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Old 06-02-2012   #1 (permalink)
sandflea
 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Carmel, California
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1st time poster - Hi! :)

Hello all!
Thought I'd introduce myself. My name is Crystal, and I've been to Playa once in November 2011 with my boyfriend Chris. Chris has been all over Mexico, and I'm sure you all can understand- Quintana Roo was his absolute fav, so he took me for my first Mexico trip straight to Playa!
We were so sad to leave (only a 5 night trip ), that as soon as we got back, we began planning our next trip.
This forum has been very helpful for me during our first trip and in the planning of our second trip. So thank you everyone!
So now that I'm done lurking ... I'm pleased to announce, our trip is coming up in three days!! June 6th through June 20th. This time we're staying in Quintana Roo for 14 nights! This is the longest vacation I've ever been on, so I'm a bit nervous and A LOT excited!!
This time we will be renting a car in Cancun, stopping in Playa for supplies, driving 4 hours to just north of Majahual in a beautiful, quiet, private, beachfront vacation rental for the first week (Villa Casona Palms... look it up! You might be interested in staying there too!). From there, we have a spearfishing tour and a day-trip to San Pedro Belize lined up!! Then we'll be staying in Cozumel for two nights at Playa Azul. Then we'll be returning to the AI we stayed at last time... Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret, for the last 5 nights, where we plan to take a day for exploring three different cenotes.
Let me know if there are any meet-ups in Playa between June 16th and 19th! Last time we came, we ate dinner mostly in town... Yaxche, Lateral & Alux, and we most-likely will be doing the same this time.
I've read some of the trip reports from this forum... and just WOW! I gotta say I'm a bit intimidated to try that, considering how entertaining and creative so many of you are with those!! I'll probably just take it all in this trip and possibly do that for a future trip- one when I'm not such a newbie!
Thanks for reading, and hope to see some of you in Playa some sunny day soon!
All the Best,
Crystal
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Old 06-02-2012   #2 (permalink)
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hey crystal, welcome to the forum! jessica and i recently moved to playa and we love it! i'm sure you will have an even better trip next time around. we love that there are so many different places to eat at, the small town feel and that we can walk every where we want to go.
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Old 06-02-2012   #3 (permalink)
sandflea
 
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Originally Posted by cormacsg View Post
hey crystal, welcome to the forum! jessica and i recently moved to playa and we love it! i'm sure you will have an even better trip next time around. we love that there are so many different places to eat at, the small town feel and that we can walk every where we want to go.
How exciting! Congrats!
I must admit... after just our first trip, I was already looking at properties online. Chris has a job that he can do from wherever, and I'm in a position with not a lot of growth potential, so the thought of moving to Mexico is actually not too far-fetched.
If we see ya around, and recognize you... we'll def say hello!!
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Old 06-04-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to Playa Info!! Your next trip sounds fantastic!!
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Old 06-07-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like a great trip, hope all goes well, hope to hear about you future adventures
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Old 06-08-2012   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome, super excited for you! I checked out the place you are staying, it is huge!! We will just miss you, we arrive on June 27th. We have met some amazing people, whom we've made lifelong friends with here on the forum! I am a bit afraid to post a trip report also. But my goal is this time I will.
Well have fun!!! Cheers!
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Old 06-25-2012   #7 (permalink)
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So you've been home 5 days, how was it!???

Or you stayed and are never going home?
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Old 07-13-2012   #8 (permalink)
sandflea
 
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What a fantastic experience!!

