When planning Riviera Maya vacations, many people have the same questions, concerns, and worries. So we decided to put together this handy post that we hope will answer all of your questions!
Riviera Maya Vacations – Your Questions Answered!
What is the weather like in Playa del Carmen?
We are very blessed in Playa del Carmen as the weather is hot all year round.
Although, sometimes it may be a bit too hot for your tastes. But everyone is different. Peak season is from November to February (our winter). During this time the weather is cooler and much more manageable for most. It is also a dry season so you can expect a few rainy days. Temperatures average from 70-85 °F or 21-30 °C.
The summer is considered off-season as temperatures can rise up to 95°F or 35 °C! The summer heat starts from mid-May and lasts until late September. October is usually a wet month but the temperatures are cooling down and the land is lush thanks to the rain.
Don’t discount the summer completely as although it may be on the hot side this is also Whale Shark season AKA our favorite time of year! There are fewer crowds, prices are generally cheaper, and there is always AC.
When considering buying sunscreen, please listen to our podcast “Sunscreen and Coral Reefs” It will help you to understand the importance of the right sunscreen. If you are in a hurry, we have you covered. We took a closer look at the best-rated sunscreens marketed specifically for use on babies and kids.
The highest rated sunscreen for babies is Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen and for children: Sunology Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Kids, SPF 50
How is the sargassum in Playa del Carmen?
This really is a hard one as it changes from day today. We wrote a whole post about the current seaweed situation here and another post to explain exactly what sargassum is here. Sadly it is impossible to predict if there will be sargassum on the beaches and in the water during your vacation, but we will keep our fingers crossed for you.
There are so many great things to do in Playa that don’t involve the beach so if you do get unlucky, it really isn’t the end of the world. Take a read of this!
Are there a lot of Mosquitoes in Playa del Carmen, and do I need to worry about Zika?
Yes, there are mosquitos in Playa del Carmen, so be sure to take the normal precautions by covering up and using repellent during peak mosquito time (sunrise and sunset).
If you would like to learn more about which repellent suits you best, read the EWG’s 2018 Guide to Bug Repellents
If locals are using repellent, they use the well known OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent
“Many people are concerned about the possible drawbacks of common active ingredients like DEET. EWG researchers have analyzed the science in depth and found that, with proper application and precaution, our recommended active ingredients effectively reduce risk from life-altering diseases and have very low toxicity concerns.” Source: www.ewg.org
As for Zika, this really isn’t something you need to worry about. There were a total of 2 documented cases during the whole year of 2019 at the entire Yucatan peninsula, which has an estimated population of 4.7 million. But to put your mind at ease we wrote a whole blog post about it that you can read here.
Is it customary to tip in Playa del Carmen?
Yes, wages are low in Mexico and the service industry is built on tips, the tipping culture is very similar to that of the USA.
You can tip whatever you like, but as a general rule, you should tip 10%, 15%, or 20%. This is for restaurants and bars, although it is also normal to tip for other services like getting your nails done, massages, and hairdressing.
One thing to be aware of though is that it is illegal for restaurants to add a tip to your bill. They can make a suggestion but it is 100% at your discretion. If you notice they add a service charge do flag this up with them.
Can I use Uber in The Riviera Maya?
No, there is no Uber in the Riviera Maya and there is unlikely to be any time soon. There is however WhatsApp Taxi in Playa del Carmen +529841970814 you just text them and they will send a taxi to you.
This is the safest way of taking a taxi in Playa del Carmen. You will be charged an extra 10 pesos on your normal fair for the pickup, but it is worth it.
Where are the best snorkeling spots in The Riviera Maya
Most people when planning their Riviera Maya vacations want to enjoy the beautiful waters and reefs in the area. Playa del Carmen isn’t the best place for snorkeling, but there are plenty of great options close by. You can either take a tour with us to snorkel with Whale Sharks, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, or Tulum.
Or take a read of this post to find the best snorkeling spots you can (mostly) visit without a guide.
Can you recommend some rainy day activities?
Yes, there are so many that we wrote a whole article listing our favorite ones, you can take a read of it here.
How long should we spend at Xcaret?
This is an easy one, you should plan to spend the whole day there! If you get the all-inclusive ticket then all of your food will be included and they also have a night show which is totally worth staying for.
Where are the best cenotes in Playa del Carmen
So Playa del Carmen doesn’t have many cenotes that you can visit. But there are a lot in the Riviera Maya area that you can easily by taking a tour, or on public transport.
We include visits to cenotes on these tours:
But if you don’t want to take a tour here are our favorite cenotes in the Riviera Maya, and here are our favorite cenotes in, and close to, Playa del Carmen.
What is the best way of getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun
This is going to depend on what kind of a traveler you are. If you are on a budget and don’t mind using public transport then ADO runs a regular bus service which is affordable, clean, and safe. But most of our guests prefer to travel in a bit more comfort and to be picked up from the airport and dropped directly at their hotel.
For this, you will want to book an airport transfer, which we also offer – just ask us.
Other options include taking an airport taxi and renting a car. Take a read of this blog post for more detailed information about this.
Is it safe to drink the water in Mexico?
No, it isn’t.
Although in many of the big resorts they have a special filtration system so you will be safe to drink it. Always air on the side of caution and if in doubt ask. We wrote a full article just on this subject that you can take a read of here.
ICE IS SAFE!
That’s a wrap!
But remember, we are always here to help, so please do leave us any additional questions you have in the comments below and we can keep adding them in!
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