550 comments on “Images tagged "hrefhttpswww-playadelcarmen-orgplaya-del-carmen-events-calendar"

  1. nice writeup. I’m a small plane owner from US and I came down for a 4 day vacation. Unfortunately I flew down commercially, but I’d like next trip to be me and my small plane. I’d like to get more airport info, but for some reason my aviation app, got confused with PCM with a small airport with the same name in Florida, plant city municipal. I’ll stop by and see if I see you hanging around.

    • Agile Andy,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m happy to hear that you are a pilot. My dad was a pilot. Our family had a Cessna 172 Skyhawk in the backyard growing up. However, the plane didn’t see many hours in the sky after my mother & father left California and we moved to Minnesota (I was only a few years old at the time). Unfortunately, he sold it when I was around 16, but I did fly in it a lot when I was quite young. Don’t remember much, but I’ve heard stories/seen pictures.

      If you do plan on flying your plane down here, make sure you have the correct permissions and paperwork. Mexicans are sticklers when it comes to bureaucracy, and I’m sure they would love a reason to impound, bury in paperwork, and then auction off your plane!!!

      Talk to you soon, Andy, and I hope you enjoy your trip!!!


  2. That is a lot to read through. I admit I skimmed through most of it but will refer back once I move to Playa (in two weeks)

  3. Hola. I was shopping on Fifth Ave while on my honeymoon May 6th. I purchased a few silver jewelry items at a store Lahuella Del Oso, this is how it appears on my credit card statement. I’m trying to find the store because I am missing an item I purchased and I have no receipt. Can you please get me a telephone number for this store? The owner’s name is CHINO. I have already called the Resort, Secrets Akumal where I stayed, just to make certain my jewelry item wasn’t there. I knew it wasn’t because, I checked everything before we checked out. I would greatly appreciate your help in this matter. I spent $274.00 in that store. And, over $10,000 while in your country. Everyone in Mexico was more than perfect to us. Thank you.

    • Devastated Denise,

      I am happy to hear that you went on your honeymoon here! I hope that you and your new husband had an incredible vacation.

      I found the store that you were looking for, Lahuella Del Oso. Lucky for you, it was very close to my apartment! I talked directly with Chino. I sent a picture of him to your email.

      Unfortunately, he does not have anything that belongs to you at the store. However, he did show me a record of you being there in his notebook. He said he that he thought you were from New Jersey. Is this correct? Also, he seemed like a pretty reasonable and honest person – unlike some of the other people here.

      The phone number for Lahuella Del Oso is the following: +52 (984) 803-1489.

      Good luck to you, and send me some of your honeymoon pictures when you get a chance!!!!

      Lots of love,


      P.S. For the record, I should mention that I’m not Mexican. You said in your post that, “I spent over $10,000 in your country.” I am American, born and raised. This is a site I created for tourist from a tourist’s perspective (specifically from an American tourist’s perspective). Although I understand most aspects of Mexican culture, I will never understand everything as I will always be an “extranjero” or foreigner. Neither of my parents are Latino; both are of European ancestry.

      Chino and his assistant looking at the sales records

      • Thank you so much Rufus for your quick response. Yes, I am from New Jersey. I knew Chino would remember us, we spent a long time and spent a,large sum of money in his store. We chatted a long time with him. He also walked us to a restaurant to eat, he knew someone that worked at the restaurant, so he was kind and walked us over.

        Now, as far as me missing an item I purchased from Chino, I do not have the earrings I bought from him. I purchased a silver ring, the earrings I’m missing and a blue Opal pendant and earrings which Chino put in a box for me. I told him these were a gift for my mother. I wore the ring, so the box and the earrings, which I’m missing should have been in the bag. It was a very small bag, which I placed in my pocketbook so I wouldn’t misplace it. I left very early the next morning to come home and I have everything I purchased there for 7 days except those earrings. Is that strange to you?

        I called the store but Chino was not there. I suppose there is no way to resolve this. It’s my word against his word. I will never purchase anything there again, that’s all. One more thing, I do not have a receipt either. Very strange. I have every receipt for all I purchased in Mexico except that one.it makes me think Chino didn’t put the receipt in the bag and didn’t put the earrings in the bag.

        I do not like to think that way but I have no choice. They are missing and everything else is here.

        Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do.


        • Degraded Denise,

          Sounds fishy, Denise! Well, maybe we’ll never know the truth. Nonetheless, this comment thread is now visible, so I’m sure others will read this message (and see the picture that I’ve posted of him here) before spending much time on Fifth Avenue. I wish we knew for surely what happened. Maybe we never will.

          Also, “Chino” (the owner of the jewelry store) was not simply being kind or doing you a favor by walking you over to the restaurant you mentioned. Fifth Avenue is a very competitive place. Restaurants along 5th avenue will tip (usually ~40 pesos/per person in restaurant credit) if someone brings customers to their establishment. Thus, he was certainly getting some sort of kickback for bringing you there. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but this sort of practice is common here. My point is that “kindness” is not always the motivation.

  4. Hey Rufus
    Thank you so much for all your info!!!
    My husband and I have travel to Cancun a few times will bring along 4 kids. 17. 13. Twins 12
    Two of them can speak very good Spanish and all four are awesome swimmers… we were thinking about playa DE Carmen this time
    They just really want
    To snorkel….
    So looking at traveling to Cozumel by ferry…
    Do you know anything about resorts in Playa de Carmen family friendly with lots of pools???
    Would love to hear back from you thank you

    • Delicious Dawn,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the info. Most importantly, I hope it helps you with planning your trip.

      Most visitors who have visited here (and Cancun) say that Playa Del Carmen has a lot more personality. Moreover, it is closer to the popular X-Parks (Xcaret, Xplor, Xelha, etc) than Cancun, closer to Akumal, Tulum, etc… Everything is packed into a small area here. Of course the proximity of the city’s offerings will depend on the location of your resort. (More about that below.)

      Wow! You’re bringing lots of kids! That’s great. This is a family-friendly city and there are LOTS of things to see and do around town. Their Spanish will be useful here, too.

      In regard to snorkeling, there are a number of tours that include snorkeling. In addition, Cozumel is right next door (visible from the beach). There’s world-class snorkeling there because of the extensive reef, which is the second largest in the world (the Great Barrier Reef is the biggest). I would also recommend visiting Akumal – picturesque beach with turtles to snorkel with. Nice place.

      For the resort you choose, you’ll need something family friendly (some of the resorts are adults-only). I have written a fairly extensive article on the best family resorts in this city. However, I’m not sure about the number of pools at each. With that said, I would recommend checking out the Playacar Palace (the contact info is included on the previous page). Not only is it kid-friendly, but its proximity to all the action will help you keep your kids entertained. It usually gets great reviews, and everyone I talk to who stays there absolutely loves it.

      Wherever you decide to stay and whatever you decide to do, please let me know how your trip goes!

      I hope this helps!

      Lots of love,


  5. Dear Valiant Visitors,

    I have endorsed this city and told you that this is an excellent place to visit. Consequently, I feel somewhat responsible if you are not treated well (and even more so if you are not treated well by the places I recommend). Thus, I found it my responsibility to report the following when I recently visited La Ranita Bar on 10th Avenue.

    I hope that my own experience serves you, and that YOU don’t have the same encounter as I did.

    Because of the way I was treated at La Ranita Bar, I wrote the following letter to the owners/management:


    Dear Pia, Thed, and Jorge:

    On Saturday evening/Sunday morning, my friend and I were returning home from Wings Army. We decided to get a drink at Bar Ranita before going home. It was my first time visiting the bar. The date was May 29, 2016 at ~1:AM.

    There were two bartenders working. Both of them had dark hair. One of them was slightly taller than the other. The taller one is who served us.

    When I asked what kind of beer the bar stocked, she seemed quite impatient that I did not already know. After several moments of telling me what kind of beer your bar stocked, I ordered. My friend, who was just returning from the restroom, also sat down and ordered the same as me.

    Immediately after serving us our beers, she sat a plastic jar down in front of me. It was not placed to the side of me. It was directly in front of me – exactly where a plate would have been set if I had ordered food. There was a rectangular hole on the top of the jar to insert money. There was also some writing on the side. I don’t remember what it said, but it was obvious:

    It was a tip jar.

    I was surprised. “You ask customers for tips?” I inquired.

    “You know what, I don’t need any more tonight,” she said, taking the tip jar away.

    It was the first time I had ever seen a bartender ask for tips – other than in a cheap strip club several years ago. How rude can a bartender get? The first drink I ordered, and this bartender is demanding a tip? Needless to say, tipping standards are different around the world. Ironically, I had planned on tipping around 10% (as is the custom in Mexico), but refused to tip at all after a tip jar was thrust in my face.

    No matter where you go in North America, asking for tips is simply impolite. I don’t know if this is something that your bartender consistently does, but it’s very bad manners. If she is not experienced enough to know this, someone might want to fill her in on the “news.”

    Moreover, what your bartender doesn’t realize is that tourists are harassed by salespeople EVERYWHERE THEY GO IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN (hammocks for sale, jewelry for sale, t-shirts for sale, PASALE, PASALE, PASALE, etc…) These practices not only annoy tourists, but give the city a bad name.

    I often hear, “My vacation was great, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE PLAYA DEL CARMEN but the salespeople on Fifth Avenue were SO ANNOYING. I understand they need to earn a living, but they’re always trying to sell you something you don’t need or want!!!”

    I felt that way on Saturday night. A bartender EARNING a tip is respectable. A bartender ASKING for a tip (by placing a tip jar in front of a customer) is rude. Tips are (and always have been) voluntary based on the level of service a customer receives.

    The service was not great. However, I could have lived with it – all the way up to the point where the bartender demanded a tip by boldly placing a tip jar directly in front of me.

    At that point, it became offensive. UNBELIEVABLE! Really, unbelievable.

    Could you please let your bartender know that demanding tips by shoving a tip jar in a customer’s face is not acceptable?


    P.S. I run the website, https://www.playadelcarmen.org. I write up reviews and recommendations about restaurants, bars, clubs, activities, etc. around the city. I’ve included this correspondence in the comments section of the following page: https://www.playadelcarmen.org/playa-del-carmen-bars/.

  6. Dear Rufus

    Please let me start by apologizing on behalf of Pia , Thed and I for the bad experience you had in Bar Ranita and let me assure you that we do NOT by any means whatsoever approve of that kind of behavior in our bar from our bartenders. I will personally deal with our employee so this kind of thing wont happen again . please let me change that bad experience you had to a positive one. Ill be happy to buy you a drink and sit down to explain in what way this was handheld, so you can feel confident that this wont happen again . Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Jorge Dorantes Chaires
    General Mannager
    Hotel La Rana Cansada / Bar Ranita

    • UPDATE: On June 8, 2016
      I went to see Jorge after receiving the response above. Wow! This guy means business! I have yet to see this kind of customer service in Playa Del Carmen (or anywhere in Mexico). In addition to a meeting with all of his bar staff, Jorge suspended the bartender for two weeks. Moreover, he gave me a “Beer Card” for 6 free beers, his personal cell phone number, and his business card.

      Jorge is not only the master of customer service, but is one heck of a nice guy as well. I can tell you this: if I ever opened a hotel, bar, tourist business, or any other customer service-oriented business, I would STEAL THIS GUY AWAY FROM BAR RANITA!!!

      Also, I found out that Bar Ranita has a pretty damn amazing offer–BEER CARDS!

      I have never seen the concept anywhere else, but this is how it works:

      1. Stop at Bar Ranita and have a drink.
      2. Buy a beer card. 280 Pesos gets you a Beer Card good for 11 beers. That’s only 25.5 pesos each!!! Believe me, that is VERY CHEAP FOR THIS AREA!!!
      3. Use it as often as you like until you’ve drank all 11 beers.

      It’s really that easy, and if you’re going to be drinking in this area of 10th Street (the hottest area for bars), you can’t go wrong.

      And while you’re there, stop in and say “hi” to Jorge. You won’t regret it.


      Jorge's business card and half beer card from Bar Ranita in Playa Del Carmen




      It was nice to finally meet you today. Thank you for your kindness, understanding, and lightning-fast response times. Also, thank you for taking the necessary action to remedy the situation and assure it doesn’t happen again.

      I have added your response to the comment I sent and look forward to seeing you again at Bar Ranita.

      I will definitely return, and I hope anyone reading this visits as well.



  7. How much per month rent is a furnished one bedroom apartment in PLAYA DEL CARMEN? I am retired, single, with a retirement income of about $1500 per month. I might like to live there all the time. I am tired of the snow, and ice, and the below zero temps in the winter. I would like the beach, and warm weather.

    • Cheap-Apartment Charles,

      A nice 1-bedroom, furnished apartment in a great part of town should run around 12,000 pesos/month. Today, that’s around #700 USD. You can find cheaper, but I have no idea what your expectations are.

      As you might imagine, much will depend on your location and lifestyle expectations. You should be able to live very well with that amount of money with today’s exchange rate. I lived on $800 USD/month for some time here! I didn’t go hungry and even had a lot of fun! Gained weight!

      Take a look at my Cost of Living In Playa Del Carmen page in order to get an idea of costs today (mid-2016).

      Hope this helps!


  8. Hi rufus david here from ireland iam thinking of going to playa in october for a month i like to party but dont want to drink every night , i like to play poker texas hold em just wondering what the story is over there is there casinos with poker

    • Devilish David,

      There is a casino here, but it is small. I actually stopped by there for the first time today in order to take some pictures and check it out for you (and for myself as well). It is only a few blocks away from my apartment, so it only took a few minutes.

      The place is small. Nobody there speaks English. They don’t even have business cards or a website. Their FB page is outdated with wrong hours (it says they open at 4:PM, but I was there at 11:30 AM today).

      Nonetheless, they DO have Texas Hold Em’ games. You’ll have to check the times, but I think it starts at 4:PM. (No English speakers there; annoying).

      It is located on 10th street between 15th and 20th Avenues.

      Here are a few pics from my visit.

      Hope this helps, David!!!


      Playa Del Carmen Casino Facebook Page

      Riviera Grand Casino in Playa Del Carmen

      Texas Hold Em' Tables at the Playa Del Carmen Casino

      Blackjack tables, bar, and slot machines at the Playa Del Carmen Casino.

  9. Hi there rufus hows it going david here from dublin ireland i do a lot of traveling thinking of heading to playa in october was wondering wats the crowd like then is it busy or so so also i like to play poker cant drink every night so was wondering is there any action texas hold em casinos or poker rooms ,give a shout back when you can just found your website yesterday and very impressed with it great imfo on it thanks david .

  10. There is a picture of some boats on a river. What is the name of the river and are there fishing guides available?

    • Remarkable Roger,

      That picture was taken in Bacalar. Do a search on Google to see more – or CLICK HERE. In regard to fishing there, I know it’s possible, but I’m not familiar with any fishing guides there. However, they exist. I just haven’t had any experience with any.

      Oh, and I should also mention, Bacalar is part of Quintana Roo.

  11. Hi Rufus,
    I’m considering plan a vacation to PDC with two friends in September.
    can you tell me if the nightlife is still good this month?

    • Jailor Johann,

      The nightlife is still good. It is a little slower at this time, but people usually gravitate to the places that are busiest (e.g. some of the smaller bars may be emptier, but there will be a lot of people at the bigger clubs). Moreover, 10th and 12th street are always busy here.

      September is quite hot here, so bring your sunscreen and sunhat. Also, it will be a more mixed crowd with less Americans/Canadians than are visiting during December-March, so plan on hooking up with some “international” guys.

      In any case, there are always fun things to do around Playa, and September is a great time to save some money on your hotel/activities/etc…

      Make sure you negotiate the price with your hotel/resort. This time of year the hotels and resorts are willing to offer more value and cheaper discounts in order to attract visitors (especially those from English-speaking countries). Talk directly to a manager when calling!!!

      I hope to see you partying here with your friends in September, Johann!!!

      If you need anything else, let me know.

      Lots of love,


      • I’m going to Cancun next week , I want to hear Latin House music/ Jazz/Afro beats /Soul when can I hear this , bars and clubs) Many Thanks Keep It Soulful !!

  12. Rufus , Is it legal or even average practice for expats to use ATV’s or golf carts to get around Playa del Carmen ?

    • Mad Matt,

      Good question. Honestly, I’m not sure about the legality of riding around town on a golf cart or ATV. However, I know it happens quite frequently. In fact, they even rent tiny GO-KARTS here that are far less safe than a golf cart! Really, you’d be a pancake if you were ever hit by a car while riding in them. Nonetheless, many ATVs, go-karts, golf carts, etc… still have license plates on them, and people rent them and ride around hassle-free.

      The bottom line in Mexico is this: money talks. Of course you still have to play by the rules, but the police assume you’re a tourist (probably a “rich” tourist staying at one of the golf resorts) if you’re riding around in a golf cart. Because they understand that tourism is why they have a job, they usually leave tourists alone. Moreover, the vehicles are registered and all applicable tax has been paid on them. Consequently, they are “street legal.” And because the state of Quintana Roo (where Playa Del Carmen is located) got its money, that’s all that really matters (from the government’s perspective)!

      Hope this helps, Matt! Also, if you see any other crazy vehicles around town, please snap a picture so that I can post it here!!!

      Take care,


  13. Your website is great, thanks! Going to be in Playa del Carmen in late November and will definitly check out your restaurant recommendations. Which one would you say has the best seafood? Thanks so much for your reply.

    • Dazzling Dee,

      I didn’t include much information about seafood on the page for a few reasons.

      First, I haven’t eaten at many of the seafood restaurants. I have always loved seafood. However, several years ago I had a shrimp cocktail and got a bad case of hives! Luckily it only lasted for a few hours, but it was pretty scary. I thought it was an anomaly until I tried the same shrimp cocktail again and had the same reaction. Since that time I’ve stayed away from seafood. BUT, that was in the center of Mexico – and not in Playa Del Carmen.

      Second, so many of the regular restaurants here – whether they serve beef, pork, or whatever – also serve seafood. Usually places that make great beef-based dishes (for example) have good chefs that can also make great seafood dishes. So if you go to an upscale restaurant, you’re likely to find the seafood quite delicious even if seafood is not the specialty there.

      With all of the above being said and taken into consideration, there is a relatively new restaurant in Playa del Carmen that I would visit tomorrow if I was taking an important person out for a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion. It is called NAU. I’ve included the contact details below as well.

      In the short time that they’ve been open, they’ve developed a strong reputation as the go-to restaurant for seafood as a specialty (no small feat considering the competition here). It just smells good when I walk by there, as well!

      For a final reason, it’s slightly off the beaten path (by one block) and directly across from the publicly accessible, “Municipal Palace” and courtyard, which is an ever-so-slightly cool place to stroll during both day and night.

      That is my BEST suggestion for you, Dee.

      Hope this helps, and don’t forget to send me a message during your trip to let me know how it’s going!

      Take care,


      Website: http://www.nau.mx
      Phone: +52 (984) 197-4121

      • Thanks Rufus, I really appreciate your time to reply. There will be six people in the group, I am the only one who has been there before. Your website is so very helpful, and especially the new activity calendar, thanks so much for being there and doing what you do! I can’t wait to see beautiful Playa Del Carmen again! Will only be there for one week but planning to make the most of it and your website will definitly help me show the others the best of your beautiful home.

      • I appreciate your sharing. I hope to meet more locals and play volleyball or basketball. Where would your recommend?

        • Smooth-talking Stephen,

          For volleyball, there are a few places on the beach where people play regularly. You can walk up and down the busiest beaches to see if anyone is playing. I’ve never heard of any organizations that get together and play, but they could exist.

          The most lively place that I’ve seen for games is right next to the ferry dock – specifically, the south side of the dock close to the part of Señor Frog’s that faces the sea. It seems like there’s always a volleyball game going there on the weekends. Ask them about meetings, and they may be able to help you.

          Here’s a map that shows where they play. Keep in mind it’s more common on weekends.


          In regard to basketball, there are several courts here. However, unless you know Spanish quite fluently, you may have a problem. I know there are people who play consistently, but I’m not sure if there is a specific group that you could contact in order to play.

          I would simply go to a basketball court and talk to some people. Here’s a link to a map that shows the location of the best basketball courts I’ve seen in town.


          Hope this helps!

          Take care,


  14. Hi Rufus,

    My wife and I are coming from the UK and are staying at the Iberostar Quetzal from 23 September for two weeks. I am a very experienced fly fisherman and have demonstrated fly tying all over the UK, Europe, U.S.A. and Kenya. I have never done any salt water fly fishing and would love to try it. I have not got any salt water fly fishing gear, so would have to hire it. Can you please help me and let me know what the costs will be. I will be able to tie my own flies, if you can suggest what I will need.

    Look forward to hearing from you and thanking you in anticipation.

    All the Best


    • Compassionate Chris,

      Congrats on your experience tying flies! It sounds like it has led you to some interesting adventures around the world! September is a little slow here, but there’s always something to do, so I’m sure you won’t get bored. If you are looking for some entertainment while you’re here, check out my new Events Calendar. It lists some of the daily/weekly specials and things to do around town.

      In regard to fly fishing, I found out some interesting information. Although I think there are several companies that offer fly fishing tours, there were two that caught my eye: Aquarius Fishing and Pesca Maya.

      Pesca Maya is quite far away (60 minutes by car; it’s close to Tulum), but Aquarius is on Cozumel Island (right across the bay).

      Also, I called both places. Aquarius answered their phone; Pesca Maya did not answer at all (except by email).

      To summarize a 15-minute conversation, this is what was said:

      Aquarius fishing offers two different types of tours: a six-hour tour, and a full-day tour.

      The full-day tour lasts eight hours and includes lunch. The six-hour tour does NOT include lunch. The six-hour tour costs $330 USD. Conversely, the eight hour/full day tour runs $415 USD. (NOTE: This includes mandatory fishing licenses for both you and your wife.) If ONLY YOU are going, the price will be $15 USD LESS because of your wife’s license.

      If you want to upgrade to a better rod/reel, there is a $30 charge for that.

      You will need to bring the following items:
      – polarized sunglasses (so that you can see through the water well – I’m sure you already have these.)
      – Some sort of fishing hat
      – a long-sleeved shirt
      – bug spray – biodegradable
      – sunscreen – biodegradable
      – wading shoes/boots

      Moreover, you also need a ferry ticket. That’s right, you will need to get to Cozumel. The boat ride officially takes 45 minutes. However, it usually arrives in 30 or 35 minutes. The tickets are around $10 USD EACH WAY.


      Carlos is the owner of Aquarius Fishing. He is one heck of a nice guy and has been leading fishing tours for around 27 years! Needless to say, he knows fishing!

      I didn’t actually talk to the people at Pesca Maya, but their prices are a little more expensive ($430 USD per boat PLUS $110 for transportation to/from your resort).

      If it were me, I would go with Carlos at Aquarius Fishing. Then, if you have the time/money, you can take a longer excursion with Pesca Maya.

      Contact Info:
      Aquarius Fishing

      Pesca Maya

      Hope this helps, Chris!!!

      Don’t forget to give me a “Like” on Facebook!

      Take care, and send me some pictures of all the fish you catch!!! I’ll put them on this page!!!


  15. I enjoyed your story and love the website. Keep it up. Maybe when we return from Playa in September we will be able to contribute a photo and story to you. We visit the area regularly and love seeing the diversity that has accompanied the growth of the community. I always like to say “Don’t tell your friends about Playa, it will screw the place up”.

    • Kick-ass Kevin,

      Thanks so much for the comment. I would love to see your pictures/hear your story! I’ve noticed more and more people becoming “regulars” here. This is a fast-growing city. Who knows where it will be in a few years???

      In any case, I hope you have a great trip in September, and I will try not to tell too many people about this city!

      Take care,


  16. Hi Rufus,

    Thanks for all your help, it really is greatly appreciated!!!!! I will be in contact with Carlos and see what we can sort out. We have also been thinking about some possible trips that we can do while we are staying at the Iberostar Quetzal. We stayed at the Grand Sirenis 5 years ago and visited Chichen Itza and Xel Ha. We are both very interested in both wildlife and conservation, so trips encompassing these would be great for us. We had thought of Punta Laguna, Isla Contoy and Sian Kaan. Have you get any ideas, your help would be very greatly appreciated.

    look forward to hearing from you again.

    All the best

    Chris and Pam

    • Compassionate Chris/ Pleasant Pam,

      It sounds like you’ve already visited some of the popular destinations in the area. One place I did not see on the list is Holbox (pronunciation: HOLE•bosh). A lot of people really rave about it after visiting. I would investigate that first. I think it embodies conservation, the outdoors, and some tranquil sightseeing.

      Bacalar is another very popular area that is something like a reserve. I would search for it online. It’s a favorite among those who want to get away from the crowds.

      Alternatively, Belize is a different option. It’s not that far away, English is the official language, and everyone at the office will be even more jealous when you tell them you visited not one but TWO countries.

      Of course you can check out some of the other X-Parks as well (Xcaret, Xenotes, Xplor, etc…).

      You may want to try Coba, too. Some people like it more than Chichen Itza.

      Hope this helps….


  17. Hi Rufus,

    Many thanks for your suggestions, we will investigate them. We are looking forward to a great holiday, with some great snorkelling again and more fabulous photographic opportunities (another of our interests).

    All the Chris and Pam

    • Twenty-four Carat T,

      Absolutely. In fact, I would ONLY use MX pesos. Because if you use US Dollars, you can bet your @$$ that they’ll give you a horrendous USD/MXN exchange rate!

      Don’t (for even one second) think that businesses here are doing you a “favor” by accepting USD. I’ve seen businesses give tourists as little as 12 pesos to the US dollar when the actual rate was 18.5 or more! It’s the most common scam in this city – & all of Mexico!

      Mexicans can’t stand the fact that their currency has lost so much value over the last 2 years – especially to the US dollar! This is a sneaky way to steal from tourists all day long in broad daylight. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for this blatant thievery, but they’re not.

      Don’t bite the hand that feeds, right? Tourism definitely feeds this city, and the USD is the most important currency after the MX peso. Unfortunately some vendors don’t think long-term and instead are trying to make a quick buck.

      BEST ADVICE: Pay for EVERYTHING in pesos or lose 20% – 35% of your money’s value.

      Hope that helps.


  18. looking for all inclusive for 8-12 people for wedding next June looking for simple elegant amenities
    that will not cost a fortune

    • Most Excellent Michelle,

      I just read the comment that you left on my website. Instead of giving you information that may not be accurate or may be outdated, I decided to forward your message to the best wedding photographers in the city.

      They should receive a copy of this message.

      They work with the resorts on a daily basis and know a lot more than I do about choosing a resort that matches your requests/needs.

      Because they have done so many weddings at such a variety of resorts, they can likely give you some advice about which resorts offer what and at what prices. I really like them because, more than anyone else in town, they take the time to answer any questions clients have and also do a great job at following up with clients long after their weddings.

      Moreover, if you decide to hire a wedding photographer while you’re here, I highly recommend them.

      You can read more about them on the following page:


      Matt phone: +52 1 (984) 130-0646
      Jasmine phone: +52 1 (984) 114-3386
      Email: info@jasminandmatt.com
      Website: http://www.jasminandmatt.com/

      I hope this helps, Michelle, and I hope your wedding is as grand as can be.

      Lots of love….


      P.S. I do not get a commission for recommending them, so you can be sure this is an honest recommendation!

    • Just-Married Jhesa,

      Thanks for the comment. Don’t forget to come to visit. Also, bring any exotic romance ideas with you. Anything can happen here. Whatever you do, don’t doubt this city’s ability to bring out the best in people.

      I hope to see you here soon.

      Lots of love…..


    • Muscular Morales,

      I have absolutely no idea where you’re coming from, so that’s a hard question to answer.

      Most of the small aircraft flying into the Playa Del Carmen Airport arrive from the surrounding airports (i.e. Cancun, Cozumel, Chetumal, etc…).

      If the type of pilots you’re referring to are those that fly between these surrounding airports, yes, there are several here.

      If you’re talking about international flights, no, I don’t know of any because there are no international flights to the little airport here; the vast majority of tourists fly into Cancun (sometimes Cozumel as well).

      I hope this helps…


  19. Many years ago my husband and I and 6 others took a 14 seat plane (AeroCozumel) from the Playa Del Carmen Airport to Chichen Itza. Do you know if there are any flights of that sort anymore? My son and his wife are heading down there for their 15th Anniversary the first week on November and Chichen Itza is one place they would love to see.

    • Superlative Cindie,

      I will check on it this evening and see what I can find out (if it’s not raining here tonight; the last few days have been thunderstorms). I know there is an airport in the Chichen Itza area, but I don’t think it’s functional. I have NEVER heard of anyone flying to it.

      Here’s a link to the Google Maps location:


      It looks quite rundown and the Google Streetview shows it almost completely empty. Nonetheless, I’ll see what I can find out and get back to you ASAP!!

      Talk to you soon…


  20. Who does all your ski repairs? I am a certified boat and jet ski mechanic living here in playa. I am looking for work if you have any available. I can send a resume or come speak with you in person. 984-205-1956

    • Super-mechanic Stuart,

      I don’t own or maintain any jet skis. This page you visited is simply about renting a jet ski here.

      I have had the opportunity to visit several of the jet ski rental providers here in town. From what I can gather, they are all owned by different people. One person usually has 5 or 6 of them. Then, further down the beach, another person has 5 or 6.

      Of course the licensing is all run through the government, but as far as ownership, there is not one major company who owns (or rents) all of them. You could check with them each individually to see if some of them need maintenance or repair periodically.

      In addition to the wave runners for rent along the beaches in Playa Del Carmen, there is a park here that does a lot of jet ski rentals. It is called Punta Venado. They may need someone to do repairs sometimes. I would recommend checking with them.


      One selling point that you have – at least according to your name – is that you are not a local. It is very difficult to find high-quality local workers here, so you may want to market yourself as a foreign jet ski repair specialist.

      I hope this helps…

      Take care,


    • Jump-In-Already Jenny,

      As part of the landing/taking off process (for lack of a better word), you will not enter the water. There is a platform at the back of the boat that allows you to take off/land smoothly.

      The height of passengers is controlled by an electric winch (the things you see on the front of off-road vehicles that pull them out when they get stuck in deep mud).

      So, the answer to your question is, “No, you won’t have to enter the water when you go parasailing.”

      Despite this, many passengers like the excitement of having their feet/butts touch the water, so if you tell the boat captain you want to get “dipped” in the water, it is possible. In parasailing terms they call this a “stop & go,” and is controlled by the boat’s throttle.

      But, I would advise against this because sharks follow the shadow of the parasail and love biting off legs as they dip in the water. It’s like chicken wings to them.

      I am completely kidding about the sharks.

      There hasn’t been a shark attack in the Riviera Maya in over 20 years and there are literally millions of people who go swimming in the sea here every year. There are even diving tours that allow you to swim with and feed the sharks (but they don’t hang out anywhere near the shore)! You can read about it on my scuba diving page. Look for the section about “Phantom Divers.”

