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12 beneficios de unas vacaciones en Playa del Carmen, México

Viajar ofrece un amplio abanico de beneficios que mejoran la calidad de vida, desde técnicas para la tolerancia y el desarrollo de habilidades para resolver problemas y así disminuir problemas de depresión y ansiedad. Tomar vacaciones permite escapar de lo ordinario de la rutina diaria.

 

¡Unas vacaciones en Playa del Carmen no son la excepción! Aquí te presentamos 12 formas en las que tu cuerpo, tu espíritu y tu mente serán positivamente impactados al pasar tiempo en este galardonado destino turístico en el corazón de la Riviera Maya.

 

Desarrolla Sentimientos de Orgullo y Confianza

Cozumel Island Family Trip

Junto con los buenos recuerdos, te vas a llevar contigo un sentimiento de orgullo por navegar en un aeropuerto y ciudad totalmente diferentes. Pequeñas victorias como tomar el colectivo local para ir a conocer un cenote cercano, pueden aumentar tu confianza. Rentar un auto para explorar la arquitectura antigua, los “Pueblos Mágicos” y las pintorescas islas por tu cuenta también pueden darte un gran sentimiento de logro.

Podrías pasear en las afueras de la zona turística por las noches y topar con un increíble restaurante de auténtica cocina local que ofrece la mejor y más disfrutable comida de tu viaje. Si te estas hospedando en una renta vacacional, una ida al súper mercado más cercano presenta la oportunidad perfecta para practicar tu vocabulario en español. Desarrollar la capacidad de conversar en una lengua extranjera, aun si es practicar lo más básico, puede despertarte el sentido un gran sentido de orgullo.

Mantén tu Mente Abierta

Cuanto estas abrumado por la negatividad de los medios sobre México semana a semana, es difícil imaginar que la vida en Playa del Carmen no es nada menos que el Salvaje Oeste. Pero para aquellos que toman las noticias sensacionalistas por lo que son y viajan a pesar de los consejos de familiares escépticos, la recompensa es tan generosa como lo es la belleza de este gran país. Cada año, millones de visitantes internacionales se deleitan tanto con su experiencia vacacional, que regresan una y otra vez.

Los viajeros obtienen información al encontrarse con una nación cálida, de gente entusiasmada y orgullosa de compartir las maravillas de su amado México. Si vienes a fines de Octubre, es muy posible que te encuentres con transeúntes desfilando en las calles, disfrazados con exquisitas mascaras de esqueleto y maquillaje. Aunque estas procesiones coinciden con la misma fecha, la gente no está celebrando Halloween, están honrando la vida de sus seres amados que han partido. Esta festividad de profundas raíces y sentimientos ha estado presente por decenas de años y es conocida como Día de los Muertos.

Dia de los Muertos piqsels

Otro punto a destacar que tienes que tomar en cuenta y de lo que quizá no estas al tanto, es que los mexicanos son muy peculiares respecto al tequila. No importa cuán persuasivo sea José Cuervo, opta por un tequila de mejor calidad la próxima vez que estés en la ciudad, y disfrútalo por sorbos, el lugar de tomarlo a fondo.

Relájate, Rejuvenece e Inspírate al Aire Libre

El pasar tus días inmerso en la impresionante naturaleza, tu alma no puede evitar sentirse tranquila. Además, largas caminatas en la playa, comprar recuerditos en los escaparates de la 5ta Avenida y escalar los sagrados templos Mayas en la jungla, son actividades que te mantendrán en movimiento (ayudándote a quemar las calorías extra de los taquitos y las piñas coladas).

Couple on Beach, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Y, por si fuera poco, tomar el sol en las playas de blanca arena de Playa del Carmen, te dará una dosis natural de vitamina D.

Exponte a Auténticos Sabores más allá de los Burritos

La cocina mexicana es una sabrosa combinación de complejos sabores (por ejemplo, el mole, que presume de tener una lista de más de 30 ingredientes perfectamente mezclados. Así como las famosas bolitas de pollo no son un elemento auténtico de la cocina China, los burritos no son un platillo típico que encontraras en los menús mexicanos.

Chefs como Rick Bayliss, quien ha viajado a través de México y ha documentado sus aventuras culinarias en programas de televisión, han hecho una gran labor resaltando la extraordinaria variedad de platillos tradicionales por las que cada región del país es famosa.

Ya que la comunidad de Playa del Carmen consiste en una abundante unión de residentes de todos los rincones de México, puedes estar seguro de que encontraras una vasta diversidad de atractivos platillos. Para desayunar, prueba unos chilaquiles rojos o verdes, huevos rancheros o unas enchiladas. Para la comida, un ligero ceviche o una tostada de mariscos con un ojo rojo, combo popular en la ciudad. Y para la cena, una tierna arrachera o tacos al pastor, ambas deliciosas opciones.

Sal de tu Umbral de Comodidad Para Vivir Experiencias Inolvidables

No hay mejor manera de ampliar y desafiar tu zona de confort que hacer un viaje internacional. Desde perder tu equipaje hasta toparte con barreras de lenguaje, descubrirás en ti nuevos rasgos en tu carácter que ni siquiera sabias que tenías.

Aquí en Playa del Carmen, hay muchas maneras de animarte a salir de tu zona de confort. Si tienes un miedo a las alturas parecido al mío, donde tu cabeza comienza a dar vueltas, tus piernas tiemblan y automáticamente tu cuerpo se paraliza por un momento, las modestas plataformas que hay en los cenotes para brincar son una fantástica forma de enfrentar tu miedo. Puede llevarte varias repeticiones de “si puedo hacerlo, si puedo hacerlo, si puedo hacerlo” antes de dar el salto o antes de escalar los 42 metros de altura de la pirámide de Coba, pero si lo haces, encontraras un sentimiento de elación que acompaña estas aventuras. A demás de las impresionantes vistas. Cada vez que realizas una actividad que va más allá de tu zona de confort, el mundo parece abrirse un poco más, revelando nuevas facetas de su extraordinaria belleza.

Bucear en mar abierto es otra forma extraordinaria de desafiar los límites de tu nivel de confort.  Gracias a que Playa del Carmen es un destino bien conocido por el buceo por su conveniente proximidad a la segunda barrera de buceo más grande del mundo, existe una enorme variedad de tiendas de buceo con instructores certificados que te ayudaran a crear momentos surrealistas para guardar en tu memoria.

Scuba Diving

 Admira a México Desde una Perspectiva Diferente

 Cada cultura tiene su tanda de atractivos estereotipos, pero permitir que las etiquetas te convenzan de visitar un país en específico te costara experiencias viajeras que no tienen precio. Durante el primer año de llamar a México hogar, mi madre y mi hermana vinieron a visitarnos. El grupo voto por salir a la aventura, así que reservamos un hotel en Valladolid, un encantador pueblo colonial a una hora y media de Playa del Carmen.

Leyendo sobre una nueva ruta que reduce el tiempo estimado de viaje, mi esposo decidió tomar un atajo para tomar dicha ruta. Unos kilómetros después, nuestra van cargada con nuestra preciosa familia se encontró rebotando sobre un camino accidentado entre la jungla adentrándonos cada vez más y más en el espesor de la maleza mientras avanzaba cada minuto. Justo cuando discutíamos como dar la vuelta y regresar sobre este estrecho camino, un joven mexicano apareció de la nada –cargando consigo un machete.

