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January 2017

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Carretera Federal, Cancun - Chetumal Km 230, 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
While not as large as other ancient Mayan cities in the region, Tulum draws in visitors for its stunning setting of centuries-old temples perched on a cliff by the Caribbean Sea. You’ll pass a large market with souvenirs, a casual Mexican...
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Av Tulum / Orion, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Just south of the famous ruins, El Paraiso beach club is set on arguably the most beautiful stretch of sand on the the entire coast, if not the whole world. There is a charge for sun beds, with several options available.
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Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6Km, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Hartwood prides itself on having no menu; instead, there are daily options based on whatever is available from nearby ranches and farms. Of course, that means locally sourced ingredients only, in the service of innovative, Mexican-inspired dishes....
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Calle Polar Pte. S/N, Tulum centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
One of the most unusual attractions of Riviera Maya is a unique network of natural freshwater pools, or cenotes, that connect to the longest underwater river system in the world. The Mayan people considered the cenotes to be sacred, believing them...
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Located deep within the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula, Coba was built in the classical period, which dates from around 500 to 900 AD. The ancient city once covered an area of some 27 square miles crossed by a network of 45 roads or sacbes,...
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Latin America
If you are traveling in the area, don't miss out on all of the amazing cenotes that dot the region. I usually rent a car and drive down the highway towards Tulum and stop at small signs that says "cenote." Many are on privately owned property like...
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Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico
A brilliant work of architecture and astronomy, the Pyramid of Kukulkán at Chichén Itzá is so precisely engineered that on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun casts shadows that slither like snakes and seem to descend...
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Latin America
I did not see any red corn at the Maya site named Chacchoben as its translated named would imply. What I did see were many well restored temples and structures and what I did not see was another tourist. I find that smaller archaeological sites do...
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Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Wonderful catamarans that you can rent right off the beach.
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5ta Av. s/n esq. Calle 22 Norte Local 1 y 2, Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Yaxché specializes in Maya and Yucatecan cuisine. The décor recalls a Maya palace and the food is award-winning – and delicious. Try the nohuc, lemon seasoned prawns on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes accompanied by grilled vegetables, followed by...
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Calle 10 Nte, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A local favorite, Bar La Ranita (Little Frog) is attached to the Hotel Rana Cansada (Tired Frog) and has been around since 1984. The ambiance is laid back, but the prices are affordable and the margaritas pack a powerful punch.
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MZA 4 LTE 7, Calle Quinta Avenida, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
The 33 main dishes served at Mi Pueblo are drawn from the culinary favorites of 33 cities throughout Mexico. Locals and tourists alike frequent this place for delicious homemade Mexican food. Leading the list are corcholatas callejeras, sweet...
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Quinta Avenida 17 Mz. 27 Lote 14, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
It may look like an ordinary 5a Avenida restaurant from the outside, but once inside Aldea Corazón, you're transported to an intimate jungle enclave - complete with small cenote and Maya ruins. It's the perfect rendezvous place after a busy day of...
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Av 38 Norte Mz. 4 Lote 3, Zazil-ha, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
When visiting Playa del Carmen, La Cueva del Chango (Monkey's Cave) is an especially good choice for breakfast. Nestled in a jungle setting with Maya gods peeking through the patio décor, breakfast favorites include fresh papaya, huevos a la...
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Av Benito Juárez Mz 217 Lt2, Ejidal, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Named after the mythical Alux drawn from Maya lore, this unusual restaurant is located inside a naturally formed cave. According to legend, Aluxes are the guardians of property and only appear at night. Born in the moonlight, they seek magical...
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Calle Flamingo SN, Manzana 7, Lote 4, Av Luis Donaldo Colosio, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A little off the beaten path, head North on the beach in Playa until you've reach the 30+ small boats anchored on the point to find this spot. Very relaxed vibe that serves up Mexican street food with a modern, balanced twist. You may want to stay...
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MZA 1 LTE 1, Calle 2 Nte 1, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Set in the heart of the tourist zone on the beach, La Tarraya offers all the usual suspects made with care at prices that can't be beat - especially on the beach. This is the last beachfront restaurant still owned by a Playa local.
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Calle 14 Nte., Ejidal, 77712 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Head to La Floresta for hearty, authentic seafood tacos that won't break the bank. Located on the highway so make sure to keep your head up if you decide to walk.
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26 Av. Nte LB, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
You can't get much cheaper for delicious, filling, authentic Mexican food. A whole chicken with salsa, marinated onions and corn torillas will cost you little more than 100 pesos.
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1 Avenida Norte Mz 63 Lt 1, Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Possibly Playa's most inventive menu will require a thorough read. But be prepared to take your taste buds to a whole new world. Try the grilled corn with chamoy mayo and fresh coriander.
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Av Constituyentes Lote 6 entre 25 Norte Y 30 Norte, Col Gonzalo Guerrero, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Always busy with locals, Chiltepin delivers lots of classic seafood dishes. Their speciality is tostadas. This is a lively place withdaily alcohol specials and live sports on TV.
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Calle 38 Nte., Zazil-ha, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Unique, amazing jungle setting just off of the north end of 5th avenue, Regina delivers authentic, delicious Mexican fare.
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Calle 34 norte #128, Municipio de Solidaridad, Col.Gonzalo Guerrero, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Named for the bright-red paste made from numerous spices that’s used as a rub in southern Mexico (the intense color comes from the achiote seed), Axiote abides by a simple rule: It uses only Mexican ingredients in the dishes it prepares according...
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Calle 34 Norte & Calle Quinta Avenida, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Run by a French expat, this place is the real deal. Just take a look at the imported French ovens in the kitchen. Head here for baguettes, bread, pastries or their absolutely incredible almond croissant. Be prepared to wait in line as this place...
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Loc 5, Calle 28 Nte., Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A delicious, affordable Mexican experience. Burritos are their specialty but tacos, tostadas and other Mexicans staples are also available. Very popular with Playa's younger, local crowd.
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MZA 29 LTE 6 Local 25, 10 Avenida Nte., Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Cheap and delicious Mexican quesadillas. The corn tortillas are made fresh in front of you after you order. The chicken mole and rayas con crema quesadillas are excellent.
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Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

