Welcome to Playa Palms Beach Hotel! You’ve arrived at your personal oasis of calm in the middle of cosmopolitan Playa del Carmen. Lay back in the hammock on your ocean view terrace, sip a margarita and take in the beautiful turquoise colors of the Caribbean Sea. Here are 10 more reasons why you’ll love your stay at Playa Palms Beach Hotel.
Organizing a transfer from the airport to your hotel may not be the most exciting part of your vacation, but making sure you get safely and hassle-free to your destination sure is important.
Taxis are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get around Playa del Carmen. Here are some answers to the questions, we get asked most, like the estimated cost and what to be aware of.
Where can I get a taxi?
You can either just stop a taxi on the street, which is as simple as holding up your arm until one pulls over. Or go to a taxi stand where they are queued up for customers, but also charge a bit more.
There are several taxi stands downtown Playa del Carmen. One is just outside of Playa Palms Beach Hotel, then there is usually one outside of supermarkets. On the 5th Avenue, you find taxi stands at the corner with the 10th street, another with Constituyentes Avenue and on Juarez Avenue, just outside the ADO bus station (where you arrive if you take the bus from the airport). Also, supermarkets usually have a taxi stand out front.
Do taxi drivers speak English?
Some do. Usually, drivers from a taxi stand speak a little bit more English. We recommend that you carry a card with the address of the hotel you’re staying at to show it to the driver and make sure you always find your way back.
How much is a taxi ride?
Taxis in Playa del Carmen don’t use a meter. Instead, they have a chart based on the areas you are going to and from. that indicate a cost. As probably anywhere else in the world, they tend to overcharge tourists. It helps if you sound like you know how much to pay (see the list below for an overview of the fees). To make sure you don’t end up paying too much, ask them how much they charge before getting in, or if you know the price, just pay that amount when arriving at your destination.
Here is a list with the approximate fee from Playa Palms Beach Hotel / downtown Playa del Carmen to following places:
- to the ADO bus station: max. 50 pesos
- to the airport: 650 – 750 pesos
- to Cancun hotel zone: 700 pesos
- to downtown Cancun: 670 pesos
- to Puerto Juarez (ferry to Isla Mujeres): 750 – 800 pesos
- to Puerto Morelos: 450 pesos
- to Tulum: 670 pesos
- to Tulum hotel zone: 720 pesos
- to Akumal: 410 pesos
These fees are for up to 4 people, and be aware that at night they charge a little extra fee.
Can I pay in US dollars?
Yes, you can. Everybody in Playa del Carmen likes to see dollar bills. But be aware that the driver will probably use an exchange rate to his advantage and you will end up paying up to 50% more.
Should I tip the taxi driver?
It’s not usually done. Unless he helps you with your suitcases or gave you a really good service, then tip him 10 – 20 pesos.
Isla Mujeres is the perfect destination for a day trip from Playa del Carmen. The laid back island has way more to offer than heavenly, Caribbean beaches with white, powdery sand, swaying palm trees and crystal clear water. Swim with the giants of the Sea, discover ancient Mayan history and a wildlife refuge!
About Isla Mujeres
The island gained its name “Island of the Women” because of the many carved images of women the Spanish found when they arrived there. This was because the island was a sanctuary for Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, fertility, medicine and happiness. The temple was built on the south tip of Isla Mujeres, which happens to be the most eastern point of Mexico. It also served as a lighthouse, to guide Mayan seafarers.
A few hundred years later, the island turned to be the perfect refugee for pirates and buccaneers. It’s said that they kept their women here while they went out plundering the Spanish ships, loaded with gold from Yucatan.
Beginning in the middle of the 20th century Isla Mujeres already welcomed visitors, long before Cancun was discovered by tourism. Since there was no ferry service yet, tourists would signal with flashing their car lights from a make shift dock, for local fishermen to pick them up.
How to get to and get around in Isla Mujeres
Nowadays it’s much easier to visit the island. Puerto Juarez in Cancun has two ferry docks that service Isla Mujeres on a very regular basis. The two docks are a few blocks apart and about 10 minutes north of downtown Cancun.
The easiest way to get around Isla Mujeres is by renting a golf cart or by taxi. Most golf carts are about $45 – $65 USD a day and it makes it easy to visit all the following places!
Welcome to the island’s most popular beach. And there’s a reason for it. Playa Norte is a truly paradisiacal beach, with crystal clear water and white sand, post card like, just as you expect a Caribbean beach to be. Getting off the ferry, you turn left on the main road and walk about 10 minutes until you reach the beach, or take a cab. There are several beach clubs; some have a restaurant and bar service, some just offer loungers and sun umbrellas.
You arrived to Mexico’s most eastern point, where the remnants of the before mentioned temple of Ixchel stand. Although severely damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, it can still be visited. Besides of the ruins, Punta Sur offers a breathtaking view of the coast line of Cancun. With this view and its steep, naturally carved cliffs, Punta Sur sure is one of the most beautiful spots on the Island, with a lot of wildlife to see. You can walk down a trail to get closer to the water and to a little cave.
