Playa del Carmen is about to take your *corona as the sexiest Mexican destination for the twenty-somethings to soak in the sun.
After living in the home of the Mayans, Fondas, and Mariachi bands this past Summer, we filmed a guide to show you why Playa Del Carmen is a poppin’ destination for the twenty-somethings. If you’re a traveler looking for a beachy, yet authentic destination that won’t break the bank, Playa might be the right place for you. This is Jo breaking down why you should be booking your flight to Cancun, but heading further south to enjoy the Playas del Carmen.
Quesadillas with a side of Imodium AD
The stereotype is true: if you eat too much Mexican food, you gon’ get the runs. It took about two weeks for my bowels to recover after leaving Mexico, but hey, that’s what Imodium AD is for! The food is delicious – meat, cheese, and a tortilla in any form you can possibly think of for less than five dollars, who’s going to pass up on that offer? In fact, in my opinion, it’s worth the extra bathroom visits. When eating in Playa Del Carmen, try seeking out a *fonda, or a teeny-tiny, no-name restaurant with six (or less) tables. The food is bangin’ and best of all, cheap. For 50 pesos ($4 USD), you can buy a four-course meal that is cooked by the person who most likely owns the restaurant.
La gente esta muy loca
I like to go to the club more than the average girl, which means that I have to find ways to booty drop on a budget. I was surprised when I arrived in Playa because, despite its small size, the nightlife scene is huge. Ladies, we’ve had to deal with years of oppression, but hey– things are looking up; we can get into clubs and have bottomless free drinks almost anywhere along Calle 12, Playa’s beachside nightlife center. Feel free to get your pregame buzz on at La Bassade, a small bar on Calle 10 that sells one-liter cocktails for less than $5. Take free salsa classes at La Bodeguita del Medio, a famous Cuban Salsa bar, or watch attractive half clothed fire breathers along the beach to get your dosage of caliente entertainment!
Keepin’ it real Mexican
When in Mexico, where do you go to avoid the clusters of tourists that Hawaiian shirt-ify the natural beauty of a place like Cancun? If you haven’t guessed yet, Playa Del Carmen, where the heat is high, and gringo count is low. There’s a sense of authenticity here that is hard to come-by anywhere else along the Yucatan Peninsula. Playa also keeps it real when it comes to practicing your high school level Spanish with the locals. Call me a weirdo, but I get so insulted every time I open my mouth in a foreign destination and the locals immediately speak English to me. Like, will you let me speak my mind in Spanish and show you my Rico Suave lingo please? In Playa, you’re more than encouraged to practice your Español because most of the people in the city are actually locals who don’t speak advanced English.
Saving your pesos on excursions
Excursions and tours from Playa are easily accessible with the millions of tour companies located in this beach town. To get some insight on all things Maya, Playa is a perfect location to move about the various temples along the Yucatan. With over four temples within a few hours driving distance, we learned about the Mayas, and got the scoop on the whole “the world will end in 2012” shenanigans. We were guided by our favorite jungle-man, Mauricio, who owns a company called Planeta Indigena Expediciónes. At $60-100 for day trips, he shares all the tips and tricks to survive if you ever get lost in the jungle because our homeboy actually grew up in *la selva. When our pesos were basically gonzo, we booked with Easy Tours, a company that relies heavily on its advertising. The tour buses’ windows were skinned with the company’s logo, blocking our entire scenic bus ride. That small (or relatively large) detail cramped our travel-hustle while going to Chichen Itza, but in the end, we knocked another world wonder off our list for under $40. All of that and we have a video to prove it. Enjoy “What’s Poppin’ in Playa” by your twenty-something travel guides, Damon & Jo.
To watch the full episode click here: What’s Poppin’ in Playa
*Cuidado – “Be careful” or “Watch out”
*Corona – crown
*La Selva – the jungle
Like this post? Sign up for weekly travel inspiration:
[BigMailChimp list=1 required_fields=”1″]