      Hope that helps, Jenny, and I hope to see you here soon!

      Lots of love,


    • Frenchy Fernand,

      I translated your message – as I don’t speak French. However, the price you should pay for a scooter is around $25 USD per day. Most people don’t rent a scooter for an entire month, so the price would be negotiable at that point.

      I hope this helps, Fernand!

      Take care, and enjoy your vacation here!!

      Au Revoir,


  21. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your article! Love the sense of humor and tips! I bookmarked your page and will definitely check it out for my upcoming trip in November! Thank you!!!!

    • Radiant Rose,

      Thank you so much! I write everything on the website for people like you!

      I hope you enjoy your trip in November, and if there is anything I can help you with, please let me know…

      Lots of love….


  22. Hey there…… just a kwik question…. where can i exchange us dollars for pesos? I am visiting oct 3rd to 8th at Grand Palladium, and plan on visiting playa del carmen. I am going to take ur advice on tipping however dont kno where i can exchange my money.
    Also….. will the weather at this time be beach weather?? And how far is the hotel to playa?
    Thanks for all the info

    • Curvaceous Christina,

      There are a number of places that you can exchange US dollars to pesos in Playa Del Carmen. In fact, they are all over the place. You will usually achieve the best exchange rates the further you are from the tourist areas. If you want to know specifics, try the area of Benito Juarez and 20th Ave. That is still in the tourist zone, but this is a very “Mexican” area of the tourist zone.

      Even though there may be a difference in exchange, it is not going to be a HUGE difference. Your best option for a fair exchange rate is to bring backup cash with you and then visit an ATM machine at one of the local banks once you arrive in Playa Del Carmen. The ATM machines usually offer the best rates as you’re going directly through a bank (not a bank, the middleman, a street vendor, then to you). Of course, if you have problems with your card, you could get in trouble, so make sure you have some backup cash. Also, DO NOT USE THE ATM MACHINES DIRECTLY ON 5TH; ONLY THOSE INSIDE BANKS. The ATM machines on 5th have been known to host “card skimmers” that can steal your card and PIN information. (You can read about it by clicking on the previous link.)

      Thanks for reading the “Tipping In Mexico” article. I’m glad you’re following the advice. Most Americans/Canadians assume their culture fits like a glove onto other cultures. Tipping is one area that it does not. There are a number of bad things that happens when tourists consistently tip over 10%. I was recently reading an article about the pyramids in Egypt and how this area is almost unbearable to visit because of the unreasonable expectation of tips (from everyone for everything). If a local smiles at you, they expect a tip for it there. Don’t fall for it. The less we interfere with the culture here (or as far away as Egypt), the better off we are and the less of a burden we are to the locals. BUT, don’t let anything cultural interfere with having fun on your vacation here. If you’re staying at the Palladium either you or someone in your family is a hard-working person, and you deserve the best.

      The weather in October is somewhat unpredictable. We have had several rainy days in the last week or so, but the weather is generally hot at this time of year. It will probably be beautiful while you’re here! Bring your biodegradable sunscreen (it’s expensive in the resorts), a good pair of sunglasses, and a nice hat to protect your skin and face from the sun. Of course a bikini and blah, blah, blah other things as well.

      I’ve never visited the Grand Palladium, but it looks awesome! I think you and whoever you are going with are going to have an incredible time! The Grand Palladium Is about 25 min. from Playa Del Carmen. Not too far. Moreover, you are very close to Tulum, Akumal, Puerto Aventuras, which are all interesting places. Personally, I especially like Akumal as the beach is very beautiful and swimming with sea turtles is absolutely amazing.

      And remember, nobody is doing you a “favor” by accepting US dollars; they are usually trying to scam you on the exchange rate. Always pay for everything at restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. in MX pesos. There are still restaurants here that are giving 13 pesos to the dollar as an exchange rate (the actual exchange rate is 19.40 As I’m writing this)! Crazy, isn’t it???

      Alright….gotta go, Christina. I hope this helps.

      Finally, while you’re here, don’t forget to bookmark my Playa Del Carmen Events Calendar. It lists some of the weekly specials that take place here. Oh, and give me some love on Facebook as well….

      Take care, and I hope to see you here soon….

      Lots of love,


  23. This article is full of wrong information.

    1. Tipping is not new in Mexico.

    2. 15-20% is fair for a restaurant. You have to be a real cheap ass to not tip someone who earns $20 USD (if their lucky) for a 12 hour day of work.

    • Moody Maurice,

      First of all, thank you for your comment. It is always nice to hear the opinion of others.

      This article is not full of wrong information. The information in this article is 100% correct. However, many people would rather see it unspoken because it’s not politically correct to talk candidly about different cultures nowadays. Moreover, there are certain interested parties that would rather not see this information made public (as the article explains).

      First and foremost, I am here to give my visitors accurate information about things that they may not have the opportunity to pick up during a short vacation here. Political correctness or keeping secrets has never been my priority.

      I don’t know how much time you have spent in Mexico, but after several years here a person begins to see things more clearly than they did when they first arrived. It takes more than a few weeks to understand the symbiosis of the various interests and how they work together. More succinctly, living here is different than being on vacation here. Thus the advantage I try to offer my visitors is to show them how things really operate here and what they need to be aware of. Tipping is something they should be aware of.

      This website was written in English for an English-speaking audience – primarily for Americans but also for Brits, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, etc.

      If it appears geared towards Americans, it is because I am American myself, as are around 75% of my site visitors. Furthermore, I am not sure if you are aware of this, but approximately 60% of people on vacation in Mexico are Americans. (That figure is a simple head count and does not represent the purchasing power of American tourists compared to other tourists, which is likely significantly higher.)

      Because of the language differences, I strongly believe that English-speaking people are often targeted for several kinds of financial extortion. Again, tipping is a source of soft money that service workers here use to squeeze tourists. That is why I wrote this article.

      In regard to your first statement, “Tipping is not new in Mexico.” —

      Tipping is new in Mexico – both from a relative perspective and an absolute one. In all the parts of Mexico I’ve traveled and lived, tipping is minuscule (and even nonexistent) compared to what it is in the United States. I lived in a city/state named Zacatecas for around 5-1/2 years. I used to go out sometimes 3 to 4 nights per week to MANY, MANY restaurants and bars. Moreover, my next-door neighbor (who I was very good friends with) worked at one of the most popular restaurants in the city called Wings Army. (There is one in Playa, too.) In all of the places I visited, it was more common for people NOT to tip than it was for them to leave a tip. And even when they did tip, it was never more than 5%. I have seen groups of 15 people rack up bills of 3000-4000 pesos and leave a 10-peso tip. I haven’t seen this once, but on a great number of occasions. To me, 10 pesos on a 3000-peso bill is not a tip at all; it’s an insult. If you call that a tip, then my definition of “tipping” is simply different than yours.

      The fact remains: in most of Mexico, tipping is, for all practical purposes, nonexistent.

      In addition, tipping in Mexico is relatively new. It was not until the late 50s and 60s when Mexico began to attract tourists. Even then, there were only a few tourist meccas in the country – most importantly, Acapulco. It was not until the late 70s and early 80s that the Mexican government earmarked the Yucatán Peninsula (particularly Cancun) for tourist development. At that time they renamed it the “Riviera Maya.” It was then that a huge influx of Americans/Canadians begin to visit and bring their tipping practices along with them. So, 50 years is “new” to me, and considering that tourist areas only make up a small percentage of the actual land in Mexico, tipping is still “new” to the vast majority of this country and its inhabitants.

      Another relevant point is that not only are percentages different between the United States and Mexico, but who receives tips is also different. For example, in the United States it is very common to tip taxi drivers and hair stylists. Here, it is never done (even in tourist areas).

      With this in mind, tipping is very new in Mexico (at least by my definition)!

      Your second statement said, “15-20% is fair for a restaurant. You have to be a real cheap ass to not tip someone who earns $20 USD (if their (sic) lucky) for a 12 hour day of work.”

      To be sure, “fair” is a relative term. A tip of 15-20% is considered fair in the US. However, this is Mexico, not the United States. In most of Mexico this is considered an extraordinary tip by the average service worker. I would argue that it even borderlines on arrogant. (i.e. “Look at me, I’m rich! I can tip more than THREE TIMES what everyone else in this bar tips!!!“)

      I don’t know exactly how much people earn here, but I do know that temporary workers come from all over the country (and many from other countries) for the opportunity to seek employment in this city. Consequently, I would imagine that they are being compensated fairly. Again, I don’t think it is right to compare salary differences between countries without also considering that the cost of living is also dramatically less here than it is in the US and Canada.

      A “fair” price for an average apartment in Indonesia might be $200 USD / month. In Hong Kong a “fair” price for an apartment might be $3000 USD/month. Let’s compare apples to apples, not apples to watermelons.

      There is a famous proverb that states, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.

      It does not read, “When in Mexico do as the Americans do.

      My whole point of this article was that by tipping two to four times more than the locals do, visitors inadvertently create unintended consequences that disrupt the local balance of things.

      Again, Maurice, thank you for the comment, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Take care,


  24. Hi Rufus!

    I love, love, love this website! Have you ever stayed at La Tortuga? I am visiting Playa with my 16 year old daughter and my 18 year old nephew. We want to be close to the action, but not be kept awake by boom boom music at all hours. Would La Tortuga be a good fit?

    Thank you :)

    • Succulent Susie,

      I am so happy you love my website! I wrote it for people like you.

      I have never stayed at La Tortuga (‘The Turtle’ in English).

      However, I did stop and visit there because I wanted to see if I could use their hot water jacuzzi. Most people try to avoid hot water and use a pool to cool off. Despite this, I was looking for some hot water to soak in and found this place. (Unfortunately, the jacuzzi was broken – and still may be; this was about a month ago. I would ask them if you are interested in using their jacuzzi. (“Is your jacuzzi functional right now?”)

      I must admit, the courtyard of La Tortuga looked quite nice. Moreover, there is a bar in the courtyard and it is also connected to a cute little Italian restaurant (I think it is Como Como). However, it is quite close to 12th Street, which is where all of the hottest clubs in the city reside. In addition it is right on 10th Ave., which is one of the busiest streets of the city. So, if you are looking to get some good sleep with your daughter and nephew, it may not be the perfect place.

      Nonetheless, it is very conveniently located, so the decision would be yours to make. It may be very quiet inside at night, I don’t know.

      My mom and I stayed at the Luna Blue Hotel and really liked it a lot. It is on 26th St. between 5th Ave. and 10th Ave. it has a nice swimming pool and is centrally located. The staff was very friendly, too. Ask for Hugo; he is the manager there. Mention his name and you may even get a discount!!! Or talk to Juan; he works at the front desk.

      Otherwise, there are hundreds of other hotels in the area to choose from. So long as you stay away from 12th St., 10th St., and 10th Ave., you should be fine at night.

      I hope this helps….

      Lots of love,


      • Thank you so much for your informative comments! You’re giving me lots to think about :) I am so excited to visit Playa and all it has to offer. I’m having the greatest time going through your website! It is so easy to navigate.



        • Statuesque Susie,

          You’re going to have a great time here! I just went shopping at Walmart, as a matter of fact. Right now is a slower part of the year, so it is very peaceful here. The sun was shining, I could smell the ocean from five blocks away, and everyone was smiling when I went to the store.

          I think you’re really going to like the city, and I can guarantee that your daughter and nephew will!

          Have an incredible trip, and don’t forget to send me some photographs so that I can add them to this website!

          Lots of love,


  25. Interesting post. We’re heading to Peurto Moreleus in Nov. I’m thinking of taking a 6wt sage and my 10 wt for fishing from shore. Would you be willing to give me any advise? Thanx

    • Like-minded Les,

      In all honesty, I have never gone fly fishing in my life! However, I have done a lot of fishing.

      I grew up in the state of Minnesota – the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Needless to say, fishing is a very popular pastime there and something that many people do every weekend in the summer – and even go ice fishing in the winter.

      Because I was curious about catching fish off the shore and docks here in Playa del Carmen, I decided to buy a fishing pole. I thought it would get me out of my apartment, give me a break from working on this website, and give me the opportunity to meet some of the local fishermen around town.

      However, what I quickly found out is that there was not much to catch off the shore. I went fishing around four or five times – and caught absolutely nothing!

      Consequently, I wouldn’t be surprised if you had the same experience. I know that most of the fly fishing is done in very specific areas that are quite different from the shore line.

      Despite this, Puerto Morelos is a different area with a different environment. There may be some small bays and inlets that you can catch some fish with your fly fishing equipment. I’m really not sure. But, if you do decide to go on a fly fishing excursion, at least you would have your own rod and reel that you are comfortable with. Obviously the choice is up to you.

      Below you can see a picture of the rod and reel that I bought here. It has never caught a fish yet!

      I hope this helps…

      Take care,


      This is the fishing pole that I bought in Playa Del Carmen

  26. Hey Rufas, were at palladium, and heading over playa del carmen tmrw if u have time to meet up for drinks. My 18 year old son and myself. Let me know. Would love to meet you.

    • Classy Christina,

      I am happy to hear that you made it! I have to work in the morning, but if you can get together in the evening, it would be perfect. I’ll be free around 5:PM. Will that work for you? I can meet you somewhere on 5th near 6th street.

      Please let me know if this works, and I will send you an exact location in the morning.

      Here is a map of where I’m referring to…anywhere in this area is good for me. It’s quite close to everything and close to the most popular parts of 5th Avenue.

      Here is the location:


      Talk to you soon…..

      Lots of love,


  27. Hi Rufus,
    My fiancé and I are planning to have our wedding in Playa de Carmen. Just wondering what’s your favorite resort in that area? any of them you think is nicer for the pictures. I appreciate your idea and time.


    • Yelping Yali,

      First of all, congratulations on your decision to get married in Playa del Carmen. This city has so much to offer newlyweds, it’s not even funny. Moreover, so many of the resorts are used to catering to weddings that they have become experts at dealing with everything involved with creating a memorable wedding.

      With that said, there are several resorts and several ideas that you may want to keep in mind when you’re planning your wedding.

      First, although I think most of the resorts here are quite beautiful and fun, you need to decide how far you want to be away from the city center. Of course, there are many means of transportation that can bring you to and from your resort and the city. However, some of them are so centrally located that convenience becomes a major advantage (or conversely, a disadvantage if they are far away).

      In regard to the weddings that I’ve seen, and the wedding parties that I’ve witnessed roaming around the city, there are two resorts that stand out in my mind.

      The first one is the Playacar Palace. It is located on the south end of town directly at the end of 5th Avenue. Because it is so close to 5th Avenue, everything is within walking distance and is very convenient for the bride, groom, and the wedding party itself. I don’t think they are very cheap, however. Nonetheless, I think they are a great choice if you have the money to spend, want some sort of exclusivity, and want everything very convenient.

      The other resort that I really love is The Royal. Again, it is centrally located, so everything is very convenient. Moreover, they have a reputation for being very good with guests, and the location is ideal for wedding photography.

      Personally, I have not been involved in many wedding photography sessions in the area. So the best person to talk to about the best wedding photography location is a wedding photographer.

      If you’ve done some investigation, you probably already know that the resorts usually host their own wedding photographer – or at least have exclusivity contracts with several wedding photographers. Consequently, if you want to bring in an outside photographer, you usually have to pay some sort of “vendors fee.”

      Despite this, many people still do. Thus, the wedding photographers in the area have shot a lot of weddings at the resorts. They are the people who know most about the resorts that provide the best photographic opportunities for wedding guests.

      If it were me, I would call at least one of them to find out their recommendations. Most of them are quite helpful as they see you as a potential customer.

      One of the wedding photographers that I have worked with in the past is Jasmine and Matt. They are a couple who have formed a photography team. What I like most about them is that they seem to care a lot about their clients. Not only do they keep in contact long before the wedding actually takes place, but if you look at their website you will see that they maintain relationships with their clients long after they have paid for their services.

      You can see a write up that I did about them on the following page:

      Jasmin and Matt Wedding Photographers

      The page includes their contact information, so I would not hesitate whatsoever to contact them.

      I hope this helps, Yali, and if you need anything else, please contact me….

      Lots of love,


  28. Great page and great sense of humor! My wife and I visited on a cruise for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it. We will be back for an extended visit. We have added it to or list of possible retirement places (12 years).

    • Kingly Keven,

      Thank you so much for the comment! I’m glad you like the page. A lot of people get confused about the airport when they decide to book their vacation here. “Which airport do I fly into when I am visiting Playa Del Carmen?” is a question I often hear.

      It’s hard to live without some humor, so I’ve tried to add as much of it as possible to both this page and this website. Some people get the humor; other people don’t. I’m glad you are one of the people who enjoyed it!

      I’m happy to hear that you had the time to stop here while on a cruise with your wife! Sometimes the amount of time cruise ships provide off-boat is ridiculously short. Nonetheless, Playa Del Carmen has been getting more and more cruise passengers. Because most of them only have a very limited time to spend in Playa Del Carmen, they plan out EXACTLY what they will be doing while they’re here. In the long run, I think it really helps this site (i.e. when people are planning things nowadays they look online first).

      I think Playa Del Carmen is a decent place to retire. However, make sure you investigate everything thoroughly. This city, along with all Mexican cities, offers a nice front to visitors. Nonetheless, you will need to be prepared to handle a lot of nonsense if you live here, and you’ll learn to be patient quite quickly! The culture here is surprisingly different than in the United States/Canada/Western Europe, so some adaptation is usually necessary.

      Make sure you stop by this site and say hello again, Keven!

      Take care, and I will talk to you soon…


  29. Hey Rufus, I love the website! I’m using it to find out information for my upcoming wedding.

    I have a question for you. My younger sister is going to be one of my bridesmaids. She is 17 years old and I read the drinking age is 18 in Playa Del Carmen.

    Do you think she will be able to get into the clubs in Playa Del Carmen, or do you think she’ll get carded and won’t be able to drink with us?

    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


    • Magical Maggie,

      First of all, thanks for the comment, and congratulations on your decision to have your wedding here in Playa Del Carmen! There are a lot of weddings here every year. I’m sure you will have a great time exploring the city with your sister and the rest of the wedding party. You’ll find lots of opportunities for entertainment around every corner in Playa Del Carmen – especially in the clubs here!

      In regard to your sister getting into the Playa Del Carmen clubs, you should not have any problem at all. While the legal drinking age in all of Mexico is 18, it is rarely enforced (unless someone looks very, very young). There is an old saying in Mexico that goes something like this, “If you are big enough to sit upright on a stool at the bar, you’re old enough to order a drink.” Consequently, I don’t think she’ll have any problems. I’ve never seen anyone get carded here.

      Moreover, if she did get carded and one club wouldn’t let her in, there are many others that she could try getting into. The competition between clubs is fierce here, so most of them ALWAYS want more patrons. Obviously this works to your advantage because they would NEVER turn down a large group!

      On the other hand, even if she does happen to get carded at the door of a club, they may still allow her in with the provision that she doesn’t drink while inside. If this is the case, the rest of you could just sneak her drinks because nobody really cares who is drinking in a Mexican club!

      Finally, and for lack of a better way to describe it, getting married in Playa Del Carmen is not cheap and carries a sort of prestige with it. Thus, if your sister is with a wedding party, the club will automatically assume that she is going to be good customer and spend a lot of money. Again, this would work to your benefit because they would likely assume the same about your entire group and all the money they will lose if they turn her away.

      Most importantly, I would not worry about it whatsoever. If she doesn’t get into one club, she will get into another one. I promise!

      Again, congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and don’t forget to send me some photographs so that I can add them to the wedding section of this website!

      I hope to see you in your wedding gown soon, and if any of the groomsmen don’t show, drop me a line and I’ll break out the tux and bowtie!!!

      Lots of love,


  30. Rufus,

    Thank you for taking all the time to put all this information on your site. I’m learning a LOT about Playa Del Carmen!

    I’m contacting you because I’m planning on moving to town and have found several apartments for rent. One of the apartments I found is in the south part of town in a place called Playa Car. The other one is in the center of town from what I can tell next to a place called Kool Beach Club. Do you have any idea which of these would be a better place to live? Thank you so much!



    • Massagable Melanie,

      Thank you for the comment. Also, congratulations on your decision to move to Playa Del Carmen. This is an amazing city with so many things to do. I think you’ll love it here!

      In regard to the two apartments that you are choosing between, I am quite familiar with both locations. The first one that you mentioned is in an area of town called Playacar (one word).

      Playacar is a very upscale part of this city. It has a golf course in the center, the largest houses in the city, and a beach to die for. It is also a gated community that requires permission to enter.

      I absolutely love Playacar! However, it has several disadvantages. First of all, depending on which part of Playacar you are going to be living in, it can be quite far from the center of the city. If you look on a map, you will recognize that Playacar is quite long. If you’re living on the north end of Playacar, you will be close to downtown Playa Del Carmen, and you won’t have a problem. However, if you are living on the south end of Playacar, you will definitely need your own means of transportation – as even a bike might not be enough.


      So, while Playacar is a great place to have an apartment, and a very exclusive area of Playa Del Carmen, it is also a little bit boring and not in the mix of things if you live deep within it.

      In regard to the other apartment option, Kool Beach Club resides on a beach that is normally referred to as “Mamita’s Beach” Mamita’s Beach is probably the most popular and busiest beach of the city. It is where the large music festivals (BPM Music Festival, Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, etc…) are held and Kool Beach Club is it directly across from Mamita’s Beach Club. If you have an apartment there, you will be close to everything! That is the advantage of living in this area.

      However, because you are close to everything, you may not get much sleep at night. It can get a little loud with all the music festivals, beach activities, and the proximity to Fifth Avenue & 10th Avenue. If you’re up for a lot of action, that would be the place I would choose.


      So with that said about each, you will need to make a decision. Do you want luxurious tranquility, or do you want a wild and unpredictable proximity to all the fun?

      I hope this helps Melanie, and if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Lots of love,


  31. Hi!
    I’ll be in Playa on Oct 24th . Iam staying at the Royal Playa Del Carmen resort .. Where can I parasail close by?



    • Luscious Lisa (Marie),

      First of all, thank you so much for the comment and congratulations on your decision to come to visit Playa Del Carmen. The Royal is a very classy resort with strong principles of customer service and a reputation for treating guests very kindly. It is also conveniently located.

      If you want to go parasailing while you are staying at The Royal resort in Playa del Carmen, you can do so directly at the beach in front of the resort itself.

      Like most large resorts, The Royal has a dedicated office for activities, tours, and excursions around the area. Inside The Royal, there is a company called Aqua Excursions (it used to be called Aqua World but has recently changed its name).

      Unfortunately, they do not offer parasailing directly out of this office. However, because a lot of people request to go parasailing, there is another company that is located directly in front of the resort on the beach who offers parasailing. The name of this company is DiVide. This is who you will likely go parasailing with.

      So, although this company is not associated with The Royal in any way, the people at Aqua Excursions can walk you out to the DiVide representative, introduce you, and you can go from there.

      In regard to pricing, the man that I talked to at Aqua Excursions said that the price is $75 USD per person. Moreover, I found out that the entire tour lasts about 45 minutes total. 15 minutes of that is spent in the air and the other 30 minutes is getting you out to the boat, providing a few safety tips, and bringing you back in after you’ve gone parasailing. The Aqua Excursions representative I talked to also mentioned that they take you out to the boat on a jet ski, so I guess you could include a short jet ski ride as part of the tour.

      That is all the information that you need, and you can count on the staff at The Royal to help you with whatever else you may need; you should have no problem whatsoever finding out any other details about going parasailing while you’re here.

      I hope this helps, Lisa Marie, and I hope you have an incredible vacation here in Playa del Carmen, and if you want more information about other fun activities while here, take a look at my Events Calendar!

      Lots of love,


  32. does the ferry take cars? If not will I need to rent a car in Cozumel? Staying a week in Playa del Carmen and a week on Cozumel. want to do site seeing and diving in both spots, thus the caar.

    • Gregarious Greg,

      First of all, congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen / Cozumel. I think you will find a lot of interesting things to do here.

      In regard to your question about cars – no, the ferries in Playa Del Carmen do not accept vehicles. They only take people (and possibly pets/bikes).

      Nonetheless, there is a company that does transport vehicles between the mainland and Cozumel. It is located in a city called Calica, which is about 15 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen. The name of the company is TransCaribe (NOTE: I could not find an English version of their site).

      Location of Calica: https://goo.gl/maps/uL2f4Yxo3W42

      Even though it is possible, I would not recommend renting a single car for both locations. First of all, although I have never done it, I would imagine that there is a significant loading time for getting all the vehicles that are crossing back and forth between Cozumel Island and Calica. Thus, it’s probably going to take more time than renting a car in each locale.

      Second, you may want to try a different means of transportation in each of the locations. I know that it is very popular to ride golf carts around Cozumel. If you’ve rented a car for several weeks, you’re going to be stuck with that specific means of transportation without the option to change your mind at at any given point during your vacation. With those two reasons in mind, I think you are better off renting two different vehicles – one for Playa Del Carmen, and one for Cozumel.

      I hope this helps, Greg, and I hope you enjoy your vacation here. If you need anything else, do not hesitate to contact me.

      Also, if you are looking for special events and discounts while you are in Playa Del Carmen, take a look at my Playa Del Carmen Events Calendar.

      Take care,


    • Trustworthy TJ,

      Thank you for the question. Yes, you can drive to Akumal on your own. Of course, you will need your own car, motorcycle, etc.

      Akumal is my favorite beach in the area. It is an amazing place with an array of wildlife to match. Swimming with sea turtles is really incredible!

      However, be forewarned that Akumal is going through some political problems right now. There is a group of people who want to make the beach accessible ONLY after payment (similar to Tulum).

      On the other hand, many of the locals are quite upset about this and consider the beach to be public property – which, in fact, is correct. In Mexico, all beaches are public property according to federal law.

      Consequently, you may want to check some of the local news outlets to make sure that Akumal is accessible to the public and not the center of protests at the time you will be traveling.

      Here is a news article that explains the situation:


      I hope this helps, and I hope you have a safe trip.

      See you here soon…


  33. Do You have an employee name Carlos who rents out jet skies next to the Catalonia priverledge resort? I know this is weird request but hoping to contact him. Thank you!!

    • Mystical Moira,

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know anybody by that name who rents jet skis.

      By the way, how was the resort? I had never even heard of this resort until now from you.

      Good luck finding Carlos, and I hope you enjoyed your vacation here.

      Talk to you soon,


      • Thanks for your response. The stay at the Cantalonia Privledge was wonderful. We all had a fabulous time. Just trying to find out the name of the jet ski company they used. It was separate from the resort. The workers had to drive the ski by water back to the shop. Oh well. Life goes on. Loved reading ur story. Thanks again.

  34. We are among 6 r 7 other couples looking for a vacation some time next year…we r looking for an adults only resort. Beautiful…all inclusive..including airfare front st Louis…got any ideas where e should start

    • Tempting Theresa,

      First of all, congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen for your vacation. I think the twelve (or fourteen) of you will have an incredible vacation here. There are so many things to do.

      In regard to your decision about which resort you will stay at, there are a number of options. In all honesty, almost all of the all-inclusive resorts are beautiful with excellent service and high ratings by guests. None of the resorts could afford to survive here if they didn’t take care of guests. Despite this, there are two resorts that immediately came to my mind when I saw your comment: The Royal and the Royal Hideaway Playacar.

      I’m going to tell you a little bit about each of them.

      Both of these resorts are adults only, as you have requested. Both of them are also all-inclusive. Moreover, they are both 5-star resorts.

      In addition, I have heard raving reviews about them from people who have stayed at each. I know that their employees are trained to meet or exceed the expectations of guests, so I think you would be in good hands at either one.

      Despite their similarities, there is one primary difference: location (and by extension, convenience).

      The Royal is located in the center of Playa Del Carmen. It is close to everything, convenient, and in walking distance of the hottest shopping, restaurants, and bars that this city has to offer. The beach in front of The Royal is also quite busy with a younger crowd and a lot of water sports. There is a ferry dock nearby, and you will see a lot of locals, tourists, and other visitors in the area. It is the perfect resort if you want to “mix” with the city and its culture (i.e. it has a “busy” feel to it).

      The Royal MAP:

      On the other hand, the Royal Hideaway Playacar is also a beautiful, adults-only, all-inclusive resort. It also has a very high standard of service. The primary difference between the two is that the Royal Hideaway Playacar is located in an exclusive, gated community called Playacar.

      Royal Hideaway Playacar MAP:

      Playacar is on the south end of Playa Del Carmen, is full of expensive rental properties and homes, and was built around a golf course at its center. In regard to property values (just to put things in perspective), it is the most expensive area of this city.

      Moreover, the beaches are serene, quiet, and peaceful. There are not many people on the beaches, and the people who are on the beaches are not locals but mostly tourists staying at the all-inclusive resorts or vacationing in one of the rentals inside of Playacar. It is cordoned off from everyone else, except via the beach, which is public property (by federal law) in Mexico. Needless to say, it has a bit of a smug feel to it.

      Although the area is quite luxurious, there is a major drawback to vacationing there – convenience. The Royal Hideaway Playacar is located 1.5 miles (2 km) from downtown Playa Del Carmen. This means that you will either have to take a shuttle bus, taxi, or rental car into town every time you want to visit the city’s center. For some, this is an acceptable inconvenience, but for others, it gets old quickly.

      If you are going to be spending most of your time inside of your resort, it really won’t matter (other than the difference in beaches that I mentioned above). If you want to go shopping, hang out at the local restaurants, and get a feel for the vibe that this city gives off, you will just have to keep transportation in mind as you make the decision. Either way, you will have a great time, but these are things that you need to consider.

      In regard to your flights, almost all of the major travel sites offer flights/all-inclusive packages included together.

      Although you will have to decide which company you want to fly with, I strongly recommend the two resorts mentioned above.

      I hope this helps, and I hope that all of you have a wonderful vacation here!

      Send me a message when you arrive in town and maybe we can go out for a beer or two!

      Lots of love,


      P.S. If you want to know about some of the fun things that happen around town on a daily / weekly basis, take a look at my Playa Del Carmen Events Calendar!

