Centro is the “downtown” neighborhood and is the liveliest tourist area. Shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs and more envelope you here. Everything is walkable here. The primary walking street is the broad La Quinta 5th Ave which is lined with vendors, tour shops, performers, tequila tasting rooms and everything else you’d imagine along the long pedestrian way. Stretching up and down the beach from Ave. Constituyentes in the north to Calle 1 (1st Street) in the south, Centro is where the action is.
THE NORTH END
Following the beach north from Centro, you’ll enter the North End after passing Ave. Constituyentes. This residential, Airbnb and condo area is quieter but still provides easy walking access to Centro. If you’re renting a vacation home for a large group, this is a wonderful area as it’s fairly hip and on the rise.
Playacar is a large-scale residential development south of Centro. Great beaches, a few hotels and restaurants and a quieter, more laid-back vibe. Golf courses, parks, and shopping centers define these “suburbs” of Playa del Carmen.