Go to The Blue Parrot
The Blue Parrot is a night club which lies right on the beach at the edge of the town of Playa del Carmen. They have a fire show at night and their dance floor is right on the sand, this huge flat platform. It's very swanky. Staircase goes right up to another part of the bar which is a hut with more chairs where you can overlook the ocean at night...very romantic.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
I did horseback riding for two hours and at the same time Pete was doing ATV. So it worked out fine! My group was far too big, 30! people and full of beginners so we just walked with horses. "Cowboys" that quided us were funny and made show out of everything, starting from the dividing of the horses. Hope it had been less talk and more riding! Short swim with the horse on a beautiful beach was the best part of the trip.
Pete had a bless! His group did ATV on a road, beach and track. He got to do more than others cause his vehicle was second just behind the quide.
The trip costed 66$ each with the minibuss ride.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Horse Riding
- Adventure Travel
Visit the Xamen Ha Aviary for an hour or so
The aviary is a short 10 to 15 minute walk from 5th avenue into the Playacar gated community. It costs about 7 dollars to enter, but there's no time limit on how long you can stay. The ticket taker sprayed us with insect repellant (no charge) but at the end of October the only insects I encountered were an occasional butterfly and some ants. The ticket includes a set of pictures and descriptions for your self-guided walk throught the grounds, and inside are several pools of water, one for flamingos, another larger one full of ducks, pelicans, etc., a third that is mostly herons and egrets. Toucans, parrots of various types and colors and the flamingos make this a great spot for taking photos of birds.Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Family Travel
Buy top shelf Tequila
First, a warning - if you go all the way to Mexico and still insist on buying Jose Cuervo gold, I *will* kill you with an ice pick.
Now, with the pleasantries dispensed with ...
If you have 20 minutes spare, take a hike up Av Constituyentes (the equivalent of Calle 18) and go and buy some great tequila on the cheap from Covi, a local liquor store. It's on the highway, which is less than 10 minutes walk up Av Constituyentes (it's on the far side of the highway, diagonally across from the Pemex).
I did some quick comparisons. My favorite tequila, Cazadores reposado, was almost 50% less than the shops on 5th Ave. I did see some deals on 5th Ave that were almost as good value (e.g. multiple bottles of Cuervo 1800), but only for a couple of types of tequila.
To give you an idea of the value, Cazadores costs US$13 a shot in Dos Caminos on Park Avenue, NYC. A 750ml bottle at Covi costs approximately the same.
The folks at Covi have a great selection, but speak no English and only take cash. If you need cash, there is an ATM at the Pemex across the road (which the Covi staff are oddly unaware of).
My understanding is that each individual can take 2L of spirits into the US duty free ... although you don't have to declare it and I've never been searched.
For a bunch of good information on tequila, click this link
Surround yourself with birds
I was leary of Xaman Ha aviary, but pleasantly surprised. All the birds were not captive, some just like the neighborhood and the easy meals. and what a lovely neighborhood it is south of the ferry. at least for birds. as a human i prefer north of the ferry.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Chillin at Playa Toucan Beach Club
Not up for just throwing a towel in the sand? Want to be served drinks and food while you sit lounge in a chair, maybe under a palapa? Playa Toucan can help! Yeah, you'll spend more than in town, but YOU'RE on a BEAUTIFUL beach. Some prefer Mamitas, i like being closer to town. The drinks are decently strong, the munchies are acceptable. It's nice to have a shower to use, a chair ($5 US) and palapa ($3US). I'm not 100% sure i've remembered those $s right, but you'll get all the rentals, including towel, for less than $10US.
Or just hang out at a table if you want a drink and chill.Related to:
Blue Parrot Beach Bar
Hands down this is the best bar I have ever been to! Oriental carpets lay on the sand, pillows are tossed around the low tables. A thatch roof adds atmosphere over head. Hanging rope swings surround the bar. This feels exotic. The sound of the ocean waves can be heard over the house music. Swaying Palm trees and fresh air complete the aphrodisiac. The evening dancing starts with what else but professional fire dancers. As far as I am concerned this bar is playa's crown jewel.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
I'm not quite sure if every lizard I saw was an Iguana, but thats what I called them. From itty-bitty to pretty damn large, if you keep your eyes open you will be sure to spot some. I think they even pose and smile if you take their picture.
Just how Beautiful the Water is
Most, but not all of my water photos/tips are under "OFF THE BEATEN BATH"
If you have never been to Mexico, you may have a preconcived notion of what it may be like in areas outside of the Major tourist areas. From my experience, it is some of the nicest water in the world. Remember, this part of Mexico is the Caribbean!
This is right in front of the Xaman Ha CondosRelated to:
- Family Travel
You really must shop. Playa has a plaza that is just for walking, no cars. It is truly a very pretty spot with a tree lined coutyard. Under one of these big trees is where we found the ladies selling fresh sliced papaya, mangos, and other fruit every morning.. There is a nice bakery or two also. Many shops with local arts and crafts line the streets. Haggle until you agree on the right price.Related to:
- Road Trip
Isla Mujeres great exploring
A beautiful Island to see when you are in Playa del Carmen is definitely Isla Mujeres meaning: Woman of Island. It's a small Island near the coast of Cancun.
To get to Isla Mujeres you have to take the bus to Cancun and then have a taxi drive you to the Ferry Landing at Puerto Juarez, located 15 minutes north of downtown Cancun (arrange the fare beforehand with the driver to get a good price). It takes around 25 minutes for the crossing to Isla Mujeres.
When you arrive at Isla Mujeres there are various ways for you to get around. You can explore by foot, rent a bicycle or motor roller. But we decided to rent a golf cart! The Golf carts are only for use on Isla Mujeres, and it's great driving one. You can explore the whole Island by riding a golf cart, which is great! Like Playa del Calrmen, Isla Mujeres have beautiful beaches and a crystal clear sea, that you can admire while cruising in your golf cart.
FYI you will be needing a valid drivers license to rent and drive a golf cart. But if you forget your drivers license, they can rent you a golf cart if you just leave your name, hotel you'r staying and roomno.
Ofcourse Isla Mujeres is also known for its amazing spots for Scuba diving and Snorkeling!Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
Check out the unusual Deseo Bar in PDC. Climb the stairs to the roof top beds. You can literally lay around and have your favorite drink in bed with your closest friends. There's even an outdoor movie and a pool up the stairs.
Get out at night!
Click on the photo for a better idea of what it's like at night!
Actually this is a little busier than usual. Holiday cruise lines had a ship stranded on a sandbar for three days. 1700 extra people were in the Playa for a few days, the restuarants and vendors had no problem accomodating them all! Plenty of room!
Just walk around 5th street. The only hawkers are the time share guys, and you know how to handle them, right?
There must be an ordinanance in the city prohibiting street sales, because we were never bothered by street vendors while we were at dinner, save for the rose vendors.
Play with the Quatis
The quatis are some nice little mamals, very friendly. There are a large number of them all over the Riviera Maya (though not as much as the Iguanas), and seem to love bananas.
stroll through town
Playa Del Carmen is a beautiful little town with gift shops and restaurants all along the pedestrian avenue. It is definitely worth the time to stroll down the promenade!
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