  35. I have read this article meaning the completely including these comments. You should not even answer Maurice as he thinks he knows how much someone makes as he says if they are lucky for a 12 hour shift and that makes everyone not tipping our customary 15-20% is F ing cheap. He sounds like one of our spoiled waiters that thinks he is entitled to his percentage of the bill including the tax, bar tab, meal, the bottle of wine , etc. meanwhile a bartender makes the drinks, someone has to cook the meal, a food runner brought the food, and a bus person clear, cleaned, and set the table for the turnover not to mention that they might just add 18% gratuity to your bill if your party is larger or the bill is over a certain amount without letting know. 15% is being a cheap F er here also, and I hope he over kicks back to his runners and bus people as a diner runs a little different. Hey sorry for the rant, but he should take into consideration to the saying when in Rome or in this case Mexico as you said. With the rant over I am an over tipper for excellent service and a good tipper for service that is adequate as base pay for servers is low. I do this even more-so in the company of friends and family that have and still make their living in this field. What disturbs me in your explanation is the extortion that Nelly faces of the 9% kickback she has to pay as my 10% tip would just cover. Does she only pay this in the off-season just to keep her job as 5 dollars a day and 1% does not seem like enough especially if she pays this in season also. Rufus please send me an e-mail to clear this up as I am coming to your town and area 2 or 3 times in the next year to set up a wedding and prepare for it, I hope just twice but for extended stays. I would also like to know if the rest of the service industry makes a livable wage (housekeepers, bell hops etc.) as I will be paying a lot of that in multiples when my daughter gets married, as the only time I was there was long ago and all inclusive, I was younger and I know had fun but a lot of the details are fuzzy.

    Thanks, your info seems to be helpful, I will know better after my first visit.

    • Amazing Al,

      Thanks so much for the comment. I really do appreciate hearing from you.

      The comment above is typical. I don’t know if Maurice is Mexican, but I do know that the service workers try to “guilt” tourists into tipping more with similar statements and attitudes. It’s nonsense.

      Yes, servers really do need to be fair with other staff members. In some places it’s mandatory tip sharing, but not most.

      In regard to your questions about the server who has to pay 9% of her gross sales to the restaurant, I should first make it clear that this is what she told me (as mentioned in the article). Whether or not it is true, whether or not this money is supplemented by other money – or more money – in offseason, etc, is unknown to me. My guess is that she may have been embellishing a bit by saying she was “working for free.” But I don’t doubt whatsoever that she makes more money in high season when there are an abundance of Americans/Canadians here.

      The point of mentioning her is to emphasize that, even she (despite being Mexican and talking to an American) expressed her dissatisfaction with the way “her people” tip. Moreover, even this statement alone is revealing; the only way she would feel dissatisfied by her people is because she has something else to compare them to. In the majority of Mexico, there is nobody to compare tipping practices to because there are no tourists.

      However, I do know that in high season, servers, bartenders, and people involved in the tourist industry here can make a LOT of money.

      In fact, I’m going to tell you something interesting:

      The word for “hungry” in Spanish is hambre. Moreover, the word for the month of “September” in Spanish is Septiembre. Ironically, the tourist industry workers here call September, “Septihambre” which is a combination of the words September and hungry!! Why? Because this is when they make little money because there are so few Americans/Canadians here!!!!! In September there are Mexican tourists here. There are loads of Argentinians here (mostly working here illegally to pay for their extended walkabout-style vacations). There are a fair amount of Europeans here. Despite all these “others” here, the real money is made during high season when the big money rolls into town.

      In regard to your question about bell boys, housekeepers, etc., I think they do make enough money to live an equivalent lifestyle of other Mexicans. Many of these service workers come from all over the country, which leads me to believe that there is good money to be made here. If not, people from other parts of the country would not come here for the purpose of working. Do people live here at the same lifestyle as those living in the United States / Canada / Western Europe? No, they don’t. However, there are reasons for this that go far beyond the scope of this answer (government corruption, the “laid back” culture that doesn’t place a high value on education, etc…). Frankly, no amount of money or tipping is going to improve anything in Mexico until these core values change.

      Honestly, Al, your focus should be on enjoying your time here and……..OOPS…. I almost forgot! Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement!

      Follow theses simple rules and you’ll be fine:
      1. Get the best dollar/peso exchange rate possible.
      2. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay in USD unless absolutely necessary here (they will overcharge you EVERY time by royally screwing you on the exchange rate; this is the biggest scam in this city even though it is perfectly legal).
      3. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER tip more than 10% here.

      You can beat them at their own game if you follow those simple rules.

      I hope this helps, Al, and if one of the wedding guests cancel last minute, don’t forget about your helpful friend, Rufus!

      See you here soon,


  36. Wow man….great website…exactly what i was looking for….you totally convinced me to scrap my resort vacation in favor of renting a car and getting a small hotel.
    One important thing you haven’t talked about…which I would love to get some info on is cell phones and plans

    As in, are there sim cards you can get? I’ve heard there are scratch off cards, where you add minutes. Can you get just data plans, so you can text and use google maps? I did that in Italy, where I just got a 5gig dataplan with like 500 minutes for about 20euros. That was all i really needed Also which companies are rip offs, and which ones are good values for people who are only gonna be there for just a week or so(most of us have an old phone we can bring that is unlocked). Do most restaurants, and cafes have wifi so you can just jump on your phone and get online, or is it rare?

    Can’t wait to get to town…gonna be there for thanksgiving week.

    • Outstanding Omer,

      Thank you so much for the compliments on my website. I am glad you decided to stay in a small hotel instead of a resort. I think you will enjoy spending your money on other activities in the area instead of being stuck in an all-inclusive bubble.

      In regard to your question about SIM cards, yes, they are easy to get here. They usually cost about 150 pesos / $8 US dollars. Moreover, they usually include around 75-100 pesos worth of credit. NOTE: You can go through that credit very quickly if you are using data or voice. I think they charge around 2 pesos per megabyte, so you can imagine how fast it will go.

      IMPORTANT: NEVER PAY FOR ANYTHING IN US DOLLARS UNLESS IT’S MANDATORY. Tourists lose 15 to 35% of the value of their money if they pay in dollars. Almost all businesses here (except Walmart) provide atrocious exchange rates to tourists. Do not think for one moment that any business here is doing you a favor by accepting US dollars. They gladly accept them because they can exchange them for more pesos than they give you. Businesses use this technique to steal from unknowing tourists in broad daylight. Although it is perfectly legal, it is the biggest scam that tourists face in this country.


      You can get a SIM card at several locations around the city. I bought mine just BELOW the Mega grocery store. Here is a map that shows where it is:


      Omer, you can also do exactly what you what you did in Italy. BUT , you will still need to purchase a sim card to purchase data. There are data plans here that are available through a number of companies. In addition, you can add gigabytes to the plans fairly easy by depositing money at any of the two most popular convenience stores like Extra (which I think is now Circle K) or Oxxo. They are everywhere here. Mexican data speeds are not that fast though.

      Despite the fact that credit is available, it is, first of all, quite expensive. Mexico is behind other developed countries because there has been a monopoly on telecommunications for so long by one company – Telcel. It is run by a very corrupt person named Carlos Slim who was named the richest person in the world for some time. Thankfully, he no longer holds that title. For some reason, the Mexican people were very proud of this – even though the corruption of both government and private individuals severely damages the economy here. If nothing else, this tells you something dark about Mexican culture. Most people don’t like talking about it.

      I will be completely frank with you, I don’t even use a phone number here. I have a phone number registered with my phone, but I invariably turn the cell phone service off to save my battery because I never use it. What you will find here is that everybody uses a messaging service called WhatsApp (owned by Facebook). It is by far the most popular communication tool in Playa Del Carmen. WhatsApp also allows voice calls (although they are not the best quality). It runs fine off either a data plan or wi-fi.

      The reason I am able to get away without using my phone minutes is because there is wi-fi everywhere in Playa Del Carmen. Nearly all reasonable restaurants / bars / hotels here have wi-fi. The speeds are usually reasonable, too. As of November 2016, most places have around 10 megabits as a general standard. I simply use wi-fi wherever I go.

      If you are looking to use Google Maps while you are here, there is a way that you can download a specific area onto your phone and use it even when off-line. That’s what I do. I think it is good for 90 days and then it expires, but you won’t even need that. Once you have it downloaded, all of the smaller roads and locations in the area are visible. If you do a search on Google for this, you can easily find it and find out how to do it.

      I think you will have a great time here, and I wouldn’t worry too much about telecommunications. Despite the fact that Mexico is not very advanced in this area, this is a town full of tourists. Thus, technology is more prevalent here than in other parts of this country.

      I hope this answers your questions, and if you need anything else, don’t hesitate to ask…

      See you here soon,


  37. On December 19, 2016 Monday, I will be arriving with my girlfriend to get to playa del carmen. Do you think I will be able to catch the last ADO bus which is it 11:50 PM? coming from california. Perhaps I can just do carry on luggage?

    • Jazzed-up Jerry,

      Congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen with your girlfriend. I’m sure both of you will have an incredible time here.

      In regard to your question about timing of the bus, I think you should be ok. This is why:

      According to the schedule on the ADO website, the last bus for December 19th 2016 is at 11:50 p.m. Technically, that is the last bus for THAT DAY. However, if you look at the schedule for December 20, 2016 the first bus on that day departs at 00:30 (which is 12:30 AM). Consequently, if your flight arrives at least 30 minutes before then, you should be ok.

      So, remember, although it is confusing (and ADO has done a horrible job of displaying their schedules) look at the NEXT DAY in order to see the latest departure of buses. A final note about this is that there is an ADO app on the Google Play Store that you can use to check the schedule as well. It’s a little bit more clear. I know when I used Google Chrome to check the schedule, Chrome’s automatic translation completely screwed up the times on the page. So I would recommend trying the app instead of relying on the website. Here’s a link:


      Also, here is a picture of both the app page and the NEXT DAY schedule I referred to earlier:

      ADO Bus App and schedule

      As a final note, there are several other transportation methods available. Most of them are going to be more expensive. However, you could take a shuttle bus or what is called a colectivo. Believe it or not, these are actually cheaper than the buses (although it may be difficult to take if you don’t speak Spanish as they are mostly used by the local people here). Whatever happens, I’m sure you will find a way to Playa Del Carmen!

      I hope this helps, and I will see the both of you here soon…

      Take care,


    • Mischievous Melissa,

      Thank you so much for the question and your inquiry about coming to Playa Del Carmen on a passport with 6 or less months left on it.

      I did some research on this, and what I found out was that there is not a 6-month rule enforced by Mexico. However, there are rules enforced by many airlines. Unfortunately, the airlines all seem to have different rules.

      I would recommend checking with your specific airline to find out if they enforce this rule or not. In fact, I would call them twice on different days to check for consistency in the answer you receive! In several places I read that some enforce rules and others don’t. You may get lucky. Nonetheless, I would not want to spend a whole bunch of money on a vacation and have your passport rejected when you go to board the plane to Mexico.

      In this case, I think it is better to be safe than sorry and check with a travel agent AND your airline to see if it is acceptable to board a plane with less than six months left on your passport.

      As a final note (and I know this is going to sound strange and esoteric), but the political situation going on between the United States and Mexico is not great at the time of this writing. Although Mexican tourism is VERY dependent on American travelers, everything government related in Mexico is sadistically bureaucratic. Mexican immigration bureaucrats think that they need to mistreat Americans in order to take revenge on them for the things that some of our politicians have said about illegal immigrants. Therefore, I would be EXTRA CAUTIONS here because, even if they don’t have a specific rule for admitting people with 6 months or less left on their passport, the immigration workers here are unpredictable. Thus, an immigration official may relentlessly hassle you for no reason.

      So the carpenter’s proverb of “measure twice and cut once” is appropriate. The only way to be 100% sure is by consulting with both a good travel agent and the airline you’ll be flying with.

      I hope this helps.

      Take care,


  38. Great read here! We have been to pdc 3x now and love it! I am liking the air bnb route of getting a place to stay, and picking an area between the beach n the 5th Ave area. No need for car and there are plenty of great places to eat, shop etc. First trip we did a lot of the guided tours, but now we love just exploring on our own. Just want to add that the T-Mobile plan works great – just like in the US n no overage fees on T-Mobile one plan!

    • Sassy Susi,

      Thank you so much for the comment. Wow! Three times so far! That’s a lot.

      If you’ve visited here that many times, I’m guessing that there is a reason you keep returning (i.e. it’s lots of fun here!!!!).

      Like you said, the airbnb/vacation rental option works well for many people. And you are absolutely right, you do not need a car here (I live here and I don’t miss driving at all). Everything is within walking distance, and if it isn’t, public transportation is cheap here. There is so much to see just on the beach, 5th Avenue, 10th Avenue, & beyond. There’s really no reason to leave the city unless you want to do some kind of specific tour or excursion.

      You’re right, Susi, guided tours get old quickly. First of all, who wants to be “guided?” Second of all, the guided tours are only centered around attractions that are very popular. However, there are many places that are less popular – and even more fun! Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing things to do here that everybody else does, too. Nonetheless, it is great to get off the beaten path and explore on your own, as it sounds like you have done.

      Finally, thank you so much for the information about the T-Mobile plan. Anyone reading these comments now knows that the plan works well! So, thanks for helping everyone out, and thanks for the comment!

      Lots of love,


  39. Hi Rufus
    Just wanted to say big thanks for your site, it´s fun, informative, it really have all I need :-)

    Hopefully I´ll visit from 30´th of March to 12´th of April :-) :-)


    Hanne from Denmark

    • Huggable Hanne,

      Thank you for the comment! I am glad you are enjoying my website and finding the information informative. You are coming a long ways for vacation (all the way from Denmark), so it is best to do your research BEFORE you arrive rather than AFTER. Vacation time is precious.

      The end of March / beginning of April is the end of the high season here. It is usually starting to get quite warm at that time of year, so make sure you pack your swimsuit!

      There are so many activities and other things to do in this area that I think you will have no problem at all staying busy no matter what your tastes or preferences are.

      Let me know if you need anything else, Hanne.

      Lots of love…..


      P.S. How do you pronounce your name? I’ve never encountered it before. I knew a girl in college named Hannah. I used to call her “Hannah Banana.” She complained and would punch me sometimes, but I think she secretly enjoyed it (except when she dumped me for someone else). Is the pronunciation of your name the same?

      • Hi Rufus

        I´m doing a lot of recearch now and that´s half the fun , to be honest :-)

        You bet I´ll pack swimsuits and shorts, compared to Denmark, Mexico is very hot ! Today we had 2 degrees celcius….

        Whenever I travel in a english speaking country I just say my name is Hannah, because it´s very hard for english, americans, canadians etc to pronaunce the “e” correctly :-) :-)

        And yes, it´s bit of a trip from Denmark, but so was Bali and Thailand :-)


        • Heart-stopping Hanne,

          Believe me when I say that I know what it’s like to do some research. I remember when I first decided to create this website I got so intricately involved with this city that I actually found myself dreaming about it at night – on several occasions. The research was fun, but the experience was even more delightful.

          Two degrees Celsius is quite cold, but I know the worst is yet to come. You are just entering winter, so I’m sure it’s going to get a lot cooler than it is now. I actually like the cold, but not when it gets bitter cold.

          I don’t blame you for using Hannah. I think it’s easy, and quite common. It’s always uncomfortable for other people when they cannot pronounce your name.

          I recently met up with a visitor who contacted me and wanted to go out for a beer. He was American, but had recently married a Dutch woman. Her name was “Gine.” Fair enough, but the pronunciation was completely different from what I had expected. Every time I tried pronouncing “Gine” the same way she did, I felt like a child choking on Count Chocula cereal served without milk. (I don’t know if they have Count Chocula in Denmark, but in the US it used to be popular with kids.)

          By the end of the night I just ended up calling her “sweetheart” because it was so much easier than the alternative. Luckily, her husband was a great guy and didn’t mind. Really, no disrespect was intended; I just didn’t want to butcher her name.

          NOTE TO ANYONE READING THIS: If you meet Hanne from Denmark, you can call her either “Hannah” or “Sweetheart.” She goes by either (but prefers “Sweetheart” if you’re a handsome guy).

          Problem solved, Hanne. If you need anything else, please let me know.

          Lots of love…


  40. Hey Rufus,

    I’m Going to Playa del Carmen in January. Do you know the Name of the Cenotes, visited in this tour? Because We’re planning to see some different cenotes and want to compare different tour guides etc.. And I’m worried, that we book the same cenote twice…
    Thank you for this amazing Website with so much helpful Information by the way!!

    Greetings from Germany


    • Respectable Ralf,

      Thank you so much for the comments on my website. I always like to here from visitors like you.

      Also, congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen soon.

      The cenotes that you will visit on the Xenotes tour are the following:

      • Alux K’áak’ (FIRE)
      • Alux Lu’um (EARTH)
      • Alux Ha’ (WATER)
      • Alux Iik’ (AIR)

      The pronunciation of “Alux” is (a-LOOSH). I don’t know about the other names, but I would be careful with the “K’áak’” pronunciation. It could get you in trouble!

      I hope you have a great time. Don’t forget to send me some photographs of the cenotes so that I can put them on this website!

      I hope this helps…


  41. Planning a bachelor party sometime in June — how is the nightlife and do you recommend for a large group of guys (late 20s-early 30s).


    • Jovial John,

      First of all, thank you so much for the comment.

      Also, congratulations on your decision to have your bachelor party in Playa Del Carmen. There’s always some good nightlife here, and I think it would be hard to find a better city to have a bachelor party in.

      With that said, June is somewhat of a slower season in Playa Del Carmen. Although this city is always busy, June is a time of year when it gets quite hot, so most of the people from the United States and Canada just stay at home because it is hot there as well.

      Nonetheless, during June this city receives a lot of visitors from Europe and domestic (Mexican) visitors. There are also a lot of South Americans here that time of year because it is cheaper to travel then.

      In all honesty, it will be helpful if you can learn a little bit of Spanish before coming. During the high season (December to March), there are a lot more English speakers here. However, during the lower seasons, those numbers are significantly less.

      For many people, this is great. The diversity that you will encounter is pretty wild! And as a bunch of single guys, you may score some exotic beauties to remember forever. There are lots of those types in Playa Del Carmen!

      Believe me when I say that you will still find a number of Americans and other English speakers here, just not as many.

      In addition to the usual, run of the mill clubs, there are also several opportunities for larger groups. One is a bar crawl called Playacrawl that is very popular with bachelor and bachelorette parties. That may be a good option – especially when you first arrive here.

      Also, as a heads up, before you arrive, all of you should download a program called WhatsApp. It is a messaging app owned by Facebook. Everyone here uses it, so if you do meet some nice girls and want to exchange contact info, it is the primary way that people communicate in this city (as an alternative to SMS). “Do you have WhatsApp?” is a question you will hopefully hear often!

      I hope this helps, and if you need an extra party guy with you in your group, I’m only an email away!

      And finally, if you get a chance, send me some party photographs of the great time you have here so that I can put them on this website!

      Take care,


  42. Hey there, Rufus, thanks for this info, very helpful. I’m wondering about the snorkelling, is there an extra fee during the jet ski tours?



    • Picturesque Paulette,

      Thank you so much for that comment and the compliment. I write all of the pages on this website for visitors like you!

      The jet ski tours that you are referring to (which also include snorkeling) are located around 10 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen.

      The snorkeling is included as part of the tour. In addition, the snorkeling gear is inclusive as well.

      I’m not 100% sure, but I think transportation to and from your hotel is thrown in also (but usually ONLY if your hotel/resort is located in the city itself). You’ll need to check on that, however.

      I hope this helps, and if you need anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Lots of love…


  43. Hi Rufus, how do we book the cenote tour? We are going next week to Playa Del Carmen. Is it better to book a tour vs trying to find the cenotes without one?

    • Garden of EDEN,

      Thank you for the comment.

      I think it is completely up to you whether or not you use a tour agency or try to do it yourself.

      You definitely DON’T need to book a tour in order to see one of the many cenotes in the area. They are all over the place. However, you will need to know your way around the area and how to get to your final destination if you choose a “do-it-yourself” option. Some Spanish will help, too.

      Moreover, if you try to go on your own, there are going to be other expenses involved no matter how you look at it. Transportation is one. In addition, many of the cenotes require a small entrance fee. That does usually NOT include a guide, just the entrance.

      It is always nice to have a guide because you can learn a little bit about the history of the specific cenote that you are visiting.

      But maybe most importantly, taking a prearranged tour removes unknowns from the process. That can save you a lot of time. It is always fun to plan adventures close to home or for an upcoming weekend getaway. However, it is a completely different story when you have taken time off work, trekked to another country, and then become belabored and bogged down with all sorts of questions and potential complications. Your time is probably better spent drinking beer on the Playa Del Carmen beach watching cruise ships come and go to Cozumel.

      Vacation time is precious. If you waste several hours of your vacation screwing around with trying to get transportation, trying to find the right places, trying to find the best times to go, etcetera, you are going to waste valuable time.

      That wasted time is worth a whole lot more than it was when you were at home and had lots of down time.

      With that said, I usually recommend booking a cenote tour unless you have a very specific place in mind and know a lot about it.

      You can book directly through the Xenotes website. Unfortunately, I do not have everything set up here (yet) to take bookings.

      So, book directly through their website.

      However, if you are planning a more lengthy trip with multiple tours over several days, please let me know. I have worked with several tour providers who understand a lot about the more comprehensive tour packages that are available.

      If you book multiple tours at once, you can usually get a significant discount.

      Whatever you decide, I hope you have an incredible time at the cenote(s) that you visit.

      Don’t forget to send me a few photographs so that I can put them on this website!

      And if for some reason you are not sure what to do on one night of your vacation, take a look at my Playa Del Carmen Events Calendar for daily specials throughout the city.

      This is a small town, so don’t be surprised if we bump into each other while you’re here…

      Take care,


      • Hi Rufus,

        Thank you for such an in depth answer. I think we might do both, look at some cenotes on our own (I have rented a car) and some with a tour company, so we can try it all out. I have a friend who sent pictures of a cenote called Garden of Eden, and it looked very pretty, so I wanted to check that one out. We will be there for 10 days, so I am also wondering what are the best activities to do? We went to Costa Rica in June, and we did horse back riding, ziplining, and tubing which were all very fun. I saw some ziplining in Playa Del Carmen, so I think we might do that and swim with the dolphins? I wanted to keep a reasonable budget and not go overboard though.

        Eden From Los Angeles

  44. Thanks for the info. Our family of 4 is eventually going to an all inclusive resort near playa del carmen. Being that we don’t know what things cost, how much do we tip servers, bartenders, housekeeping & other resort staff? I plan to take Pesos.

    • Racy Robyn,

      Thank you so much for the question / comment.

      Also, congratulations on your decision to take your family to a resort here in Playa Del Carmen. I think you will have an incredible time in the Riviera Maya as there are so many things to see and do. This is a very kid-friendly destination, so I think your children will enjoy themselves as well, which I imagine is very important to you.

      I’m really happy to hear that you are going to be paying in pesos while on vacation. Believe me, it is the wise thing to do and will save money that you can spend doing fun things with your family.

      In regards to tipping at your resort, I’m not sure what their policies are. Many of the all-inclusive resorts have a “no tipping” policy. In these types of resorts, NO TIPPING WHATSOEVER is allowed. In fact, if a server / bartender / housekeeper is caught accepting tips, they will be immediately fired.

      In these types of resorts, the “all inclusive” part of the name is taken literally – everything, including tips, is included.

      My best advice for you would be to ask someone at the resort. However, don’t ask one of the entry-level workers. When you first check in, ask to talk to a manager.

      “What is your tipping policy at this resort?” should clear up any questions about their tipping policies.

      They will be able to tell you. And whatever they tell you, I would recommend following it – unless, of course, it conflicts with the information I have provided above.

      Enjoy your vacation here, Robyn, and the same goes for your family.

      And if you want to save some money when you come into town, don’t forget to take a look at my Playa Del Carmen Events Calendar. It features some of the daily / weekly discounts that several of the establishments here offer.

      And if you see some half-intoxicated guy banging away on his keyboard while drinking a beer at a bar, it’s probably your faithful servant (me) responding to visitor comments.

      Don’t hesitate to say hello!

      Lots of love,


    • James Bond (a.k.a Rambunctious Ramon),

      Thanks for the comment. You’re going to have a great time skydiving in Playa Del Carmen – with or without your camera.

      I just talked to Skydive Playa. Despite the fact that the woman who answered the phone continually referred to me as “mister,” she was quite helpful. The conversation went something like this:

      “Blah blah blah,” the operator answered in Spanish.

      “Do you have someone there who speaks English?” I inquired.

      “Yes, mister. I speak English” A woman responded with a kind and helpful voice.

      “My name is Rufus. I run the website PlayaDelCarmen.org. I just had a visitor who asked me whether or not he could bring his own camera/video camera and make his own video when he goes skydiving. Can he do this?” I inquired patiently.

      “No mister, that would not be possible” she responded.

      I’m thinking to myself, why the hell does this woman keep calling me MISTER? I wish she would STOP THIS SH*T. If she keeps it up, I’m going to give her a filthy name she’ll really remember! If she wants to call me “master,” I’ll make her my slave, but “mister?” Uggghhh….

      “You can bring your camera with and film, but you have to give it to the pilot before you jump and he will give it back to you after you get to the ground.”

      “Okay,” I said. “I will let my visitor know.”

      “Sorry about that, mister”

      “Thank you.” I said, wanting to reach through the phone and grab her by the tongue.

      So, if you in order to answer your question, no you cannot take your own photos/videos of the full skydiving experience. However, you can take photos/video up until the point of the jump. At least according to this filthy woman that continuously called me “mister.”

      And, please Ramon, if you do go skydiving in Playa Del Carmen, teach this damn woman a lesson about telephone etiquette!

      See you falling from the sky soon….

      Take care,


  45. Disclaimer: I do not live in Mexico (but I am planning on making the move with my family within the next year or two!)

    My husband and I own a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. We have found that our Mexican customers tip significantly less, if at all. However, they tend to spend much more on their bill. The American customers try and watch their bill total, but tip very well. Your observations even cross country lines!

    • Memorable Megan,

      Thank you so much for the comment. It means a lot to readers of this page who simply want to know the truth about tipping in Mexico and are more likely to believe it when it is concurred through a second source.

      Moreover, your opinion is especially valuable because you are a restaurant owner who has experience in this sort of environment. Thank you for your insight.

      I’m sure you’ll have a great time when you come to Mexico and live here permanently!

      Good luck with your Mexican restaurant and be sure to come and visit Playa Del Carmen when you get a chance.

      Thanks again for the comment…

      Lots of love,


  46. Hi Rufus! Nice article. We are actually in Playa del Carmen at the moment.. and as we’ve been to a few restaurants, the tip has been added after the total amount by a pen and made a new total amount.. do we have to pay the handwritten total amount or the total amount originally on the bill (and tip as much we want)? Came here from Cancun and there the tip was not added to the bill and be “forced” to pay..

    • Princess Janice,

      Rufus, the Prince of Playa, at your service.

      Allow me to answer your question, my rose petal, but before I do, let me have a quick chat with the server who attempted to disgrace you, my dearest.

      “Hey, you filthy flamer!”

      “How dare you mess with and make my magnificent visitors melancholy, you maggot-mouthed milf molester?

      “I’ll throw rotten celery at your cell phone and put pepper paste on your pecker prior to pile-driving you at your parolee party, you pulsating pipsqueak.

      “Try to tabulate a false tab with your tedious table tactics? You’ll pay a proportionate penalty in purgatory, you pig-headed pigeon.

      “You’re a sick and antisocial psycho who should swallow several shots of strong cyanide or sail off the seventieth story of the Sears tower.

      “I’ll desert you in the desert where your daily dessert will be deep-fried donkey dung, you do-no-good draft dodger.

      “May you (and the many men who your mother mentioned “might” be your father) kindly kiss my ass!!!

      “You jaundiced jerk.”

      And back to you, my dear Janice.

      No, they should not be adding tip amounts to your bill. It’s an abuse, my princess.

      Tipping is (and always has been) an optional decision on the part of the service recipient – in this case, you, my dear.

      Thus, if you receive another unwanted offer for tipping, don’t hesitate to ignore it as you would a suitor other than I.

      In fact, don’t simply ignore it – refuse to give the server any tip whatsoever, for being so audacious as to DEMAND a tip in the first place. Don’t let them mock you, my mistress.

      I repeat: do not ever tip people who DEMAND tips!

      If you want to see how I deal with these people, my love, scroll down to the comments section of the following page and take a look at how I dealt with a bartender who shoved a tip jar in my face after ordering a drink.


      Two weeks suspension, my Janice, is what she received.

      I must leave now, my sweetheart, and never forget that my words are forever yours.

      Lots of love,

      Don Juan de Rufus
      Don Rufus de Playa

    • Janice – Adding a tip to a bill is illegal in Mexico. Tell the restaurant you won’t pay it and that you will go to PROFECO. They will give in.

  47. Hello, so I was sitting at the pool today in Playa Del Carmen and an old war plane went zipping by. The sound of it was thunderous & impressive, which got me wondering…I would love to go flying along the coast in it. So is that a private owner out of the Playa Del Carmen airport or a tour company? Is it something I could pay to do? Would you happen to know? Thanks

    • Beneficent Brian,

      I’m not sure about the airplane. As a matter of fact, I think I heard something from inside my apartment like you described today. Maybe it was the same plane. I thought it was one of the construction workers driving like a maniac on a local back road.

      In any case, I have neither seen an old military-style plane flying around the city, nor have I heard of any tour like this.

      However, I do know that because of the proximity to Cuba, the coast here is heavily watched by the military. What you saw may have been a modern-day military aircraft – Mexican style!

      If I hear of any sort of opportunities like this, I will let you know. Please do the same! Also, if you get a picture of this crazy aircraft, don’t forget to send me a copy!

      Take care,


  48. Just an FYI, we took the Mexico Waterjets ferry last week for 100 pesos round trip! That’s about $5 right now. And we weren’t tied to a particular return time.

    • CtotheT,

      Thank you so much for sharing the useful information. I haven’t been down to the docks for several months. However, I do know that there are now three companies operating there: UltraMar, Mexico WaterJets, and some funky company with the word “Caribe” in it.

      The “Caribe” company is the newest, and, although their boats seem to be the sh*tiest, I am happy there is a third option. I really think the other two companies had a price-fixing/monopoly conspiracy going on prior to the third company’s arrival.

      Competition is good for consumers. Unfortunately, it is rare to see in the transportation industry in Mexico. For example, when Uber started offering services in the city Merida, the local taxi union damn near killed one of the Uber drivers!

      Uber is still not allowed in Playa Del Carmen because of the corrupt and evil taxi union that exists here. If you ever take a bus to Akumal or Tulum, you will see the taxi union building on your right about 10 minutes or so out of Playa Del Carmen. It looks like a maximum security prison – and its inhabitants are just as filthy.

      Taxi drivers here are the second most vile creatures in this city (one step up from the ladyboys who haunt the darker alleys of 5th Avenue after 2AM, and one step down from the high-pressure salesmen on 5th Avenue who would try to sell you their moms’ underwear if they could). The irony is that if these fools had any vision or foresight, they would welcome Uber with open arms (and could easily work for Uber themselves). The taxi union/government here places exorbitant licencing fees on all the taxi drivers. It’s ridiculous. But the even bigger threat is driverless cars, which are only a few years away and will put ALL drivers out of business!!!

