Paddle Boarding in Playa

This morning Sr. Elizondo and I went paddle boarding. The instructor/owner was from the Netherlands. He was super informative and just plain cool. By the end of our hour, both Sr. E and I were successful paddle boarders. I can’t wait to go again.

It feels so good to be back at my happy place.

See these two sink holes? There is actually a Cenote underneath the beach. The fresh water bubbles up from the underground cave into the Caribbean.

Playa del Carmen Recap

It was hola/adios this visit. All was well at Sandy Toes. I found some new restaurants and stores, and was sad to see that others were gone.

I love Playa del Carmen, but for those who would like to come visit this beautiful town, I would suggest maybe next year. Unfortunately, the gorgeous beaches that PDC normally has is overrun with seaweed and algae. I heard more than one disgruntled tourist. I personally went to the beach once, never set foot in the ocean, and had no desire to hang out again. Hence, all the shopping and blogging I did.

My Playa Purchases

“I wasn’t planning on buying anything this visit, but…”, are famous last words, at least for me. You already saw my Old Navy haul. Well, aside from that I also bought:

This great big fringed beach towel from Oysho which was on 50% sale.

I also got these sandals from there for 30% off. (Notice how I reference the sales to justify my purchases.) I’m hoping they’re as comfortable walking around as they were in the store.

This blouse from Stradivarius called my name…in stripes and in black…

Along with some of their on $10 perfume since I didn’t bring any this visit.

Just when I think I have the shopping madness under control, I found Dine n Dance women’s clothing store and had to purchase this linen coverup and dress.

This cover up has gray metallic ribbing which you can’t really see in this pic and side pockets. Perfect for walking around 5th after the beach.

And isn’t this the sweetest linen maxi dress you’ve ever seen? I love the pale pink color. It’s my favorite purchase from this visit.

Obviously, Sandy Toes took a back seat to this visit.

Chic Shops in Playa del Carmen

Here’s a few of my favorite quality boutique stores for women that you can find on 5th avenue.

Silvia Suarez (behind Bodeguito del Media on 5th)

Traditional Mexican women’s clothing, but with a modern feel to them. (If that makes sense…) They also have some cute accessories too.

Biuriful

This is a newer store in Playa.

I had high hopes for this store based on their advertising, but didn’t really see anything that was for me. They did have some chic hats and alot of cool sunglasses.

Touche (5th & 10th)

Upscale beachwear with an upscale price. This store had lots of items I wanted. The coverup in the window was so pretty. I’m still debating it….

***Now for the boho chic/Tulum-esque shops:

La Troupe (5th between 38th & 40th)

This store is boho chic at it’s best. It has both women’s clothes and home textiles.. A must visit.

Bedouin  (Next door to La Troupe)

Another cool boho shop with alot of their clothing artisan made.

Mira (5th between 38th & 40th)

This is a new store that has the boho vibe, but with a higher end commercial feel.

 

Jula Luma 

My favorite boho chic shop in Playa. I loved everything about this store and I could not find it. I was hoping they had just moved, but they simply closed.

However, when one store closes, another opens…

Dine n Dance (corner of 28th and 1st)

This store is adorable and if you’re a linen lover like I am you should come here. They also have some really cute hats.

 

Looking at these pics again, I might go back before I leave.

La Bikineria (5th ave between Constituyentes & 20th)

This is a really small store selling bathing suits, some boho beachwear, and a few miscellaneous items as well. It may be small, but I like what they sell.

PDC New Restaurant Finds and Restaurant Busts

My Playa del Carmen intel continues…

RESTAURANT FINDS:

Salade at the corner of 10th & 15th. For a good BIG salad, this is the place. Fresh veggies and friendly service.

La Mission on 10th between Juarez and 2nd. This is a good typical Mexican restaurant.

Yala on 10th between 5th and 10th. I walked by this small restaurant earlier in the day and the smell of curry was divine. I went back later that evening and had falafels. It was pretty darn good.

 

RESTAURANT BUSTS:

Romeo’s Italian restaurant is supposed to be really good. They were temporarily closed.

Cafe Antoinette had great reviews and menu online. I should have checked the dates because now it’s only a bakery and coffee place. (The pastries and breads did look good, but I wanted an actual meal.)

La Brioche is a French restaurant that also had great reviews. I looked on 10th and it was nowhere to be found. Again if I had researched a little more thoroughly, I would have known this restaurant has moved and I’ve already been there! It’s on 5th ave and 38th. I’ve been to it a few times and yes, it’s an excellent place to eat.

What I’ve learned: Make sure the info you are googling is current!!!

 

 

I’m Loving Old Navy

Playa del Carmen has a few malls located on 5th Ave that I ventured into today. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Old Navy is rockin’ it. One random visit and I left with four summer blouses. Not only are their styles really cute this season, but their clothes are great for hot humid climates.

The cut of this sleeveless top sold me.

It may be an Old Navy top, but this one looks super chic on.

So I had to buy one in a similar style. This one more cutesy chic, but still love.

This one gave me a Madewell vibe and actually fits a little better than my Madewell top at home, not as boxy.

 

Funky Art Store in Playa del Carmen

El Jaguar Dorado is a small store on 8th between 10th and 15th. It’s full of art and cheeky miscellaneous things made from Mexican artisans. The textiles feel boho and come from Chiapas in the south of Mexico. It’s a fun store to browse and if you’re looking for a more unique gift from Playa rather than the usual souvenir, you should definitely check this store out.

Playa del Carmen Good Eats West of the Carretera

There are plenty of condos (one might even say, “saturated”) in Playa del Carmen and many of them are on the “other side” of Playa. By that I mean west of the carretera, not in the touristy Centro. Sandy Toes is one of them and I’m slowly finding the good places to eat. Here’s a few recommendations.

Most importantly, there is Lo Nuevo El Fogon. I was so happy to find this restaurant not far from Sandy Toes. It’s on the corner Colosio, one street before Chemuyil. I’m inclined to agree with those on Trip Advisor and say El Fogon tacos are some of the best in Playa. Their trompo is a must. You can see below just like in the two in Centro, El Fogon is always packed with people from the moment it opens.

 

Another great place to eat is Bak Dune on Colosio. It’s a really small restaurant and can be easily missed. If you’re driving from the carretera, it’s before Chemuyil, on the left hand side. It’s a Mexican/Lebanese restaurant, but I have only had the Lebanese food. The falafels and the tabouleh are definitely worth ordering.

 

A solid choice for pizza is Adornetto’s in Plaza Real Ibiza. There menu isn’t huge, but what they offer is good. They also have huge salads served with bread that I’m a fan of. I probably order their Caesar salad that comes with rosemary focaccia once a week when I’m here.

 

On my last visit I discovered Mr. Dog for hamburgers and hot dogs. There is one in the Centro too. I’ve only tried their grilled hamburgers and I’m a repeat customer. Two thumbs up for Mr. Dog.