A primera vista, no quedaba claro si era un ángel enviado a ayudarnos o un asesino en serie. El chico desaliñado pregunto si estábamos perdidos y ofreció a guiarnos a la carretera. Brinco sobre el estribo, se sujetó del espejo de la camioneta con un brazo mientras cargaba el machete con el otro. Al momento en el que nuestra tripulación terminaba de orar en voz baja, llegamos a un claro qué nos sacó directamente a la carretera que tanto estábamos buscando. Tan rápido como había aparecido el muchacho, desapareció, como tragado por la jungla. Resulto entonces si haber sido enviado por el cielo a ayudarnos, así como hay muchas personas más que están dispuestas a ayudar que con malas intenciones.

Aunque México alguna vez fue catalogado como “País tercermundista”, ahora esta listado según las Naciones Unidas en la categoría “Medio Superior” en relación a su economía per cápita. Muchos turistas mantienen la idea de que verán granjeros guiando burros en caminos de tierra o que el transporte será pidiendo ride en la cajuela de una camioneta con un par de gallinas. Las películas pintan una imagen totalmente diferente a la realidad de lo que México es hoy en día.

En Playa del Carmen, puedes esperar encontrar establecimientos de alta gama, WiFi y alojamientos modernos comparables a cualquier otra ciudad cosmopolita del mundo.

Encuentra Nuevas Aventuras

Alucinantes aventuras abundan en el Caribe Mexicano y no tienen nada que ver con sobrevivir una ida al súper en un Black Friday. Playa del Carmen es un paraíso natural. Para los yogis, ¿porque no intentar tomar una clase de paddleboard en una laguna de aguas del color del jade? Aprende una nueva habilidad tomando una clase de fotografía. Estas tomas fotográficas son todo menos ordinarias. Aprenderás como capturar a la perfección la puesta de sol sobre la jungla desde los puntos más extraordinarios como lo más alto de una pirámide Maya de 42 metros.

Coba Mayan Ruins near Playa del Carmen, Mexico

¿Qué tal lanzarte del paracaídas sobre el maravilloso paisaje marino turquesa o nadar junto a las tortugas y mantarayas en áreas protegidas de la bahía? La lista de actividades para diversión y aventura es tan incesante como las cálidas temperaturas en la Riviera Maya.

Haz Nuevas Amistades de Por Vida

Winter VIP Party, Bric Hotel and Spa, Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen es uno de esos lugares que tiende juntar visitantes repetitivos. La facilidad de vuelos sencillos de casi todas partes de América del Norte es una de las razones. La comunidad de Snow Birds continúa creciendo cada año ya que esta es una ciudad perfecta para retirados. La ciudad es fácil de navegar a pie, y puedes sobrellevarla aun sabiendo muy poquito español. Hay restaurantes excepcionales y el servicio es estelar. El personal que atiende, así como los baristas en tu club de playa favorito o nuestro personal de BRIC siempre recuerdan tu nombre y te dan la bienvenida cuando vuelves como si fueras parte de su propia familia.

Si te gusta el golf, Playa del Carmen ofrece varios campos de campeonatos y tours PGA. El golf ofrece una fantástica oportunidad para formar amistades y conocer personas con los mismos intereses, que aprecian el juego y el infinito clima veraniego.

Desenvuelve tu Pasión por las Experiencias Sobre lo Material

 Una vez que has explorado la belleza de la Riviera Maya y has sido oficialmente picado por el mosquito del viaje, es se vuelve difícil justificar comprar una cartera de $300 USD, cuando sabes que con menos que eso podrías estar paseando por las playas pintorescas de Playa del Carmen.

Como residentes de Playa del Carmen, entendemos bien el valor de las experiencias sobre el valor de lo material. Aunque encontramos agradable el constante calor climático, la humedad tropical atmosférica no tiene clemencia con las cosas. Objetos como bicicletas, televisiones, bolsas de piel y cualquier toma corriente no duran en este ambiente. La humedad oxida, corroe y desintegra metal y se filtra en los electrónicos, acortando su expectativa de vida drásticamente. No nos mal entiendas, puedes encontrar cosas de mucho valor en las tiendas de la 5ta Avenida como como Apple y Michael Kors, pero es muy feo verlas simplemente maltratadas por la humedad. Eso facilita estar alejado de la vida material y en cambio, disfrutar más los placeres simples de la vida.

Cenote Tankah, Riviera Maya

Este es uno de los muchos motivos que ocasionan que tanta gente que viene temporalmente termine quedándose por años. El encanto del estilo de vida simple junto con las inmensas atracciones de este famoso destino, definitivamente incitan la pasión por explorar más allá de las tiendas de la 5ta avenida.

Crea Memorias y Recibe Educación de la Vida Real Todo en Uno

 Simplemente hablar con el chofer del taxi del aeropuerto a la ciudad, te permite tener una gran perspectiva sobre la cultura, la gente y sus costumbres. Santa Clos, por ejemplo, el alegre pachoncito que trae regalos en navidad en Estados Unidos y Canadá, tiene apenas unos años que empezó a traer regalos a los niños mexicanos que figuran en la lista de bien portados.

Hoy en día, muchos pequeños de este país, despiertan para encontrar sus regalos el 6 de Enero, después de haber sido visitados esa noche por los 3 Reyes Magos. A este día se le conoce como “Día de Reyes” en México, y es un pináculo de la temporada vacacional, el cual conmemora a los 3 Reyes Magos que visitaron al niño Jesús en su nacimiento, llevándole regalos como oro, incienso y mirra.

Si decides rentar coche por un día, no solo vas a descubrir gemas locales como el Cenote Edén o la laguna Yal Ku, pero también vas a notar que aquí las señales viales son meras sugerencias. Aun cuando tienes la preferencia de avanzar, es mejor siempre proceder con precaución. Si te desplazas a pie, vas a notar (ojalá no a la mala) que los transeúntes tienen la preferencia de cruzar las calles en topes y señalizaciones, pero rara vez se les permite. Nuevamente, procede con precaución; recuerda que ya no estás en Kansas.

Si vienes a Playa del Carmen durante la primavera, puedes ser testigo de la recreación de la sagrada Travesía Maya. Esta apasionante ceremonia que dura tres días, se lleva a cabo en conmemoración de las peregrinas Mayas que hace cientos de años cruzaron de Playa del Carmen a Cozumel. Este fue uno de los eventos más importantes en la vida de cada mujer maya. Cada una, cruzaría las aguas del Caribe junto con su familia en un agotador viaje en canoa de 7 horas, llevando consigo ofrendas para la diosa de la fertilidad Ixchel.

Como espectador, tienes la oportunidad de vivir las festividades que rodean el viaje Sagrado y conocer a los canoistas, quienes entrenaron desde meses atrás para aguantar y completar este viaje en su lista de deseos. No es solo una escena inspiradora, también te ofrece una perspectiva vivida y colorida de la civilización que alguna vez próspero y reino el área durante mucho tiempo.

Cambia de Escenario Después de un Largo y Frio Invierno

 Habiendo crecido en las frías praderas canadienses, se lo que se siente esperar impacientemente que llegue la primavera. Los inviernos pueden llegar con incesantes fríos y heladas temperaturas. Planear un viaje a Playa del Carmen, te puede dar algo que esperar con ansias y darte un muy merecido descanso de los cielos grises y el frio que te congela hasta los huesos.

Oceana Condo-Hotel by Bric Vacation Rentals, Playa del Carmen

No sueñes despierto con el sol y las palmeras. Nuestro equipo de profesionales en BRIC te pueden asistir a diseñar tu visión ideal de un viaje al paraíso. Cambia las botas de invierno por un par de chanclas. Aun una escapada de fin de semana le hará bien a tu cuerpo, corazón y mente.

Siempre Tendrás un Gran Tema de Conversación

Se dice que viajar te deja sin palabras y después te convierte en un narrador. Recordar los momentos más memorables de tu viaje o preguntar a alguien sobre el suyo, es un tema de conversación perfectamente seguro y emocionante en cualquier ocasión. Siempre hay mucho que platicar, ya sea que tu viaje haya sido corto o largo. Incluso si nunca has salido de tu ciudad natal, todo el mundo tiene un lugar especial en su corazón el cual les gustaría ver y experimentar.

