Playa del Carmen is located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, about 40 miles south of Cancun. Originally, a rest stop of sorts for travelers making their way from the great cities of the Mayan world to the island of Cozumel, this once sleepy fishing village has retained its small-town charm. Buildings are low-rise, and the atmosphere is still authentic, but it houses world-class shopping and an entertaining nightlife.
Fifth Avenue is the town’s main pedestrian center where you will find stores selling handmade crafts and jewelry, as well as big name chains and local restaurants. There are clothing stores selling the latest trends from Europe next to vendors dishing out Cuban cigars and local rum. It is a vibrant atmosphere reminiscent of a carnival featuring fire breathers, giant boa constrictors and a cavalcade of characters parading.
For those looking to uncover a bit of authentic Mexico, it is definitely worth the quick taxi ride.
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