Playa Del Carmen--Hints & Tips?

Sep 28th, 2008, 11:16 AM
  #1  
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Playa Del Carmen--Hints & Tips?

We're staying in PDC for 6nts the 1st week of March and I'm starting to gather info for the area.

We've got a house rented in Playacar Phase I. There are 4adults and a 2yr old.

We're planning on a day to go to Chichen Itza and another day to go south to Tulum & the beach there. Other than that, we're open to suggestions.

What is your favorite thing to do, cafe, thing to see, etc?

Any tips for the area?

Thanks for your help.
jbella is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Will you have a car? If so, I would recommend taking a day trip down to Akumal. It's a great town to visit for a day, with great snorkeling, restaurants on the beach, etc. You may even want to go to Tulum in the AM before it gets to hot, then over to Akumal for lunch and beach.
ewesthoff is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Although they have good views and are relatively close to your end of 5th ave., try other restaurants other than Carlos and Charlies and Senor Frogs. There are other/better food options on the beach. (Playa maya, Blue Parrot, for example). Also, after you have had your share of over-priced restaurants on the beach or on the avenue, try some farther inland. Mannes Biergarten was reasonably priced and delicious (though it doesn't look terribly clean).
If you go to Cozumel, the museum restaurant was a great place (and view) for lunch.
Be wary of tours to tulum. they stop at any number of resorts on the way to/from, making a very long trip. Consider a bus or taxi to/from and join a tour there.
Bitter is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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Manne's is especially good on Friday night which is pork roast night...yummy!
colokid is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Thanks, friends.
This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping for.
Please post again if you think of anything else.
jbella is offline  
Sep 30th, 2008, 03:57 AM
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Ok, some more favorites....
the cafe opposite Siesta Fiesta on 5th ave at night for people watching, Carboncitos (Russell is a great host)restaurant, El Pescatore restaurant for Italian food on 10th Ave at the north end of town (this is not the one adjacent to the Gran Porto Real) it's around 24th st., El Fogon on Constituyentes opposite mega for tacos pastor, and actually all the restaurants on corner of 30th ave and Constituyentes, Chichen Itza, Coba, and Ek Balam, Tulum beaches (you have to be aware that many of the places on the beach road have been closed by the government in recent months. Generally if you drive to the right when you get to the fork on the beach road you'll be able to find Ana y Jose's to hang out at during the day. You can walk to town from Playacar Phase 1 or you can take a taxi. The north part of town(5th ave) is a bit quieter than the south part where Playacar and PDC connect. There are so many great places to eat it's hard to name any more. I generally don't eat on 5th ave but go to either 10th or Constituyentes. If renting a car let us know as there is a whole other list of do's and don'ts. Have fun.
colokid is offline  
Sep 30th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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colokid,

What is the reason the government has closed some of the places on the beach road? Is there a problem in the area?

Thanks for the reminder about Ek Balam. I had planned on including it on the day we go to Chichen Itza but forgot to write it down.

At this time, we will not be renting a car. I think we'll try to walk or taxi in and around PDC. We were thinking of having a van & driver for the 2 days where we'll seeing the ruins.

I think ewesthoff's idea of going on down to Akumal after Tulum soounds like a good idea.

We're not going until March but I love to plan so thanks again for your imput.
jbella is offline  
Sep 30th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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I believe there was a problem with hotel owners building on preserved archaeological property on the north side which includes Mezzanine, El Paraiso, and several other hotels. You might check out Mitch at Yucatrex for trips. He does a great tour to the various ruins in a van of 10 people. I went to Ek Balam with him a couple of years ago and it was wonderful. He hires the guide at the site and then you stop for lunch and he arranges for all of that too. You can find him at www. playa.info and click on the trip planning tab.
colokid is offline  
Oct 1st, 2008, 06:05 AM
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colokid knows his/her stuff (and helped us, too)!
Rolandi's in Paseo del Carmen (mall at south end of 5th) has good pizza!

If you take a cab from Playacar to 5th, consider having it take you to the unused north pier and walk south from there. We didn't do this until later in our trip and were elated that the merchants weren't so aggressive (as they are around and north of the Cozumel pier). I actually had to ask for help in one store, which was wonderful. (You'll know what I mean soon enough). In fact, I probably would have bought more trinkets and stuff in Playa if it wasn't such an ordeal just to browse and to get a reasonable price quote.
Bitter is offline  
Oct 1st, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Good hint about starting at the North end. Thanks. As the economy worsens in many countries, the merchants get more agressive.

We've been traveling a lot lately and it seems like it's getting worse. The Egyptian peddlers were crazy! Many other African countries had pesky but not unbearable guys.
I know what you mean about maybe buying more if I wasn't bombarded. Now, how do we relay that to the sellers?
jbella is offline  
Oct 1st, 2008, 05:32 PM
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You don't. That's just the way it is and it really doesn't have anything to do with the economy...it's always been that way as long as I"ve been going there. I tend to walk down the center of the street or say "Vida aqui" and they leave me alone.
colokid is offline  
Oct 1st, 2008, 05:33 PM
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I also joke around with them and talk with them. A "no gracias" is also communicated. I know someone who works on 5th ave and it's a very difficult way to make a living.
colokid is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2008, 03:48 AM
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One other thought, if you take a taxi to the corner of 10th and Constituyentes (which is where the cross street is to walk down to the unused pier) and walk one block over to 5th ave and then instead of walking south, walk north there are a great number of stores and restaurants that are quieter and nice. On the corner of 5th Ave and Constituyentes is a chocolate shop with outdoor seating which is great for people watching and chococlate. ; ) North on 5th you'll find Babes Noodle Bar, Maktub, SushiTan, Starbucks, Haagen Dazs, and a great number of other little places.
colokid is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2008, 06:14 AM
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I learnt Spanish in Playa del Carmen (amongst other places!) and I loved every minute of it.

The biggest highlight for me was snorkeling (you dont need to scuba dive) in Cenotes, which are caverns with lots of fresh water pools - stunning! You can also do some unbelievable snorkeling in Cozumel.

I was lucky because my Spanish language school (http://www.viaspanish.com/Learn-Span...el-Carmen.html) organised all my tours.

Another good website for tips about destinations you are going to is:

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...el_Carmen.html


krisbesgrove is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2008, 02:16 PM
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More responses! Thank you all.

As I mentioned before, we've started to do more traveling and it amazes me the people I've run into who don't know about this site!

I have found the information on past trips invaluable and the posters kind and really interested in helping. You all are no different.

It saves precious vacation time at our destination to have the advantage of "knowing" so much before we actually get there.

THANKS
jbella is offline  

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