Un viaje a Playa del Carmen te dará mucha tela de donde cortar y no podrás parar de narrar tu experiencia en tu próxima reunión. Desde los topes (famosísimos reductores de velocidad mexicanos) que surgieron de la nada y regresaste tu auto rentado con una llanta ponchada, a una noche de baile bajo las estrellas, cada viaje que haces, te provee de al menos un puñado de entretenidas anécdotas.

Después de vivir en Playa del Carmen por más de media década, uno se familiariza con los pros y los contras de la ciudad mas sofisticada de la Riviera Maya. Ya que nos dedicamos a la industria de la hospitalidad, nuestros equipos de reservaciones y ambassdors, reciben una gran cantidad de preguntas relacionadas con prácticamente todo, desde el clima y que empacar hasta la seguridad y el cambio de divisas.

Por lo tanto, decidimos reunir una lista de consejos prácticos para ayudar a los turistas a aprovechar al máximo su experiencia vacacional en Playa del Carmen.

1. Moneda Local

Información de interés

Si necesitas comprar víveres, paga con tus dólares estadounidenses. Los principales supermercados ofrecen los tipos de cambio más altos de la ciudad.

2. Que Empacar

 

 

 

Recordatorio Importante

Muchos viajeros optan por empacar solamente en una maleta de mano para ahorrarse el pago de equipaje documentado. Recuerda que cualquier liquido (incluyendo champú, protector solar y souvenirs como botellas de vainilla) de más de 100 ml son confiscados en el aeropuerto.

3. Mantente Saludable

4. Ahorra dinero mientras exploras lo que Playa tiene para ofrecer

5. Las mejores temporadas para visita Playa del Carmen y la Riviera Maya

6. Nada en un Cenote

Información importante

Lleva tus propias toallas, botana y bebidas sin alcohol. Estas no están permitidas dentro de los cenotes. La forma de pago general es en efectivo en pesos mexicanos, puedes tener inconveniencias porque algunos no aceptan dólares ni tarjetas de crédito. Las entradas varían desde los $40 hasta los $150 pesos mexicanos ($2.25 to 5.50 USD)

7. Propinas

8. Mantente a Salvo

Documentos importantes

Asegúrate de tener a la mano tu visa (la tarjeta que llenas en el avión) en el aeropuerto el día de tu partida. Es un lio y caro remplazar una visa de turista perdida.

9. Regatear

10. Disfruta lo Mejor de los Dos Mundos

 

Se Aventurero

Reserva un par de noches en un condo privado, espacioso y céntrico en Playa del Carmen, después reserve un hotel en una de las islas cercanas como Holbox, Cozumel o Isla Mujeres por otro par de noches. Esto te permite explorar la ciudad y sus sublimes alrededores.

Esperamos que estos tips te sean de utilidad al momento de planear tu escape a la playa en la Riviera Maya. Queremos que disfrutes de unas vacaciones inolvidables! Si requieres mayor información o que este artículo no cubrió, no dudes en contactar a nuestro equipo de expertos en Playa del Carmen al 1(800)519-2486 o +52(984)803-3191.

 

Playa del Carmen Travel Tips

When we first traveled to Playa del Carmen back in 2003 on our honeymoon, I remember walking along 5th Avenue, the main cobblestone street where the majority of the action took place. There were folk dancers dressed in white, the men in cowboy hats and the ladies in wide, embroidered skirts performing on wooden platforms. Neighborhood pubs with swings around the bar, and restaurants built with massive trees standing in their centers left me awestruck.

The city still possesses that same simplistic and magical air, one that draws millions of visitors from near and far each year. However, Playa del Carmen has blossomed significantly and is one of Mexico’s fastest growing cities. For this reason, decisions like choosing from its hundreds of restaurants can be overwhelming, on top of the questions and concerns that arise when traveling to a foreign country.

In this article, we have compiled a list of answers to the frequently asked questions we receive from travelers who are new to Playa del Carmen. It’s an extensive list, but I assure you, once you spend a couple of days in the city, it is still small enough that you get your bearings quite easily. For those travelers who prefer to go with an agenda more so than on a whim, hopefully these suggestions and tips will help with the pre-planning!

Where is Playa del Carmen?

Playcar Phase I SunriseBecause it is located in the middle of this world-renowned stretch of white-sand coastline, it has been nicknamed ‘The Heart of the Riviera Maya.’ Playa del Carmen is just 40 minutes south of the Cancun International Airport on the 307 Highway. It is part of the state of Quintana Roo, one of the 3 states that make up the Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. This laid-back seaside city sits along the picturesque Caribbean Sea.

Tip: Once you arrive at the Cancun Airport and go through customs and immigration, you will receive your tourist card. Keep that safe with your passport, as you will need it to leave the country. If for some reason it does get lost, you will have to pay around $50US for a new one at the Immigration office.

Currency

The principle currency is the Mexican Peso, but US dollars are widely accepted at grocery and retail stores, restaurants and gas stations. Many properties for rent and for sale are listed in US as well.

To exchange your money, there are several conveniently located ‘casas de cambio’ around town. These exchange houses sell US, Canadian dollars, and Euros.

It is recommended that you use only the ATMs at the main banks in town and avoid using random machines (even in hotels), as they are known to be not as secure. However, it is possible to exchange your money at the front desk of most hotels, but be aware that they tend to offer a poor exchange rate.

Tip For the best rates, we suggest buying Mexican pesos from your local bank beforehand if possible.


Navigating The City

As mentioned above, Playa del Carmen is still small enough that you can get around without a car. The town consists of a series of one-way avenues that go up by 5s beginning from 1st, 5th, 10th and so on. These avenues run parallel to the beach or north and south. The majority of streets or Calles, are also one-way and go up by 2s, running east and west.

There are a few main streets to remember:

  • 5th Avenue or La Quinta in Spanish – Playa del Carmen’s dining, shopping and entertainment district. This famous cobblestone avenue is pedestrian-only and is lined with restaurants, galleries, dive shops, artisan and boutique stores, pubs and cafes.
    5th Ave Shopping Playa del Carmen
  • Benito Juarez is where you’ll find the ADO bus terminal on 5th. To the south heading towards Playacar from Benito Juarez, the Calles go up 1 sur, 3 sur, 5 sur. To the north of Juarez, they also go up from 1 but are even numbers – Calle 2, Calle 4, Calle 6 and so on. On 1 sur and the beach is where you will find the Ferry Terminal to Cozumel.
  • Calle 12 is where the city’s most popular dance clubs and bars are located. For a taste of Playa del Carmen’s incredible nightlife, where top DJs in the region gather, salsa-lovers congregate, and vegas-style shows dazzle, you need to check out this street’s sizzling vibe!
  • Constituyentes is the main drag between Calle 16 and 20. There is beach access at the end of this street and it is where you’ll find Quinta Alegra (a beautiful open air mall) on 5th. There are many businesses on this street including grocery stores, bakeries, a Scotia Bank (and HSBC near Mega grocery store on 30th) a Subway, and barbershops to name just a few.
  • CTM is in between Calle 44 and 48. This is the newly developed north end of 5th Avenue and offers public beach access. There are many little markets for fresh fruit and fresh juices along this street. You’ll also find bakeries, spas, restaurants, convenience stores and many other businesses for your household needs.
  • Avenida 115 – If you go on CTM from Playa’s downtown core and head west across the highway, you’ll come to 115th Avenue and one of the city’s main malls, Plaza Las Americas. There is a large grocery store (Chedraui), retail stores for clothes, shoes, and accessories, a cinema (Cinepolis where adult movies are in English with Spanish subtitles and animated films are dubbed in Spansih,) a furniture store and a kids indoor fun place (Chiquilandia.)Also along 115, you can find plumbing stores, the city’s second Walmart location, a cultural center (Centro Cultural behind Radio Shack,) many restaurants and the Municipal Transit building (in case you ever have to pay a parking ticket!)
  • Careterra Federal (the 307 Highway) – is the main highway running through the Mayan Riviera from Cancun to Chetumal, the state’s capital. Along the highway within Playa del Carmen, you’ll find Office Max and Office Depot, CostaMed and Hospiten hospitals, pediatric centers, a stretch of furniture stores at the entrance of Playa del Carmen, Centro Maya (the second main shopping mall) a movie theatre, the Telcel (cellphone provider) office, Soriana grocery store and more. Also just off this highway are City Club and Sam’s Club, two of the main membership-only, bulk grocery stores in Playa del Carmen.
    Biking in Playa del Carmen
    Getting around by bike is a quick and effective mode of transportation. Since the new bike paths have been created along 10th Avenue, it makes using a bike somewhat safer. But typically, you have to be extra alert as biking can be dangerous. Many of our clients love to cruise around on their bikes and get about the city with no issues. Just be warned that cyclists and pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way here.

