anyone know anything about this location?
Yes, we took a Carnival Cruise last year from Galveston that stopped at Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Cozumel is an island across from Cancun and Playa. Playa is on the mainland south of Cancun.
Playa is an enchanting little town. The city fathers have passed ordinances prohibiting the large construction projects that Cancun has and which includes the height of the buildings. Their goal is to keep the town from growing like Cancun.
My husband and I with two teenage sons along with one of my husband's brothers and family, are flying down to Playa durin Spring break.
Are you going?
I am going on the same cruise in January 2004, only we are leaving from New Orleans instead of Galveston. I have been wondering about Playa myself- good to hear someone seems to like it enough to go twice.
I have been to Cancun, which, although touristy, I really like. Make sure to visit Chichen-Itza if you get the chance.
i spent 10 days on the mayan riviera 2 years ago--its lovely. playa is the main town--lots of adorable little cafes (with fabulous food!), cheap shopping, nice but not fabulous beaches, very easy commute to cozumel--where the snorkling/diving is, easy commute to the rest of the peninsula (if you have a car.) it is however a tourist town, so don't expect authenticity. its a great gringo-town if you know what i mean.
if you want a MUCH more laid back vacation, look into akumal, down the road from playa where you can rent houses that are right on a gorgeous beach. if you want all inclusive, there are several around playa (look at the valtur group too--an italian group i think) but also consider barcelo maya--i think they've got good rates.
i used festa holidays in miami florida as my travel agent--they have unbelievable deals. i think they're also called vacation travel mart but i'm not sure.
finally, not to be missed are tulum and chichen itza. extraordinarily beautiful mayan sites. for the shopping--merida, it has a great market, but its a real hike.
good luck, you will have lots of fun!
I used to go there every year, starting in 1977, and I based myself in Cozumel or Merida. I generally went in January, when it was raining in San Francisco. Cozumel is my favorite place, and you can rent antique cars and explore the east side of the island that way. The first time I went I rented a bike (not a 10-speed) and riding back in the afternoon against the wind was terrible!
I would recommend taking your own snorkel, but then when I went, it was a lot more primitive - Cancun had not been built and Quintana Roo was still a territory. I did manage to make it to Xel-Ha, the most beautiful lagoon, and there was no one there when I first went. For that reason, it was good that I took my own snorkel. I went to several lagoons where I would see no other people, and so when I went back, I tried to drag friends with me.
The most beautiful ruins are in Uxmal, IMO, but I also like Chichen Itza. It's best to know some Spanish before going, especially if you want to stay in the inexpensive hotels. When I first went to Cozumel, I found a beautiful, clean hotel in the village for $6.00 a night, and it came with a refrigerator and a kitchenette. I stayed there a week by myself and then got lonely and went to Mexico City. If you want to stay in a cheap hotel, take the first morning ferry from Playa del Carmen.
Definitely see the ruins. There are three big ones: Ushmal, Tulum and Chitzenitsa (sorry I know the spelling is horrible.) They are all located outside of Merida which is a stopever point when flying from the States. You can also get tours out of Cozemal to these ruins. My daughter was recently at Tulum and it looked just beautiful. You might read a little bit about these ruins before you go, because most of the guides do not speak extensive English. Also be careful about what you are eating and drinking down there.