Playa del Carmen, Mexico's virtual guidebook written by locals
 

Go Back   www.Playa.info > General discussion > General - Playa del Carmen
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-04-2005   #1 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
E in DC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 486
Advice on Upcoming Trip

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p>Hello, all! I’ve been lurking for the past few weeks and thoroughly enjoying myself! We leave two weeks from tomorrow for 7 days, 6 nights in Playa and vicinity and I cannot wait!! The info on this site has been incredibly helpful as far as planning. I wondered if I could now get your feedback on our proposed itinerary.</o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p><o:p>Background: Had a stressful year and a just had a BIG birthday so decided to cash in some frequent flyer miles and treat ourselves. (Added bonus on the timing: it gets us out of DC – and the US - during the presidential inauguration!) Money’s tight, but I sometimes find traveling on a budget adds to the adventure. I dive and we got a great deal on a room/dive/breakfast package (including aiport pickup) at the Tankha Hotel (formerly the Maya Bric). This is my third trip to the Riviera Maya and my SO’s second. Been to Cancun (for work, would never spend my own $ to go there), Puerto Aventuras (pleasant, but not “real” enough for me), Tulum (stayed at Zamas and loved it), and Chichen Itza/Valladolid. Fell in love with Playa when we stopped for dining/shopping on previous trips and are thrilled to finally be staying there!</o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p><o:p>I’ve always wanted to visit Merida so this time we were thinking of doing a side trip there (and a possible tour of Uxmal). Do you think this makes sense? My intention is to take the bus (we’ve traveled a bit by bus in other parts of Mexico but not the Yucutan). General itinerary:

Wed. 1/19 – arrive 10:15 a.m., head to Playa
Thurs. 1/20 – Playa
Fri. 1/21 – Playa
Sat. 1/22 – Playa a.m., bus to Merida p.m.
Sun. 1/23 – Merida (and possible trip to Uxmal)
Mon. 1/24 – Merida, then bus back to Playa, p.m.
Tues. 1/25 – depart for home – 5:00 p.m.

In addition to lying on the beach, diving (well, me at least), eating, drinking and loving life, we definitely want to squeeze in some exploration of the region. Like I said, Merida’s been on my list for a while but my only concern is whether we’re trying to do too much on a relatively short trip.

Any thoughts? Also, anyone else going to be in Playa when we are there Jan. 19-25?

Thanks so much for your feedback! And I hope this post isn't too obnoxiously long . . .

Ellen
</o:p>
E in DC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #2 (permalink)
añejo
 
Big Kahuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In a land far far away
Posts: 1,585
Doing too much in a short period of time was exactly what I would have changed about our last visit to PDC. We barely had any down time at all. Only you can decide whether it is too much for you on such a short trip. We spent a lot of time getting from one activity to the next, then doing the activity. If I were to return for the 5 day trip again. I would most likely only book one of those days and relax the rest of the time. Two of the days are always spent with travel, etc. On my next trip I will not book for less than 7 nights. Then I would book 3 days of exploration.

Best of luck! Make the most of it no matter what you choose to do.
Big Kahuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #3 (permalink)
way into it
 
FurDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 144
That's what I learned after my first trip to PDC last time BK.

I wanted to extend our trip, but got shot down on that idea.
Coming back in Feb. this time for 8 days (2 accounting for travel as you say), but I hope to get in 4 excursions (One definitely fishing of course)
Gonna try to book the COBA trip mentioned on this site.
FurDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #4 (permalink)
JAH
reposado
 
JAH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,326
Since you only have one week in the area, I would suggest that you spend some time in Valladolid rather than Merida. It's closer thereby eliminating some travel time. It's a lovely old city and the ruins of both Ek Balam and Chichen Itza are nearby. The hotels are inexpensive, the food good, the plaza shopping fun and the Sunday market delightful. It's definitely worth considering in my opinion.
JAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #5 (permalink)
sandflea
 
morey000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5
Seems like you're doing too much with too little time. But, Merida is wonderful. I found Valladolid interesting as well, but Merida is certainly much nicer (and bigger, if you like that). Sunday in Merida is the perfect day to be there. The whole city comes out and walks around the zocalo and parks. It's basically a big street party (in a reserved, classic mexican flair, not a Mardi Gras type).
morey000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #6 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
andy766's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 342
Take JAH's advice, seriously.
andy766 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #7 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
Steve33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 398
You picked a great day to be in Medrida. On Sunday, everyone (it seems) dresses nicely and goes to church. The town square in front of the church is filled with merchants and has an almost carnival festive aura to it.

While I agree that Valladolid is also a town worth seeing, Merida is a beautiful city that is at it's best on Sunday. Now, having said that, you may not be able to get into the Mayor's office (museum), the Opera House or other places since it is on Sunday.
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
Steve33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #8 (permalink)
way into it
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 132
Ellen: I have to laugh. . . . .I am another "cram all you can into the available days" kinda person. I am really taking the advice you are getting here to heart. It seems a little silly to bring the frantic frenzy school of vacation planning to the land of "manana".

