Last June my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. For this second honeymoon our chosen destination was Mexico, to be more exact Playa Del Carmen in beautiful Riviera Maya. It was probably the first time in over ten years we were able to spend a week as a couple without our children. This was a very enjoyable time for us as we renewed our votes and reinforced our initial commitment to build our marriage in a way that makes us both happy. Now, back to the topic, Playa del Carmen or PDC, as many people know it is a paradisiac tropical destination with amazing beaches where you can experience the purest white sand you’ll ever find. It’s a place with lots of resorts around, and a really nice place to spend memorable days. I have to confess I was really missing my children during our first day there as we would see little kids playing in the pool and young people having fun around but I also know we needed to spend time together as a couple. It was fantastic to wake up every day beside my husband and not having to think about our daily routine, worrying about work, rushing the kids in the morning, etc
The one thing that I really recommended is to pay close attention to the weather forecast. As much as we want to assume PDC is a great destination in the Caribbean where sunny days and blue skies are guaranteed, our vacations plans almost got ruined, all because of a tropical storm passing through the area. Fortunately for us, the storm dwindled at some point before our arrival but there were thousands of tourists the week before who saw their vacations ruined. According to the staff at our resort, people had to stay indoors, sometimes in their rooms and couldn’t even enjoy the pool! That said, you should definitely check the weather forecast before booking your vacation, otherwise, your plans can dramatically change.
That being said, here’s a brief summary of my seven days in PDC…( today just about first day)
On your first day, go for a stroll to La Quinta Avenida. Essentially, this is a pedestrian-oriented street, about 2 miles long with lots of shops, restaurants (both great and no so great) and other entertainment options available, including world-famous Coco Bongo.
Our resort was located in Playacar, which put us within walking distance from La Quinta, about 15 minutes. We would enter la Quinta through a mall located on the southern tip. On the other side of the mall you would find a few streets leading to PDC’s main square – aka la plaza – where you will find the town’s main church. From there, you can enjoy amazing views of the beach at “Parque de los Fundadores” where you can also see a few street shows taking place under the Portal Maya sculptures in front of the beach. You will cross the plaza where lots of people would be eating, enjoying a drink in a lounge, walking, or simply shopping.
Walking through La Quinta you will find many cute places surrounded with green plants of all sorts as well as flowers of the most incredible colours, including red, orange and ochre, my favorite colour. Just by looking at those yellow-painted walls you instantly know you’re in Mexico. Combined with this mixture of colours you will see painting artists doing their thing in the middle of the street, dozens of souvenir shops, and dozens of restaurants displaying the most gracious signs, including the classic “Gracias por visitar” – thank you for visiting. On a separate note, I want to emphasize how great the locals are when it comes to serving. Whether you’re in a restaurant, a bar, any store or even in the resort these people are very committed to pleasing their clientele and that’s something you can see and feel. Also, it’s nice to see and hear traditional Mexican bands singing in the street for everybody’s listening pleasure. At night, these would be lit up with warm lights while others would be hosting boutique hotels such as “Hotel Lunata”, a fancy one.
I would say PDC is a place full of sensations. Whether it’s on a plate, a glass or a tortilla, there’s always something new to experience.
Delicious tortillas with guac and pico de gallo won’t disappoint and great cocktails will surely escort them. By the way, one of my favourite places for drinks is Almirante Pech. Small shops selling native hats and totes are to be found on every corner, and hidden between big-brand stores you will spot local-style restaurants with thatched roofs, palm trees, water fountains and flowers.
Also, colourful overhead banners decorate many sections of this buzzing street, a typical Mexican fixture.
Near “Mi Pueblo” restaurant, you will find the Frida Kahlo Museum, a hard-to-miss spot as it’s located in a highly visible corner. Unfortunately, the place was closed the day I went there but I managed to take a picture of the amazing portrait of Frida in the big wall outside the museum. In short, La Quinta is the kind of spot that mixes both Mexican and international sights, sounds and tastes while wielding the power to gather all types of people. People looking for a spot to see and be seen, to eat, drink and shop while enjoy the amazing Caribbean weather and warm winds.
Frida Kahlo Museum
Let your light shine!