19Oct

What to do in Playa del Carmen when you are not diving?

Playa is quite a new city, less than 40 years-old. From 1974 to 2010, the landscape of the city has dramatically changed (see picture) and its growth until 2020 is going even faster than the last few years. A new city means there aren’t any historical sites to visit in Playa but do not worry, Playa has plenty pretty cool things to offer.  The city has been designed to be an enjoyable tourist place, and yes you are one of them, so what about going for a nice cocktail on a pretty rooftop, enjoying a beach walk or discover the Quinta Avenida with its shops and restaurants.

 

Would you fancy spending some hours at the beach today?

We recommend you to go to the north of the city Calle Colosio (72), Calle 88 or even further away Punta Esmeralda  (entrance after Calle 110). These are three free access points to public beaches! The last two have toilets and showers and you will even be able to find a snack to eat. Shade is rare so bring some protective clothes if you don’t have a beach umbrella.

On the southern part of the city you can access Playacar beach. Playacar is a fancy residential area whose beach can be easily accessed from the ferry pier (left after quinta and Calle Juarez / equivalent to calle 0). Head south from there walking on the beach about 5/10min depending on how far you want to get. The water there is usually the clearest and the sandy part is the widest of the city. Get a nice tan and enjoy a refreshing bath in the Caribbean sea! 

If you are a party bird I will recommend you to go to Mamita’s which is on calle 28. There, you will find some of the beach clubs with drinks and loud music. Martina’s on calle CTM/46 can be an option too. 


 

You are not into beaches but you are still looking for some refreshing water, why not enjoying a pool while sipping a cocktail during an afternoon at a rooftop? 

Several options are available. In some hotels you have to pay a Day Pass like Thompson (calle 12 between 5 and 10) The Palm ( calle 8 between  av 5 and 10) or the Fives Downtown (calle 2, av 10). If you are willing to spend the whole day or afternoon it is worth it!

Some others hotels let you use the pool is you order food or drinks! Among my favorites: Be Playa (calle 26 between 5 and 10), The Reef 28( calle 28 Av 1), The Carmen Hotel ( calle 8 and the beach) that can be an option for the party people!( More photos of those places will come in the Eat and drink post  but you can have a look on google or facebook if you wanna see some pictures already!)


 

You wanna stay dry? 

Well, you can just enjoy a nice walk on the beach that can be accessed from Calle Juarez (0) to calle CTM (46) or from the entrance point I have just mentioned above.

You can also have a walk on the Quinta ( 5th Avenue), which is a pedestrian street! From Juarez to Calle 38, it is a busy tourist walk with a lot of shops around, restaurants and bars. The sellers will probably try to sell you a tour or ask for you to enter in their shops but they will usually not insist and are quite nice. A good way to start practicing your spanish! 

From calle 38 and onward heading north you will enter a quieter area where you will find some restaurants up to calle 52 and after that up to calle 120 the Quinta offers a nice walking and cycling path. The ‘Playense’ people use to walk their dog, you can find some painted walls; depending on the time but do not expect to find much shade: bring some water, a hat and your bikini if you want to spot by calle Colossio or calle 88 for a refreshing swim. 

 

It may sound like a weird option but on a rainy day it can be a good one; why not trying to improve your Spanish by going to the cinema and watch a movie? The big plus: it is a way cheaper than in Europe or the US and the popcorn is as good ☺. You will find movie in Spanish with English subtitles or in English with Spanish subtitles. There are two cinemas: Cinemex situated in Centro Maya ( south of the city) and Cinepolis situated in Plaza las Americas ( it is also a shopping mall) a bit at the back of the city, both are accessible easily with a 40/50 Mx pesos taxi ride from the city center. 

 

I hope this little Playa guide will help you! Comments are welcome ;) 

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