Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Travel Guide

Bargoers here, a short taxi ride from Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, descend by candle-lined stairs into a subterranean lounge, trying to recall the little saying they learned as children to tell stalactites from stalagmites.

Get your fix of Mayan criollo chocolate—bitter and complex, with hints of fruit, smoke, and vanilla, a “food of the gods” that’s exponentially richer than the forastero cacao used in 90 percent of blends.

The Blue Parrot dates to 1984, making the club one of Playa del Carmen’s elder statesmen. What started as a casual hotel and bar now includes the 5th Avenue Hotel’s 19 rooms, plus 22 curvy units in the Blue Parrot Suites.

On an unassuming side street, this little shop run by two sisters—owner Beatriz Urtuzuastegui and Victoria Lemus, the attentive but unobtrusive manager—stocks fun-but-unfussy styles perfect for the beach or a romantic dinner: affordable ($20 and up) cotton dresses, halter tops, and guayaberas, lo

This venue is closed.

Sure, you could book shiatsu, but this spa’s specialty is heavenly Mayan-inspired treatments. Everyone’s visit begins with an outdoor steam-cleansing ritual using resin from the revered copal tree.

Where It Is: The limestone bedrock that underlies Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is pocked with freshwater-filled sinkholes called cenotes. For divers, one of the best known is the 48-foot-deep Cenote Taj Maja, just south of the Caribbean coastal town of Playa del Carmen.