Mexico’s Caribbean coastline is blessed with turquoise waters, sandy beaches, coral reefs, cenotes, and ancient Mayan ruins. In addition to this rich heritage and immense natural beauty, the coastal town of Playa Del Carmen offers a far more laid-back vibe and less crowded experience than nearby Cancun.
Staying in one of the best eco-resorts in Playa Del Carmen is bound to make your stay even more memorable. Options range from stylish modern apartments to rustic beach huts and tropical jungle hideaways, providing something for every traveler.
While all distinctly different, each eco-resort is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. So, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay while treading gently on the planet, too.
With such a wide variety of unique accommodation in Playa Del Carmen, deciding exactly where to stay can be tricky! I’ve rounded up some options that offer something special for each type of traveler while remaining faithful to nature and local communities.
In a Hurry? Here’s Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen for One Night
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Why Stay in an Eco-Resort in Playa Del Carmen?
Staying in one of Playa Del Carmen’s best eco-resorts will offer you the chance to experience this incredible destination while minimizing your impact on the natural environment. You’ll enjoy a genuine and memorable stay at a comfortable and well-managed resort.
Alongside enjoying a more authentic experience, you’ll also have the peace of mind of knowing that your stay is minimally impacting the environment. It will also have a more positive impact on the local community.
What is an Eco-Resort?
An eco-resort is any accommodation committed to sustainable practices and environmentally-conscious initiatives. This can be achieved through various methods, from using renewable energy and energy-efficient appliances to harvesting rainwater and installing water-efficient showers. Recycling, plastic reduction, and composting are also ways that eco-resorts can commit to sustainability.
Another important facet of sustainability is that of uplifting local communities. This is usually achieved through supporting local businesses and artisans. They also create opportunities for tourists to experience local culture and heritage in a meaningful way.
Tropical Studio in Eco-Community
- > $
- > 2 guests
- > Centrally-located oasis beneath lush palms
- > Authentic Caribbean-style studio
Royal Elite at Sandos Caracol
- > $
- > 2 guests
- > Private room in a well-equipped eco-resort
- > Most eco-efficient rooms in the Riviera Maya
Ocean Zen Suite
- > $
- > 3 guests
- > Ergonomically designed eco-suites
- > Quiet location with easy access to the town centre
Viceroy Riviera Maya
- > $$
- > 4-5 guests
- > Tropical rainforest location
- > Authentic design and traditional feel
Ocean Riviera Paradise
- > $$
- > 3-5 guests
- > Family-friendly resort with a contemporary feel
- > Spa centre, water park, water sports, casino
Hacienda Tres Rio
- > $$
- > 8 guests
- > On-site nature park with a natural cenote/spring
- > World-class spa and culinary experience
- > $
- > 5 guests
- > Neat and compact apartment with great views
- > In a quiet area; easy access to beaches and shops
10 Best Eco-resorts in Playa Del Carmen
I’ve compiled this handy list of the best eco-resorts in Playa Del Carmen to get you started with finding unique accommodation that suits your requirements and budget. Each of the options presented here will offer a memorable experience in this exceptional destination.
Before you look through this list, it would be a good idea to consider which area in Playa Del Carmen you would like to stay in. I have a handy neighborhood guide to Playa Del Carmen that can help with this.
So, when you’re ready – let’s begin!
Overall Best Value Eco-Resort – Tropical Studio in Eco-Community
- 2 guests
- Centrally-located oasis beneath lush palms
- Authentic Caribbean-style studio
The tropical studio sits in Nicte Ha, just a short walk from the beach and nearby cenote (natural swimming hole). The studio shares a kitchen and living areas with other guests but has its own small kitchenette area for the basics, as well as a private shower.
The traditional style of the house captures the breeze perfectly making additional cooling unnecessary. Natural resources like bamboo and palm thatch feature throughout the house. The central location of the studio means guests can use bicycles to get around to all the local sites.
There’s a private beach club at Grand Coral – a wild stretch of private beach a short walk from the studio. The main public beach is Punta Esmeralda which also features a cenote and a sweet water spring that flows into the ocean.
