Playa del Carmen Highlights

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 places in which to hide and play, such as in caves and cenotes. “Sensitive” diners claim that they feel their ancient power in this cenote - in between the stalactites and flowstones. Along with an unusual ambiance, the restaurant is a palate pleaser with fine Mexican and International cuisine. If you’re looking for a cozy romantic getaway, or a unique place to dine, look no further. Alux is more than just a restaurant. It is an unforgettable experience.
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 for a beer or three to enjoy the view.
Quinta Avenida Manzana No.34 Lote 1-2 Local A03, Centro, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
The newest kid on the block of shopping malls, this recently inaugurated upscale mall features many US chains such as Victoria’s Secret. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s already become a favorite with locals.
Av. Benito Juárez, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
While planning a solo trip to Mexico, one is generally warned, “Don’t talk to strangers.” The truth of the matter is that the “strangers,” or locals as I like to call them, know all the details of what to do, and most importantly, what to eat. So when I found myself stuck on an ADO bus going to Playa Del Carmen (I missed my stop at Puerto Morelos), Alex the friendly Architect informed me of all the good stuff. If you’re like me, and love absolutely anything spicy, and constantly feel the need to put chili powder, spices, and curry into everything and anything you eat, you’re going to enjoy spicy fruit like you’ve never enjoyed anything else. The variety of fruit is generally pineapple, coconut, mango, and even cucumber. Hey, it has seeds; let’s just consider it a fruit for now. These delicious treats are sold in carts and you can find a few lined up in Parque Fundadores off of 5th Avenue in Playa. But if you’re not in that area, you can also find walking fruit vendors on the beach. Some vendors don’t speak English, so if they say “Chile?” just nod your head repeatedly. The cost for one of these is about 30 pesos.
Bahía del Espíritu Santo
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 nothing like Tulum, but the upside is that you won’t have to share the Xaman-Ha ruins with hordes of other sightseers. Just walk around and soak in a little of the ancient history. This is also a charming place to have a picnic, write a letter, or read a book. ____________________ A warm thank you: My trip to Playa del Carmen was courtesy of Mahékal Beach Resort ( The amazing folks at MedjetAssist ( ensure that I take trips, not chances.
Ave. 10 y 1ra sur, C.C. Paseo del Carmen, Playacar, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Located near the ferry pier, this upscale, open-air colonial mall is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. A cobblestone path leads past a number of U.S. brands and boutiques such as American Apparel and Diesel. For coffee lovers, Starbucks is located at its center.
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.
Calle Quinta Avenida, Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Playa del Carmen’s winning charm emerges all along this wide pedestrian avenue, which runs parallel to the beach. Eateries here include everything from cheap fast food like Pizza Renzo to upscale restaurants and cafes; the best people-watching is from outdoor seating at the sports bar Tequila Barrel or Chez Céline bakery. The shopping scene offers international luxury brands side by side souvenir shops, but the most interesting Mexican handicrafts await at boutiques like Sin Pecado and Sol Jaguar. Since this part of town has little shade, it’s best to avoid the midday sun; instead, try an early-morning visit with some streetside coffee in hand, then revisit at sunset to kick off an evening of dining, shopping, and bar-hopping.
Calle 32 Norte, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Playa’s legendary beach club on the most beautiful stretch of beach in the city. Mamita’s is a can’t miss spot if you want to have some fun and a few drinks with your toes in the sand.
Set in the heart of Playa, Lido’s attracts a younger crowd and always has a great atmosphere. More affordable than other nearby beach clubs.
Quinta Avenida Manzana 71 Lote 1, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Owned by arguably Mexico’s most famous chef, Enrique Olvera of Pujol in Mexico City, Maiz de Mar marries traditional Mexican with modern flavours for the perfect balance of flavours. You will not get a bad meal here.
Upon entering Dona Paula you will feel more like you’re in someone’s living room than a restaurant. Head here if you want a true Mexican experience with traditional and cheap food that is delicious.
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