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marysmommy Dec 28th, 2009 08:59 AM

Advice Needed: Family Trip to Playa del Carmen?
We are planning a trip for the week after Christmas 2010 through New Year's (depart Dec. 25 or 26, through Jan. 1 or 2) for an extended family trip. Two adult couples, four children ages 13-19. We're looking for a direct flight from DC and a warm beach location that would offer the kids a chance to visit another country and speak a little Spanish. A friend suggested Playa del Carmen as flights are plentiful to Cancun. We'd love to hear from Fodorites about their thoughts on this location and whether we should rent a villa or if there are suite hotels or even AI hotels you'd recommend. We do all get along well and rent a beach house together each summer. We'd like to keep the housing down to $3,500 if that's possible, for at least five or six nights. Is this possible?

chgeeb Dec 28th, 2009 10:15 AM

I had to chime in...I'm not going to be much help since you're all going as a family, I've only gone there as a couple. But still, you all will LOVE this area. There is so much to do (for every age group, which will be great for you!). I do know you will be able to find some AI's right in Playa del Carmen, but don't count out AI's in Tulum (35 minutes south of Playa), they are EXTREMELY nice there as well!
I HIGHLY suggest checking out
It helped me plan my trip and gave me great suggestions on places to stay and things to do!
Let me know how it goes! I'm sure you'll all love it there!

marysmommy Dec 28th, 2009 10:27 AM

Thank you so much! My husband and I have been to Puerto Vallarta and he's been to Cancun, but we just don't know much about Playa del Carmen. Did you take any of the tours?

MFNYC Dec 28th, 2009 10:50 AM

That is the highest of the high season so pricest will be high anywhere on the area. We've rented condos at Xaman Ha. We liked the location, a couple of blocks from 5teh AVenue (the main drag in PDC). It's also on a beach and has a pool (with swimup bar). We've rented 3 bedrooms. I think they may have a couple of penthouse units that could accommodate a group of 8. You can probably find villas as well.

We really liked condos. We've done the AI thing, but our kids outgrew that (it's great with younger kids). Food at AIs is never as good as restaurants and after a few days it becomes repetitive. We prefer the variety of restaurants in PDC (there are all kinds).

PDC is also a convenient location for day trips (Tulum, COba, Xel Ha, Cozumel, etc), and has lots going on in general.

You can check and for villa and condo rentals.

marysmommy Dec 28th, 2009 11:01 AM

Thank you so much--I don't know why we haven't done this before!

chgeeb Dec 31st, 2009 06:41 AM

Hello marysmommy -
We only did a couple of things on our own. We took the collectivo down to the Tulum Ruins and did it ourselves (basically it's $100 a person if you do it through a tour, and with collectivo and on our own it was about $10 a person). I liked doing Tulum Ruins on our own because we got to spend as much time as we wanted, especially down at the beach! It gets VERY hot there, so I suggest going early in the day. If the Tulum Ruins beach is packed, if you look South, you could take a cab or walk a mile on the main road, it's a GORGEOUS beach, and not nearly as crowded.
But PDC is gorgeous, you'll love it there, and keep us updated!

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