Playa del Carmen or simply ‘Playa’ is located about 1 hour south of Cancun on the Eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It was probably once simply the port town for the ferry to the island of Cozumel but has grown into a destination on it’s own. It has adapted well to the tourism that has built the area up, namely converting the main street, 5th Avenue, into a pedestrian only street, which is very nice. In fact, there is no non-commercial traffic east of 10th street allowed in the main tourist area. (note that the north south avenues go up by 5 so that 5th is 1 block from the beach and 10th is 2 blocks)
This means that many of the beachfront hotels do not have parking. You must park on the street nearby and walk to the hotel. Depending on the heat and your bags, this can be a very hot walk.
There are a number of tours that you can do from Playa. Most notable are the amusement parks located around the area. These mostly center around Eco-centric themes such as swimming with dolphins or in huge outdoor aquariums, or a zip-line/underwater caverns type park.
The beach at Playa is fairly nice and the water is very warm. There is an off shore reef that keeps the waves down so it is all very swimable and we enjoyed getting in the water to cool off from the nearly oppressive heat. There are many ‘beach clubs’ that offer beds or beach chairs and umbrellas and also serve cold drinks. All for a price, of course.