Playa del Carmen Christmas getaway was like a dream come true! Putting bikini on during winter period and hit the beach, dance in the sand, swim with turtles and sleep under palm trees! This was probably one of the most longed trip I have ever had in my life – just to get away – far, far away where the sand is white, ocean is blue and the life is colorful just like the murals, city and people in Mexico.
Usually in adventures in new countries I plan many things I wish to try, taste and see, but this was slightly different trip – this trip was to seek a peace, relaxation and a proper getaway to recharge batteries, reflect and reconnect with the life, priorities and simply enjoy life.
Of course this picture reflects my happiness when you take of shoes and touch the sand while it’s officially a winter!
It was my first time in Mexico but already sure that definitely not the last one, as fell in love with the life, people, beach, colors, and contrasts that I know I will come back for more. The contrasts are truly strong there, especially between the poverty and richness.
Our destination was Playa del Carmen – one of the most touristic destinations of all Mexico. A wonderful place, that somehow has become an ultimate party people, rich tourist destination that heads there for exclusive oceanfront resorts and all inclusives, that local person cannot even think to afford. Due to this heavy tourist traffic the place has become a merchant and vendor paradise that tries to sell you and cheat you, asking sky-high prices, for everything – everywhere.
Taxi drivers are the worst – the ones hanging around the touristic streets and destinations. So be aware they might ask you triple, so make sure you want to bargain. but if they don’t accept – just go and catch another one on the parallel street – they are plenty of them.
The street artist have done a wonderful job making the city truly colorful and cheerful. Just couldn’t get enough.
Souvenir shops are a huge business at downtown Playa. Tequila, skulls, sombreros, leather boots, ponchos on every corner with a price a “special tourist price”. As an old leather bag seller told us, when we said that this is totally too expensive for a bag I wanted, that that price is for “gringos” (as the call americans there), not for Italians, you kind a get the vibe of the place and price setting policy there..
This souvenir shop was just lovely, small, traditional and run by mom and her daughter which made me stop and check it out just because of the AMAZING pink sombrero outside I wanted to bring home ( after trought consideration I realised that I will never be able to put it in my bag nor (without annoying everyone around me) wear it in the plane, I gave up and traded in for a traditional Mexican headpiece and some hand painted magnets.
These little fellas, which seems to be a mix between a squirrel and rat, were everywhere.
Once you are in Playa del Carmen you have to try one of their margaritas! Of course I always trust trip advisor suggested ones so we hit Viva Margarita near the beach. Must say this was the best frozen mango margarita I have ever had.
This beach park – Parque Fundadores is a nice place to watch sunset at Playa del Carmen and enjoy local shows, grab an ice cream and have a sunset stroll.
These traditional dressed guys were showing a really impressive show – they were playing their music instruments and hanging with heads down spinning around from 20m.
Away from the downtown dazzling life, we had our own beach idle – just 5km outside the city at residential area. A place where the beach was not packed by tourists, well there were resorts surrounding us, but still not too busy to ruin this peace.
This was our view most of the days – peaceful beach to play some beach volley, swim, read a book and tan.
Oh and the highlight of the trip – TURTLE BEACH at Akumal. Oh, so lovely place! and my first snorkel experience! I knew those swimming lessons will be handy one day!
Despite of the tourists it was amazing to enjoy the beach and snorkel to see sea turtles which were more than 1m diameter big. Impressive indeed!
And 10 minutes later comes black clouds and starts raining cats and dogs. Weather changes there from moment to another therefore you should be always prepared by some lovely poncho. (especially when you are on scooter exploring Mexican coast like we do).
Here he comes! The most amazing part is that they are like 30m from the coast and it costs nothing if you just want to swim along them as long as you are cautious and do not touch them or coral reef and it’s inhabitants. (Of course not my case had to rent snorkel gear as not the swimmer of the year just yet! ).
This is one of the top things to do around Playa del Carmen – exploring natural water pools – cenotes. (This place were some 20km away from Playa on a private ground, so you could get there by paying a small admission for snorkel equipment and a vest (which is obligatory). Fun thing that there were living the small fishes that likes to eat dead skin from your feet – ticklish feeling. Also it was supervised by the biggest iguana I have ever seen that made me freeze the moment I saw it..luckily – other side of the cenote.
The happy, rested palm
selfie usie as a start of 2017 to remember to keep this year different, spicey and relaxed just like this New Year on a beach!