On the coast of the Riviera Maya there are several locations of different importance, size and origin. The heart of the Riviera Maya is the city of Playa del Carmen, centrally located between Cancun and Tulum. In it’s heart, Playa del Carmen offers along the famous “Quinta Avenue (5th Avenue)” a great ambiance of bars, open air cafes, over 250 restaurants, featuring foods from all over the world and shopping for everyone. 5th Avenue runs parallel with the beautiful Playa del Carmen beach (Mexican Riviera), so you are always 1 block away from the beautiful blue and green colors of the Playa del Carmen beaches on the Riviera Maya.
Playa del Carmen is one of the most beautiful and interesting towns in the Mayan Riviera - actually in all of Mexico! An international mix of travelers come here to enjoy the beaches, sightsee, experience the culture and just generally immerse themselves in the tropical splendor of it all.
Playa del Carmen
Or “Playa” as it’s known to the locals, is in the middle of the Riviera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico’s Caribbean vacationland. Playa has amazing beaches, stunning condos and is a wonderful place for rest and relaxation or as an activity filled destination spot.
The ferry to Cozumel, one of the top dive and snorkeling spots in the world, runs numerous trips daily.
Playa is very European in both architecture and life. Once in Playa, there is no need for a car, you can walk everywhere. Walk the famous 5th Ave which is pedestrian only and a beauty at night with lights. This is where everyone goes to find a place for dinner at one of the hundreds of outdoor restaurants, bars and shops. The 5th, as the locals call it, is about 2 miles long, cobblestone and has everything from local restaurants to
Playa del Carmen provides everything one could wish for in a Caribbean location with all the amenities that international travelers require, as well as smaller personalized establishments, numerous bars and discotheques, shopping centers, restaurants serving traditional and international cuisine, cultural centers, water sports and golf.
Playa del Carmen is a fascinating town that attracts visitors from all over the globe who want to see for themselves what it’s all about: to immerse themselves in its atmosphere, feeling the soft white sand underfoot, enjoying the bohemian nightlife on sandy shores and listening to waves break on the beach of Playa del Carmen as they sip a tropical drink. Young people all over the world identify it as the place to go to get to know other cultures and ways of life.
Playa del Carmen is a perfect location for destination weddings, honeymoons, families with children of all ages, girls weekends, guys weekends, whether you are looking for nothing more than rest and relaxation or an adventure filled trip. Playa has it all in the most charming European environment imaginable.
All along its busy promenades lined with handcrafted stores a mere sampling of Mexican and International creativity and on the city’s famous Playa del Carmen Fifth Avenue, meeting place of extravagant characters, visitors can taste the delicious local dishes at any of numerous sidewalks cafes, where a marimba, trio from Veracruz or heavy rock band entice diners inside.
Playa del Carmen, once a sleepy fishing village, in the very heart of the Riviera Maya, Mexico is now one the fastest growing communities in the world. Playa del Carmen has a first-class Condo/hotels In Porto Playa and El Taj Ocean that provide the services of a cosmopolitan tourism destination.
On the horizon, the hazy outline of the legendary island of Cozumel beckons. Cozumel is ranked as one of the 7 best snorkeling and diving locations in the world. Regularly scheduled ferries take visitors back and forth from Playa del Carmen to the Mexico’s largest island from early morning till after dark.
Playa del Carmen, magic, eclectic and yet steeped in tradition is the doorway to those who want to enjoy the natural beauty and culture of the Mayan World, explore the region, mingle with its people and discover the parks of the Riviera Maya. The new alternative to traditional tourism is eco-adventure travel that offers everything from walks through exuberant jungles to millenary cenotes (sinkholes) and Mayan suiteges, cave diving in the underground river system to solitary lagoons, refuge of monkeys and other marvelous wildlife.
After an active day, there is nothing like a massage on the Playa del Carmen beach, an aromatic bath, therapies to sooth the spirit and mud treatments to eliminate toxins and relieve tensions. Although a fascinating kaleidoscope of color created by nature and rich cultural diversity by day, Playa del Carmen, corner of the Riviera Maya is renowned for its nightlife.
From Playa del Carmen, you can easily visit other interesting tourist areas:
• to Xcaret 7 kms/4 miles/5 minutes
• to Tulum 62 kms/39 miles/40 minutes
• to Puerto Aventuras 19 kms/11 miles/12 minutes
• to Akumal 32 kms/20 miles/25 minutes
• to Puerto Morelos 32 kms/20 miles/25 minutes
• to Xel Ha 49 kms/30 miles/35 minutes
• to Valladolid 160 kms
* to Cancun 67 kms/42 miles/45 minutes
Hola! and Welcome to our Site. My husband, Terry and I have condo’s in Playa del Carmen that we rent out.
