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Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

(Mid-2021, 2 MONTHS)

Summary: The city of activities. From the beach to various local meetups and events to nearby hotspots Cancún and Tulum to day tips to Cozumel, Cenotes, adventure parks, and historical sites this city of only 300k with a constant inflow of visitors could keep you busy for a lifetime.

From the Cancún airport, take the ADO bus.

For Spanish classes, text Ana (+52.984.253.2346) or Agora Language Center. These might be the best Spanish teachers I've ever found (I tested about 10 teachers here in Playa del Carmen alone).

  • Cenote means "sacred well" and comes from the Yucatec Mayan, the country’s second most widely spoken indigenous language who believed they were passageways to the afterlife. There are over 6,000 in this area.
  • A very active expat scene with events up the wazoo (dance, art, language exchange, coworking, parties, sports, etc.). Click here for an awesome list of WhatsApp groups, meetups, and activities.
  • Pro Tip: When booking a trip to Cozumel, buy a one-way ticket. That way, upon return, you don't have to wait and can take the soonest of the three ferry companies.
  • A large number of cafe's and restaurants close at 3 or 4pm
  • Fun fact: Mayans cultivated chewing gum 4,000 years ago
  • Check out @tsunamifull for group workouts
  • The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is the second largest in the world. The first was a big letdown for me.
  • English is widely spoken and the dollar is accepted everywhere
  • The laundromats here suck. They don't fold well and they stain your clothes. My brand new tank tops, ruined by bleach.
  • Hidden Beach: Punta Esmeralda is wide, with palm trees, open cenote, perfect swimming conditions
  • A taxi will cost 40 MXN without the main part of the city. Pro tip: Give 30 MXN without asking how much and half the time the driver will not say anything. Sometimes, the driver will ask for 50 MXN
  • Theft! I had my shoes and sandals stolen within a week of arriving. That same day I met a friend who had his laptop stolen from inside his home. I also saw posted on a facebook group that someone else recently had a break in with some commenters mentioning the same.
  • It's a nighttime destination. This city STARTS to get active around 11am.
  • Can't believe I just learned this....if you decline the ATM rate, you save the commission they propose. I always thought declining means I don't get to withdraw money. Mind blown moments.
  • Playacar is actually the city/section jsut to the South that's cheaper but still close
  • In 1970 the population of Playa del Carmen was only 300
  • Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is an annual event held in November
Dark red portion is the main/expensive part; orange/blue is slightly less central/cheaper; more North are resorts and more South is Playacar (also resorts)
Known For: 5th avenue, pharmacies, Senor Frogs, tequila, Marquesita
Support Me ⇒

In 2015, Danny got fired from Airbnb. Just two years later, he started two successful businesses and wrote a best-selling book. Since then, he's become a bodybuilding, location-independent, minimalist traveling the world while living in Airbnbs. He describes himself as a skeptic, contrarian, and expert cuddler. In his spare time he reads, cooks, and plays basketball. Follow his journey on Instagram or YouTube.

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CITY IMPRESSIONS

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I choose the items below as they’re generally available everywhere. Thus, easy for comparison. The prices reflect the cheapest option given my standard. In any estination you can find slightly cheaper prices if you wanted to sacrifice convenience (ie going to local market or out-of-town grocery store).
ITEM
  • Airbnb Nightly Rate
  • Coworking Day Pass
  • 1-Hour Massage
  • 1-Month Gym
  • Beard Trim
  • 16.9oz Water
  • 2KG Wash+Fold
  • Americano (small)
  • Expresso
  • Salmon
  • Tenderloin
  • Chicken Breast
  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Red Wine
Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • 1,899
  • 260
  • 1,200
  • 1,000
  • 250
  • 2.50
  • 18/KG
  • 60
  • 30
  • 299/KG
  • 300/KG
  • 125/KG
  • -/KG
  • -/KG
  • 62/KG
  • 19/KG
  • 27/KG
  • 94/KG
  • 30/KG
  • 54/KG
  • 17/KG
  • 9/KG
  • 65
US DOLLARS ($)
  • 94
  • 13
  • 59
  • 50
  • 12
  • 0.12
  • 0.40/LB
  • 2.97
  • 1.49
  • 6.73/LB
  • 6.75/LB
  • 2.81/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 1.40/LB
  • 0.43/LB
  • 0.61/LB
  • 2.11/LB
  • 0.67/LB
  • 1.21/LB
  • 0.38/LB
  • 0.20/LB
  • 3
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