I can’t believe how fast this summer went by. According to my husband I say the exact same thing every September… 🙂
So while this summer may have flown by quickly, ‘we made hay while the sun shined’ on our annual summer vacation to Playa del Carmen, MX. We had a fabulicious time and thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious stay at Luna Encantada while being blessed with perfect weather, great food, and fun family activities.
Every visit to Playa there’s a new experience to be had. It’s so much fun to explore all that this area has to offer and then turn around and share it with all of you! It’s one of the perks of a private condo rental – the ability to do your own thing, go on your own adventures and not be on anyone else’s schedule.
So on that note, here are some of my favorite things (do you hear the Sound of Music playing?) in no particular order that I really enjoyed this summer while kicking back in our favorite spot!
Craft Beer at Gonzalez Bar: What’s better than a cold beer on a hot tropical day? If you are into craft beer, then check out Gonzalez Bar which offers local artisanal beer. Stop in at their Quinta Alegria Mall location and sip a cold one while people watching from open sitting area overlooking 5th avenue! (Quinta Alegria Mall on 5th & 20th. Behind Grand Hyatt 1st Ave. 24th & 26th)
“Where’s the Foodie” Taco Truck: Calling all foodies! A funky little food truck can be found on Calle 6 between 20th & 25th avenue dishing up succulent Baja shrimp tacos, tuna tostadas, fresh calamari & fries for a mere 30-40 pesos! Look for the aqua-blue funky van and bright umbrella and savor the treats coming out of that tiny kitchen!
3D Museum of Wonders in Playa del Carmen. Are you into optical illusions that make you feel smaller, taller or make you feel like you’re falling? Then you’re in for a treat out this 3D museum which is the only one in the Americas and the largest 3D museum art illusion in the world. A fun family experience will be had by all. (10th Avenue between 8th and 10th street)
Chouchou Bakery & Coffee Spot: Skip Starbucks and head right to Chouchou, a family-owned cafe recently opened with a unique modern feel. Their goodies are to die for whether you pop in for brunch or lunch. Pastries, breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, cheeses, fresh fruit etc. All made with love! (20th Avenue between 20th Street and 24th Street)
Beachwear At Chedraui Supermarket: Yes I did say beachwear at a supermarket! I have to say I’ve picked up some really great beachwear (beach cover-ups, bathing suits, sundresses) at a really affordable price at Chedraui Supermarket. You will be wonderfully surprised at the variety, style and price! (Avenida Juarez close to the 307 highway.)
Surf & Turf at Carboncitos Restaurant: Love surf & turf? Look no further than Carboncitos which offers succulent steak & sweet lobster with all the fixins’ and it won’t burn a hole in your wallet. And daily happy hour with jumbo margaritas makes this a regular go-to spot for us! (Calle 4th at 5th Ave.)
Playa Stand-Up Paddle Boarding: Playa is a great spot to learn to paddle board due to its typically calm waters. A great outdoor workout enjoyed in a beautiful playground! (At the beach & Calle 4th)
Cinco Rooftop Bar & Restaurant: Sip a margarita while overlooking the sparkling Caribbean from this newly opened rooftop restaurant and bar. Upscale and beautifully designed with a tropical garden feel and blue infinity pools to relax around. And topped off with very welcoming staff! (Thompson Hotel, 5th avenue & 12th Street)
Pineda Covalin Gift Shop: No matter how many times I’ve been to Playa, I always stop in at this beautiful store. It sells high quality handbags, scarves, ties and clothing made from the finest silk featuring vibrant colors and creative designs. Their creations combine Mexican history, culture and tradition with a modern esthetic. (5th Avenue between 26th St and 28th St)
Two For Tea – The Little Teapot: Some of my family members are tea-aholics! They offer over 157 teas and homemade goodies to accompany that cuppa tea! (5th Avenue between 26th St. and 28th St. Also check out their second location in the Mercado Paseo del Carmen Mall)
Live Music & Tasty Food at Caguameria: I have passed by this place thinking it was so cool with the stone entrance and open-air rooftop dining area. So this summer I finally checked it out and I’m glad I did! Offering fresh & tasty Mexican fare (with a very humorous menu!) and a wood burning oven wafting out amazing smells & yummy food items. Live music on Wednesdays is the cherry on top! (1st. Avenue and the corner of 20th Street.)
Flowering Banana Trees: Have you ever seen a real banana tree up close? If not take a stroll up 1st avenue going north near the Grand Hyatt hotel. You will see beautiful flowering banana trees! A great lesson that bananas don’t come for the local supermarket! (1st avenue / Grand Hyatt)
Condo E3 Luna Encantada: We had a chance to stay a few days in this newly decorated condo and it looks amazing! Panoramic views all the while livin’ la vida loca’! (Love the hammock and new rooftop furniture!) Check out the new photos!
Flambéed Jumbo Shrimp at Aldea Corazon Cocina: Aldea Corazon is one of our favorite dining spots in Playa. Its gorgeous courtyard built over a natural cenote is enough of a draw but add in fresh shrimp flambéed in mezcal and ajillo chili sauce and you’ve got a winning combination! To die for…(5th avenue & 14th Street)
Sipping a Margarita on a Bar Swing: You had me at margarita and then add in bar swings and ocean views? Holy toledo! El Pirata situated beachfront knows how to make classic margs, and they are BIG, cheap and oh so good! Is there anything better than sipping a cocktail while on a bar swing overlooking the ocean? Don’t bother answering. (On the beach between 12 & 14th Ave.)
I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite things. Just writing this blog made me very melancholy for Playa del Carmen. But good news – a seat sale notice just popped up in my email so I guess it’s a hint to book our flights back to paradise!
See you on the beach!
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Sally Foran is a happily married mom of 3, residing in Canada and is a frequent traveler to the Riviera Maya MX. She is an aficionado on ‘everything Playa del Carmen’ and writes with joy and passion about the area. She is also a witty blog contributor to Work & Family Foundation Canada, and NAVUT (offering professionals new to Ottawa the inside scoop!) Sally has also been awarded Blogger of the Week on TravelBlog.Org which enjoys over 250,000 bloggers world-wide.
Playa Beach Getaways is a Denver CO. based company owned by Tonya Sarina. Playa Beach Getaways / Your Best Getaway have earned a rating of Excellent by Trip Advisor, FlipKey and VRBO and continues to earn raves from satisfied guests who return time after time.