Budget Travel for the Adventurous Cheap and Inspired Explorer. Beaches, Hidden Islands, Lost Cities, Off-the-beaten Path Lodges and Get-a-Ways. Finding the easy way into the most lavish and expensive destinations in one of my favorite hobbies.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Playa del Carmen

So as my first post I had to stay true to myself and, of course; tell you all there is to know about Playa del Carmen located in the Riviera Maya...a small town about 45 minutes south of Cancun, and is not a tourist trap or over developed like Cancun is, so if you love huge resort hotels and big air conditioned shopping malls this is NOT the place for you..... No real need to divulge any real hidden budget secrets here, as it is all doable on any budget, Mexico is a great escape for those short on cash, but Playa de Carmen, with its jetsetting crowd and modern boutique hotels and hopping clubs, adds a couple zeros behind that ten dollar bill in your pocket.

There are some great hotels in Playa that won't upset your budget, my favorite is Hotel Kinbe, cheap and chic is the way I like to go, this boutique hotel offers everything you need and not much else for a great place to drop your bags and chill or go and explore, a great roof top deck for late night star gazing and a new pool they just added which was a huge plus last time I went.

The following Hotels are also very chic and not too expensive and don't worry about the location they are all around the same area, which surrounds the main drag in Playa del Carmen which has all the shopping, nightlife and yes FOOD that you will find. Hotel Deseo Hotel Blue Parrot Tidbit: Don't bother with a beach front room, or beach front hotel lures, you will find yourself hopping in your car and driving to secluded beaches or cenotes (lagoons) all around this beautiful area, the beach in the town of Playa is great, but very populated with locals and disco beach clubs which if you like sipping champagne and eating fries on the beach Mamitas is the place for you.


Playa is like no other place in Mexico, the nightlife here is a mixture of people from all over the world....It always amazed me that the clubs and restaurants at night did not reflect the quiet laid back atmosphere the town exudes from sunrise to sunset.... but once the Sun goes down the lights go up!!!

I always take into consideration the Night Life in my travels because it's a huge part of a cultural experience when I visit anywhere, and don't worry you won't find Yard Beer chugging college hommies here, they don't make it down this far....the town attracts the Jetset crowd that hits the beaches of Caan, Rio, St. Barts, St. Tropez and more....((all of which I will blog about later so stay tuned))

Playa basically is centered around 10th Avenue or Avenida 10...all the mom and pop shops and great hotels and restaurants are either on this street or just right off of it....the thumping music and disco crowds get going around 10pm so if you're an "early to bed" you'll miss all the fun. If you do miss the jetsetter nights ...don't fret you can catch them all at MAMITAS during the day, this hot beach club cranks the tunes and really put beach front Clubs on the map...with canopy beds and a sexy wait staff this is an alternative way to spend the day on the beach. I like it private and quiet but sometimes I need to be surrounded by gorgeous people who really can have a great time at whatever time of day.

Beaches and such......

Like I said the beaches to visit in Playa del Carmen are all throughout some you can hike to, some you have to drive to, also something to not miss are the amazing CENOTES ((fresh water lagoons)) all along the area, some are harder to find than others, but worth the adventure. TIDBIT: There are plenty shuttles to and from the Cancun airport and any spot in Playa del Carmen, so I would rent a car AS NEEDED in Playa.

North Playa del Carmen Beach located just north of Playa, about a 10 minute drive up the main highway, exit is marked and don't get spooked by the Jail that you will drive by....

Tulum Beach is a bit more of a trek but worth is, the best cenotes are around this area, the best thing to do in my opinion, is make your way to Ana y Jose's Charming Hotel they have a great beach front and cabanas you can sit at if you order a cheap beer or two, behind them are several roads that lead to random cenotes and hidden private beaches for the romantic or the reclusive.

There is much more to this wonderful area, and I love that it is also Family Freindly with parks like Xcaret a sea world type amusement park that is actually enjoyable and fun for everyone, even me! There are also several family resorts around the area most in PLAYACAR which is just south but still connected to Playa del Carmen, my favorite and most charming of these is the Mahekal formerly the Shangrila, worth looking into even if you don't have kids....

Well I hope you enjoyed my first stab at this, I will post more about this great place and of course the food I haven't even begun to talk about, and hit me up with any questions or comments, especially if you are planning on visiting!!

Map of beaches in and around Playa
Map of Cenotes to Visit


  1. wow. this is such a great post. i was thinking of going to playa and now i know where to go and what to do...thanks so much!

  2. Thanks Ashlina, i will post some resources shortly.

  3. french fries and the beach? i am so there!!!!!!!

  4. Yes, french fries champagne and all the sun and boys you can drink.....i mean :X

  5. i love playa de carmen and cancun!!!!!

  6. wow. i am feeling the need for info on dubai...can you help?????

  7. Hi Rique! New follower via Ashlina - visiting PDC this summer, and will definitely check out your suggestions! We're staying at Royal Hideaway. :)

  8. ahhh Amazing! yeah its in Playacar which is just south of playa del carmen, walking distance too so dont fret..... try and also book a fairy to cozumel and rent a jeep or scooters for the day, some amazing beaches on that island

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