The best of Playa del Carmen in Mexico
The best of Playa del Carmen comes from my friend that lived in Playa for 6 months. He is sharing all the insider information on the blog post. You will have two perspectives the local and the traveler. Whenever you have the chance to team up with locals, talk to them, ask them where to go! You will have amazing experiences.
Well when I first entered Playa del Carmen, I just kept on walking down to the ferry terminal and entered the boat over to Cozumel (stayed there for 10 lovely days). I said to myself – I will handle this situation lather. In my opinion Playa del Carmen is a beautiful place for vacation mood, relaxing, having safe surroundings and meeting a lot of tourists. Americans saying “Is it safe? This is Mexico!!” and “don´t walk outside 5th Avenue – it´s dangerous.”
Maybe for a first time traveler, but for me staying at 5th Avenue this was a killing situation. Especially after being 5 months in South America and understanding what the guys at the shops were shouting out to me in Spanish. That wasn’t pretty, loved their face expression when I was answering them back in Spanish. Seriously, I travel with backpack, so I would never have room to buy a big sombrero or two bottles of tequila. All the good places are outside 5th Avenue!
The best of Playa del Carmen
Through the eyes of a female solo traveler in the age of 23, backpacking in South America for 5 months. I think the best of Playa del Carmen is the location. It is close to so many fun attractions and adventures. The best of them all is diving in Cozumel or the Cenotes. You have to have a day trip to Cozumel.
7 Top Things to Do in Playa del Carmen
1. Cenote Caves with Freshwater
Cenote – Sink holes underground with crystal clear fresh water!
This was absolutely my best experience. I went on solo trip with myself and went by the local Public Colectivo Taxi. Great value for money and fun to ride with the locals. In the Colectivo, they keep shooting the names out, you will see the signs for the cenotes. They will let you of on the right spot. My first cenote, was a failure because the women behind the desk was talking on the phone for 25 minutes or more. I teamed up with this really nice couple from America, we decided to go for the famous Dos Ojos and Grand Cenote! The woman could continue her phone conversation without us.
On this day-trip I decided to go snorkeling in the cenotes. Because I wasn’t sure if diving in Caves would make me comfortable. Wow do I regret, if you have the diver licenses, you should absolutely give it a try! When snorkeling, diving looked amazing. You will not see any incredible animals, but insane caves and mountain formation underwater – Es increíble!
If you are on a budget – Cenote Jardin del Eden, it’s amazing and the cheapest one among all Cenotes! And it’s just 1,5 km north from XPU-HA! An amazing beach yet not very explored by tourists, and it’s a paradise, specially for those who want to go kite surfing! Also during week days the beach is not full and you can have a very chill and private day!
2. Akumal Beach and Sea turtles
This you can do the same day doing the cenotes. I went her after the cenotes and started with an amazing lunch at Cueva del Pescador with seductive fish tacos. Then walked down to the sea turtle bay and wanted to check out the possibilities to swim with the sea turtles. The possibility was good, but there where so many kids and adults already being in the water, so I didn’t feel the urge to do it. I just arrived from Galápagos swimming around 30 turtles. It was okay, to miss it. If you have never seen a turtle you have to do it. Returning back to the Highway jumping on to the Colectivo that are going back to Playa del Carmen. You are going to be dropped a bit away from 5th Avenue. It went totally fine with this absent-minded Norwegian girl, I´m sure you will be fine as well.
Akumal – do not pay for a snorkeling instructor! Cause you can do it by yourself as long as you are able to swim! Remember, DO NOT touch the turtles and the reef.
You know, you have traveled some time, when you start taking this kinda picture.
In the end of my trip, there wasn’t so much picture-taking going on, it was more about:
Vivo la vida y disfruto el momento
3. Vamos a La Playa del Carmen
When I was their, the Playa del Carmen was unlucky with an enormous amount of seaweed. It didn´t make the Playa unforgettable. It was okay. One day I decided to stay at the Kool Beach Club to have some luxury in the backpack budget and a clean spot of the beach. It cost around 20 US then I get to spend those on food lather, it´s a nice deal were your lunch on the beach will be included that day.
