I didn't spend much time in Playa del Carmen, but we did our souvenir shopping there one afternoon. Where we stayed in Akumal about 30 miles south was much more peaceful, quiet, and romantic. Contact these people and ask for Unit # 4 in Playa Caribe. That was our condo... it is owned by Fiero owner Steve Wyatt (unless they have sold it since we were there). This condo is the only one in Akumal with reverse-osmosis water fit for drinking. We are definitely going back! Sea turtles lay eggs on the Akumal beach at night. One night we saw dozens of newly hatched baby turtles trying to find their way to the water. Really cool. We flew into Cancun and took a taxi 60 miles south to Akumal. We'll rent a car next time so we can travel around easier for sightseeing & shopping.
A sampling of our pics:
Jan 11th, 2007
Posts: 4879 From: york,pa,17403 Registered: Dec 2000
I literally breezed through Playa del Carmen a couple of years ago when our cruse stopped in Cozumel... but I have a friend who is letting me use his company's condo down there in a few weeks (leaving 1/31, coming back 2/5). I'll let you know what else I can share!
damn right they don't mess around..I have some video tape of this guys passed out drunk in the middle of the street at like 1 in the afternoon. A pickup truck with a cage in the back pulled up and 2 guys with machine guns jumped out the back. Grabed the guy and threw him face first in the truck and took off. My son thought it was the coolest thing he ever saw lol
Well... I've been here in Playa for about 2 days now. 1st night & days were good - but I got terribly sick last night about 3am... my fever finally broke sometime after 12:30 this afternoon. I'm starting to feel better, but definitely am not going to be back to 100% for a bit longer. Looking forward to getting "back to vacationing" - probably tomorrow.
Oh yeah - it's hot-as-heck (high 80's low 90's during the day, mid-70's at night)... a bit much for me, but I adapted reasonably quickly... the wind off the water definitely helps! Beaches are great...
If you go on a bus excursion, they'll insist that you visit a small settlement and do a tour with 30 other people of the residents' homes. These are mud floor huts. I know they are trying to get the gringoes to appreciate the Mexican poor, but it is pretty exploitive.
The smaller van excursions cost a bit more but in my view they are worth it. No side trips to speak of, and generally good eats and bottled drinks.
If you go into the local restaurants DON'T drink the local draught beer. Stick to bottled. The local draught is made with local water. Caveat Emptor.
Koba, and Tulum, are must sees. Both the bus and van operators have contracts with vendors so they'll stop at tourist traps to let you "shop". Some are good but most are highway robbery.
You usually do better on the back streets of Playa del Carmen.
Oh, and take orders for hammocks. You can get a nice hammock for $18US. The type that sell for $100 back home.
Watch the silver. Ask your hotel facilities person about what shops are reliable.
If you go walking in town, you can generally get the hotel restaurant staff to fill your water bottle. That way you don't run risks if you get thirsty.
Went for 7 days last year and it was awesome. If you want action this is a good spot. 5th avenue is great. We went up there every night. We stayed at the Gran porta Real. We actually liked it so much we are going back in March for 11 days. Same place. 5th avenue was just too much fun!
Just got back last night... flight was delayed, so we didn't get out of the MSP airport until after 11pm. A 100-degree temperature swing is pretty hard on the system (it was nearly +90° when we left the Cancun airport, and was -12° when we arrived in Minneapolis)... but it is quite nice to be home!
Other than being so sick on Friday, it was a good time... a bit hot for my taste, but you (kind of) start to adapt! I got to smoke a Cohiba (Cuban Cigar) with my wife & brother... that was cool, mostly just for the novelty of it. I was really irritated to find a nearby motorcycle/scooter rental shop yesterday morning about 2 hours before we left... I had been hoping to spend some time on 2 wheels while I was down there. But all-in-all a pretty good trip - our Condo was literally on 5th... with a secluded entrance hidden between a few shops just north of Calle 12. Which speaking of... El Oasis Tacos - best shrimp tacos ever (located just north of 5th on Calle 12).
Oh yeah... on Sunday morning I saw the exact scene that firstfiero described (about the caged truckload of gun-toting guys pick up a passed out drunk about 1 block off the "main" street - 10th)... it was great! My Dad even asked one of the guards if his gun was an UZI... he replied that although similar - it was actually a Mexican-made weapon (HM-3 submachine gun).
[This message has been edited by MinnGreenGT (edited 02-06-2007).]