Twenty-nine years ago we visited this area and took the bus down the coast of Quintana Roo to visit the Mayan ruins at Tuluum. At that time the only thing here at Playa del Carmen was the dock for the ferry to Cozumel, plus a few cinder block dwellings along the gorgeous white beach. We arrived yesterday afternoon from Mexico City where we saw Jamie off on his flight back to Vancouver, and it's quite a different place.
Now Playa is a holiday destination for travelers from all over North American and Europe. There are hotels of all ranges restaurants, nightclubs, and tourist stores lining the streets along the beach. Fifth street is closed to traffic and a river of people streams along it. The river was broadened last night by a parade, which may have been for Carneval as I think it's this weekend.
The restaurant choices here are enormous. Last night we had a fabulous meal in Italian restaurant that rivaled anything we had in Italy. But the prices are high, essentially like Canadian prices. But there are alternatives. This afternoon we wandered three streets further away from the beach and found a nice clean restaurant that serves a Mexican clientele. The food was excellent and less than half what we would pay in the tourist zone.
Our hotel is a new one and very luxurious. We have a small room at the back but still get to use the rooftop swimming pool. Sadly my camera has decided to stop working so I am using my cell phone to take photos. This is not ideal for me, the compulsive photographer, but it’s better than nothing.
I tried to capture the incredible blues of the Caribbean over the white sand but without camera settings this was all I could get. It will give you some idea of the beautiful beach here.
Tomorrow we will be taking the ferry over to Cozumel and doing some snorkeling from a glass-bottomed boat. Cozumel has one of the best reefs on this coast and we should be able to see many beautiful tropical fish.