El Garrafón Natural Reef Park
The Natural Park just next to Punta Sur is ideal for snorkeling. It’s named after the gorgeous reef formation at its shore, which is home to many different species and guarantees an incredible snorkeling adventure. If snorkeling isn’t your thing, how about swimming with dolphins, zip-lining or kayaking? Or just relax in a hammock, plunge in the pool and refresh with delicious drinks at the bar. The park is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and the entrance fee starts at $89 USD. Ask our staff at Playa Palms Beach Hotel to help you with reservations.
Turtle Farm Tortugranja
About halfway to Punta Sur you find this sanctuary for sea turtles. Sadly, sea turtles are an endangered species, which is why at Tortugranja they aim to protect the animals and increase their population, while educating visitors on a very interesting one hour tour. They offer shelter to injured turtles and other animals, and have a turtle nursery. You can walk through indoor and outdoor pools and observe not only baby and adult turtles, but also fish, sharks, sea horses, and crabs. The center opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm and charges a small entrance fee.
Swim with Whale sharks
This is probably the most incredible experience you will have, not only on your trip to the Riviera Maya but in your whole life. Don’t miss out on swimming with the peaceful giants if you happen to visit during the whale shark season, between June and September. Isla Mujeres is one of the best spots world wide to swim with whale sharks, maybe that’s why the island is formed like giant shark! Our staff at Playa Palms Beach Hotel is happy to help you book your tour. More information on swimming with whale sharks.
Finally you can board the airplane, and after counting down the seat number in the aisle, there you are, Welcome to seat 26E! Of course the overhead bin is already full. There you are, wedged in between a guy with a resounding laughter watching The 40-Year-Old Virgin, a whiny baby running amok on the other side, and the famous seat kicker in your back. Happy 10 hours flight!
Most of the Playa Palms Beach Hotel’s guests get here by flying to Cancun, and we wish for you to have a better flight experience than the one just described. Read our tips below, to enjoy a more comfortable flight:
1 Reserve a good seat
Both, aisle and window seat have their advantages. You may opt for aisle if you’re taller, since it allows you to stretch your legs. Plus, you don’t have to bother anyone if you want to get out of your seat. Window seats on the other hand lets you rest undisturbed and leaning against the window might be an extra comfort.
Avoid seats near the lavatories, since other passenger will be passing by regularly and might bump into your seat and wake you up.
The back of the plane is noisier and bumpier, but usually there are also more free seats, you might end up with an empty seat next to you.
Seats by emergency exits have a lot more legroom, but you can’t store your luggage under the seat in front of you.
Seatguru.com helps you find the best seats on your flight.
2 Less hand luggage
As mentioned, often you arrive to your seat and the overhead bin is already full. Try to only bring what’s essential. A small bag or backpack that fits underneath your seat allows you more leg room and you will travel more comfortably.
3 Don’t dress to impress
You’ll spend the most of the time cramped into a seat, so why wearing these jeans, that make you feel 1 pound skinnier? Dress comfortably, in loose and stretchy clothes that let you move and breathe. Try dressing in layers, a top, a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket or sweater, to be prepared for the temperature changes. Bring a light scarf, which you can use as an extra blanket or crumble it up and use it as a pillow. Bring slippers or extra socks, so you can get off your shoes.
4 Move that body
Walk up and down the aisle every now and then, stretching and flexing your legs to prevent your body from aching due to poor circulation. You might also consider wearing compression stockings. When you arrive to Playa Palms Beach Hotel after a long flight, we recommend a walk at the beach or stroll along the 5th Avenue to stretch your legs a bit.
5 Stay hydrated
Usually the air on a plane is very dry, so make sure you bring your own bottle of water (that you purchased at the airport after the security check of course). You might consider bringing eye-drops too, lip balms, and a small container of hand lotion (3 Oz or smaller) if your skin dries easy. We know, the free booze on board can be very tempting, but try to keep it to a minimum, since the alcohol additionally dehydrates you and doesn’t help at all with the jet lag. Better enjoy some delicious drinks on the hammock of your balcony, once you arrived at Playa Palms Beach Hotel!
You’ll have several hours with absolutely nothing to do – is there any better time to binge watch your favorite TV show? Since you might not like the movies featured by the on board entertainment system, bring magazines, a book, and be sure to have good music on your device, podcasts and a back-up movie or two. If possible, bring your own headphones, since the ones they give on airplanes are usually of poor quality.
If you want to sleep bring ear plugs and an eye mask. Buy a travel pillow (not the inflatable one) to rest your neck.
8 Stay fresh
Carry wet towels and hand sanitizer with you, and bring a toothbrush, deodorant, and, if you use it, some make up to freshen up before landing.
Have a good trip and, most importantly, enjoy your vacation!