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Playa del Carmen (Calica) Port of Call

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Relax at Vallodolid, Yucatan © larry&flo

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, the port of Calica in Playa del Carmen is a beautiful destination where many cruise passengers stop to enjoy the lovely white stretch of coast. Boasting ancient Mayan ruins dating back to the 13th century, verdant jungle and miles of sandy beaches, it's no surprise the port of Calica is so popular. Named after Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patron saint of Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers enough shopping, dining and fun excursions and activities to satisfy just about any traveller. A day onshore can be spent lounging on the beach, enjoying various watersports or a scuba diving trip, or perusing the numerous shops and sampling traditional Mexican fare in the restaurants.

Cruise ships dock at the small port of Calica which is located about five miles (8km) south of Playa del Carmen, with many passengers also choosing to be ferried across from the port of Cozumel.


Contact

Riviera Maya Tourism Board
Tel: +1 877 746 6292
www.rivieramaya.com

Transport

The town is pedestrian friendly so many visitors will be able to make their way around the streets quite easily, however, taxis can be hailed and are common and inexpensive. The fare from the pier to the town is US$4 and tipping is unnecessary. Collectivos (shuttle vans) can carry anywhere from eight to 12 people and are relatively cheap. These can be flagged down along the major roads. Car rental companies, such as Hertz, Budget and Thrifty can be found along 5th Avenue, just outside the dock.

Attractions

Playa del Carmen boasts plenty of sandy white beaches for visitors to relax on, as well as vast and dense jungles dotted with ancient Mayan ruins, such as Tulum, the remains of a walled Mayan city over 800 years old. Travellers should visit the Xaman Ha Aviary, the Xcaret Eco Theme Park and Crococun.

Restaurants

Ajua! Maya - offers traditional Mayan cuisine with live music

Media Luna - trendy and romantic bistro with eclectic and colourful décor

Don Emilione - affordable eatery serving seafood and Mexican cuisine

Best Dish

Massewal (Traditional chicken broth)

Shopping

Offering a wide variety of silver jewellery, Playa del Carmen is a shopping paradise! Haggling is common in most market places. Just outside the dock is the south end of 5th Avenue, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare where many of the town's shops and restaurants are located. The dock is next to Playa del Carmen's main square, where stalls selling cold drinks and slices of fresh tropical fruit can be found, as well as an outdoor centre with shops and restaurants. Many of these are American chain stores though and tourist shops which all seem to stock the same clutter and souvenirs, such as Carlos 'n Charlie's and Senor Frog's.

Best Buy

Silver jewellery

Excursions

Swim with dolphins

Discovery Beach at Puerto Aventuras

Explore ancient Mayan ruins

Go on Jungle tours

Bird watch at the Xaman Ha Aviary

Become our Mexico Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Mexico travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Mexico or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track and having real life experiences in Mexico.

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