Places you visit sometimes radiate certain feelings or attitudes. One of the most personable destinations I have found is Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Located just about 45 minutes south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen offers a different vibe for your next beach vacation … especially at night.
The city swells around 5th Avenue. It is a pedestrian-only street lined with restaurants of all types, bars, clubs, retail shops and street vendors. During the day, Playa del Carmen is a bit sleepy, but overall, incredibly relaxing. You could start your day at one of my favorite breakfast places, La Cueva del Chango. After breakfast, tourists slowly stroll around and work their way through the various shops and restaurants. They also spend plenty of time at beach clubs like Mamitas.
At night, the true personality of Playa del Carmen is revealed. Mariachis begin walking the streets and meandering their way through restaurants. Unbelievably beautiful and romantic restaurants like Casa del Agua begin to glow from within with thousands of candles and lanterns. People staying at the very cool and trendy Hotel Deseo begin appearing from their rooms and working their way through the hotel lounge filled with billowing white drapes and beds.
After getting a phenomenal dinner at a place like Yaxche or fun appetizers and mile-high daiquiris at Babe’s, visitors inevitably make their way to Blue Parrot to catch the fire dancers and OM (located right across from one another). Local DJs spinning club and house music fill the atmosphere. The clientele is mostly beautiful, celebrity-like crowds mixed with sunburned tourists dressed up and ready to go.
The bottom of the pool at Hotel Deseo reads "Away From You." Playa del Carmen will take you away from everything if you allow it to.
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Renee Juszczak, who lives in Chicago, is part of the Internal Systems team at Orbitz. Renee is an enthusiast when it comes to traveling to Mexico and visits as much as possible.