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Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel #18222
12/23/2012 08:41 PM
12/23/2012 08:41 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 251
Texas
Sun4MnM Offline OP
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Sun4MnM  Offline OP
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Texas
We're considering our first visit to the Riviera Maya area next summer and were wondering about the pros/cons with staying at Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel. Looking for a safe, beach vacation with a few possible day trips to the ruins. Any advise would be appreciated.

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Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: Sun4MnM] #18223
12/23/2012 09:56 PM
12/23/2012 09:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 144
We come from the land of ice a...
S
Subaqua Offline
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Posts: 144
We come from the land of ice a...
Diving - Cozumel
Beach, ruin excursions - PDC

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: Subaqua] #18224
12/23/2012 10:52 PM
12/23/2012 10:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
bugambilias Offline
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Playa del Carmen, MX
Both safe unless you are VERY stupid.
For beach and ruins... see above.
Day passes are available at Hidden Beach Resort.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: Sun4MnM] #18225
12/24/2012 12:34 PM
12/24/2012 12:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 873
Great PacNW
ChunkyDunkin Offline
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We did quite a bit of research last summer for a winter (high season) two month get away from the weather up here. After checking out alot of potential destinations we selected Playa based on lots of favorable coments, friends wh have been there before and loved it, reasonable cost of stay, beaches, no rental car needed, proximity to restaurants-bars-beaches, etc.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: ChunkyDunkin] #18226
12/25/2012 02:56 PM
12/25/2012 02:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 150
New Hampshire
yanque6 Offline
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We plan to try both in Feburary. Fly into Cancun, spent 4 nights in PDC then take the Ferry over to Cozumel (about $12 one way) and spent 3 nights there.Flight back to Cancun via Maya Air($58 one way). Rental car for one day in PDC to drive down to Tulum and one day in CZM for a trip around the island. I have been to CZM many times for diving and love it , been through PDC but have never spent much time there. Both locations are very safe, looking forward to seeing more of the PDC area. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: yanque6] #18227
12/26/2012 01:21 PM
12/26/2012 01:21 PM
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Posts: 622
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Cleobeach Offline
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We stayed south of PDC last November. I enjoyed Tulum far more than I expected. We hired a private guide (a local) and it was worth it.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: Sun4MnM] #18228
12/27/2012 03:50 PM
12/27/2012 03:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 991
NY and Mexico
crmoores Offline
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NY and Mexico
We stay at the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal in the gated Playacar community just 5 min south of PDC. Beautiful jungle setting situated on a gorgeous beach within minutes of town and attractions and a very safe, quiet area. The complex is gated, and the resort is guarded so you feel very safe there evenings. And the jungle paths at night are magical. We haven't tried anyplace else because we love it there so much. Also great staff and entertainment and food.

We sometimes stay in Cancun after our PDC visit to be closer to the airport and for a more cosmopolitan experience in the hotel zone. There we enjoy the RIU Palace Las Americas and the RIU Cancun next door.
But Cancun doesn't compare to the Mayan Riviera for natural beauty. We would visit Cozumel and drive the island, but Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya coast is our preferred area. Just gorgeous beaches, friendly people, and beautiful natural attractions and ruins.

Trying to do both Cozumel and Cancun or Cozumel and Playacar is a bit much and you don't get enough time relax and enjoy one area. But a day ferry to Cozumel is plenty as you can rent a car cheap and drive the island and see the beaches. We visited the Iberostar there and although it's neat it's not as nice as the Tucan in Playacar. Very quiet there and not the entertainment that the Tucan offers.
Take a look at the Tucan, there's a site that has pics, videos, and reviews, I believe it's www.ib-board.com/boards/index.php/index.php, just select the link and scroll down to the Ibero resort you want to look at.

Last edited by crmoores; 12/27/2012 03:57 PM.

Bluewater
Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: crmoores] #18229
10/09/2014 06:59 PM
10/09/2014 06:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 14
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mayjong Offline
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Posts: 14
playa all the way!

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: mayjong] #18230
12/29/2014 03:24 AM
12/29/2014 03:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 119
Switzerland
EuroSailor Offline
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EuroSailor  Offline
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Switzerland
Having just revisited the Mayan Riviera after a 16 year gap, I would suggest to avoid PDC as a base. IMHO, the place has been ruined by cheap bars and restaurants (a la Senior Frogs), crappy souvenir shops, and loud mouthed tourists. Very much following Cancun in this way, which is sad, as it used to be a fantastic little town full of character.

In fact, badly regulated tourism development has turned the entire coast from Cancun down to Tulum into an endless strip of mega resorts and "eco adventure" sites (many of which don't give a damn about being eco friendly).

I know I may sound overly negative, and apologize in advance. But having visited the place a number of times in the past when the coast and its Mayan culture and history were still relatively intact, laid-back and treated with the necessary respect, it was rather sad to see the negative impact of rampant, mass tourism development.

