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Hey FJ,

 

I had a great experience in the PdC area a couple years ago and desperately want to return. We stayed in an all-inclusive place, so most of our meals were at the resort. By far our best meals out were at Yaxche in PdC. It's exhorbinate by local standards, but the food was excellent, particularly the fish. We also had a great lunch on the beach on Isla Mujeres (worth visiting if the hurricane didn't completely wreck it).

 

On the archaeology front, try to go to Coba, bigger, much older and less crowded that Tulum. Also has the highest pyramid on the Yucatan which you can climb at your own peril.

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Yay! I won a contest at work, and will be spending a fun filled week in mid February in lovely Playa del Carmen. We will probably be eating the majority of our meals with the group that we will be tra

I get it. The dolphin living is worse than the lobster being killed.

The UN's latest update on the street value of cocaine is from 2010? Can't the reporter go to the NOLA police department for more current pricing?

I think we can all take a cue from Ron and lighten up.

That reminds me of a Christmas lights festival we used to have here called "Light Up Louisville!" It was sponsored by Brown & Williamson, a major tobacco company. Coincidence, I think not.

You mean a Holiday lights festival, right?

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On the archaeology front, try to go to Coba, bigger, much older and less crowded that Tulum.  Also has the highest pyramid on the Yucatan which you can climb at your own peril.

I thought I was going to keel over and die after climbing to the top of that pyramid in 110 degree heat. Great view, though.

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IMHO, Chichin Itza is too far from Playa to do comfortably on a day trip.

I did it from Cozumel. A very long day, that's a good hour longer. Very, very long. But I would not have missed it for the world.

 

If you are going back to that part of the world sometime, then save it for when you have a chance to stay in Merida. The second time I was down there, I did Uxmal from Merida, and did a triangle airfare returning from there.

 

But if this is your only shot, consider it. It's awesome.

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On the archaeology front, try to go to Coba, bigger, much older and less crowded that Tulum.  Also has the highest pyramid on the Yucatan which you can climb at your own peril.

I thought I was going to keel over and die after climbing to the top of that pyramid in 110 degree heat. Great view, though.

Ummmm yeah...about that...How hard are the pryamids to climb? Should I start working out for this, or what?

 

~Jason

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On the archaeology front, try to go to Coba, bigger, much older and less crowded that Tulum.  Also has the highest pyramid on the Yucatan which you can climb at your own peril.

I thought I was going to keel over and die after climbing to the top of that pyramid in 110 degree heat. Great view, though.

Ummmm yeah...about that...How hard are the pryamids to climb? Should I start working out for this, or what?

 

~Jason

Jason,

 

You know what a fat-ass I am, and I made it to the top without too much problem. There is a rope to hang onto. The key is to take it slow, especially going down. Apparently one or two people die every year climbing the thing, but that just adds to the exhieration. The view from the top is killer.

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I haven't been to Playa del Carmen since the resorts first opened so can't help with food. But I second the recommendations to visit Coba as well as Tulum. All the resorts rent volkswagon convertibles by the day which is a fun way to get around. Tulum is a quick easy coastal ruin to visit while Coba gives you a feel for the true magnificence of the jungle Mayan ruins. They didn't have any ropes to hang on to when I was there but I made it up and down despite having vertigo. Okay...so I came down on my butt...so what? There didn't used to be any place to eat at Coba so be sure to breakfast before you go.

 

Between PdC and Tulum is Xel Ha...an ocean cove which has been made into a snorkeling park. It's a very safe way to snorkel with some spectacular fish in calm, protected waters. You can rent equipment there. You can visit Coba, Tulum and Xel Ha in that order on one day but if you're a hiker you might want to do the ruins one day...and drive back down for the snorkeling another.

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I didn't have such great food experiences in the region. I think you can have them but you have to work. Being part of a group of 2 families, including fussy kids, it wasn't about the food. And after a time it became less about the beaches and I became addicted to the archaeological sites, Coba being my favorite and Tulum my least, but only because of the crowds, who seemed on their way to the beach or shops. But I wouldn't miss Chichen Itza. We got up very early (6:30?7?) and drove from south of Playa del Carmen and arrived as the gates opened and pretty much had the place to ourselves for several hours. As we got our fill and left, we were greeted but this huge mass of sun burnt humanity and it was worth getting up early and avoiding all that. The massive cloud of suntan oil and mosquito repellent was enough to knock one out.

There was also a ruin further south. It was really nice, mostly because there were maybe 20 people there and we had a nice lunch at a roadside stand afterwards. I can't remember the name.

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There was also a ruin further south. It was really nice, mostly because there were maybe 20 people there and we had a nice lunch at a roadside stand afterwards. I can't remember the name.

Can't think of anything south of Chichen Itza....could you be thinking of Uxmal?

 

Also, for first time pyramid climbers, try climbing them like the Maya did. Sideways. As soon as you set your foot to the step, you'll notice how narrow they are. So try snaking up the pyramids, heading first to one side and then, when you reach that edge, turning and heading toward the other. Imagine skiers traversing. I find that method much easier. Although it does tend to irritate the 'straight-up-and-downers.'

 

Here's a map of sites.

 

Also, don't forget the cenotes. Many of them are still quite primitive and undeveloped. There might be a guy with a cigar box sitting in front, collecting entrance fees, and a few kids hawking chicklets, but not much else. I think the cenotes are interesting. You can take a cool dip while you imagine being tossed from the top in order to appease some Mayan god or another.

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