Playa del Carmen’s Bright Green Beaches

This week is Playa del Carmen Week here on the blog, and boy do I have tons of pictures for you guys!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, Playa del Carmen (or “Playa”, as the locals call it) is located in the middle of the Riviera Maya, a 1 hour drive down the coastal highway from Cancun. The island of Cozumel, a popular dive destination, is set just off the coast of Playa del Carmen.

Jorge and I took the ADO bus down to Playa del Carmen on Friday evening for a 2-night stay with Xperience hotels, which was lovely! I’ll be blogging all about our trip throughout the week, with hotel reviews, restaurant reviews and more.

Let’s brighten up Monday with some beach photos, shall we?

 

Wah Wah Beach Club

We had lunch Saturday afternoon at Wah Wah Beach Club, located by the southern end of Playa’s main pedestrian street, Quinta Avenida. It was a bright and sunny day, but on the horizon there were heavy storm clouds over the island of Cozumel. In some of these shots, you can even see the curtains of rain way off in the distance.

(click to enlarge)

 

Mamita’s Beach Club

Jorge and I spent Sunday morning at Mamita’s, Playa del Carmen’s most well-known beach club, located at Calle 28 near the northern end of Quinta Avenida. It was a beautiful, beautiful day with tons of fluffy clouds!

squinting into the sun!

I love how green the water is in Playa. Cancun’s ocean has more of a turquoise blue that I love, but there’s something special about the bright emerald green!

So tell us … What’s your favorite beach?

Barcelo Maya Resort: The Beach

I have a confession to make… Playa Norte (North Beach) on Isla Mujeres is no longer my favorite beach.

The beach I went to last Wednesday “blew it out of the water” (pun intended).

When we went to the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe resort for my cousin’s wedding (more on that later), I wasn’t expecting to find such an incredible beach. So, so many palm trees. Pool-like water. No seaweed. Breathtaking.

Even though there were so many of us in the water, several schools of large silver fish had no qualms about swimming around us, between my knees, and along my feet. I was actually screaming, smiling and jumping up and down out of sheer joy. Why can’t every day be like this?

Somebody please slap me if I ever decide to move away from the Caribbean.

What’s your favorite beach in the world?

24 Hours in Holbox

This year, Jorge and I have made a list of all the places in the state of Quintana Roo that we’d like to visit. We’ve already crossed many places off our list, although it’s not doing us much good since the list seems to grow every week!

Still, this weekend we were happy to go to the island of Holbox (pronounced “Hole-Bosh”), something we’ve tried to do unsuccessfully for a few years now.

Since we have no car, we had to plan around public transportation, which is very reliable but didn’t present us with many options for time. Here’s a rundown of how we got to Holbox:

  • 8 am Saturday: Took Mayab bus to Chiquila from the downtown Cancun bus station (cost: $85 pesos per person)
    • 3 hour bus ride, with stops in several small villages along the way
    • Arrival in Chiquila just in time to catch the ferry
  • 11 am: ferry to Holbox island (cost: $80 pesos per person, time: 30 minutes)
    • Note: most of the day, there are ferries leaving every hour or every 2 hours
  • Golf cart taxi from the marina to our hotel (cost: $30 pesos)

The island was absolutely stunning. The downtown area is quite small, with lots of restaurants, colorful shops, and sand streets. You won’t see any cars on Holbox! Only bikes, mopeds and golf carts.

We fell in love with the island and the hotel, although we were a bit disappointed in the water. The sand was white and powder-soft and the water in the distance was clear, bright turquoise… but right on the shoreline, there was either thick mud or brownish-green water with lots of sargasso. It was beautiful, but I guess we’re spoiled after spending so much time on beaches in Cancun and on Isla Mujeres. We’re very picky!

**Note: My friend Kelly tells me that the water is much clearer other times of year. Good to know šŸ™‚

We came back only 24 hours later, around noon on Sunday, to catch the last bus back to Cancun. Here’s how we did it:

  • 12:40 pm: golf cart taxi picked us up at our hotel and took us to the Holbox marina (cost: $30 pesos)
  • 1 pm: ferry back to Chiquila
  • In Chiquila, there was a 1:45 bus that took the 3-hour route back to Cancun (cost: $85 pesos). There was also a bus at 2 pm that took a more direct route with no stops and took 2 hours (cost: $115 pesos). We opted for the 2 pm bus.
    • We would have loved to stay longer, but the 2 pm bus was the last one back to Cancun for the entire day. Travelers taking a car can leave much later, or you can take a taxi back for $70 US dollars.
  • 4 pm: back in Cancun

Even though we only had 24 hours on Holbox, we felt like it was just enough time to relax, unwind, explore the island and enjoy some amazing food.

Tomorrow I’ll do a separate post on our hotel, because it was AMAZING!

Mundo Maya 2012 Video

This year, Mexico’s President Calderon has announced a new program called “Mundo Maya 2012” to promote the Mayan culture, archaeology and heritageĀ as we get closer to the infamous year of 2012. I’m super excited about it because the Yucatan Peninsula is full of Mayan culture and ruins, plus Jorge’s family is of Mayan descent. (Does that make me an honorary Mayan? My suegra would probably say so.)

The Secretary of Tourism has put together this incredible video for the program. Enjoy!

Of these, I’ve only been to Palenque, Tulum and Chichen Itza. I’ve got a long way to go! Have you been to any of the sites shown in the Mundo Maya 2012 video?