      Anyhow, you got one heck of a deal on the ferry tickets, so you should be happy!!

      Thanks again!!!!


  49. Is it true that recently, Some Brazilian tourists are being denied entrance to Mexico for unwarranted reasons? I have heard this recently. Thx

    • Paul,

      I haven’t heard anything about that. I met several Brazilians here a few weeks ago and nothing was mentioned.

      Please tell more Brazilians to come here because Brazilians are so much cooler than the idiot Argentinians that are here.

      Good luck, Paul, and I will talk to you soon….

      Take care,


    • Ron,

      Thank you so much for pointing out that mistake. Sometimes I get turned around – especially when I am sitting at the bar writing these crazy articles.

      Thanks again….The mistake has been corrected.


    • Mel/Barbara,

      Thank you so much for the comment! It is nice to hear that you are going to be coming back to Playa Del Carmen again. Eight nights will give you another opportunity to find some magical spots in the area by day and party a little bit by night.

      In regard to going out for a beer together, I am game. Contact me when you arrive, and we can decide on some sort of reasonable location.

      Take care Mel/Barbara… I hope to see the both of you here soon…


  50. What about surrounding communities like Solidaridad? We will have a car and want to live a little further out in a quieter area. The apt link you gave has tons of available apts.


    • Rob,

      Thanks for the comment. Playa Del Carmen is part of Solidaridad. In essence, Playa Del Carmen is just a fancy name for Solidaridad.

      Yes, there are a lot of apartments available here. Moreover, there are lots of neighborhoods in this city as well. The correct term is “fraccionamiento,” although it is often abbreviated as “fracc.” It’s a pain in the ass to pronounce, so don’t even try!

      More than in the US, for example, Mexican cities are usually broken up into parts or fraccionamientos. The address system here is extremely ill-planned. Thus, when looking for an apartment, you will need to know what area you want to live in and then find an apartment in that neighborhood. For some reason the advertisers NEVER use the maps that are available within the websites to tell readers exactly where the apartment is located. Why? I have no idea, but as carefree (a.k.a. sloppy) the culture is here, it is no surprise.

      At the time of this writing, I don’t have a map on my site that shows every neighborhood for two reasons: first of all, because there are so many of them, and second, because they change so quickly. Literally, there are new ones popping up every month. (To be honest, I actually created an extremely detailed map with the names of every neighborhood, but it is a HUGE file, so I am reluctant to post it because so many people access this site through their phones and it would load very slowly.) With that said, there is a site that has a map that shows most of the neighborhoods in Playa Del Carmen.

      Try this link: http://playanow.com/sites/all/themes/playanow/imgs/service_area.png

      I hope this helps!!

      Take care,


  51. Hi Rufus

    Thank you for a very informative and light hearted page packed full of information. John (my partner) and I will be visiting the Riu Yucatan in May and as I am petrified of the sea, have always steered very clear of water sports. This is John’s first ever visit to Mexico and as it is both our 50th birthdays this year (hence the special holiday), I would love for him to experience of parasailing with me but I am SO scared (we call this being a ‘woos’ here in England)! My worst fear is landing in the sea but from your information, this is only done if you request it. I am not the best with heights but I really don’t want him to miss out because of my fears, and I know he really wants to do the sail with me. John is also considering a sky dive – he did one here in England last November and loved it, so to do one over the sea would be amazing for him. We have looked into the trips in the area, but few of the really take our fancy. Are there any you could recommend which are good value for money?

    We are so excited about visiting Playacar. We know it is just going to be amazing.

    Many thanks for any advice you can give.

    With best wishes


    • Kaz,

      Congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen. I think you’ll have a great time here. There are a lot of things to do.

      If you do decide to go parasailing, you shouldn’t have any problem avoiding the water. Also, if you make a signal agreement (hand signals should be sufficient), then you should have no problems going near the water. Just let them know about your phobia.

      In regards to skydiving, there is one company that I would recommend (click on link above). There are two companies here the last time I checked. However, only one is safe – and that means something when jumping out of an airplane.

      Whatever you decide to do, send me some pictures of your adventures!

      I hope this helps….

      Take care,


  52. Is the Iberostar resorts all that bad? We were looking at the Lindo one, or Maya. We have an age group of toddler to seniors. Thought they offered a lot for your money. Is this not so? They are just boring to look at and don’t offer enough culture? What all do you mean? Thanks for clarifying. Love your info on everything by the way.

    • Sherry,

      Honestly, I have not stayed at either of these all-inclusive resorts. I looked at pictures of both. Both of the all-inclusives appear quite beautiful. However, all of the big resorts (all-inclusive or not) have a stale sort of feel to them. In some ways they lack the intimacy of a smaller property. But you get all kinds of amazing things to make up for that deficiency.

      The problem with all-inclusives is that there is a “one size fits all” approach to accommodations. When you stay at an all-inclusive, you’re stuck in a sort of “bubble” that isolates you from other things. For example, instead of exploring the city and its 100’s of restaurants, you eat at the resort – you paid for it already; why pay for it again, right? With this sort of approach, you miss out on some great opportunities to try new things and explore the real food from the area.

      I hope this makes sense.

      In any case, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Playa Del Carmen wherever you stay!

      Lots of love,


    • Deli,

      I just sent you an email with all the information that you need!

      Best wishes for your wedding!!!

      Lots of love….


  53. Hi Rufus!

    I am heading to Playa March 3rd, found your page in my searches. I have reached out to Carlos, (3 days ago) but have not heard anything back from him. Are there any other guides or outfits that you could suggest?

    It’s getting closer to the date and I just want to make sure I lock something down. Thanks for putting this page together and providing great info.

    • Ian,

      First of all, thank you for visiting my site. Also, thank you for the comment. I contacted Carlos by phone today. He’s been very busy, but he said he did not receive a message from you.

      Carlos is the most experienced in the area, so I usually have a hard time sending visitors to others knowing that I’m not sending them to the best.

      I’m sure that Carlos can keep a spot for you once you get in contact with him.

      I look forward to hearing how your fishing trip goes!

      Take care, Ian….


  54. Thanks for the tip about buying one way tickets.
    We’ve been here almost 3 weeks now and every helpful tip is appreciated.

    • Sara,

      This advice may no longer be useful. Two years ago (when this article was written), there were only TWO ferry companies here in town. Now there are three. At that time, the price was the same for everything – one way tickets were exactly the price of 1/2 of a round-trip ferry ticket.

      In all honesty, I think there was a complete and total monopoly over the price of tickets that had been negotiated between these two companies. They wanted to get along and had an interest in keeping prices high. In the US we call this “price fixing.”

      However, that changed when a third company entered the market. Today, there is some real competition, and the prices/marketing reflect this.

      Take the following steps to get the best prices:

      1. See what the best price is.
      2. Check that price for both one-way and round-trip tickets.
      3. Find out the schedules of each.
      4. Buy whichever is cheaper and most accommodating for your schedule.

      This is the only reasonable way to make sure that you get the best Playa Del Carmen ferry prices.

      Hope this helps, Sara, and thanks for the comment!

      Lots of love,


  55. Thanks for all the info and video! I am going in July-Aug 2017 and this is one thing I have been wanting to do for years. I had some questions about it all but you answered all of them for me! I can’t wait to do this!!! Thanks again!

    • Allison,

      You are so welcome. Thank you for the comment. It is always nice to hear from visitors such as yourself.

      Lots of love,


  56. Hi Rufus, you did not mention renting a car in cancun and driving down. my wife and i did just that a couple years ago and we enjoyed driving to different beaches and the ruins. what i didn’t quite understand is the loss damage waiver. my credit card insures me when renting a car. i know i would have a possible deductable but i think my insurance company would also cover that. can you tell me any facts i should know about the insurance when renting.

    thanks, we will be coming down in a 2 months

    • Dennis,

      Renting a car in Cancun is a great option. It really gives you control over transportation during your trip. Here in Play Del Carmen, you won’t need a car too much, but they are nice to have if you want to do some exploring on your own. (Paid tours usually include transportation.)

      Honestly, Dennis, I am not sure about how the “loss damage waiver” works. Moreover, I would guess that all rental companies are going to have completely different insurance plans for drivers. Of course, they are an unnecessary upsell in many cases – especially for you because of your credit card. Even with an insurance plan (and I know it’s a pain in the a$$) you should really read the entire contents of any contract that you sign. Really, people should.

      But knowing that most people don’t, it only makes sense to work with a reputable company. Even if you have to pay a little more, it could save you big time in the long run.

      I can’t think of any other facts you should know except to remember to obey the law while driving. The police here are corrupt as hell and love screwing English-speaking people (or anyone for that matter). But don’t be intimidated by them. Usually they back down if you stick to your story and don’t get intimidated.

      Oh, and one more thing: don’t forget that all distances, speed limits, markers, etc ARE ALL LISTED IN KILOMETERS – NOT MILES! If you’re not from the US, you already know this. But if you are from the US, it’s easy to get mixed up!

      Enjoy your trip, Dennis, and I hope to see you around town while you’re here! And please send me some pictures when you get home! I love adding visitor photos to this site!!!

      Take care,


  57. Hi Rufus I have email Caesar above but I thought I would email you also I’m in mexico in Sept with my brother and our Wives. My bRotherham and I like to get about on scooters seeing the small villages and heading out of resort the Wives on the other not so keen but hey how,. Can you advise us of some places to rent scooters near the Now Saphire hotel and possible places to visit within scooter distance is playa carmen or cancun to far.
    If you get 5 minutes we would love to hear you advice cheers Rufus

    • Jansen,

      Thank you for the comment. It sounds like you and your brother want to do some serious exploring on scooters while you’re here. There are many places that you can go to do this.

      The Now Sapphire Resort is on the North End of the Riviera Maya in between Cancun and Puerto Morelos. You’re not as central as you would be if you were staying in Playa Del Carmen, but you are still close to everything.

      Although the freeway/expressway is primarily for cars, trucks, motorcycles, I don’t think you will have a big problem riding a rental scooter – but trust YOUR judgement, not mine. One of my visitors recently rented a scooter and drove up and down all the freeways here without a problem, but your experience may be different.

      Unfortunately, most of the attractions here will require some sort of payment for entry. Despite this, there are many places that are cheap and easy. For example, you are free to check out some of the local Mayan Villages, but the people there are going to look at you quite strangely if you don’t come with some sort of food tour or Mayan ritual group.

      If it were me, I would start by investigating all the major towns in the area – Puerto Morelos, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Tulum, etc.

      I would then search for the most beautiful beaches (there are several “hidden” beaches in the area en route between these destinations). Look on Google maps (satellite view). You will see small roads that run from the highway to the beach. Some of these are pure gold and unbelievably serene. Mark them on a map.

      Next I would began searching for cenotes in the area. There are many. Look for photos, videos, reviews. Again, write a few of them down, and mark them on a map.

      Next, search for some cool Mayan ruins. See photos, videos, reviews. Record them on a map.

      Get here. Immediately fill out the form above to make sure there are scooters available. Take a shuttle to Playa Del Carmen. Rent a scooter from the person you contacted via the form above. Start driving around to the places on your map. Talk to everyone. This will lead to even more cool places to visit. Rinse and repeat the last several steps.

      Finally, if you get some pictures of you in front of the sign welcoming visitors to a town called Poop (yes, it does exist), you’ll get all kinds of bonus points and have pictures that you and all your family, friends, and co-workers can laugh at for years to come.

      Explore, explore, explore – and dont forget to send some pictures of your travels to the sometimes humble narrator of this site (me).

      Take care, and drive safe.


    • Paul,

      Your kids should be fine during spring break. Honestly, there is not much of a spring break crowd here. They mostly gravitate towards Cancun, which is a completely different story.

      In addition to being fine, I think they will find the city very interesting with a lot of things to do. Most kids seem to really enjoy themselves here.

      Hope to see all of you here soon…

      Take Care,


  58. Rufus,
    hello again….been reading more of your webpage….a lot of information there, thanks! i have a 14 and 17 year old who the wife and I will be bringing with us, we would like to spend a couple of days doing excursions and general stuff AWAY from the hotel, shopping and lounging on the beach. would you still recommend Acanto Boutique Hotel? also, we would like to have the capability for the hotel (concierge) to help with planning/scheduling of our activities away from the hotel. We plan on staying 5 nights. any recommendations?
    Thanks again,

    • Paul,

      I have never heard anything bad about the Acanto Boutique Hotel. Needless to say, that does not mean it’s a great hotel, but I have never heard anything other than good things about it. In some ways, I guess that says something.

      In regard to the best choices for things to do, there are so many options it’s exhausting to think about all of them. You will have to decide what type of activities you would all enjoy. Because of the uniqueness of the area, I would definitely recommend going to at least one cenote while you are here. Moreover, if you want to swim with sea turtles, Akumal is a very beautiful place to do so. The beach is also very serene there. In addition to those places, there are a few archaeological sites, but your children might get bored at them. Zip lining and swimming with dolphins are also both very popular.

      What you probably want to do is talk to a good tour provider immediately upon arrival. But even before then, make sure you look at a list of the things to do to have an idea if you want to participate in water sports, land activities, visit some special ecological parks, or whatever. There are many, many options, so at least have an idea of some of the things you want to do before you arrive. Other than that, the sky’s the limit.

      I hope all of you have a great time, and don’t forget to send me some photographs of your trip. There’s nothing that I like more than posting photographs from visitors on this website!

      Take Care,


    • Dear Revered Reader,

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you like it. I created it for people just like you!

      Lots of love,


  59. Hello Rufus,

    My name is Suzette Molina and I am from New Jersey. I found your site to be amazing and extremely helpful. It pretty much covers it all, you did a great job! I have a question and was wondering if you could help me out. I am traveling March 22nd to Playa del Carmen. I would like to know if you recommend me booking my excursions before I arrive or when I am there. Any insight would be greatly appreciated thank so much!

    • Suzette,

      Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you are finding the site helpful. I made it for people just like you.

      In regard to your question about activities here, there are several things to keep in mind:

      First, I would strongly recommend that you investigate, plan, and be thoroughly prepared so that you know what types of activities and things you want to do BEFORE you arrive here. HAVE A PLAN!

      Don’t ever forget this: vacation time is worth 20x what non-vacation time is worth. Your time here is scarce, so don’t waste it. If you think of it this way, you will force yourself to fully prepare and make decisions before you get here, which is good for both your peace of mind and your wallet.

      In regard to the best purchase time for your activities, there are several schools of thought. First of all, a lot will depend on how many activities you want to engage in. If you are only planning on one or two activities, you can make a quick purchase before you arrive and be done with it. If you’re planning on doing a whole bunch of excursions, it is often best to hold off until you arrive. Why? Because you can get some really good deals if you buy everything at once in a package. If you do it this way, you can often get discounts on everything – or even get some free stuff thrown in.

      If you would like, I can send your email to my friend, Caesar. He is a tour operator, has participated in nearly all the tours in the area, and is good at cutting deals if you tell him exactly what you want. He also owns some jungle land here and is planning to build a serene retreat on it eventually. He knows everybody in town.

      I hope this helps, Suzette…

      Lots of love,


      • Hi Rufus,

        Thank you for the response. I would like if you gave my email to Ceasar to discuss tours. Thank you for the tips and advice.


        • Suzette,

          I sent your email address to Caesar. He should contact you very soon. If for some reason he does not respond or misses your email, please let me know.

          I hope you enjoy your trip here, Suzette.

          Let me know if you need anything else.

          Take care,


  60. I am looking for a store to buy Don Roberto Respado tequila in Playa next week. Bought some several years ago by taking a time share tour. Don’t want to do that again but got the tequila and golf quite cheap. Great stuff. Hope you can help. Thanks!

    • Beverly,

      It sounds like you’ve got a sweet tooth for tequila. I completely understand. However, be careful with the stuff; it can cause behavior that’s way outside the norm. I know from experience!

      With that said, the one place I usually send people for tequila is a little store called Tequila Town.

      Tequila Town, Playa Del Carmen Map


      It is small and a little overpriced due to its location, but they have a good selection of tequilas and sometimes know what they’re talking about. Most importantly, they may have the Don Roberto Respado that you’re looking for.

      Hope this helps, Beverly….

      Lots of love,


    • Octopus,

      You don’t need any vaccines in preparation of your arrival here.

      However, I don’t know what species of octopus you are (or how the hell you came up with such a strange name), but as a sea-dwelling creature, you may not get on the plane in the first place, so plan ahead.


  61. Hi Rufus, thanks so much for this wonderful site, a wealth of info I keep returning to! We are headed to PDC in April & I’m trying to think ahead. How do you get to Puerto Morelos? Also, is there a tour company you would recommend. We’d like to go to Tulum & a cenotes. That said, we are trying to be budget friendly & not break el banco. Your info on getting to Cozumel via the ferry was very helpful.
    Thanks again! (I apologize in advance as you may hear from me again w/ more questions)

    • Jenni,

      First of all, thank you so much for the comment. It’s always nice to hear from people like you who are enjoying the site.

      In regard to your question about Puerto Morelos, it is about 25 minutes north of downtown Playa del Carmen. It is an interesting, small, friendly fishing town that also offers some incredible snorkeling and a calm and serene atmosphere. In addition, there are some pretty cool sites to see there.

      You can get to Puerto Morelos via either private taxi, shuttle bus (collectivo), or via transportation that is included with an excursion to that location. It’s a fun way to escape from hustle of Playa Del Carmen for a day or two.

      Because there are so many tour companies in the area, and all of them provide different tours and activities, there’s not a single tour company that I recommend. However,there is a tour seller that I recommend. Actually, it is an individual. He has lived in the city for long time, is quite honest (which is rare here), and keeps up to date on all the new and old activities available in the area. Interestingly, he recently bought a piece of jungle land and is planning to build a corporate retreat in the future on the land.

      I will email his contact information to you.

      Finally, you are welcome for the Cozumel ferry schedule. I get a lot of positive feedback about that page.

      I hope this helps Jenni, and I hope you and your friends / family have an incredible vacation here!

      Take care…


    • Martin,

      I just sent you the contact info of the best wedding planner in town.

      Please check your email AND your SPAM folder (just in case).

      Happy wedding planning!!!!


  62. Do you know roughly how many people are usually in the Ocean Safari Tours? I want to be on for more than 15min but my friends and I also don’t want to be in a large group of other tourists?

    • Reilly,

      Unfortunately, the Ocean Safari Tours are no longer being offered. The company that was providing them was bought out by a larger company. The new company stopped offering them.

      However, if you fill out the form above I will personally have someone contact you in regards to the other options that may be available.

      I hope you are enjoying planning your trip to Playa del Carmen, and if you need anything else, feel free to contact me.


  63. your advice on money matters make more sense than hundreds of posts i have read on other sites and tripadvisor!

    will put it to use soon.

    thank you!


    • Dmitry,

      Thank you so much! I am glad that you are using the information.

      Take care, and I hope to see you here soon…


  64. Please email me Brenda’s info as well, thanks!

    Also-thoughts on having a more authentic (e.g, non western-style resort) wedding in PDC? Are there any cabana-style locations on the PDC coast, or is it all urbanized?


    • Ed,

      I just sent your the contact information to the best and most experienced wedding planner in the city.

      Please check your email.

      Happy Wedding Planning!


  65. Hi Rufus,
    If we don’t rent a car in Playa del Carmen, what is the best and cheapest way to get around including visiting Cancun?

    • Debra,

      You have several transportation options (from cheapest to most expensive):

      • Colectivo (shared shuttle bus primarily used by locals)
      • ADO bus company (limited destinations)
      • UBER (only available out of Cancun)
      • Taxi
      • Private shuttle
      • Transportation included with excursion/activity

      Each of these have benefits and drawbacks:

      The “colectivos” are shared vans. They are unbelievably cheap and are also air-conditioned. However, the drivers usually only speak Spanish and you will need to know where to get off. Of course, they call out the names of places as they drive by them. BUT, they say the names of stops quickly and in Spanish. Basically, they assume YOU know where you’re going. In addition, they all leave from one primary location (Calle 2 & Avenida 25 – https://goo.gl/maps/9Zyq5hQg6Hr). If you are with someone who speaks Spanish or are completely comfortable approaching strangers until you find someone who speaks good Spanish, there is absolutely no way to beat the colectivo prices. Plus you get an authentic feel about how the locals get around.

      Your second option is the ADO bus
      , but it only stops at bus stations. You can visit ado.com.mx to see if they stop at the locations you’ve planned. Fairly nice buses, but limited stops.

      UBER is (hopefully) coming to Playa Del Carmen, but right now is only available OUT of Cancun. This means that you can get an UBER, but only from Cancun to other destinations in the area–not the other way around.

      Taxis are an option, but are expensive, and taxi drivers are notoriously dishonest. If you are going anywhere by taxi, you need to understand the local taxi zones and the rates.

      A private shuttle
      is probably the most expensive, but offers the most amenities. It will have AC, an English-speaking driver, possible included drinks, etc. It will also drop you off/pick you up at your EXACT desired location.

      Debra, your final option is to get around with activity providers. Almost all excursions in the area will provide transportation to and from destinations. If you are visiting the various locales via a tour, your transportation will already be included.

      As you can see, much depends on your experience in the area, location of your hotel, and your ability to communicate effectively in Spanish. But if you’re looking for THE ABSOLUTE CHEAPEST WAY TO GET AROUND, the colectivos are your best option and are very easy to use once you understand how they work. They are what the backpackers use. And when I say cheap, I mean DIRT CHEAP. For example less than $3.00 USD per person/each way from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum (probably the farthest you’ll be going). And they’re even cheaper for closer destinations!

      I hope this helps! If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Lots of love,


  66. Hi Rufus,

    The date is June 7, 2017. Are you still there?

    My wife and I are thinking of coming at the end of August for 5-7 days to check out the place from CA. We are thinking of renting in Mexico because quite frankly, it’s just to big an expense for our pocket book to stay in San Diego. We are mature adults and want to live in a hospitable place that is a safe environment but at the same time be able to be adventurous also safely. Can you recommend a hotel for our stay that puts us near 5th and the water but will also not break our piggy bank?

    If we do decide that Playa Del Carmen is a wonderful place to call home, we would rent and could probably afford $700 a month. SSA and savings. I figure the Mexican people come to my country to prosper so it’s only fare that we take advantage of a more inexpensive retirement.

    Note: Is there another city or area you would suggest for us with an American presence?

    Thanks a bunch for your exquisite and picturesque writing skills, your words paint a most definable picture.

    • Bud,

      What’s happening, my man? First of all, thank you for the comment. It is always nice to hear from people who are either coming to visit or moving here permanently – or both, as in your case.

      I’m not sure if five to seven days is enough to secure an apartment, but it’s definitely enough to get a clear vision of the city and see if you want to pursue making living arrangements here.

      One hotel that you may want to check out is called Hotel Colorado. It is very cheap, may not even have a website, and close enough to the beach and 5th that you won’t feel lost. In addition, it will give you a real feel for the non-touristy part of town, which is where you may end up living once you make your decision. The manager there is a German guy named Chord. Speaks great English and is a straight shooter.

      Another hotel that I stayed at for several days when I first moved here is called Luna Blue. It is at least double the price of the hotel Colorado mentioned above, but as much closer to 5th Avenue and the beach. It used to be owned by several Americans, but they sold it to a group of Mexicans from Mexico City who run a tight ship there. The manager’s name is Hugo.

      In regard to your $700 a month apartment, that should be more than sufficient to get a decent place in a safe area of town. At the time of this writing, that would mean approximately $12,500 Mexican pesos per month. That’s very reasonable. If it were me, I would shoot for an apartment that was even a little bit cheaper than that so that you would be readily prepared to absorb any sort of fluctuations in the USD/MXN exchange rate.

      There are several pockets in the area that have an American ex-pat presence, but this is the center of them, and it’s also developing quite rapidly. With the development, comes better infrastructure and amenities. Unless you are a real adventurer, I would think that this area would be best for you at this time.

      If you move here, you will see that there is an endless amount of places to explore and things to do – from bars, swimming holes, beaches, activities, restaurants, dancing, and whatever else get your rocks off.

      Finally, thank you for the comments about my site and writing style. I made this site because I was offended by the lies and condescension that I encountered while visiting so many other Playa Del Carmen sites out there that timidly shy away from anything that’s not perfectly in line with the politically correct crap that’s shoved down our throats every day. I try to tell things how they are and leave it at that for visitors to decide how to interpret it.

      Thanks again for the comment, and I hope you enjoy your visit to Playa Del Carmen and find a nice apartment here.

      Take care,


  67. Hi,

    Im really interested in organizing a wedding similar to everythinv youve mentioned.

    Id love to have the wedding planners details.

    I visit playa last year and loved it, im from australia.

    Thanks so much

  68. Dear Rufus
    It’s 1am and I have been entertained for the last hour by your playa del Carmen advice. I am currently debating whether I will buy a return ticket. I wanted to know how should I go about snorkeling on Cozumel. Are there any places you suggest and are walking accessible? Thanks Rufus!

    • Jessica,

      Thank you so much for the comments.

      I am happy that you are finding the information here entertaining. Don’t stay up too late or you will miss your beauty sleep and then you won’t be ready for your trip here.

      In regard to your Cozumel snorkeling question, there are a great many snorkeling companies there. Cozumel showcases some of the most vivid and colorful reef wildlife in the entire world. Unfortunately, I don’t have an individual company to recommend.

      However, I will say this: once you arrive on the island, you will be bombarded with people trying to sell you things. Have a game plan and stick to it. Dont let the annoying salesman waste your vacation time. Also, spend a few minutes shopping around (i.e. don’t necessarily take the first snorkel option you find). Finally, you may want to directly visit a dive shop there (or even a dive shop in Playa Del Carmen) in order to talk to some experts about the best activity options. The street activity sellers are NOT experts.

      Hope this helps, Jessica!!!

      Lots of love,


  69. oh Rufus, could you possibly help us with information?

    our friend is quitting his job – on fast track for partnership, selling his home and running off to Cancun area – all because of a woman he met in February …
    He has been there 3 times now, from Canada and spent a total of 30 days with her.
    They are engaged!
    He is not the same person – he is intensely grieving, having his father and a brother die two years ago. He has no family connections in his hometown ,, there are signs of gambling, alcohol and sex addition.
    She has at least 5 different face books accounts with very sexual photos and different personas. We suspect she is a woman of ill-repute. She tells him she has no passport and is the illegitimate daughter of the former president of another country – she has been mugged and makes him worry about her safety. It looks like she is very promiscuous. He is a very smart, handsome 37 and she is 24.
    They both exhibit jealousy and breakup and makeup on Facebook for all to see.

    Rufus- as a Canadian woman, I urge you – tell me the truth – how bad is such a scenario? I fear he will be kidnapped and / or killed… he is so vulnerable to her and needs a safe guard.
    Who am I kidding? He is a grown man in lust.
    I can do nothing to stop him from going back to live with her,

  70. Hello again, Rufus
    I just wrote you about our lust struck friend….in over his head.
    I just saw this page for emergency contacts and remember – he relies on this girl to interpret for him – which means he could get into trouble depending on her this way…

    I know you want to print positive comments about your new living place – I only want to hear the truth. Have you ever heard of these cons played on naive, lonely men in Playa?
    Could you recommend a sleuth for us to check her out?

    • Depaul,

      I’m not sure what to say. Most women here are conservative to a fault (i.e. to the point of being boring and lacking any sense of adventure). However, there are definitely some women who are vicious, jealous, and looking for an opportunity. I neither know her, nor know his exact situation, but she sounds like a severe liability.

      I would be cautious. I wouldn’t worry about “kidnapping” at this point (after all, she’s had the opportunity to do that several times already), but he should definitely not be flashing money around. She sounds like a lone operator who scams men for money via her age, “exoticness,” and whatever else she has to offer.

      Your friend is one of many suckers who fall in love with women here. He sounds a little desperate (from the way you described him). He could, of course, get in over his head (and it sounds like he has already).

      The problem is that many women here see men as an opportunity and not as individual people. Sad, but true. Mexico has a 50% poverty rate, so some people will do anything to get out.

      Honestly, is there much you can do? He’s an adult. Are you his mother? You probably won’t have much say over what he does. Just warn him. There’s not many other options.

      I hope everything works out okay!

      Lots of love,


  71. Hi There!
    Among the multiple excursions we are planning for our vacation, we have many people in our group that want to try parasailing, (approximately 7-10 at least).
    We sill be staying at the Iberostar Paraiso August 3-7th/ 2017.
    What would you recommend to get the best rate for this many people?
    Is there a company that could handle this many at one time so that we are together?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • Susan,

      It sounds like you and your group are looking for adventure. You’ve come to the right place if fun is what you want.

      There are a lot of things to do in this city, so I’m sure you won’t get bored.

      In regard to your question about large group parasailing, it’s possible, but only 2 people can be up in the air at once per boat. Moreover, the airspace is limited in the sense that if several boats are parasailing at once, the last thing you need is two parasail lines crossing each other!!!

      In any case, it’s best if you fill out the form on this page because it will be sent to the right person.

      I also sent you an email with all the information you need.

      I hope this helps, Susan. If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Lots of love,


  72. Can you recommend an all incusive that would suit our familyin Playa del Carmen. I have 3 girls the ages are 10, 12 and 14 years.

    What are your thoughts on Grand Riviera Princess family club?

  73. Hola Rufus, en una semanas voy a estar en playa del carmen y me interesa la opción de arrendar una scooter para movilizarme durante 4 días, tu sabes cuanto me saldría este servicio, de ante mano muchas gracias y saludos

  74. Any chance it would be cheaper for a Mexican national to rent the car? We’re heading down there in August to visit family; wondering if it’s cheaper for them to rent the car rather than an American tourist..

    • Daisy,

      Not sure about that. Some places offer discounts to Mexicans, but something like car rental, probably not.

      It’s kind of racist if you ask me. Imagine if we charged Mexicans more than US citizens in the good ole’ USA. Mexicans would be crying bloody murder!!!

      If you’d like, I can forward your name and email to a friend who has a car rental business here, and he would be able to answer any questions you might have.

      Send me an email and let me know….

      Have a wonderful trip and be sure to drive safe here.

      Lots of love,


  75. Breena,

    Thank you for the useful advice. It definitely gets hot here—especially this time of year. And sunscreen lotion is kind of expensive in Mexico (I think it’s because the Mexican people never use sunscreen). So make sure you bring your own if possible!

    Hope you come back again soon…

    Lots of love,


  76. Hi Rufus,

    do you know where to get fresh cut coconuts to drink their coconut water in Playa Del Carmen please? We lived in central america and we could find them almost everywhere on the trucks or at some stands on every corner where they took a machete and opened one for us to drink. It cost around 0,50 USD per piece. We love it. Any advice is very apreciated. Thanks.

    • Diana,

      I have not seen underwater scooters here yet (June 2017). In fact, I’ve never even heard of them!

