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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?

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

It was south of Tulum. Does that make sense?

Yep. There's a small site about 20 miles south. It's called Muyil.

 

I haven't been there, but the last time I was at Playa, had drinks with a British couple that had just gone that day. They said that it was small, but very nice and well worth a stop.

 

From a guidebook: "Muyil is situated around a fresh water lake called La Laguna. The site was a trading town and was one of the oldest cities found in the Northern Yucatan. Of special interest is the temple atop the Castle, which retains the original wooden lintels above its entrances, as well as traces of Maya blue and red paint on its walls."

 

That's good road, as you know, and only 20 more miles south would be an extremely easy drive. You certainly would escape the throngs of folks crawling all over Tulum. I'm now sorry we didn't go there on our last visit. But certainly will on the next.

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MAN! All these entries! Super cool! Thanks Everyone! Keep em' coming!

 

Now... is there any fishing in or near PdC?

 

And...

 

(Hopefully I won't get flamed too badly... :rolleyes: :blush: )

 

Is there any bull fighting near PdC?

 

 

Thanks!

 

~Jason

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  • 1 month later...

Ok...I solemnly swear to look at the Mexican forum and will even try to participate if you guys promise to do Arracheta.......

 

Oh.

 

My.

 

God....

 

HH de Monterrey in Playa Del Carmen has, hands down, some of the best beef that I have had....EVER. (Dad...sorry...Your Prime Rib may have found a Master...)

 

And now I'm back in Seattle....Hundreds of miles away from my new favorite restaurant.... :unsure: (sobbing quietly...)

 

~Jason

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  • 2 years later...
Jason, there's a little casual bungalow hotel place called Shangri-la Caribe in Playa, and their dive shop is one of the best and oldest around...I think (I'm not positive) that they arrange fishing trips on the boats with their dive trips. Stop by and ask...

 

They do, and you can find some freelancers who do the same a few hundred yards north.

 

By the way, while 5th avenue in Playa is pure fiction for tourists, there are a few "authentic" places (think green plastic tablecloths and white plastic chairs) to grab a nice meal - the best we tried was El Pirata, Pescaderia y Cocktaileria, on 40th Street between 5th and 10th, surrounded by deserted "luxury" condos. The menu has ceviches, cocktails (as in shrimp cocktail), salpicons and fried fish, not much else.

 

The salpicon (with shrimps, squid, octopus and fish) was very good, but the fish was the star of the show - you go to the next storefront down the street, choose your fish from the fridge that's quite evidently filled with the local catch of snapper and a couple of fish I didn't recognize, pay by weight, then go back to the restaurant and wait for the fish to be fried and served to you with the usual assortment of unappealing mexican restaurant sides. (although even those were better than the horrible average)

 

La Pesca, better known and more oriented towards tourists (although further from the beach on 30th ave) was nice as well and somewhat more sophisticated, but the fish wasn't quite as good.

 

Don't believe anything good you read about El Fogon and the other grills, they're mostly designed to feed an army for very little money, not to serve tasty food. Maybe HC de Monterey is better, but it seems to have gone franchise... maybe we'll give it a try.

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There's nothing *great* to eat in PdC, for various reasons (crap beef, no milk, irrational love of turkey, simple cooking style, whatever), but there are many good things.

 

If you wake up early enough, make your way down to Juarez, on the east side of 5th avenue. There are 5 or 6 taco/torta stands, several of which serve cochinita pibil (the best one also has relleno negro*), and a couple that have a rotating variety. We had cazon (some sort of shark?) cooked almost identically to tunisian style spicy tuna, and stuffed fried pepper, both good.

 

The tamale stand that I can only assume provided cstuart with his chicken tamale lingers until evening, also has lovely sweet corn tamales.

 

Everywhere has nice (though uniformly prepared) ceviche, and some places have very nice shrimp and fish tacos (Oasis serves them with tamarind sauce and a downright dangerous hot sauce)

 

There's no fresh milk that I could see, all ultra killed. "The best coffee in town" is not good.

