Oh Playa del Carmen. I was always curious about you. I always wanted to see what you were all about; if what the people said were true. I can confidently say, the people did not lie. Playa del Carmen is a wild, busy, tourist town. If you are looking for authentic Mexico, it is not here. The food is overpriced, things are sold in US dollars and the clubs bounce until the very wee hours of the night. While I understand that a lot of people love this sort of thing, it was totally not for me. Yes, we did enjoy a couple of nice bars (hello, swing chairs!) and while we pondered actually stepping into one of the booming clubs, we quickly decided that this is something that we would not normally do in Toronto so why the heck would we indulge in Clubland a la Mexico?!
We chose to stay a couple of nights in Playa del Carmen to break up the drive from Chetumal back to Cancun before our flight back to snowy Toronto. I am glad that we did it. We chose a pretty sweet hotel located right in the heart of Playa and conveniently located right on the beach. The hotel was Playa Palms and we paid about $150 USD per night. It was totally worth it. The staff at the hotel were super friendly and hooked us up with a place to park our car for the two nights that we were there. The room was gorgeous – there are only thirty at the hotel and they all have terraces with hammocks plus a kitchenette (mini fridge, hot plate, sink, microwave, coffee maker). This was very convenient for making breakfasts and saving a little dinero. The only downfall of staying right in the heart of Playa is obviously the booming techno at 4:30am. The solution? Have a few drinks before heading to bed and hopefully you will sleep right through it. 😉
The highlight for me of Playa del Carmen – besides hanging-in-the-hammock-without-a-care-in-the-world – was the massage on the beach. There are a ton of people on the beach trying to pull you into theirs for a massage. A lot of them are priced at crazy cheap rates such as two massages for $25 USD. We opted to pay a more reasonable price (500 pesos each) and have proper masseuses, who were from an actual spa, work our bodies. The experience was dreamy – hello ocean waves crashing and warm breezes blowing. I wish I could go back to that hour of my life right now. 🙂