1 – Choose the right time of the year to come to Playa del Carmen. Really all the times are good for visiting the region, but there are times of the year when it is more touristy. In high season there are busier times such as the holidays and the New Year, late December early January are very busy periods in Playa, popular for going out in clubs and watching New Year’s sunrise . There is also the Easter holidays in April (as it is called in Mexico, Semana Santa) with many tourists especially national as well as the Halloween period at the end of October and the school holidays at the end of February at the beginning of March. Summer Playa is also very busy, in July there are as many tourists as during the holidays.
2 -It is always more advantageous to pay in Mexican pesos in Playa del Carmen. You can change your money in pesos at your bank before leaving but the best way to get pesos with a good rate is to go directly to an ATM with your debit or credit card to withdraw pesos. There are also exchange offices everywhere but they are greedy on the rate. Better to warn where you use your bank card or credit card. Around the world, it’s easy to have your card cloned by thieves, and Playa del Carmen is not immune. Use the counters of official banks to reduce risk and lower fees. It is best to pay cash in shops, restaurants and bars.
3 -Small stuff; Wifi is free in almost all public places in Playa del Carmen, just ask for the password. The tip in restaurants in general is 15% to 20%, always check your bill to avoid mistakes. If you want to wash your clothes, there are lavanderia everywhere in the city and they only charge between 10 and 15 pesos per kilo (wash, dry, fold and pack). And if you need to consult a doctor, you can go to a consulta medica, there is a free one at the corner of avenue 10 and calle 10, consultation with prescription if necessary and there are others everywhere the city for around 35-45 pesos only.
4 -Drink. And not just alcohol, hydrating yourself is important in a tropical climate. Never drink tap water, it can be cheaper to buy a large bottle of water at a convenience store or grocery store rather than at your hotel. Drinking water doesn’t come out of the tap in Mexico, you have to buy it. There is no problem drinking bottled water is very clean and affordable.
5- Eat good food while avoiding tourist traps. Most locals don’t eat on 5th Avenue because the prices are a little higher and the quality isn’t necessarily better. There are a lot of restaurants just off 5th Avenue on the side streets which are good and you can get about 15% less on the price of your meal.
6 -Avoid overly aggressive storekeepers or street vendors. It’s not a major problem, but some can be sneaky in the way they get your attention to just try to sell you something often overpriced. Some street vendors on 5th Avenue say, “Do you recognize me?” I am a waiter at your hotel. “(Some might even say the name of your hotel because they recognize your bracelet). It may sound innocent, but there are no hotel servers going to work on their day off, it’s a lie. If you are walking along 5th Avenue, you will probably hear this line a few times. It’s your vacation, go only if you want, if not just say no thank you politely and continue your walk.
7 -Take photos with characters on 5th Avenue but please tip. There are a lot of costumed people and street performances on 5th Avenue especially in the evening. If you watch and take pictures of the street shows, it’s good to support them with a small tip. You will see all along 5th Avenue passing by the Michael Jackson or Justin Bieber lookalike, the costumed Mayans and perhaps even superheroes like spiderman. You can take pictures with these people. For the most part, they are very polite and work hard for your small tips.
8 – Have fun without paying too much! Activities are going to be a great way to get out and have fun. First choose what you want to see or do. A great tip is to go to the sites directly for the tours you want, usually these are the best prices. And doing the activities on your own by renting a car can save you time and money.
9 – Be careful and have fun at Playa del Carmen. Playa is a safe place and some of the little things that people do can be easily avoided. Most of the dangers are linked to excessive alcohol consumption. Go out and enjoy but control your alcohol consumption.
Hope you have a good vacation in Playa del Carmen in the beautiful Rivera Maya. It is an amazing place to discover !!
For more information you can contact me, it will be my pleasure to help you!