Cancun or Playa del Carmen? It is the question that many people ask when they plan to visit the Riviera Maya for the first time. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice should be based on what you are looking for your vacation. If you doubt between them, keep reading and you will find some ideas that will help you choose your destination.
Cancun or Playa del Carmen? Which is better?
The first difference between the two cities is their size. Cancun is a large city with more than 600,000 inhabitants while Playa, as its inhabitants call it, is a still small city that has just over 150,000. Cancun offers many more possibilities as a city than its neighbor of the Rivera Maya, and is much more lively and with a more urban environment than Playa del Carmen.
In Cancun you will find department stores, restaurants and bars in abundance, many possibilities of day and night leisure, large discos, such as the mythical Cocobongo, and all the possibilities that are presupposed to a city of its size, all compatible with Caribbean beaches first level.
There are two distinct areas, the city itself and the hotel zone, which is a strip of territory in the form of seven, separated from the mainland by a lagoon, in which are the luxury hotels with the popular all-inclusive plan. Normally, if you visit Cancun you stay in this area to enjoy its magnificent beaches. On the other hand, in the city there are good quality urban hotels and also offer transportation from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.
Although the quality of many of its establishments is undeniable, in my opinion the resorts that are located in the areas closest to Playa seem much more interesting. The latter are better integrated in the environment with tropical gardens and less elevated buildings. Cancun gives the feeling of having too much concrete.
Cancun is very popular among American tourism, while Playa has a more European atmosphere. That already gives you an idea of what you will find in each site.
In both destinations many couples and families come, however Cancun stands out in relation to young tourism, American springbreakers, and in general people who are looking to enjoy the night. Its nightlife is spectacular and really far exceeds what Playa del Carmen can offer you in this regard.
At the beach level I would say that they are somewhat better in Cancun and that they are also much less crowded, at least those of the resorts, than the urban beaches of their neighbor. They are white sand beaches and turquoise waters very alive.
It has several public beaches where you will meet the same people as in the urban beaches of Playa del Carmen or more, and much less crowded ones that are in the area of the great resorts.
· Carmen beach
Playa del Carmen, located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, is an old fishing village that in recent years has developed vertiginously with its tourist success until it becomes one of the most fashionable destinations in Mexico.
Good proof of this is the good atmosphere that is breathed in Fifth Avenue, the main street of Playa. Both on this street and its surroundings there are a lot of sophisticated fashion stores, jewelry stores, art galleries, fantastic restaurants, and a growing number of boutique hotels.
Playa is an elegant, sophisticated destination that attracts a demanding tourist who flees from the massification and enormity of Cancun. In Playa everything is on a much smaller scale, which is also part of its charm.
However, there is a bit of everything and for everyone. Even though there are not as many possibilities for nightlife as in Cancun, there is enough nightlife to satisfy anyone.
If American tourism predominates in Cancun, Playa has more pull among European tourism. The most Europeanized environment is not only noticeable in its tourists, but in the large number of Europeans who have established themselves in this wonderful corner of Mexico and that in many cases have opened businesses.