"Playa del Carmen-my Mexican paradise" Top 5 Page for this destination Playa del Carmen by Dabs
Playa del Carmen Travel Guide: 838 reviews and 1,968 photos
Mexico is the perfect place for us to escape for a few days when Chicago starts to get cold, 3 1/2 hours on a plane and we are feeling the balmy tropical breezes, another hour and we are ordering our first tropical drink and donning our bathing suits. "Ahhhhhhh" is the only sound you hear escaping my lips. Well, that's not entirely true, I've been known to utter strawberry daquiri, por favor ;-)
We've only visited the Pacific side of Mexico once with a visit to Puerto Vallarta, the warm turquoise water of the Caribbean appealed to me so much more that we never bothered with Cabo San Lucas or Acapulco, not that anyone is going to Acapulco anymore. We've headed to Playa del Carmen almost every December-2003-2006, 2008-2009, 2011-2014. We headed here after Cancun got overbuilt and jammed with spring breakers and party animals, Playa del Carmen is more relaxed than Cancun, visitors tend to be more European than American, there are lots of small non all inclusives and there are plenty of places to find good, cheap Mexican food if you are willing to stray a bit off 5th Avenue.
The last six visits we've stayed at a Riu in Playacar, four times at the Riu Tequila and twice at the Riu Playacar because it was cheaper than the Tequila but closer to the beach. We like the Rius a lot, terrific food, nice room, great beach even if we had to walk a few minutes to get there from the Tequila.
Still I would highly encourage visitors to Playa del Carmen to think about bypassing the all inclusive resorts if the price is right, there are lots of great restaurants to try on and off 5th Avenue, I always end up eating at both the resort and the restaurants and having twice the vacation weight to take off!
Alas, Playa del Carmen is no longer the small fishing village it was on our 1st visit back in the early 1990s, there are new all inclusives on either end of town, a section of all inclusives in Playacar just to the south, a new shopping mall that caters to cruise passengers was installed at the south end of 5th Avenue and *gasp* Wal Mart has extended it's ugly tentacles into Mexico with a recently opened store at the north end of town adding to the existing corporate presence of McDonald's and Sam's Club along the main highway. Although some shudder at the changes in PDC, I find just a block off the tourist mecca of 5th Avenue that Playa is the same as it always was, a few visitors mixed in with the locals having dinner at taquerias, shopping and going about their business. Hopefully big business will continue to coexist with the small businesses that make it such a delightful place to visit.
- Pros:Beautiful beaches, warm water, lots of restaurants
- Cons:I'm not there right now!
- In a nutshell:Perfect winter escape from cold, cold Chicago
2nd visit December 2012 We stayed at the Riu Playacar in 2011, it was cheaper and on the beach so it seemed like a no... more travel advice
The was the 2nd time we've been in Mexico for the Festival of Guadalupe which is held on December 12th and celebrates... more travel advice
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