A Day at Playa del Carmen
Going to Playa del Carmen isn’t hard at all, and will be a fascinating experience. It can be reached from any hotel on the Riviera Maya. The greatly famous Quinta Avenida is a pedestrian street full of stores, bars, restaurants and much more. Kilometers of street await you.
Finding your way around Playa del Carmen is very easy. It is distributed along streets and avenues. Avenues run parallel to the sea and are numbered in plus five. Streets run perpendicular to the sea and are numbered in plus 2. For example, famous Coco Bongo is located on avenue 10 and street 12. On the Fifth Avenue, streets are clearly signaled on every intersection.
You can go to Playa del Carmen at any time. Nevertheless, stores don’t open before noon. There aren’t much crowds, as people usually go to their hotel’s beach or on excursions. Activities end very late at night, when night clubs on street 12 close.
I recommend visiting in the afternoon, take the time for currency exchange and strolling down Quinta Avenida. After going to the beach, upon sunset, is the ideal time. You can get there on taxi or public transportation. . There is usually an information panel at every hotel’s front desk. Ask them to drop you off at Coco Bongo, on avenue 10 and street 12. This is also where you should board the cab on your way back. There are always hundreds of taxi cabs that can take you back to your hotel. They are safe. You only need to worry about agreeing on the fare before boarding the cab. Never pay more on your way back than what you paid to get there.
The other option, much more affordable, is to take public transportation. This requires stepping out on the main highway. You’ll see vans with a blue, red or green stripe driving by, those will take you to Playa del Carmen for about 40 pesos per person. These will drop you off on street 2, between avenues 15 and 20. When you get off, walk back up to Quinta Avenida.
This is where you can get on your way back. The last van leaves at 11 at night.
On Quinta Avenida you will be approached by many persons, inviting you into their shop. Prices are higher than usual for being a tourist destination. If you are planning on visiting Chichen Itzá, there you will find the artisans, and the lowest prices, and will nearly everything is available there.
You can also go enjoy good authentic Mexican tacos, have dinner at a good restaurant, hire a mariachi concert for your partner, and go to the famous night clubs (known as antros) on boisterous street 12, open until 5 in the morning. The party at Playa del Carmen never ends.
Another option is going to Coco Bongo Discotheque. At your hotel’s swimming pool you’ll usually find a salesperson promoting that night club. It is a good option as that’s where you can purchase the show plus round-trip transportation. The night club and show are highly worthwhile. but drinks are usually only from 23:00 to 03:00.
Just don’t schedule any excursions for the next day! Take the day to relax at the hotel. Chichen Itzá and Xcaret are too difficult if you haven’t slept enough.
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