 

The Mezcaleria on 5th in the upper 30s has a nice selection of Mezcal, and the ambience is nice, I think, it's fuzzy.

 

Also worthwhile is the choripan at the argentinian place on 5th and 38th st. (open in the evening only)

 

If you're into Neapolitan mafia comedy with harmlessly mediocre food, you could try Pummarola on Flamingo & 40th st.

 

And eat whole fish everywhere.

 

* a preparation that manages to mask the vile scent of turkey

 

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I didn't notice that taqueria, but I forgot - go west on 4th street until somewhere around 20th ave and look for the blue painted place with a list of taco fillings that includes cabeza. They have some delicious combination of tongue, brain and I don't know what else... across the street a kid was unloading smoked pig faces from the back of a pickup...

 

 

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Guest Aaron T

Wow, Playa was significantly more developed than I had been expecting. Was in PdC for 4 nights for a friend's destination wedding.

 

Do not stay in the Deseo Hotel. Expensive and stylish. It reminded me a lot of the Standard in Downtown LA with a little bit of the Delano thrown in. Beautiful and great location at 5th avenue & 12th street but so noisy. Fine for a poolside drink while you see the old movies being projected on a wall but they weren't kidding when they provide earplugs. They had free access to Mamitas Beach Club, which was fine.

 

Did not eat anywhere of note in Playa.

 

My favorite experiences were in the Tulum area as by the beach there it felt much less developed than Playa. We spent one day at a beach club about 5 minutes south of the ruins of Tulum. Chaise rentals were $4 pp and umbrellas were $10. Great beach, not too crowded, beautiful warm water, but still some interesting people watching. They brought over a table and chairs for us at lunch time and we had fish tacos (grilled not fried).

 

Mezzanine is the name of a restaurant/hotel also on the beach in Tulum. It was 200 meters south of the beach club we went to. Had a Thai lunch there on Saturday that was excellent. It was good to have a break from the Mexican food for a meal. We ordered green curry, massaman curry and a daily special. I know it sounds crazy but that was the best meal I had in Mexico.

 

The Grand Cenote near Tulum was also worth a visit to swim in the cavern. Best with a guide and flashlight. The beaches in Tulum were better than Playa and the whole atmosphere was less Burger King. (We never saw downtown Tulum).

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This is why we fly into Cancun and drive 4.5 half hours south. That whole Mayan Riviera thing is repulsive, and getting worse all the time. Tulum is turning into Playa, it's just a few years behind. Playa is the same as Cancun. And you might as well be in Miami. The creep south continues - every year we see it happening. So far, since we're willing to drive so far, we're far away from it. But eventually...when the Chetumal airport gets bigger and better....that'll be the end of that too.

 

If you go an hour south of Tulum, you get to Felippe Carillo Puerto - that's still a real Mexican town, with a good market, and a large Mayan population.

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Guest Aaron T

The biggest contingent of tourists in Playa were Spanish speakers. Not sure if they were Mexican, other Latin Americans or Spaniards. Seemed to be more Europeans than Americans too. Not sure if that is a seasonality thing or if the Europeans prefer Playa and the Americans love Cancun. I really did love Tulum. I like services, I just don't love overbuilt.

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It's not as bad as Cancun (or Miami), I think, and not just because of the Americans, and Tulum is better but I think it's just a couple of years behind, or at least that what my real estate gobbling friends are saying (and their argument for free-for-all development is that nobody's stopping you from going and buying a mile of beachfront to make sure it's undeveloped :lol: ).

 

A lot of the tourists are Mexicans, Italians, and other South Americans (Argentina mostly, some Brazil, some other places). Not that many Spaniards and surprisingly more than a few Israelis (because if there's something that Israel is really missing it's warm humid weather and beaches :blink: ).

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