Playa del Carmen is a city on the coast of the Caribbean Sea in the north east of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, located at 20.62° North, 87.07° West. The city is the seat of the Solidaridad municipality. In 2003 the city had a population of about 50,000 people, though it is rapidly growing in population.

Tourism to Playa del Carmen began with the passenger ferry service to Cozumel, an island across the Cozumel Channel and world-famous scuba diving destination. While passing through, many people realized that it was a nice place to relax away from the crowds of Cancún but with the same quality beaches and turquoise waters. While not as incredible as Cozumel, Playa del Carmen's coast offers some good scuba diving opportunities, as well as cenote diving for the more adventurous.

Today, Playa del Carmen, or just 'Playa' as it is colloquially referred to, is the center of the Riviera Maya concept, which covers from Cancún to Tulum and the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve. All tourist activity in Playa del Carmen centres on the Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, is a pedestrian walkway located just one block inland from the beach, and lined with boutique hotels, shops, bars and restaurants.

Playa Del Carmen wants to retain its small fishing village and artist colony charm, without becoming as large or tourist-dependent as Cancún. To this end, the city passed an ordinance by which all buildings, no matter what, have a limit of three stories, though a few four story buildings were built before the ordinance.

There is a significant European influence in Playa, especially Italian. It is not ununsual to find that the proprietors of a particular hotel, restaurant, or bar are expatriates from Italy, Argentina, the US, Canada, France, Spain, or one of the many other countries of origin represented among Playa del Carmen's residents.

The telenovela Peregrina takes place in Playa del Carmen.

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