Best Value Eco-Resort in Playa Del Carmen – Royal Elite at Sandos Caracol
- 2 guests
- Private room in a well-equipped eco-resort
- Most eco-efficient rooms in the Riviera Maya
The Royal Elite is a contemporary one-bedroom private suite in the beautiful Sandos Caracol resort. The resort is located on the beach and offers a range of facilities and amenities. It’s great value for money and is well worth considering if you’re visiting Mexico on a budget.
The resort uses an internal water recycling system to minimize water consumption, and solar water heating reduces energy usage The Royal Elite section at Sandos Caracol is known for having some of the most eco-efficient rooms in the Riviera Maya.
Spend days lazing on the beach beneath gently swaying palms or swimming in crystal clear cenotes in the jungle. The onsite water park features multiple swimming pools and entertainment for all ages.
Budget Tip: Dorms in Playa del Carmen start from $10USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!
Best Eco-Resort for Couples – Ocean Zen Suite
- 3 guests
- Ergonomically designed eco-suites
- Quiet location with easy access to the town center
Luxury meets serenity at Ocean Zen Suites. Located a short walk from the beach, the suites offer a well-located contemporary retreat with everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay. From the modern, private bathroom to the neat and simple décor, Ocean Zen Suites is a tranquil place to return to after a day’s adventures.
The Ocean Zen suites are all eco-friendly. The air conditioning units run on solar power, while European design hot water tanks ensure hot water on demand. Rainwater is harvested and purified for consumption, and all toiletries are made from local honey by nearby villagers. All of the beds, patio, and pool furniture have been made by local artisans using local hardwood.
The suites sit in a quiet corner of Playa Del Carmen, but are within easy access to excellent beaches like Punta Esmeralda. The buzzing nightlife central Playa Del Carmen is also just a short walk away.
Most Ecological Eco-Resort in Playa Del Carmen – Viceroy Riviera Maya
- 4-5 guests
- Tropical rainforest location
- Authentic design and traditional feel
Viceroy Riviera Maya is located on the coast of Xcalacoco Beach just outside Playa Del Carmen. Featuring a rustic design with palm thatch, timber, and rock, the resort offers a close-to-nature feel with all the modern conveniences.
The resort reduces the consumption of single use plastic, so there are no straws, stirrers, or plastic beverage bottles. Toilets and showers are water-efficient, while LED lightbulbs, motion sensors, and key card-controlled electricity minimize energy usage. Recycling bins are available to guests as well as water coolers to eliminate the need for single use plastic bottles.
A percentage of the resort’s revenue is invested back into the local community and sustainability projects. Tours and activities are organized using local guides and businesses.
Guests can spend days relaxing beside the pool, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, or fishing. There’s a library for those wishing to catch up on their reading, and for guests wanting a pampering treatment, there’s a wellness and fitness center.
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Best Eco-Resort for Families in Playa Del Carmen – Ocean Riviera Paradise
- 3-5 guests
- Family-friendly resort with a contemporary feel
- Spa centre, water park, water sports, casino
Ocean Riviera Paradise is a vibrant oceanfront resort perfect for families looking for a fun vacation on the Caribbean sea. Each room has a private bathroom, flat-screen tv, and coffee machine. Family rooms are available.
The resort makes use of water-efficient toilets and showers. key card-controlled electricity and energy-efficient LED lightbulbs conserve energy. Most of the food is local, and the resort aims to reduce food wastage. There are no single-use plastics in the resort, and tours and activities are arranged using local guides and businesses.
The resort offers a range of fun activities suitable for all ages. There’s a thrilling water park and children’s playground, and a casino and spa for the adults. Sports such as tennis, golf, and bowling are also on offer, as well as a kid’s club for the little ones.
All Inclusive Resort in Playa Del Carmen – Hacienda Tres Rio
- 8 guests
- On-site nature park with a natural cenote/spring
- World-class spa and culinary experience
Hacienda Tres Rio is one of the very few all inclusive resorts that has eco-conscious offerings to its guests, including exclusive access to the Tres Rios Nature Park. The resort offers an all-inclusive resort that includes all food, beverages, non-motorized water sports, and other activities.
The resort owns the Tres Rios Nature Park – a protected area of lush paradise named after its three freshwater rivers. Within this protected tract of land, there are three distinct ecosystems: jungle, mangrove forest and coastal dunes.
Activities at the resort include biking and Segway tours through the jungle, water sports, mini-golf, volleyball, and soccer. There’s a spa and wellness center as well as a gym, and for the little ones, there’s a fun kids’ club.