Amazingly, go a little inland, and the Yucatan reveals itself again as a place of rich history, culture and a lingering sense of mysticism, with friendly people, and honest and good food. Places like Valladolid, ruins like Ek Balam and Coba. And for the coast, go south of Tulum!

But if you're looking for all night fun, sleeping it off on the beach, visit a few totally overrun ruins and pay top dollar for a few cheap eco thrills, by all means stay in PDC.


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Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: EuroSailor] #18231
12/29/2014 05:33 PM
12/29/2014 05:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
bugambilias Offline
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Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
The shock of expecting a busy tourist destination to remain a snapshot in time must be devastating. Agreed about the over-commercialism near the ferry pier. Go just a short distance farther north or west to find the "Old Playa." Maybe do what most of us do and eschew the tourist area altogether. Consider the changes in the world since Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash and Bill Clinton was president of the USA Playa is also quite different each year and continues to change continually.

There are hundreds of little rustic beach clubs between the mega resorts. So sorry you didn't find them.

SOME of the X-Theme Parks are actually very eco-friendly. The newest one, Xoximilco, is built over a dilapidated, abandoned, gravel pit. The standing water was a mosquito breeding ground and certainly contributed to the now dwindling dengue problem. Many tourists would never be exposed to Mexican, Aztec or Mayan culture without some of their folkloric presentations. But why anybody would want to go to the Caribbean to spend a day riding a quad bike or zip line is beyond me.

Communications and medical care are both dramatically improved and most public parks have free WiFi. The sanitary system and road construction is keeping up with development and generally improving. The 4 story height limit on buildings in still in place, so developers are really not running rampant as it must seem after 16 years away.

Although Playa is VERY different than the sleepy village we saw 20 years ago the change isn't all bad.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18232
01/03/2015 08:45 PM
01/03/2015 08:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 186
southern Oregon
kubotaman Offline
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southern Oregon
Well said, Bugambilias, with great tact and wisdom. As a thank you for previous sage recommendations, would love to "buy" you a drink if ever we are coincidentally at HBR. Love your blog, and writing style.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: kubotaman] #18233
01/04/2015 01:37 PM
01/04/2015 01:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 873
Great PacNW
ChunkyDunkin Offline
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Posts: 873
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You talking about the "Bug..." guy I know?? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Yikes.gif" alt="" />

Tact? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Spook.gif" alt="" /> Wisdom? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> and Sage?? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />

Me thinks that the better half did compose this prose for him. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/typing.gif" alt="" />

See ya soon M&P. Havn't forgotten the margarita offer from last summer <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

NFC finals Jan 18 somewhere? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> Seahawks <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />
Superbowl Feb 1 somewhere? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> SEAHAWKS <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />
Tony& Cheri retirement party Jan 25, Luna Blue?

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18234
01/06/2015 04:47 PM
01/06/2015 04:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 119
Switzerland
EuroSailor Offline
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EuroSailor  Offline
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Posts: 119
Switzerland
Bugambilias, again I do apologize if I sounded overly negative. And I do agree with you that development can of course bring positive change, e.g. improved health care and infrastructure, and employment opportunities.

So I'm not against commercial development persť, as long as it is done carefully and respectfully. And I certainly don't live in a hole in the ground being unaware of the constant changes around us (I actually work in the international development and aid sector). But when I see how the area directly around the Tulum archeological site has been turned into a cheap theme park, it saddens me somewhat. Nothing to do with living in the past.

In any case, Yucatan is still a fantastic travel destination!


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Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: EuroSailor] #18235
01/06/2015 05:30 PM
01/06/2015 05:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
bugambilias Offline
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bugambilias  Offline
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Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
Quote
EuroSailor said:
the area directly around the Tulum archeological site has been turned into a cheap theme park, it saddens me somewhat.


Sailor,

Good news. There is no reason to be saddened.

There is no such development.

The theme park to which I think you are referring is probably Xplor/Xcaret (see above and far from cheap) and is about 20 miles away from The Tulum Archaeological Site.

Please check Google Earth to re-orient yourself and cheer up.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18236
01/07/2015 06:01 PM
01/07/2015 06:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 119
Switzerland
EuroSailor Offline
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EuroSailor  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 119
Switzerland
No worries, Bugam. I won't lose any sleep over my 'disappointment' with the circus around Tulum. And believe me, I don't need Google Earth to know the difference between Tulum and Xcaret.

Perhaps the description "theme park" was not correct. Not sure what you would call a scene of massive car and coach parks, pavements lined with cheap souvenir shops, hordes of shirtless tourists, electric trolleys in the form of steam trains moving said hordes between the carparks and the main gate, and very mediocre restaurants ...... responsible tourism development?? Or cheap commercial exploitation?

Anayway, as I said, I won't lose sleep over it. Plenty of other places to explore.

Enjoy the tourist boom to the fullest, Bugam!


