Photos are from November 2008
Photos are from October 2007
The area between the piers is the central part of Playa del Carmen. This is the greatest area to explore like thousands of tourists have done before you. At the intersection of the ice cream shop on 5th and 4 Norte head away from the beach to 10th and you will find La Taberna internet cafe/sports bar with excellent rates and refreshments. Their menu is very extensive from burgers to steaks. The most recent internet rates (Nov 2010) were 18 pesos per hour. They do have headsets and webcams so you can check in on MSN Messenger or Yahoo with the family back home.
Across the street is a seafood restaurant which never seems to have much business.
Along 5th you will find quaint shops like the Jelly Fish store. There is also a fellow that makes lamps out of conch shells and you can find him right on 5th. Wander on the side streets along 5th to find the charm of PDC. Special shops and lots of surprises. Babe's Noodle Bar is not open for lunch but is worth the trip for dinner. They have another location in the north end along 5th near the Luna Blue hotel.
Stop into the Hot Baking Company, a popular place for caramel rolls and breakfast one block off 5th on Corazon (Calle 14). There are 2 stores in total. Besides the one on Corazon there is one in the shopping center on the east side of hiway 307. They have a great lunch menu also.
Right in the center of the 5th strip is a Subway. The other is on the south end of town in the Paseo mall.
The Hotel Basico is next to Java Joes about a half block of 5th on Calle 10. Next door a webcam is located at the la Rana Cansada and you'll recognize the Mexican flag in the field of view. (Hotel Cielo has a webcam also on 4th between 5th and 10th; another webcam is at the Tequila Barrel on 5th, yet another at the Playa Palms condos down on the beach) Below is the location of Pizza Pazza and the Hacienda Hotel Aqua Azul across from the small shopping mall (Plaza Pelicanos) and Blockbuster video on the block between 10th and 20th.
Only a block from the Royal Playa del Carmen resort and along 5th is Mambo's. It is a little general store but they have Chilean wines and lots of other treats.
On 30th within a few blocks of each other you will find 2 large discount stores in competition. Mega (below) rates well against Wal-Mart (pictures above) and has a fantastic deli. At the Wal-Mart they must have problems with big arrows on boxes that should not be stored upside down.
The streets of PDC are layed out in a natural grid with the main drag (5th) close to the beach activity. Along the beach are many small hotels and bar/restaurants.
New condos are springing up and new owners scamper to get their units rented. The migration to condo experiences are increasing with the ease of getting the essentials for your week from the big box Mega store and its competitors. Management companies are a growth industry in this part of the world.
The Fusion hotel (above) has a nice beach area and the Playa Palms (with webcam) and Blue Parrot Beach Club have a prime location right on the beach right in the center between the two piers.
Close to the ferry pier is a large public beach large enough for futbol. The restaurant nearby is large enough to handle all your food and drink requirements but there is also a plaza there with street venders and a Burger King.
Check out Las Pinatas if you are on the beach at the city plaza. Grab a table on the beach or on their deck.
On the plaza also is a Catholic mission church. Picturesque and still in use. Service times vary so ask at your hotel to get the current ones for you.
The main Catholic church and school is over by the Wal-Mart on 30th
Down by the beach and the area near the old El Faro lighthouse there are dive shops, small hotels and lots of condos being built.. They are usually sold and rented out by the owners. $300,000 or more for a 1-3 bedroom and many do not have a view. Hotel Kinbe is nearby.
Out by highway 307 and Constituyentes is the tourist police and ambulance area. Across the street from it is Covi liquor store. A great place to get Xtabentun, rum, or tequila without haggling. Just a block or two south and towards the beach is La Pesca, a seafood restaurant for fresh fish cooked to order.
The ADO bus depot on Juarez and 5th offers transportation to tour destinations. Leave in the morning and return in late afternoon to Akumal, Coba, Xel-Ha, an Xcaret. Across from the bus depot the street vendors set up early in the morning. It's a great place to get a fresh local treat before starting out for the day.
Last update was on 10/16/2016