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1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

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Katy, Texas
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152 posts
12 reviews
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1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

I will be heading to Playa with my daughter for her 18th birthday/graduation trip this June. Just the 2 of us and it will be our first time there. I would love any suggestions to make this a great trip for her. Places to go...things to do....escursions that are worth it....etc. We will be staying at the Gran Porto Real so will be near 5th street. Would love to hear of great restaurants (with good drinks) and fun atmospheres that will make it a memorable vacation for us. Help please!

Michigan
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55 reviews
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1. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

If you haven't booked yet, you may still consider staying next door at RPDC where you will have a much better restaurant selection, better beach, and bigger pools.

I think you would both enjoy putting your toes in the sand at Fusion Beach Bar and watching the nightly fire show along with some delicious food.

A day trip to Akumal Bay nearby to swim with the sea turtles would be very memorable followed by lunch at Lol-Ha restaurant on the beach.

Kelowna, Canada
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89 posts
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2. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

I agree stay at the Royal next door. The beach at Gran Porta Real is not a beach at all. Book a trip with Edventure Tours for the day snorkeling, tulum ruins, and swimming with sea turtles. You will have so much fun. We just returned 3 days ago from the Gran Porta Real.

Two Rivers...
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356 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

My suggestion is to stay at Playa Maya a non AI so you can fully enjoy the PDC atmosphere. No matter where you stay, don't miss Carboncitos for dinner one night along with Luna Blue's bar for a relaxing swing and a great drink! Those are two of our favs!!

Texas
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495 posts
67 reviews
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4. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

Agree with packerfan2. Food at Playa Maya also good (coconut shrimp) Carboncitos for tacos al pastor. La Tarraya for fresh seafood on the beach. Our favorite restaurant is La Cuerva del Chango and their unusual garden setting on the north end not far from GPR and RPDC. We prefer non AI, but if I were to choose the beach is better at RPDC. I do not know why, but neither of those resorts have much shade on the beach.

Edited: 12:18 am, March 27, 2013
Vancouver
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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41,205 posts
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5. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

Most places on / near the coast can be done on your own by doing some research / asking ? here or the forum closer to that location / and Top Questions of course

e.g. Tulum or Akumal by taxi, bus, or colectivo

If you are uncomfortable with exploring on your own, try a few of the small excursion companies (although more $$)

Edventures, Alltournative, Yukatrek

Long Island, New...
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6. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

Another vote for Packerfan2! Playa Maya is very safe, and you get to experience Playa.

7. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

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Aylmer, Canada
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8. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

I say make sure you go to Tulum and check out the ruins, it's very interesting and a good day out. Take a collectivo there, it's cheap and easy to get there. A 10 min walk from where the collectivo lets you off, and you are there! Take a bottle or two of water with you to stay hydrated. The view at the top is beyond amazing!

I too vote for a small independent hotel, there's so many places to eat and not just on 5th Ave. Experiencing the variety of foods makes your trip so much better.

Chicago
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9. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

Here's another idea..try the Mahekal right on the beach around 35 norte, just off of 5th. Great place, includes breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner. We stayed at the Hotel Las Palapas next door, also very good. The Mahekal though I believe is a tick nicer and more expensive. Not by much though. Drinks aren't included like an AI, but as others have said..if you want to experience the many great restaurants and the whole 5th av scene, skip the AI places this first time.

Have a drink at the World Famous Tequila Bar, have fish tacos at either the Las Palapas Hotel or the Playa Maya, go to Fusion for the fire dancers, walk 5th av and haggle for items, dinner at La Romagna is great Italian, also try LaBodega Cuban Restaurant at 34 norte and 5th av, see Tulum, walk the beaches. Have fun, you'll love it!

Katy, Texas
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152 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: 1st time in Playa - places to go, things to do???

Great! Some excellent ideas here from you all. We already booked unfortunately teh hotel so I can't really change that but that is ok. I am sure we will still have fun and make the most of it. Guess I should have asked you all BEFORE booking! :) I will definitely look up all of these restaurants that were suggested and note them all and also about the escursions.

One more quick question - Coco Bongo - i have heard a lot about it - worth going to? Anybody know? And do you just watch shows there or what exactly is it ike?