Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue: TOP Must-Do Activities
Playa del Carmen’s vibrant and bustling 5th Avenue, or Quinta Avenida, is an iconic destination that epitomizes the essence of Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
With its captivating blend of sun-kissed beaches, colorful architecture, and an energetic atmosphere, this amazing pedestrian-friendly street has become a magnet for travelers seeking an unforgettable vacation experience.
Whether you’re a sun seeker, a food enthusiast, a shopaholic, or an avid adventurer, 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen offers a myriad of activities that will captivate your senses and leave you with lifelong memories.
Embark on an exploration of the rich cultural heritage as you encounter street performers showcasing their talents, immerse yourself in the captivating aromas of local delicacies, and discover a vibrant array of shops offering unique handicrafts and trendy fashion.
Join me as I’ll unveil the heart of Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue, providing you with insider tips, hidden gems, and must-visit attractions that will help you make the most of your time in this vibrant coastal town.
Let’s dive into the enchanting realm of this captivating destination together!
Where is Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue?
Quinta Avenida (in Spanish), is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen.
It stretches parallel to the beach and runs for several blocks, from Calle 1 Norte to Calle 40 Norte.
14 Must-Do Activities on Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue
1. Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum & Restaurant
Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón was born in Coyoacán, Mexico on July 6, 1907.
As you may already know, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter known for her self-portraits; she became one of the greatest Mexican muralists.
Therefore, this special place was created to contemplate and learn about Frida with small exhibitions and sculptures.
What is in the Frida Kahlo Museum? You will find 9 rooms with touch screens, a video mapping, infographics, documents, and some of her paintings.
First of all, you will find the timeline of her life, and you will be able to recreate the accident that almost killed her.
You will also enjoy the video mapping and the love relationship she had with Diego Rivera by discovering the letters exhibited.
The museum has real evidence of Frida Kahlo’s life, which will show you her different facets. At the end of the rooms, there is an offering with a remembrance of the last painting she signed.
In addition, the museum has a themed restaurant. It is a great experience to enjoy the dishes, some of which are named after Frida Kahlo’s works.
This museum is located on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, open daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
2. Watch the Papantla Flyers (Voladores)
The Voladores de Papantla show attracts many national and international tourists, who now with the opening of Fundadores Park, have a special space for them.
Therefore, this ancestral ritual is exhibited in one of the busiest avenues of Playa del Carmen and is performed about five times a day.
This ritual is meant to invoke the God of rain and corn in times of drought since these ancestors were dedicated to agriculture.
The flyers use a rope tied around their waists, and when they hear the music, they throw themselves backward with their heads down.
3. Take a Ferry to Cozumel at 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen
Cozumel, in the Mayan language Kosom Lumil, is the third largest island in Mexico and the second most populated.
It is also considered the third largest island in Mexico, you will find a wonderful natural reserve that you will love.
If you want to go from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel, you will have to take the Ferry.
The Ultramar Ferry is 500 pesos per person, round trip. They have different routes, in case you are not specifically leaving from Playa del Carmen.
The pier is on the north end of 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen, next to the ADO bus station.
There are also cargo ferries for cars, depending on the vehicle, the rates are about 1000 pesos.
Just remember that before boarding a ferry, you have to buy tickets in advance to avoid any inconveniences with fares and schedules.
4. Explore Playacar
Another tourist destination you will love is Playacar, an exclusive area of Playa del Carmen.
Among other things here, there are some small Mayan ruins interesting to walk around and take some snapshots.
This destination is also famous for having one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya, its luxurious residential, and all-inclusive resorts.
It is also an area divided into sections, which differentiate the golf courses, gardens, restaurants, and shopping areas.
Playacar is south of Playa del Carmen, covering most of the hotel zone.
5. 12th Street
On the 5th Avenue of Playa del Carmen, you will find Calle 12, without a doubt this place should be on your list if you want to party.
Also known as the “Quinta con doce,” this is where most of the nightclubs in Playa del Carmen are located.
While 5th Avenue gets the most attention from restaurants, bars, and clothing stores, 12th Street attracts tourists to nightclubs.
Since the party starts at 10:00 p.m. and ends at 3:00 a.m., you have plenty of time to enjoy with your friends and family.
On Calle 12 you will find the best nightclubs: Mandala, Coco Bongo, Palazzo, La Santanera, and Blue Parrot.
6. Playa del Carmen’s Mayan Portal
One of the emblematic symbols of Playa del Carmen is the Mayan Portal in Plaza Fundadores.
This sculpture is 16 meters high with 60 tons of bronze that form an arch, it was created by Mexican artist Arturo Tavares Padilla.
Likewise, the columns that form this monument refer to the elements of the Mayan past.
I will explain a little about what the Mayan Portal means. You can see the figure of a woman and a man holding hands forming an arch.
The man appears to be pushed by a spiral of wind and the woman by a spiral of water and it is how they mix the elements of the Mayan past.
