6 Secret Gems To Discover On Your Next Playa del Carmen Vacation
When looking for things to do in Playa del Carmen, there are plenty of popular attractions that offer unforgettable experiences. Of course, there are the legendary Xcaret Experiencias parks and tours, which guarantee good times and unique nature encounters. Not to mention the astounding excursions to local cenotes and Mayan archeological sites. But if this isn’t your first Riviera Maya rodeo, chances are you’ve already been dazzled by the big adventure parks and ancient cities. For this reason, we’re exposing a list of secret gems right within Playa del Carmen’s city limits. You don’t have to go far for a wow-factor when you vacation in this seaside paradise.
El Jardin de Marieta
If you’re not consciously looking out for the Jardin de Marieta you may sadly miss this jewel. After all, it’s easy to get swept up by the bustle of 5th Avenue. But this little sweet spot situated between Calle 6 and 8, is an endearing gem worthy of your attention. Displaying works by Gastón Charó and other featured artists, the gallery showcases an alluring exhibit of thought-provoking pieces.
Once through the arched entrance, the whimsical setting transports you inside the mind of an artist. Sculptures and vibrant canvases sit amongst lush foliage within the exterior art garden. Following the stone path, you’ll enter the main gallery adorned with a vibrant mix of oil and acrylics, as well as exquisite carvings and photos. You’ll appreciate the masterpiece both in the works of art and the stunning setting.
Super Carnes HC de Monterrey
This casual eatery is hidden away on Calle 1 Sur in between 20th and 25th Avenue. Super Carnes offers fresh, grilled flank steak so tender, no knife is needed. It’s a mystery whether the secret is in their marinade, their perfect cuts, or their special salsa. Whatever it is, they are the grill masters. The carne asada is like butter and it’s about $30 USD to feed a hungry family of five, including all the sides.
Call for take-out and grill it yourself, or pick it up fresh off the grill, which is convenient, especially when you’re on vacation. The carne asada is served by the kilo (1kg per family is usually enough.) Keep in mind, to assemble the most delish steak tacos, you’ll need to add salsa, guacamole, warm tortillas, and a grilled onion to the order. Just can’t say enough about this simple, yet mouth-watering meal— a perfect conclusion to a beach day in Playa del Carmen.
If you’re looking for a unique way to pass the day, rent some bicycles and head down to the quieter north end of Playa del Carmen. Just past CTM Avenue, you’ll fall in love with quaint eateries and remarkable murals that add a splash of color to your unofficial city tour. Stop for a passionfruit lemonade at Que Huevos on the corner of Calle 48 and 5th to quench your thirst. Ride on to admire the street art that continues north to Calle Pintores. It’s an ideal route by bike as this part of 5th Avenue has very little traffic. Go at an easy pace to take time to appreciate the remarkable details in the graffiti art.
Photo By @matisse.rm via Instagram
Due to Playa del Carmen’s prime position along the coast of Mexico’s Caribbean, it draws sunseekers and beach bums from around the world. Since it’s one big stretch of white sand, the beach town offers plenty of ocean view lodgings and beach clubs to choose from. However, if you’re looking for a more peaceful beach experience, with more space to spread your blanket, Punta Esmeralda is a secluded paradise.
Few visitors are aware of this treasure as it’s located on the city’s far north end. With this in mind, this beach is naturally the next best stop after viewing the city’s murals. Continuing on 5th Avenue, you’ll eventually come to the Punta Esmeralda beach access sign at Calle 110. If you’ve rented bikes, you’ll need to secure them here while you enjoy a memorable beach day. But a 5-minute taxi from downtown Playa del Carmen is also an option.
This beach is unique because it boasts a coastal, freshwater cenote. A deep hole a few meters from the sea’s shore connects to the Yucatan Peninsula’s underground river system. As a result, a crystal clear, natural swimming pool has formed on the beach. The cool, shallow waters are ideal for younger children, plus there’s also a playground structure to add to the fun.
On a side note, there are bathroom facilities and limited umbrella rentals, which come in handy as there’s not an excess of shade. Since parking is free and it is a public beach, it’s popular with the locals and can get crowded on the weekends. If possible, try to plan your sunbathing and Caribbean swim session on a weekday.
Dinner in an underground cave is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. How often can you enjoy a glass of wine in a candle-lit cavern dripping with centuries-old stalactites? At Alux, (pronounced Aloosh) it’s all part of the dining experience. The atmosphere is serene, with small pools of cenote water, soft music, and chandeliers. Alternatively, it can be one of the coolest field trips if you’re traveling with children.
The impressive underground restaurant and lounge is as vast as it is spectacular. Featuring a main dining room, a wine cellar, several cavern pockets set with private tables, as well as a cocktail lounge, it is a must-see. It can be an incredible grand finale to your week in Playa del Carmen or a mid-stay evening out for cocktails. In addition, the otherworldly setting makes for a sublime wedding banquet venue.
DK05 by Bric
Last but not least, if you’re looking for an accommodation gem for two, the new DK05 development has much to offer. One highlight is an unbeatable location in the up-and-coming Coco Beach area of Playa del Carmen. As well, the exclusive condo-hotel boasts a Caribbean-view communal roof terrace, high-quality finishes, fully-appointed kitchens, underground parking, and an elevator.
Besides having convenient access to the nearby beaches, you’ll love exploring the area’s incredible eateries. After basking in the sun for the day at Martina Beach Club, sample the brick-oven pizzas at Salento on CTM. For brunch, taste authentic flavors of Mexico in Ojo de Agua’s chilaquile or enchilada dishes. Plus, if you need some fresh produce, their mini-market presents a selection of local fruits and vegetables.
No matter where you choose to stay, our hospitality ambassadors are the perfect go-to resource for a Playa del Carmen vacation. What’s more, you’ll find a wealth of information on the Bric Vacation Rental travel blog page. Filled with Playa del Carmen tips and guides you’ll discover the city’s best-kept secrets and most enticing attractions. Happy exploring!