Playa del Carmen

A day trip to Playa

It is a great break from the hotel, bar and shopping scene of Cancun. Playa is much smaller, without high rise hotels, and a much more laid back atmosphere. That’s not to say it isn’t commercialized. The town completely caters to the tourist industry. But it doesn’t have the big US chain restaurants – rather a lot of smaller restaurants, clubs, and shops to explore.

In Playa, the Avenida Quinta is one, long avenue filled with establishments for the tourist. You can shop, eat and drink, and walk and walk. It runs parallel to the beach and closed to motorized traffic, so a popular way to visit Playa is to walk Quinta from one end to the other and then back along the beach. Coming from Cancun, it is easy to do this and enjoy a good meal on a day trip.

Easy to get to from Cancun. There are buses, but it is just as easy to go to Cancun’s main bus station and take one of the comfortable big buses to Playa. They take you to the station right on Avenida Quinta, near the ferry pier to Cozumel. If you go south from the Playa station there is a pretty nice shopping center, and to the north is the long walk through all of Avenida Quinta, from which you can return along the beach for a good walk.

Restaurants treats for the Senses

Located in the Paseo del Carmen mall just outside of Playacar, Viva Margarita! is open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and has been voted as having the best Margaritas in town by local newspapers. Try strawberry, lime, mango, tangerine, tamarindo or piña colada margaritas (The glasses here are rimmed with a tasty blend of chili, sugar, lime, and salt.)


Ajua! Maya: It specializes in authentic Mayan cuisine, colonial cuisine, seafood and grilled U.S. Angus beef.

Madre Tierra: This is a Mexican and International restaurant. The atmosphere is lively, and the food is delicious. You can soon consider it one of your favorites in Playa del Carmen.


Ul a-Gula: Fusion menu. Casual atmosphere. Regular menu items include appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, sushi, meat and fish dishes in the moderate price range. Portions are generous, so make sure to leave room for the scrumptious desserts.


Las Mañanitas: It has got a great reputation as good food, a cheap, and a cheerful restaurant. A versatile menu that features breakfast, lunch and dinner at a great rate.

La Vagabunda: Fresh ingredients, big portions and reasonable prices make this place a contender for neighborhood hot spot.