My favorite beach in Playa is Playacar! It’s not crowded as mamitas is, and the beach area is much bigger with much more beautiful people! Nice for kite surfing also.
Let´s get ridiculous. On this night I actually used Tinder, and did find a fun guy to hangout with. We and his friends went out and party the night away in Playa. What I love about Latin America is the music, the expression and their body when they move. They look so good, when moving their hips! Welcome – Bienvenidos a Playa! The girls now their value in the bars, I did meet this Mexican girls, she was negotiation big time with the bouncer to get the best deal before entering the club. Two bottles of Vodka and free for the girls – Vamos! If you are a girl in Playa del Carmen, well good for you. You are the Queen!
Night life, you have to remind that ladies are queens in Playa del Carmen, once they drink for free in Many places! Cause there are a lot of ladies night places! Be aware of the guys who are selling open bar packages on the street! Some of them will try to rip you off! Like in every place in that place, they try to “suck” as much as they can! And once you’re a guy, and promoters from the club stop you, try to BARGAIN as much as you can, specially if you are with a group of ladies, cause also they try to rip you off! NEVER ACCEPT the first value during an offer.
I had some amazing food around in Playa del Carmen. Since I´m the worst food blogger in the world. I don´t have any pictures. Because, I was hungry. When you are hungry, you really don´t think, you just eat. You know this feeling?
The best of Playa del Carmen from my friend that lived there for 6 months
Eating – STAY AWAY FROM 5Th avenue! Very expensive, waiters impose 20 per cent tips on you with an ordinary service! Of course there are good options in 5th avenue! But if you want good and authentic Mexican food, you can go to El Fogon at Constituyentes Avenue! You can go to one of the best cost benefits place in all over playa del Carmen called BODEGON CRIOLLO! Small and coZy Argentinian restaurant with DELCIOUS food with entree, main course and drink for less than 5 dollars!!! Also for fresh and very healthy food, Barra Light! Calle 10 x Avenida 10! If you want the best burrito on earth, you should go to a park located at av Benito Juarez with av 15 Norte! There are lots of burrito carts, mainly locals eat there because of the price, 3 dollars for a massive burrito! And the best ever! Towards the entrance of the park, the best cart is the first one to you right! Also, for very good Argentinian empanadas and milanesas, go to ANTICO! Located at calle 2 between 10 and 15 av Norte! It’s very cheap and DELICIOUS!
6. Whaleshark Safari
If you are there in season you should try to make this happen. It´s incredible if you get to see them. If not it is just a long boat trip halfway to Cuba. I went on the trip we were not lucky, the only lucky part was a refund on my money and a great ceviche.
7. Boat trip to Cozumel and Diving there
The best of Playa del Carmen is that you can easily take the boat over to Cozumel. You should do that!
The first thing I did, when arriving to Playa del Carmen was catching the boat over to Cozumel. After 45 min on a boat, I arrived to a sunshine paradise for cruise boats and happy Canadians and other people from abroad living their life in Mexico´s Yucatan. When I have my retirement, I know where to go, now. Cozumel is famous for their dive sites. They are gorgeous. This is what you should do in Cozumel. You should go diving and play with the ray and surround yourself with bubbles and no trouble. I had my first drift dive her, it was super fun! You see a lot going with the current. Such a fun experience. I just managed to get the dive before the storm went on.
Secrete spot in Cozumel
Best time to go is when there is no cruise boats in Cozumel, then it´s only you and the locals. If there are cruise boats, then go early in the morning. Before you have to share it with 200 people.
This was the best of Playa del Carmen for a Norwegian girl traveling solo and being a bit lost in her travel world. It was some great days in Playa. It was fun, but it wasn’t the most beautiful place I visited on this big journey. Then again competing with Galápagos is a though one, or impossible one. I do think as a vacation spot, it´s a great place to be for some relaxing days and have some fun adventures around the location of Playa del Carmen.
If I had more time I would definitely do Mayan Ruins of Tulum.
I wanna dance by water ‘neath the Mexican sky Ricsi my madafaka Margaritas by a string of blue lights Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight – Are you with me, are you with me?