Much of the excitement of a travel comes from immersing yourself to a foreign land whose customs and culture may be different from your very own culture. Like many other cities, Playa del Carmen has local customs that make it one-of-a-kind. Here are some Playa del Carmen customs that you should observe when traveling to the city:


Haggling is a way of life in the area’s open-air markets. When bargaining, place your offer at half of the item’s original selling price. Then bargain up from there. But bargaining is not allowed when you are shopping at formal establishments.


Playa del Carmen people tend to dress casually. It is a beach city, so it is unreasonable for people not to wear something on-the-go. While most people use sandals and shorts when getting around the city, they usually attract raised eyebrows and sighs in high-end hotels and restaurants.

Fashionably late

One of the most interesting Playa del Carmen customs is arriving at social gatherings much later than the start time. So do not be surprised if you arrive at a party on time and see an empty hall. Arriving on time is usually considered rude as many hosts expect guests to be at least 30-minute late. Arriving late at business meetings, however, is less tolerated.


Women often greet each other with a smack on the cheek in social gatherings, even if it is their first time to meet. On the other hand, men who already know each other greet with a hug or a gentle slap on the back. People greet each other by handshake in business settings. But this gesture is not acceptable in social gatherings.

Personal space

Playa del Carmen people stand closely to each other when they have a conversation. Do not be surprised when a local touches when talking to him or her. It is common for locals in the area to occasionally touch you on your arm or shoulder while speaking.


Tipping is one of the Playa del Carmen customs you need to observe. Waiters in the area expect tips between 10% and 15%. Hotel bellhops expect a $2 tip, while taxi drivers do not expect tips (however, it is customary that you round up the bill).