Along the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, there are a number of deep, naturally formed pits called cenotes. Formed by collapsed bedrock, they’re filled with freshwater lakes that were once important water sources for the Mayans. Today, cenotes are havens for divers and snorkelers. A large cenote is accessible via a short drive from Azul Fives Hotel, which occupies a secluded spot just outside of Playa del Carmen.
The shopping, restaurants, and nightlife of that resort city are just a 10-minute drive away, but you can find plenty to do without leaving the resort. Among its offerings are five fine-dining restaurants and outdoor pools with swim-up bars. The onsite Vassa Spa administers soothing services such as holistic massages and fresh-fruit or chocolate body wraps. Should these ingredients whet your appetite, you can head to Sea Olive for Mediterranean fare or Tsuki for sushi. Gauzy beachside cabanas offer good spots for relaxing and taking in the view.
The resort is also kid friendly. The Azulitos Play House keeps young ones occupied with trampolines, swings, slides, and arts-and-crafts projects. Beach-related activities include treasure hunts and seminars on refinancing sand-castle mortgages. Older kids can busy themselves with video games in the arcade.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Popular Beaches and Energetic Nightlife
Playa del Carmen is located along the Caribbean Sea just south of Cancún. Once a quiet fishing town, it now welcomes hordes of tourists year-round, thanks to its white-sand beaches and average temperatures hovering around 80 degrees. Crystal-clear waters make it easy for scuba divers and snorkelers of all levels to take the plunge into underground cenotes or the Great Maya Reef, which is a hangout for turtles, lobsters, and whale sharks. Downtown Playa del Carmen comes to life after sundown. On Fifth Avenue, you’ll find an array of ethnic restaurants, retail stores that stay open late, and live music in the streets.