Playa del Carmen, The Heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya

Originally the small fishing village south of the resort town of Cancun, Playa del Carmen has seen a tremendous amount of growth over the last 10 years. The picturesque beach town has become one of most chic hot spots in the Caribbean. Showcasing pristine alabaster beaches and turquoise waters, Playa del Carmen is a top destination in Mexico for high-end, luxury tourism.

Among its offerings are 5-star, all-inclusive resorts from the world’s largest companies, including Hyatt and RIU. However, Playa del Carmen also boasts million-dollar, private condominiums with private beach clubs and ocean views stretching to the island of Cozumel. Established in 2005, BRIC Vacation Rentals has developed a reputable name in the Mexican Caribbean’s flourishing vacation rental industry.  Presenting 200 diverse and fully serviced Playa del Carmen vacation properties, you are sure to find the ideal rental for your beach getaway.

A Fantastic Mix Of Old And New

Running parallel to the pristine Caribbean waters is the renowned Quinta Avenida, or 5th Avenue. This lively cobblestone street now expands for almost 5 miles, one block from the silky white coast. Along the city’s most famed avenue, you’ll discover hundreds of restaurants, nightclubs, and endless shopping. What is most unique about Playa del Carmen is its delightful mix of traditional Mexican and modern allure.

You can still find plenty of authentic, local cuisine and small artisan shops peddling everything from hammocks to sombreros. But Playa, on the other hand, is rapidly transforming into a luxury destination presenting the best in dining, shopping, and entertainment. This award-winning resort town greets visitors with its top-notch, exotic restaurants run by notable chefs.  Plus, visitors can appreciate the upscale boutique stores showcasing an array of designers from around Mexico and the globe.

Something For Everyone

Playa del Carmen’s glorious white sands and clear, turquoise waters attract millions of beachgoers and water enthusiasts. From divers and snorkelers to paddle boarders and avid fishermen, the translucent sea appeals to travelers of all ages. Perched along the shores in the city’s vibrant center, are several beach clubs. Pull up an oceanfront seat to enjoy a sampling of their complete food and drink services throughout the day. Choose to mingle with the high-energy, fashion-forward crowds at Mamitas or Kool Beach.  Or if you would rather a relaxed setting, Zenzi or Lido Beach Club extend a cool and casual welcome. Whatever your style, BRIC Vacation Rentals offers private condo rentals just steps from these heavenly Caribbean cantinas.

A Land With Extraordinary Nature and Rich History

Looking to spend the day soaking up the sun at more rustic and less populated beach locations? A leisurely walk either North or South of town leads to sublime and seemingly untouched beaches. Just a short drive from Playa del Carmen, there are dozens of extraordinary spots to enjoy a day of fun in the sand and surf.  Maroma Beach, Xpu Ha, Tulum, and Punta Venado are some such divine locations to visit for the day.

Your designated BRIC Ambassador can help to plan a memorable day trip and offer insider information on other seaside sanctuaries throughout the Riviera Maya. For more ideas for fun and adventure in Playa del Carmen, you can also visit our Local Area Guide.

This region, dotted with ancient Mayan cities and protected biospheres, possesses important historical and ecological significance. Playa del Carmen’s central location provides convenient access to the area’s several major eco-parks including Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, or Rio Secreto. Other nearby adventure parks and attractions to add to your itinerary are the Pre-Hispanic ruins of Tulum or Coba. Moreover, scenic cenote swimming holes such as Eden or Cristalino are a must when traveling to Playa.

Any of these outstanding tours will give you a unique sense of the Yucatan Peninsula’s remarkable historical and archaeological value. BRIC Vacation Rentals offers customized tours and transportation service to these and a host of other Riviera Maya destinations and parks.

A vacation to Playa del Carmen can be as relaxed or as active as you desire. The entire 60 plus member staff of BRIC Vacation Rentals is happy to offer our best advice to enhance your stay. Our multilingual team of Playa del Carmen experts is excited and honored to play a part in your unforgettable vacation experience and we can’t wait to welcome you to paradise!