I arrived in Playa del Carmen late on a Sunday afternoon, and headed out to El Fogon, a taco place recommended by Laura at the Hotel Básico, where I was staying. Sadly it wasn't open yet, so instead I found myself around the corner at Los...

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A cenote is pretty much an underwater cave. The Mayas called them "dzonot," which the conquering Spaniards later translated as "cenote." Cenotes are magical, and were once the ONLY resource for fresh and sweet water in the local Yucatecan jungle....
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While searching for a venue for a late lunch in Playa del Carmen, we stumbled upon a seafood restaurant situated in a big palapa (straw hut) near our hotel. The mixed ceviche was absolutely fresh and delicious, and came with octopus, crab, fish,...
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Av. Nte. esquina Avenida Constituyentes lote 3 Manzana 53 No.5, Centro, 77710 Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
You find yourself in Playa del Carmen, the place of night life, clubs, and most importantly, parties. As the locals say, "you come to Playa to party." But that's just the problem; you're not here to party. You're passing through because you've...
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Av Chemuyil Mz 26 Smz 70 Lt 3 Quintana Roo, La Toscana, 77725 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A dilapidated warehouse, cobalt blue on the outside, draws me in. It doesn't look promising, paint peeling and in need of repair, but I have learned never to judge a book by its cover here in Mexico. I walk from bright sunlight into cool shade,...
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Calle 34, Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
This Playa del Carmen restaurant takes its name from a traditional Mexican dish known as aguachile: chili-marinated shrimp with lime juice, onion, and sometimes other ingredients that lend it a strong, spicy-citrus flavor. With its open-air...
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Avenida Constituyentes, Quintas del Carmen, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
A Playa del Carmen mainstay, El Fogón is an open-air taquéria off the beaten path of bustling Quinta Avenida. If you're in the mood for authentic Mexican dishes and drinks, this is the place. Tacos al pastor (served only at night), chorizo,...
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50 Av. Nte. esq. Calle 22 Nte. Mza. 7 Lote 1, Ejido, Ejidal, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Head to Highway 307, just south of Av Constituyentes for a true local seafood treasure. El Oasis Mariscos looks very simple and local from the outside and once you step inside it offers a very laid back dining experience with excellent service....
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Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Isla Mujeres, home to a protected sea turtle hatching area, is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers. The turtle hatchery is dedicated to their conservation and ensures the population is sustained. The small place is typically crowd-free...
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Playacar, 77717 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
It's hard to find a little bit of solace in Playa del Carmen's tourist mayhem, but if you leave Quinta Avenida behind and keep walking another 15 minutes or so south-west, you'll stumble across a small park with Mayan ruins. The scale is of course...