Even if you haven’t been to Playa del Carmen, 5th Avenue is the first association that comes in mind. This landmark is famous for its restaurants, fashion and gift stores, spas, and nightlife. In the high season, around 25,000 people visit this street per day. You can imagine how crowded it is. Furthermore, it’s very expensive. Nonetheless, there are plenty of awesome places to visit and quit the routine. Here’s one more insider’s guide around Playa del Carmen.
Meet 10 awesome places that tourists hardly ever find, unless they have local friends:
Playa Punta Esmeralda is a free beach that is located practically at the end of the Colosio district. It has a small but beautiful cenote. A unique thing about this place is that its waters acquire different colors due to the mixing of the fresh water with the sea. We recommend grabbing some snacks and drinks because there are no beach cafés. The parking is free of charge or you can get there by bus 3030 from Avenida Juarez and Av. 30, Cancun direction.
Playa Xcalococo, which in Mayan means “twin coconuts”, is located just a few kilometers from Playa del Carmen. It has a white sandy beach equipped with showers and restrooms, the entrance is free. It is a quiet beach where you can spend a pleasant time with your family. There is a reef 20 meters away from the beach, so take the snorkeling stuff. You can get there only by car, the parking is free.
28th of July Park is situated in the downtown, in front of the City Hall (Palacio Municipal). A lot of concerts and parties take place there during the year. They often ramose the street market in Oaxaca. You can try traditional dishes, buy natural soaps and shampoos, sweets. Around Christmas, you can see a big Christmas tree and some events for locals. If there’s nothing happening there you can still go inside the courtyard of the Palacio Municipal and see the large mural there. At night in front of the palace, they also sell marquesitas, waffles filled with sweet feelings.
Parque La Ceiba is the first public, ecological and cultural park in Playa del Carmen, Colonia Ejido. It receives approximately 24,000 visitors annually and organizes festivals and eco-events. The park has become a home for various organizations, projects, workshops and local initiatives that promote sustainability. It has several trails, playgrounds and a café with delicious pastry. Moreover, it has yoga and Tai Chi classes, movie nights, and bookcrossing. The park is closed on Mondays but the rest of the days it operates from 7:30 am till 8:00 pm.
Restaurants and Bars
The tortas at Juarez. At the corner of 15th Av. and Benito Juarez there is a stone archway that leads to a local street food market. Here they sell mostly tortas (meat sandwiches) and burritos. If you’re hungry, this is your best place. Chicken or beef tortas cost around $35 pesos.
La Floresta is a family restaurant functioning since 1994. It is located between Avenida 50 Norte and Calle 14 Norte. From 12 am till 4 pm it offers seafood tacos, cocktails and ceviches. After 5 pm they serve meat tacos of Guadalajara style. You won’t regret, and the prices are surprisingly cheap.
Le Lotus Rouge bar is for those who are tired of fancy and expensive bars of the 5th Avenue. This place reminds of an art house movie. The decorations, music, and furniture make this space unique. They have a nice rooftop from where the stage is seen. You can check the events on Facebook and visit life music concerts or disco parties.
Body and Soul
Playa Yoga Tribe. Stretch your body after climbing the pyramids. Daily, donation-based yoga at the Aventura Mexicana Hotel is organized by the Playa Yoga tribe community. They have plenty of classes like yoga, pranayama, sound healing meditations. You can also visit peaceful pool parties on Sundays and meet likeminded people. The classes are held in Spanish and English, the yoga mats are provided.
Family Outing and Shopping
Planetarium Sayab is a perfect place to go with kids. It is equipped with a digital projection room, a database and astronomical events developed by NASA. It also has two didactic rooms, astronomical terrace with two telescopes. Moreover, there is a water life museum of the Riviera Maya.
Plaza Las Americas is a recently opened mall just off the federal highway minutes from all major hotels near Playa Del Carmen. It has a Chedraui supermarket, Cinepolis, SEARS, food court, and a play zone for kids. You can also find cheap souvenirs here.
There are a lot of awesome places that only locals visit Playa del Carmen. You just have to meet the right locals or follow our blog. Stay in touch and we will introduce to some other places!