Oh boy... I really wish I was still in Mexico! It was completely fabulous to go on vacation for that long. I really had to decompress when I came back... I think I was still "In The Roo" in my mind for about a week and a half after returning! I'll do a re-cap of the highlights...
We had a very unfortunate experience, where the pilot captain called in sick, the airline (US Airways), had no back-up plan and the replacement showed up 2 hours later! We missed our connection in Pheonix and unfortunately spent the first night of our Mexico trip in Charlotte NC, waiting for the next available flight!! Boo!
Once we arrived in Cancun the next day, we were met at the airport by Easy Way Car Rental... they were great! We had read lots of horror stories about renting cars from TripAdvisor, so we were nervous about it, but we'll definitely recommend Easy Way, and will use them again... absolutely no problems... and even when we returned the car late, because we got lost in Cancun for a bit, they rushed us to the airport immediately to catch our flight.
The vacation rental near Mahahual was absolutely beautiful, pristine and private. I would recommend the rental we stayed at hugely! There are lots of potholes to contend with on the road, but once you get there, it is just like your own private paradise. On top of the luxury and beauty of the place, if you took your family, or some friends with you, you would not be able to beat the price per night, even if you include the necessary car rental in the rate. (It sleeps up to 8 people) The snorkeling there was really nice too. They have two kayaks you can use, so you just jump in one of those babies and paddle out about 150ft... gorgeous coral-heads directly in front of your beach! We saw lobsters, a ray and tons of beautiful fish.
Mahahual was a really fun, laid-back town. We ate at Nohoch Kay twice, which was delicious. We liked that place so much, we never really tried anywhere else, except for some cocktails!
We got a taste of what they call "Mexico Time" when we tried to go to San Pedro, Belize. The only port captain in Xcalak was out of town! So unfortunately, even though we made our reservations months in advance, we were not able to go on that day trip. The authorities in Belize said they were having a very busy day, and if we arrived without the proper papers, the boat would be turned around and sent back. Oh darn... an extra day at our private little paradise near Mahahual.
We went spearfishing in Mahahual, which was an amazing experience! Spearfishing Costa Maya ( Spearfishing in Costa Maya - Mahahual - Xcalak - Chinchorro ) was a fantastic company to go with. Michael, the owner, will blow you away with how good he is, both at free-diving and spearfishing. It was worth the price just to watch him and his crew out there!
After leaving Mahahual, we took the car ferry to Cozumel, which was almost like a mini-cruise. No English speakers there at all, but it was great to be able to keep our rental car, and use it on the island. We got to hop from one beach club to the next, snorkeling all the way to the southern tip of Cozumel. Our favorite was The Money Bar, at Dzul-Ha reef. It was so dang clear in the water at Cozumel! I can certainly see why it's a famous diving destination. We even drove over to "the wild side" and got to swim and snorkel in the waves... it was great fun! We ate at a restaurant called Especias, which was really tasty (especially the zuccini boats!). We also stumbled upon Wet Wendy's, where they had some great live music going, and we experienced the absolute pleasure of having our first Avocado-Coconut margarita! (Sounds odd, but completely delicious!) We ended up going back there and having another our last night in Cozumel.
We then came back on the ferry and checked into the Occidental Grand Xcaret/Flamenco. We like the resort, but it's so much more fun to go elsewhere, and then come back to our hotel and unwind, or spend a day napping and reading in the pool chairs or at their little beach cove.
We absolutely LOVED having the rental car, and being able to set our own schedule and take ourselves on excursions! We went to Yal-Ku (similar to Xel-ha, but probably less crowded), then to La Buena Vida for lunch on the sand of Half Moon Bay, then to Akumal Bay to see the turtles.
After going spearfishing in some very deep water, with huge swells, my boyfriend felt a lot more comfortable with his aquatic abilities and we were able to go pretty far out in Akumal Bay. Wholly mole!! We had no idea Akumal had such beautiful and lively reefs out past the turtle grass! It was incredible! We saw turtles just gliding through the huge coral heads, and even a stingray flying through to get to the turtle grass and sand on the other side of the reef. I've never seen such an amazing amount of diversity as there is out there... both in terms of animals and fish, but coral as well!
Our next adventure was a cenote day! We went to Dos Ojos, which was so beautiful... the beautiful turquoise water, and the scary black depths... it was really nice. (We've never been to any of the cenotes before) Although I was then wishing I was a diver, because those guys looked like they were having a great adventure, swimming right into those dark underwater caves. Our next stop was Xcacel-Xcacelito beach & turtle sanctuary. The beach was beautiful, with markers for all the turtle nests on the beach. There's also a little cenote to the right when you park, down a little beach-jungle pathway. It was small, and when we got there, there was three large busses of people in the parking lot... so we didn't take a dip in the cenote as there were probably 8 or so people there already, but it looked really nice and refreshing after a swim in the ocean. We decided to go out in the waves, and head out to see some coral... and boy did we find some! It was prob 200-250ft out, but they were just gorgeous, with some very large fish as well. There was a little school of what kinda looked like baby yellow-fin tuna that for whatever reason took to me. They were swimming right underneath me, staying right next to me, no matter if I dove down to look at the coral-heads or anything else. They then started hanging out with my boyfriend for a while. I don't know if they thought we were a turtle they could hitch a ride with for protection, but it was a really cool experience! I had about 12 of these little fish swimming with me all the way up until I got out of the water on the beach. I was actually at that point worried for the little guys! We'll definitely go back to that beach when we have more time to hang out. Tip: If you go to this beach, there are no stores or bars, so you must bring your own food and refreshments.
As for food... we never eat at the all-inclusive for dinner... way too much good stuff in Playa! We had fabulous meals at Lateral a couple times (our favorite), as well as Yaxche, tried El Fogon for the first time (yum!!), and stopped by Di Vino, right on the corner of 5th and Av. 12 Norte! What a sweet spot to get a bottle of Prosecco and people watch! On our last night, we stopped by Fusion lounge for an app and a drink. That was really nice, with great cocktails and a very talented and friendly Swedish ex-pat bartender.
We had an excellent trip that we will never forget. We want to move to PDC, damn it!!
I wanted to post a few pictures, but it says to add a url. Where do you guys put your pictures in order to share them here?

