Cancun or Playa del Carmen

Old Apr 4th, 2015, 05:03 AM
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Cancun or Playa del Carmen

2 middle age women going for a 4 night get away in October.I have been to Cancun many times,my friend has not.But it has been 10 years.we want an all inclusive with multiple dining options,a nice beach,and shopping and places to explore nearby.Looking for a 4 star type place,as we live in South Florida,packages are not that expensive.Not sure about Riviera maya or Playa del Carmen as that was just building up 10 years ago.Any suggestions for resorts or which area tol ook in would be appreciated.
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Old Apr 6th, 2015, 05:29 AM
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I've been to Playa many times (no desire to go to Cancun). Playa is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico, and there is plenty to see and do. One of the nice things about Playa is that no high rises are allowed, so even though it's a very busy little city with plenty of accomodations, shopping, dining, etc, there are no huge multi story concrete mega hotels along the beach. You might want to investigate the Royal, a very nice adults only all inclusive resort on a beautiful stretch of beach in the heart of the city.
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Old Apr 6th, 2015, 03:19 PM
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If all you want to do is sit around at a nice resort property on the beach Cancun would work. If you are interested in having more of a town around you, more options of things to see and do (not on the resort property) then choose Playa del Carmen.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 05:14 AM
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thank you.I think its Playa del Carmen.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 09:22 AM
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Now we are considering whether to rent a car or not.its far less to rent a car than pay for shuttles to the hotel.Has anyone had an experience with renting a car and driving to Playa del Carmen?I know its not far,just thinking we could then be able to stay a little ways out of the city and drive in for shopping,etc.or exploring the area.any thoughts?
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 10:41 AM
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You can rent a car (we use Easyway or America), or take the ADO bus right from the airport to downtown Playa for about $10. We have been going to this area for years, and have often rented a car. Driving is quite easy and safe, although downtown Playa is a little hectic. If you are staying right downtown, you probably don't need a car for your entire stay since you can take the bus, but you can easily rent one for a day to explore places like Tulum, Coba, etc. If you are staying away from the downtown, renting a car for your entire stay might be a good idea. Have you been to the locogringo.com website - lots of helpful info, maps, etc.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 11:55 AM
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I personally would never rent a car in Mexico. But that's just my own preference. Lots less to worry about using taxis, shuttles, getting around on foot.

But zootsi has actual experience doing it in that area and gives honest advice.

I've just heard too many "Mexican traffic police" incidents to be comfortable doing so, especially since I don't speak Spanish fluently.
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 12:22 PM
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I have also rented cars many times and like zootsi used Easyway and just take all the insurance and obey the speed limits (which change quite often around Playa) and have never gotten a ticket nor have my friends.
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Old Apr 8th, 2015, 03:21 AM
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I've never felt the need to rent a car in Mexico either. I think you will find the final cost of a rental will exceed the cost of a shuttle, or, be very close in price. There are lots of necessary add ons.

I'd second the recommendation for the bus. Cheap and easy. Nice buses too. Very clean, good air conditioning. Sometimes too good. I thought I was going to freeze once on a bus out of Tulum. As I sat there in my shorts and t-shirt, I noticed all the locals had blankets....Lesson learned.
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Old Apr 8th, 2015, 07:56 AM
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Haha Jean, I've had the exact same experience on the ADO back from Tulum!

Agree completely with you on your post in general. I can't think of a reason for 2 women to need to rent a car to go back and forth between the airport and PDC. Parking in central Playa is very very limited and driving is worse. It's true its a very easy drive on 307 but unless you are planning several excursions having a car is more burden than convenience IMO. There are more restaurants, beach bars, shops and sightseeing within walking distance than you could cover in a year of days.

To and from Cancun airport I have done both the ADO bus, very cheap, comfortable and easy to use and pre-booked private transfers. The private transfers are @$60 USD one way and usually are good for up to 3 people. The ADO @$14pp USD one way.
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Old Apr 9th, 2015, 01:33 PM
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A small car from Easyway with full insurance and taxes should run about U$40 per day. Gas to fill the tank of a small rental has been about 400 pesos, and we get quite far on that.

If you are thinking of doing sightseeing to any of the nearby towns (Tulum, Akumal) or Maya ruins, I find it more convenient to have my own transportation, with ac to retreat to after walking around in the extreme heat/humidity. We have had no problems in several trips, and the roads are good. Get used to watching out for topes (speed bumps) though, if you rent. Follow the speed limits, which can change quickly, no matter what others are doing. Spanish is not a necessity for driving.
In Playa del Carmen close to the beach and 5th, it is extremely hard to find parking, unless you pay for a lot or your hotel/condo has spaces, though.
Easyway has a PdC office, so if you took a shuttle (USA, Canada) from the airport and then still want to explore for a day, that's an option.
If you just plan to stay in town and go to the beach, shop, eat, etc, no need for a car.
I have heard that Yucatreks tours or locogringo are small and pretty good, as an option to driving. Probably U$100 day/pp to the ruins and cenotes.

Have a great rip.
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Old Apr 9th, 2015, 01:34 PM
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trip, that is
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 12:03 PM
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It can't be much cheaper, if at all, to rent a car than take a shuttle if you just mean to/from your hotel. Certainly not "far less". And what about insurance, parking, gas, etc. (although I suppose gas isn't too much) I've used an airport shutttle several times and it really makes things nice and convenient. I'm not talking about buses, either. And I stay in a hotel that doesn't have parking, anyway, but I don't stay in big resort hotels or AIs. There isn't a lot of parking in central Playa del Carmen.

I can't recall the last company I used, but you can get transfers for only about $35 each way per person, or $70 total both to/from, or less, if you use a group van (I've actualy been the only person in mine twice). I can't believe you could rent a car for 4 days for far less than $150 total with all costs included.

I think I"ve used both Best Days and Olympus for airport transfers at Cancun, both were fine. Last time I used Olympus and their rates are only $44 per person roundtrip. I know you can't rent a car for less than that ($88 for the entire trip).

I just don't believe in making things so complicated for no reason. Renting a car when you are just going from Cancun to PDC is one of those times it isn't at all necessary. I use day tour companies, also, who are pretty cheap in that area and they can handle local roads, etc., a lot better (such as to Chichen Itza etc).
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 03:18 PM
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It is possible, if the rental rate someone has seen is "far less", that the quote is without full insurance, which would be foolhardy. There are many reports of this occurring with companies in Cancun, and then, on arrival, the true price, no bargain, becomes apparent. Better to book with an agency like Easyway that quotes the full price online, if indeed you choose to rent.
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 08:47 PM
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I wouldn't rent a car if I was staying in Playa. Taxis and shuttles were cheap when I was there a few years ago. The town is pretty small and extremely walkable with plenty of restaurants (cheap and higher end). It's also just a short bus ride to Tulum and a ferry ride from Cozumel.
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