Friday, June 20, 2014

The Streets of Playa del Carmen

With forecasts for another rainy day in Mexico, Ken and I decided to grab a "collectivo" and head a few miles North to Playa del Carmen.  We had visited the town briefly on the first day of our trip, when we took the ADO bus from the airport.  The bus was really nice ... like a tour bus with comfortable seats and air conditioned.  It was much cheaper than a taxi, but it only went as far as Playa del Carmen.  With only our "Pampered Pirate" backpack, our SailorBag backpack & our SailorBag duffel bag (love their products) as luggage, it wasn't a problem to be dropped off at Playa del Carmen and then take a "collectivo" another 45 minutes to the resort.  By choosing not to bring a suitcase on the plane we saved $50 bucks with the airline, and a good bit more by being able to take public transportation.  Who needs more than a couple pair of shorts and a swimsuit anyway?!

Although we were tired and ready to see our hotel room for the first time, we were also curious to explore Playa del Carmen a bit before grabbing a "collectivo".  We roamed a few streets and checked out the beach, which was beautiful white sand and blue water.  The streets ran parallel to each other, all ending at the beach ... really cool!  The town was bustling with people, both tourists and locals.  There was an energy in the area, with music playing and some Mexican acrobats dangling from a pole.  We knew we had to come back and spend the day here while we were in Mexico.   The place kind of reminded us of the French Quarter back home ... only smaller, cleaner, and with a gorgeous beach!

We grabbed a table at an outdoor bar, just a block from the beach and right across from the music and the acrobats.  A mexican beer was in order ... and long overdue!

The second visit to Playa del Carmen had just as much energy as the first day, and we walked countless blocks while taking in the sites.  The town was definitely geared towards tourists, with shops full of t-shirts and Mexican souvenirs.   We don't care much for tourist traps, but Playa del Carmen still had an authentic Mexican vibe.  The buildings had a lot of character, and just a few blocks away were residences and little "hole in the wall" restaurants that were sure to have some amazing food ... too bad we were stuffed from the free buffet at the resort (also great Mexican food there)!

At the end of every street ... the beach!

Even though the forecast called for rain, we brought our swimsuits in hopes of hanging out at the beach and swimming.  But, the forecasts were right and our suits never came out.  
Just like Tulum, the weather was perfect for walking around ... no sweating!  Can you see the dark clouds looming over the beach?

After walking as much as we could stand, we wound up back at the same outdoor bar that we'd visited on our first day.  We grabbed the same table, which gave us the view below ... the beach in the distance and lots of activity.

The statue below was within view from our table (see it behind the palm trees in pic above) and at the edge of the beach.  I wasn't able to capture the details in it with the camera, but it was really cool.  Lots of mermaids ... I'm sure there's a story behind the statue, but I don't know it.

This cool little church was on the corner across from us, and on the hour a guy came out and rang the bell.

Just like New Orleans, there were so many cool residences and businesses tucked away behind the busy streets.  This little "Hotel Lunata" caught my eye, and it's where I'd wanna stay ...

and this spa entrance looked pretty relaxing too.  I love anything "Zen"!

Ken wanted this picture of the 7-Eleven ... they disappeared in Louisiana several years ago.

As the evening arrived, we decided to head back to the resort for dinner and wine.  I didn't get any pictures, but every night we were treated to an a la carte meal instead of a buffet.  It varied from Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Spanish and steak.  Except for the steak (it sucked), everything was top notch and delicious!

Another day of getting around the rain ... would we be so lucky the rest of the trip?!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Susan said...

Love the area...been there many times. Cozumel is one of my favorite places. Nice blog.

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing -- I enjoyed reading and seeing your photos of Playa. Am glad you enjoyed it, even though the weather wasn't perfect. said...

Just looking at that beach calms me down. Looks like you are having a great time!

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