Thanks for reading and happy trips to you all!
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Old 07-14-2012   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TravelLover View Post
Oh boy... I really wish I was still in Mexico! It was completely fabulous to go on vacation for that long. I really had to decompress when I came back... I think I was still "In The Roo" in my mind for about a week and a half after returning! I'll do a re-cap of the highlights...
We had a very unfortunate experience, where the pilot captain called in sick, the airline (US Airways), had no back-up plan and the replacement showed up 2 hours later! We missed our connection in Pheonix and unfortunately spent the first night of our Mexico trip in Charlotte NC, waiting for the next available flight!! Boo!
Once we arrived in Cancun the next day, we were met at the airport by Easy Way Car Rental... they were great! We had read lots of horror stories about renting cars from TripAdvisor, so we were nervous about it, but we'll definitely recommend Easy Way, and will use them again... absolutely no problems... and even when we returned the car late, because we got lost in Cancun for a bit, they rushed us to the airport immediately to catch our flight.
The vacation rental near Mahahual was absolutely beautiful, pristine and private. I would recommend the rental we stayed at hugely! There are lots of potholes to contend with on the road, but once you get there, it is just like your own private paradise. On top of the luxury and beauty of the place, if you took your family, or some friends with you, you would not be able to beat the price per night, even if you include the necessary car rental in the rate. (It sleeps up to 8 people) The snorkeling there was really nice too. They have two kayaks you can use, so you just jump in one of those babies and paddle out about 150ft... gorgeous coral-heads directly in front of your beach! We saw lobsters, a ray and tons of beautiful fish.
Mahahual was a really fun, laid-back town. We ate at Nohoch Kay twice, which was delicious. We liked that place so much, we never really tried anywhere else, except for some cocktails!
We got a taste of what they call "Mexico Time" when we tried to go to San Pedro, Belize. The only port captain in Xcalak was out of town! So unfortunately, even though we made our reservations months in advance, we were not able to go on that day trip. The authorities in Belize said they were having a very busy day, and if we arrived without the proper papers, the boat would be turned around and sent back. Oh darn... an extra day at our private little paradise near Mahahual.
We went spearfishing in Mahahual, which was an amazing experience! Spearfishing Costa Maya ( Spearfishing in Costa Maya - Mahahual - Xcalak - Chinchorro ) was a fantastic company to go with. Michael, the owner, will blow you away with how good he is, both at free-diving and spearfishing. It was worth the price just to watch him and his crew out there!
After leaving Mahahual, we took the car ferry to Cozumel, which was almost like a mini-cruise. No English speakers there at all, but it was great to be able to keep our rental car, and use it on the island. We got to hop from one beach club to the next, snorkeling all the way to the southern tip of Cozumel. Our favorite was The Money Bar, at Dzul-Ha reef. It was so dang clear in the water at Cozumel! I can certainly see why it's a famous diving destination. We even drove over to "the wild side" and got to swim and snorkel in the waves... it was great fun! We ate at a restaurant called Especias, which was really tasty (especially the zuccini boats!). We also stumbled upon Wet Wendy's, where they had some great live music going, and we experienced the absolute pleasure of having our first Avocado-Coconut margarita! (Sounds odd, but completely delicious!) We ended up going back there and having another our last night in Cozumel.