      You’ve piqued my curiosity. Where did you see them?

      Lots of love,


        • Diana,

          Thank you so much for the photo. Wow! That looks like a lot of fun!

          Unfortunately, I have not seen anything like that here. They may have it in Cancun or Cozumel, but I highly doubt it.

          The reason?

          All of the marine vehicles here have to be licensed in order to operate in the sea. Most of the vehicles ride above the water, but I’m guessing that those that ride below the water probably receive extra scrutiny due to the fragile coral reef ecosystem here.

          The city and state government has done quite a bit to protect the coral reef here as it is the second largest in the world and brings a solid base of regular tourists.

          I doubt they would allow such a thing here because it looks like it could easily brush up against the seabed and cause damage to surrounding wildlife.

          That would be my guess, but it’s nothing more than speculation. If I see one around town in the near future, I will let you know.

          Enjoy your vacation, Diana….

          Lots of love,


  77. Paul,

    They sell coconuts at Walmart. You can simply take a screwdriver and hammer, punch a few holes and pour the liquid out yourself.

    I’ve done it before, but each coconut only seems to provide about 8 ounces of liquid. I think they were more like $1 USD each here, too.

    If, for some reason, you cannot find them at Walmart, try DAC. They have all kinds of exotic foods, spices, and supplies that you cannot find anywhere else in town. Just type in “DAC Playa Del Carmen” or simply click on the link below:

    Search for DAC on Google

    As a final option, you could always climb a palm tree and pull a few down yourself. However, I don’t think the police here would like you much. And the last thing I need is an email from you at 2 in the morning saying, “Rufus, I took your advice about climbing the tree, but I didn’t make it to the top, and now I’m in the hospital with a broken earbone.” Ughhh!

    Hope this helps….


  78. Voula,

    The article above outlines some of the best family resorts in Playa Del Carmen. However, It does not include them all.

    I would start by checking out some of the resorts mentioned above, if you find something else that seems interesting, don’t hesitate to make reservations there as well.

    In any case, you need to decide what is most important—this is what I mean: Is proximity to Playa Del Carmen most important? Or are activities and excursions most important? Or do you simply want to relax in paradise?

    These are the kinds of things that you need to ask yourself as you decide where you’re going to stay.

    If you stay within Playa Del Carmen, you will probably pay a little bit more. Nonetheless, you will not only have your resort amenities, but you will also have all of the things that Playa Del Carmen (the city) has to offer.

    If you stay at a resort that is some distance from downtown Playa Del Carmen, you may end up with a beautiful resort, but every time you want to come into town, you will have to waste your precious vacation time in a taxi or shuttle bus.

    Which is better? Well, it depends on what you want.

    But make sure you consider these things.

    In regard to the Princess Family Club, I have heard neither good things nor bad things about it. However, I will say this: the Princess is a very well-respected, luxury resort, so I’m guessing that if the Kids Club is an extension of that luxury, it should be a great place to stay for both you and your children.

    If I were traveling here with my children, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there. The only thing I don’t like about the Princess is that it is not within walking distance of downtown Playa Del Carmen. (It’s ~12 minutes north by car.)

    But again, that’s just ME, and you have to decide exactly what it is that YOU want.

    If you’re going to spend most of your time at the resort or going on excursions outside of the city, it won’t matter anyways. But don’t forget, this city has a lot of fun things to do right in the downtown area. I think both you and your family will be amazed at all the things to see.

    Whatever happens, let me know how it goes!

    I hope you enjoy your trip here, and I hope to talk to you soon…

    Lots of love,


    • Thanks for all of your advice.
      We as a family would like an all inclusive close to the city of Playa Del Carmen.What are your recommendations my girls ages are 10, 12 and 14.
      Also I am having a re think as staying in Cancun instead of Playa Del Carmen. What all inclusive not far from the city centre on would you suggest.
      I have been told many tours leave from here and that there are local buses we can take to get us around.

  79. Voula,

    I would recommend the Playacar Palace. It is very conveniently located, has all the amenities of a luxury all inclusive, and is a family-friendly resort.

    Take a look at it on a map, and you will see what I mean.

    In regard to Cancun, I would be inept at giving you advice because I don’t spend much time there.

    However, I will tell you this: most people that stay in Cancun and visit Playa Del Carmen wish they had stayed in Playa Del Carmen in the first place.

    Playa Del Carmen has a lot more class and character than Cancun. Cancun is a more “show me the money” kind of place than Playa Del Carmen. In addition, it is very big, so it’s a little bit more difficult to get around conveniently.

    I hope this helps!!!

    Lots of love,


  80. Joe,

    It’s best if you fill out the form above (in the blue box) and someone will get back to you.


  81. We live in the Pacific Northwest USA and have a condo in Belize on ambergris Faye.
    We will be staying at a resort in play Adele Carmen and want to know what choices we have for air into either ambergris key or Belize city that we don’t have to go back to Cancun for Any suggestions would be appreciated

    • Riki,

      I’m not sure about flying in and out of Belize, but I would recommend contacting a good travel agent familiar with both Mexico and Belize.

      In regard to flying in or out of Playa Del Carmen, it’s not gonna happen. The current airport here is small and is really only used by skydiving companies, a few commercial tour/photography outfits, and the military now and then.

      They are supposed to be building a new airport specifically for this city in the near future, but nobody knows if it will ever happen. It appears to be buried in government red tape. In Mexico, that could mean years—or never!

      I hope you enjoy your vacation here, and good luck finding a flight to Belize!

      Take care,


  82. Hola Rufus! I LOVE your site, and as a solo female traveller, I’m especially thankful for your honest and funny reviews. I’m in Playa now and hoping to make contact with Caesar before I go. Muchas gracias!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I made the site especially for people like you who wanted honest, not-necessarily-politically-correct information that didn’t skew the truth.

      Caesar has received your email. I chatted with him immediately after I received it. However, apparently Caesar could not get through to your hotel.

      I sent you an email, but I’m assuming you probably don’t have access to it unless you’re near wifi.

      In any case, Caesar will get hold of you.

      I hope you’re having a great time here so far!!!!

      Lots of love,


        • Sarah,

          Haha. That’s funny. But believe me, it is not uncommon!

          I hear this from visitors all the time. For some reason, people get connected with this city from the moment they arrive. The very air you breathe in this city is enchanted with some sort of strange fairy dust that causes people to fall in love with the place.

          I know first-hand because that’s exactly what happened to me!

          Enjoy your stay here!

          Lots of love,


  83. Your Awesommeeeeee Rufus. Thanks for the wonderful information. I hope that when we get there, I’ll be able to greet you in person. Until then, rock on Bro.

  84. Big thanks from an Argentinian moving to Playa with her American husband soon. And I thought I liked your website! Was I wrong!

    • Elizabeth,

      I always tell it how it is—and will continue to do so whether you love or hate this site.

      The fact of the matter is that most of the Argentinians here are drifters/wannabe fake hippies who came here to escape their own country’s plethora of problems. Argentina is a complete mess and has been for many years. Argentinian “pride” deserves a prize for being the biggest oxymoron of the last three decades.

      The Argentinians who visit here have no money, spend no money, and do nothing but take jobs from the locals.

      Even worse, they treat the locals like sh*t and refuse to hang out with anyone but other Argentinians.

      All of the above is generally true.

      Here’s an appropriate joke for you, Elizabeth:

      A Mexican, Brazilian, and an Argentinian are walking in the mountains when lightning strikes and lights up the darkening sky.

      The Mexican says, “Let’s get off the mountain before we get struck by lightning.”

      The Brazilian says, “I’ve seen someone struck by lightning, and it’s not pretty. I’m out of here.”

      The Argentinian says, “Wait guys. Don’t worry. That’s just GOD taking a picture of me [as if god was so fortunate to be taking a picture of an Argentinian and the lightning was nothing more than the camera’s flash].”

      Really this is how the Argentinians act around here. Nobody wants them around.

      So, do yourself a favor and find another city to call home OR spend some damn money here, stop treating everyone like crap, and create some jobs instead of coming here as parasites that are looking for a host after severely mismanaging your own country.

      It’s funny because I had ABSOLUTELY ZERO preconceived notions or ideas about Argentinians when I arrived in this city. I had never met even one Argentinian in my life. But now I understand why they are disliked by both Mexicans, Brazilians, etc…

      And, Elizabeth, maybe you’re a great person. I don’t know. However, this is the reality on the ground here. Or at least an honest assessment of the sentiment here. Whether it feels good to hear this, or whether this is politically correct, is completely irrelevant to me or this website. My only duty and commitment is to tell my visitors the truth.

      I refuse to hide behind the semblance of “political correctness.” In addition, I refuse to feel guilty just because an honest assessment of the Argentinians here in Playa is so dramatically opposite of what you probably want to read.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Lots of love,


  85. please send me info on wedding packages, for approximately 30 guests attending. all inclusive.

  86. We have just took the leap and are building our new house in the new Arcos Bambu. Cannot wait to be living there full time. Great article and great site. Very helpful information and entertaining as well.

    • Steven,

      Congrats! You’re gonna love it!

      Stop down at some of the expat watering holes and you’ll meet some interesting people.

      I hope to see you at one of them soon…

      Take care,


  87. been here, its a bit of a dive which can be cool occasionally and specifically for expats in my experience, I believe its owned by an older guy from the US who bought it mostly so he could perform there with his band. If you are younger and want a cooler atmosphere that feels cleaner, Id go with KOOL Beach club and Mamitas, or Coralina Beach Club, much better part of the beach and much nicer scenery that would make even Rufus blush lol.

    • Erica,

      I’m not sure about the nuances of gay marriage in Mexico, but I do know that it is legal here.

      Because of the recent legislative changes that have taken place around the world in regard to gay marriage, I feel inadequate answering your question. In addition to the marriage certificate that would be issued here, you must also consider whether that certificate will be honored in the country that you will be returning to upon the completion of your vacation.

      I would strongly recommend contacting Erica by filling out the form in the blue box above. She is very experienced in all things marriage and can likely help you plan your gay marriage here if you are so inclined.

      Take care,


  88. Hello Rufus,

    Great site/ blog post!

    We’re going to travel to Playa with my wife during the last week of September & first week of October (we’re staying in an all-inclusive resort around 10miles from Playa), and I’d have a couple of questions;

    1. What’s the weather like during that time (we’re arriving 23rd of September)
    2. We’re Europeans (coming from Finland) and have EUROS. Are they a good form of currency, or should we change money for there? If we should, what should we get – pesos or dollars? (Pesos are really hard to find here, and the places we did find have a ridiculously bad rate)
    3. We really are not-accustomed to tipping here in Finland – hence why this seems a bit weird. We’re going to pay an amazingly huge amount of money for an all-inclusive resort – but at the same time we also need to tip to make sure we’ll get a good table or drink over the bar?!?! Is this really the case?

    I’m also semi worried that my bank card might not work in Mexico (it’s a standard Master Card – but you never know) – hence should I stack up on cash or?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dinko & Anna

    • Dinko and Anna,

      First of all, thanks for the questions. It’s always nice to hear from people from your area.

      Second, I don’t think you should overthink your vacation too much. Some things (like weather) can change very quickly, so you have to “go with the flow” sometimes. There are many alternative things to do that are lots and lots of fun even if it is rainy here.

      Finally, I am going to answer your questions:

      1. The weather in September is HOT and HUMID. It is the slowest time of the year because it is also warm in the US and Canada, so many travelers choose to simply stay home. In addition, that is when school starts, so usually vacations are planned before school starts or later in the year.

      2. Euros are NOT an acceptable form of currency here. Both MX pesos and US Dollars are accepted everywhere. However, you should always use MX pesos because businesses here will charge exorbitant prices (hidden in horrible exchange rates) if you use US Dollars. Thus, you will need to change your Euros to MX pesos upon arrival. Only change as much money as you will use or you will get hit with fees both ways (buying pesos AND selling pesos).

      In regard to getting pesos, it is very easy to exchange Euros to pesos here. I am not as familiar with the rates as I don’t generally track the Euro exchange rate, but I believe it is reasonable. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT EXCHANGE EUROS FOR PESOS AT THE AIRPORT; YOU WILL GET A RIDICULOUS EXCHANGE RATE!!!! Wait until you get here.

      3. Even though you don’t tip in Finland, that does not mean you don’t have to tip here. You can do whatever you want, but 10% is probably a good balance for both you and the people you will meet at restaurants and bars. ASK A MANAGER AT THE HOTEL WHAT YOUR RESORT’S TIPPING POLICIES ARE AND WHAT THE NORM IS. They will be honest with you whereas a low-level worker will lie to you in hope that s/he can get more tips from you. ASK FOR A MANAGER!!! “What is the tipping policy at this resort?” “What is the average percent that people here tip servers, bartenders, housekeepers, etc?” A few questions like this TO A MANAGER should clear everything up quickly.

      4. Despite the geographical proximity, even Americans usually let their banks know that they are traveling to Mexico–and on what dates. You should do the same. And have a backup plan (i.e. a way to get cash) if you happen to have problems. This might include a second or third credit card, a relative who can send you money via Western Union if necessary, etc….

      It sounds like you’re thinking ahead, which is great, but don’t forget to relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the whole process.

      Take care, and I hope to see you here in paradise soon…..


  89. You cant use statistics to argue safety in a country whose entire government and police force is so corrupt that they refuse to report crimes committed against outside citizens. They have to keep their crime stats low in order to support the $20 billion a year tourism

    • Terry,

      You are absolutely right. The corrupt government in Mexico would rather sweep everything under the rug than face facts. However, there are statistics out there that are reasonably accurate.

      In addition, any violence against foreign people–especially from relatively wealthy countries (e.g. US, Canada, Western Europe, etc…)–is more likely to get reported).

      Finally, the vast majority of the VIOLENCE here is strictly Mexican on Mexican. It has little to do with the tourists. Thus, tourists are a quasi-protected class. BUT, in regard to scams, thievery, taxi drivers overcharging (which is illegal here), etc, tourists are the primary targets.

      Consequently, it is necessary for all visitors here–and especially English-speaking visitors–to pay attention to what the hell is going on around them. You don’t have to worry about getting murdered here, but you will get ripped off if you don’t pay attention to the little things (wrong change you receive at stores, taxi drivers hiking up prices for non-Spanish speakers, ridiculous dollar/peso exchange rates, bike theft, etc…).

      Other than those things, visitors here will be fine.

      Thanks for the comment, Terry, and I hope to see you soon….


    • We have been to Playa twice and are going again soon. We have never seen or experienced any crime at all. Look at Chicago. Maybe there should be a travel alert placed on them. We are both in our 60s and have had friends that just returned from the Cancun area. No problems

      • Julie,

        Thanks for the comment. Hopefully you will be in the area again soon.

        I don’t think they could issue a travel advisory for Chicago. It wouldn’t be “politically correct” because black people would find a way to consider the warning “racism” (despite the indisputable fact that they’re the ones committing most of the violence there).

        In regard to the Riviera Maya, I think you’re right. It is generally safe here. The media likes to sensationalize things, and governments save a lot of time and money because issuing warnings absolves them of responsibility if something happens to one of their citizens on vacation. It’s like, “I told you so” if something happens.

        With that said, there has been some violence recently (August 2017) that is unexcusable. Let’s see if it continues (or abates) and go from there. I haven’t felt in danger around town, and I go out almost every night.

        Common sense (and a little advice from forums and websites like this) goes a long way!!!

        I hope to see you here again soon, Julie!!!!

        Lots of love,


  90. I am fascinated by this. I sometime get a massage in mexico. What %, if any, do Mexicans tip for a massage? I would like to tip the same. Thanks.

    • John,

      There is no need to tip your masseuse. They work for commission and usually receive ~50% of the price of the massage.

      Of course, you can do what you want, but the tip is simply not necessary because the massage therapists are already commission-based workers.

      Hope this helps….


  91. Hello Rufus!

    My husband and I will be celebrating our first anniversary at the Thompson Beach House this weekend.

    Where can we get the most bang for our buck on a great parasailing ride during our stay?


    • Rachel,

      Thanks for the comment. Congratulations on your decision to visit Playa Del Carmen on your anniversary. You really can’t go wrong here because there are so many things to do.

      Moreover, the Thompson Beach House is centrally located, close to everything, and quite luxurious with many included amenities. You’ll enjoy it there.

      In regard to parasailing, I’m going to send you the contact information via email. If you fill out the form above (in the blue box), you will receive the same information, but since you haven’t yet done so, I’ll send you the info directly.

      Have a great trip here and also a happy anniversary!

      Lots of love,


  92. We’ve been traveling to Playa Del Carmen for 18 years. You provided All good information, but you make no mention of the 2 distinct gun shootouts which have occurred near the heart of downtown Playa Del Carmen. What advice do you have for avoiding getting caught in the middle of a shootout ? Duck-n-cover ?? It’s a shame that the criminal element has trespassed on your beautiful location. A very few bad eggs are going to cost many good people a livelihood.

    • Darryl,

      You are correct. I have not updated this page to discuss the recent shootings that have taken place here (August 2017).

      First, I will likely create a page specifically for shootings when I add the info. I think it would be more appropriate to put those on a specific timeline that can be updated on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this may be necessary.

      Second, I (personally) hate the shootings. I hate the incompetence of the police here. I hate that the local cartels are so bold in their assessment of their own safety that they dare attempt a shooting in broad daylight. However, with that said (and not to make light of the situation), there have been no shootings of tourists. The only exception to this was at the BPM Music Festival where several people in a large crowd were caught in the crossfire. But, honestly, that music festival was trash anyways and attracted some of the worst cokeheads and stay-awake-for-8-days-straight people I’ve ever seen. The festival will no longer take place here.

      I’m not complaining.

      Although there have been some shootings in Playa Del Carmen, I regularly go out. I don’t feel in danger. And I’m not some buff dude with balls of steel either. Heck, I’ve never even heard a gunshot here.

      Frankly, the chances of drowning while swimming in the ocean here are much higher than the chances of being shot as a tourist. AGAIN, I AM NOT TRYING TO MAKE LIGHT OF THE SHOOTINGS OR PRETEND LIKE THEY DIDN’T HAPPEN. It’s just that the shootings are not a daily epidemic at this point. I will keep an eye on things and report here if things get out of control.

      A heightened use of common sense is useful while visiting a foreign country. I think that same idea is applicable here. I wouldn’t worry much about dodging bullets as it’s just not going to happen to you during your vacation here–at least the chances of it happening to you are near zero.

      Use common sense and you’ll be 99.99% fine.

      Take care,


  93. Hey Rufus – love the site, very helpful. What’s your take on these recent headlines of tainted alcohol in the area? We’re travelling there in a few weeks and are wondering how concerned we ought to be.

    • Mikus,

      First off, thanks so much for the comment. Heck, if I was traveling to this area and had heard about bad alcohol being served, it is probably one of the first things that would keep me from coming!!!

      Yes, there has been some cases of “tainted” alcohol being served to guests at some of the resorts in Mexico. I’m not sure exactly what defines “tainted,” but it’s essentially fake alcohol (to save the resort money), or alcoholic drinks that have been drugged in order to make a guest(s) blackout.

      In fact, there was a young woman who died after she passed out in a pool and drowned. There have also been a number of other reports and complaints about this sort of thing happening.

      In my opinion, these incidences are quite isolated. Before I would cancel my travel plans to this area, I would not get too worked up about it. This is for several reasons:

      1. I have known and received emails, comments, and phone calls from hundreds and hundreds of people who have stayed at resorts here. Not one of them has ever complained about bad alcohol. That DOES NOT mean that it doesn’t exist here, but I don’t think that it’s the status quo or even remotely common here.

      2. After the news broke about the young lady who died, the Mexican tourist authorities swept through some of the largest resorts looking for alcohol violations. Lo and behold, they found some bootlegged liquor – likely being used in place of more expensive, bottled alcohol. Even though I don’t trust Mexican authorities, I do believe in their desire to stamp out major problems that could cause tourism numbers to decrease. This was one of those incidents. Consequently, I do believe the problem has been taken care of. You can see an article here that explains what happened:


      Because the incidents are isolated, and because the Mexican tourist authorities raided several hotels/resorts in the area, I think your chances of being served “tainted” alcohol are probably less now than they have been for a long time. This does not mean that “tainted” alcohol will never be served again in Mexico, just that something is being done about it, and I think it is a one-in-a-million chance that it would happen to you in the first place.

      Despite this, I was appalled to hear about it and very angry. What made me most upset is the way that the Mexican hospitals treat foreigners in their most desperate times of need. If you’ve read other pages of this website, you know that I come down pretty damn hard on Mexico and Mexican people. (Believe me, they deserve it.) But I think the hospitals here are some of the most deserving of this hate because of the exorbitant prices they make tourists pay and their adamant refusal to treat patients without payment FIRST. Stunningly bizarre. Mexican people go on about “Mexican hospitality,” but they really show their true colors when it comes to emergencies. This is an area that Mexico needs to make major improvements in. But I’m not Mexican, so I can’t change this country; it’s hard for me to do much. Mexico’s policies toward tourists are nauseating. It’s like, “I love you. Get away from me.”

      With the amount of taxes that tourists pay to the Mexican government each year, tourist hospital visits should be COMPLETELY FREE. The hospitals here wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for those taxes–neither would tens of thousands of jobs (where even more money is collected via taxation). Moreover, the resorts should have some sort of “Guaranteed Hospital Coverage” included with their all-inclusive packages. I think it could be used as a marketing gimmick to increase sales AND make visitors safer at the same time.

      But if I was in charge, there would probably be drinking contests every night at my resort, and that would probably kill more people per year than “tainted” alcohol!!! Oh sh*t! Come to think of it, I would probably be trying to make homemade beer in the kitchen!!!

      The bottom line is this:

      1. Don’t worry too much about tainted alcohol while visiting the Riviera Maya.
      2. The authorities are taking care of it.
      3. It would be very unlikely to have an encounter with “tainted” alcohol BEFORE these incidents made headlines.
      4. It is even more unlikely that you will have an encounter with “tainted” alcohol AFTER these incidents because all the resorts/hotels are feeling the pressure from the recently published reports that have highlighted the problem that was minuscule in the first place.

      After all, if you’re really concerned, just stick to beer, wine, or other bottles that you can DEMAND be opened in front of you!!!

      Hope this helps, Mikus!!!

      See you here soon….


  94. Hello… Would it be safe to travel from playa del carmen to tolum or xcacel in a scooter… With my wife riding in the back??? Are there any small roads that connect these places or is it just the main highway to drive around???

    • Mario,

      Thanks for the question. It’s a little difficult to answer, because I’m not sure what your definition of safe is. Personally, I would be very reluctant to do it for several distinct reasons:

      1. Scooters are not going to be able to keep up with traffic on those freeways. Cars, vans, trucks, etc., will be flying by you. That would make me feel unsafe.

      2. The police might really have fun pulling you over and giving you the business if they see you riding on a scooter on the freeway.

      Despite those reasons mentioned above, I did have a scooter rental customer who refused the above advice and rode on the freeways anyways. He didn’t have any problems, but I truly consider him the exception to the rule.

      In regard to your question about alternative routes and backroads, there really aren’t any viable means of getting around on back roads unless you go far, far out of your way. Moreover, the jungle here is quite thick, so you can’t find too many roads that might suffice for a scooter. Most of them are private roads connected to resorts or activity providers. They usually have dead ends and security guards everywhere.

      With that said, there are a great many places to see on a scooter that you would never see if you took taxis everywhere or stuck to public transportation. A scooter is a great way to explore that many beaches, restaurants, stores, and different parts of town that most tourists don’t venture to visit.

      In conclusion, although I would not recommend riding a scooter as far as Tulum or Xcacel, there are hundreds of interesting places to see here in town, and you’re more than able to take private or public transport to the other far-off destinations you want to visit in Quintana Roo.

      See you cruising around town soon!!!


    • Bob,

      I’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta, but I would guarantee it is the same – touristy, various high seasons/low seasons, and a corrupt/free-wheeling government that does not care about tourists except for the money they bring.

      Although Playa Del Carmen is an absolutely amazing place, I can only imagine how much better it would be if there were showers on the beach, the taxi drivers were audited by “secret shoppers” who made sure they were not trying to overcharge tourists, and businesses were required to give a fair/updated exchange rate.

      This country has A LOT of improvements to make. Things are coming along, but just not fast enough.

      Thanks for the comment, and enjoy your trip whether it’s to Playa Del Carmen or PV.

      Talk to you soon….

      Rambling Rufus

  95. Hi Rufus,
    Great website , thank you. My husband and I are interested in renting bikes to explore Playa del Carmen. Paul rides a trike , I’m good on a regular bike. Are there bike shops which rent trikes? We plan to be there from Dec. 15th – 20th. Lastly, are any of the hotels above close to a bike path?

    Thank you!

    • Peggy,

      I’ve never seen trikes for rent here. The best bike path in town is on 10th Avenue that runs parallel to Fifth Avenue. Take a look on a map and you’ll find it.

      Also, you can ride around Playacar, the north part of Fifth Avenue, and parts of Benito Juarez (west side of the federal highway).

      Check these locations out on a map and you can find a hotel close to them. 10th Avenue is probably your best bet for a good hotel near a bike path; look between Constituyentes and Benito Juarez. There are MANY hotels in that area!!!

      Hope this helps, Peggy!!!

      Lots of love,


  96. Hey Rufus are you still out there ?? The comment I saw was from last year so not sure but I will go ahead and ask you a few questions. I and a friend of mine are trying to figure out where in Mexico to move to. Right now it’s between Playa del Carmen& Mazatlan. Have you been to Mazatlan& if you have can you give me your opinion on or which would be better for two 60 year old women ?! Now we are not your average 60 yr old women you should know. We both lived in HI for many years but came back to mainland b/c it’s just too expensive to live there. We both love the beach and looking for shells and beach glass. Are there many kine shells there ? My friend makes jewelry with them so has to be shells wherever we move to. I love to dance& we are moderate drinkers,but we both love a great party and socializing. So is there a place for the older crowd to go dancing ? And how much is a pack of cigarettes there ? And do they sell any of the electronic kind ?? I am pretty sure we can afford either place as we will rent a place together and split most of the monthly bills.
    Aloha & Mahalo for your time

    • Cindi,

      I am still here. Thanks for the comment.

      I have never been to Mazatlan but I know there is a big difference between the water color and sand color between the two locations. Mazatlan is generally considered a place for Spring Break. I have not heard of it being popular for retirement. Moreover, I’m not sure there is much of an expat community in Mazatlan. There is quite a community here. There are NOT many shells here. And I’ve never seen beach glass. This could be because of the beaches being busy or because it is not common here. Honestly, I’m not sure.

      However, there are a lot of OTHER beaches around. For example, Cozumel is right across the bay. There are many “virgin” beaches around with very little visitors. Also, there is Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Contoy, etc. in the area. So, it is likely that you can find what you’re looking for nearby. But I would investigate with a shell expert.

      There is lots of dancing here. Not a problem with that. Same with drinking and being social. In regard to 50-60 year-old adults dancing, I have not seen it here.

      Cigarettes (Marlboro, Camel, etc.) are about $3.00 USD/pack. But smoking is bad for you!!! Bring the e-cigs/vaping equipment from the US; it’s usually easier because it’s not very popular among locals.

      There are plenty of electronics here. There are two Walmarts in town. An Office Depot, OfficeMax, and a Home Depot as well. However, electronics are around 150% of the cost of what they are in the US. But everything else is still so affordable that it’s usually not a big deal.

      I hope this helps!

      Lots of love,


  97. Hi. This has been very helpful. So to be clear, there really isn’t a need to bring dollars to Playa del Carmen. Just some pesos and then I can get more from the hotel atm? I mean aside from a few dollars for the airport maybe. Thanks!

    • Megan,

      That’s correct. However, where are you going to get pesos that you come here with (as mentioned in your comment)? DO NOT get them at the airport; they offer ridiculous exchange rates.

      Usually the best way to exchange money is at a BANK ATM. There are banks all around town (HSBC, ScotiaBank, Santander, Bancomer, Banorte, and Bananex). DO NOT use the generic ATMs around town, in your hotel/resort, on 5th Ave., etc!!! They are there to serve as automated “tourist ripoff machines.”

      There is a good ATM machine that I often use on the north-east corner of the Municipal Palace. It is an HSBC machine and has 24/7 security nearby. Here is a link to the EXACT location:


      BONUS: While you’re at the Municipal Palace, be sure to go INSIDE because there is a beautiful painted atrium that is worth seeing. The atrium is open 24/7.

      Also make sure you notify your bank that you’re traveling here. Verify that your card won’t get blocked.

      It won’t hurt to bring some dollars as well, just in case there is a problem with your card. If you need to exchange the dollars, do it at one of the many exchanges around town. Although their rates are not as good as at ATMs, it will still be better than at businesses.

      Hope this helps!!

      Lots of love,


  98. Love your website! We are leaving Jan 2 for our beautiful trip to Playa del Carmen! I’m so excited. Have you been to the Coba Ruins? We are trying to decide on going there or not. Thank you!

    • Amber,

      Thank you for the comment (and compliment). You’re going to have a great time here. With so many excursions to participate in, you definitely won’t have any problem staying busy.

      To answer your question about Coba–no, I have not been there. Chichen Itza is a little more popular. I’ve heard it’s less commercialized than Chichen Itza. For historical ruins, that’s a good thing.

      If you’re interested in Mayan archeology, visit both. Either way, I’ve only heard good things about Coba, so I think you won’t go wrong.

      If you need someone to help you plan which excursions/activities you’ll participate in during your trip, I know the perfect person. She’s one of the nicest people in the city. If you give me your contact information, I will forward the information to her.

      Take care, Amber, and enjoy your trip.

      Lots of love,


  99. Hey Rufus!
    Can you recommend a safe hotel that’s near the beach in Playa? We fly into Cancun then taking a car straight to Tulum got four nights and the last two nights we have booked at the Palmares Condos in Playa. Any recommendations other than the Palmares?


    • Rachel,

      The bad news is that there are a pretty damn LARGE number of hotels near the beach.
      Unfortunately, I have not stayed (or even visited) most of them. The good news is that almost all of the beachside hotels are safe.

      Although I cannot give you the inside scoop on every hotel, I can recommend areas that are particularly perfect. Moreover, if you want to be in center of everything (like most everybody else), the number of options dwindles considerably. Here’s a picture perfect area that I strongly recommend:

      One of the best, most centric, safest, and coolest spots in Playa Del Carmen is 1st Avenue. It runs parallel to the famous Fifth Avenue, but due to the geography here, 1st Ave cannot stretch the entire distance of Fifth Ave.

