Playa, as it is called by the locals, is a vibrant city: the biggest city of Riviera Maya, a long tract of the Mexican coast facing the Caribbean Sea.
Here, the city life is concentrated along La Quinta Avenida, a long street closed to traffic lined with colourful shops and inviting bars and restaurants. This street is located a short distance from where your ship will dock and is Playa del Carmen’s main attraction. Naturally, the city has its own small beach: if you wish to take a bath, just follow the coast towards Cancun.
However, every MSC Cruises Mexico holiday should include a visit to the Mayan ruins, which have made the Yucatan world-famous. Excursions from Playa del Carmen include unique opportunities to visit the cities of Chacchoben and Kohunlich. Discovered by archaeologists just forty years ago, Chacchoben is still little known (most of its buildings are waiting to be unearthed). Inhabited by the Mayans from the 3rd century AD to the 13th century BC, it contains two large areas with two well preserved pyramid temples.
Kohunlich, usually only inhabited by giant butterflies and parrots, is located in a beautiful forest setting. Its buildings, which include the impressive Templo de los Mascarones with its giant masks, date to 2nd-10th centuries AD. Another MSC Cruises excursion, dedicated to lovers of the sea, will take you to Mahahual, which was named by Rough Guides as one of the best beaches in Mexico.