Friday, November 7, 2014

Playa Del Carmen!!

Part two of our trip was a quick stop in Playa Del Carmen. We weren't sure whether to stop here as we had heard that it is too touristy, too noisy & just a smaller version of Cancun. Well, here's what we liked about it. It was low season, that still meant lots of people but not enough to make you go insane. It is a great place for young college students (although you would never find me there during spring break) to go on their first holiday, it has all the luxuries of home mixed with Mexican flare, the beach and plenty of bars. It was the first & only place we visited that had both a Starbucks and an Apple store. There are mini spas everywhere, keep walking and the prices drop to $18 for an hours massage, well worth it I would say. We also liked that shopping there is competitive. When we came back at the end of our trip for another night, we did all our shopping here, because, simply it is way cheaper than Tulum. More tourists mean lower prices and better haggling for cigars, tequila, sombreros, t-shirts, hot sauce, magnets, you name it, they have it.

If you feel like traditional Mexican food made by locals, just stay off 5th avenue and head back a few blocks. We ate breakfast at a roadside shack just off of Benito Juarez & it was delicious. Taco's, salbutes & an agua fresca, the breakfast of champions, all for $5. If you have little one's in tow then I'm sure they would love a trek to La Cueva Del Chango (Monkey's Cave). It has a great jungle setting that any kid would love.

While it doesn't have the nicest beach on the coast, it does have the nicest church. Even if you are not religious, you can walk in to the beautiful white church and stare at its beauty. Massive windows behind the altar showcase palm trees and blue skies. Inside, plants grow along the walls, it's a little tropical heaven.

Let's get back to the beach. It is a very nice beach, it's clean and the water is perfect. I guess what put me off is the amount of buoys in the water. Not the prettiest thing to look at but safety does comes first. Walking along the beach, everyone is trying to get you to come to their restaurant or rent their chairs and once you sit down, you have people trying to sing songs to you, get you to buy fruit, necklaces, coconuts or try a massage on the beach. This is all part of being in Playa Del Carmen, it really didn't bother me but I may feel different about it in the higher season.

We stayed in another great Airbnb while in Playa. It was about 5 mins walk from 5th avenue, the main tourist stretch. We would absolutely recommend it & Melinda our host was awesome. We had priced some hotels in the area and they were way out of our budget. We passed one on the beach called El Taj, it looked pretty amazing but unfortunately at $400 a night, it would have to be out of this world.

Playa has all your shopping needs but if you are like us & not sure about it, just stay for a night & move on down the coast, I'm sure you will get some great stories if nothing else.