12 Benefits of a Playa del Carmen Beach Vacation

Travel offers a wide range of life-enhancing benefits. From teaching tolerance and problem-solving skills to decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety a vacation does the body good. A getaway allows for an escape from the ordinary. It’s an exciting and necessary break from the mundane trap of a monotonous schedule.

A holiday in Playa del Carmen is no exception! Here are 12 evident ways that a beach vacation has a positive effect on your body, mind and soul. Life moves fast. It’s time to slow down the pace and spend time in one of the Riviera Maya’s most award-winning destinations.

Develop A Feeling of Pride and Confidence

Family trip Playa del Carmen

Along with the good memories, you’ll also carry back with you a sense of pride. It takes courage to successfully navigate a foreign airport and city. Small wins such as boarding local colectivos to swim in a magnificent cenote can give your confidence a huge boost. Moreover, renting a car to explore ancient architecture, ‘Magic Towns’ or quaint islands can  further develop a sense of accomplishment.

Sure there’s a multitude of things to see and do in Playa del Carmen’s downtown core. But try meandering one or two blocks north of 5th Avenue for a change. You never know when you’ll stumble upon a fantastic eatery – there are hundreds of them! As you venture off the well-trodden path, you may just come across the most sensational meal of your trip. If you’re staying in a vacation rental, regular outings such as a trip to the grocery store present prime opportunities to increase your Spanish vocabulary. Developing the ability to converse in a foreign language, even at a basic level, can cultivate a feeling of pride.

Become More Open-Minded

We understand that foreigners are bombarded with negative press about Mexico every other week.  Of course, without firsthand experience, the country seems like the wild wild West. But for those who get that most news stories are highly sensationalized, travel to Playa del Carmen garners huge rewards. By foregoing the advice of skeptics, you’ll find your risk will pay off more than you could have ever imagined. Each year, millions of visitors are so delighted with their vacation experiences that they return to the Riviera Maya again and again.

Travelers gain insights through encountering a welcoming nation. Mexicans are very proud of their heritage, their music, and their food. They’re more than happy to share the enchanting side of their beloved country.

If you come at the end of October, there’s a good chance you’ll meet paraders with elaborately painted faces in the streets . The skeleton make-up is part of the deep-rooted festival, Dia de los Muertos. During Day of the Dead, families decorate altars, prepare customary foods, and organize cemetery processions to remember loved ones who have passed.

dia de los muertos piqsels

Traveling to a new county and meeting its citizens allows a glimpse into their way of life. You comprehend better their value system and why the culture is the way it is. One thing that Mexicans hold most dear besides their families and their Mariachi music, is their tequila. While Jose Cuervo is at the center of many college parties, Mexicans opt to sip their cherished national treasure.

If you can, resist the persuasive tequila-slinging bartender at Coco Bongo, and instead stop by a specialty store on 5th Avenue. An introduction to some of the nations finest tequilas will develop an new appreciation for the  distinctive spirit.

Relax, Rejuvenate and Be Inspired By The Great Outdoors

Spending your days immersed in breathtaking nature, your soul cannot help but be soothed. Plus, long walks on the beach or scaling Mayan pyramids are perfect for incorporating some feel-good exercise into your vacation. Not to mention, the activity will help burn off the extra taco and piña colada calories.

Couple on Beach, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

In addition to the benefits of exercise, you’re body will benefit without exerting much effort at all. Lounging on the sun-soaked beaches of Playa del Carmen, will give your body its required dose of Vitamin D.

Be Exposed To Authentic Tastes Beyond The Burrito

Mexican cuisine is a delightful mix of complex flavors. (Think mole, which boasts a list of over thirty, perfectly blended ingredients). Just as chicken balls are not authentic in Chinese cuisine, burritos are not exactly a staple on a Mexican menu.

One well-known chef, Rick Bayliss, has travelled throughout Mexico and his popular TV show documents his culinary adventures. His passion for Mexican cuisine is highlighted in each episode as he explores the traditional dishes of each region.

