Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

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Playa del Carmen Things to Do

  • Beaches

    The beach was horrible! I thought Playa del Carmen beach was one of the prettiest beach in Mexico, FALSE! When we got there, it was extremely dirty and smelly (I mean so smelly that it smells like a restroom). My friends and I had to end up catching a ferry to Cozumel. At night, we did return to shop around Avienda Cinco and Avienda Juarez. So my...

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  • 5th Avenue

    4 out of 5 stars

    Great Place to shop. Beautiful atmosphere an good resturants too. You will spend a bit more in this area but it is so worth it because you feel safe. If traveling with a spouse or significant other you will score big points if you take them there.

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  • Tulum

    Ruins by the turquis ocean. If your a history buff or just because it's lovely and interesting. Huge lizards running around .. worth a trip here if your in the area. We didn't bring our suits but wish we had .. lovely place to swim and cool off.

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Playa del Carmen Hotels

Playa del Carmen Restaurants

  • El Fogon

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    My favorite "non-touristy" restaurant in playa..away from 5ta ave. but still accessible. Always friendly, vibrant, and very polite staff at your service. Around August this restaurant can be quite hot, but if you can get past that the food is great. Any other time of the year this restaurant is comfortable in temperature and always clean. I'll go...

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  • La Parilla

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    I was very impressed with the food and ambience. It was close to our hotel so I ate there on three different occasions. I've spent 10+ years in the restaurant industry and must say that I have NEVER been treated as bad as I was on that third visit. It was the absoulute worst service experience ever...hands down. I wont describe the whole affair, I...

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  • Alux

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    We held a private event in the bar/lounge area of Alux. Sandra, Alejandra, Aida, Eduardo and the entire staff are absolutely brilliant. The restaurant was flooded bc of torrential down pour, but the staff worked tirelessly to extract the water and built us a bridge to the lounge. It was amazing. The venue is incredible, unforgettable, and truly...

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Playa del Carmen Nightlife

  • Blue Parrot

    2011 Update: The Blue Parrot has temporarily closed for renovations. The Blue Parrot has a long history of being the place to go and be seen around midnight. It's called a Playa Del Carmen "landmark". Crowds begin to come in around 11:00 p.m. and it stays busy for several hours, before the crowd moves on elsewhere (to Capitan Tutix). The Parrot...

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  • Senior Frogs

    July 2009. Carnival cruise port of call Calica. $13 each way taxi for four to Playa Del Carmen. Stopped in for an afternoon at Senior Frogs with the hubby in Playa Del Carmen while my inlaws went shopping. Sat, ate, and drank for hours while overlooking the beautiful Caribbean. Stayed there so long that the bartender gave us a free drink each. I've...

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  • Alux

    As other post have mentioned it is truly a full, non-claustrophobic cave. From the street it doesn't look like much but as you enter there was a statue-like man dressed in full traditional costume. He startled my 13 year old but she just laughed it off. As you walk down the stairs you notice that it is muggy but not uncomfortable at all. We just...

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Playa del Carmen Transportation

  • Taxis

    Six trips to Playa Del Carmen in the past 4 years and something was missing... a good tour guide! I met "Senor Cruz" (Agustin Cruz) and my prayers were answered. He was an excellent driver, spoke very good English and understood my requests to see "hideway spots" between Cancun and Tulum. He was an excellent tour guide, reasonably priced and best...

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  • Colectivos

    If you want to visit Tulum or Cancun from Playa, you can take a colectivo which is a small minibus. There is no schedule, they leave when they are full. It's 30 pesos to Tulum, 20 to Puerto Aventuras or Cenotes. They leave from Calle 2 between 15 & 20, across from the park. If you are hungry before or after your trip, see my recommendation for a...

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  • Ferries to Cozumel

    As of December 2014, price on either ferry is 312 pesos round trip (currently $26US), they take Mexican or US Cash. If paying in USD, bring exact change or you'll get change in pesos Ferries run from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel on the hour but not every hour so make sure to catch the return times. The two competing companies, Ultramar and Mexico...

