Grocery shopping can be a fun way to discover a country you travel to. Also, all rooms at Playa Palms Beach Hotel feature a fully equipped kitchenette, for you to prepare your own meals and drinks – if you wish so. Here’s where you can get all the yummy ingredients you need.
Food & recipes
This Friday, September 15, Mexico starts its biggest fiesta, the Independence Day celebrations. Flags, hats, lanterns, and whatever else patriotic in the national colors red, white, and green, decorate the city during the whole month. It’s truly one of the best time in the year to be here if you like to get to know the Mexican culture. Here are some ideas what to do in Playa del Carmen on Independence Day:
Make friends at Playa Palms Beach Hotel
Stop by our front desk to receive a complimentary shot of tequila and clink glasses with our staff and fellow guests. Viva Mexico!
Have a Mexican dinner
Of course on a day like this, you want to eat Mexican. For the real deal, not just some tacos (even though they are a delicacy too), but one of those meals that make the Mexican cuisine so special, head to La Perla Pixan on the 34th Street between 5th and 10th Avenue. Open your appetite with one of their Mezcal drinks!
It can’t possibly get more Mexican
…than celebrating Independence Day at idyllic Xoximilco. The place boasts all Mexican traditions, serving you typical Mexican dishes, while you’re floating through the river on gondolas, accompanied by the sound of Mariachis and, of course, Tequila. An unforgettable evening is guaranteed!
Playa’s most Mexican party
Take part in Playa del Carmen’s biggest celebration. The main square across the City Hall (between 8th and 10 Street and 15th and 20th Avenue) is where the city’s main attraction takes place. Vendors are selling snacks and candies, there will be fireworks and free concerts – in other words, lots of fun! At 11 pm the municipalities governor recites “El Grito”, which names the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence and ends in Viva Mexico, with the people answering Viva!
But, what exactly are we celebrating?
In the year 1810, early in the morning of September 16 to be exact, Miguel Hidalgo put into words what every Mexican was feeling: That they’ve had enough of the Spaniards. That their government wasn’t taking care of things the way it’s supposed to. (Talking about how that got better is a topic for another day). Hidalgo, a priest of north-central Mexico, motivated his parishioners in a fiery speech to stand up against the unwanted Head of State calling for redistribution of land and racial equality. This caused a revolt that within a short time turned into a war that lasted for 11 years until Spain acknowledged Mexico’s independence. The before described recitation “El Grito” is to commemorate Hidalgo’s speech and the courage of the people fighting in the war.
The main reason why so many people love to spend their well-deserved vacation in Playa del Carmen is its gorgeous beaches. And what better way is there to enjoy life, than with an ice cold drink or a tasty meal right at the beach, while digging your toes into the white sand and watching the Caribbean Sea? Here’s our round up of the best beachfront bars and restaurants in town.
1 Inti Beach
The former holistic yoga place recently transformed to a beach club and restaurant. We love it because it stands out from other beach clubs. Instead of party vibes, you find a truly chill ambiance, they have free Wi-Fi and their food is not only good and healthy, but also well presented. This is also a nice place to get a good massage.
Where: Between 4th and 6th Street
The rather small and intimate Mediterranean-inspired restaurant is one of the high-end options at the beach. Their seafood and meat from the grill are delicious and combined with the view over the ocean this makes for an excellent dinner experience.
Where: 8th Street
3 Canibal Royal
What we love most about this beach club and restaurant are its open floors of the two-story building, with an unbeatable view. Together with the 50’s Tropicana style décor, and delicious seafood, this makes it to one of the hippest places in Playa del Carmen. Don’t miss out on their drinks!
Where: Calle Flamingo (at the Avenue CTM with the beach, then turn left when you hit the beach)
4 Indigo Beach
We recommend the restaurant just next to Playa Palms Beach Hotel, especially for its breakfast buffet. It’s not only complete and delicious but what beats having breakfast at the beach, overlooking the Caribbean Sea? They also offer special romantic dinner deals, which you should definitely look into if you’re looking for a sweet treat for taking that special someone.
