A Day in Playa Del Carmen (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)

Our week in Cozumel included a day on the mainland.  It’s a short ferry ride from Cozumel to Playa Del Carmen.  The passenger ferries run quite regularly and it’s fairly cheap.  $10 US each way.  My recommendation is that you don’t by a round trip ticket as that locks you into using only one ferry company.  There are 3 ferry companies selling tickets at the piers in both Cozumel and Playa.  Between the three, a ferry is running every 30 minutes each way.  We unfortunately bought a round trip ticket so that limited our return options.

View from the ferry terminal in Playa Del Carmen

The main shopping area of Playa is busy and noisy.  We were consistently bombarded with “hey lady”, “where you from, lady”, “nice eyes, lady”, “my turn now”, and on and on.  I hate it when the vendors do that so generally ignore them.  We did buy a couple souvenirs to take home though.

Cafe Antoinette

Just up from the ferry pier is a very nice little coffee shop and bakery called Cafe Antoinette’s.  We stopped there for a most excellent coffee and a slight over-baked but still tasty almond croissant.  Coffee and croissant were $4US for each of us.  Not a bargain but a good price considering the quality and location.

El Oasis

I have an old friend who spends his winters in Paamul with his wife.  They came into Playa to pick us up and take us for lunch and a bit of tour.  Lunch was fish tacos at  place call El Oasis — definitely not in the tourist district anymore.  Some Mexicans dining but lots of what appeared to ex-pats or snowbirds.  A light lunch of fish and shrimp tacos with pico de gallo, guacamole, beer and sodas was under $25US for 4 of us.  Very attentive service and very funky clean washrooms.

Beach home at Paamul
Palapa and trailer at Paamul

After lunch, we headed to Paamul which is between Playa and Cancun; about an hour from Cancun.  It’s a gated community that as I understand it was originally a trailer park.  Now the trailers have been incorporated ingeniously under palapas and there are some free standing homes as well.  According to my friends, about 50/50 Canadian/American with a few Mexicans and Europeans thrown into the mix.  They have a beautiful restaurant and pool right on the Caribbean Sea with a fantastic beach area.  I can definitely see why they love this spot and spend their winters there.

Sea Lion

Next we went off to Puerto Adventuras.  This seems like a real lifestyles of the rich and famous kind of place.  Lots of condos and yachts.  Also some shopping and restaurants.  We did a walk around of the pool areas where they have dolphin, sea lion and manatee encounters (extra cost).  As much as I love seeing them, I do feel sorry that these animals are penned up.  We also stopped for a gelato at Jessie Gelato.  Tina got to practice her Dutch on the owner, Martin.  Martin makes the gelato each night for the next day.  I had the speculaas flavour which was fantastic.

Dancers at Pier

Back in Playa, there were dancers on the beach for entertainment while we waited for our return ferry.

We had a number of military in full garb and guns on our ferry on the way back to Cozumel so definitely knew were we were not going to be overtaken by pirates.

Arriving back at the pier in downtown Cozumel, we were met by a very organized taxi arrangement.  Taxis all line up and there is one person at the head of the line sending people off to the next taxi and making sure the taxis keep moving.  Very efficient.

We had a great day on the mainland and thank Neil & Janet for touring us around!

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