Since Playa del Carmen’s community consists of a wonderful mix of residents from around Mexico, you can be sure to discover a diverse range of enticing plates. For breakfast try chilaquiles, juevos rancheros or saucy enchiladas. For lunch, a light ceviche or seafood tostada with an ojo rojo is a popular combo here in Playa. As for dinner, tender arrachera flank steaks or tacos al pastor are both delicious options.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone For Unforgettable Experiences

There is no better way to grow and challenge your regular threshold of comfort than to take an international trip. Things like losing your luggage and facing language barriers tend to uncover new character traits you never knew you had.

Here in Playa del Carmen, there are several ways to ease you past your comfort boundaries. For example, one of the most exhilarating ways to overcome a fear of heights is to take the leap from the modest platforms at local cenotes.  It may take several repetitions of ‘I think I can, I think I can’ to cliff jump or to climb to the peak of Coba’s highest temple. But the feeling of satisfaction is worth the initial discomfort. Besides, the view from the top is pretty spectacular. Each time you do something that extends beyond your comfort zone, the world seems to open up just a little more. Around each corner, new facets of its extraordinary beauty are revealed.

Diving in the open sea is another extraordinary way to test the borders of your comfort level. Thanks to its close proximity to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Playa del Carmen is a renowned diving destination. Scattered throughout the city are excellent dive shops with certified instructors. With decades of experience under their belt, they’ll guide you towards plenty of surreal underwater moments that will be hard to forget.

Scuba diving in Playa del Carmen

See Mexico In A Different Light

Every culture has its fair share of stereotypes. But to allow labels to deter you from visiting a country will cost you some priceless travel experiences. During my family’s first year in Mexico, my mother and sister visited. The group was up for an adventure. So we booked a hotel in Valladolid, a charming colonial town  located an hour and a half from Playa del Carmen.

On the way, we took a short cut in search of a new toll road that would trim the traveling time. It wasn’t long before our van load of precious cargo was bouncing over a rough, jungle path surrounded thick brush.

Just as we were trying to figure out how to turn back on the narrow trail, a teenage Mexican boy appeared from nowhere – carrying a machete. Given the situation, it was just like a scary movie and our first thought was we’re in trouble. This wasn’t going to end well.

The scruffy kid asked if we were lost and offered to lead us to the highway. He hopped on the running board, slung one hand around the mirror to hold on, and from the other hand, hung the rusted machete. As our crew recited prayers under our breath, we approached a clearing. It was the highway! Just as quickly as he had appeared, our guardian angel was off again. The kind stranger asked for nothing and simply waved before the jungle swallowed him once again.

Although Mexico was once considered a ‘Third World’ country, it is now listed according to the UN, in the ‘Upper Middle’ category in relation to its economy per capita. In fact, it’s rare to see donkeys strolling dirt roads or roosters riding the city bus. In Playa del Carmen, you can expect to find high-end dining establishments, Wi-Fi and modern accommodations comparable to any other cosmopolitan city in the world.

Encounter New Adventures

Due to its central location, Playa del Carmen offers convenient access to the hundreds of exhilarating adventures that abound in the Mexican Caribbean. For yogis, a class atop of paddle board on a scenic, jade-colored lagoon might sound alluring. Photography enthusiasts can brush up on their skills National Geographic-style. Envision capturing the perfect sunset over the jungle from the most unordinary vantage points,  including the peak of a Mayan pyramid.

Coba Mayan Ruins near Playa del Carmen, Mexico

All-be-it a thrill of a lifetime, skydiving may not be for everyone. However, you might have a change of heart when you arrive in Playa del Carmen. There are few descents in the world more spectacular than Playa’s turquoise seascape. If scuba diving is not your thing, you might love snorkeling alongside graceful turtles and stingrays in picturesque, tropical bays. The list of ideas for fun and adventure is as ceaseless as the warm weather in the Riviera Maya.