Best Eco-Resort for a Weekend in Playa Del Carmen – Eco-friendly Condo
- 5 guests
- Neat and compact apartment with great views
- In a quiet area; easy access to white sand beaches and shops
The eco-friendly Playa del Carmen Airbnb offers a well-equipped, contemporary space in a quiet area. The building has a pool on the roof, a fitness center, and 24-hour security, so guests can truly relax and enjoy their holiday.
The building is eco-friendly and has been Green Seal certified. LED lights, solar cell technology, green walls, and thermal materials reduce the environmental impact of the building.
The many restaurants and shops of the popular 5th Avenue are within walking distance of the condo, as are the top white sand beaches of the area. Alternatively, guests can relax on a lounger on the roof, hang out by the pool and enjoy the view.
Best Eco-Resort with an Epic Location – Villa Morena
- 2 guests
- Serene forest oasis
- Family-run eco-resort
Villa Morena is a family-run oasis beneath the palms offering an unforgettable experience just minutes from Mexico’s breathtaking beaches. The resort features traditional thatched cabanas with private bathrooms, small kitchenettes, and spacious verandas.
All structures have been built using local and natural materials. An underground source provides water, and the resort runs on solar power. Almost all cleaning products and toiletries are biodegradable, while waste is recycled or composted where possible.
Guests can spend lazy days on a lounger or hammock beside the swimming pool that has been carved into the rock. Alternatively, head to the beach, go swimming in one of the nearby cenotes, or visit the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary.
Best Eco-Resort for Honeymooners – Mahekal Beach Front Resort and Spa
- 2 guests
- Stylish resort beneath tropical palms
- Luxury, privacy, and romance
Featuring traditional Mayan-style décor, this resort offers spacious rooms with a private terrace with a hammock. Each of the rooms overlooks the Caribbean sea or the tropical gardens that surround the resort.
The eco-friendly resort sources most of its food from local suppliers and tries to reduce food wastage. All toilets are water-efficient, and energy-efficient LED lightbulbs to assist in reducing energy usage. Tours and activities are organized by local guides and businesses and the resort invests a percentage of its revenue in community and sustainability projects.
There are four swimming pools, as well as a wellness center where guests can enjoy pampering treatments. Other activities on offer include bike tours, snorkeling, and diving.
Most Beautiful Eco-Resort in Playa Del Carmen – Ix Chel
- 5 guests
- Magical jungle retreat
- Unique design harmonizing with nature
Resembling something out of a fairytale, Ix Chel is a unique retreat in the jungle. Made from natural materials to blend in with nature, each of the three tree-house-style huts overlooks the cenote and offers a magical experience close to nature.
The huts are ecologically built from coconut concrete and bamboo. There’s no need for additional cooling as the huts enjoy the shade from the surrounding trees as well as open sides to maximize the breeze. In addition, all toilets are composting.
Spend your time soaking up the tranquil sounds of nature, swimming in the nearby cenote, or simply relaxing in a hammock. Guests can also enjoy yoga and Chi gong classes on demand. The community members offer additional extras like massage, chiropractic adjustment, and Mayan astrology readings.
Don’t Forget Your Playa del Carmen Travel Insurance
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.
There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!
Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉
Final Thoughts on Eco-Resorts in Playa Del Carmen
The Caribbean Coast is a desirable destination in Mexico. It offers incredible beaches, sublime caves and cenotes, fascinating Mayan heritage and warm hospitality. While Cancun is the bustling center for anyone seeking a more metropolitan vibe, Playa Del Carmen is a more laid-back, crowd-free experience of this magical destination.
This list of the best eco-resorts in Playa Del Carmen is just the beginning of the amazing variety of options available to travelers. Spanning everything from exotic treehouses to rustic beach bungalows and contemporary apartments, there’s a unique accommodation in Playa Del Carmen to suit just about every budget and requirement.
Deciding on the best eco-resort in Playa Del Carmen is probably the most difficult decision you’ll have to make. Now to tackle the wisest one – travel insurance. Playa del Carmen is safe to visit, but the security of knowing you’re covered in any event will go a long way in helping you relax and unwind and fully enjoy your holiday.
Bye for now, but not forever!
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