Playa De Carmen...

Apr 9th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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Playa De Carmen...

Does anyone have any insite into Playa De Carmen? My husband and I are seriously considering the Mayan Riviera, and from other postings it seems that PDC is where most of the action is at. But I am still wondering what kind of town is it? Is it a more clean and safe resort type area, or small Mexican town? My husband is concerned that there won't be enough to do and is considering Cancun instead.
aquarius2678 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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Playa del Carmen is definitely not a small Mexican town anymore--actually that was when I liked it best. It is now one of the fastest growing resorts in Mexico but, to me, does still have more of the Mexican flavor than Cancun-which has almost none.
Playa has hotels and restaurants of every type (unfortunately now including McDonalds, Burger King, etc.) You will find anything you want to do there.
If this is a first visit, I would recommend you give Playa a try!
RobertSDF is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:11 AM
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There is plenty to do in PDC. (Leaving for my fifth trip there in 18 days and 22 hours.)

Cancun is very glitzy and all high rises and is very much like any large resort town in the US. (Think Vegas on the beach.)

PDC is growing by leaps and bounds and there are lots of cool beach bars and restaurants, and a variety of shops and things to do and see in the area.

The beach is gorgeous, and there are no high rise hotels. YAY!

The tourists tend to be from all over the world as opposed to Cancun - which is alost exclusively Americans.

It is a bit on the funky bohemian side, and although we have never felt unsafe, I always keep a "heads up" when I travel.

For LOTS o' info, go to:

I've been to Cancun many times, and it has its place as a party town with good shopping, but it could be anywhere.

You will not be bored in PDC, and it is close to many things to do if you want to get out of town.
Diana is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Thanks for the info! That cleared a lot of things up.
Can you recommend any hotels or a certain area that may be best? This is our first vacation together and is our delayed honeymoon. We don't have the means to travel often, so that's why I'm so concerned that we choose the right place. We are young and active and want to be right on the beach...snorkeling, sight-seeing, wave runners, etc. We would like to hang out at the bars at night - but the more relaxing type, not the dance clubs and "Spring Break!!!" type that I think is more Cancun. This is to be a more relaxing vacation but want to have activities available. We are on a budget, AI would be nice but not necessary. I've heard that the Royal Hideaway is a great resort.
Any insite?
Also, is the water (drinking) an issue, or only if you leave the comfort of your resort?
aquarius2678 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Also, does anyone know of any sites that have a lot of photos of the area?
aquarius2678 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:53 AM
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If you are worried consider 5 nights in Cancun and 5 nights in PDC area.

For info try:
google/images "playa del carmen" or Read their FAQ and other info as they don't like questions from people who don't or won't do research first.
nolists is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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We were in Playa del Carmen last month. Great town, but is certainly growing my leaps and bounds.

Are you looking for resort type accomodations? We like to stay in town, at one of the smaller hotels, so we're closer to the restaurants and bars. Most of the larger hotels/resorts are a 30 minute walk or a short cab ride away. There are two larger resort type hotels right in town, Gran Porto Real and Continental Plaza. The latter is an older property and gets mixed reviews. Porto Real gets better reviews, but has a reputation for overbooking and sending their guests elsewhere.

If you send me your e-mail address, I'll send you the link to my pictures from last year's trip. [email protected]
JeanH is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Hi Aquarius!
My husband and I have also never been. We're going for the first time in May. After lots of research, we're staying one week at Royal Hideaway and 4 extra nights at La Tortuga (in town). Can't wait!!
eurosurfergirl is offline  
Apr 9th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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I think Playa Del Carmen would be an excellent choice! My husband and I were there about a year ago and stayed at Riu Palace. Excellent resort, it was all inclusive and I believe an all adults resort which was even better.

Riu Palace has three other sister properties that are adjacent to Riu Palace. They are Riu Tequilla, Riu Yucatan and one other one I can't remember the name. You have exchange priviliges at the other Riu resorts although, the other resorts do not have any privileges at Riu Palace since it is the nicest of the other three resorts.