Make Lifelong Friendships

Winter VIP Party, Bric Hotel and Spa, Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is one of those magical places that spawns repeat visitors. One reason being that it’s an easy flight from most places in North America. The snowbird community continues to grow each year because it’s a perfect spot for retirees. The city is easy to navigate by foot and you can enjoy the beach lifestyle without being fluent in Spanish. There are exceptional restaurants with impeccable service. Staff such as the bartender at your favorite beach club or our Bric ambassadors remember your name and welcome you back as part of the family.

If you like to hit the links, Playa del Carmen offers several championship and PGA Tour courses. Golf presents a fantastic opportunity to form lasting friendships. Undoubtedly, you’ll meet other like-minded individuals who appreciate the game and the endless summer climate.

Develop Passion For Experiences Over Things

After traveling to stunning destinations like the Riviera Maya, you begin to reconsider material purchases. Justifying the purchase of a $400 wallet is hard when you know that instead, you could be diving off the picturesque shores of Playa del Carmen for less than that.

When people envision the beach, they think sun, sand, and margaritas. But the more time you spend near the sea, the more you realize the mystical powers of nature.  There is no denying that nature enhances your life in ways material things cannot. The priceless beauty of a sunrise over the Caribbean, the rhythmic sounds of the waves, happy people all along the shore, without a television, an X-box, or a cell phone in sight. The treasures you find in Playa are far more valuable than anything money can buy.

Although you can find a fantastic selection of luxurious products in the designer stores and boutiques that line 5th Avenue, it’s easy to be steered away from the material life. In this little piece of paradise, there are endless simple pleasures to indulge in.

Cenote Caleta Tankah, Riviera Maya

The easy-breezy lifestyle is one of the many factors that transform so many temporary visitors to residents. Being surrounded by endless opportunities to live in a peaceful harmony with nature, incites a passion for exploration beyond the shops on 5th Avenue.

Make Memories And Receive Real-life Education All In One

If you come to the Riviera Maya in the spring, you can witness a re-enactment of the sacred Mayan Journey. This lively three-day ceremony begins at the remarkable ecological park, Xcaret near Playa del Carmen. Besides swimming in underground rivers, seeing jellyfish and seahorses at the aquarium, or feeding tropical birds in a man-size birdcage, you can watch history come alive.

The popular event is held in remembrance of the pilgrimage Mayan women and men made hundreds of years ago. Groups would cross the Caribbean towards the island of Cozumel in hallowed out Ceiba trees. They’d travel a grueling seven hours to bring offerings for Ixchel, the Goddess of fertility.

As a spectator, you have a chance to view the festivities surrounding the sacred journey. Not only are the rowers, who have trained for months prior, an inspiration, but the event also shines an enlightening perspective on the area’s first civilization.

Provides A Change Of Scenery During A Long, Cold Winter

Winters can drag on with incessant freezing temperatures making you impatient for spring. Planning a trip to Playa del Carmen can give you something to look forward to. Most importantly, an exotic getaway provides a much-needed break from the overcast skies and frosty windshields.

Oceana Condo-Hotel by Bric Vacation Rentals, Playa del Carmen

If you daydream of waking up to sunshine and palm trees, our professional Bric hospitality team can help with that. With pleasure, we’ll offer guidance as you design your ideal version of a trip to paradise. Trade in the clunky winter boots for a pair of flip-flops. Even if you can only manage a few days away from the office, a long weekend getaway serves the body, mind, and soul well.

A Great Conversation Starter

It is said that travel makes you speechless then turns you into a storyteller. Striking up a travel conversation is always a safe and engaging topic no matter the occasion. Travelers love to recall their most memorable moments from their trips. Even for those who have never left their hometown, everyone has a bucket list with a special destination they’d like to see and experience.

A trip to Playa del Carmen will give you more than enough fuel to stoke a stimulating conversation at your next event. From the tope (infamous Mexican speed bump) that snuck up on you and sent your rental car soaring, to a night of dancing under the stars, each trip provides more than enough entertaining anecdotes.