This blog is about Playa del Carmen and is sponsored by tequila withdrawals.
I honestly wasn’t even going to blog about this family trip I just took to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a couple of reasons:
-It wasn’t a “solo trip,” so it’s a little off theme. I went with what we refer to as the “inner circle” of my family (the family members who genuinely like one another): my mom, dad, sister and aunt. Maybe it makes us terrible people to organize a family within a family, but we have that unapologetically and I recommend it.
-I did little more than drink tequila, lay on the beach or sit by the pool of the house we rented in Playa Secreto, so I don’t have much guidance or many recommendations to offer. While we did explore a little, this trip was about rest and relaxation. By the way, this is a great place to do that. Just bring bug spray. Every time I go to Cancun I get eaten alive for some reason. Fortunately, I don’t think I got West Nile.
All of that said, I do have some thoughts about PDC, Riviera Maya and nearby Puerto Morelos to share:
We stayed at Villa Picon on Playa Secreto in Riviera Maya. We rented the house from Luxury Retreats ( The house had three bedrooms, several bathrooms, a big kitchen and living room, GREAT A/C in the bedrooms, and comfortably accommodated our family. Anna and Nico were the caretakers of the home and were INCREDIBLE! I will miss this house primarily because of them (okay the pool and beach didn’t suck) and their hospitality and attention to detail. We have rented many houses as a family, and these people were our favorite to encounter.

-The ocean water in Playa Secreto is perhaps the clearest I have ever experienced. This was not only true on the beach and when swimming close in, but I could see all the way to the bottom when ¼ mile out while jet skiing. It was absolutely stunning! I only wish I had made more time for a snorkel or a dive. (Nico set up the jet skis for us, and they were brought to the beach behind the house for around $150/hr per machine)

Puerto Morelos was a really special little town about half way between where we stayed and Cancun proper (and Playa del Carmen was about the same distance south of our rented house for perspective). I loved the “small town,” local feel to the place. It had shopping (an open market on a Friday night), restaurants and a small harbor-type environment with fishing boats. While many of the larger cities I have visited in Mexico feel very commercial and are filled with tourists, this place felt “lived in” and I saw local culture everywhere. It also wasn’t very crowded or some kind of non-stop spring break party shit show. I loved it and recommend it. If you go, eat at Punta Corcho. The service was outstanding and the food was delicious, most of which had some element of wood fire preparation. If you want to try Mezcal, as we did, they offer tastings and know their stuff.

If Playa Del Carmen is your destination, I did ask a local for some restaurant recommendations:
La Cueva del Chango
Passion (with an 8-star Michelin chef)
Saffron (which this person loved)
Fairmount (in Mayacoba)
Aldea Corazon
El Diablito Cha Cha Cha
I am taking some dude’s word on those, so don’t hate me if you aren’t a fan.
Who is ready for a vacation? After writing this, I am thinking I want another one!