Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Mexico & Central America (
-   -   Flying Into Cancun Then What? (

sharon5847 May 29th, 2014 11:13 AM

Flying Into Cancun Then What?
Hi, I am arriving in Cancun and assumed I'd be able to find a budget-friendly beach hotel there but now I am wondering if I'd be happier going to Cozumel or other area. Please, may I have your input? First trip to Mexico for me and my teen boys. Thank you!

suze May 29th, 2014 12:55 PM

ferry to Isla Mujeres
shuttle to Playa del Carmen

Rohelio May 29th, 2014 01:04 PM

Budget friendly beach hotels are hard to come by in the Mayan Riviera area. Lots of AI in Cancun and Playacar and Cozumel though. Budget wise, I would head on straight to Playa del Carmen (especially with teenagers)and find one there. First of all they will just love Playa with all that it has to offer. You could check out the internet for either a condo or a small hotel with kitchenette. They will not be on the beach but 2, 3 or 4 blocks down which is very reasonable in Playa as everything is within walking distance. With a condo you would be able to purchase your food at Wal-Mart or Mega at very reasonable prices and save (especially with teenagers... again )There are hundreds of restaurants to choose from, the most expensive would be on or around 5th ave. The most economical and popular would be around 30th ave. Depending on your boys ages, they will absolutly love Playa and appreciate the whole concept of being so close to one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.

sharon5847 May 29th, 2014 01:17 PM

Thank you! 18 and 16 and their only requirements are beach and good food I think Playa del Carmen will be a better fit for us than Cancun as we literally want to do nothing!

RAC May 29th, 2014 02:38 PM

look at a condo rental in Akumal/Half Moon Bay. Or Tulum.

suze May 29th, 2014 03:37 PM

Akumal and Tulum are a LOT more quiet and more isolated than PdC. I'd think teenagers would prefer the liveliness of Playa del Carmen?

Rohelio May 29th, 2014 07:35 PM

16 and 18... the perfect fit for Playa. Well...any age is good for Playa if you love turquoise waters and white powdery beaches that stretch for miles. The most popular beach area is Mamitas at the end of calle 28. On calle 2 and the beach every Sunday is special at the Wah Wah beach bar and for 120 pesos (starts around 2pm) all you can eat (toes in the sand) which is usually roast beef or pork and everything else. The El Fogon restaurant at the corner of Constituyentes and 30th (great Mexican food and really cheap the only problem is you have to wait in line most of the time). Babes noodle bar on calle 10 (international flavors)mostly Thai. Cafe de Paris on Benito Juarez has the best breakfast and the best prices for breakfast. Playa is very casual and casual dress is appropriate even the more expensive places. Shopping is great but expensive is you buy on Avenida 5 known as La Quinta, you would be better off to shop on 30th or on the main drag called Benito Juarez. If you want peace and quiet walk north on the beach from the last beach bar called Canibal Royal, way less poeple and all you need is a beach towel and a small cooler. Your kids will thank you for this !!!

sharon5847 May 30th, 2014 05:35 AM

Thanks to each of you for taking your time to reply. I will certainly take into consideration all the information you have offered.

sharon5847 May 30th, 2014 05:42 AM

Please, will you tell me more about Akumal vs. Playa del Carmen?

I will have to see what the boys think they'd prefer as one said he wants to do NOTHING; do I believe him LOL?

Thank you!

dodi66 May 30th, 2014 07:27 AM

If he really wants to do NOTHING!! that is what is in Akumal. Lovely bay, beaches, great snorkeling at the Ya-Kul (sp?)Lagoon, but otherwise, not much to do. Unless you are renting a car for a day or 2, then you are in easy reach of Tulum or Xcaret or many cenotes. Without a car, Akumal is a wonderful, relaxing, lovely spot to do NOTHING!! Playa del Carmen has lots going on, and things to choose from, but you can also do NOTHNG!! Akumal is MY choice, but I'm not a teenager! I agree with Rohelio and least in PdC, they could choose if they really want to do NOTHING!

zootsi May 30th, 2014 07:37 AM

Both Pdc and Akumal are great in their own way. Akumal is all about beach and snorkeling with a handful of good resturants. Playa is party central with a nice beach and plenty of dining and nightlife with a strong European following. Other places to consider would be Tulum and Puerto Morelos. Tulum has a spectacular, wide, nearly empty beach, with lots of funky rental cabanas and small hotels. The actual town of Tulum is a mile inland with lots of good restaurants, shops, and an interesting Mexican-hippie vibe. Puerto Morelos is one of the few towns that still has a real fishing village feel to it. Have you been to

Rohelio May 30th, 2014 08:08 AM

Akumal is about 25 minutes south of Playa, you can get there by colectivo for 50 pesos or by taxi for about 25.00 US (By the way the colectivo departure area is on calle 2 close to avenida 15). Depending on how long you plan on staying would most certainly impact your stay in Akumal. Usually people go to Akumal for the day and return late afternoon, you can swim in Halfmoon bay all you like and rent equipment to see actual turtles and all kinds of sea life. There are quite a few good restaurants and and a few places to rent. It is a great little place to recouperate. I hear that there are some small stores accross the highway (307) but nothing like in the city. If you plan on catching up on your reading and relax then this is for you. I go at least once a year and brought some friends over one time, they loved it. Keep in mind that you are basicaly between Tulum and Playa and need transportation to go to either. Of course it would be a whole new ball game if you rented a condo or villa and had a rented car. IMO, Akumal is well worth the visit but I would not stay there for a whole week or two especially with two teenagers.

suze May 30th, 2014 08:12 AM

You can do nothing anywhere :-)

Akumal's population is just a little over 1000 people.

Playa del Carmen's is around 150,000.

jamie99 May 30th, 2014 10:53 AM

I love Akumal and was just there for 9 days the first week of May, stayed in two nice casitas on Half Moon Bay for under $100 per night including tax. PDC is just too big for me but your boys might enjoy it. I did book thru Locogringo and they are good, used them many times. Just kind of depends on what you want. My friend had a rental car (I paid for gas)and we drove to Casa Cenote in Tankah for their Sunday Texas BBQ, and down to Tulum another day to visit some friends staying there, and the last day we drove to Xpuha Beach with friends to visit and have lunch at La Playita beach bar, great trip.
Hope you have a good time wherever you end up.

sharon5847 May 30th, 2014 11:42 AM

Thank you again for replies.

I'm going to choose Playa del Carmen in case the boys get bored doing "nothing".

Now to find something beachfront that I can afford.

Thanks so much!

suze May 30th, 2014 11:56 AM
(as also suggested above)

sharon5847 May 30th, 2014 12:25 PM

LOL the boy who wanted to "do nothing" is now thinking he might want to visit some ruins.

"Do nothing" indeed!

suze May 30th, 2014 01:18 PM

Why I think PdC sounds like a good fit is because there's plenty to see and do that will be easy walking distance. So the 3 of you won't have to be joined at the hip 24/7, but can each have times to do some things on your own. Someone wants to be lazy by the pool, someone wants to explore or go shopping downtown, etc.

Rohelio May 30th, 2014 05:41 PM

Have you ever been to Playa del Carmen Suze ?

suze Jun 3rd, 2014 10:45 AM

Nope, I've never been on the Caribbean side of Mexico. Everything I said here I know from reading several travel forums from people who love that area. I always go to Puerto Vallarta myself.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:51 PM.