If you’re traveling the world as a tourist, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want the tourist experience. For many Playa Palms guests, vacationing in Playa del Carmen is an opportunity to avoid hectic crowds, practice Spanish in an immersive environment, and experience the culture as much as possible. If that sounds like your idea of a perfect vacation, make sure you keep it that way by shying away from these common tourist traps.
Tips for Traveling to Mexico: Visit Tourist Traps on Your Own Terms
Tourist traps aren’t an inherently bad thing; in fact, their popularity speaks otherwise. Knowing where they are means choosing when to participate and when to steer clear. Here’s our list of tourist traps you can visit at your own risk.
Taxis. The majority of the things to do around Playa del Carmen can be accessed via the efficient colectivo system. Colectivos are air-conditioned, 14-passenger vans that drive all around Playa del Carmen and the Cancun coastline. These trips are as much as 90 percent cheaper than taxi fees. The most expensive rate for a colectivo ride from Playa del Carmen to Tulum or Playa del Carmen to Cancún is 35 pesos. If you go to a place between these two areas, the price will decrease.
However, there will be a price board on the street to verify that you’re paying the correct amount. Once you get to the colectivo terminal, you should tell the driver your destination before you board the van, and pay him when you arrive. You can find colectivos parked on Calle 2 Norte between 15th and 20th Avenues. Most vans take off about every 15 minutes.
Excursions. Not all excursions are created equal. Talk to the concierge desk at your hotel to find out which tour guides and companies offer the best value for your money. The concierge desk at Playa Palms Hotel knows the highest-quality excursions in the area and can make the necessary accommodations for you.
Money exchange booths. It doesn’t take very many cervezas before tourists are lining up at the cambio booths, which are known for making some pretty poor exchanges on their behalf. You can use your smartphone to check current exchange rates and count your change carefully.
We recommend our guests avoid ATM machines located all around 5th Avenue since the exchange commission rate there is about 30%. The best thing to do is exchange your money at the bank — two of them are located near Playa Palms (Scotiabank is on Constituyentes Avenue at 10th Avenue and Banorte is on 10th Avenue at 8th Street). Make sure to bring your passport for this transaction.
When you make your reservations at the Playa Palms Hotel, our staff will ensure you have the exclusive Mayan Riviera vacation you’ve been dreaming of.