My SO (I liked that) and I are traveling with my brother (the successful one) and his wife. We will be in Playa Jan 14 through the 22nd. My brother has rented what appears to be a really gee whiz crib in Playacar 2. His agenda is to check out property values/investment opportunities on the Maya coast. Our agenda is a little more fluid (wink). We have booked the catamaran for tuesday 1-18, and have a trip scheduled to the ruins at Chichen Itza sometime during the week. I am going to have to lobby for a little less ruins and a little more Valledolid it sounds like. I have learned that the best place to buy hammocks is in front of the prison (all prisons make me nervous).

I think it would be great fun to book a happy hour with some fellow Playa rookies (or seasoned vets for more advice) sometime during that week. Happy Hour is my middle name(s).

I do have a question that I would like to ask. . . . .The brother is thinking of taking a day trip to Belize in his rented car. From what Michael Holmes' recent post suggests, this might be a little ambitious for one day. It sounds like the border crossing is a crapshoot at best. Is it a practical plan to try and do a Belize property scoping junket in one day?

I haven't been this pumped up about a vacation for a really long time, if ever. I am already bumming about the brown flight (which in my case will be a magenta flight).
Chuckkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005   #9 (permalink)
JAH
reposado
 
JAH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,326
Buying a prison hammock is easy. They are all hanging out front within view of the highway. Ours is a favorite at the beach house.

Tell your brother that he can't take a Mexican rental car into Belize, and yes it is an ambitious plan. It's about a 4 hour drive to the border - one way.
JAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005   #10 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
E in DC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 486
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful advice. And feel free to keep it coming!

In the spirit of "manana," my inclination right now is to play things by ear and see how ambitious we feel once we are down there.

As per Chuck "Happy Hour" Kay's post, it'd be great to meet up with any of you fine folks who are around in mid-late January. Maybe Friday, 1/21?
E in DC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005   #11 (permalink)
añejo
 
Big Kahuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In a land far far away
Posts: 1,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by E in DC
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful advice. And feel free to keep it coming!

In the spirit of "manana," my inclination right now is to play things by ear and see how ambitious we feel once we are down there.

As per Chuck "Happy Hour" Kay's post, it'd be great to meet up with any of you fine folks who are around in mid-late January. Maybe Friday, 1/21?
Excellent choice...play it by ear. Just remember to get into the spirit of things while there...laid back.
Big Kahuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005   #12 (permalink)
very sparkly
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 27
We will be in Playa from Jan 15th through Jan 22nd. We would love to meet some fellow board members. Let us know about Happy Hour... when and where.
BluegrassCouple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005   #13 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
E in DC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 486
Definitely sounds like a happy hour is in order! Looks like a few of you will be around the 15th-22nd. We are there the 19th-25. So how's the 20th or 21st (Thursday or Friday)? Any veterans have suggestions on locale?

Cheers!
E in DC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005   #14 (permalink)
añejo
 
Bumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 14,212
Third trip to Playa coming in about 6 weeks. Travelled much of the Caribbean in the 10 years before that. We've always found that taking every second day off to "veg" on the beach/at the pool and recharge, reduced the stress brought on by over-organizing and over-commiting. Mind you, we never went for less than two weeks, so we could be a bit more flexible in our timing than on a one week trip. In short, I agree with everybody who has suggested you avoid cramming in too much, if you can. No point in returning home and developing your pictures to see what you saw. As for a venue for our get-together, some of the more popular choices with the habituees of this board are The Beer Bucket, The Tequila Barrel/ No Name Bar, La Ranita, and the Blue Parrot, but opinions and tastes obviously vary. A search under nightclubs should give you some insights. Enjoy!
Bumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2005   #15 (permalink)
añejo
 
Nerak936's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Shore of Baahhstun, Massachusetts
Posts: 23,349
Send a message via MSN to Nerak936
After staying in the Playa area the last two years (okay, it was an AI, but our February trip is non-AI), we learned not to book too much or you have no time to reeeeelax. Since our next trip is Sat-Sat (both travel days), our plan is:

Sunday: Beach/restaurants/bars, etc.
Monday: Snorkeling somewhere along with restaurants/bars
Tuesday: Beach/restaurants/bars, etc.
Wednesday: Snorkeling somewhere along with restaurants/bars
Thursday: Beach/restaurants/bars, etc.
Friday: Fat Cat trip/Cram everything into suitcases/Blue Parrot party at night

Since we've already seen Tulum, Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Chichen Itza, those visits are not on the agenda this time. And since we plan to drive around/snorkel at Cozumel in May, that's off the agenda too.

What I'm trying to imply is that if you stagger your "do something" days with "do nothing (beach/bars)" days in between, you'll give yourself a chance to enjoy the immediate Playa area and not feel like you spent a week solid tearing around all over the place.
Nerak936 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:48 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.