We created this site for a couple of reasons: to share stories and pictures of Playa del Carmen and to show you some of the great condo/hotels in Playa.
I’m not sure if you’ve been to Playa del Carmen before, so in case you haven’t, let me tell you a little more about Playa.
Terry, and I have been going to Playa del Carmen since 1993. We’ve been to beaches all over the world (Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Florida, and, of course, Mexico: Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, etc) and Playa is my favorite beach in the entire world (I am a beach girl).
The beaches are the best and the town offers everything you could want. I love that it is filled with Europeans, South American’s and some Americans.
The days are spent on the beach, the nights are spent on “The 5th”, world famous Fifth Avenue, a 2 mile pedestrian cobblestone street 1 block from our condo.
The beaches (100 steps from our condo) in Playa are white, soft sand, no rocks and the water is crystal clear. They are very clean beaches and you can see Cozumel on the horizon. You can walk for miles. Playa has a law that no building near the beach can be taller than 4 stories, so you’ll not see any tall buildings which is part of Playa’s charm.
- You can walk for miles on the beach
You can walk north on the beach for at least 10 miles (that’s as far as we’ve ever walked). The water is crystal clear, about 78 degrees. There are numerous restaurants right on the beach and lots of places to get chairs, drinks, etc. You can w
alk south for about 1 mile, but after that, there is not as much beach and the water goes all the way to the buildings. That’s where a number of all-inclusives are, so there’s not as much to see anyway.
On the beach you can do boogie boards, parasailing, wave runners, etc. Snorkeling and deep sea diving and fishing are very popular. If you want to go snorkeling, I’d take the ferry to Cozumel (rated one of the 7 best in the world) and go snorkeling there. You can also take a tour bus or rent a car once in Playa and go south to ancient mayan ruins or a water park that has snorkeling, tubing in an underground river, and swimming with the dolphins. My son and his girlfriend went zip lining in the area and raved about it.
You don’t need a car in Playa You only need a car if you want to go off-site for something. Even zip-lining comes and picks you up.
- Porto Playa Condo/Hotel is 100 steps from the beach
Fifth Avenue is about 2 miles long, is pedestrian only, and has open air restaurants and shopping. You can w
alk up and down and find a place you want to eat dinner or go shopping.
Playa is very European – half the tourists are American, the other half are a mix from all over the world: South America, Asia and Europe. It’s fun to walk 5th or be eating a meal and hearing all the different accents. Eating outside on 5th Avenue with a Gulf breeze and Mexican music at night will make you feel you are in a remote tropical paradise.
I have posted a list of our favorite restaurants if you decide to go. The restaurant in our building, Negrosol, is the best in all of Playa, but it’s also one of the most expensive. We have many other favorite places that have excellent food and the price can vary from $10 (grilled fish fillet with veggies, chips, salsa and a beer) to $25 per person. We end up spending the most at lunch – but we get a chair on the beach, have a few drinks, eat, go for a walk, have a couple of more drinks and then head back home.
- You can walk for miles on the beach stopping along the way for drinks, lunch or just to sit back and relax
We have friends who now live down there and they buy all their food, beer and wine at either Wal-Mart or Mega – both are a 6 block walk from the condo. I know how that might sound, but down there both are great stores with the greatest fresh food. We typically walk over there the first day (in the morning before it gets too hot), and buy fresh fruit, wine and snacks. We then have breakfast on our balcony. Before dinner we open up a bottle of wine and have drinks and snacks on the balcony.
There’s no place like it that we’ve ever found. We’ve done all-inclusives and liked them, but prefer this. Everything is in such close proximity that it’s similar to an all-inclusve, but with much more variety.
The Playa Associates Properties
About 10 years ago a guy from New York came down, fell in love with this sleepy Playa, bought some property and took a huge risk, he built a small boutique hotel, Villas Sacbe on First Avenue. When Terry and I were going to buy a condo, we went there first and found out that a new property was going up a block away, Porto Playa. We bought a 2 bedroom unit and have been thrilled with both owning a condo in Playa and renting it out to people.
We feel Porto Playa (2006)is the finest of all the properties. With only 21 condo’s, a large tropical garden, an upper pool with waterfalls into a lower pool, jacuzzi’s, a coffee/smoothie shop, The Gym, Negrosol and other ammenities. There’s not another place in Playa that has all this and the most perfect location in town.
A third sister property, El Taj was completed in 2007. It also is within 1 block of Porto Playa and has a lovely pool area. The fourth property, Maya Villa was completed last year and sits between Porto Playa and El Taj. It has a gecko pool and a beautiful waterfall.
The last property, El Taj Ocean was completed in 2010. It sits right on the beach and we offer a 1 bedroom with complete views of the water, large balconies, full kitchen, and lots more ammenities. Please email me for availability and rates.
- Porto Playa Condo Hotel rated “excellent” by 22 travelers