With at least 250 days of sun per year, the Riviera Maya is blessed with beautiful weather most of the time. But even in paradise, cloudy and rainy days can happen. However, not spending the day at the beach doesn’t have to ruin your vacation, since Playa del Carmen has plenty of other fun activities!Read More >>
Strolling down the 5th Avenue on your vacation in Playa del Carmen, you can’t ignore the many colorful handicrafts that are sold. Genuine works of handmade art abound, rich in colors and culture.
Sarapes & rebozos
These vibrantly colored blankets are among the most typical representation of Mexico. They come in different sizes, colors, and design patterns, depending on the region they are made in. The one coming to mind when thinking Mexican blanket, with colorful stripes, actually has its origins in the northern state of Coahuila. Traditionally, they are multi-used as clothing, blankets or pillows.
Similar to the sarapes are the rebozos, incredibly versatile shawls. They are used as a shawl, wrapped around as a blouse, or slung across the back to carry a baby. Many shops on the 5th sell sarapes, stop by Sol Jaguar on the 5th Avenue between 4th and 6th Street for beautiful rebozos. They also sell silver jewelry, gorgeous alebrijes, and other items.
Blouses, tunics, shirts, pillows, bags and whatnot ornamented with embroideries are one of the most distinctive aspects of indigenous handcrafted textiles. The different styles, colors, and patterns of clothing identify the groups and villages they come from. Mayan women in the Yucatan area typically wear a huipil. The tunic or dress is made from white cotton fabric, embroidered with cross-stitched flowers around the square neck and hem.
If you’re looking for a typical blouse or shirt, check out Guayabera dexorden, just two blocks from Playa Palms Beach Hotel, on the 16th Street between Avenues 1 and 5.
These adorable and colorful monsters are actually born in a nightmare. 1936 the artist Pedro Linares Lopez dreamed of a forest full of strange creatures. Waking up, he started to carve his visions from wood. Nowadays they are an inherent part of the Mexican culture.
Dating back thousands of years before the Pre-Columbian period, ceramics is one of the oldest arts in Mexico’s traditions. From tableware to kitchen utensils and figurines you find all kinds of colorful pottery, decorated with simple colors up to elaborated patterns. Nearly all souvenir shops on the 5th avenue sell a wide selection of ceramics.
Living in the Caribbean, hammocks are indispensable. May it be hanging between two palm trees at the beach, or inside a home as to replace the bed. Nearly every household in Yucatan is equipped with a hammock. No wonder you find the country’s best hammocks on the peninsula! They come in different sizes, styles, made of cotton or nylon, thin or thick cord, and a varying amount of threads. Along the 5th Avenue, many stores sell hammocks, to varying prices. If you want to be sure to get a quality hammock and good consulting, we recommend La Casa de Las Hamacas, a store dedicated to just hammocks, on the 30th Avenue between 52nd and 54th street.
The Mayans were one of the first civilizations in the Americas to make jewelry. Typically made of colorful stones, beads or silver, they are sold by Mayan women on the streets in Playa del Carmen, or even in fancy high-class stores. If you’re looking for silver jewelry, make sure to proof its authenticity.
Rain? In the Caribbean paradise of Playa del Carmen? Yes, it happens. But that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying your vacation, as there are plenty of activities to do when the weather strikes. Check out our suggestions below!
Head underground and visit one of the many cenotes. Even though outside it’s pouring, you won’t feel a bit of it while exploring underground rivers.
In Rio Secreto for example you can hike and swim through canals while admiring stalactites and stalagmites. The nature reserve forms the longest partially flooded cave system in the Yucatan peninsula. Expect a lot of awe and adventure!
Also very close to Playa del Carmen is the cenote Chaak Tun. Chaak being the Mayan god of rain – maybe while you are at it, ask him to calm the pouring down a bit? The cenote is only a short cab ride from downtown Playa del Carmen and definitely worth a visit.
If you don’t mind getting wet a little and are looking for fun and adventure, Xplor might be your choice. Fly on zip-lines over the trees and enjoy the view over the Mexican Caribbean! Or drive an amphibious vehicle through the jungle and caverns, and discover the underground rivers on a raft. For a very special experience, visit the park after sunset.
Definitely worth a visit, regardless of the weather, is Xcaret. The natural park is focused on Mexican culture and has a lot to do and see. Like a beautiful Mayan cemetery, an indoor-aquarium, or a hacienda. Make sure you don’t miss the epic show at night!
Just as epic is the Cirque Du Soleil’s Joya Show. Music, dancing, animals, planets, flavors and the Mexican culture are part of the show. It can be booked with or without dinner, and why not start the evening with drink at the cenote?
Shopping malls are a good choice too. You cannot only explore the stores there, but also go to the movies. About a ten minutes cab ride from downtown is Plaza las Américas, or visit the significantly bigger Plaza las Américas in Cancun. Both malls have a cinema, you can check online what movies they are showing and if they are shown in English.
For further information or to book a tour or transportation to one of the places mentioned, just ask Carlos, our concierge.
Most importantly, don’t let the rain get you down and make the best of it. Good news is, it probably won’t last for long.