Car rentals are often an option if you want to see more of the area. It is convenient to have your own vehicle if you plan on a road trip and wish to make several stops along the way. There are numerous companies operating in the city and at the airport. We suggest always purchasing insurance and be sure to take photos of the car before you drive away from the rental agency.

Traffic lights work differently than they do in other areas of North America. You can turn left on a green since there is no oncoming traffic. Each side at the intersection must wait for a green light in order to proceed. The light is green only for one direction at a time.

A road sign with an E and a red line through it means no parking or (no Estacionmiento.) The rules of the road are basically the same as anywhere else nowadays. It is illegal to drink and drive, to not wear your seat belt and to talk on your cellphone while driving.

Tip: At the gas station, always check to make sure the gas attendent starts the pump at $0.00. Keep your money until the end, once the attendent has replaced the pump and states the amount. This will help you to avoid gas pump scams. Leaving $10 pesos or about a buck is customary as a tip for service.


The ADO bus system is a reliable and cost-effective method by which to get to and from the airpoirt, as well as to many of the attractions in neighboring towns such as Puerto Morelos or Tulum (to see ancient Mayan ruins.) The buses are airconditioned and clean, some have bathrooms for longer trips.

There are two stations in the city, the main one is on Benito Juarez and 5th Avenue, the other on is on 20 Avenue and Calle 12. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting the ADO website or at the station and run about $11 USD for a one-way to the airport.


Colectivos are one of the most econonmical ways to get around town and also conveniently run along the 307 throughout the Mayan Riviera. For under $50 pesos ($3 USD), you can travel in one of these handy van taxis to swim with turtles in Akumal Bay, take a cooking class at the Little Mexican Cooking School in Puerto Morelos, or take a dip in one of the many cenotes (stunning limestone sink holes) located along the highway.

The central colectivo station in Playa del Carmen is located on Calle 2 and 20th Avenue. This is your starting point but it will make stops wherever you need to go along the highway. Just be sure to mention to the driver when you board where you would like to get off.


Taxis are readily available, but are one of your most expensive options for traveling around the region. The rates within town are set and many taxis post them now inside the cab. To travel in the downtown core the cost is quite reasonable. But it’s always a good idea to confirm and agree on the price before you jump in. Most of the taxistas speak English and are a wealth of information if you are looking for the best taco joints in town for example.


Private van services are a great option if you want to go on a road trip with a group of people. Most drivers can offer different schedules and routes or are flexible and allow you to completely customize your own itinerary.

Tip: Ask at the Bric Vacation Rentals office and one of our representatives will be happy to put you in touch with reliable drivers in the area.


Weather

Playa del Carmen receives on average 300 days of sunshine a year, which makes for many unforgettable beach days! No typical four seasons here! We just have warm, hot and melting point!

November to February are the coolest, driest months averaging about 24C or 75F. This is the most comfortable time of year to visit as the days are warm and sunny, and the nights cool off just enough for a light sweater. In March, April and October, the weather warms up to about 26C or 79F. From May to September, temperatures average 29C or 84F. This is the time of year when we spend the majority of our days by the water. Those turquoise ocean waters, glistening swimming pools, and cool cenotes are even more inviting during the extra warm summer months!

Cenote near Playa del Carmen
 

After living here for a few months, you eventually become climatized to the higher temperatures and humidity. But if you can’t handle the heat, we recommend taking advantage of Playa’s ‘Winter’ season.

Tip: Packing for this climate is fairly simple and your clothing necesities shouldn’t take up much space in your suitcase. Think cool! Light, airy sundresses, cotton shirts, open toe sandals, wedges (stilettos + cobblestone streets = twisted ankles,) flip flops, shorts, tanks and swimsuits! For the evenings, you might want to bring a wrap or a thin sweater.

Eating Out

Dining out in Playa del Carmen provides hundreds of opportunities to taste fantastic international fare! Although it’s a relatively small city, the gastronomy scene in Playa is an impressive one!
Playa del Carmen beach side dining

From tacos to tartars, tender Argentinian steaks to catches of the day straight from the Caribbean Sea, visitors are often surprised and delighted at the number of delicious restaurant options. With Playa’s large expat, Italian and French communities, along with nationals from every point of Mexico, the colorful mix of cultures means a sumptuous array of cuisine from around the world!

Tip: When dining out, on occasion, there is a ‘discrepancy’ in the bill. When you receive the bill, double check that the total number of cervezas reflects the actual number that was consumed. Also, confirm that the PROPINA or tip has not already been added on.

Grocery Shopping

Just a few years ago, grocery shopping could be a frustrating experience in Playa del Carmen. If you were making lasagna for example, it took a full morning and three different stores to find all the ingredients! Nowadays, the grocery stores are stocked full of typical products and specialty or international items.

For superstores, there are 2 Walmart locations (one on 30th Avenue & Calle 8, the other on 115th Avenue & Colosio,) Soriana in the Centro Maya Mall (Federal Highway at the south end of the city,) Mega (30th Avenue & Constituyentes) and Chedraui (along the highway one block south of Benito Juarez.) One of the most popular markets for produce and specialty items is DAC (30th Avenue between Constituyentes & Calle 20).

Tip: For fresh herbs like basil or dill that can be hard to find at the main grocery stores, ask the clerks at DAC and they will retrieve some from their back cooler for you.

A couple things to keep in mind, Wednesdays are the busiest day (longest check-out lines) of the week. Just because the store is open, does not mean they will sell you alcohol. Usually, you cannot buy booze before 9am and the stores stop selling it early on Sundays (2-4pm) due to the liquor laws. For packing your groceries, the clerks appreciate tips. $1 peso per bag is standard.

Make Friends On Land And At Sea!

Not only is the weather warm in Playa del Carmen, but the people are very sociable and hospitable as well. Most of us come to live in paradise, leaving friends and family behind. Therefore, we are open and welcoming to newcomers and love to share the best this region has to offer!

Tip: One way to get off on the right foot with our ocean friends, is to please wear all-natural or biodegradeable sunscreens and repellants. By respecting and protecting the delicate underwater ecosystems, we will be able to swim amongst the amazing marine life that dwell within them for many more years to come!

Whatever your workout style may be, there are an abundance of exercise classes in which to meet like-minded people from yoga to bootcamps to crossfit. The two most popular gyms in the downtown core are The Gym (1st Avenue between Constituyentes and Calle 16) and Evolve (Calle 24 between 5 and 10th Avenue.)

