The Playa at Playa

7 comments
Travel

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Playa Del Carmen?  I’ve made no mention of the “Playa” portion of this.

Needless to say, Carmen’s Playa is quite nice.  It is worth coming for, worth staying for, and worth hanging out all day at. The beach itself is largely punctuated by two ferry docks. One is at about the center of the main beach area, and about 1/2 mile further south is the main ferry terminal to Cozumel.

A few notes about the beach:

  • The waves are medium sized: fun to play in, but not large enough to surf on (or drown in).  The temperature is wonderfully about 75-80 degrees.
  • It will be hot.  Wonderfully so.  That chill in the marrow of your bones will finally bake away and be replaced with a soft, melty goo that just feels like contentment.
  • It won’t be TOO hot, because there will always be a breeze the passes by every few moments to cool you off *just* a little, but not enough to keep that contentment in your bones from making the rest of your body mostly dissolve into the sand.
  • The sand.  Ah yes, the sand.  On many beaches you will eagerly step out only to leap into the air screaming obscenities as you grasp your feet which are now spurting flames and turning black from the volcanic heat coming off the sand.  Not so in Playa; the sand just feels… nice.  Soft.  Cool.  I asked around why this is and I’m told its because the sand is not ground up rocks but ground up coral.  Sorry coral, I know you are an endangered species but you sure are easy on the feet.

So, depending on your time of day, you will experience different things:

Early in the morning:

it is like you see above.  Tranquil.  Open, expansive, beautiful, warm.  You can wake up, mosey down to the beach, plop your towel down, and get steadily warmed by the sun as it begins its trek across the sky.

Midday (really anything after 10am)

By midday it’s packed.  Every day.  Constantly.  If you want a good spot, get there early.

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As you walk along the beach, you will be frequently asked whether you would like a massage, or if you want a cerveza, or if you’d like to have a seat in one of the oh-so-conveniently provided chairs / lounges / beds / etc they are providing at the beach.

Now, some people go to the beach for a relaxing time. There are places on the beach for that. However, these places are not near Mamitas.

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Mamitas, and the resorts neighboring it, will basically build through the day into a full-on beach party (basically a night club, but on the beach, during the day, with marginally less clothing, and you have to buy a designated seat).

Music is loud, drinks are ordered, and if you really wanna roll large, you get yourself one of these covered bed type thingies.

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However, if the idea of paying for a seat at the beach makes you itch, you can just plop your towel down as well and enjoy the scene.  So, yeah: there’s always a party somewhere in Playa Del Carmen. Depends on your stamina.

If, however, you just want to get some mates together and hit a ball around, the number of volleyball games is pretty impressive.

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Also: Bocce. On the beach. I mean, why not?

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Night time

Lastly, you should really come back at night.  Especially with a full moon.  The beach will have a few couples taking in a languorous stroll, but will be otherwise deserted.  Most of the busy beach-front shops will be closed down, so it will be peaceful and quiet.  Even the waves will slowly and calmly roll in, making slow, calm noises.  You can see the lights from Cozumel across the ocean, and the moonlight will paint everything blue and purple.  It doesn’t get much more peaceful than this.

For those folks still laboring under 40 degree weather: I’m terribly sorry to remind you that every day, every hour, this beach exists.  As you are waking up, blearily pouring your first cup of coffee, it’s right here.  It’s warm.  As you are driving to work, it is here, heating up, the beach clubs setting our their chairs, people setting out their towels.  As you are taking your lunch break, on the beach there’s music blaring, people dancing on the sand and ordering more drinks, and kids playing in the water.  As your are heading home, exhausted after work, it’s still here, with gentle waves covering tranquil sands like a blanket for the night.  Every day, every night, all the time, it’s right here.

Perhaps you should take a quick break.  ’tis but a 7 hour flight.  See you beach-side.

7 thoughts on “The Playa at Playa”

  1. Alex Zambelli says:

    I’m going to start replying to every blog post of yours with “You bastard.” I hope you don’t take it personally.

  2. Angela Reeds says:

    You are a mean mean man. Have you no compassion for the suffering us working, slaving peons are enduring!

  3. I’ll have you know there was sun–Saturday, SUNday was actually sunny, and so was Monday. There is more coming. We have actual spring. Flowers are blooming–all those years you languished in office building hell without natural light wondering what it was like outside…well, it was taunting you, making you flee to the south so we can enjoy this.
    And yet.
    Still jealous.

    • I remember Seattle sunshine. Rare, beautiful, coveted.

      And yet, it never quite took the chill out of the marrow of my bones. Playa sunshine: Si. 😉

  4. 7 hours, my friend? I live in bloody Beijing! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    Oh wait, southern Thailand is that close.

    I’m still in Beijing.

    Wanker!

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