion of 5th Avenue t the south. Dog walkers, locals, families and speed walkers love this section of 5th Avenue that is turning into a street art gallery. This is daily life in Playa, and it uniquely reflects daily life in Playa. It is best to start walking at 46th Street (CTM). You can go to the end of the street at 120th street or just take a small stroll.
If you want to investigate local neighborhoods, small family stores and Playa as it was before it blossomed into a world wide destination, following 10th street north is a wonderful walk. The sidewalks are a bit to be desired, but the activity of daily life well worth it. 10th Avenue to the north continues for many kilometers so walk as far as you want and turn around to enjoy the other side of the street.
If you want to see where locals shop, this is the place. Sidewalks can be crowded so this is not the place to speed walk, or run, but it is a wonderful taste of daily life. There are no hotels, fancy restaurants or hip bars. This is as local as you can get and a wonderful way to dive into Mexican culture in a bigger city.
This is an oasis on the highway and a favorite walk of mine. Over 7 years ago the municipal government built a path that starts at Playacar Phase 2 entrance and goes all the way to Xplor. Yes it runs along the highway but with the beautiful tropical foliage you feel like you are walking on a residential path. Bikers and runners use this path regularly, and I love this escape out of the city.
If you are looking for a 5km walk in a residential area, the Playacar loop in Phase 2 is a great walk. One side of the walk is large resorts and big vacation villas. The west side of this circular walk is full of incredible trees, smaller residential homes and various portions of the Hard Rock Golf Course. This is a great place to dream about an expat lifestyle as you walk through this gated community.
Take a break off 5th Avenue and explore different neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen. This is a very diverse city with more than meets the eye. Walking is a great way to see and understand the multiple dimensions of this popular beachside city. Check out places to stay in Playa del Carmen so you can make your next vacation a walking vacation.