The region has dozens of championship golf courses which present the perfect platform from which to strike up interesting conversations with fellow golfers. The tropical settings are breathtaking as are the ocean vistas on some of these pristine courses.

There are meetup groups, seminars and spiritual retreats happening every month. Also, Bric Vacation Rentals hosts a Happy Hour (and a half) most Fridays from 4:30 – 6pm at our office located on Calle 38 near the OXXO at the beach. It is a great opportunity to get to know other guests and owners and to mingle with Bric representatives. If you are new to Playa, it would be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have!

As the trees begin to lose their leaves and the temperatures drop, snowbirds take these cold weather indications a signal to finalize plans for their winter escape. As exciting as hockey season or Christmas preparations can be, the cold period can seem long and never-ending. To be able to take a mid-winter break from snowstorms and gray, rainy days serves the mind, body and spirit well.

For many couples, their escape plan involves more than a short stint in the tropics. Flying south has become a winter tradition, a natural ritual that has evolved into an important part of their lives. We spoke with one such couple to get insight into why they pick Playa del Carmen over the boundless options of warm weather destinations.

Lindsay and Janice are from Manitoba, Canada. They were our clients for many years and continue to remain in close contact with the BRIC family. We were delighted when they agreed to talk candidly to us about their annual Playa del Carmen experience. Hopefully, the information provided, will be helpful to those of you who are contemplating an extended winter getaway.

JR: How long have you and Lindsay being coming to Playa del Carmen?

Jan: We have been coming to Playa for over 10 years.

JR: Typically how long do you spend in Playa?

Jan: We spend around 4 to 5 months here.

JR: What do you think of all the changes and growth the city has experienced, in the last few years especially?

Jan: There have been considerable changes to Playa since our initial visits. Many of the changes have been positive in that they have improved the quality, selection and availability of items such as groceries, activities, shopping and accommodations. However, with the progress comes some negative changes as well. The traffic, pedestrian congestion and noise have increased. For someone who will only be in Playa for a week or two for some fun and sun, these changes would not have any impact. However, as a long term resident, the noise, especially around festival time (BPM) around our previous downtown 5th Avenue condo had become an issue. We now stay in the quiet, gated community of Playacar on the south end of town. It is our hope that the beautiful beaches, the ocean and the charm of 5th Avenue will not be lost in the pursuit of progress and development.

JR: What about Playa del Carmen keeps bringing you back year after year?

Jan: We continue to return to Playa for many reasons. It is a relaxed, casual lifestyle and we enjoy the pace of life here. Being a walkable community, there is no need for a vehicle. Biking, walking and reasonable taxi rates make it easy to get around. Also the beaches are some of the best anywhere. The people are extremely friendly and you can choose to be as busy as you desire.

JR: Do you run into many other snowbirds escaping the cold Canadian/American winters? Is it easy to meet people?

Jan: During our 10 plus winters in Playa del Carmen, we have met many other snowbirds, both Canadian and American who return yearly. It always feels like we’re coming home and reconnecting with friends. As well, we have become friends with many Mexican locals who welcome us back each year. It is very easy to strike up a conversation and meet new people whether you are sitting around the pool, walking the beach or eating out at one of the many great restaurants.

JR: What activities keep you busy when you spend an extended amount of time in this area?

Jan: People always wonder what we do all winter. Like anywhere else, we are just living and going about our daily activities. We love to do a daily beach walk, ride bikes, golf, shop, and entertain company by touring the various tourist attractions. We enjoy getaways to some of the nearby islands such as Cozumel, renting a car and exploring the interior of Mexico, or just visiting with friends.

JR: Do you find that the cost of living the same lifestyle you are accustomed to is reasonable in Playa?

Jan: Financially, Mexico is a very reasonable winter destination. Although, as this particular city continues to grow, prices for most things like rent, taxis, groceries, eating out, etc. increase as well. However, it still continues to be affordable compared to other Caribbean destinations.

JR: You’ve seen or heard about the headlines in Canadian newspapers about the violence in Mexico. Do you feel safe in Playa del Carmen?

Jan: As a female, I feel safe walking around town, even in the evening. However, like in any other city in any other country, there are areas where I would not walk around after midnight…you need to use common sense. For the most part, the crime we hear about is minor, crimes of convenience like small theft, for example a cell phone that have been left on a table and taken.

JR: How do you feel dealing with day-to-day life in Playa del Carmen with a limited Spanish vocabulary?

Jan: Knowing Spanish has never really been an issue as most people speak English in Playa. We feel somewhat limited compared to many locals that speak multiple languages. But we try to learn more Spanish each trip so we can communicate with a few words and phrases when dining out or grocery shopping. The locals appreciate any effort you make to speak the language, although it is not required.

JR: Any tips you can offer those who are searching for the perfect place to spend their semi or full-time retirement?

Jan: We continue to return to Playa as it feels like we are coming home each winter. What made us choose Playa del Carmen 10 years ago is simple – we wanted a destination that had more to offer than just a beach, as we needed more options if we planned on staying for a 3-5 month period. While Playa has both beautiful beaches and crystal clear water, it is also a safe community. No vehicle is required, which is a big factor for us. We didn’t want one of us to be stranded while the other was out with car. There are many touristy things to do with guests. The quality and variety of grocery items is important to us and the grocery bill tends to be a lot less in Playa than in Canada. We love the city for its unlimited dining options, quality hospitals and medical care, great movie theatres, abundance of golf courses, relaxed, comfortable lifestyle and consistently hot weather.


For semi-retirees like Lindsay and Janice, Playa del Carmen has become a familiar second home for them. The city’s location (40 minutes from the Cancun International Airport) and amenities meet their needs and more. This Canadian couple opts to rent a condo each year during their stay. With a plentiful inventory of luxury and budget-friendly condos, finding the perfect vacation home in Playa is an uncomplicated process.

Whether you are interested in a vacation rental or in purchasing a second home, there are reputable and established companies that can help you. BRIC Vacation Rentals and BRIC Real Estate have been making people’s dreams come to fruition for over a decade. Our professional staff of Playa experts is happy to answer any questions or offer first-hand knowledge and advice when it comes to renting or buying a property.

If Playa del Carmen comes up on the radar as you search for a home away from home, we hope this article provides some useful information to assist you when it comes time to make your decision.

10 Reasons to Visit Playa del Carmen in the Fall

Anytime is a great time to come and enjoy the warm Caribbean waters and friendly, casual beach vibe in Playa del Carmen. However, traveling during the off season can save you a bundle and afford you bonus luxuries that you may not be able to fit in the budget say if you book during the peak seasons.

So if you can arrange to take your holidays in the fall, here are 10 ways you’ll benefit by visiting Playa del Carmen during the autumn months:

1. Fall Into Savings

Seat sales and accommodation discounts abound! It doesn’t take an expert travel agent to find fantastic deals online at this time of year. Resorts all along the pristine Riviera Maya coastline often offer kids stay free promotions. Within Playa del Carmen, posh condo hotels like The Elements, Aldea Thai and El Faro present reduced rates while still providing all of the standard upscale services and amenities.


2. Temperature Begins To Cool

Cooler weather starts to make its way to the Mexican Caribbean come October. While the days remain sunny and warm, the night temperatures fall. You have a perfect balance of sunshine by day and a fresh, comfortable climate at night. As the sultry heat disappears with the setting sun, activities like cocktails on one of the city’s famous rooftop lounges, or dancing the night away become that much more appealing.

The average temperature from September to December in Playa del Carmen is a pleasant 27C or 81F.


3. Golf Discounts

Playa del Carmen Golf

The Riviera Maya is speckled with unbelievably striking golf courses. Most fairways are lined with palms while some holes overlook the Caribbean Sea! If you love to golf, you’ll appreciate the 2 for 1 rate many of the courses like Hard Rock Riviera Maya Golf Club and Grand Coral offer during the low season.

