Wednesday, October 16th

Our Mexican Getaway

Earlier this month I had a nice little vacation in Playa Del Carmen. We stayed at the Sandos Playacar resort, which fulfilled our two requirements: all-inclusive and a nice beach.

Sandos Playacar

Sandos Playacar

Sandos Playacar

Sandos Playacar

We spent lots of time in the beach, in the pools, at the gym, and the spa, and ZERO time on the internet. Instead we made friends with the tropical birds, iguanas, and burros. We named the resort cats (Carrot, Pumpkin, Swirly, Shy Baby, Maître D’) and they followed us everywhere. We shared our breakfast fruit with the personable coatis.

Tropical bird at Sandos Playacar

Iguana Sandos Playacar

Burro at Sandos Playacar

Cat at Sandos Playacar

Coati at Sandos Playacar

Downtown Playa is very touristy, so we didn’t leave the resort much. However, we did take a ferry to Cozumel and spend the day there. The ferry band entertained us the entire 45-minute ride and we saw a family sneak a cute little goat onto the boat. Goat Boat.

Ferry to Cozumel

Goat in a bag

My heart belongs to Cozumel. I love being on an island and the local people are the best. We took a cab to Money Bar, snorkeled and relaxed all day at the simple beach club. We experienced a rip current that was so strong, lesser swimmers would have perished. We drifted to a boat dock and trekked back to the club with our gear on land. Adventure! Danger!

Cozumel Cab Ride

Money Bar Cozumel

Sol Beer

DiCapac Camera and Bodyglove fins and snorkel

We ended the day at our favorite little restaurant and had pork chop and pastor tacos.

Las Utates Cozumel

Las Utates Cozumel tacos

Cozumel street art

Cozumel sunset

Back in Playa, we faced some tough weather. The once placid ocean turned into rough waves. While most opted for the safety of the pools, we took to the waves. Jersey Shore kids learn how to be knocked around in the surf. We get pummeled by waves as babies. (That’s why we’re so tough, yo.) It made us both homesick, getting repeatedly slapped in the face with salt water.

When a dark storm rolled in and everyone ran for cover, we stuck it out. (Fun fact: My parents did this shit to us all the time. What’s more embarrassing than having to seek refuge with your parents at a lifeguard station in the middle of a lightning storm long after the sane people left the beach? Nothing.) When you risk those black clouds, they’ll either blow over or you’ll get stuck in the rain. On this day it was the latter.

Dark rain clouds

Rain on the beach

So are you interested in going to the Mexican Riviera? Here are a few tips:

  • Many of the resorts and hotels reduce their rates in October, since it’s the off-season. It’s the perfect time to go.
  • Flying direct from Austin to Cancun is much cheaper than flying to Cozumel. Take the ferry to Cozumel for $13.
  • Cozumel is where you want to be for snorkeling and scuba diving. Stay away from the cruise ship port and you can have a true experience of the island. No one should eat at Señor Frog’s…ever. 
  • Don’t let a lack of language fluency deter you. It doesn’t take much Spanish to get by. The point is to make an effort and not expect everyone to speak English (even though they often do.) Mingle with the locals. Compliment their home. Be friendly.
  • A DiCAPac camera case is about $20 on Amazon and allows you to take underwater photos with your phone or mirrorless camera. I chose to bring an old camera, just in case. But there was no leakage.
  • Bring cash to tip, even if it’s an all-inclusive and tips aren’t required. These people work hard! 

Sandos Playacar

I hope it’s not too long until we meet again, Mexico. ¡Te amo!

11 Responses

  1. […] turned into a wonderful friendship. I made lots of new friends actually. I took a break and went to Mexico. I threw myself into SXSW and fell more deeply in love with […]

  2. Corrin says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about the goat on a boat! I love him.

  3. Leigh Ann says:

    I would love to go back to Playa del Carmen. So fun. But I often feel like a sore thumb sticking out when I try to mix with the locals. I want to, but then I’m all, “Hola! Shnerg blerg blah, Adios!”

  4. aneelee says:

    I would spend my summers as a kid split between Merida and Cozumel (and subsequently Playa to get to and from). Love, love, love. I am headed back to Merida after almost 15 years away next month with the family in tow. Playa isn’t making it into the itinerary this time around but maybe for the summer trip…

  5. Sarah says:

    Looks like so much fun! I’d love to go one day, i’ll be sure to refer back to your tips when I do 🙂

  6. Mhari says:

    Looks like you guys had a great vacation. The beach, the food, the goat, l want to go!

  7. Kristina says:

    Love it! You really captured so much of your trip, I can’t wait to go to Mexico and I loved your little tips.

  8. Senor Betty says:

    Great post! It takes me right back. Loved all the pics you included. #goatboat

  9. Christine says:

    This looks like such a relaxing vacation! I have only been once but it was so nice to see the way different countries live. Glad you had a good time 🙂

    New reader, christine

  10. They must have known you’re cat people! Looks lovely! 🙂

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