What do you think of Mexico?

Old Jun 17th, 2014, 03:28 PM
  #1  
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What do you think of Mexico?

I haven't been to Mexico in a very long time (got sick on my honeymoon on the food (or was it the water?) and never went back). I've been hearing a lot of good things about Playa del Carmen lately and it has piqued my interest. I've been told it's not just a spring break kind of place and not all the hotels are all inclusive. I've also heard that the food is more diverse with dining choices other than Mexican cantina style food.

If you have a favorite place in Mexico, I'd like to hear about it. If you've been to Playa del Carmen, what did you think of it?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 17th, 2014, 04:24 PM
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I haven't been to PDC, but I've been to other places in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo. I enjoy that area quite a lot. There are great beaches, neat towns, history and culture everywhere. The food in the Yucatan Peninsula is very good - like most countries, there are regional cuisines and the Yucatan has its own regional specialties.
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Old Jun 17th, 2014, 05:42 PM
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RAC
 
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We prefer the area south of Playa del Carmen (PdC is a lot like Cancun these days). Akumal, Tulum are where it's at for smaller hotels with plenty of dining options.
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Old Jun 17th, 2014, 06:35 PM
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TC
 
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We love Cozumel. Purified water, great dining choices, beautiful water, private condos or small boutique hotels. Nothing to fear.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 02:22 AM
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I thought PDC was a busy, hot, crowded place that we were pleased to get out of. We liked eating at El Fogon and shopping in the supermarket opposite. If we ever went back to Mexico, we would stay further south although Akumal was also really crowded. Or Cancun, at least it doesn't pretend to be anything else than what it is and it's easy to take excursions from there.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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I haven't stayed in Playa del Carmen for several years. Passed through on a bus last fall, it's simply gotten too large for the way I like to travel.

We spent a night in Puerto Morelos. Nice small town. Beaches aren't as nice as Playa though. I'd consider an extended stay one of these trips.

We spent the month of October last year in Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific coast. It's an awesome city. Although it is a city of several hundred thousand people, it doesn't fell that large. We stayed in Old Town and walked everywhere.

Other than when we took various day trips to outlying towns and beaches. Usually we traveled by bus, sometimes by water taxi.

The beaches in Puerto Vallarta aren't as nice, nor is the water as clear, as on the Caribbean coast. To my mind, the back drop of the beautiful mountains more than make up for that. Others will disagree.

Food is very good, and, there's a huge variety of cuisines to choose from. We even drank tap water, which I never do in the Yucatan.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 05:00 AM
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PDC is now THE fastest growing city in the world. Of course there are lots of good things associated with that and some not so good. The food is the best in Mexico, the variety, freshness, and choices abound. If your in a condo, you can do your groceries at a Wal-Mart, Mega, Liverpool, City Club, Best price and more. Beaches are nothing short of paradise and the turquoise waters seem to go on forever. The not so good now, is the crowds... there are lots of people compared to 10 or 12 yeras ago. Wether you like it or not, you have to visit Playa and decide for yourself. Do some research and decide what part of the city you would be more tempted to stay in, north end, city center or south end which includes Playacar. Check out the web site: intheroo.com for all you need to know including an interactive map.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 06:42 AM
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Thank you everyone. I'll check out the alternative places mentioned also.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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I'm crazy for Mexico. My go-to place is Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific side (never been to Playa del Carmen). From my home in Seattle the west coast is a lot easier for me to get to, and I fell hard in love with PV the first time I went in the early 90's. I have been vacationing there ever since and hope to eventually live there part-time.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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I'm with RAC, prefer Akumal and Tulum, PDC has just gotten way too big for my taste although we did stop for a few hours 3 years ago.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Depends your expectations and desires from a trip. For me I'm pretty sure places like Akumal and Tulum would be too isolated since I travel solo. Sitting on a deserted beach is not for me! I prefer to be in a busy, vibrant town with lots of people and things to see and do. So if I were heading to that side of Mexico, PdC is probably where I'd do my first trip.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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Well, I don't think I've ever heard Akumal's beach described as 'deserted' . . . . Half-Moon Bay is very quiet, but Akumal beach is usually crowded.

PdC will have a lot more restaurant options, but the southern stretch of Tulum's beach (going down all the way to where Sian Kaan is) has a lot going on--very vibrant area, lots of restaurants, funky artsy places, etc.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 05:54 PM
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Yes, I have to agree, Akumal is now busier than ever. It being 20 or so odd minutes south of Playa, Akumal has become a destination within itself. Use to be we would go to Akumal for the day (still do by the way)but now mors and more people stay in and around Akumal for many days at a time. The overspill form Playa is now finding it's way to many small towns and villages in the vicinity. The plans for a high speed train have been confirmed last winter. In sveral years you will be able to take the train from Cancun down to Tulum in half the time and from Cancun down to Merida in 2 and a half hours instead of 5. It has also been confirmed that plans for a second airport in Tulum have been shelved...
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 08:31 PM
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Absolutely love it. It's our favorite destination. We've been going 1 to 2 times per year since 2000. We've been to Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen multiple times. Have been to other areas also including Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Akumel, Tulum, Valladolid, Sian Ka'an and Rio Lagartos. Plus the Western side of Mexico; Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. It's very diverse so it really depends on what type of vacation you are looking for.

5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen is several blocks of pedestrian walkway with tons of bars, dining, shopping and entertainment. Actually, it's grown so much over the years, it's gives Cancun's reputation a run for it's money. I have never been crazy with the food in that area. Cozumel's has better tasting food and is less expensive. However, our favorite for dining is Cabo.

The beaches on the Caribbean side of Mexico beats the Western side hands down. There is also lots of things to see and do off the resorts on the Caribbean side, which is why we keep going back. You can go to that area on multiple trips and never see/do the same thing twice if you don't want to. That area is so huge and spread out that we decide what we want to see and do and then choose a hotel within that vicinity, so there is not as much travel time to get there and back to the resort. Otherwise, it can be a really long day.

Our last trip was just a few weeks ago. We stayed in Puerto Morelos, which reminded me of what Playa used to be back in the early 2000's when we first started going. It was quite and quaint and no where near as built up. We avoided 5th Avenue that trip as it wasn't what we were looking for.

Another reason we like Mexico so much is that it's one of the least expensive places to go and convenient from our departure point. We can go for usually 1/2 what it cost us to go to a Caribbean island. We love AI resorts and we get more resort and amenities for our money than anywhere else.
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:03 AM
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Any favorite places to eat in Cozumel? We are planning a trip for next February split between Cozumel and Akumal. Thanks for any tips!
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