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Playa del Carmen Shopping

  • Chedraui

    I always like visiting grocery stores when traveling, you can find some interesting things to eat and occasionally something to bring back for friends and family. Just south of Juarez Avenue on highway 307 is Chedraui, a large supermercado selling groceries, liquor, some clothes, small appliances, household products, etc. There's also a small...

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  • PLAZA PLAYACAR SHOPPING MALL

    A short 5 minute walk left of the resort, you will come to PLAZA PLAYACAR SHOPPING MALL They have so much to offer there. You will find a Travel Agency (Maya Tours) - Drug Store (Drugs & Deli) - Jewellery Store - Souvenir kiosks - Beach Wear and much more

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  • East meets West

    This is a unique store for the area. It's a take on eastern style decor. Many Buddha statues and eastern art. It's a very big store and very popular with tourist. Surprising to find this here amongst all the Mexican souvenir shops.If you are in the market for a Buddha statue or other eastern art work, this is a great place. More expensive than...

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Playa del Carmen Local Customs

  • Native Animals

    We've seen the large band of coatis on both of our trips to Riu Tequila, in 2009 they were hanging out near the pool and near some of the rooms near the pool waiting for someone to take pity on them and give them a snack. They seem to come out near sundown and don't appear to be particularly frightened of the large international group of sun...

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  • Pilgrims

    I took these pictures back in December 2003, eight years later we finally had someone tell us what they were doing and that it was connected to the December 12th festival of the lady of Guadalupe which we always seem to be in town for. Along the highway from the Cancun airport to Playa del Carmen we spotted the first of them, this on December 7th,...

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  • Festival of Guadalupe

    The was the 2nd time we've been in Mexico for the Festival of Guadalupe which is held on December 12th and celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe and her appearance to Juan Diego telling him to build a church in Guadalupe. It's not a public holiday but is said to be one of the most important religious holidays in Mexico.In Puerto Vallarta, there was a...

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Playa del Carmen Warnings and Dangers

  • Taxi Driver scams

    50 pesos should get you anywhere in town. If you dont know the exchange rate they will try and scam you. For example that would be about $3 US but I paid a guy $8 US. If you have a smart phone, have a conversion app readily available.

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  • Police will scam you

    Be very careful when renting a car. When we got to the airport a Police officer told me to pull over. Clearly I was not speeding. Actually I was going about 30 kilometers in a 40 but he told me I was going 80? The he said if I go to the station it would be $100 US but I could give him $60 and he would forget about it. I told him no and he let me go...

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  • **BUYER BEWARE** OUTLET CANCUN TRAVEL

    We went to book a trip with Outlet Cancun Travel after they offered us a special to come to Secret Capri. After booking with them and putting it on my American Express card the story changed. Then now told us they couldn’t guarantee our stay at secrets capri but it could be at another report. They offered us several hundred dollars in vouchers as...

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Playa del Carmen Tourist Traps

  • 5th Avenue

    The vicious feathered warrior-god beckons to you because you can't help but look his way. "Come, come! It's okay, have your picture taken with me." Excited, you go and stand beside him. The god spreads his giant impressive wings, your friend takes the photo, and then "boom", the god hits you up for 50 pesos. It would have been nice if he had told...

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  • Tulum is very crowded

    One of the major drawbacks in a visit to Tulum is that it is very crowded here. This is because of the abundance of tour groups coming in from Cancun and the Maya Rivera. If you want to get an excellent photo of one the Maya monuments here without a mass of tourists in front of it, you have to be very patient.

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  • COUNT THE CHANGE THEY GIVE YOU BACK !!!

    Went to Starbuck on 5th ave. Bought a coffee at 70 pesos. Gave her 500 pesos, she gave me back 130 pesos. Told her I gave her 500 pesos, not 200.... She argued telling me I only gave her 200 pesos (they are kind of the same color).... We argued like that for a couple of minute, I was about to tell her to close her cash machine and count so she'll...

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Playa del Carmen What to Pack

  • What to bring for a beach holiday

    I pack a few of those pesky plastic grocery bags so that I can put our wet swimwear/clothes in them for the trip home. With the high humidity, nothing ever seems to dry.Check your airline, with additional fees on some airlines to check luggage, we decided to carry all our luggage on with us. There are restrictions on liquids, make sure to pack them...

