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Excursions review in Riviera Maya: Playa Del Carmen

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29TH & 30TH MARCH 2010


We drove into Playa Del Carmen for dinner one night and also went there for shopping, diving and dinner the next day. There is much more to this place than we saw but here is a brief run down which might help if you're thinking about spending the day there.


Its a typical, tourist destination with everything you might want in the way of beaches, shopping, eating, diving, local tours etc.


Shops we saw range from large gift emporiums, designer boutiques and back street market stalls. Prices vary widely, haggling is expected and usually successful. You will find every Mexican themed gift, wedding favour, table decor you could want here.

Items range from traditional pottery, wood carvings, artwork, textiles, silver jewellry, intricate beaded items and beach clothes to fun stuff such as sombreros, ponchos, maracas, tequila and food stuff themed gifts.


My one minor regret is all the stress, time, effort and procrastinating and luggage space I wasted on our favours, maracas, etc. They took me ages to source, personalise and design and I was not really happy with them. I highly recommend skipping this and buying it all in PDC when you get there!


The guys went diving off Playa Del Carmen. They booked it here which was cheaper than the dive centre at our resort (Dreams Tulum)

David is a new diver but confident in the water. He was happy with the equipment and the instructor was extra vigilant with him and buddied him on the first dive until she was confident with his competency levels then she was more relaxed and allowed him space to explore with the other guys on the second dive.


The girls chilled out on the beach which is massive. The sand is lovely and lots of space to just throw down your towel rather than having to hire loungers. The only thing to say here is that there didnt appear to be any public toilets here. All the bars and restaurants on the beach have facilities for customers only. Some charge a toilet fee for non customers. It may just be that we were not sitting in the right place or just didnt see them.


Be aware of prices on the beach, always ask to see a menu or price list before ordering. We sat at a little basic shack of a place and for 3 beers and 2 awful watery pina colada's it was $30. It never occurred to us that it would be so expensive and we had already drunk the drinks so we just paid up and left a little wiser and a little poorer!!!


We ate on the main strip both nights and really enjoyed it. The first night we went to a really nice place called La Casa Del Agua. It was expensive but well worth it. Initially you are presented with the "scary" wine list but we passed on this and asked for cocktails which were excellent. The service was impeccable and the food delicious. Its a lovely place for the adults to go as a treat. Its a relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere with funky background music.

We were seated on the 2nd floor terrace and could have been a million miles away from the bustling 5th avenue strip below.

La Casa del Agua Restaurant Playa del Carmen Mexico


On the second night we wanted something equally nice but a bit cheaper and more relaxed after a day at the beach/diving. We asked the dive centre where they could recommend that was good for vegetarians and there suggestion was 100% natural.

It was a nice relaxed, informal atmosphere, with a rustic, natural feel. It was set back from the main strip with a waterfall fountain feature on the ground floor. We sat upstairs on the veranda which was nice and airy. Food was basic but good with a decent veggie selection.

RESTAURANTES 100% NATURAL ::. Come Natural, Vive Natural, Se Natural.


We wondered down the main strip and off onto the avenues and came across a street full of artists and impromptu street galleries, a drumming performance and a capoera performance.


Down these avenues there also seemed to be lots of expensive, trendy, boutique looking bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants if thats your scene.


On our 2nd visit here Christian (our photog) also had a tattoo done at Playa Ink which is between 5th and 10th avenue. Its got an open, funky feel to it, friendly and hygienic with a huge amount of design portfolios to look through or they offered to search the web or custom design something. The guy did it all freehand and Christians thrilled with it.

All my internet searches keep coming up with a place called scream ink, dont know if they changed the name or if this is a new place but here is the phone number thats on the card they gave us.

Tel: 984 803 20 38

As we left one of the local guys said that the owner was from L.A Ink, dont watch it so cannot say if its true or not.


All in all I think for those of you staying elsewhere in the Riviera Maya a trip to PDC is well worth it. Especially if you visit before your wedding to stock up on mexican theme favours and table decor.

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