Playa Del Carmen
August 9, 2008 2:27 AM   Subscribe

Playa Del Carmen for late September 20th through 27th, 2008. I read the past posts and wonder if any fellow Mefites have any suggestions for cheap accomodations, and places I should not miss. Also since you have to fly into CanCun, what do you recommend for the best way to get there(besides rental cars).Thanks.

How to have fun in the Yucatan.
posted by highgene to Travel & Transportation around Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any particular recommendations, but was exceptionally helpful when my husband and I were planning our honeymoon to that area - especially the forums (I think the moderators all live in Playa Del Carmen).
posted by AV at 4:39 AM on August 9, 2008

Hi Highgene, I suggest you try Babe's in Playa. I can't remember where it is specifically, just that it is off the main tourist drag, on the other side from the beach (found the addresses, see below). Check my profile and email me if you want photo's of the surrounding area of Babe's to determine location.
It is a Thai-ish restaurant run by a Swedish couple, awesome food, great service, and great price. Staying two weeks in Playa, we ate there almost every day. Everything on the menu is fresh and delicious. In fact, Dr. Ms. Strangelove and I are thinking of having our wedding in Playa just so we can have Babe's cater it. :)

Oh, here is the website for Babe's:

And they have a new location, cool!
Babe's Noodles and Bar
Calle 10 between 5th and 10 Avenue
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
+52 984 120 2592

Babe's Noodles and Bar
5th Avenue between Calle 28 and 30
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
+ 52 984 803 0056
posted by strangelove at 6:16 AM on August 9, 2008

Regarding transportation, there is a regular shuttle (full-sized first-class bus) that goes straight from the Cancun airport to the bus station in the middle of Playa... super easy, and I think it is about $11.
posted by zachxman at 7:42 AM on August 9, 2008

playa del carme rules. we stayed at hotel basico, eveyrthing was made out of recycled stuff, it was so cool, and moderately priced. best (only?) rooftop bar in playa, great view, with great fish taco right in thierr little restaurant. we went to a different beach every day, went to the pyramids in tulum with an awesome beach right in front of the pyramid. also go swimming in a fresh water cenote. we took a cab from the airport.
posted by fumbducker at 8:19 AM on August 9, 2008

I have been thinking about staying at this place for a week or two
posted by SatansCabanaboy at 9:15 AM on August 9, 2008

Definitely try to make a day trip to Coba. Also, the beach at Xcacel is nice.
posted by gudrun at 10:49 AM on August 9, 2008

Chichen Itza is a good day trip. There are two roads--a free road and a toll road. The toll road costs about $20.00 for a car and at least on the way back it's worth it. There's a village every 5 miles or so on the free road and you can mostly tell by the speed bumps at either end. The free road is maybe twenty feet wide with no shoulders. It's great sightseeing during the day.
posted by faceonmars at 12:19 PM on August 9, 2008

The shuttle Zachxman mentioned is the best option. I'm not a big fan of Playa anymore (the 5th Avenue looks like a mall now), but I've heard great things about Hotel Basico.

Chichen Itza is great, take some mosquito repellent.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:22 PM on August 9, 2008

On the topic of mall and 5th Ave; I am not sure if Pull and Bear is still around (at one end of fifth I believe), but I do recall it having very inexpensive dress shirts and causal wear which lasts years and still look great. A recommended place to shop.

Take the senic route to Chichen Itza if you can, worth the extra time and distance.

As well, you can rent inexpensive taxi vans at the airport.
posted by strangelove at 4:19 PM on August 9, 2008

If you go to Chichen Itza, start at the part where you can walk/climb all over the ruins- where the observatory is. Depending on the time you will avoid some crowds by working backwards. More importantly however, you wont be completely knackered when you get to the part you can climb. This happened to us and some people were too tired to bother. It's huge, so be prepared for a full day. Bring sunscreen and repellent, as aforementioned in other comments.

The ruins at Tulum are nice too. Its an easy half day trip from Playa. You can take one of those tourist vans "colectivos" which can be a wild ride. Ask how much before you get in. The guided tour was worth the expense when we went. Also, bring a swimsuit. Afterwards you can climb down a lot of steps and go swimming which is really nice. The beaches in Tulum are great. Someone will have to watch your stuff if you go in.

Cozumel is nice too and is an easy ferry ride from Playa. The island got hit bad by the hurricanes and the public beaches are a bit rocky on your feet. The tourist beaches ( San Francisco, Carlos and Charlies) are touristy, sandy and have amenities (ie clean bathrooms, showers) and cater to the cruise boat crowds. Food is good with American prices. I would rent a jeep and go around the island. On the open ocean side there are beautiful semi deserted beaches which are nice to walk, but precarious to swim in. Chen Rio is a nice place to stop for a few hours. You can swim there
( theres a natural pool/lagoon fed by the ocean) and they have a restaurant and basic amenities. Beware of the taxis- not cheap. It's a bit of a racket too. The town is nice and the restaurants on the plaza are good.
The national park, Chankanaab, is supposed to be great too and worth the admission. My cousins, who used to live on the island, go there when they are in town. It has full amenities, is beautiful and has good swimming, per my cousin. And its kid friendly.

There's a place in Playa, Pizza Rolandi, which has a sister restaurant on Isla Mujeres which is excellent. Great Italian food, which was the last thing I was expecting in Mexico. I would think the outlet in Playa would be good too.

I second the bus from the airport to Playa. You can catch it out in front of the terminal once you pass through customs. Also, taking any of the tourist class buses to travel on in the Yucatan is a good way to get around. The movies are generally bad, but its easy to use. I have done both the first class and the deluxe. The deluxe is a little nicer, you have a different waiting room, and they give you a soft drink/ water when you board. Both were good and the biggest decision on which one to take was which one was going when I wanted to leave.

Always keep your money, documents and passport with you if riding any kid of transportation. Don't stow it.

Sorry so long winded- Have fun in the Yucatan.
posted by bookshelves at 11:46 AM on August 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I stayed in Hostel Playa for a while, and it was a very decent hostel - decently clean, safe, always lots of fun people but not too loud. It's about $12 a night, so not the cheapest hostel ever, but definitely reasonable. It's also a couple of blocks off 5th Avenue, so it's not quite as drunken-dirty-unpleasant as some other places (Hostel El Palomar, I'm looking at you...)
posted by mosessis at 8:16 PM on August 10, 2008

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