We then came back on the ferry and checked into the Occidental Grand Xcaret/Flamenco. We like the resort, but it's so much more fun to go elsewhere, and then come back to our hotel and unwind, or spend a day napping and reading in the pool chairs or at their little beach cove.
We absolutely LOVED having the rental car, and being able to set our own schedule and take ourselves on excursions! We went to Yal-Ku (similar to Xel-ha, but probably less crowded), then to La Buena Vida for lunch on the sand of Half Moon Bay, then to Akumal Bay to see the turtles.
After going spearfishing in some very deep water, with huge swells, my boyfriend felt a lot more comfortable with his aquatic abilities and we were able to go pretty far out in Akumal Bay. Wholly mole!! We had no idea Akumal had such beautiful and lively reefs out past the turtle grass! It was incredible! We saw turtles just gliding through the huge coral heads, and even a stingray flying through to get to the turtle grass and sand on the other side of the reef. I've never seen such an amazing amount of diversity as there is out there... both in terms of animals and fish, but coral as well!
Our next adventure was a cenote day! We went to Dos Ojos, which was so beautiful... the beautiful turquoise water, and the scary black depths... it was really nice. (We've never been to any of the cenotes before) Although I was then wishing I was a diver, because those guys looked like they were having a great adventure, swimming right into those dark underwater caves. Our next stop was Xcacel-Xcacelito beach & turtle sanctuary. The beach was beautiful, with markers for all the turtle nests on the beach. There's also a little cenote to the right when you park, down a little beach-jungle pathway. It was small, and when we got there, there was three large busses of people in the parking lot... so we didn't take a dip in the cenote as there were probably 8 or so people there already, but it looked really nice and refreshing after a swim in the ocean. We decided to go out in the waves, and head out to see some coral... and boy did we find some! It was prob 200-250ft out, but they were just gorgeous, with some very large fish as well. There was a little school of what kinda looked like baby yellow-fin tuna that for whatever reason took to me. They were swimming right underneath me, staying right next to me, no matter if I dove down to look at the coral-heads or anything else. They then started hanging out with my boyfriend for a while. I don't know if they thought we were a turtle they could hitch a ride with for protection, but it was a really cool experience! I had about 12 of these little fish swimming with me all the way up until I got out of the water on the beach. I was actually at that point worried for the little guys! We'll definitely go back to that beach when we have more time to hang out. Tip: If you go to this beach, there are no stores or bars, so you must bring your own food and refreshments.
As for food... we never eat at the all-inclusive for dinner... way too much good stuff in Playa! We had fabulous meals at Lateral a couple times (our favorite), as well as Yaxche, tried El Fogon for the first time (yum!!), and stopped by Di Vino, right on the corner of 5th and Av. 12 Norte! What a sweet spot to get a bottle of Prosecco and people watch! On our last night, we stopped by Fusion lounge for an app and a drink. That was really nice, with great cocktails and a very talented and friendly Swedish ex-pat bartender.
We had an excellent trip that we will never forget. We want to move to PDC, damn it!!
I wanted to post a few pictures, but it says to add a url. Where do you guys put your pictures in order to share them here?

Thanks for reading and happy trips to you all!


Great trip report!! Sounds like you guys will be going back!! We love so much of the same stuff you guys experienced: Yal-ku, Akumal, Xcacel, Dos Ojos, El Fagon!! Wish we were there!!!
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