Good to Know when Visiting Riviera Maya
Sunscreen & Insect Repellent
When visiting Riviera Maya, it’s important to remember that you can only use natural sunscreen and insect repellent in order to maintain natural wonders like our reefs and cenotes.
We highly recommend swimming in a long-sleeved shirt or rash guard when snorkeling, or we can provide you with a wetsuit to use on our tours. All of these options help to protect your skin from the sun and also keep the environment free of harmful chemicals.
Another option is to purchase a biodegradable sunblock or repellent, which means that it will break down naturally in the environment over time instead of leaving unnatural chemicals in the water that harm the ecosystem.
If you’re worried about purchasing the wrong product or don’t have access to biodegradable products, just let us know when you reserve your tour and we can get it for you!
Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya as a whole are known to be safe places. As long as you use common sense and follow the same safety precautions you would when visiting any other new location, you shouldn’t have any problems.
It’s also very easy to get around Playa del Carmen and travel between the many fascinating cities, archaeological sites, and recreation areas in the Riviera Maya. You’ll be in good company – according to The Playa Times, over 4 million visitors came to the area last year from all over the world, particularly the United States, Europe, Canada, South America, and other parts of Mexico.
One of the easiest ways to get around Playa del Carmen is by taking advantage of its extensive network of taxis. Not only can you find taxis all over the city, but they are also usually an affordable way to get around town. You can find available taxis in the streets or at one of the city’s designated taxi stations, though prices are slightly higher when you get a taxi from a station.
Playa del Carmen’s taxis aren’t metered, and instead calculate fares using a zone chart. When you depart from your hotel, first ask to check the official price list so that you know what you can expect to pay. Before you get into a taxi, always ask the driver what the ride will cost and compare it to the official price list – that way you won’t have to worry about being overcharged. However, you should keep in mind that taxi fares in Playa del Carmen are more expensive late at night when people are returning home from nightclubs.
Finally, we always recommend that you make a note of your taxi number – that way you can more easily retrieve any lost or forgotten items or file any necessary claims.
The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso, but the U.S. dollar is also widely accepted at establishments in the Riviera Maya. However, most businesses determine their own exchange rates, which can sometimes be quite high, so it’s generally a good idea to exchange your currency and pay for everything using pesos throughout your stay.
If you decide to wait until you arrive in Playa del Carmen to exchange your currency, you can do this at a “casa de cambio”, or exchange booth. Many hotels also provide currency exchange services.
Another option is to withdraw money from an ATM. If you’re from another country, you will probably have to pay a bank fee for international withdrawals as well as an ATM fee, so it’s generally best to withdraw large sums of money that you can use over a few days in order to avoid repeatedly paying these fees.
Finally, keep in mind that Mexico does have a tipping culture, so be sure to reward anyone who provides you with good service.
If you’re planning to use your phone, laptop or other electrical appliances during your stay in the Riviera Maya, you may need to bring along an adapter. Electrical sockets in Mexico use 110-120 volts, which is the same as those found in the United States and Canada. However, if you’re from these countries you may still need an adapter if your appliance is designed for grounding (has a third round pin on the plug) or polarization (the left vertical blade on the plug is bigger), since such plugs will not fit into Mexican sockets. Visitors from other areas of the world, including Europe and Asia, will definitely require an adapter.