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Playa Del Carmen Vacations - Playa del Carmen: A Vacation for Everyone

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While most people have heard of the party hot-spot Cancun, a short drive away, is a more refined world of Playa del Carmen. Both places boast amazing beaches, but Playa del Carmen brings you a more diverse experience of Mexico.

There are plenty of options getting to Playa del Carmen from the airport. A taxi is always an option. Just make sure to negotiate the rate with the driver before getting into the car. Also, beware of people soliciting rides as you emerge from customs. Many will offer free rides and attractions, but in the end, they are just trying to sell you something and will waste your time.

The easiest option is reserving a chauffeured vehicle before heading to Mexico. When you conduct a search for transportation, you will find a variety of options and prices. Take note of the vehicle type the company is using. If you are in a 10-passenger van, there is a chance everyone else will be dropped off before you, cutting into vacation time. For a higher price, other companies offer a private car which will take you directly to the hotel. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes, depending on which hotel and part of town you select.

The choices in lodging are vast. On one end, the ultra-luxurious resorts. Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a newcomer, but ranks at the top for service and experience. It has a top-notch spa and even offers guests bicycles to tour the property and area. While an indulgent breakfast buffet is offered, there is a charge for other meals and drinks on the property.

All-inclusives, resorts which include food and drinks (including alcohol) in their rates, span the range from budget to luxury. For example, Valentin Maya caters to adults. It is a large property with numerous pools, a smooth beach and a more secluded rocky beach. Valentin sets itself apart with multiple a la carte restaurants, including Mexican, French and Indonesian food, do not require reservations at dinner. Many properties offer a dinner buffet and ask guests to make a morning reservation for the a la carte restaurants instead.

The Riu properties offer experiences across the spectrum. Its six resorts range from Lupita on the affordable end to its “Palace” properties at the luxury end. Guests there receive bracelets allowing them to visit other properties. However, dining at the high-end properties may be restricted.

There are also boutique hotels if you prefer a more intimate experience. Many are located on or near Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue downtown area. La Tortuga is a short hop away. While many boutique properties feature a restaurant, services may not be as comprehensive as the all-inclusives. However, a smaller resort promotes venturing away from the grounds to explore what else Playa del Carmen has to offer.

Many Play del Carmen resorts are within walking distance, a short drive, or are located on 5th Avenue. It brings you the perfect experience including merchants selling items like sunglasses and souvenirs from carts, to high-end shopping. Favorite stores, like Diesel, will offer fashion for lower prices than in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Nighttime in downtown Playa del Carmen is lively. Walking down 5th Avenue, you see bustling restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Additionally, many resorts also have nighttime entertainment, nightclubs and “theme nights” when merchants set up booths and sell their native crafts.

Let’s not forget about one of the most important attractions, if not the most important, the beach. Sand is powdery white beneath your toes. The water is clear and warm. While drifting along or wading, even in shallow water, a school of fish may even swim by you.

For those who hope to scuba dive and snorkel, most hotels and resorts offer the activity or work closely with a company which does. Divers may also check the PADI website to compare prices, services and reviews of shops in Playa del Carmen.

Whether you want to enjoy an icy drink by the beach, stroll through a vibrant downtown area or enjoy a gourmet meal, Playa del Carmen offers a vacation anyone will enjoy. One visit and you will fall in love.

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