Untamed Travels: Playa Del Carmen
Where in the world is Sheridan Labbe? After my travels to Atlanta and Miami, I returned to Houston to celebrate Mother's Day and recalibrate for my next trip. My next trip brought me to the beautiful Mexico, Playa Del Carmen to be exact. As timing would have it, two of my good friends joined me for my week stay in Playa. I've visited Mexico plenty of times by way of Cancun so I was curious to see what the vibe was in Playa as I heard it's a little more of a local vibe. It did not disappoint.
So, being the spontaneous folks we are, we waited a little too late to get our flight into Cancun so I had the brilliant (insert sarcasm) idea to fly into Cozumel and take the 45 minute ferry ride to Playa. Do. not. do. this. lol. Maybe if we had small bags with us and hadn't already been up since 5 a.m., it would've been different but the ferry companies make what should be an hour long boat ride about 40 minutes, i.e. I thought we were going to flip over multiple times. Sooo..do not fly into Cozumel if your plans are to take the ferry.
Otherwise, the trip to Playa was fine. There's just a ton of variables involved with timing the ferry ride with the time you land at the airport. Fly into Cancun. We arrived in Playa around 4 p.m., and of course we were ready to explore.
After exploring around Saturday and walking the main street area, think of Vegas vibes but by the beach, we headed out for the night and wandered into a cute boho spot called Prana Hookah & Drinks. It's funny because as soon as we came in, they definitely changed the music to a more urban vibe but....who's complaining? The vibes were good, we were able to get a section right on the patio in the mix of everything and had all around good vibes. Girls was tieeeddd, so we hit one other spot briefly and called it a night. Playa definitely gives Vegas vibes, no matter what time you go to sleep, there's people still up.
Sunday Funday me please. So on one our first adventures, we set out to the Playa Car area in search of a more upscale vibe compared to the local beach. Playa Car is a super nice gated area that you pretty much need a resort pass to get access to the beach, which we did not have but we made it work *briefly*. Long story short, it started raining so our trek was short lived but it's definitely an area of the beach I'd visit again.
Back to the city we go. Once we got back to the more local area of Playa, we hit a spot called Fusion which has THE best shrimp tacos. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. The food was A1, the dj was playing some amazing house music (my vibe) and overall the beach side scene was great. Sitting steps from the beach in your own little cove with food, tequila and good music is all I will ever need in my life.
After a few shots (read: a couple bottles), a bee sting (sorry Cierra), and dope convos with Texans we met, we headed to get ready for the night. We had dinner at Trujillos, a cute catina a few blocks from the beach. The area is crowded so it's not too ducked off from the scenes. I didn't grab any pics from my meal but...it was good! Not the best but good. It did the job.
Next we hit Mandala club and it was definitely a vibe. I'm always here for club vibes and house/hip-hop music. All of us had pretty much pregamed prior to going to the club so it was good vibes all around. Can you believe it was only Sunday?
It's Monday so thought, why not attempt to get a little work done after non-stop partying for the last 48 hours? We went to Lido beach club which was a nice quiet vibe to start the Monday with, they had great breakfast options, seating right on the beach and good wifi.
I really just soaked in the moment of working from the beach like I've always wanted. I ordered the American combo which was a light and hearty breakfast bowl Mexican style.
After we finished work for the day we headed to Porfirio's. I'm not going to lie, I sucked at taking pictures of my food on this trip. Porfirio's is one of those spots that are super cute during the day and a borderline club scene at night. A few things we ordered: Salmon Ceviche (don't recommend, it was very mushy), Pregnant Shrimp with Devil Potatoes (omg yes!) and Fish Veracruzana (yes yes!). If you haven't gathered from my blog posts, I love seafood so I was thoroughly impressed by the fresh fish.
Of course, after some much needed rest, we headed out back to the bustling area of Playa and went to Aboloengo for another night of fun and much needed dancing. They definitely play a good mix of current music and the throwback songs you love to hear in the club.
Whew, by the time Tuesday hit, I needed a chill day and decided to do some exploring on my own. I spent the first part of the morning exploring the shops nearby our Airbnb in the popular 5th ave area. I love breezy days where I can explore with no real schedule. While on my adventure I got henna art done for less than $20 bucks, shopped (more than I needed to) and visited this super cute restaurant that called Kascabal.
