5 de Mayo is coming up and we take this opportunity to talk to you about (real) Mexican food and where to get the best in Playa del Carmen. If your idea of Mexican food is Taco Bell, you should definitely order one of the following dishes on your next vacation in Mexico!
When visiting Playa del Carmen you really don’t need much. To help you avoid carrying too many things, here are the essentials you need on your vacation in the Riviera Maya.
Playa del Carmen has an average of 340 sunny days and the sun is strong, so be aware that you may get burned easily when you’re of lighter skin type. But while conventional sunscreens protect your skin, they damage the underwater environment when washing off. To prevent this, buy an environmentally friendly, biodegradable product. Cenotes and eco-parks, such as Xel-ha or Cozumel’s marine parks, require the use of biodegradable sunscreens.
Especially from May to August the sun in very strong. If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen then, better bring a hat or something to cover your head.
After Sun Lotion
Alternatively you can look out for the Aloe Vera plant itself. They grow everywhere here. Its sap applied directly to the sunburn soothes and heals better than anything else! Try first on a hidden part on your body, to make sure you aren’t allergic.
Flip-flops, Swimsuit, Beach Bag and Sunglasses
In other words everything you need for a relaxing day at the beach. Bring more than one swimsuit; because of the humid climate they take a while to dry. Flip-flops are also useful on rainy days – the streets here can turn into rivers.
There aren’t too many mosquitoes in Playa del Carmen, but they’re here, especially around cenotes and on some archaeological sites. You might want to use a DEET-free repellent since the chemicals can damage your skin when used often.
In Mexico the power sockets that are used are of type A / B (the same as in the US and Canada) and the standard voltage is 127 V. Check the voltage label on your electrical appliance. If it states “Input: 100-240V, 50/60 HZ”, it can be used in all countries. Talking about electrical device, don’t forget to bring your charging cables!
If you have a headache or are hangover you probably don’t want to go out seeking a pharmacy. They don’t take up much space or weight in your luggage anyway.
Money to Tip
Carry on some cash. Single dollar bills, twenty- or fifty-peso bills do the job. In Mexico it’s standard to tip not only at a bar or restaurant, but also the bell boy, tour guide, drivers… it’s considered rude if you don’t. Unless the service was really bad, of course.
Bring some in your carry on to fill out the migration papers in the plane.
If you’re visiting Playa del Carmen in the winter, bring a pair of jeans, a sweater, maybe a scarf and you’re good. From July to November there is a higher chance for heavy rain – a rain poncho can come in handy.
What You Don’t Need to Bring
The Hotel Playa Palms team wants you to enjoy your vacation without having to carry a lot. In your room you will find shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and a hairdryer. Upon request a flat iron will be brought to your room and at the front desk we hand out beach towels.
Some seek to just relax and enjoy the beach during their stay at Playa Palms Beach Hotel. Others like to explore the city and go on tours. However you prefer to spend your vacation in Playa del Carmen, check out our guest’s recommendations!
“I fell in love with Tulum. It’s such a peaceful and beautiful town! And I really enjoyed our tour to Cobá. The pyramid peeking out above the jungle looks so dramatic!” Mary-Lou, USA
“Day trips we really enjoyed were to Uxmal and Rio Lagartos, as they are off-beat. Uxmal is an ancient Mayan village south of Mérida. Río Lagartos is a small fishing village on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. At its lagoon you can watch all kinds of birds, like pink flamingos.” Linda & Norman, Canada
“As Thai food lovers, we like to eat at Babe’s Noodles & Bar. Especially the Pad Thai is delicious! And we enjoyed our day trip to Cozumel a lot. The city has just the right size to explore it on foot and there are a lot of things to do on the island, like snorkeling or swimming with dolphins.” Martina & Hans, Finland
“We spent an unforgettable day on a fishing excursion we took recently with Rusty Hook. Our favorite bar is Kitxen, for the live rock music they usually play. And Zenzi beach club, it has a great atmosphere, bringing together locals and tourists. We always meet nice people there.” Marge & Steven, USA
“We like Playa Mamitas a lot because the beach is big and the music they play gives you that beach holiday feeling. The perfect place to relax, get a tan and do some people-watching!” Patricia & Jean-Pierre, Switzerland
“When we visit Playa del Carmen we just want to relax, preferably with a delicious drink and some good tunes. Our favorite local musician is Mike Grabow, so you’ll most likely find us where he is performing at. We also like the live music they play at Wah Wah Beachbar.” John & Nicole, USA
“For the real Mexican feeling we go to Restaurante Nativo: delicious food in an authentic atmosphere. Another one of our favorites is Tarraya, with tables directly on the beach. As a photographer, Gordon loves to capture the sunrise on a walk along the beach or through the city.” Jean & Gordon, Canada
For further information on any of above mentioned places, ask Carlos our concierge or at the front desk. Of course we will also gladly provide you with information on other tours, restaurants or places.
Let us know in the below comment section what is your favorite spot in or around Playa del Carmen!
When it comes to drinks, Mexico has way more to offer than just Margaritas and Tequila. And Mexican drinks are just as enticing as the food. Here are some of our favorites.
At Playa Palms Beach Hotel we are still in a festive mood because in Mexico Christmas season isn’t quite over yet. Like in many catholic countries, January 6 is a special day here. It’s “Día de los Reyes Magos” – known in English as Three Kings Day or Epiphany.
Traditionally Mexican children receive their gifts from the “Reyes Magos” rather than Santa, representing the Three Wise Men who gave gifts to Jesus. Naturally, as well as Santa, they work as leverage for good behavior. No toys for bad kids. Strolling down the 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen you will probably even bump into the “Reyes Magos” – don’t miss the chance to take a photo with them!
But also adults, well behaved or not, enjoy the “Día de los Reyes Magos” and its traditions. On this day Mexicans serve the “Rosca de Reyes”, which roughly translates into King’s Cake. It’s a sweet, oval shaped cake made from yeast dough and adorned with dried and candied fruits. Hidden in the cake is at least one figurine, symbolizing baby Jesus or the Three Wise Men. Whoever finds it in his piece has to buy tamales for everybody on February 2nd, the “Día de la Candelaria”, or host a little party. Tamales are a traditional Mexican corn-based delicacy.
If you’re on vacation in Playa del Carmen around this day, don’t miss the opportunity to try the Rosca de Reyes! Eat company of your friends and family or come and share a piece with us. Traditionally you would accompany the Rosca with delicious hot chocolate. You find them in every supermarket or bakery, or just ask at the reception of the Playa Palms Beach Hotel where you can buy one. If you happen find the baby Jesus figurine, take it home as a souvenir and come back in February to share tamales with us in Playa Palms!