      In any case, there are a few really cool hotels that are smack dab in the best location on 1st Ave. Moreover, they all have beach bars within 50 yards/meters from their doorsteps. You can get dirt-cheap drink specials during the day with a fantastic view of both the beach/water here and also see Cozumel and it’s majestic cruise ships from across the channel. In addition, the hotels in this area are all very close to three landmark beachclubs/bars here: Zenzi, Lido’s, and the Dirty Martini. They are all favorite expat hangouts. This area is also conveniently located close to Fifth Ave, several shopping centers, and midway between Mamitas beach and the Cozumel ferry dock.

      Here is a link to a map that shows the EXACT area where they are located:


      Here are a few of the hotels:

      Hotel Corto Maltes

      Hotel Colibri Beach

      Hotel Costa Del Mar

      DISCLAIMER: I have never stayed at any of these hotels. Consequently, I cannot give you a first-hand account of their quality level. However, I did know someone who stayed at one of them and had nothing but good things to say about it.

      I hope this helps, Rachel, and I hope you enjoy your trip here!!!

      Lots of love,


  100. Hi Rufus~ We are traveling to the Riviera Maya in January 2018 and staying on Isla Mujeres for 5 nights, and will be in Playa del Carmen for 4 nights, before we head back home to Oregon.

    With only three whole days in Playa, we are trying to fit in as much as we can without killing ourselves! We are 64 and 67 years young, and my husband has a bad ankle from a major break five years ago (he can’t spend too many hours a day on his feet, walking). We love to snorkel when in Maui, and snorkeling doesn’t bother his foot much at all. Walking on the sand is the worst for him, though.

    On one of our 3 days in Playa, are hoping to visit Tulum and either Xel-Ha, Xplor, Akumal or Aktun Chen. Do you have any advice on which option you would choose, or which you think we should choose or not choose?

    Any advice would be helpful, thanks. We plan to visit Cozumel too!


    • Bonnie,

      Thank you for the comment. It sounds like you have your vacation mostly planned out. I’m sure you’re going to have a good time because there are so many excursions and things to do here.

      Considering the options that you gave me, and also the fact that your husband has problems with his ankle, I did some careful consideration–

      I think the best option for you is Xel-Ha because he would be spending most of his time in the water and not doing so much walking.

      If you go to Tulum, you are going to be walking along trails in order to see the archaeological ruins.

      Akumal is going to necessitate the both of you walking along the beach in the sand. You could go snorkeling there, but you are going to need to move around in the sand in order to get to the various snorkeling spots where you are most likely to see the sea turtles. I really love Akumal, as I think it’s one of the best beaches in the area, but regarding your situation, I think there are limitations on this particular spot.

      Xplor is also going to include a lot of walking because there are a number of different zip lines that you will be taking along the tour around the park. The zip lines will require both you and your husband to climb a number of stairs and walk around in a jungle environment. Consequently, I don’t think this would work well for you.

      I don’t know anything about Aktun Chen, so I cannot comment on this.

      Again, I think that due to your husband’s limitations, the best excursion for you is Xel-Ha.

      I hope this helps, Bonnie, and I hope to see you in town while you’re here!

      Lots of love,


      • Rufus~

        Thank you so much for your consideration and recommendation. Xel-Ha, it is!! I trust your opinion and I’m glad that I contacted you about this.

        You are a gem, and my husband, Jim and I would love to meet up with you while we are in Playa ((Jan. 22nd check-in through 26th check-out)), if you’re available…and buy you a cold beer or two!! (Let me know how we make contact.)

        Mucho Gracias,


        • Bonnie,

          I’m glad I can be of help. Also, I’ll be curious to hear about your experiences on Isla Mujeres. I still haven’t made it there, but I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

          In regard to beers, that would be great. Just send me an email via the Contact Me page. You can find a link to it in the footer of every page on this site.

          Take care, Bonnie, and see you soon….

          Lots of love,


  101. Hello Rufus, Its January of 2018 and am wondering if ur still around.. I am planning to move to Playa in October of 2018 with my wife and four year old son. I have several questions about areas to live and schools to place my son into. Ive been looking at rentals in Playacar and Playa Magna, don’t know what you would recommend, and also buying a car, should I wait til I get there or buy it here and have it shipped. Pls contact me via email… thank you.

    • Julio,

      I’m still here – and will likely be so for a while still.

      In regard to your questions, I am going to try and answer them, but my knowledge is fairly limited for several of the questions.

      I don’t have any children here, so I have never looked into schools here. Thus, I don’t know much about the particular school that would work for your son. The education (especially the public education system) is not very good here. I would not entrust the school system here with my relatives. However, I know there are a lot of expats here, so I’m sure they are sending their children to reasonable schools. I believe there is a Montessori somewhere in town. That might be your best option. I don’t have more information about schools, unfortunately.

      In regard to your car, I have never encountered that either. Nonetheless, I am guessing that it would likely be much more affordable to buy one here than have your car shipped all the way here. Unless you have some sort of affinity to it. You can check prices for shipping, but don’t forget to check with customs/an import specialist to find out the TOTAL costs–not just shipping. I’ve never experienced this situation, and in the several years I’ve lived here, I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this either. If you need a good vehicle, contact me when you arrive. I know a very honest man who buys and sells cars here.

      In regard to rental location, I am familiar with location of both places you are considering. Despite that, I have never been in Playa Magna. It’s farther from downtown than I would want to live, but that’s just me.

      Playacar is very nice, reasonably close to downtown, and there are a lot of expats/vacationers in the area. I would choose Playacar over Playa Magna any day–based on proximity alone. Again, that’s just me.

      That’s all I can tell you. Hope it helps….


    • We just moved here from the US with our 6 and 7 year old kids which we enrolled in a international school. Several schools are available average price is $5000 usd per year. As for bringing a car No ! It can only be in country for 6 months. We are living in Playacar and it’s the place to be with small kids. Hope this helps a bit!

      • Matt,

        Thank you for the information. I don’t have children here so it helps to hear about things from that perspective. Thank you for providing the education costs, too. Very helpful to many readers I’m sure.

        Interesting info about the car. I wonder why the strange rules?

        Thanks again for the comment, and I’m sure we’ll cross paths again in the future!

        Take care,


    • Lauren,

      Thank you so much! I made it for people just like you!

      Happy wedding planning and I hope your actual ceremony goes great.

      Lots of love,


  102. wondering if there are any catamaran tours? couldn’t see any on this site.. any tips would be great. staying at Iberostar Quetzal

    • Kevin,

      I forwarded your request to the friendliest and most helpful person in town.

      Enjoy your trip, and I hope to hear from you soon.


  103. Hey Rufus,
    Excellent input and advice. Thanks for the bottom line, minus the sugar coating. I am all about no-nonsense and keeping it simple.
    I am flying into CUN and want to take the ADO bus to the PDC terminal on Juarez. When I land (Southwest Air, likely Terminal 4), how should I handle arranging and payment of the ADO bus ride? Seems to me that paying for a bus ticket in USD is dopey, at best. But, if I arrive with nothing but USD, should I suck it up and use the airport ATM?

    • Brett,

      I’m really happy to hear that you appreciate the article. I made it for people like you who want to hear the truth without anything else on top of it.

      I wouldn’t recommend using the airport ATM. Anything in regard to the airport is expensive because of the high rents that companies pay there.

      I would just suck it up, like you say, and pay in USD. It’s only about $10 USD per person one way. Once you get here, use your debit card at one of the BANK ATM machines, and you’ll be fine (don’t use the ATMs that are not bank-associated). Just make sure that you’ve let your bank know that you’re traveling so that they do not try to block the card.

      Enjoy your trip.


  104. Hi Rufus, I was looking on the apt website you recommended, and I see a ton of listings offering apartments for 45,000 usd in a place called Marecko near Tulum and Coba. Do you know anything about it? It looks very interesting.


    • Rob,

      Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about those areas.

      If you find out anything interesting, let me know!!!!!


    • JOHN Carlos,

      This city is chock full of local guides and has a lot of expats as well. What kind of guide do you need?

      If you’re like most people, you learn as you go. Really, the only way you’re going to get to know the city is by exploring.


  105. Hello,
    I want to take my kuds to Rivera Maya Xcaret Resort but i get ppl telling me all sorts .. Could you reccomend this place and will i be safe ” there
    Its beautiful and really want to visit it.. Thank you

    • Zara,

      Xcaret/any of the all-inclusive resorts are safe due to the heavy security they employ – especially for “kuds.”

      The rest of Playa Del Carmen is safe as well if you stay in the tourist areas.

      Let common sense prevail and you’ll be fine.

      Take care,


    • Khoi,

      Thanks for the comment. No, you CANNOT usually bring a guest back to your room without paying extra. This rule will apply for both hotels, resorts, and all-inclusive resorts.

      The difference between having extra guests at a simple hotel versus having extra guests at an all-inclusive is this: the all inclusive assumes that the guest is going to take advantage of the “all inclusive” part of their visit. In other words, the guest will likely eat, drink, use the pool, hot tubs, towels, etc. However, because a hotel does not include these “extras,” having extra guests is not as expensive from the hotel’s perspective.

      Nonetheless, hotels WILL charge extra for extra visitors and security is always on the lookout for this!!!! How much extra will they charge? Do the following:

      1. Go to your hotel’s website
      2. Go through the booking process for ONE guest. Do the same for TWO guest, THREE GUESTS, whatever you expect to bring.
      3. Write down the various prices. The difference in prices will be how much you will pay for the extra guests.

      Despite the fact that there are rules, this is Mexico. In a small hotel you may be able to tip off the security/receptionist in order to get a guest or two in.

      Good luck and happy vacationing…

      Take care,


  106. Hola! Estaré viajando a playa del carmen en febrero, quería saber si existe la posibilidad de pescar con mosca medio dia solamente? Hay lugares cerca? Otra pregunta es que equipo recomiendan. Gracias

    • Miguel,

      If you would like information about fly fishing in Playa Del Carmen, it is best to fill out the form in the middle of this page. All information goes to Carlos, who is an expert in this area.

      Moreover, my Spanish is very poor, so I don’t completely understand your question.

      Again, it is best to fill out the form in the middle of this page to get your questions about fly fishing answered.

      Take care,


    • John,

      I sent your information request to the appropriate person and also CC’d you.

      Best wishes with your Riviera Maya wedding!!!


  107. Hi Rufus

    Great site! I was just wondering if most hotels are guest friendly? If one were to, say, hook-up with someone from one of the clubs?

    Or would you recommend some over others?


    • Dave,

      Unfortunately, hotels and resorts here are NOT guest friendly. They want to squeeze every penny that they can out of visitors, so they will not let you have guests unless you PAY for additional guests.

      Of course, this is Mexico, so sometimes anything goes. You may be able to pay off or tip off either the receptionist or a late night security guard, but if there are multiple people there, they are all going to want to be tipped off. This could get quite expensive. Know that getting away with tipping off security to let guests in is the exception, and not the rule (i.e. it doesn’t happen often).

      The other alternative is to stay in some sort of Airbnb apartment that is rented for vacational purposes. In most of these types of properties, the security is not responsible for who comes and goes. Essentially, you can have as many people as you want in the room so long as you pay the flat rental fee.

      If you are looking to hook up with lots of women while you are here, this is likely your best option.

      Hope this helps…


  108. Great info Rufus! My wife and I have been traveling to different parts of Mexico for the last 15 years. We have spent many winters in Sayulita. Now we have 2 little girls who are also part of the adventures :) We are planning another family trip to Playa and Tulum this summer and can’t wait! Mexico never scared me, Chicago, Detroit or Baltimore on the other hand… talk about sketchy. Thanks for the tips and stories!

    • Juan,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I made this site for people exactly like you.

      Unfortunately, you are right – every city has some dumpy neighborhoods. I hate Chicago!! Detroit is even worse. Don’t know anything about Baltimore, but I’m sure it’s crap as well.

      Take care, Juan, and I hope to see you here soon…


  109. Rufus,
    Again, excellent brass tacks info here!
    I am here right now and loving it. I am doing my best to follow your sage advice. Tell me please….where can I get camarones cocos (coconut shrimp) at the best price? I don’t need to be near 5th ave.

    • Brett,

      Thanks so much for the comment. I’m glad you’re finding the information useful. I made this site for people like yourself.

      In regard to the question about where to get coconut shrimp, I’m not sure. The reason I don’t know is because the last 2 times that I ate shrimp, I broke out in hives!!!

      I have always been a shrimp lover – all my life. I’ve eaten it maybe 100 previous times and never had any problems. In fact, there was a restaurant near my hometown that had All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp nights. I used to fill my belly full of them. Never had a problem. NOTE: The hive incident mentioned above was from shrimp that I ate in another city in Mexico (Zacatecase, MX). Ever since I had these two episodes, I have refused to eat any shrimp.

      Consequently, I can’t help you with this precise question.

      Nevertheless, there are a whole bunch of seafood restaurants here that likely serve it. Try the following first:
      Blue Lobster
      Los Aguachiles (TWO LOCATIONS IN PLAYA)
      La Fisheria

      I hope this helps, Brett, and I hope you find the coconut shrimp that you’re looking for.


  110. Rufus, I thoroughly enjoyed your writing! Made me laugh out loud a few times. I’m heading to Playa and Cancun in a month. I’m 50, going on 25 and spending the first 4 days without the family in Playa, then moving up to Cancun. Would love to visit some Liberal clubs in Playa and strip clubs in both locations…….got to take my 19 yr old son to a Mexican strip club. That being said, where do you recommend I go by myself in Playa and then where do you recommend I go with my son in Cancun?
    Thank you for what you do!!

    • Derek,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying my website. Wow! It sounds like you have a lot of things planned for your trip!

      First of all, I really know nothing about Cancun, so I cannot help you there.

      Second, in regards to the Playa Del Carmen strip clubs, it is more about attitude and expectations than anything else. Most importantly, know that you are not only a target, you are THE target. Strippers here know that Americans/Canadians/Europeans are awash in money compared to the locals, so they will quickly latch on to you.

      Great, right? Well, not always. Again, it depends on your expectations.

      If you’re a high roller (my definition – dropping more than $300 USD at the strip clue), you’re going to get treated well and have the time of your life. If you spend less than that, you’re going to be in a constant silent battle with the strippers about who gets what. It’s not comfortable.

      In essence, don’t go unless you’re ready to spend and have fun. Be the center of attention; spend the money.

      In regard to yourself vs. you and your son, the options are the same.

      If you watch yourself in Chilly Willy’s, it is your best bet.

      Hope this helps!!

      Take care,


  111. Hi Rufus,
    I’m planing to go this may to Playa del Carmen. Where are these ”private places” where you can have sex in public? I’m going with my wife that’s why the question.


    • Felipe,

      I don’t believe I mentioned anything about “these ‘private places’ where you can have sex in public” on this page. I reread the page and did not find any mention of such a thing.

      I could be missing something though.

      Sex in public is not something I would recommend here generally. However, there are miles and miles of virgin beaches with nobody in sight in the area. The logistics of getting to the actual location would be the problem, as they would likely not have access roads. Nonetheless, if you were hellbent on doing it, renting a four-wheeler and driving from a public access road to an ultra-quiet, abandoned beach would not be too difficult.

      The other alternative is under the cover of darkness. However, if this is your option, choose wisely and be ready for anything. The beaches are not too safe at night. That’s exactly when the aggressive, excessively drunk, and often-armed (with knives) Mayan homeless weirdos come out stalking the beaches and harassing people for alcohol money.

      They are dangerous–specifically because they have nothing to lose. They’re already at the very bottom of the food chain.

      SIDENOTE: Mexico, Mexicans, and the tourism industry in general rave on and on about the “Mayan history” of their people and institutions. It’s nothing more than a marketing facade. Local Mayans are the furthest thing from role models you can imagine. Mayans are the poorest, most desperate, and generally disliked people in the area (other than Argentinians).

      Another alternative might be a balcony. But make sure it’s a private Airbnb-type rental because a large resort will likely throw you out.

      I wish I could offer more advice, but if you’re creative, you can find a way to do anything.

      Good luck…


      • Rufus im Australian, i agree on what you are saying about Argentinians, they are a useless people much more so than say English irish and even australians, they are also descendants of the two most corrupt countries in Western europe today: Italy and Spain. The Argentinians I’ve met in Australia are just how you describe….insecure and wannabes. Thanks for the confirmation. I always wonder if they are the same everywhere.

    • Patricia,

      I wish I could sell them to you. Unfortunately, they don’t exist outside of the digital world. I made them myself!

      Thanks for asking, though!


  112. hola y felicitaciones por la pagina web, yo y mi novio(vivimos en espana) compramos una casa en residencial selvanova y estaremos en playa solo algunas semanas al ano( la daremos a una agencia para renta vacacional o largo plazo) piensas que sea una zona tranquila y segura?? es una zona que se desarrollerà en futuro?? es una buena inversion??
    muchisimas gracias por tu respuesta!!

  113. Claudia,

    My Spanish is really bad, so I understand part of what you say, but not all of it. However, I think I get the main message. You’re wondering if Selvanova is safe?

    I believe that Selvanova is safe. I have never been there, but the map that you see on this page is based on the criteria I used when determining where I (personally) would live. I had two requirements:

    1. Safety
    2. Convenience

    Although I believe that Selvanova is safe, for me it fails miserably when it comes to convenience.

    Just to be perfectly clear here, I am building a website about Playa Del Carmen FOR TOURISTS. That means I need to come to the touristy areas of Playa Del Carmen on a daily basis for meetings, appointments, photographs, research, etc. But that’s just me and has more to do with what I’m working on than anything else.

    For me, it’s too far from the main tourist area. For many people, Selvanova’s location is fine.

    I think you’ll be safe in Selvanova, and I think Playa Del Carmen is a good investment (currently). The investment part could change at any time as Mexico is a little unstable right now. Acapulco used to be a hot spot for tourism and real estate investment, but it is complete garbage now. It will depend 100% on whether the Mexican government can get their sh*t together and stop the bad guys from ruining this country. Until Mexico’s government successfully defeats local, state, and federal corruption, the future of this country is unpredictable.

    At the time of this writing, much will depend on who the Mexican people will elect in the upcoming 2018 election. Mark my words (and I hope they don’t do it): If Mexico elects that idiot, clown, fool, wannabe socialist AMLO (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador), I’m going to be LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off). IMPORTANT: I am not saying that the other guy will do good for Mexico, but I AM ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that this AMLO clown will do his best to turn Mexico into a Chavez-style, Venezuela look-a-like.

    Let’s hope that whoever gets elected in 2018 IS NOT AMLO/LMAO!!!

    That’s all I can tell you about both Selvanova’s safety and as an investment opportunity.

    Lots of love,


    P.S. Please respond in English if you need more advice. I normally DO NOT reply to Spanish inquiries because translating is oftentimes difficult and inaccurate.

  114. Rufus,

    I was wondering which clubs tend to be more the younger crowd? I will be with a group for 21-25 year olds. We are looking for a club with girls our age (18-25) with opportunities to buy bottle service. Which of the clubs would you recommend? Or would you recommend just meeting girls at the hotel?

    • Joe,

      Thanks for the question. I’m sure that you and your buddies are going to have a great time here.

      Your resort is probably not the best place to meet girls. Primarily because most people here will be traveling as couples. While it is always possible to meet people wherever you go, the real beauty of this city is NOT found in resorts, but out on the streets where everyone wants to be seen. Your best bet is getting away from your resort to meet the opposite sex.

      However, the beaches in Playacar are really amazing. It is not uncommon to see some gorgeous women running around topless in that area.

      WARNING: At this time (March 2018), Playa Del Carmen and the entire Riviera Maya are dealing with a sargasso seaweed problem, so the beaches have been a little ugly. Also, the water is a little brown right now. There is no telling exactly when this will clear up, but hopefully before you arrive. In any case, there are so many other things to do that it shouldn’t worry you much.

      In regard to the recommended club(s), there is not a single/individual club that I can wholeheartedly endorse. This is why:

      1. Playa Del Carmen is a relatively small city. Consequently, nothing is very far apart.
      2. All the major clubs are located on 12th Street (a.k.a. “Calle 12”).

      Due to these two reasons, you are far better off checking them out for yourself and deciding which ones look appealing from the outside before making a decision whether or not to enter them.

      As a side note, there are several beach clubs worth visiting, but that is more of a daytime experience. Definitely stop by Mamita’s Beach/Mamita’s Beach Club (the most popular beach in town). You may also want to try Martina Beach Club. However, much will depend on what is going on there. Martina is usually filled with Argentinians who are somewhat snobbish, insecure, and clingy (i.e. they ONLY hang out with other Argentinians).

      Finally, there are cool bars scattered all around town as well. Too many to list here, but all have a different personality. Take a walk along 10th Street (Calle 10) at night to see some of the local bars. 10th Avenue is fast-paced as well from Constituyentes to 4th Street (Calle 4).

      You guys will have a good time figuring out all the cool places to hang out at. There are always LOTS of hot girls here–I mean, jaw-dropping hot–if that’s what you’re looking for.

      Take care, and I hope to see you guys here soon….


    • Matt,

      Thanks for the question. The warnings are crap. Complete nonsense. I was out last night, the night before, and two days before that.

      There are people everywhere. It’s high season here. There is a high security presence. Your biggest concern should be making sure you know the taxi rates so that the taxi drivers don’t try to overcharge you. Really. No joke.

      The warnings that you’re hearing are about an explosion in a ferry that takes passengers from here to Cozumel. However, if you read between the lines, you’ll see that the ferry company is owned by the father of the former governor who embezzled a whole bunch of money before being caught in Panama. He is now in jail here.

      The explosion took place on the boat as it was parked on the ferry dock. Although ~25 people were injured, nobody was killed. (I’m not saying this is a good thing, but just that it is an extremely isolated incident that was clearly politically motivated.)

      Take a look at this article. Be sure to read it in entirety to see what I mean.

      You’ll be fine here. I live here. Thousands of other expats live here. Try telling them about your concerns and they will laugh out loud.

      Don’t believe the propoganda. People from countries around the world are cancelling their children’s foreign exchange opportunities because they are afraid their kids are going to get shot in American schools. Can you believe that? Their kids are more likely to die on a plane crash getting to the US than being shot in the classroom!!! But the media preaches this hyper-dramatic crap for one reason: to keep you sitting on your ass glued to the television watching their garbage programs.

      Don’t buy the propoganda. You’ll be fine here and will even enjoy your trip. Just turn off/block out the “news” that you see and you’ll be better off.

      Take care,


  115. Hi Rufus;

    We talked via email last year about my concerns about crime and you reassured me it was safe so my family came down and had the time of our lives!! There are new warnings out right now and I am not paying attention to them will be down soon for 2 weeks with my family again and have zero concerns!!

    THANK YOU !!

    • Greg,

      I am glad to hear that you and your family had a great time. As importantly, I’m very happy to hear that you didn’t listen to the media about how “dangerous” it is here. Complete nonsense.

      As I mentioned to another commenter just yesterday, I went out three nights this week. I meet other expats here every day. There are people who come here year after year after year. Try convincing them that it’s dangerous and they’ll laugh in your face!

      Now I would never argue tht Mexico is perfect. It’s not. This country has a lot of work and introspection to do both now and in the future. Most of these problems are deeply ingrained in the culture here and completely out of our control. Moreover, they are mere inconveniences to tourists and not burdensome enough to justify skipping your vacation here. There’s just too much cool stuff in the area to see and do (as you now know).

      The recent “warnings” you’re hearing about were because of an explosion on one of the ferries. If you do some research about what actually happened, you’ll find that a governor here had embezzled a bunch of money. He was evading the police until they found him in Panama. What’s interesting is that his father was the owner of the ferry boat that had the explosion. Nobody was killed. Clearly it was politically motivated and not targeting tourists. However, give this story to the media and they have a whale of a good time with it! It makes for good ratings.

      Buy me a damn ferry ticket/beer and I’ll cross over to Cozumel with you any time (if it makes you feel any better)!

      Honestly, the primary goal of these media outlets is to keep you sitting on your butt, changing channels, and living in fear while the rest of us are having the times of our lives. You can either participate in the media circus or explore the world. It’s your choice.

      Thanks to the media, many people are now deathly afraid of visiting the US as well–

      – “Shootings in schools!!!”

      – “Mass killings in Las Vegas!!!”

      – “Terrorist attacks!!!”

      – “Grand scale racism everywhere!!!!”

      – “What a dangerous country the United States has become!!!!”

      As you know, this is total BS, but it’s the garbage the media feeds the world daily.

      As you’ve found out first-hand, there is little to fear here. My best advice to travelers is to worry about getting a good exchange rate on your US dollars here LONG before worrying about explosions, drug cartels, and violence. Pouring over the “news” and “government warnings” is just a complete waste of time.

      What else can I say?

      Thanks for the comments, and I hope you and your family have a great (second) vacation here.

      Take care,


  116. Hi Rufus,
    Thanks for the informational post! I appreciate it! We’re planning a trip to an all-inclusive in Riviera Maya, leaving next Friday. Our travel agent is encouraging us to cancel/switch our trip to Jamaica due to the Dept of State warnings. Do you see any concerns with us heading there next week? We will likely spend most, if not all of our time at the resort.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Kathleen,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m 100% sure you will be fine here.

      As I’ve said before, DON’T BELIEVE THE PROPOGANDA. Find a new travel agent. He’s an idiot.

      Also, you’re a fool if you just stay in your resort. There’s a lot of fun things to see on both 5th Ave and 10th Ave. Come to downtown early in your trip. That way you’ll see how busy it is and how safe it is here.

      The media is exaggerating the problem. Believe me. I’m an American. The last thing I want to see is Americans in danger or hurt here. I absolutely would NOT tell you otherwise if I thought you were in danger.

      Furthermore, I’m not writing this for money. I’m not trying to sell you something. I’m telling you this because I want you to know the truth and enjoy your trip.

      My best advice: Get your ass down here. Enjoy the hell out of your trip. Leave a comment on THIS PAGE about your experience here after your trip (YOU MUST DO THIS)!!!

      Hopefully you will take this advice and leave a comment at a later date about your trip. You will see exactly what I mean.

      Lots of love,


  117. Love your writing!!
    Came across your page doing some research on parasailing in Playa Del Carmen. Going on a girls trip and thinking of staying at Ocean Maya Royale the first week in December.
    I don’t see that on your all inclusive list – any thoughts on that one?
    Also- can you recommend a vendor to book parasailing through at that location?

    Thanks so much!

    • Jackie,

      Thanks so much for the comments. I really enjoy hearing from you.

      In regard to parasailing, I work with a super awesome person who takes care of anyone who wants to go parasailing.

      She’s a fun person and really friendly. I am going to send you an email with her contact info.

      In regard to your resort, unfortunately I am not very familiar with it. I have never stayed there. It looks really nice.

      The only drawback I can see is that it’s a bit of a distance from downtown. You and your girlfriends will absolutely love Playa Del Carmen, so it’s always nice to be close to all the action here. Other than the distance, you will be fine at your resort.

      I hope you enjoy your trip. This is a small town, so maybe we will bump into eachother!

      Talk to you soon, and be sure to check your email.

      Lots of love,


    • Ana,

      I have never seen that here before. According to the little bit of research that I did, the drink is most common in central Mexico, so that could be the reason why.

      However, I did live in the center part of Mexico (Zacatecas), but I didn’t see it there either. This could have been for several reasons–the most likely reason being that I wasn’t looking for it. I’m not sure.

      In any case, if you find it here during your trip, I would love to hear about it. Heck, I would even like to taste it!

      Good luck in your quest for pulque!!!

      Lots of love,


  118. Looks like your ‘safe’ area is no longer safe. Do you know what is going on in the ‘safe’ area and how long they will recommend U.S. government and tourists to stay away from those 5 neighbhorhoods?

    • Deb,

      The areas on my map are all safe. You can get an apartment in any of the highlighted areas and you will be perfectly fine.

      There was a travel warning issued for the area due to a ferry explosion. However, the ferry explosion had a back story behind it that included government corruption, the arrest of a former governor wanted for embezzlement, and a clear connection between the boats that the explosives were found on. Both the boats were owned by the former governor’s father. Go figure.

      In regard to the travel ban of government employees, the ban was completely lifted on Friday, March 16, 2018. This was only about two weeks after it was officially enacted.

      Thus, the travel ban is no longer valid.

      In addition, just because there is a travel ban does not mean it is unsafe. Much of this is propoganda. If you don’t realize that the media exaggerates and dramatizes, you really should go back to school. This is partially true of our government as well. (I’m referring to the US government, as I’m American as well. Are you from Virginia?)

      Governments ALWAYS take an ultra-cautious approach to travel-related advisories.

      Do you have kids? Do they go to school? The reason I ask is because the international community cannot stop talking about how “dangerous” and “deadly” it is to attend an American school nowadays.

      If you believe the news, US schools are a bloodbath. If you look at reality, US schools offer some of the best public education in the world.

      Take it from someone within the ground zero area–don’t believe the hype.


  119. Hi Rufus

    Love the blog. Travelling to Maya Riviera next week and just wondering if weed can be bought at the resorts or is this not recommended?

    • PJ,

      Congratulations on your decision to come to Playa Del Carmen. I’m sure the resort of your choice will be great.

      I don’t recommend doing any drugs (other than aspirin and alcohol) during your trip here. However, I’m not the moral police either. God knows I’m no saint.

      With that said, if you need to smoke some weed while you’re here, you will need to build a relationship with some locals. A hip bartender would be your best bet. Your next best bet would be one of the tour sellers off 5th Avenue (10th Avenue or beyond). If you buy a tour from them, they might be able to connect you with the right person. The final option is one of the hostels, but you really need to build a relationship there first.

      Of course you can get weed on 5th Avenue, but the people there will give you crappy stuff and also overcharge you. Moreover, they sell other stuff you really don’t want to get involved with.

      If I was new here and wanted some weed, I would first find out if someone “smokes.” If they say yes, then (and only then) I would ask if they knew where to get something to smoke.

      And whatever you do, please don’t ask me to connect you with some as 1.) I don’t smoke weed myself. 2.) I don’t want anything to do with selling drugs here or even being a middle man.

      Good luck, and enjoy your trip!!!


  120. Thank you for the great information on this site. I am a writer and an artist and I really appreciate your candor and honesty in describing and explaining all of this valuable information.
    I have met two women from Playa and I really like them both. I lost contact with them but since I shall be moving there in the future I shall do my best to reunite with them. One owns a bakery and one is an artist and both live and work in Playa. Both, are not locals.
    Anyway I really appreciate this site you have made it is one of the better so far about Playa, if not the best.

    • Greg,

      Thank you for the comments. I hope you find the apartment that you are looking for–as well as the two ladies.

      Don’t get “oneitis” over an individual woman. There are lots and lots of fish in the sea here, so you’ll likely meet a lot of people during your trip/move here.

      Thanks again, and good luck!


  121. Please provide me with detail on the wedding planning services you guys offer. I am from California have been to Cancun but not to the side of Playa del Carmen. I am looking for a venue that holds about 50 people. Preferably near the beach (not necessary on the sand but with a view of the beach). I am looking for an all inclusive hotel (Ceremony can be on a different hotel if necessary but would like the after reception to be at the stay at hotel).

