Punta Piedra Bike Rental. Daily bike rentals are the focus at this small shop—but don’t be fooled by the name. It rents boogie boards (M$67), scooters (M$542), and snorkel gear (M$135), too. The owner, Felix, can also organize two-hour snorkeling tours for M$406. Cash only. Carretera Tulum–Boca Paila, Km 4, Zona Hotelera, Tulum, Quintana Roo, 77780. 984/157–4248 cell. Bikes M$135 per day. Daily 7:30–6.

Kite Surfing

Extreme Control Kite School. All levels of kitesurfing lessons and the latest equipment are available through Extreme Control Kite School. Led by IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) instructor Marco Cristofanelli, courses take place at Caleta Tankah Beach Club, about five minutes from Tulum. The outfit operates on the beach from 9 am to sunset every day unless there is absolutely no wind (call ahead to check conditions). Paddle boarding, diving, and snorkeling are also offered. Caleta Tankah Beach Club, Carretera 307, Km 230, Tankah, Quintana Roo, 77780. 1984/130–1596 cell; 1984/745–4555 cell. From M$830.

Mexican Caribbean Kitesurf & Paddlesurf. Located in front of the Ahau Tulum, this school gives lessons in kitesurfing and paddleboarding. Its popular stand-up paddleboard tours take you to a cenote, a reef, or a gorgeous lagoon in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Carretera Tulum–Boca Paila Km 7.5, Tulum, Quintana Roo, 77780. 984/168–1023. Paddleboard lessons from M$690; kitesurf lessons from M$760; tours from M$1106.

Adventure Tours

Punta Venado. Just below Playa del Carmen, Punta Venado offers adventure tours in all-terrain vehicles or on horseback. The 4 km (2½ miles) of isolated coastline are great for snorkeling and kayaking. Carretera 307, Km 278, Calica, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/158–8912 or 855/325–9060. From M$406.

Fitness Centers

The Gym. Playa's most complete workout is to be had at this vast and well-equipped gym, which offers a full complement of cardio, weights, and classes from spinning to yoga. Av. 1 Norte No. 255, between Av. Constituyentes and Calle 16, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/873–2098. Day passes M$200.


Grand Coral Golf Course. This 18-hole championship course was designed by Nick Price. Not as busy (or expensive) as neighboring courses at Mayakoba or Playacar, Grand Coral is challenging without being overly intimidating. You'll face a good amount of bunkers and water on the holes. The greens are slow, but the course is well maintained. If you can swing it, opt for the all-inclusive package that covers food and drink. Otherwise green fees cover only the cart, bottled water, and golf tees. Grand Coral Riviera Maya, Carretera 307, Km 294, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/109–6025. $175 for 18 holes. 18 holes. 7043 yards. Par 71.

Playacar Golf Club. The 18-hole course at the Playacar Golf Club is considered to be one of the most challenging in the Riviera Maya. There's not a ton of water here, but watch out for sand traps and tricky Hole 14. Signature holes are Hole 13 (342 yards, par 4) and Hole 18 (530 yards, par 5). Included in the green fee is food and drink, which is delivered cart-side every few shots. Plan to lose a few balls during your game as the greens are tight and narrow. The fairways are well manicured and full of wildlife. If it gets too challenging, swing on over to the practice area complete with a driving range and putting green with its own chipping, pitching, and greenside bunker areas. Come after 1 pm for the twilight fee. Paseo Xaman-Ha, near Riu Palace, Playacar, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/873–4990. $180 for 18 holes. 18 holes. 7144 yards. Par 72.

El Camaleón Mayakoba. Designed by the legendary Greg Norman, El Camaleón's 18-hole course is back-dropped by jungle, mangrove, and sea. It is home to Mexico's only PGA tour event—the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, held in November. The layout is exceptional, from the first hole with a cenote in the middle of the fairway to the par 3's on the back with ocean views. Throughout the perfectly manicured course, each hole has a minimum of five tee blocks, so there is distance for every skill level. Holes 7 and 15 skirt the ocean; Hole 17 plays directly between a limestone canal and the Fairmont Mayakoba Resort. Carretera 307, Km 298, Mayakoba, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/206–3088. $279 for 18 holes. 18 holes. 7024 yards. Par 72.

Scuba Diving

Abyss. PADI and SSI-affiliated Abyss offers introductory courses and dive trips. They also run dives in Tulum under the name Cenote Dive Center. Av. 1, between Calles 10 and 12, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/873–2164. From M$745.

Mexico Blue Dream. Custom snorkel tours in Playa, Laguna Yal-Ku, Akumal, and nearby cenotes are available through Mexico Blue Dream; dive trips to Cozumel are also arranged. between Av. 1 and Mamitas Beach, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/803–0660. From M$474.

Tank-Ha Dive Center. Playa's original dive outfit has PADI-certified teachers and runs diving and snorkeling excursions to the reefs and caverns. Dive packages and Cozumel trips are available, too. Calle 10, between Avs. 5 and 10, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/873–0302. From M$610.

Yucatek Divers. PADI-affiliated Yucatek Divers offers cenote dives, dive packages, and instruction. A one-tank introductory course costs MX$1,355; the four-day, five-dive beginner certification course is MX$5,557. Av. 15, between Calles 2 and 4, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/803–2836. Dives from M$820.


Skydive Playa. Adrenaline junkies can take the plunge high above Playa in a tandem sky dive (where you're hooked up to an instructor the whole time). Jumps take place every hour; reserve at least one day in advance. For an extra MX$2155, SkyDive Playa will shoot video of your free fall. Plaza Marina 32, next to Señor Frog's, at Cozumel ferry, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77710. 984/873–0192. $M3646.

Navigating Xcaret

You can easily spend at least a full day at Xcaret. The park is big, so it's a good idea to check the daily activities against a map of the park to organize your time. Plan to be in the general area of an activity before it's scheduled to begin—you'll beat the crowds and avoid having to run across the park.