Playa del Carmen is one of the touristic destinations with the biggest growth in the country, attracting more tourists every year, which induced it to also become one of the most expensive options to travel to. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the expensive tourist or the backpacker, it’s a reality that with the drop of the Mexican peso against the dollar and the great tourist demand, Playa is getting increasingly expensive. When you’re getting your vacation plan together, it’s normal to consider the typical expenses of a trip, like the flights, the hotel, the food, but what about those other expenses that suddenly come up? If you don’t want to get back from your escape to paradise in red numbers, here we share 5 extra expenses to consider when you visit Playa del Carmen.
Despite the constant growth of the city, the touristic zone of Playa del
Carmen is very little, by which you can easily enjoy walking through it all. On 5th Avenue, the backbone of the touristic activity, you will find the main restaurants, boutiques, and malls and the best part is they’re only a few meters away from the beautiful beaches of the Mexican Caribbean. Although, after one or two days of beach and parties without control, the last thing you’ll want to do is walk under the sun, plus, there is so much to see outside of Playa del Carmen, like the cenotes, archaeological areas, and different parks for which you will need transportation (unless you hire a tour, but they’re not always the best option). How do you have to move?
In a collective: system of safe transportation comfortable, and at a good price: from 15 to 45 pesos, depending on the distance.
Taxis: Output cost: 30 pesos and up to 50 in an urban area, the prices increase if you travel outside of Playa and you have to take the Federal Road.
Car rentals: excellent option if you’re traveling in a group. You’ll find various options, starting at 800 pesos a day.
Or there’s always this option…
2. Repellent, sunblock and tanning lotions.
Do you think we’re exaggerating if we include them? It’s possible that you might bring your little bottle from home with one of these products. What you don’t know is that you will use them a lot. A lot! Most of all the repellent. The Mexican Caribbean is known for its great variety of insects, some might even be from another planet, this means you should be careful and protect your skin from mosquito bites, bees, ants, centipedes and other creatures, but with biodegradable organic repellents because the places where you’ll need these products the most is in natural environments, like the beach, mangroves, and cenotes. Since you probably don’t want to be carrying around these bottles of creams in your suitcase, consider you might have to buy these products when you arrive (don’t worry, you’ll find them practically in every store). The same thing goes for tanning, get yourself biodegradable, non-toxic products.
Viva Playa recommends AHAL, 100% natural products of the best quality, made in Playa del Carmen, you can find them at Calle 30 esquina con Av. 25
In Playa del Carmen we are fans of hospitality, tourism is our main source of income. It’s important you understand the majority of the personnel attending you at restaurants, bars, shows, tour guides, etc, receive the minimum salary (in some cases, not even that) and the majority of their income comes from tips. What you probably don’t know is that those tips you’re leaving don’t go directly to the waiter or the bartender in its whole, and they will be distributed with ones you don’t see (the cooks, helpers, hostess) but they work so your experience will be unforgettable. Forget about that modest 10% you were accustomed to in the year 2000 and consider that the minimum recommended (if they earned it) is 15% inclusively in some places it is recommended you give 18% or 20% for good service. Giving tips isn’t an obligation, but it’s something that’s expected of every good tourist. Tip: If you leave dollars, you even get an extra smile.
Talking about money (extra tip):
Consider that even that in most restaurants and hotels, credit and debit cards are accepted, transportation services, entrees to cenotes, some tours, etc. are paid for in cash, we suggest you carry cash because although there are ATMs, there aren’t that many and the ones on the touristic zone charge high commissions.
Mexico is the land of souvenirs and Playa del Carmen is no exception. In every corner, you’ll find from keychains, sandals, zarapes, magnets, sunglasses, funny t-shirts, and a fair amount of other stuff you don’t need but you end up buying. Remember that the prices are for tourists and you don’t want to go back to the office and hear: “Why didn’t you bring us anything?” Contemplate these in your expenses.
5.- Drinks and munchies
Vacations are the perfect excuse for excesses. So in other words, instead of eating 3 times a day, your regime goes up to 5 or 6 meals a day. Beers and cocktails are your drinks 24 hours a day, and therefore you’ll be hungry all the time. Although you will find restaurants with economical options, keep in mind you will end up wasting more than you are planning to. Drinks at bars vary in prices, but if you want to party you will have to count on groceries for the apartment or hotel room, for what they call pre-drinks. Last and very important, if you don’t hydrate (with water), the alcohol and the heat can get you really sick so you might want to consider stocking up on bottled water. (Do not drink the faucet water for anything in the world).
What matters, in the end, is that you relax and have a good time (that’s what you came for), don’t let money be a worry, plan a good trip and enjoy the Riviera Maya like it was meant to.