If you are a morning person, reserve an earlier tee time. You’ll be able to hit the links and enjoy the fresh temperature. Moreover, there’s rarely a waiting period due to a caravan of golfers ahead of you at this time of year.


4. The US Dollar Goes A Long Way

Currently, the US Dollar to Mexican Peso exchange rate is fluctuating around 18:1. This means an extravagant dinner out will cost you a fraction of what it would cost for a meal of similar quality in the majority of cities in the United States. Spa services become more affordable as do other luxuries like a dinner with a private chef or a day gliding over the turquoise sea on a private yacht.

Most tours prices are presented in US dollar amounts and your American money is accepted in the majority of the over 300 amazing restaurants on Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue.


5. Vibrant New Hot Spots In Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen restaurants

Exciting new businesses are sprouting in up-and-coming areas like Los Olivos Plaza near 115th Avenue and Arco Vial 28 de Julio (the avenue that leads to the new 305 Highway.) Pubs like La Drinkeria y La Inombrable Cantina are serving casual eats, and drinks at reasonable prices, all within upbeat, unpretentious atmospheres.

Carmen Beer Co recently opened and is located across the 307 Highway from the Centro Maya Mall on the south end of town. Beer lovers can sample some fantastic artisanal beer and get a glimpse of the extensive brewing process through the glass wall in their front tasting room and bar area.

Already one of the most popular corners on 5th Avenue for great food and drink, Mimosa Restaurant and Bar will join the list of local favorites like Almirante Pech and El Diez. The grand opening, which will take place early November, is creating quite a stir within the Playa del Carmen social scene.


6. No Crowds

During the fall season, you won’t have to navigate through waves of pedestrians on 5th Avenue. There are typically no waiting lines at popular eateries or in the many incredible nearby adventure parks like Xcaret, Xel Ha, Xenses or Xplor. It’s easy to find parking throughout the city and you have wider spaces to spread your beach blanket out on the sand.

We always recommend a visit to a cenote when in Playa del Carmen. This is an opportune time to see these natural wonders, as often you will have the entire swimming hole to yourself!


7. You Can Still Barbecue

If you happen to be staying in one of the many fabulous vacation home rentals in Playa del Carmen, chances are your terrace will be equipped with a barbecue. T-bone steaks are much cheaper to buy here or try a sumptuous fresh catch of the day from the local fishermen.

Whether you decide to barbecue an enticing meal for yourself or you choose to go out to sample the delicious offerings on one of the patios overlooking 5th, dining al fresco in Playa’s endless summer climate never gets old.

Most of the vacation homes in BRIC Vacation Rentals’ inventory come with fully appointed kitchens and ample outdoor living spaces with grills.


8. Look Into The Real Estate Market

Playa del Carmen Real Estate

Fall means back to school time and preparations begin for holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These events typically keep people busy enough so that they aren’t thinking about planning a vacation. Hence, Playa del Carmen enters the low season and travelers can expect more deals and fewer crowds.

Since many properties experience low occupancy rates at this time, it provides those interested in purchasing a second home the ideal opportunity to view a host of incredible properties. If owing your own piece of paradise near the ocean is a dream of yours, now is the perfect time to see what Playa del Carmen has to offer in terms of real estate.


9. Skip The Halloween Dress Up Parties!

If it’s hard for you to get into the spirit of Halloween and you feel pressure to find a creative creepy costume, elude the dress-up party invites by sneaking away to Playa del Carmen! Forget the fake tattoos, face paint and faux spider webs and jet away to savor some fun in the sun!

Although Playa’s most popular street 5th Avenue comes alive with ghouls and goblins, and the odd bar hosts a spooky party, it’s not a highly celebrated event in Mexico. You won’t be frowned upon should you opt to sit out in civilian attire and watch the parade of Halloween fashion on 5th. You can make it back from your holiday in time to prepare the annual Thanksgiving feast before anyone realizes you were gone.

Xcaret Park just outside of Playa del Carmen hosts the Festival of Life and Death each year from October 30-November 2. Taste traditional regional foods; enjoy live music and theatre events and visit elaborately decorated altars erected to honor the lives of loved ones who have passed. It’s a fun family-friendly event (without the 100 pounds of candy). Although this festival takes place annually around the same day as Halloween, the two events differ greatly. While Halloween tends to have an emphasis on terror and the dark side, Dia de los Muertos (the Spanish name for the festival) is as a celebration filled with joy, parades and color.


10. There’s No Snow!

Playa del Carmen beaches

While some of our northern neighbors are waking up to blankets of snow covering their lawns, visitors never have to worry about trudging through a snow bank here in Playa del Carmen. You can forget about having to slip on your bulky winter boots and enjoy the therapeutic feeling of sand between your toes instead.

Rather than huddling inside in an effort to escape the wet precipitation that chills you to the bone, you’ll want to spend every second in the great outdoors here. Your snow shovel won’t be the only one enjoying a break! Come and experience a more welcomed kind of chill while sipping a cool margarita on the sun kissed beaches of Playa del Carmen!


Not so long ago, people got married, bought a house in or not too far from the same town they grew up, and raised a family. Just a few decades ago, traveling the world was a luxury and a dream for many, if they even thought about it at all.

Today, exploring the globe has never been easier! If you can spare a few extra moments for trip planning, there are some incredibly affordable flight deals posted on airline and travel sites every month. Purchasing a vacation package lets you conveniently book everything at once from flights to transportation to hotels to excursions. The world is more accessible and the travel bug has caused an epidemic!

In fact, more and more singles, couples and families are leaving their former lives behind to hit the road full time! While most are delving into new cultures and seeing the sights for the awesome experiences, some are even getting paid to promote heavenly destinations around the world!

Playa del Carmen is one such heavenly destination that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and easily seduces some to stay forever.

We asked Jacqueline, an Australian world traveler, wife, and mother of two, to tell us her story of why she ended up establishing roots in Playa del Carmen.

JR: How many years have you lived in Mexico?

Jacqui: We have lived here for 20 years – 12 in Mazatlan, 7 in Cozumel and 1 and a half now in Playa del Carmen.

JR: Why does Playa appeal to you?

Jacqui: I love the fact that families are close-knit here. Also we can live a high quality lifestyle for a fraction of the price it would cost in Switzerland or Australia for example (where my husband and I are originally from.)

JR: Your children were both born in Mexico. How do you find the healthcare system here?

Jacqui: Yes, my oldest was born in Mazatlan and the youngest in Cozumel. We have never experienced a problem with the healthcare system. We have private health insurance as well as access to the free local healthcare that is available to all Mexicans. The health system has definitely come a long way in the 20 years that I have lived here. When my son was born in Cozumel, they did not have a pediatric facility for newborns and he was placed in a box beside my bed after the C-section. I stayed overnight in the hospital and was released the following day.

Today Playa del Carmen has very good hospitals, doctors, and specialists who either reside in or travel back and forth from Cancun to see patients.

JR: What are some of the benefits of raising your children in Playa del Carmen?

Jacqui: I am very happy to give our kids the kind of childhood we had at the their age. It is almost impossible to do that anywhere else. We live in a city, yet it has a very warm, small town feel, friendly and safe. One of my kids is involved in equestrian and the other in golf. The costs of these sports in the majority of countries around the world would make it impossible for our family. But we are fortunate enough to be able to give them these options here.

JR: What do you think of Playa del Carmen’s growth?

Jacqui: I remember back 15 years ago when Playa del Carmen began to grow, we were living in Cozumel at the time. We would have to go all the way to Cancun shopping almost every month the first year. As time went on and Playa grew, we traveled to Cancun less often.

