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Sea and Beaches Playa del Carmen (Quintana Roo)

Ok, so you´re saying that Tulum is beautiful but there is no nightlife? And that Cancun is too „American“ ? Well then, you should try Playa del Carmen. The white sand beach is not decorated by palms (as in Tulum) but neither by international huge hotel resorts (as in Cancun). The water is real Caribbean (thought a little turbid thanks to small waves) and just one block from the beach on the Fifth Avenue there are plenty opportunities for shopaholics and nightlifers...
What here: Swim, sip margarita, shop, sip margarita, dance, sip margarita ... There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, those on the „Fifth“ are, of-course, more expensive. You can find anything from genuine Mexican, cheap market food, pizza to fine dinning. You can go on a one day trip to some of the nature/entertainment parks nearby (Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor) or take a ferry to Cozumel and spend the day on its azure beaches. Cozumel is the opposite island that you can actually see from Playa del Carmen beach. Should you be into snorkeling or scuba diving you will be happy to hear there are many opportunities including cenotes, corral reefs, sharks (nice ones) and turtles. The most accessible Maya ruins from Playa del Carmen is Tulum or Chichén-Itzá. You can either take a public bus or buy a trip from a travel agency (there are many!).


One of the cheapest options is Posada Papagayo on the Avenida 15 (just 3 blocks from the beach). For 250 pesos you will get a spacious room with bathroom, two beds and sheets that have been through a lot... If you are a hygiene freak, then this is not for you!

Most of the accommodation possibilities are small stylish hotels, the average price is 400 – 700 pesos for a night. Here are few of those I liked:
Hotel Tukan and Hotel Barrio Latino. Both two bloks from the beach in a tranquil street and not far from ADO bus terminal. Tucan is more exotic and has a swimming-pool, Barrio Latino offers free breakfast and free calls to 45 countries! On the Fifth Avenue there is Jardín de Marieta with a pretty garden and Posada Freud (friendly jungle style). Also mentionable: Hotel Jungla Caribe, La Rana Cansada or Hotel Eclipse (further away from ADO but really nice!). There´s not much on the beach (except for 2 or 3 all inclusive resorts and private condos). Try Hotel Colibri or Hotel Alhambra (yoga style).
How to get here: Playa del Carmen is situated on the Mexican Caribbean coast right between Cancun and Tulum. ADO buses run service right from Cancun airport about every hour (1 hour, 114 pesos) and more frequent shuttles between Cancun (city) and Playa. However there are no buses in the night, you need to get a cab (not cheap). To go to Tulum or Akumal you can take ADO or Mayab bus or a white „colectivo“ minivan (25 pesos, about 1 hour). The ADO bus terminal is (as everything important in Playa del Carmen) on the Fifth Avenue (avenida cinco).