"Now THIS is the life!" Top 5 Page for this destination Playa del Carmen by whitneyone
Playa del Carmen Travel Guide: 821 reviews and 1,918 photos
Updated Feb 2005.
Playa is growing at an alarming rate.
If you have been to Cancun, you will still find this "laid back". LOL. The restaurants are just as good...the time share sellers are no more aggressive, it just that the car traffic in and out is getting crazy. Once you are on foot, you're fine. This really is no longer a sleepy little fishing village, you will find ANYTHING and everything you need or want. I still opt for staying at Xaman Ha so that you can be away from all the insanity of 5th street. This is not a slam at 5th, I look forward to it every night, but I still like to get away from it and the hotel crowds to hang at a beach that looks like this even in high season!
LATEST UPDATE SEPT 2004
We just got back from yet ANOTHER trip to Playa. It was a short one. Just four short days, which is still better than nothing.
Below is my original text. I've added a bunch of new things..mostly under "off the beaten path" because that is the funnest place to go!
Wow. When friends told me that we must join them in Playa Del Carmen I was a bit skeptical. Knowing that it was only 45 minutes from Cancun sent up a red flag. I had been to Cancun and was not a fan, although I have enjoyed every other part of Mexico that I have visited. Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallerta, Rosarito, Ensenada all have their charms. Cancun was just too much like Las Vegas, albiet without the gambling.
What a SURPRISE Playa del Carmen was! Not overbuilt (yet), world class food, good night life, amazing ruins within driving and sometimes, walking distance, endless beaches, incredible snorkeling, wonderful parks, friendly people and so much more!
UPDATED DECEMBER 2003
As I feared, Playa Del Carmen is growing rapidly. There is now a TGI Fridays, Carlos and Charlies and two McDonalds, although they are all confined to the 5th street area. We stayed, again, at Xaman-Ha Condos, on the beach, an easy stroll to town, but removed from the growing crazIness of the exploding tourism.
The night we arrived the entire main street was ripped up to install underground utilites..we were sure our vacation was shot..but they had almost finished within days! They will probably be putting smooth stone over the asphalt and the street is going to look beautiful. Lots of growth in a very high end direction on the north end of town....less authentic feeling, but very nice to hang out around..and far fewer Time share hawkers.
- Pros:Sunny and warm. As mellow or as wild as you'd like it to be!
- Cons:I honestly can't think of any
- In a nutshell:10 days is not enough!
Part of the guided tour of Sian Ka'an is swimming in the canals. you take these Mayan canals from one lagoon to... more travel advice
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