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  • Mexico Travel Adapter

    Just remember if your going from the UK to take a UK to Mexico Travel adapter weather its so you can charge your camera up or phone etc. Our room didn't have any and the hotels prices for one was around £10 more than we paid in the UK. We took 2 with us which did the job.

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  • Bite Cream needed 100%

    You need to take a large tube of cream for bites when in mexico. I got bited 10 times by a Mosquito which are sore but the ant bites there itch for day and days. The only time they didn't itch was when i put cream on which is a relef.

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Playa del Carmen Off The Beaten Path

  • Sian Ka'an

    Si'an Kaan is a national park to the south from Tulum, where you can see lots of wildlife. A boat will take you around a huge bay with mostly fresh water. You'll see lots of birds in mangrove brush. Then the boats will take you out to the open sea, and, if you are lucky, you'll see dolphins or turtles or both. After lunch you'll go to coral reefs...

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  • Cenotes

    This cenote is in Puerto Aventuras not far south of Playa and can be easily accessed by colectivo, see my tip re transport. It's a beautiful crystal clear cenote, one part is open like a lake, the other is partly covered like a cave. The water is cool about 25' and very refreshing. It's a nice change from the beach, and usually there are very few...

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  • Beach

    paraiso beach club is a great place to have happy hr. starts at 3:00 also try their amberjack slightly breaded, delicious & I'm not much of a fish eater, went back twice last trip. when sitting on beach or going to little cantinas we always use Skintastic on our ft. & lower legs. it deters the sand fleas. located calle 14 norte on the beach.sorry I...

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Playa del Carmen Sports & Outdoors

  • Cave Diving

    For all you scuba divers out there. This is not to miss experience if your ever in the Maya Riveria region. It's an otherwordly experience, literally! A cenote, pronounce (say-no-tay) is a crystal clear body of water in the form of an underground river, lagoon and are entrance ways to underground caves. Most of them are in the jungle, but some can...

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  • Tank-Ha Dive Center

    I spent a week diving with this outfit doing a variety of dives. I was impressed with the set-up and found the dive guides to be extremely professional. Although I have all of my own gear, the rental equipment looked to be in a good state of repair. The bonus diving with this company is that they have their own boat which makes diving in Cozumel so...

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  • For you Golf Nuts

    For those of you that stay in Playa Del Carmen or any of the many resorts between there and Tulum, there a place for you golfers. Not only is this a championship course in the world, but where else can you play golf and loose your ball in the jungles of Mayan ruins. The course and it's clubhouse is in it's own right a beautiful addition to the many...

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Playa del Carmen General

  • The Beaches of Playa Del Carmen

    The beaches was one of the primary reasons I decided to visit Playa Del Carmen. I had heard that they were stunning and I was not disappointed. The sand is like white powder and the sea is warm and relatively calm. There are numerous beach clubs along the beaches here. You can buy drinks and food here but you have to rent a beach chair if you sit...

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  • THE COATI

    Also known as Brazilian Aardvarks, the COATI is a member of the racoon family. They are diurnal mammals native to South America, Central America and South-western North America. There were quite a few of them at the RiuTequila - my guess is about 30 Coati. I was quite surprised to see so many. They are odd-looking creatures with a long ringed tail,...

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  • TRAVEL TO MEXICO - THINGS YOU SHOULD...

    ARRIVAL IN MEXICOUpon arrival in Cancun, Mexico you will clear Immigration, claim your luggage and then clear Customs.You are then pointed in the direction of a person who will ask you to push a button. If you push "Green" you are free to Exit. But if you push "red" as what happened to both of us, you will have to go to secondary inspection. The...

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Explore Deeper into Playa del Carmen
Snorkeling
Things to Do
Cozumel
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Cenotes
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Ferry to Cozumel
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Chichén Itzà
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Xcaret
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Buses
Transportation
Senor Frog's
Restaurants
Las Mañanitas
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5th Avenue
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Deseo Lounge
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Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe
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Carboncitos
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Dr. Taco's
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Best Driver/Tour Guide in Playa Del Carmen
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Mayan Passion - rip off jewelery store
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Ruins by the turquis ocean
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Rio Secreto best cenote
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Travel from the airport
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