About an hour drive down south from Cancun lies Playa Del Carmen. Playa is quite similar to Cancun along with the intense presence of tourists but this town definitely had a bit more “chilled” vibe to it.
The beach in Playa is almost the same as the one in Cancun but the good thing about this beach is that it has much calmer Caribbean sea compared to the cities in northern Quintana Roo. Playa is also great as a strategic point of this region. Many different team-parks are located nearby as well as some of the most famous local archeological sites including Tulum. Remote beaches and natural treasures are easily reachable via local buses and minivans that depart from the main stations in Playa.
The accommodation is much more affordable then in Cancun and the night life can get quite wild. We had a funny situation. So, one night we were heading back to our hotel from a nearby bar. We were just minding our own business and enjoying the fresh evening breeze but the suddenly a local toy dealer pops out of nowhere. We noticed him selling some cute toys and souvenirs to some kids the night before and we recognized him. Looking cute with all his toys hanging all around he approached and said : “Hello my friends ! Wanna buy some really cool toys and souvenirs !?” We politely said no and continued to our hotel but then he smiled and said: “No toys ?! Hm, I see…then what about some cocaine ?” – to what we just laughed out loud. Seriously, the last thing you wanna do in Mexico is to get yourself involved with drugs. Many dealers work with the police and would be more than happy to take advantage of the naive tourists that “just want to party”. If you get arrested, besides the completely ruined vacation, the fines can get astronomical. The local government is so strict that it even canceled the internationally popular dance music festival “BPM” due to the shootings that occurred during this festival earlier this year. According to the investigation, the shooting was probably related to the dispute among the local drug dealers which had, unfortunately, led to several fatalities including some tourist civilians. It really is a true shame that this festival got canceled. Judging from the local clubs and bars, this festival had to offer so much more. The funny fact is that Playa mostly got famous thanks to the “BPM” festival. But we decided to give some of the clubs a chance to make up for this and we went to CocoMambo.
This story is so bizarre that we just have to share it with you:
Judging by the local rumors, CocoMambo is one of the most famous nightclubs in this part of Mexico. You also have one in Cancun. When we asked why this club is so famous we were told that this is due to it’s incredible variety of different tribute artists performing in one night. So we decided to give it a go. After paying 140$ for two tickets (all you can drink included) we went inside. Short story even shorter, CocoMambo is one of the most worst and cheap shitholes we ever happened to visit. The tribute “artists” are just some poor actors that don’t even sing. They just hold the microphone while the DJ plays some videos from youtube ! When they aren’t performing, the DJ just continues to play the videos from youtube. So 70 bucks per ticket just to watch youtube videos, seriously ?! Even the costumes were outdated and the “artists” performed so poorly that they could have easily been replaced by anyone from the crowd, literally. Before you buy the ticket they tell you that you have the “open bar” included in this price. Great ! At least that..but when you get inside you realize that stands for few and the worst drinks only. Not to mention how the staff handles the crowd, pushing people like pigs as they clean the flor from the ever falling confetti. If this is to replace one of the most internationally famous dance music festivals that “BPM” most certainly was, RIP to the quality nightlife in this area.
Truth be told, we didn’t spend much time in the city itself as we had our fair share of commercial impact in Cancun and one of the primary reasons why we decided to spend a couple of days here was because of scuba diving in Cozumel.
Cozumel is is an island located just a bit east from Playa Del Carmen. The island is easily reachable via ferry departing from the main port in Playa almost every full hour. This island is one of the most famous and beautiful diving spots in the world. Among the crystal clear and warm Caribbean Sea, Cozumel also has the second largest barrier reef system in the world, the Meso-American reef system. We did only two dives here but these dives were, probably, the most amazing and mesmerizing ones so far.
As we explored the wast coral labyrinths we also spotted few incredibly beautiful nurse sharks and giant sea turtles. We also saw many endemic fish species sometimes so well camouflaged that it was almost impossible to tell them apart from the corals. Even though we didn’t spend much time here we got the impression that Cozumel is a great vacation destination in general and we’ll be more than glad to explore this wonderful island a bit more thoroughly next time we come to Mexico.
Looking back, we had a nice experience visiting Playa Del Carmen and this town is really is a great place to settle if you want to explore to local area. During our stay in Playa we had an oportunity to wist Tulum, one of the youngest Mayan towns and also one of the most beautiful ones thanks to the specific location where the town was built… You can read more about our visit to Tulum HERE 🙂