Playacar holidays are hinged on world-class white sands and good-as-new historic sites.

A-list treatment

If you’re not on the list, you’re not coming in. That’s the bottom line in Playacar, which is set up as an exclusive area for a select group of hotel guests. The gated community means you can make the most of private beaches, where crowds are about as uncommon as cloudy days. The whole resort’s set further down the coast from lively Cancun, and plies its trade as a specialist for explorers and easygoing types. Just so you know, the beaches on this stretch of coastline sometimes experience increased levels of seaweed – called sargassum. It’s influenced by the weather and ocean currents. If your hotel’s affected, the staff will do everything they can to clear it as quickly as possible.

Relics and ruins

Riviera Maya certainly earns its stripes in the feet-up stakes, and its sightseeing qualifications are better than a lot of people realise, too. Ancient Mayan sites crop up in this neck of the woods almost as often as extra-large hotels. The slate-grey Castillo at Tulum’s less than an hour’s drive away, and the pristine temples of Chichen Itza are about double the distance inland.

Ferries to Cozumel

Call in next door, and boat trips to beach-wrapped Cozumel are on the cards. There are ferries on the hour from Playa del Carmen which scoot across to the island. Aside from the main town, El Parque, the whole place looks almost exactly like it did before the first boots trudged ashore centuries ago. Its beaches are prime tanning territory, and scuba diving trips let you poke around one of the world’s largest coral reefs.

At a Glance

  • Sprawl out on a private strip of sand
  • Hop on a ferry to Cozumel
  • Explore the ruins of Tulum