Lies in the northeast of Mexico in Quintana Roo, on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea, right in the middle of the Mayan Riviera. Just a decade ago, Playa, as the locals call it, was a small fishing village with an amazing scuba scene, nowadays it’s a popular laid-back boutique resort with a decidedly European feel and a strong desire to keep true to its sleepy origins.
Its popularity began as the ferries to the renowned Cozumel Island, which has some of the best coral reefs in the world leave from Playa’s port.
Just a few miles out of town is the superb Xcaret (‘esh-caret’), a Mexican-themed Eco Park which explores Mayan culture and has a jaguar island, butterfly pavillion and even offers swimming with dolphins. Around an hour’s drive away is Tulum, the famous Mayan ruins which overlook the sea.
Canopy beds are popular on the beaches, draw the shades back to top up your tan and then pull down again for a secluded afternoon snooze. Try Playa Tukan or the funky Mamitas Beach club.
The main action in town takes place along Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) a mainly-pedestrian area that leads down to the port.
Eats & drinks
Many of the bars and restaurants are on Fifth Avenue, you’ll find everything from gourmet french food to pizza slice joints on this street. For a more authentic Mexican experience head to the pier and try a zingingly fresh fish taco for just a couple of dollars from one of the food carts.
You can easily walk around most of Playa but a fun alternative could be to hire a bicycle. Taxis are fairly cheap but beware that ones taken from the ‘sitio’ (cab rank) are a few dollars more than if you hail one on the street. There are two ferry companies running trips to Cozumel for around USD10, get a ticket from the booths at the end of the dock before boarding.
- One of the Hippest Cities on the Yucatan Peninsula
- Lively 5th Avenue (Quinta Avenida) for Shopping, Restaurants, Bars and Nightlife.
Time zone offset: GMT -6 Hours
Currency: Mexican Peso
Different destinations have different magic touches so make sure to check them out to see what makes your holiday with us so special.
From June 2012: Fly non-stop from London Gatwick on Virgin Atlantic's award-winning service to Cancun. Flight time: 11 hours.
Pre June 2012: fly non-stop from London Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic’s award-winning service to Miami, where you conveniently connect on to your short flight to Cancun. (An overnight stay in Miami may be required). Flight time: Approx 10 hours to Miami, 1 hour 15 min from Miami to Cancun.
Please note: Only holidays beginning in June 2012 are web bookable. For holidays that start before June 2012 please call our call centre.
Very Important Information.
Mexico Entry Requirement - travelling with children.
It's been brought to our attention that the Mexican Migration Act stipulates that to enter and exit the country children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by either of the parents or those with parental responsibility/guardianship over them.
There's no requirement for authorisation from the absent parent, for example in the case of single parents or those divorced/separated unless you appear not to be the child's parent - e.g. if you have a different surname to your child.
You'll be asked to provide notarized written authorisation signed by the parent who is not travelling with the child or by both parents where neither is travelling with the child.
If you're not able to provide this you'll need to be able to show evidence of your relationship to the child and/or the reason why they are travelling with you e.g. a birth or adoption certificate, divorce or marriage certificates or Parental Responsibility Order. This will minimise the risk of problems when entering or leaving Mexico.
Children under 18 years old travelling alone or accompanied by an adult who is not the parent or a legal guardian must present to the immigration officer in Mexico a valid passport and notarized written authorisation from the parent(s) granting their permission for the child to enter/exit the country. This must also be translated into Spanish.
Take a look at the site here for further information Travel Advice