Where: 14th Street
5 Señor Frogs
Spring break is coming up, and there’s probably no better place to live up to it than Señor Frogs. Expect American-style food, their famous yard drinks and a party atmosphere at one of the most beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen.
Where: By the Cozumel ferry pier at Avenue Juarez
6 Wah Wah Beach Bar
Not a fan of electronic music? Then come to Wah-Wah Beach Bar for a laid-back atmosphere and good live rock music in the evenings. It’s also a good place to meet new people since it’s one of the local expat’s favorite spots.
Where: 2nd Street
7 La Tarraya
This was one of the first restaurants to ever open in Playa del Carmen, in 1968 to be exact, and there is a reason why they are still around. Expect good seafood to very reasonable prices, directly at the beach and surrounded by palm trees.
Where: 2nd Street
February, the month of love! And if you happen to spend Valentine’s Day in Playa del Carmen, there are a many ways you can spoil your loved one:
1 Watch the sunrise
2 Horseback riding at the beach
Is there anything more cliché and romantic than riding a horse at the beach? And Valentine’s Day is the perfect day for such a corny adventure. We suggest Punta Venado, which is a gorgeous beach about 16 km / 10 mi south of PLaya del Carmen.
Temazcal, the Pre-Hispanic version of a sauna is the most relaxing and healing experience. There is a special couple’s ceremony, guided by a Mayan shaman, to relax your soul and cleanse your body. Sweat it out, to the sound of chanting and the fragrance of herbs.
4 Lobster dinner on a Spanish Galleon
It can’t possibly get more romantic. Have a special evening on the Columbus, out in the Lagoon Nichupté. You can either see the sunset or eat in the soft glow of the moon and the stars above you while enjoying the beautiful view of Cancun’s coast in front of you.
A very Mexican romance. Enjoy a variety of Mexican dishes on a wooden, gondola-style boat, the so-called trajinera. Expect a fun ambiance with delicious food, drinks, and Mariachi music.
Everybody who is currently staying in Playa del Carmen can’t ignore the fact that the town’s biggest event is happening: the famous BPM Festival. Electronic beats follow you wherever you go, beach clubs, bars, even some restaurants turn into instant clubs. This is great, as long as you love electronic music. If you don’t, here’s where you can avoid the crowd and the beats.
Whatever time of the year, taking a day trip or a tour to one of the many Mayan ruins is always a good option. Exchange the ubiquitous electronic beats with Mayan dance performances and culture. If you’re looking for ruins off the beaten path, we recommend Ek-Balam, a good 2 hours drive from Playa del Carmen. Its pyramid, El Torre, is one of the largest Mayan structures on the Peninsula. For more off the beaten path trips read here.
Enjoy beautiful beaches, restaurants, bars and souvenir shopping, but without all the BPM craze. Cozumel is just a short ferry ride away from Playa del Carmen, so it’s an easy day trip. Here are the activities we most recommend on the island.
You can’t visit the Riviera Maya without having plunged into at least one cenote. These natural sinkholes, sacred to the Mayas, are magical places. Cool down in their fresh water and explore a whole new underground world! These are the top 5 cenotes around Playa del Carmen.
4 Punta Soliman
This peaceful, paradisiac beach just about 15 minutes north of Tulum, is one of the Riviera Maya’s best kept secrets. Come here to relax, avoid the masses and simply unwind your mind on the large, crescent shaped bay. Just in front of the beach entrance you find Oscar & Lalo’s restaurant, famous for its seafood. Especially their ceviche and the grilled octopus will seduce your palate.
5 Plaza Punto 115
If you still want to go out for a beer, but away from the techno kids, try Plaza Punto 115. The relatively new plaza attracts mainly a local crowd. You find restaurants like Don Sirloin where you can get some delicious tacos or the Italian restaurant La Piola. There are also several bars, for example Las Helodias, where you can try very Mexican beer. At any time of the year this plaza is a nice alternative to the always busy 12th Street.
Whatever you are looking for, just ask our concierge or our staff at the front desk of Playa Palms Beach Hotel for suggestions. We are always happy to help! By the way, on January 15, the BPM festival comes to an end and Playa del Carmen returns to normality. For the moment at least.