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Old 08-14-2012   #16 (permalink)
Sol
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In 1996, I defended my dissertation in June of that year, so my boyfriend at the time was going to finish his residency at a hospital around the same time, so he bought plane tickets to Playa. He had been to PdC a couple of times and loved it. He had surprised me with a ticket to Playa del Carmen that was wrapped in a small box. A few days before I defended my dissertation, he informs me that at the last minute he had been picked for a master's program in Health Administration at John Hopkins and he would start the program the week we were supposed to leave for our trip. Also, he wanted to cancel the trip indefinitely and he wanted me to give him my ticket.

I went to Playa by myself and ended up staying an extra week. I think Fifth Avenue ended at 10th? I had a great time! He was not too happy.
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Old 08-14-2012   #17 (permalink)
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I had been to Mexico a few times, to Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta....for our honeymoon in 2001 we decided on Playa del Carmen (I was hesitant as I like mountains and sunsets!) and stayed in town...at the time it was smaller and quieter and we LOVED it.

We have been back to the area 5 times since, and about 15 times elsewhere in Mexico. Most recently in this area we've been to Isla Mujeres (last summer, ADORED IT!!) and to the Barcelo Palace in February (after 5 non AI trips, our first AI, had a great time with another four couples).

Unlike many of the regulars this area is not my #1 spot but a close second...we love it for the beaches and diving and snorkeling, and cenotes and great restaurants.
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Old 08-14-2012   #18 (permalink)
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We fell in love with the town and the gorgeous turquoise beach!
I think that's the big difference between Caribbean/Gulf destinations and Pacific ocean ones...the water on this coast just NEVER looks that beautiful!
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Old 08-14-2012   #19 (permalink)
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We found Playa the same way that many others did - stumbled on it as a day trip and thought "why not stay the whole time there?" Cozumel and Akumal were our "first Mexico loves". But Playa now has our hearts forever.
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Old 08-14-2012   #20 (permalink)
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Our first visit was 1996 and we stayed in Puerto Adventures and took a day trip to Playa and asked ourselves why we weren’t staying here???

The following year we booked Playa. We continued to try other places throughout the years and always compare it to here. Used to be the best bang for your buck for sure!!!
Now we just keep coming back because we Love it here!!!
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Old 08-14-2012   #21 (permalink)
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First time to Playa

My buddy and I found Playa the easy way.... We followed the beach and beer! The story begins back on a cold, mid-winter Michigan night in 2001. I met him at the local sub shop and he told me he bought a last minute ticket to Cancun for the next day. It sounded like a good idea to me so I went home and bought one too! Once in Cancun we were very happy with the beach, the night life, and the scenery, and we even tried scuba diving. Our scuba contact person talked about a little town called Playa Del Carmen and said there was nothing better than a $6 bucket of cold beer on the beach at Playa, and the hook was it was also occasionally topless! Bonus! Two days into our Cancun adventure we hopped in a taxi and for $16 the driver delivered us to the bus station on Playa. It was quite a ride down 307 at that time, and I could see the road passing by through the floorboards of the car which we could have probably bought for less than round-trip cab fare today. Playa was completely different than Cancun though but even better. It didn't take us long to find the beach and the $6 buckets of ice cold beer, and we were hooked. For the next three nights we stayed at the Mosquito Blue for $40 and never worried about our room back in Cancun. At that time Playa stopped at the Gran Porto Real (pre-pier) but we had a blast! It was one of the best trips of our lives, and we've both been back at least once a year every year since. We both come down with our ladies now as well as many other friends, and Playa is now a second home for us all. I love it and can't wait to come home to Playa again.
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Old 08-14-2012   #22 (permalink)
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We took a family vacation back in April, 2008. We stayed at the Mayan. We did a trip into Playa to Cueva Del Chango and to Mega. Then we did an evening trip to the Beer Bucket for a "peep meet". Unfortunately, we were a little late arriving to the peep meet and most everyone had already left. But there was something about the place, that made me feel like I was home. In 2009 I went with my hubby for my birthday and stayed at Aventura Mexicana. Met a bunch of great peeps during our week and we just fell in love with the place even more. We've been back either once or twice a year since then. My husband has asked if I want to travel somewhere else, and I've said yes, as long as I get at least 1 trip to Playa per year.

I hope to someday have a home there. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, and I just tell them, nope its where I feel at home.
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Old 08-14-2012   #23 (permalink)
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On our first date we half-jokingly talked about taking a trip together that winter. A month later we booked a 2 week vacation in Playa (hubby had been several times since 1998). We celebrated our 3 month anniversary there and returned the following year for our wedding and again in May for our honeymoon. Funny, the reason for us returning in May was to have a 'honeymoon' without family and we ended up spending it with 60 or so other people! Sadly we had to skip both our January & May trips this year but we are booked for both in 2013!
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Old 08-14-2012   #24 (permalink)
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A friend from work told me that his wife went on vacation with her mother to Playa and told me what it cost them and I was sold.. the next yr we took our first long vacation on my wifes b-day.
We enjoyed it so much and had such a great time with the folks we met we returned the next yr..

We really hope to have enough cash stashed again someday to visit again..
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Old 08-15-2012   #25 (permalink)
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Some friends of ours would go with a group to Vegas every winter. We were thinking about going with them untill Tammy saw that it wasn't very warm there in the winter.. We decided to go to Cancun instead. It was going to be a one time trip. We stayed at the Coral Beach for 4 nights and loved it. We didn't go the next year but then did Cancun for the next 8 or 9 years. Somewhere along the way we did a day trip to Playa. Then 10 years ago we decided to move down the coast to Playa. Now we stay 12 to 14 days. So a one time 4 night stay 20 years ago has turned into a 2 week when are we going, not are we going.
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Old 08-15-2012   #26 (permalink)
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My first experience in Mexico was a girls trip in 2002 to Bahia Principe, we had a blast and ended up going into Playa one day to shop and drink, ended up at the Beer Bucket!

We went back to the Barcelo the following year and while I was doing research I came upon this site!

Finally brought my husband for our 25th, had a great stay at Secrets Capri 2 weeks after Wilma. We really loved our trip into town, even though the hurricane had really left a mess everyone was out cleaning up and getting back to normal!

Since then I have come with my daughters, my husband and have spent many trips with people I was lucky enough to meet through this forum.

There is always something new and different each trip so I never get bored.
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Old 08-15-2012   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PassionateFire View Post
On our first date we half-jokingly talked about taking a trip together that winter. A month later we booked a 2 week vacation in Playa (hubby had been several times since 1998). We celebrated our 3 month anniversary there and returned the following year for our wedding and again in May for our honeymoon. Funny, the reason for us returning in May was to have a 'honeymoon' without family and we ended up spending it with 60 or so other people! Sadly we had to skip both our January & May trips this year but we are booked for both in 2013!
...so glad you decided to do that!...
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Old 08-15-2012   #28 (permalink)
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...so glad you decided to do that!...
We are as well! I've told Jeff that if there is ever a year that we can only do 1 trip, we will be going in May instead of January!
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Old 08-15-2012   #29 (permalink)
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We are as well! I've told Jeff that if there is ever a year that we can only do 1 trip, we will be going in May instead of January!
...we're heading back later in may next year, sad, but unavoidable...but, 2014, we've already got that beach bar crawl week circled on the calendar!...
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Old 08-15-2012   #30 (permalink)
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After reading all these great stories it makes me think about my first trip. My sister and I did a girls trip to Cancun in 1994 and we decided to take a day trip to PDC. We have been hooked since.

Boy has the town changed a lot since then but I still love everything about it. I feel like PDC and I have grown together through the years.
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