Mexico | What to do in the city center of Playa del Carmen, Mexico?
Playa del Carmen
In large, tourist cities such as Playa del Carmen, the overview has quickly disappeared. Yet Playa del Carmen has plenty of authentic, cozy places that are a must-see during your visit. But how do you find these places? And is there also a price tag attached? In this blog I tell you where and how you can find these great places in the city center of Playa del Carmen.
At the zona hotelera, also called Playacar, all major hotels and All-inclusive resorts are located within a guarded area. The city center is adjacent to this area, where a large amount of shops, clubs and eateries can be found. The area is crowded and largely focused on tourism. Yet there are many places with an authentic atmosphere that bring out Mexican culture.
One of the things that this Mexican culture brings out are the various dining options. There is a wide range of restaurants, bars and small eateries where you can rest during an intensive day of shopping. I especially looked at the places that really let you experience that you are in Mexico. One of these restaurants is
Restaurante Tropical which is located in the busy shopping street on 5th Avenue. The kitchen prepares delicious Mexican dishes and the restaurant has an authentic Mexican atmosphere. From the first floor you have a good view of the shopping street adjacent to the restaurant and the waiters in the restaurant are very friendly. The restaurant is very busy so if you are looking for a small quiet restaurant this may not be the place.
In that case you might be better off looking for a restaurant that is centrally located, but just a little less busy. The restaurant is next to a small art gallery called Art Planet. The restaurant entrance is located in a small alley leading to Hotel Jardin de Marieta. The restaurant is on the left and overlooks both the pretty garden and the art gallery. It is a small-scale restaurant with a lot of atmosphere and mainly fish dishes. It is the perfect place to escape the crowds, while you are actually still in the middle of it. Prices are quite low.
In addition to preparing good food, the Mexicans also know very well how to party. Besides the well-known Coco Bongo club on 5th Avenue, there is also a small tent called Fat Tuesday. The idea of Fat Tuesday: drink and dance tequila as much as possible. Tequila is what is abundant in this bar, especially the specially tequila flavored frozen daiquiris. There are several flavors of slush puppies with which you can make these frozen daiquiris. When you order such a slush puppy, for about 8 euros, you get it in a large fluorescent cup. In addition, the bartenders walk around with a whistle and a bottle of tequila and Every time they blow the whistle you get a shot of tequila. Mostly Spanish-language music is played and everyone dances together both in the bar and on the street. A great fun intention!
Just outside the shop area, you will find a park with archaeological finds made available to the public. The finds are not located in a fenced or paid park and are available for everyone to admire. I would recommend renting a bicycle at the place where you are staying, or in the center (this is slightly more expensive). There is a long cycle path from the center to the Playacar district, where you can easily get by bicycle. Along the way you will come across some small shops and after about 5 minutes cycling you will find the park on your left. You can park your bike in front of the park and walk further.
Xaman ha ruins, Playa del Carmen
Besides the many restaurants and eateries, you can also get a snack or breakfast at one of the many fruit markets. One of these markets is the Dac market. It is located slightly outside the center of Playa del Carmen, but is worth going to. You choose the fruit and vegetables you want here and they are then cut in front of you. This is then placed in a large container that you can take with you (very handy for on the way). Such a large bowl of fruit costs you about 2 euros.