I found out earlier that day that I signed 4 new clients to my marketing agency so celebrations were in order. They have a happy hour special on Rose so I indulged on a few glasses, enjoyed their SUPER fresh ceviche (so yummy) and fresh fish. The vibe was so serene and peaceful. The patio area was a tree house vibe with a hippie twist of random disco balls.
The rest of the evening was spent having the best vibes back at Fusion restaurant with my girls. It's hard not to like this spot as it's one of the cleanest areas of the beach, the music is great, you're guaranteed to meet great people and they even had a fire show later that evening. Perfect way to end the day.
After our first attempt of last minute securing a boat in Playa Car on Sunday, we took the route of pre-booking a boat for Wednesday. We decided we wanted to look super vacay (read: photo ready) for this yacht trip so we hired a local makeup artist to do our makeup that morning, which meant waking up at 5 a.m. Our makeup artist, Maria, was super sweet and created all of the looks we wanted from glam to al naturale.
Once our faces were beat for the gawds, we headed out to our yacht rental about 30 minutes away. Boyyy, first things first, nobody told us how choppy the water was. So once we left the dock, myself and one of my girlfriends were sitting out on front of the boat. I have never been so scared in my life lmao. I laugh now but at the time I was really concerned we would fall off the boat. Since the water was so choppy, all the boats that day were docked in a cove area for the day which was fun!
We hung out with the other partiers, enjoyed fresh ceviche and guac and had an all-around good time. Before we left, we decided to swim around to the other boats andddd...my float definitely took off a little faster than expected. It took some extra help making sure I didn't completely float away. Definitely an experience but I had fun per usual no complaints.
Later that evening all of us went off and did our own thing, I stumbled across a posh rooftop pool, bar and restaurant at The Thompson Hotel. I ate dinner at Catch that night while overlooking all of Playa and the beautiful ocean. Of course, I ordered more food than I could eat but I really enjoyed.
After seeing how beautiful the view from the rooftop of The Thompson hotel was, I KNEW I had to go back the next day to experience the beach club, Alessia Day Club. Who can pass up a $120 cabana that includes food and drinks? Yes, you read that right. For $120, we received more than enough food for two people and a bottle of tequila. We had a great time working from the cabana and even taking a dip in the pool. Literally the perfect work remote vibes. (Sidenote: the music is a little too loud for zoom calls).
After a long day at the day club, I literally was ready for bed, so we ended the night chatting it up at a cute boho spot called Primo.
Well...our last day arrived and I was like, well let me enjoy one more day at the beach. It rained off and on most of the day but I got some work done beachside at We Uniq's rooftop lounge for a few before heading back to our place for my first ever IV drip experience.
What made us sign up for an IV drip experience? Well after the week we'd had of drinking and being in the sun, we figured why not make sure we return to the states hydrated? We booked two sessions with Dripsy. A reputable company founded by a fellow American who recently took his talents to Mexico.
After consulting with him on best options, we chose the Gold drop with B-12 added. The experience was very peaceful. After the Dripsy crew arrived at our airbnb, they carefully set up shop, explained the benefits of the different vitamins in our drip and went to work hooking up our IV drip. With set up and drip time, the entire thing took maybe an hour. It was definitely interesting being able to literally taste the vitamins in your mouth as the drip makes it's way into your system. We woke up the next morning with so much energy, 10/10 recommend and made our way back to Houston.
Thoughts on Playa: Playa was definitely the move. I loved how less touristy the area is compared to Cancun, Next time, I'll visit Holbox, which is a couple hours away from the Cancun airport.
Bloopers: Here’s my list of things I wish I had known but learned very quickly
1. Do not fly into Cozumel airport. As I mentioned early on, the ferry ride to/from Cozumel into Playa was an experience that I don't need the rest of my life. lol. The ride back was actually worse than the first ride. The ferry is extremely fast and you will have motion sickness.
2. Be mindful of the area that the Airbnb is in. Our Airbnb was right in the mix of clubs, which meant most days you could hear the party til about 3 a.m.
3. Dress light. Every experience I've had with airports in Mexico has been one that was HOT. Dress accordingly.
4. Do nottt send your white clothes to the la lavandería (laundry service). They do not use bleach.
Quick tips that I did to help my trip breezy:
1. Buy some water and essentials from a nearby corner store.
2. Take your laundry to a local laundry service (google maps: la lavandería) and get your clothes washed for under $10 before you head home.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to share and stay tuned for the next Untamed Travels.