Shopping in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a really cute town to walk around in, but it can get annoying with all of the people trying to sell you things there.If you really hate to be harassed about buying things then don't bother coming to Playa, although it is better than other places, it can still become annoying.
Great, quieter beach and café
Between Playa del Carmen and Tulum is a beautiful, low-key beach and cafe. To get there you have to go along an unpaved road that runs along the north wall of the Copacabana resort off the main highway. The cafe food is really good, but a bit expensive. The beach is priceless.
Xpu-Ha Beach, Mexico, X-4
April, 2010 update: Unfortunately the cafe isn't in business now. The building is still there, and the beautiful beach of course, but to get your food and drink, you'll have to bring your own or try another place.
They are taxi you get them in every country you go. They are white in colour normally with a coloured strip down the side and say taxi on the side and front and some times a light saying taxi on the top. I find them more expensive than the bus service and onyl used them a few times. There is no meter in the taxi like in the UK therefore you have to agree a price before you get in the car or they charge what they like. The price they start with is always higher so you need to haggle down. Our rep gave us a idea what we should pay from place to place. Plus the hotel staff at the front of the hotel always advised us on what to pay and even did the haggling for us before we got in a taxi. I would wear the seat belt provided as looking at the speed limit they was going over it by 30 or 40 kph which is quite abit on a road where they just pull out and don't signal. They are a good use to use and there are plenty off them around to use.
No-frills restaurant in Playa del Carmen
I ate lunch at Restaurante El Cuerno de Oro during my daytrip to Playa del Carmen in February 2006.
This local, no-frills restaurant is located on Calle 2 Norte, just off the main drag, Avenida Quinta, and just a 5 minute walk to the nearest beach.
The restaurant is very basic with a number of small tables crammed into its small interior and four tables outdoors in the direct line of the hot sunshine. At the time of my visit, the interior was full (with locals as opposed to tourists), so I sat at one of the green plastic tables, with yellow and white checked tablecloths, out on the street.
The menu consisted of one A4 sized sheet of paper and only some of the dishes had been translated from Spanish to English. The restaurant appeared to be family-run and the owners spoke only a little English.
The menu included beef steaks, chicken, pork chops and a number of fish and shrimp based dishes. The was also a large selection of fresh fruit juices on offer, including lemon, lime, melon, pineapple, Jamaica and papaya.
Unwisely, I picked a very hot meal which resulted, thanks to my position in the direct firing line of the mid afternoon sun, in me sweating out more calories than I consumed! I opted for:
Shrimp soup - Cost: 35 Pesos
I didn't really know what I had ordered as this was one of the dishes that wasn't translated into English. I did recognise the word "camaron" as meaning "shrimps" so I figured I'd be on safe ground. The soup in which the shrimps (5 of them with their legs, heads and shells still intact) were served was a VERY hot pepper soup. There were two large red chillis in the soup, but I didn't even consider eating them!
This was served with a small plate of white rice, a plate of diced onions and coriander and a dish of fajitas which tasted very much like the teatowel with which they were covered!
Fresh pineapple juice - Cost: 20 Pesos
Cold pineapple juice served in a tupperware jug with a pink plastic cup and a straw.
The food was well cooked and served in decent sized portions. With the benefit of hindsight (and a little more Spanish vocabulary!), I wouldn't have ordered a hot chilli soup while sat in the hot sunshine. The prices are very cheap, so it represents good value as far as I'm concerned.
I had a taste for something sweet after dinner so when we saw this crepe place, we just had to stop and try it. The young men working there were engrossed in a card game but jumped up when they saw us as there were no other customers at the time. It's a very small place, just a couple of tables. I ordered a banana nutella crepe and David ordered one with jam, the crepe was good but not great and unlike ones we've had elsewhere the ingredients were on top instead of inside. I wanted to like it more than I did because the staff there was so nice but if you're looking for good dessert, try one of the many ice cream places, I had rum raisin ice cream at a couple on this trip and it was delicious!
The dessert crepes were 30 pesos each, a little on the expensive side.