5th Avenue barely existed and was basically a dirt road; the town was so small. There was no Chedraui supermarket back then. Today 5th extends several city blocks and the city is stretching out further every month. It amazes me! Yet, the beach is still the same – beautiful. Playa is so diverse now with so many different cultures. I love the fact that my kids interact on a daily basis with other kids from all over the world.

JR: You are building a home now and you have owned homes elsewhere in Mexico. How is the process of completing a real estate transaction in this state?

Jacqui: We just recently sold a house in Cozumel after owning it for 13 years. It was one of the easiest things we have done. We researched and found a good, organized Mexican lawyer that was familiar with Mexican law. The entire transaction was completed from offer to closing in 10 days.

With regards to building: again, research and try to speak to others who have worked with the architect. You need to be able to trust a knowledgeable architect because you’re going to be working together for a while. We built a home in Cozumel that was a difficult endeavor. But this time around, we are halfway through and the experience has been much better, and definitely worth it. There are a lot of resources like expat groups online that we have used for reliable references. In fact, we ended up finding a superb carpenter through this channel of information.

JR: Any piece of advice you can offer to those who are thinking of purchasing real estate here?

Jacqui: The best piece of advice I can give is to really take your time. Have a clear idea of what you want and find a trusted realtor. We were lucky to work with one who really listened to us and who found us the perfect location that best suited our needs.

JR: The newspapers tend to prefer to print the dark side of Mexico. How do you feel living in the country and traveling often throughout Mexico?

Jacqui: I travel every month to various parts of Mexico because my son plays in many golf tournaments throughout the year. It is just the two of us and I have never once felt scared or unsure in any area I’ve been to. My children are 16 and 12 and there are times when I travel to certain parts of the US that I have felt unsure about the safety. Just as in many other countries when you are traveling internationally, there are parts that tend to be more dangerous than others. As for 2 blonde foreigners traveling through Mexico, we have never encountered any remotely dangerous situations. I would never choose to live here if that were not the case. It is a beautiful existence here in Mexico, and it feels similar to how life used to be for me in Australia 20 years ago.

JR: How is your Spanish? What is your opinion – can you get by here having a limited Spanish vocabulary?

Jacqui: I can speak about 90% Spanish and understand 100%. But here in Playa del Carmen, most Mexicans that work in the tourism industry speak English and it is very easy to get around with limited Spanish nowadays. Even if you speak no Spanish, most of the Mexican people will try to understand or will find someone who can help. You may not end up with exactly what you wanted, but at least they make the effort to help.

JR: Is there anything you miss about your home country of Australia?

Jacqui: My whole family lives in Australia, but my parents thankfully come to visit at least once a year. I have not been back in 7 years and do not miss it for the most part. I would love to take my kids back when they are older and show them where I grew up, but I really don’t see us living there again in the future. Mexico is my home and always will be…

JR: What would you tell a young family on the fence about making an international move?

Jacqui: Go for it! Why not? If you have kids, it is a great experience when they have the opportunity to live in another culture and learn another language. The best thing for us about living in Mexico is that we have come to learn that Mexicans live for their families. Sunday is sacred, a time when everyone gathers together to make time for each other. In many cases, in adulthood, the children look after their parents, the way it was a very long time ago. It is hard to teach that to people unless you live and experience such a way of living.


We hope this article has provided some insight into the lifestyle of an expat here in Playa del Carmen. If you have questions about this extraordinary city by the sea, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Playa experts at BRIC Vacation Rentals anytime by calling 1(800) 519-2496/+52(984) 803-3191.

If you have visited Playa del Carmen and would like information and valuable tips on how to go about purchasing a property, check out A Gringo’s Perspective On Buying Real Estate In Mexico.

Is it possible to use the words fitness and vacation in the same sentence? For thousands of people who have made exercise and healthful eating a way of life, maintaining their fitness regime is as natural as brushing their teeth, whether on vacation or not. For those of us who have good intentions but find futile the effort to keep active or to resist recurring trips down the buffet aisles, here are some tips on how to stay fit on a future getaway.

Fitness on the beach

  • 1. Sitting at the airport hours before your flight (on which you will incur a stretch of many more motionless hours) can leave you feeling restless and bloated. If you find yourself with ample time before you board, plug into your favorite playlist and take a walk around the terminal. Every step counts!Girl walking with headphones
  • 2. Determine ahead of time to eat two healthy meals each day, while allowing yourself to choose whichever foods entice you for your third meal. This approach will stave off feelings of deprivation while keeping the excess pounds at bay.
  • 3. While the sunshine, ocean and reggae music in the background set the perfect atmosphere in which to enjoy a cool, tropical cocktail, opt for a less sugar-laden alcoholic beverage. While vodka or tequila with soda water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice may lack in colorful, visual appeal, your waistline will thank you by the end of your holiday.Senor-Frogs-Cocktails

     

  • 4. Book tours which promote activities such as swimming, biking, hiking, snorkeling or walking. This not only gets you away from your hotel and presents the opportunity to explore the culture of a new city, but also makes it easy to incorporate exercise into your trip.Girl riding a bike
  • 5. Set a goal to get in even a 20 minute sweat session each morning whether that means a quick circuit at the hotel gym or a run on the beach. Working out first thing in the morning will motivate you to make more healthful choices throughout the day.
  • 6. Throw a health and fitness magazine in with your beach read repertoire. Skimming through wellness articles will inspire you to keep your mind focused on maintenance while you are out of your regular fitness routine.Man reading a health and fitness magazine
  • 7. Choose to take the stairs over the elevator, try a recommended restaurant within walking distance of your hotel or dance the night away at a local club for extra fitness points.Couple dancing
  • 8. If you choose a beach holiday, by all means, do not succumb to body comparisons with the 21 year olds pounding shots of tequila at the pool bar. As jealousy over the supermodel-like abs of your fellow sun seekers soars, motivation to stick to your own fitness goals plummets, causing you to throw in the towel. Ignore the urge to compare and instead focus your thoughts on achieving your personal best. You will be proud of yourself for not giving up and you will reap the rewards that come with perseverance.
  • 9. Make reservations at the á la carte restaurants on the resort rather than eating from the buffet at every meal. There is often such an overwhelming variety of savory foods on a buffet that it’s easy to end up with a heaping plateful. With wait staff serving you at the á la carte eatery, you’ll be less inclined to ask for seconds.Buffet of food
  • 10. Have you ever considered a fitness vacation? Companies like Inspirations Fitness Retreat in the Mayan Riviera are popping up in exotic locations around the world.  These luxury retreats offer a wide range of health and wellness classes which are incorporated into an all-inclusive schedule. You can dine on a fresh, healthful menu prepared by private chefs, partake in ocean-side yoga classes, indulge in spa treatments, zip-line through lush jungle, all the while enjoying sublime outdoor scenery with like-minded individuals.Exercise

There’s something invigorating about spending time in nature. The serenity is intoxicating. Amidst the peace-filled setting, there are no buzzing Facebook notifications, or clamorous construction sites. The only sounds that might break the silence are a chirping bird or a rustling of leaves, and these familiar sounds just enhance the experience.

In our case, as residents of Playa del Carmen, we are fortunate to be lulled by the sounds of rolling surf, awed by the sun rising over the turquoise sea, or fascinated by a couple of howler monkeys swinging from a tree in the back yard. Playa is an excellent destination for those who want to unplug and slow down, even for a week.