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Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18237
01/17/2015 03:06 PM
01/17/2015 03:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
bugambilias Offline
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bugambilias  Offline
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Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
Tulum Archeological Site

[Linked Image]

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18238
01/18/2015 08:26 PM
01/18/2015 08:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
bugambilias Offline
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bugambilias  Offline
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Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
Quote
bugambilias said:
Tulum Archeological Site

[Linked Image]


EuroSailor said:
the area directly around the Tulum archeological site has been turned into a cheap theme park

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18239
02/14/2015 12:43 AM
02/14/2015 12:43 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 119
Switzerland
EuroSailor Offline
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EuroSailor  Offline
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Posts: 119
Switzerland
<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" /> impressive how you keep trying! Why don't you post a photo of the car park and shopping/restaurant area around midday? Not a photo taken hundreds of meters away from shore .. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> .. Unless you were trying to be sarcastic of course.


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Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: EuroSailor] #18240
02/17/2015 01:37 PM
02/17/2015 01:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 413
Playa del Carmen, MX
bugambilias Offline
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bugambilias  Offline
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Playa del Carmen, MX
Just trying to get the facts out to the readers. The statement:
[color:"orange"]
the entire coast from Cancun down to Tulum into an endless strip of mega resorts and "eco adventure" sites[/color]

Isn't accurate. The OP came off that and narrowed the focus to one area only:
[color:"orange"]
the area directly around the Tulum archeological site has been turned into a cheap theme park
[/color]
Redacted even further by:
[color:"orange"]
...perhaps the description "theme park" was not correct.[/color]

Refined the original post again to:

[color:"orange"]massive car and coach parks, pavements lined with cheap souvenir shops, hordes of shirtless tourists,[/color]

Now asking for a snapshot of the parking lot of a major tourist attraction at the busiest time of the day:
[color:"orange"]
post a photo of the car park and shopping/restaurant area around midday[/color]

For those who have read this far, Please know that the area around Playa del Carmen is an active, vibrant, safe, beautiful and diverse tourist destination. It's easy to get to from most parts of the US and Canada. Most of the economy here is built around the service industry. Therefore they take VERY good care of the tourists. This area is growing and improving everyday and not in an adverse way.

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18241
02/23/2015 08:44 PM
02/23/2015 08:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
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South East US, Carolinas coast
Coba was interesting

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: sailn] #18242
03/02/2015 10:04 AM
03/02/2015 10:04 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 57
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Mpant Offline
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We love Riviera Maya and first visited the area in 1980
We try to return every 2 years
Yes there has been a lot of development around Tulum that is not pretty but the ruins are still worth a visit and the beach to the south is nice
PDC is busy but still enjoyable
While the area has developed you can still enjoy some terrific place s like TANKAH with its lagoon and beach area. Also love Akumal,Aktun Chen cave,many cenotes,Xpu-Ha,EkBalam for an out of the way Mayan experience. Always spend some time in Puerto Morelos as snorkeling is great and town is fun. Try a trip to Isla Mujeres etc etc etc
There is so much to do and that's why its a great place to visit. Having been to many Carib islands, Hawaii etc it is probably our favorite place. Rent a car and get good maps and you will have a great time!

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: bugambilias] #18243
07/07/2015 05:22 AM
07/07/2015 05:22 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 991
NY and Mexico
crmoores Offline
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NY and Mexico
We love staying at the iberostar Tucan resort which is set in a jungle on a gorgeous beach and located close to Playa in Playacar. Easy access to runs and natural sites.
disagree a bit with previous poster, Playa is growing and becoming a very diverse place. But still very Mexican, and an excellent base location. We're building a home just north of Playa to take advantage of the excellent infrastructure and medical system, yet we can drive to so many areas including Belize. Yes 5th Ave is a busy spot, it there are excellent restaurants to enjoy, and the North end (Little Italy) is a very nice area to stay in. For a nice, boutique hotel on the north end where you can walk everywhere consider Aventura Mexicana.


Bluewater
Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: crmoores] #18244
10/17/2015 04:32 PM
10/17/2015 04:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 700
MA
singbeach Offline
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singbeach  Offline
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Posts: 700
MA
Iberostar Tucan/Quetzald Is this One or two separate, one Tucan, one Quetzal? They serve International liquor, not just bar, call brand? Is it possible to get liquor in the mini bar? Or, is it possible to stop to buy on the way to the hotel? I would most likely hire a private driver or hire a taxi, since we will be 6 and I don't like stopping all along the way and waste time, etc. Any particular way you book? It seems better deals to book Hotel & Flight together....any info greatly appreciated! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />

Re: Playa del Carmen vs Cozumel [Re: singbeach] #18245
10/17/2015 07:02 PM
10/17/2015 07:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 150
New Hampshire
yanque6 Offline
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New Hampshire
I have used USA transfers from Cun to Playa del Carmen a number of times. Excellent service and good price.Book online USA-transfers.com and they meet you comming out of the terminal.


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