Playa del Carmen, Mexico is not only a fun place to visit, it can feel like it drains your pocketbook after some major excursions and day trips.
How can you get out and enjoy Playa del Carmen without breaking the bank every time you do?
Here is a list of cheap things to do in Playa del Carmen that will get you out of your hotel, coliving, or apartment for under $5.
Watch an Mayan Show in Parque Fundadores
Parque du fundadores at Benito Juarez and 5th Avenue, is a large courtyard full of picturesque statues, beach views, and regular Mayan cultural shows.
The park is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to interact with food, shops and shows.
The free shows can include hanging dancers, nature costumes, fire and dancing. Shows are not the same all the time, so check in during the day and nighttime hours to see what’s happening!
During the day, you can watch the hanging guys and in the evenings there are often dance or fire ceremonies. Mornings are generally quiet the park and a great time to get pictures of the grand statutes.
The shows are all free of charge with a request for donations at the end. It’s a great way to interact with the local culture and history while giving back.
Free Salsa or Bachata Class
Beginner or advanced dancer- you are going to love the free lessons put on by the local dance school.
Every weekday starting around 7/7:30p is a free salsa class. You can come solo, with a partner, or friends and all dance experience is welcome.
No only are the instructors super fun and awesome, the class is set up so anyone can join, leave, bounce in and out as they are comfortable. There is no pressure or expectations. It’s truly all about fun!
We had Santa join us a few times, locals that were walking by, tourists who wanted to try their hand at the song playing and anyone walking by who felt like having a good time. Stay for 5 minutes, or stay the entire session- you’re choice!
Sessions were usually 1.5 hours long with no real itinerary other than have fun and follow the leader.
Sometimes the location changes based on popularity and attendance, so reach out to +52 55 1594 6251 on What’s app to confirm the date and time, but every M-F there is a free dance class around 5th Avenue.
Often, classes are in Parque los Fundadores where 5th Avenue meets Benito Juarez.
Explore 5th Avenue
It may feel like a cliche, but 5th Avenue is 5th Avenue for a reason. And as soon as you think you’ve got this bustling street all figured out, the next block will surprise you with new bars, atmospheres and stores.
The avenue starts at Bentio Juarez, where the Parque los Fundadores is and carries on to Calle 40- about a 2 mile walk.
Along the way, you’ll find restaurants unlike you’ve ever seen, stores, malls and more. Venture down the side streets toward the beach or Avendia 10 for even more areas to explore.
Mexican Sunrise over the Ocean
Playa del Carmen beach faces the stunning Mexican sunrise.
The best part? the beach is usually calm and free of tourists and vendors in the early morning, making the Mexican sunrise a peaceful and memorable experience.
Head to the Playa del Carmen beach around 6:30/7a (depending on the time of year) for a stunning sunrise. Playa del Carmen doesn’t have a great view of the sunsets, but the trade off is great sunrises!
The coffee shops in the area open at 7a, so grab a cozy coffee on your way back.
Enjoy a Drink at Cerveceria Chapultepec
$1 beers! Cerverceria Chepultepec has amazing drink prices anytime for day in a fun and energetic atmopshere.
Beers start at $20 pesos (about $1 USD) and hard liquor is around $35 pesos ($1.60) this place has the cheapest drink prices on this side of town!
There are two locations to choose from: the first location is on 5th Avenue at Calle 8 and the other is around the corner on Calle 8.
Ignore googlemaps; it’s incorrect on the exact location of the two bars, but it does have the intersection correct.
Enjoy Tacos with the Locals
Taco carts in Playa del Carmen are pretty legit- possibly the best tacos Ive ever had! And prices are legit too- around $15-40 pesos per taco ($0.75-2.00 USD).
While you can find many taco carts around town, the two “real” places to get them are Tacos El Jarocho on Calle 2 in front of Parque Portal Maya and along 14 Norte Bis next to the Mega Supermarket off 30 Avendia.
If you’re unsure which taco cart to pick, look for the line of locals- that’s how you know it’s a good one! If locals are not gathering around, skip it.
Don’t forget to try the variety of salsas too. They make ’em different here with real ingredients that make your tastebuds pop!
Enjoy Mayan Chocolate at Ah Cacao.
Most people don’t come to Mexico for the chocolate, but maybe they should.
The Mayas are known for great chocolate and Ah Cacao is the perfect place to explore the many variations.
From mochas, chocolate desserts and our chocolate bars, this place with have your sweet tooth satisfied in no time.
Ah Cacaos are like Starbucks in terms of location access- feels like they are everywhere! You can find them along 5th avenue and the surrounding area. A drink or dessert will run you about $4 depending on your selection.
You’ll also get freee wifi with purchase, so save you receipt for your log in.
Walk the Playacar Mayan Ruins
It may not feel like it, but just a short 10 minute walk form the ferry station in Playa del Carmen are the Playacar Mayan ruins.
This jungle filled area will have you forgetting about the hustle and bustle of the city as it whisks you away to a time forgotten.
You can access the ruins from the beach at Cunaro de Piedra or walk in from Abraira de Arriba off Avendia 10 sur.
Take a Collectivo to Tulum
Yep, you can get to Tulum or Akumal for under $5 if you take a collectivo.
Collectivos are small vans that operate like a public bus. They are designed for locals, so be prepared to squish in, but they operate almost non-stop as it leaves when the van is full.
They are also super budget friendly compared to other transportation options.
You can catch the collectivo to Tulum and Akumal at the supermercado just off Benitor Juaraez in Centro.
Drink of the Day at Lido Beach Club
A beach club with live music and great drinks prices doesn’t sound like some thing that would fall into the cheap category, but Lido Beach club’s drink of the day, makes it possible.
And yes, you can sit and a swing seat at the bar too.
Lido Beach club is located just a couple blocks off 5th avenue at Calle 10 Norte and Avendia 1.
Every day at Lido beach club there is a drink of the day for around $4, and man are they phenomenal here!
If you’re not loving the drink of the day, don’t worry, there’s 2 for 1 happy hour to get you your fave drink for under $5.
Sit in a swing chair at the bar, converse over a table, or sink your feet into the luscious soft sand. Enjoy live music every afternoon around 3p.
Explore Playa del Carmen on Bike
With the shared bike program, Biciplaya, and daily bike rentals available at MexiGo, hoping on a bicycle and exploring the city of Playa del Carmen could not be easier!
Biciplaya is a bike sharing program. Simply download the app, set up an account, and then select your desired bike rental timeframe.
The one downside to the app is that you’ll need signal where you pick up and return your bike. But use your Mastercard and get a discount!
Unsure where to go? Avendia Diez has a bike path that crosses the most popular parts of town. It’s an easy and flat route, or you can grab the route map at Mexigo and head out to the jungle.