  122. We went on a 4 hours fishing/snorkling trip 2 days ago. The trip was bought from one of the several tourist booths on 5th avenue. At first, the price was 250 USD but then we got it negotiated to 190 USD.

    The boat was very small and it wasn`t fancy at all but it did its job. There’s room for 4 customers in the boat. The captain and his assistant spoke very bad english but everything went very well. You should keep in mind that’s there no WC in the boat so don’t drink too much beer (drinks are included) Or then you have to go snorkling in the half way and pee in the sea as we did :) While snorkling we saw 2 big stingrays and a turtle. The captaind was snorkling with us and he fed the stingrays with fish baits. On the way back I got a 5 kg barracuda. The captain recommended a local restaurant and preparation costs for the barracuda were 200 pesos. We tipped the crew total 400 pesos.

    I strongly recommend the fishing/snorkling trip. The snorkling was amazing and catching a barracuda was the highlight of my vacation!

    • Josef,

      It sounds like you had a wonderful time fishing here in Playa Del Carmen! That price was really cheap. You mentioned that there were 4 other customers in the boat. This is what is called a “shared” fishing trip. Shared fishing trips are nice, but it’s also great to have the boat all to yourself. Of course, it all depends on whether or not you have the money to spend.

      In any case, at least you got to get out on the water and do some fishing here.

      Thanks for the tip about there not being a WC (bathroom) on board. It is definitely relevant if you’re going to be drinking a lot of beer (like I probably would be).

      Also, Josef, I was happy to hear that you caught some fish. That’s the point of fishing, right? Unfortunately, sometimes you can get “skunked” during a fishing trip. Luckily it’s not too often.

      Again, I am glad to hear that you you enjoyed your fishing trip, and I hope to see you back here soon!!!

      Take care,


  123. Rufus great blog !!! I’m visiting playa frequently for past 10 or 12 years . Playa is safe true but …. it’s way different compare to 5-10 years ego… don’t get me wrong from people on streets into festivals like “bpm” . People are less positive and they act like hyenas…. about weed on 5th ave it s just epic fail from price into quality this stuff is not smokeable for any pothead in usa and people( 5th ave dillers ) are root and dogystyle ppls avoid in any circumstances. Another issue today in playa is seaweed cus temp raise(global warming ) and that egg smell of water is just disgusting during few months during the year . Anyway playa is super safe as long you not retarded and you not looking for dickheads or festivals like bpm( salomun mix was great rest like.u mention Rufus. For.investment I personally think it s already to.late ( I sold my 2 condos last year cus water issue and bpm fail and the athmosphe overall in betwin people and 5th ave ) … ps sry for my bad ass English:-)

    • Piter,

      Thanks for the comment. This city is definitely growing (and changing as part of that growth). Every day gets more interesting!!!

      Hope you return soon, Piter.


  124. Hi, Rufus! I am enjoying your guide pages very much.

    You don’t specify, but I would think that Xel-Ha requires reef-safe, biodegradable sunscreen. I plan to get some regardless, in order to protect the waters. I read elsewhere that the government has laws or regulations encouraging its use, so is it a commonly available product? Do you know if they sell it at Xel-Ha, or is there another good, inexpensive place to procure it?

    Thank you for any ideas about this!

    • Susan,

      Thanks for the comment. I can understand why someone would be confused by the requirement.

      It is true that Xel-Ha requires biodegradable sunscreen. They do this in order to assure that the lingering chemicals in sunscreen don’t stay around long enough to become part of the local food chain. It is also true that all of the local activities–from swimming holes to commercial cenotes–require biodegradable sunscreen. Thus, it is best to inform yourself about this now.

      In regard to the best place to get it, I did a quick search on Amazon and came up with several hundred varieties of the stuff. I’m sure there are other places, too. You should have little problem finding it.

      However, DO NOT BUY IT AT YOUR RESORT. They usually charge an arm and a leg for the stuff at their stores because they know that last-minute shopping is a desperate affair. You’ve been warned.

      I hope this helps, and I hope you have an incredible vacation here…

      Lots of love,


      • Thank you; I certainly won’t buy it at a resort, because 1) They are indeed exorbitant, and 2) I won’t be staying at one – ha. (I’m looking at rental houses/condos.)

        I just figured it would be cheaper to buy some at the grocery or drug store, or Wal-Mart, in pesos, when picking up initial supplies, rather than buying online and lugging it down there in my luggage. I was hoping you’d say “No worries – it’s EVERYwhere! Cheap! Just pick some up at the first (Whatever) Market you see!”

        Unless they’re scalping people for this “required” sunscreen (ha – please let us know if that’s the case!), I plan to just get some there. Then again, I’ve seen review articles on a snorkeler’s site about the different products, so I may revisit that and just order what I want. I’ll sort it out…

        And that was an excellent tip about the included food and cocktails at Xel-Ha!

        Thanks again!

        • Susan,

          I wish this was not the case, but Fifth Avenue (and even 10th Avenue) is a tourist trap. Prices are always exorbitant there. If you’re going to get biodegradable sunscreen upon arrival, go to Walmart. Prices for sunscreen are reasonable at the Walmart in Playa Del Carmen and there are lots of brand and SPF options.

          Another tip for you:

          You mentioned rentals/condos. If you are staying anywhere other than a hotel or resort, DO NOT mention it when you go through customs/immigration.

          This includes AirBNB rentals, any vacation rental, private condos, etc.

          You will likely face extra interrogation if you do not follow this advice. THINK: “On what website did you reserve the rental? What is the address of the condo? Who is the owner? Do you have the owner’s phone number? Etc.”

          The reasons you should not mention any vacation rentals go far beyond the scope of this reply. Suffice it to say that the hotel industry lobby is putting an immense amount of pressure on the Mexican government to begin TAXING private rentals here in order to cut competition– 16-19%!!!! This taxation will invariably make vacationing here more expensive–and minimize options for tourists like you.

          Mentioning that you are staying at a private rental will cause you nothing but headaches, so keep your mouth shut to avoid it.

          If you are staying at an AirBNB/private rental simply say the following:

          “We’re going to find a cheap hotel for the first few days and then make a decision where to stay after that.”

          Enjoy your vacation.

          Lots of love,


          • Thank you, Rufus, for pointing out THAT particular pile not to step in… Much appreciated!

  125. THanks Rufus … not many will find time and care to other people’s travels. But your tips and advices sure is detailed and humorous …you should be a travel consultant between U.S. and MEXICO… more power to you and keep writing … I like reading it!!

  126. Rufus its 2018 brotha you could just use a translator such as Google Translate. It’s not hard.

    Rufus es su brotha 2018, puedes usar un traductor como Google Translate. No es dificil.

    • Bud,

      Thank you for the advice. I am aware of Google translator. However, not all browsers are equipped with automatic translation.

      Consequently, many of the users will see questions in another language and then the answers in English. This will cause nothing but confusion. This is the exact reason that I prefer comments in English.

      In addition, many of the local venues, activities, and other things are named in very specific proper nouns, some of them in Mayan and come of some of them in Spanish. Google translate does a horrible job of translating names of streets, neighborhoods, Mayan, etc

      Finally, this website is English based, most of my visitors are English-speaking people. English speakers are who this website was built for. Of course, anyone is welcome to visit the information–even if they are not a native English speaker. But English is 5he area of focus

      With all that said, it is easier if everything is in English.

      Thanks again for the tip!

      Take care,


  127. I rent scooters every time I go to Playa or Cozumel. If you rent a scooter don’t drink and drive. It’s a great way to see the Island or beach areas. However if you are not familiar with a motor scooter take a taxi. Have a safe and fun vacation! David Huber

  128. Hi Rufus –
    What a great guide to the strip clubs in Playa Del Carmen. From what I gather, they aren’t too much different than the strip clubs in Las Vegas (which I know well). It seems like they could be a little more aggressive with the tourists with regard to money. We definitely have our hustlers here though. I’d really love to visit and compare. And see all the beautiful booties :)

    • Tom,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, pushy, aggressive strip clubs are annoying. I once did the Vegas strip club list. Although I know exactly what you mean about aggressive. However, the dancers in Vegas had mad dancing skills! The Playa Del Carmen strippers are not quite as good. (No surprise…..)

      Take care,


  129. Thanks, for sharing this information with us, I really found this helpful. I also believe that If you don’t know how to ride a bike, or if you are so drunk that you can hardly stand up, then it’s probably best you stop reading now.

  130. Thanks for sharing such great information with us. I hope you will share some more info about “Lap dancing Clubs”. Please keep sharing.

  131. Oh man,wish I saw this red map before I booked at Ocean Zen Suites, north of Cocoa Beach.
    Rufus, is that area still red today? Zen Suites seems to be a year old. I love that it is an eco friendly hotel. I could tell it was on the margins of the tourist area, but we wanted to be in a natural area (trees line the shore there!) away from the hustle and bustle. I believe I still have the option of cancelling, trip is about 4 weeks away.
    I would greatly appreciate your input.


    • Dawn,

      I know the exact location of where you booked. My personal opinion?–I don’t like that area. It’s borderline, but too close to the infamous “Colosio” for me.

      If it were me, I would cancel and book elsewhere.

      And all the “Eco-friendly” stuff that rolls off people’s tongues is more marketing than reality. I wouldn’t pay more for it when booking.

      Hope this helps….


      • okay wow! Thanks for the honest feedback. I booked through hotels.com and I was told I could cancel without penalty. I cannot thank you enough, Rufus!

      • RUFUS! So good to hear from you. Thank you for the advice. Booking cancelled. We will look for something on the interior of Town.

        Your website is fantastic and you are funny. thanks!

  132. Rufus,

    This explanation is just flawless.
    Where could I find information about what would be a fair exchange USD-Peso in “tourism money” terms?

    Thank you

    • Caroline,

      Thank you so much for the comment and feedback. I’m sure you’re going to have a great vacation here. The fact that you are educating yourself before arrival makes me believe that.

      There really is no hard and fast rule for this. However, I usually calculate the best local exchange rate as ONE WHOLE NUMBER LOWER THAN WHAT YOU SEE ON GOOGLE.

      For example, if I type in “USD to MXN” in Google, today’s exchange rate is 19.14. From that number, I can realistically expect to get around 18.14 (i.e. 19.14 minus one whole number equals 18.14).


      The exchange rate will be a little better in large American-based retailers like Walmart, but the above is a good rule of thumb for planning.

      Hope this helps!!!

      Lots of love,


      • Hi Rufus,

        Great info!

        I’m curious why the exchange rate in the Mexican casas de cambio is so bad.

        Today’s mid-market spot rate is about 19.05. Shopping around, here are the actual rates I found:
        17.90: best rate at a casa de cambio, no passport required
        17.00-17.60: all other casas de cambio, passport required
        17.20-17.40: the only banks changing USD for pesos
        15-17: rates in stores
        18.60: Walmart
        18.75: Mega
        18.90: several small pharmacies


      • (cont’d)
        These rates raise lots of questions.

        – Why do casas de cambio sell pesos at 6-12% worse than the true spot rate? In countries with efficient exchange markets (e.g., Peru, Chile), spreads are 0.5% to 2.0%. With Mexico, I can’t find any government regulations or taxes on foreign exchange, so it doesn’t make sense otherwse why competition doesn’t drive spreads down to 1-2%.

        – It’s curious that stores offer better exchange rates for dollars. Obviously the stores want customers to spend money at the store, so they offer a good rate. Also, at 1-3% spread over the spot rate, the rate they offer is still profitable for them. But still… very strange that stores offer 4-10% better than casas de cambio.

        – What is the regulation about passports for foreign exchange? Many casas de cambio claim that the passport copy is required by law. But several casas de cambio in Cancun, PdC, etc, don’t ask for passports. And Walmart and Mega clearly don’t require passports when customers pay with dollars.

        What do you think? I’d be curious what you’ve heard.

        Best wishes,


  133. I am to pay rent when I arrive in PDC, the amount is already set in $US so would it be beneficial to me to pay in pesos or just write her a check? Same question when booked at a hotel via online-does it save money to come in and pay in pesos.

    • Lily,

      The same principle is going to apply no matter what kind of business you engage in. First of all, if you are paying rent on an apartment, condo, or house in US Dollars, you are probably paying tourist prices. Mexico’s national currency is the peso, so when you see prices in US dollars, those prices are meant for tourist consumption.

      You are probably overpaying for your apartment.

      As I stated in the article, prices for almost everything here are HIGHER for tourists than for locals. It’s completely unfair. If we scammed Mexicans in the US as bad as they try to scam us, it would make international headlines, and they would call us “racists.” You can protect yourself by following my advice and being aware.

      Consequently, when you pay your rent, make sure that you ask your landlord what the price is in both US Dollars and pesos. Find out where you can get the best exchange rate possible and pay the lesser amount via that exchange. If it is more beneficial to pay in dollars, then you should use dollars. If it is more beneficial to pay in pesos, use pesos.

      I have had a lot of experience working with local Mexicans. With very few exceptions, they ALL want to take advantage of tourists. Shop owners, tour providers, and apartment agents all try to pull the same nonsense. They will never err in your favor.

      How? They will give you a price in US Dollars–based on THEIR arbitrary exchange rates.

      In regard to your hotel/resort price, the same principles apply:
      1.) Ask for the price in both pesos and dollars
      2.) Check the current exchange rate
      3.) Find the best place to get a good exchange rate
      4.) Compare that to the price that the business is offering you
      5.) Pay the lesser amount

      Simple and easy.

      Unfortunately, most Americans are not aware of this. Because the US Dollar is the official international reserve currency, we are used to paying for things in US Dollars.

      Print the following on your forehead before coming on vacation here; NOBODY IS DOING YOU A FAVOR BY OFFERING PRICES IN US DOLLARS.

      Also, checks are not an acceptable form of payment here.

      This should make your life easier–and hopefully save you some money!!!!

      See you here soon……


  134. Does cozumel mean anything to you? Like I call and order 2 chicken burritos with white cheese sauce and when my order was repeated back to me they said chicken cozumel…

    • Bob,

      Yes, Cozumel means something to me: it’s an island just across the bay from Playa Del Carmen. Never heard of the use you mentioned.

      Take care,


  135. Hi Rufus. Thanks for all the info here. I felt a bit better after I read it. But I still have a question for you. I work online and have quite a few devices that I would need plugged in while working. Is the electricity consistent in the apartments there? I mean do the lights go out frequently? Will I need some sort of battery backup? Thanks again, Rufus.

    • Jake,

      Thanks for the comment and questions. Glad you’re enjoying the info.

      In regard to your question, the electricity is quite consistent here. However, it is not as consistent as, for example, it is in the US. I would guess my electricity goes out for an average of 5 minutes/month. Not much time, but unpredictable in regard to when it will happen.

      If having a 100% dependable electrical connection in your apartment is extremely important, I would recommend a battery backup. You can either bring one yourself or buy one at Office Depot/OfficeMax here.

      Also, the plug style for all electronics is exactly like the ones in the states (if you didn’t already know this).

      Hope this helps.

      See you here soon…..


  136. Rufus, do you have any idea which days of the would be best for going fishing around Playa del Carmen? Would like to go, but don’t want to be fighting with other boats for space. Thanks.

    • Davis,

      With so much open sea in the area, you will likely not have any problem. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. In addition, this January is a little slower than normal, so that makes it even better.

      If you are still concerned, Monday-Wednesday is when I get the least amount of fishing requests.

      Hope this helps, and I’ll see you here in Playa Del Carmen soon…

      Take care,


  137. Hi Rufus,

    I e-mailed you the other day regarding trying to sort out some fly fishing whilst I was visiting Mexico next month. Can you help, as I really want to get things booked before I arrive on 23 January.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best


    • Chris,

      I resent your info to Carlos. Apparently he missed it the first time around. He mentioned that he talked to you shortly thereafter.

      Hope you have a great time fly fishing in Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding area…

      Take care,


  138. Hello Rufus,

    I will fly to Cancun in next 2 days and soooo lucky me! that I have found your website!!! your blog is helping me in this last minute before packing my bag and heading there. Tip is a one issue that make me headache .. and so many case I have seen (on youtube blogger) who ending up have problem with Taxi driver because a Taxi driver want 20% tip ..its absolutely BS ! After I read your blog , I feel more relax….and know what should I do and expected in Mexico.. I do really appreciated your advised and will carry your words in my mind with me. Great Blog ever…thank you again.

    • Pat,

      I’m so glad the article helped.


      Thanks so much for the comment. If you need anything else, please feel free to ask.

      Take care,


  139. Hi Rufus,

    The man holding the snook on your website is Joe Herron from Castaway Fly Fishing. He works with Carlos and can be found in a lot of their videos. I think he is known as the Fishing Gringo in Cozumel.

  140. My daughter is looking at The Blue Vanada Beach Club for her wedding. Your opinion of this location? She doesn’t want a resort hotel because the lack of privacy. Recommendations of a family friendly resort for guests close by?

    • Sophina,

      Punta Venado is a beautiful and private place to have a wedding. It was closed for a few years, but I’m glad to hear that it has reopened.

      I’m sure it will be extraordinary. Congratulations to your daughter.

      Also, if for some reason someone doesn’t show up and you need an extra stand-in, don’t forget about me!

      I wrote an article about family-friendly resorts several years ago. It is still as valid today as it was then. You can check it out here.

      Good luck with all your wedding planning!

      Lots of love,


  141. Probably coming down for what’s left of the winter. Thanks for the advice about contracts. I was always curious about how and it was possible to enforce them in a foreign country. Thanks again.

    • Matt,

      Thanks for the comment. Nothing enforceable about apartment contracts here other than the deposit you pay.

      See you on the beach…


    • John,

      Should not have a problem at any of the clubs. It’s been pretty quiet here lately, but that is because there was a shooting about 5 miles out of town. The news says that the shooting happened here in Playa Del Carmen–psrtially true. However, the truth is that it happened in an area of town where virtually zero tourists go and that I labeled as a no-go zone three years ago.

      Don’t believe the hype. Come here. Go to the clubs. Enjoy your visit.

      Hope to see you here soon…

      Take care,


  142. Nice fishing pole, Rufus. I tried basically the same thing and didn’t have any luck either. Maybe it was just a bad day. Don’t know. Thanks for the info.

    • Zach,

      You’re welcome. I agree. Fishing off the shore is not s good as it sounds. Plus if you lose your hook, you’re going to feel damn guilty about it not knowing if someone might step on it with bare feet in the future…OUCH!!!!

      Better luck next time…


  143. Rufus..I’m Kimberly from Thunder Bay Canada..I loved your little pitch..good job..see you in February 2019..

    • Kissable Kimberly,

      Thanks you so much!!! I’m glad you like the page.

      Hope to bump in to you while you’re here.

      Lots of love,


  144. This is BS. Since when is the U s been the “world currency”. …….only in their dreams!!!

    In Canada, you have to use Canadian $,. The same for Euros!!

  145. Rufus:
    We have been going to Playacar for many years. We have stayed at the Iberostar, Riu Palace Mexico, Sandos, and our absolute favorite is the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. We have no complaints about any of the hotels, we simply appreciate the “old Mexico” look of the the Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Riu renovated the Riu Palace Mexico a few years ago, and converted it from the beautiful “old Mexico” look to a much more modern look, which does not appeal to us at all. The food, the service, the beach are fantastic at all of the resorts in our experience. However, at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya you do not need to make reservations at any of the gourmet restaurants anymore, which is a bonus.

    Our only issue with the area is the Sargasso seaweed problems they have been having for the last few years. In the last 5 years or so, we ran into ungodly amounts of seaweed on two of our trips. The workers were using manpower and machinery to remove and/or bury it, but there was nothing they could do about the mats of seaweed in the ocean, which turned the water an ugly brown rather than crystal clear blue. We normally spend hours in the water, “bobbing down the beach” past Sandos, where the beach becomes uninhabited. We missed being able to do that due to the seaweed.

    In any case, we LOVE Playacar, and plan to go back this June, assuming that the seaweed will not be there. You can get a forecast for the seaweed at SEAS.com, which is what we will be looking at before we book.

    • Jeff,

      Thank you for all the information about Playacar. Yes, the RIU Palace is absolutely beautiful, as are all of the RIU properties. I’ve never stayed in them, but I have visited them when I did some interviews about hosting a wedding there.

      I agree with you about some of the renovations. In an attempt to make resortS more swanky and upscale, sometimes the designers go overboard. At some point, they begins to look completely ridiculous, almost like a dead-broke wannabe rapper wearing a thick gold chain (that’s clearly only gold plated).

      In regard to the seaweed, you are absolutely correct. It has been a factor here for a few seasons now. Unfortunately, it is a natural occurrence. Frankly, there is nothing that you or I can do about it.

      In fact, what makes matters worse, is the fact that the seaweed is actually good for the beach. Despite this, the tourism industry cannot stand the seaweed because the tourists don’t like it.

      The question is: do you want to pay now, or do you want to pay later? Because, if they remove the seaweed, the beach recedes. Sure, they can get tourists for the moment, but in the future when there is no beach, there will be no tourists. On the other hand, if they leave the seaweed there, there will be less tourism now, but the beach will be around in 20 or 30 years for people to still enjoy.

      In my opinion, they should leave the seaweed on the beach, or at least mixing in with the sand somehow. Although it may hurt tourism in the short-term, if it provides longevity to the beaches, it’s good for everybody.

      Thank you so much for all the information about your experiences in Playacar.

      I wrote this page for people who have never visited the area and are not sure what Playacar is. However, it is always great to hear from people who have spent time there and can add to the conversation.

      Thanks again.

      Hope to see you here soon…


  146. My girlfriend and I just got back from a week in a Tulum, honestly this area feels safer than most places in America. More tourists get robbed and killed in San Francisco than Tulum. You don’t need to bring marijuana if you’re from a legal state, we always take our legal 1oz vacseal for the smell from San Francisco airport w zero issues. If you need herb the safest guys to buy from are in the richer areas along the playa. There is a hookah shop and another place called Clandestino where friendly mota dealers hang out, you can buy a 1mg vape pen for about $2k pesos ($110) and some decent quality local yucatan grown bud, but the dealers were more impressed with our Cali weed. There is no need for street drugs as most pharmacies will have your fix, highly recommend Farmapram for any anxiety, insomnia etc just take small amounts. 30 2mg farmaprams run about $100 but we haggled a 90count. They sell codeine/flexiril tabs, soma, for relaxing. Modofinil is legal and good for staying awake and alert, and adderal and oxycodone can be found at some pharmacies under the counter for about $20-30 per 30mg. As for infamous Mexican Coke, the main dealers are on the strip and there is obviously some kind of protection racket because they operate w impunity. Our friends let a large fellow in a raiders jersey who hooked them up the entire trip. The mid grade coke (still very good) is about $700 pesos per gram and they sell a stronger one for $12-1500 pesos.

    • Al,

      For the record: I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING DRUGS HERE!!!! You’re lucky you didn’t get in trouble. Sounds like you had a good time.


  147. first time reading part of your blog……enjoying it…your opinion of Mexico is honest. Thanks for that. I’m sure you are so proud of how your current president is running/ messing this country up.

    i’m sorry you got ripped off in your ferry trip, hopefully it won’t happen to you again.

  148. Thanks for the details Rufus. I really like the tip on which bars to go to meet the ladies that wanna drink and have fun. I come from Canada and this city I am coming from in Alberta, the women at the bars are so few so they are very stuck-up. Playa should be a great balance in numbers, equal quantity of guys and girls. Thanks for the article bud.

    • Erik,

      All of the hotels and resorts are going to have different policies. However, there is one thing that you can be sure of–they are all going to charge you an additional fee for bringing people back to your room.

      In regard to the differences between the resorts and hotels, the resorts have much stricter policies. In order to bring a person back to your resort, you will need to purchase what is called a day pass. They cost anywhere from 60 USD to 120 USD, depending on the exclusivity of your resort.

      In regard to a hotel, much will depend on the quality of the hotel and the security procedures that they use. In many cases, if it is a small hotel, you can simply tip off the security guard and he will let you bring someone in your room for a few hours.

      I would check with the hotel or resort that you are staying at to see what their policies are.

      Hope this helps…


  149. In regards to one aspect, no tipping is required for massage services. The daily commision for the best employees can be is high is $10,000 pesos a day or more. The average employees receive a salary of $5000 peso. The top employees earn even more. $10,000 peso is equivalent to $500 or more a day wage. Think about that for a moment and you will start to think about tipping. This also goes with many other services.

    • Waco,

      I agree with you. Tipping is not necessary for massage services. I don’t know exactly how much the average person earns here who gives massages. However, I know that they stayed busy during high season when they make most of their money.

      It would not surprise me at all if they could make that kind of money on a daily basis, especially when it’s busy here.

      Thanks for your comment…


  150. Rufus,

    You are worth a mint!!!

    My question, do most touristy places in Playa del Carmen take visa? If so (ignorant) question, do the transaction pay out in pesos? And if so would you recommend using prepaid cards?

    Appreciate all of your info and thanks in advance for feedback on this question.

    Be there in April

    • Kieth,

      Thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate your feedback!

      Yes, most of the touristy places here will accept Visa. I don’t think there’s any need to use prepaid cards.

      First of all, there’s a rather slim chance of having your card charged without your authorization. If you want to be extra careful about this, simply keep your card in plain sight when you use it. Most of the bars and restaurants now use the wifi-enabled credit card machines. They usually bring them right to your table, so the waiter or waitress is not walking off with your credit card and returning 10 minutes later. In regards to the shops, just keep an eye on them there as well.

      Secondly, Mexico uses credit card PIN numbers (which is actually your ATM pin number) for most purchases, so it is often more secure here than in the states. It’s rather difficult to use a credit card here in an unauthorized fashion nowadays.

      Finally, the reason I would not recommend using prepaid cards is because they are very difficult to reverse. Prepaid cards and debit cards make it extremely hard for consumers to reverse unauthorized charges. Credit cards, on the other hand, are very easy to reverse if there is an unauthorized charge.

      Hope this helps…


      • Rufus,

        Thank you for your response.

        Do you have to specify that you want your credit card transactions in pesos versus US dollars?
        Does your credit card receipt that they give you specify whether the transaction was done in pesos or US dollars?

        Only five days away!

        Thanks again!

        • Kieth,

          Try to pay in pesos whenever possible. Or at least check to see if the price is the same (rarely).


  151. Hi Rufus!

    I am planning on booking an ATV tour next week but I don’t want to go in the jungle if there are a lot of bugs and insects.

    Is this something I have to be concerned about? Shout bring s6kind of bug spray?


    • Leah,

      First of all, thank you for the question. Second, your concern is legitimate. Nobody wants to get bit up by bugs while trying to enjoy a vacation activity–in the jungle or elsewhere.

      I did not include any information about bug spray for several reasons.

      First of all, you probably won’t need it. You will be moving at a pretty brisk pace throughout the tour, so most bugs will not have the opportunity to stay on your body for very long.

      In addition, most of the ATV paths are quite well worn, so, while you will be inherently surrounded by plants and vegetation, the path itself will be well-worn dirt or mud. Consequently, not too many bugs will be stirred up as you are riding through the jungle.

      Finally, depending on which ATV tour you take, you may be going swimming anyways. This would defeat the purpose of any sort of bug spray or repellent (at least for the first half of your journey) because you would the washing it off your body in the water upon arrival at the cenote/snorkeling place. In addition, the ecosystem is quite fragile here. Some of the cenotes in caves are very old. The administrators of the cenotes are very strict in regard to what kind of sunscreen you can use. That is, it must be biodegradable. Mixing sunscreen with insect repellent could cause some serious damage to the underwater ecology within the cenotes themselves.

      frankly, I would not worry too much about insects during your ATV tour. I’ve never had a problem with them on any of the tours I’ve taken in the jungle. I would expect that your experience will be similar.

      Leave the bug spray at home, enjoy your tour, and let me know how it went afterwards!

      Lots of love,


  152. Morning

    I will betravelling to Grand Bahia Principe Sian khan resort in June. I am having a hard time finding a tour company that will pick us at the resort. Which company do you suggest to use from this resort?
    We want to do either Chichen Itza or Tulum, with a nice lunch and a swim in the cenotes. We have been to Coba, altun ha and Rio Secreto before both were great trips. Also a snorkeling trip to Akumal. Thanks for the info
    Cheers James

    • James,

      I am not the expert in regard to the pickup and drop-off policies of all of the tour providers–specifically because they change so frequently.

      However, I’m going to forward your information to a very close associate of mine named Sergio. He will be able to help you with whatever you need in planning with your transportation and activities. He knows the area very well. He also works with the all the tour companies on a daily basis.

      I sent you an email just now. Please check your inbox.

      Good luck in regard to your trip planning, and I hope you enjoy your vacation here!


  153. Love the website, Rufus. It’s been really helpful for planning our trip next year.

    I have a question for you about the dolphin swimming. Do you know the she limits at each of the dolphin parks? I have 2 children, and one is 3 years old. He would be absolutely heartbroken if his brother was swimming with dolphins and he was not able to

    Thanks again for the website, Rufus. Keep up the great work!!

    • Emily,

      Thank you for the comments on my website. I made this website for people exactly like you who want to plan their vacation ahead of time and want to get an idea of this city before arrival.

      In regards to your question about minimum ages for swimming with dolphins, I am really not sure.

      My advice would be to do this:

      1. Write a generic email asking the same question.

      2. Copy all of the email addresses from this page into the CC email address fields.

      3. Send the email off.

      In this way, all of the swimming with dolphins parks should receive the same email–and hopefully most of them will respond quickly to your question.

      It sounds like you have quite a bit of time before your vacation, so I’m sure you will hear back from them long before you leave.

      Hope this helps! and I also hope you enjoy your trip here! If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Lots of love,


    • Yes, it does. The ADO bus will drop you off one block from the ferry to Cozumel. It is very convenient to get there. You should not have any problems if that is what you are trying to do.

  154. Dragos,

    I’m not sure about skydiving in Cozumel. The company I work with operates exclusively out of Playa Del Carmen. I would contact them directly to find out if they have a similar branch in Cozumel.

    I hope that you and your girlfriend find an opportunity to go skydiving! If she is into that sort of thing she must be a very fun person!

    Enjoy your cruise ship stop here!


  155. LMAO!!! The bus layout with the note: “filthy dirty bathroom.”

    I have ridden them a dozen times from Cancun to Playa Del Carman and four times to/from Merida and the bathrooms were hit or miss. Sometimes dirty. Sometimes clean.

    Great site!

  156. Hi sirs I am a fly angler from Italy… I will spend a week in playa do carmen next 11 of March And I would like to have a full day bone fishing how is the best way to arrange it??

    • Frank,

      Best way is to contact Carlos using the form above. However, I will forward your info to him now.

