When I first decided to head to Playa Del Carmen, as one of my stops in Mexico, I read a lot of blogs and travel advice to stay away from 5th Avenue (Avenida 5). It’s to busy, it’s to touristy, and the shop vendors will hassle you. I was going to avoid it for the most part and concentrate on little hideaways and secret eateries only the locals go to beyond 5th Ave. I am so grateful that the ADO bus station, from my hostel, was a 20 minute walk from one end to 5th Avenue all the way to the other end of 5th Avenue. When I started my trek I struggled not to stop at every unique little shop. I just had to get to my hostel and rid myself of my backpack that was bulging off me like a big tortoise shell.
Once I checked into my hostel I quickly grabbed everything I needed and I was out the door, camera in hand, heading back along 5th Ave. I was hooked on this street, all in the space of 20 minutes. It was so diverse. One minute you have little market stalls, the next you have boutique shops, high end stores, art stores, restaurants, bars, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start! I know 5th Ave, Playa Del Carmen, isn’t the only street in the world to have this diversity, but there was something about the vibe of this long casual street, that made me want to keep exploring every little corner.
Where To Start
You have to start somewhere and the best thing I can recommend, is just start anywhere. There is no perfect place to start along 5th Ave, you just have to dive in and start! Take your time, don’t rush, and soak in the colours, vibes and tequila! Make sure you do walk the whole street. One end is definitely far more quiet than the other. The quieter side is nice for that break from the crowds.
Where To Eat
I must admit, I did find 5th Ave a little pricey. It is definitely cheap by western standards, although from a budget travellers point of view, you wouldn’t be able to dine along 5th Ave for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It would add up and you would be tipping over your daily budget. If your budget does allow it, try and eat here once a day. You won’t be sorry! Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try every restaurant so I just picked out my favourites to share.
Tea!!!! I do love a good tea! They have 80+ flavours packed into this tiny little tea store. The also have freshly made cupcakes, cookies, and macaroons. I just had to indulge here one day. Cupcake and tea counts as lunch right!? A cupcake goes for 40Pesos ($3) and a tea will set you back 60Pesos ($4.50)
A little hideaway you wouldn’t even know was there, unless you decided to look in the gift shop that graces its entrance. It is it’s own little oasis inside with a jungle theme, complete with a small waterfall. Meals range from 70Pesos ($5) up to 250Pesos ($18.) The serving sizes a small, you will be full on a starter meal.
Vegan options here! Any Mexican meal you want can be made into a Vegan option. I had the tofu tacos, which set me back 70Pesos ($5.)
Want a snack? Head to the public beach and grab some fresh fruit. A cup of fruit is 20Pesos ($1.50)
Where I Stayed
I stayed at Hostel Wonderous World. This hostel, would probably be the most chilled out hostel I have ever stayed at in my life! The owners were amazing, the breakfast was way above hostel standards, and the beds were the most comfortable beds I have slept on in a hostel. Being about a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town, it is a little far if you wanted to be in the middle of it all. I liked that about it. It also has cheap taco stands around the area.
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