The food was very good, with 3 restaurants, one buffet, and two a la carte restaurants. The room was very nice and the pool and beach we're excellent!

If you can afford Royal Hideaway I would choose it instead, but Riu Palace was a beautiful resort. There is nightly entertainment at all of the Riu properties.

All of these resorts are in the Playacar area, so when choosing a resort try and stay in this area. it's about 5 minutes away from downtown PDC. Playacar is a gated community that is lined with beautiful homes, and resorts.

Also, try and venture into downtown PDC there are tons of excellent restaurants, bars, and shops. We wished we would have spent more time downtown instead of at the resort the majority of the time.

Good luck, you'll absolutely love Playa del Carmen!
Luv2travel2 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 03:17 AM
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You could stay in Playacar which is only 5 minutes away from Playa Del Carmen - like the other posts said, stay at the Royal Hideaway or any of the Rius. We have stayed at both the Royal Hideaway (top notch) and the Riu Tequila (quite nice too) (and the Xcaret which is further away). There are quite a few resorts in the Playacar area or condos as well. You could walk to Playa Del Carmen passing all of the beautiful resorts and condos or take a cab for $4.00 US. Playa Del Carmen has bars like Senor Frogs and Carlos and Charlies and authentic mexican places where the locals go, Cuban dance spots and great restaurants. Lots of great shopping - as well as the ferry to Cozumel. If you wanted to stay in Playa Del Carmen there is a resort right there as well which looks really nice, the Gran Porto Real Suites.
You can snorkel, scuba dive, sit and have a cerveza by the water, play beach volleyball, take the ferry to Cozumel, shop 5th Avenue and get great bargains all in Playa Del Carmen. We prefer this over Cancun. Cancun is too over populated and its difficult to tell you are in a foreign country on vacation.
Enjoy, whatever you decide.
belair is offline  
Apr 10th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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Hi again aquarius,

Royal Hideaway is indeed a great resort, but is very expensive and is a distance out of town.

To be on the beach in Playa, check out Playa Maya, El Faro, or Shangri La Caribe. There are also some very nice hotels a block or two from the beach such as Deseo and Mosquito Blue and Villas Sacbe.

It is no problem to stay at a hotel that is not oceanfront in Playa as there are a zillion places to sit all day on the beach in a chair with an umbrella with music that are free or very inexpensive.

We have stayed at Continental Plaza Playacar and would not stay there again. I also do not recommend all inclusives as there are far too many really good places to eat in PDC.

We travel to Mexico a lot (Twice a year every year for the last ten years) and never get sick. We don't usually drink the water, but we brush our teeth with it and never have a problem.

Drink bottled water and avoid buffets and dehydration and overindulging in sun and alcohol and you should be fine.

Have a great time!
Diana is offline  
Apr 11th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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Thanks for all of the great replys! The more I hear about Playa Del Carmen the more I want to go! We have decided to go there rather than Cancun.
aquarius2678 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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My email address is [email protected]. I would love to check out the link to your photos.
You said that some of the resorts are quite a walk to it safe to walk, especially at night?
aquarius2678 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the pictures!!! It looks lovely!
What hotel were you staying at? And what's with the soldiers patroling the beach?
aquarius2678 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2004, 03:44 AM
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Aquarius2678, those Playa del Carmen pictures were taken when we stayed at Hotel Colibri, right on the beach. Something has changed with the place this year though, and the bar/restaurant/beach service isn't open although the hotel is. I wouldn't stay there now, sort of feels half abandoned.

The soldiers were some sort of drug patrol. Sort of unnerving to see them walk by with those rifles and all dressed in black. I wonder if the Mexican government hasn't had second thoughts about them, we saw no sign on our trip this past March.

I do think you and your husband will have a good time in Playa del Carmen. Lots to see and do, without all the high rises and American feel of Cancun.

JeanH is offline  
Apr 13th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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This advice is just meant to supplement what the other posters wrote- i have not been either place, BUT my ex boyfriend is from Mexico City, and I have been prodding him to tell me the secrets of where the real Mexicans go- and he told me that Playa is his favorite locale...for what it's worth!
pinecone is offline  
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