Playa Del Carmen Monument

Mexico, Playa Del Carmen, our 3 month stay planning notes

Authors experiences Mexico

Notes about our 3 month stay in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in Jan-April 2023. Now that we are officially retired, we will be staying for three months in an apartment which is just off 5th avenue known as the “main street” of tourist life in Playa. Playa is about an hour south of Cancun, so that means there are direct flights out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where we live. Cathy speaks Spanish in a good general conversation working level, based on her long term interest in learning the language, so combined with my use of Google Translate, we are able to deal with the potential language barrier. We are also fortunate in that we have a cousin who has lived in Playa for about 20 years. She has been a great resource to have.

Originally I was drawn to the Cancun area, because of the famous Mayan ruins “pyramid” at Chichén Itzá (aka Chicken Pizza).

Chichén Itzá, pyramid

A few years ago we enjoyed our time in Play del Carmen since it offered a fun and safe blend of tourist centric lifestyle, with some authentic Mexican lifestyle. We enjoyed swimming in the Cenotes (underground water pools), and a boat trip to Cozumel island.

Considering exploring the other major island – Isla Mujeres, North of Cancun, and maybe the North shore line.

Beach zone

The beautiful white sand beaches run’s parallel to 5th avenue (Live webcam Link) which is about 2 km long, located primarily between two piers. The beach extends for hundreds of kilometers both North and South of Playa, with two major developed areas to the South. Playacar is a more exclusive gated community, and Tulum is quite a bit further South – originally started as a more hippie / bohemian type place, but evolved into more pricey destination now, with the main draw being a large Mayan ruin on the ocean coast.

Two Piers are central landmarks

This is the beach that is about 500 Meters from our apartment.

Playa is also quite bicycle friendly and flat, so we should not need a car for most of our immediate needs, plus we will try using the local bus system for longer trips.

Bicycles on 5th Avenue
Mayan ruins, in Tulum.

AirBNB tip:

We did have a problem with our original AirBnB booking for Playa, where they proceeded to DOUBLE our monthly rent, about 2 months after we received the confirmed booking. (more here: AirBnB hosts can DOUBLE your price of a confirmed booking – How to Win – yesRetired) the take away is always use “Super Hosts” if you use AirBnB, because they can’t do that. We ended up find another place with Jackies help.

Jackie lobby
Cousin Jackie with her two dogs in lobby

Misc web site links of interest for things we may explore while we are here:

Playacar Mayan ruins info
Live Web Cam – 5th Avenue
Day sailing and snorkeling at Isla Mujeres, outside of CancunLooks like a fun catamaran ride to the Island from Cancun, out snorkeling, then stop for buffet lunch. Medium sized boat with a few others passengers for a reasonable price. (YouTube).
Day trip to Acumal, enroute to TulumCool restaurant right on the water, in turtle town, enroute to Tulum, approximately an hour south of Playa.
5th Ave walkWalk from the neighborhood we are in, down to the center of town and the ferry terminal to Cozumel island.
Sargassum Live mapThe seaweed that can cover the nice white sandy beaches, comes and goes so this map helps monitor it.
Hotel Beach viewThis hotel is near the pier that separates Playa Car (VIP area) from Playa del Carmen.
Hotel Cancun beachThis hotel is about an hour from Playa, in Cancun area
Port Muerellos BeachThis beach hotel is about 30 minutes from Playa
Condo Hotels camBeach Near end of north pier

3 thoughts on “Mexico, Playa Del Carmen, our 3 month stay planning notes

  1. looks amazing!!! have fun! looking forward to hearing about your adventures!!
    Suzy & Mark Kay

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