It means the beginning of a new era and to humanity, a symbol of hope.
They also do shows at night, such as ceremonies and dances of Quinta Avenida Playa del Carmen.
7. Go shopping at Quinta Alegria Mall in Playa del Carmen
If shopping is in your plans, you have to visit the Quina Alegria, it is a modern shopping center, with restaurants, and international luxury retail stores.
It is located on Fifth Avenue, corner Constituyentes Avenue in Playa del Carmen; open daily from 10 to 10.
Also, this mall has a jungle theme and vegetation, perfect to relax and have coffee while you go shopping.
You will also find a variety of exclusive clothing stores, cosmetics, cafes, and restaurants.
Quinta Alegria has more than 30 stores and a large parking lot.
8. Paseo del Carmen
Another of the most visited places for shopping in 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen is Paseo del Carmen, an open-air complex with more traditional shops.
It’s a block from the beach, next to the pier of Playa del Carmen. Here you will find a wide variety of restaurants, clothing stores, accessories, and souvenirs.
There are also common areas, such as tables and chairs to rest or enjoy a drink and a snack.
9. Visit the Chapel of Our Lady of Carmen
Also known as “La Capilla de la Quinta,” is a place to venerate the Virgin of Carmen, the patron saint of fishermen, and is one of the main activities of the area.
The Chapel was built in 1960 and has a minimalist style, similar to the quarry carving of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Also, sometime later it was remodeled and a vault was built to leave a view of the sea in the background, which is what characterizes the Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
You’ll find it at the beginning of 5th Avenue, in front of the bus and maritime terminal.
There are masses every day and groups in English on Sundays and religious events.
10. Playa Fundadores
Fundadores Park is home to one of the oldest beaches in the Riviera Maya.
It was created in the ’50s when families gathered to spend the afternoon and enjoy the beach.
It is located on the corner of Juarez and 5th Avenue. To get to the beach you will walk on the sand and you will see several food and beverage stalls and souvenir shops.
This beach has small tourist attractions, such as the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen and a playground on the sand for children.
You will also enjoy the free shows, such as the voladores de Papantla I told you about earlier, the dancers who are there all day long. It’s a good option to hang out.
Playa Fundadores boasts a wide sandy beach, with plenty of space, and friendly handicap access.
Also, here you can rent a beach umbrella and a lounge chair for about 200 pesos all day. Just try to get in early.
11. Playa del Carmen Aquarium
You will love this Aquarium in Playa del Carmen where you will learn about the local marine life of various species.
This aquarium is located on 5th Avenue, in Plaza Corazón. It is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
The care, supervision, and maintenance of this place are paramount because in Playa del Carmen they are aware of the care and preservation of the species.
The Aquarium has not been open for a long time, it was built with the goal of raising awareness of the marine life.
There are 3 levels: The first has the theme of a sunken pirate ship, the second level is about jellyfish and other species, and the third one is an area with open pools.
Don’t forget to visit the reef and terrarium section. This tour lasts approximately 45 minutes, you can count on the help of an Aquarium guide to understand more.
They will share the knowledge of various types of tropical fish, jellyfish, and octopus among other organisms that inhabit the Caribbean Sea.
The entrance fee is about 150 pesos.
12. Calle Corazón – 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen
Calle Corazón is another popular and important shopping alley in Playa del Carmen.
If you don’t have enough outfits for the beach, it’s a good excuse to visit “Heart Street.”
Also, during your stroll in Calle Corazon, you will find many cool spots to take pictures, it has a great atmosphere.
It also has several restaurants where you can savor some of the best local specialties in the Quinta Avenida Playa del Carmen.
13. Playa del Carmen’s Gastronomy
Again, on Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) and its surroundings, you will find a great variety of restaurants, with different foods for all budgets.
There are Mexican antojitos (snacks), seafood, and fast food such as hamburgers and hot dogs.
Some of the most visited restaurants are: Patio 8, Aldea Corazón, La No.20 cantina, Quinta de Piedra, taquerias, and breweries.
Fifth Avenue is visited by national and international tourists, that’s why you will find different types of food.
14. Party at the Blue Parrot Beach Club
In 1982, the first bar was founded in Playa del Carmen, and also one of the first hotels and beach clubs in the area, the “Blue Parrot.”
Also, as I mentioned earlier, on 12th Street you will find the most famous nightclubs on Fifth Avenue such as Coco Bongo, Mandala, and La Vaquita.
If noisy clubs are not your thing, there are several other bohemian spots with live music you’ll love.
14 Must-Do Activities on Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue: Conclusion
In conclusion, Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue is an enchanting destination that offers a myriad of must-do activities for every traveler.
From indulging in mouthwatering culinary delights to exploring vibrant local markets, immersing oneself in the rich cultural heritage to relaxing on pristine beaches, this bustling Avenue has something for everyone.
So, pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey along Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue.
You’ll discover a world of excitement, beauty, and unforgettable experiences that will make your visit truly remarkable. Vamonos!