      Enjoy your trip!!!!


  157. Hi Rufus,
    my daughter is getting married there next year and wants everyone to go out to a club after… guesstimating about 40 people. Where is the best place for a wedding to go out to still in their wedding attire?

    • Mechelle,

      Congratulations on deciding to have your wedding in Playa Del Carmen! It sounds like there are going to be quite a few people attending the wedding, so it should be a lot of fun with everyone getting together in Paradise!

      In regards to your question about which club would be best to accommodate your wedding party, there are several different clubs in downtown Playa Del Carmen I would recommend.

      First of all, because your wedding party is fairly large, you are going to need a club that is reasonably good-sized.

      Second of all, if you do decide that you don’t like a particular club, it would be great for you to have the option to move from one club to another.

      Considering both of these situations, I would recommend that you go down to 12th Street (Calle 12). 12th Street is where all of the large Playa Del Carmen clubs reside. You will have a choice between several different clubs, and they all are big enough to service your entire group. If you want to see where this is on a map, click on the following link.

      Playa Del Carmen Club Area Pin

      This will take you to he pinpointed area where you can choose which club do you want to visit. I think there around 4 on the corner.

      Finally, because you are a large group, you have a lot of buying power. I would strongly recommend that you organize with the club’s beforehand so that you can purchase your drinks at a discounted price and also receive a discount on admission.

      If you would like, I know of someone who has wonderful connections with the Playa Del Carmen clubs and can get you packages and big discounts for your group. Feel free to contact me if you so desire.

      I hope this helps, and I hope your wedding turns out incredibly well!

      Lots of love,


  158. Hello,
    I was wondering if you could still put me in contact with Brenda. I’ll be getting married soon and was hoping she could help.

    • Lisette,

      I have forwarded your information to someone who can help you. Please check your email.

      Good luck with your wedding!

      Lots of love,


  159. Hi Rufus,

    I found your website very informative! I have a tipping question. Should we tip the rental car representative if he comes to our resort to pick us up before the rental and takes us back after the rental? The rental office is about 11mins driving from our resort.


    • Rebecca,

      Thank you for the comment. Yes, there are plenty of places to park on the island. Cozumel has never really had a problem with parking. It is all going to depend on where exactly you want to park and what you are trying to do.

      Of course, certain areas can oftentimes become congested. However, parking in general on Cozumel is not a problem.

      In addition, there is a roadway that follows the shore of most of the island. It is a beautiful drive if you have the opportunity. The nice thing about it is that there is plenty of parking along the way and many different bars, restaurants, and quirky places to stop and take photos. I strongly recommended i5 if you have the opportunity.

      I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy your trip!

      Lots of love,


  160. Hey Rufus!

    …we’re leaving in a few days for our 1st trip to Playa. I’ve been trying to reassure my somewhat sensitive GF that it’s unlikely we’ll get caught in a cartel shoot-out (especially if we’re not dealing drugs on their turf), and that a good amount of the ‘warnings’ are just fear-porn and propaganda. Thanks for a refreshing read from someone who’s obviously been local for a while… Good call on making copies of all our docs! I might have forgotten that step despite a decent amount of international travel in my past.

    • Sewneo,

      You are absolutely right. The chances of you getting caught in a shootout are slim to none. Moreover, it is correct that most of the stuff that you hear on the television is garbage. I live here day in and day out. If you stay in the tourist areas, don’t try to sell drugs here, and generally avoid trouble, you will be completely safe.

      Thank you for the comment, and I hope you enjoy your trip!

      Finally, I am glad that you are going to take the advice about scanning/saving your documents. It’s a good idea to do this and more people should do it. Unfortunately many don’t. Better safe than sorry.

      Hope to see you here soon…


  161. who would I contact for a shared charter. it will only be me. will be in playa del carmen from 6/30 to 7/05/19

    • Daniel,

      I have forwarded your information to someone who can help you set up the shared charter.

      I hope you enjoy your deep sea fishing trip here in Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding area!

      Take care,


  162. Can ordained ministers do a renewal of vow in Mexico? Do they need special certifications to do the ceremony in Mexico?

    • Anna,

      I’m not 100% sure what the necessary qualifications are to do a renewal of vows. However, I do know that a renewal of vows is a non-legally binding ceremony. It is not a marriage, a divorce, or anything in between. It is simply a ceremony bases around a promise.

      However, because I am not 100% sure about laws regarding beach ceremonies, I am going to forward your message to my wedding planner who knows EVERYTHING about both Playa Del Carmen weddings and weddings in Mexico in general.

      You will receive an email from both her and I shortly.

      Lots of love,


  163. Rufus
    Would I be able to walk the beach from The Hilton Playa Del Carmen to Puerto Morelos , or is it too far?
    Could you e-mail me a response if it is not too much trouble?
    Mary G

  164. I’ll be heading to Playa del Carmen in early July for 5 days and I have heard it has a European feel as alot of Europeans spend their holidays there. I like to wear thongs while at the beach and soak in the sun and wondered if it will be okay for me. Plan on spending a day or so possibly at Mamitas Beach club.

    • Steve,

      I would not recommend wearing thongs unless you are a female. Even though it’s legal, you may have an encounter with the police.


  165. Hey, can you share some thoughts on the whole security deposit thing? As you may already know, here in the US, security deposits are a serious thing. There is legal recourse if the landlord decides to keep it, and things like “wear and tear”, or the normal usage of the apartment isn’t enough reason to keep money from the tenant (in most states).

    I hear this is a shit show down there. I am even contemplating just calculating affordability based on a 13 month year rather than 12. What can you share about that? does a contract actually help you get your deposit back (assuming no damage). Thanks dude.

    • Pepe,

      Not too much more to tell you. The problem is that there is no reasonable way to enforce contracts here.

      Of course you are better off getting things in writing than not having something in writing at all, but a landlord can more or less do what they want. Conversely, you can do what you want as well, so long as you pay your rent on time. The only thing that the landlord can do is keep your deposit. There is no practical “I’m going to sue you” threat. It simply doesn’t exist like it does back home.

      When people don’t pay their rent here, it is not like the states. In the states, you send them a legal eviction notice. They get a certain amount of days to make up for the rent. You wait to see if they pay. You add fees on top of the rent. Blah blah blah.

      If you don’t pay your rent here, the landlord will usually enter your apartment, move all your stuff out onto the street, and change the locks on your apartment. Either that or they will tip some local heavyweights to come in and force you out with the threat of violence if you don’t move quickly.

      Here, you have to trust your instincts more. In the states you are protected by laws. Here you are protected by money and friends. You have a lot more freedom here–but so does your landlord.

      Find a good apartment. Talk to the landlord. Ask questions. Talk to other people who live there. If you don’t have a good “feeling,” don’t rent. Get things in writing, but remember that a contract won’t save your ass because it’s more or less unenforceable.

      Hope this helps. You can also always fill out the form above. It gets forwarded to the most honest renter I know.

      Good luck….


  166. Thanks so much for all this info!! Super helpful!

    Do you know if you can purchase tickets for future days on the kiosk, or does it only sell tickets for the next bus time/that same day?

    Thank you!

  167. Great advice! I have tried to send a msg to Cesar but it doesn’t wanna send for some reason. Is there a specific location I can find him?

    • Jeffrey,

      It sounds like everything worked out. Someone should get back to you momentarily.

      Enjoy your trip to Playa Del Carmen!!!


  168. Is it appropriate to ever leave 0 even if service was decent? The way they give back change sometimes implies they don’t expect a tip or they just aren’t thinking about how to maximize their tips. For instance we went to a chicken place and the bill was 200 pesos. We have the waiter 500 and he gave back 300 exact with a 200 and 100 bill. I had no small bills or coins. Should I have asked him to break the 100 to 20s for tipping or just leave?

    • Danny Boy,

      You are absolutely right. They are not doing all that they can to maximize their tips. They should be bringing in a fair amount of change in their pockets in order to easily give out smaller bills and coins (that can easily be used for tipping).

      In regard to your question, do whatever you think is best. As I’ve mentioned multiple times throughout my article, tipping is different in Mexico than it is in the United States.

      Thanks for your insight, And I hope you enjoy your trip here to Playa Del Carmen!

      Bottoms up,


    • Marc,

      I try my best. It is always taken the way that I would like it to be, but that’s the risk you take when you (let it all hang out” online!

      Thanks for the comment!


  169. Rufus…thanks for the great information. Nice sense of humor as well. I was wondering if you knew if people often get seasick on your booze cruise. Does it happen often? My wife gets sick when there is too much up and down in the sea. What do you think?


    Lee Waters

    • Lee,

      First of all, thank you so much for the question. I have a brother who gets seasick very easily, so I know what your wife is going through.

      Of course there’s no way that I can guarantee the weather, and obviously weather is going to affect the tranquility of the sea. Moreover, because I do not know your wife’s exact sensitivity to seasickness, I will not be able to give you a perfect answer.

      However, I will say this: booze cruises take place on large catamarans. Catamarans are particularly known for their stability, so there is less likely that she would get sick on my booze cruise than she would on many traditional-type boats. In addition, many people get sea sickness if they cannot see the land (oddly enough). Luckily, you will be in sight of land at all times during your booze cruise.

      Finally, if she puts enough beers and booze in her belly, I’m sure she will forget all about sea sickness and end up having a great time either way! That’s what I always do, and I SWEAR IT WORKS!!!!!

      Hope this helps…


  170. Hello, we will be visiting Mexico, and staying in Playa del Carmen from 6th till 16th of september. We are interested in having a symbolic wedding ceremony by the beach, no guests, cakes, and other stuff that the standart ceremony packeges offer. Just the two of us, by a decorated altar on the beach, witnesses and obviously a person carrying out the ceremony. Is there an option to arrenge that, and what would be the approximate price? Thank you in advance, have a good day.

    • Learner Lavonne,

      Unfortunately she will need more than her learner’s permit in order to drive a scooter. She will need her actual license.

      NOTE: Neither she nor anyone else renting a scooter needs a motorcycle endorsement. Again, you DO NOT need your motorcycle endorsement to rent a scooter. However, you do need a full-fledged driver’s license (which your daughter unfortunately does not have).



  171. I’m from the UK where the concept of tipping someone just for doing their job is unusual to say the least (of course, the concept of not paying staff the minimum wage is also bizarre to us, not to mention illegal!). There are always exceptions, of course, but in general we’d only consider tipping someone if they went above and beyond their job description or if there’s a large group of people. However, this would rarely (if ever) exceed 10% and happens exclusively in fancier restaurants.

    The trend of tourists tipping by default is also affecting attitudes in South America. It’s not anywhere near as prevalent as in Mexico (yet) but the more touristy destinations have noticeably started adding ‘suggested’ tips to bills and you have to actively say you don’t want to pay it.

    • Mitch,

      First off, thanks so much for the info, mate!

      I knew the blokes across the Atlantic were not as keen on tipping as us Americans, but I didn’t know it was as prevalent as you’ve suggested.

      As I’ve stated so many times above, it is innappropriate to come to another country and do what you do in YOUR OWN country.

      Any Americans (and Canadians are even worse) STOP TIPPING OVER 10%!!! You’re f**king up the pre-existing order of things and “spoiling” honest people. Moreover, by flashing your money around, you’re making us targets of every sort of scam artist and drug dealer in the whole damn city!

      I rest my case. Thanks so much, Mitch!!!


  172. Hi Rufus! Thanks so much for the info. I’m super excited about my upcoming trip, but I have a question that’s a little out of the ordinary.

    My friend hates cheap alcohol and will only drink super expensive whiskey. The mixing ingredients are not so important, but the whisky itself is.

    Do you know if they allow customers to bring their own alcohol on board the boat?

    I know it seems petty, but this person won’t go unless it’s okay to bring the whiskey onboard.

    Thanks so much, Rufus!

    • Finicky Fini,

      First off, your name kicks a$$! I don’t think I’ve ever met–or even read about–anyone named ”Fini!”

      Fortunately, I’ve also never met someone as finicky as your friend. Is this friend of yours a dude or a chick? A damn demanding date either way! I’ll make sure to tell the captain of the boat to accidentally push your pal overboard with the anchor when your booze cruise boat stops for snorkeling!

      Just joking with you, my dear Fini. I completely understand preference. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want. Fortunately, in this case you probably can!

      Here’s why:

      Getting on a booze cruise is not like going through security at an airport. You don’t get strip-searched, x-rayed, or face any scrutiny whatsoever. As long as your name is on the list, you board the boat – bags, band-aids, and, of course, whiskey. Thus, I can’t see there being a problem.

      In addition, and from the more pragmatic perspective of the people who run the booze cruise, your friend is actually saving them money by drinking his/her own booze! Consequently, I can’t see why they would want to argue with that.

      In any case, I would advise your friend not to make a public announcement that s/he has whiskey in his/her bag upon boarding the boat. So long as you remain reasonably reserved about your secret stowaway, I think you’ll be swell!

      Enjoy your booze cruise!!!

      Lots of love,


  173. Hello Rufus,
    I’ll be in PDC tomorrow (Feb 13th through the 18th, 2020). Since Nau Restaurant is closed do you have any more recent recommendations for Seafood (Lobster, Crab and a good ceviche in particular)?
    Thanks and Regards,

    • Brian,

      There’s a little seafood restaurant that people are really banging on and on about. I’ve never eaten there, but by the size of their draw (they are always packed), they must be doing something right. It’s on the corner of Calle 12 & 25th Avenue. But be sure to go there earlier during the day; for some reason they close super early.

      Also there’s a really nice seafood restaurant right across the street (30th Ave) from Mega/Super Aki. Again, I’ve never eaten there, but it looks pretty Hollywood!

      Whatever you do, stay off fifth avenue if at all possible!

      Hope this helps…


    • Tim,

      45 minutes. However, by the time you figure in loading time, unloading time, ticket checking, and sweet little old ladies that move a lot slower than most people, I would figure about an hour.

      Hope this helps!


  174. I’ve always gone topless in Europe. Don’t like tan lines and I feel more comfortable topless. I haven’t been to mexico before so I just hope I won’t have a problem it’s a very natural thing to do and would never want to embarrass anyone we’re in the 2020 and people are more liberated now so I honestly can’t see a problem.

    • Korageous Kath,

      Shouldn’t have a problem. As long as you’re not flaunting it too much and throwing it in people’s faces who are more conservative than you, it’s not a big deal.

      You see topless women here almost every day. Worst case scenario, the police would ask you to put your top back on.

      If you wanted to be excessively careful, stick to the southern Playacar beaches. There are more Americans, Europeans, and tourists who could care less what you do with your boobs in Mexico!

      Good luck, send some pictures for this page, and let everyone here know how it went!

      Lots of love,


  175. Thanks so much very informative reply. I just cant go on holiday and not go topless. It looks awful when you’ve got tan lines.
    Roll on for my holiday to Mexico can’t wait.

  176. Hi! Can three people ride a jet ski? I have two 10-year old twins that would like to ride with their father.

    Thank you, Rufus!

    • Amy,

      Swartzburg doesn’t sound like a Mexican name. Are you a local? Three people (and I’ve even seen four) commonly ride on scooters and motorcycles that way here! Even very young children stashed in between mother and father! Damn dangerous!

      Where are the police? Who knows? Probably staring at cute girls on the beach. Better things to do, I guess.

      In any case, it is very dangerous and likely that someone will fall off the back! Imagine: “Oh sh*t!! Stop and turn around! We just lost little Jose!”

      The answer is, no, you cannot ride that way. The jet skis are limited to two people no matter how big or small a person is.

      But you may be in luck.

      Even though the jet skis are limited to two people at a time, your husband could pick up one twin, take him for a ride, and then return him. Then repeat the process with your other twin. That’s not a problem.

      Flip a Mexican peso (coin) to see who goes first.

      But you won’t be able to take the whole family on board your jet ski rental like local people do on their scooters and motorcycles!

      Hope this helps, Amy….

      Lots of love,


    • Kool Karina,

      You absolutely can buy bus tickets in US dollars. However, you’re not going to get the best exchange rate because it is a Mexican company and a Mexican bus line.

      However, the little bit of money that you lose in buying your bus tickets and paying dollars vs pesos is quite insignificant. You’re better off saving your time, getting on the bus, and losing a dollar or two than you are exchanging your money at the airport where you will get a horrible exchange rate!

      Have you ever bought a hamburger from McDonald’s or Burger King at any airport around the world? Then you know the prices are usually double. This is because rents at airports are so high. How do you think money exchange businesses pay their rent? Never change your money at the airport. It’s all the suckers that do that.

      Don’t be one of them!

      Wait until you get into town and you will get more favorable exchange rates.

      Hope this helps…

      Lots of love,


  177. Hi

    Great website, Im not planning on moving there for about 8-10 years but its fun to learn what I need and what I can look forward to.

    Thanks for taking the time to create this site.

    • Cindy,

      You are so welcome. I am happy that this site is helpful.

      Good luck with everything!!!

      Lots of love….


    • Particular Pete,

      Try contacting PROFECO. It is the consumer protection agency of the government. Not sure about their web address, but that is who you should go to.

      Good luck….


  178. Tried in several Hispanic Databases to find (unsuccessfully) a definition for BOJO, said to be found in Hispanic Markets.

    • Remarkable Rich,

      Haha. Finding Mexican food is quite a task. Unfortunately it can become difficult due to geographical differences in names and definitions (i.e. the East Coast of MX has different names for the same foods compared to the West Coast of MX).

      Good luck, Richard!!!


  179. If your looking for a fun time, DO NOT BUY drugs from the guys on the main strip. Every corner there is a guy trying to sell you drug, and it’s NOT safe. We got robbed, everything valuable taken from us. It’s so corrupt there. I will never go there again. I can find drugs SO much safer in Canada that I ever will in Mexico

    • Maria,

      Yup. Not a good idea. Drink, drink, drink, but stay away from the drugs if possible.

      Better luck next time…


    • Zach Attack,

      What’s new? Haven’t seen you around in forever! I’m still in MX. However, doing some traveling, so won’t be back for some time. Hopefully this crazy chinese coronavirus goes away soon. It’s driving everyone here bananas!!!

      Talk soon….


  180. Hi Rufus….love the site! Quick question wondered if you know the answer. I have a dog that I am bringing with me to Playa del Carmen. The problem is that I can’t really leave her anywhere because she whines and cries when I’m not around.

    Do you know if it’s possible to bring a pet (small dog) on one of your booze cruises?

    Thanks so much, and, again, I LOVE your website!!!!

    • Noticeable Nancy,

      At one point, I thought I would hear all of the questions possible, and now you send me this! Although it is perfectly clear that you are a great dog mom, unfortunately you won’t be able to rescue your dog from boredom this time. That’s right, you will not be able to bring your dog on board your Playa Del Carmen booze cruise; they do not allow pets on board any of the catamarans.

      However, and this may come as good news, are several different dog hotels in Playa Del Carmen where you can leave your pet. I know, I know—nobody wants to leave their precious pup in a foreign environment (and especially not in a foreign country). Nonetheless, it is probably a better alternative than leaving s/he in your hotel or condo and having the police come because your neighbors have called about your dog whining.

      In any case, if you search for “dog hotel Playa Del Carmen,” you’re probably going to find something that can suit your needs. I know of at least THREE dog hotels in town: Dog Holiday, Animal House Playa Del Carmen, and Doggy House Playa.

      Good luck Nancy, and let me know how things turn out for your dog while on your Playa Del Carmen Booze Cruise!!!!

      Lots of love…


  181. Enjoy your writing.

    Grupo Model is Budweiser. But you knew that. If you are in PDC and start missing Budweiser, just buy any Grupo Modelo product and you’re having Bud.

    • Jim,

      Beer brands now change hands like playing cards in a strip poker game. Unfortunately, Budweiser is no longer an American beer (not that it was ever any good anyways). However, Michelob has always been my favorite American beer (NOT Mich Light, but the original lager in the sexy bottles). Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it in some time, so I’m not sure they make it anymore. Anyhow, Annheuser-Busch is crap. I’m not even sure if I spelled it correctly, and I could care less!

      Thanks for the info, Jim!!!


    • B,

      Do it right! Move here and come raise some hell with me (once this Chinese virus crap disappears). Damn dogeaters had to “F” it up for everybody.

      See you soon, B….


    • Nick,

      No trails in the jungle. If you find one and it’s not on a tour, DON’T FOLLOW IT! It probably either leads to a dead-end private estate or maybe to some cartel hideout.

      However, there are loads of places to walk around here (beaches, bike paths through the city, sidewalks, pedestrian-only Fifth Avenue, etc).

      Finally, there are a few bike clubs here, but they seem to operate intermittently. I used to know one that went to a super private cenote that was not accessible except via mountain bike trails. Not sure if they’re still around though.

      Good luck, Nick!!!


  182. what is the email of someone I can contact for a jet ski and snorkel tour in September 2020? My fiance and I are going to be on our honeymoon and looking for a good jet ski excursion

    • Breck,

      Fill out the form in the blue or yellow box above and someone will get back to you about availability ASAP!!!! Just enter your name, email address, phone number, and how many jet skis you want and on what dates.


    • Daniel,

      Just enter your info and questions in the form in the blue box above. She’ll get back to you ASAP.


  183. I also would like to schedule a small group for jet skis… please have someone contact me as well…

    • Al,

      Enter your name, email, etc in the rental request form on this page and my reservations manager will get back to you with whatever answers you need.

      Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon…


  184. I have a problem when drinking in strip clubs where I like to do good cocaine. Do any of those clubs have dealers in them? I’m coming this week and want to make sure I avoid the ones that.

  185. Love the site Rufus I’m coming in town Friday. I’ll buy you a beer and we can collect a few flags maybe grab a bag if we have one too many or goto on of those dive bar strip clubs.

    • Greg,

      That would be great!!! Free drinks are always welcome by me! I’m not sure any of them are open at this time, but if anything is open I’m game. In any case, hope you have a great time here!


  186. Hi Rufus! Super nice page! Thanks for all the information!

    I have a question for you about taking a booze cruise. My wife loves going topless at some of the local beaches (mostly the private ones). Does your booze cruise allow women to go topless? I’m sure they allow men to go without. Do women onboard have the same privilege?

    Keep up the great work, Rufus! Let me buy a drink when we come in January for all the great advice on this site. See you then.

    • Chet,

      Thanks for the great feedback. I made the site for people just like you.

      In regards to going out for a drink, I cannot turn down a beer, so send me a message (via my contact page) once you arrive and we’ll hang out at one of the local beach clubs.

      In regard to your questions about your wife going topless during a Playa Del Carmen booze cruise, the answer is a little complicated.

      First off, Mexico is a relatively conservative, Catholic country. Although Mexico receives ultra-liberal people from places like Holland, the people here still adhere to their own cultural mores. Consequently, it would be a little weird (by local standards) if your wife ripped off the upper half of her bikini and let everything hang loose during a Playa Del Carmen booze cruise. Not to say that most would mind (especially the guys), but it’s not the norm.

      You would think with all of these movements for equality, that all women would demand a level playing field when it comes to the right to do what men have always done (i.e. removing their shirts in public). However, this particular action doesn’t seem to be at the top of the activist list. Why? You’ve got me! The one advantage that comes to mind is that the women could easily get as many male supporters as they wanted!!! What dude wouldn’t want to go to a topless protest? Just saying.

      In any case, to answer your question directly: No. It would generally not be acceptable for your wife to go topless during a Playa Del Carmen booze cruise. (And for the record, this is NOT a decision that is up to me. I personally don’t care what your wife—or any other woman, for that matter—does with her boobs on a party boat in paradise.) But she might get herself into trouble if she went topless without explicit permission from the crew/captain, and I doubt they would unilaterally make that decision.

      Hope this helps, Chet. Thanks again for the comment!!!


  187. Thank you Rufus for your funny comments. I do appreciate your commentary at the beginning of your article. Very humorous!

    • Jake,

      There is not really a “minimum age” per se. However, if a person is under 18 (the age of majority in Mexico), they need to be with a legal guardian in order to rent a jet ski. Moreover, all jet ski participants MUST wear a lifejacket. Jet ski providers only have jackets that will fit a ~8 year-old kid (or bigger). Thus, even though there is not technically a hard and fast age limit, there are other limitations that make it impossible for a small child to go jet skiing.

      Hope this makes sense…


  188. My husband loves when I go topless in Playa and Cancun. Thanks for the write-up. Hope more women feel confident and follow the sexy topless wave!

    • Naughty-Is-Normal Jess,

      Thanks for the feedback! Come back again. You forever welcome to strut your stuff on my beach anytime of the year!

      Thanks again….

      Romantic Rufus

  189. Agreed…As an experienced world traveler, take the time to learn a few basic phrases, SMILE, NEVER lose your temper in public, and remember you are a VISITOR to THEIR country … Give the Utmost Respect at ALL times.

    • Sabster,

      Thank you for the comment and the wise words!!! Sounds like you know what you’re talking about via experience (best way to truly learn).


  190. Rufus,

    Any chance you know the current tourism policy for Playa Del Carmen, FLYING in (pretty sure i have to go to Cancun and then take a bus in, or rent a car, whichever works)?

    I want to arrive 15 August 2020 staying a week at an air BNB most likely unless I can get a killer hotel deal, leaving on the 22nd. My passport is good until Nov 2022, so no problems there. Going down to see an old artistic friend that i haven’t seen since she was a little kid. She’s originally from Argentina (met her dad while I was in the USAF while participating in the rather futile “war on drugs”. Now she’s marooned due to covid and asked me to fly down and cheer her up (she’s like family). Since I retired at 45, I’m free to go. I’m driving down to Dallas to pick up a mercedes CL600 biturbo, and I’m going to fly out of DFW down to Cancun (since there’s no direct flights to Playa Del Carmen that I can find from anywhere in the US anymore) and hopefully rent a car in Cancun and drive down to Playa (which simplifies my return to cancun to fly back to dallas)
    Let me know if cancun and play are open and what restrictions apply. I saw the “stoplight” system on the consulate site, but of course there’s no MAP of mexico showing what state has what color.

    Let me know what you can find out. My passport is good thru nov 2022, so no problems there.

    Dave Beem
    Beemer’s Racing
    Tabor IA, 51653

    • Dave,

      Everything is open again. No problem there. Still very slow, however. How long before things return to normal (pre-coronavirus state)? Couldn’t tell you.


  191. Think in bout a visit to see if I can meet up with a few women I have met on Latin dating sites but gotta wait for this bat-shit-virus to run its coarse

    • Dave,

      Everyone is waiting for this crap to blow over (or a safe vaccine to be released).

      Come visit as soon as you feel safe. Paradise awaits!!!


  192. Rufus,

    loved reading what you wrote. do you have any advice for someone looking to retire possibly to playa? how about advice on condos, homes, or townhomes in the safe areas? love the way you tell it like you see it, that saves alot of people the trouble of weeding out other people’s BS.

    • Wes,

      Thanks so much for the feedback. Wrote all this site for people like you who want the truth.

      In regard to your questions, it’s best if you come to see the city for yourself if you want to retire. So much depends on budget. More expensive = safer areas. Less expensive = relatively less safe areas. However, if you stick to the Safe Areas map on this page, you will be fine no matter what you choose.

      My best advice for someone looking to retire here is to spend a few months here and see if it matches your personality. Living here and vacationing here are dramatically different things!


  193. Rufus–That was quite the read! But very glad I found your site! I just got back from a 12-day vacay in Playa. Thanks to COVID–I did not get to see my family that lives in Playa, Tulum, and Merida. However, I discovered that I fell in love with it. So I might be hitting you up in the near future about healthcare job opportunities. Thanks for ALL the GREAT info!

    • Yara,

      Thanks so much for the comment! I’m glad you made it through! Sorry to hear about your family. Maybe next time!

      Feel free to contact me, but I don’t think there will be any job opportunities for some time yet!!!


  194. thanks for the article. gives a little insight into a “direction of travel” around town… how are things with bars being open now that we’re in late august going into september? looking at maybe october to shoot down. i’m a mexico frequent but further north so thought i’d try something down south. te veo pronto

    • Scott,

      Thanks for the comment. So far, so good. Bars are reopening. Still slow here. Mostly locals. But things are opening up for better or worse!


    • Yes. You can enjoy the night show. However, if you’re a “marathon-type” activity goer, you can also do the same with an all-day pass, but you might be too tired to enjoy the night show if you choose that option.

      Completely up to you….

      Enjoy yourself either way!


  195. Hi Rufus! Thanks for the great info! My husband, myself, and two couples (six of us total) are going to be in Playa next month. If we make reservations for Tequila Barrel through you, do all 6 in our group get a drink, or just the person who made reservations?

    Thanks for doing what you do!

    • Marlene,

      Thanks for the message. In regard to your question, ALL OF YOU get a free welcome drink—NOT just the person making the reservations!

      I’m sure all of you are going to have a great time here, too.

      See you at one of the local sports bars (likely Tequila Barrel). Contact Monica if you need anything else!

      Lots of love,


    • Shouldn’t be any restrictions. All the restrictions from several months ago have been removed. Beaches, bars, restaurants ALL OPEN.

  196. Hi Rufus! Love the website! I need your honest opinion on something. Is it safe to go ziplining there? I know some things are different in mexico, and I appreciate you commenting on them. But could you please tell me if it’s safe to go on some of the zip lining activities there, or do you think it’s dangerous?

    Thank you for your honesty!

    • In all honesty, I think it is completely safe to go ziplining here. First of all, the wires that they use for zip lining are extremely strong and can hold an excessive amount of weight. You are not going to easily break a cable that is meant to hold thousands of pounds!

      In addition, the organizations here that offer things like zip lining have a reputation to maintain. They do not want accidents to happen either. If they have an accident, not only will they have to suffer in immediate damages to their reputation, they will also be talked about for many years to come. Things have changed a lot since some of the major review sites have come online. Companies now realize that they need to do things correctly or they will maintain negative comments from many more years beyond an actual accident date.

      While it is true that many things in Mexico are not up to par when compared to other Western countries like the United states, Canada, and Western Europe, ziplining is not something that you should be afraid to do here. That’s my honest opinion!

      Lots of love…


  197. Hola Rufus! What are your thoughts on Playa Del Carmens situation as we slowly approach the winter season? Are clubs opening up, and do you think it will be worth visiting in Oct-Dec this year given the current situation (assuming things don’t change much)?

    • Joseph,

      The clubs are open now. Things are going to be a little bit slower than normal until this coronavirus completely blows over. However, you can still have a wonderful time while you’re here in town.

      I think the people that you will meet while you are traveling towards the end of this year are a little bit more hardcore than the normal tourist. So there are multiple ways that you can look at it.

      Bring the party yourself and if you happen to meet other people who are into parting, so be it. I think you will find that there are a lot of people like you who want to have fun and our sick and tired of staying home despite the risks of traveling.

      Let me know how it goes, and if I’m in town, I’ll go out with you for a beer!


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