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ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

FLORIDA1
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ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

Hi! I'm thinking of checking out of our all-inclusive package hotel/air on Cozumel one day early, and taking the ferry to Playa del Carmen. I'm thinking of trying to enjoy the day (will have all our luggage though) on the mainland, then staying the night at the Courtyard Marriott at Cancun Airport. The overall objective is to get the bag drag from Cozumel via Playa del Carmen to Cancun over with the day before the flight home, making the flight day more pleasant. Does anyone have any ideas for fun things to do near Playa del Carmen for a day? We'll have to arrange to have our luggage secured somehow as well. I've read about a Jungle Restaurant in Playa. I've also read about Xcaret and Xel-ha but I'm hesitating because I'm really not into crowd, screaming children, or Walt Disney World kinds of things. Have I misjudged Xcaret and Xel-ha? Thanks for your input!

St Paul, MN
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1. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

After you arrive in Playa del Carmen, at the end of the pier they use to have a bag storage under the big palapas, just before you leave the pier on the right hand side. They will also store your luggage at Xcaret at the main desk. Xcaret is not like Disney, more of a cultural look at Mexico with some nice activities mixed in. The "Espactacular Show" is over about 10PM and is one of the highlights. I'm not sure you want to hang around that long. Xcaret is an all day event. Xplor next door is zip lining, swimming, rafting, and ATV action. That starts about 9 AM and you will be done about 4:30.

I think you are referring to La Cueva Del Chango www.lacuevadelchango.com for the jungle restaurant. It's a long ways to 38 Norte Calle and 5th ave.

I would suggest heading down to the lighthouse on 10 calle and the beach and take advantage of Wicky's beach club. Great food, great beach and a lot less stress. The Fusion Hotel would be another good option at 6 calle and the beach, wonderful food, great atmosphere. Stroll the beach north to the other pier and then turn left between the Gran Porto Real and the Royal Playa del Carmen resorts. Head a couple of blocks to 5th ave (La Quinta), take a left and wander down the pedestrian only street to check out the bars, shops and gelato shops. You will end up close to the pier to Cozumel, pick up your stuff and the head to the bus station to catch the bus or taxi back to the airport. The Marriot has a free shuttle to their hotel from the airport. Come to think of it, I think the ADO bus station at 5th and Juarez Ave has lockers as well.

FLORIDA1
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2. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

Great info, thanks! I'm assuming the luggage storage is locked under the palapa?

I took a look at Fusion and their menu and music looks really good.

Which do you think is less crowded and commercial, Xcaret or Xel ha? I'm also looking at Hidden Worlds, which looks interesting but I am a little hesitant because I've already spent enough time in theme parks in the USA. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I just don't want to spend too much time hating people and wishing for nature!

Thanks again for the ideas.

FLORIDA1
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3. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

I also just took a look at Wicky's and it looks great. How does it work? Do you order food and drinks and in exchange get to hang out at their beach club? Thanks again!

St Paul, MN
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4. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

Yes, at Wicky's you order food and get to hang out on the beach in their beach chairs. Live music 1 til 4PM on Tuesday, Friday & Sunday.

We love the Fusion Hotel, neat atmosphere and the food is very very good. LOive entertainment everyday, but that doesn't start until 5PM.

They do not have secure lockers at the pier to Cozumel, they just keep your bags behind and under the counter. I have never used locker facilities in Playa, never had to. I'm pretty sure the bus station has secured lockers

IMO Xel-Ha is less commercial than Xcaret. Xel-Ha is an all inclusive park that is for those that like to snorkel in their lagoon and enjoy the water sports while floating down the lazy river. They will supply all the things you need to enjoy their amenities, small lockers, showers, beach towels, snorkeling equipment (includes a brand new mouth piece you can take home). Bring your own swimsuits. The buffet breakfast is very good, plan on having lunch in the International restaurant, it's really good, alcohol is included with a lot of nice choices. It opens about 9AM and closes about 5PM.

Xcaret is a combination zoo, Mayan and Mexican cultural exhibits, equestrian show, Mayan games (excellent show) and then the Mexican musical show at the end. These entertainers are some of the best that Mexico has to offer, it's very popular. If you do this you may not get to your hotel room until midnight.

Edited: 13 August 2010, 17:09
FLORIDA1
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5. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

I am all over the map on this one. I've also been thinking about the cenote restaurant (Aluxes) or something like that for dinner. I noticed on the map for Cuevas del Chango that there's a hotel called Hotel Shangri La. I liked then name. Have any forumites stayed there? How is the restaurant there? So much fun!

St Paul, MN
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6. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

Mahekal Beach Resort (formerly Shangri-la Caribe)

http://www.mahekalplaya.com/

Link to a trip report. A lot of pictures. playa.info/playa-del-carmen-forum/50307-eile…

Being a "Foodie" I've never been to Aluxes. Great tourist attraction, but not the best food.

U.S.
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7. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

I love your posts oldtraveler!!!!

Being somewhat of a 'foodie' myself, I value your input!!!

if you had to choose 2 or 3 restaurants/beachclubs along the beach... (as our time at PDC will be 'beach days') which would they be. Of course Wicky's and Fusion are there.... Does Wicky's have beach loungers/umbrellas? or just those low chairs and tables????

How about one more suggestion in addition to those two.

And, this goes for the mixed drinks too....

Who has the best, fresh, mixed drinks???

Doesn't have to be complete top-shelf liquor.

I would love to avoid the 'Kool-Aid' and 'Guar-gum' concoctions...

Mamita's looks great, but sounds CROWDED...

How about the Indigo beach club?

Photos look very nice, with those white umbrellas.

Where can we avoid hard rock, and get more latin or jimmy buffet music?

Edited: 13 August 2010, 20:21
St Paul, MN
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8. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

Wishing, Wicky's has the beach chairs and umbrellas, The Fusion has those low slung comfortable wooden chairs on the beach. Zenzi's is also a popular place to eat, drink and hang out at their beach club. All of these places have that laid backed music you are seeking.

Check out El Pirata, between 10 and 12 calle, look for the tattered pirate flag. This is a pretty good value for the money. Good margaritas, cheap cervezas and grilled food.

Indigo's is the new beach club in front of El Taj condos. They are just down from Coco Maya's beach club, which has the nice piped in music that you seek. Always lots of activity down here with all the fishing boats and beach strollers.

Mamitas has the tecno music that gets a little old for me, but we have spent a lot of time using their facilities, so it must still be OK. There food is ok, but a little spendy.

I have not been to the new beach club down by Grand Coco Bay. It's called Royal Canibel. I have heard it's very nice, but a bit expensive compared to the others, gotta check em out, but my kids controlled my agenda last trip. As soon as they say they are buying then I know we are eating and drinking cheap, but I don't suffer:-)

9. Re: ideas for one day Playa del Carmen

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