It’s completely understandable that many have a difficult time avoiding some kind of stress in this day and age. We are a fast-paced society inundated by popups, job pressures, apps and social media. If you are one of those people that find it hard to disconnect, we invite you to come and explore our 6 tips for renewing a stressed mind, body and soul in the Mayan Riviera!
Playa del Carmen beach at sunrise
Photo: Playa del Carmen sunrise taken in Playacar Phase I

  1. Get up early, grab a coffee or a cold, fresh coconut and head to the beach to watch the sunrise. Imagine sitting on the soft sand, looking out over the ocean as the waves lap the shore. The vibrant shades of pink, purple and orange of the dawning sun are enrapturing.Exercise is an ideal stress reliever. Why not take a walk or a run along the alabaster coastline while witnessing the spectacular sunrise? Or perhaps you want to get a closer look? Glide towards the sun on a paddleboard. The early morning classes offer an unforgettable connection to nature and are a great way to start the day!
  2. Book an appointment for a massage, a facial or other renewing treatment at a spa. One of the most appealing aspects about Playa del Carmen is that there is a great appreciation of nature here. It might come from the deep-seated respect for the earth the Mayan culture has instilled in this region. Or it may also be courtesy of the community’s strong environmental awareness and passion to preserve the natural splendor of this fascinating region.
    BRIC Hotel and Spa Playa del Carmen
    For companies like Bric Hotel and Spa, it is their vision to integrate as many components of nature as possible into their menu of services. The staff tends to their own herb garden on the terrace. Regional ingredients like salt from the sea, chaya leaf, local honey and coconut oil, as well as seasonal tropical fruits like guava and papaya are used in their footbaths and delightful body scrubs. Let their professional therapists relieve the aches and pains, while you unwind and let your stress fade away.At Xpa Maya in the town of Puerto Aventuras just 20 minutes South of Playa del Carmen, all of their cabanas are within the jungle and feature outdoor bamboo showers, and massage tables set up alongside stunning cenotes. One of their recommended treatments is the Tratamiento Natural Xpa which includes a scrub made from Papaya, oatmeal and honey, a warm bath in water fused with flower petals and even a hair wash made with edible, all-natural ingredients.
    El Cielo Cozumel
  3. Sail on the glistening, turquoise ocean along the Riviera Maya. There are an abundance of options from catamaran rentals to hiring private boats and yachts to take you for the ultimate day of relaxation in the Mexican Caribbean.Sit back and soak up the sun with a cold beverage. Dip your toes in the warm, striking green-blue sea. Snorkel around the reef systems in the area, which are teeming with colorful marine life and amazing coral formations. There are few things more magical than the experience of swimming next to sea turtles or above rays skimming across the ocean floor.
  4. Explore a cenote for the day. If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit one of the thousands of sunken, natural swimming pools in the Yucatan Peninsula, we strongly urge you to do so.Centuries ago, the region’s underground river system caused the porous limestone bed of the peninsula to cave in, causing cenotes. Each one of these incredible swimming holes is unique, some are open, and some are within caverns. Relish the chance to be a kid again and take a leap off the modest bluffs into refreshingly cool waters. Float on your back and admire blue skies that span as far as the eye can see.Most of the cenotes are off the beaten path and are amongst breathtaking, verdant settings. Dos Ojos, Eden, Azul and Cristalino are some of the more popular ones near Playa del Carmen.
    Isla Holbox Mexico
  5. Take a day trip or spend a night on the mesmerizing island of Holbox. This rustic destination has no streetlights and no paved roads. Hammocks on the beach present the perfect spot to take an afternoon siesta. The few restaurants that exist are charming and offer exquisite items like fresh catches of the day and lobster pizza. Golf carts are the main mode of transportation, but this laid-back Mexican gem is still small enough to get around by foot.Holbox is part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, which boasts mangroves inhabited by crocodiles and hundreds of bird species. This is the place to witness a variety of creatures in the wild, including turtles, dolphins, whale sharks and flamingos. The island is about 1 hour 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen plus a 20-minute ferry ride.
  6. Finally, if you ever do visit Playa del Carmen, there is the occasional chance that you will lose your Internet connection. It is one of the few downfalls of living in or visiting this seaside paradise. While most present day establishments have Wifi, there is unfortunately no such thing as high-speed Internet, yet…For those who need to be online to work, a poor connection can be frustrating, that is for sure! However, we suggest you embrace this temporary inconvenience rather than let panic set in. It is often a short-term issue that if you let it, will truly allow you to unplug and succumb to vacation bliss!

In honor of the ‘I Love Playa del Carmen’ contest presented by Bric Vacation Rentals, we interviewed Michelle, a recurring visitor at one of the city’s most sought after luxury condos, ‘The Elements’.  Michelle first became familiar with Playa del Carmen twenty years ago during its initial blossoming period from rustic, fishing village to vibrant, young city.

1995 La iglesia de la colonia Colosio sobre la 30 AV. comenzo como un grande pero modesto galeron
Colonio Colosio, Playa del Carmen, 1995 

She fell in love with this part of the world she describes as «heaven» and was thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase the stunning Garden House 1, which sits nearest to ‘The Elements’ exclusive beach club.  As the green-blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and pristine beaches are the most compelling aspects of Playa which lure her back time and time again, owning a vacation haven steps from the beach was a must.

Elements Community
‘The Elements’ exclusive beach club

Michelle has passionately created within her retreat, an atmosphere of serenity with its warm color palette and zen-inspiring Thai accents.  It is her home away from home in which all cares of the world tend to diminish upon entering.  The striking, turquoise views from her living room and soothing ambience immediately fill her with a sense of peace.

Garden House 1 Elements
The views from Garden House 1 in ‘The Elements’

At the time she was introduced to ‘The Elements’, Michelle was impressed by the impeccable grounds, ocean views and desirable location. After spending a considerable amount of time here, she is captivated by the tangible invigorating energy – a result of the natural fusion of Mother Nature’s most remarkable components- Water, Sun, Wind and Fire.  There is a majestic air surrounding Playa del Carmen which has allowed her and her family to stockpile many cherished moments into their memory banks over the years.

A longtime visitor to «The Gem of the Mayan Riviera,»  Michelle has watched the town transform from a once sleepy village with dirt roads to a thriving, world-renowned vacation destination. Although she fondly remembers the «old Playa,» she has welcomed the growth and appreciates the abundance of activities and entertainment options that are now available.

5th Avenue
he bustling 5th Avenue today

As a business owner, Michelle looks forward to her escapes to paradise where she can relax and unwind.  In a fast-paced world, Playa offers the perfect opportunity to slip into vacation bliss.  With amenities such as pool-side spa services and an on-site concierge, stresses have a knack of quickly fading away.  One comfortably eases into a rejuvenation period, when ‘Shall we lounge by the pool, or by the sea today?’ is among one of the toughest decisions to be made.

Pool at the Elements
The pool at ‘The Elements’ mere steps from Michelle’s terrace

If duty does call, Michelle is able to take advantage of the Wifi and on premise business center with its floor-to-ceiling windows and mesmerizing ocean views. ‘The Elements’ enviable location, just off the trendy, newly-developed section of 5th Avenue, gives guests convenient accessibility to all the attributes which make Playa del Carmen such an attractive beach getaway.

Not only is Michelle a stone’s throw distance from the pristine beaches, but she is also grateful to be walking distance to hundreds of fabulous restaurants which line the famously effervescent avenue. When she first set foot in Playa, there were only a handful of eateries scattered in the area.  Now there are over 700 restaurants spread over the downtown core, which ranks selecting a place for dinner, as perhaps the second toughest choice she might be faced with on a typical day in paradise.

Dining on 5th Ave
Trendy dining options on the north end of 5th Avenue

Having her daughter as her frequent travel companion, Michelle values these memorable trips to Playa del Carmen.  She is delighted to be present to witness the on-going metamorphosis of this city she holds so dear to her heart and expects to create many more special moments with her family and friends in which to savor forever.