Bicycle in the beach of Playa del Carmen

Perlas Caribeñas

In VIBRAS LOCALES by ahtzirilagarde

I’m so thrilled to announce I’m introducing spanish language in the blog. I wanted to do it for a long time now and I’m so happy to be able to communicate better with spanish-speaking community through these gray paragraphs :) And which post better to begin with than my last travel to the Mexican caribbean? I used to visit Mexico once per year/year and a half and not because I didn’t want to do it more often, it was mainly because in Italy August is the holiday month, it’s like the whole country stop working for 30 days (or more!): so many times I found myself deciding between visit my country or exploring new countries, hard decision (without mentioning the expenses)! The good news are that I found out that you can travel in January or October paying the half of what I usually pay in Summer. That’s a good fix, either for the money or for having the Summer available to explore new cities as well. For those who are wondering how much it costs flying to Mexico (from Italy) in those months, doing it in January/October costs around €500 while in August €1000. Big difference. And it’s way more convenient stopping in Mexico City than flying directly to Cancun. That said, let me share with you my favorite gems of the turquoise zone.

The first place I’ve visited was Puerto Morelos, a tiny town that is 20 minutes far from Cancun. Does it worth a visit? Yes, if what you are looking for is a break from the rush of the big cities or the crazy touristic fauna often seen in places like Cancun or Acapulco (and let’s be honest, Playa del Carmen too). Puerto is a town with no traffic lights, where you still can found 1lt. of orange juice for $3 and if you are lucky enough (i won’t specify which type of luck here) you could find in your way, why not, a nice crocodile. Once there, you cannot avoid visiting Unico Beach Club, which won my heart last January bringing The Wailers in concert ❤ And on top of that, they have the Argentinian chef Marcos Walfisch in the kitchen, who never but never ever, has served a dish that I didn’t love.

I’ve spent the most of the time in Playa del Carmen visiting my favorite places and going with Marcia to her exhibitions. Finally I was able to visit the new location of my favorite club, La Santanera, which now is located in the same place where Basico (another must I’ll miss a ton) used to be :( I still don’t know if I liked the new project but it’s certainly still a worthy place either for their great selection of electronic music or the whole concept behind. Another place I really like is Reina Roja Hotel, with its fantastic terrace –and amazing design– where I was drinking the house’s cocktail with all the terrace just for me. It’s terribly ironic how I was celebrating life that day and just the day after, a guy lost his. As you can deduce by the accident, I visited Playa del Carmen for the BPM festival, although the tickets went sold out before I could get them. Classic.

One day before my departure, we decided to visit Cozumel. As a local, Marcia decided to take me to that not touristic side of the island, Punta Morena. Loved it. To get there you must rent a car and I’d suggest to rent it before embarking the ferry –and with a serious company– or you could end up in a folkloric experience with a car without brakes like us. You have plenty of beautiful beaches to stop by along the coast. As we couldn’t choose, we decided to stop in almost all of them. I have to say that seeing the caribbean beaches without the touristic load gives to everything a fresh meaning.

Despite not being able to visit them this time, I can’t avoid mentioning my favorite caribbean jewels: Holbox and Xcacelito, to which I hope to dedicate their own post soon. The first one is a tiny island in the middle of the Caribbean. What I love: its colors, weather, folklore that gets you in that  this is the life mood. What i don’t like: its prices (as every island) and its mosquitos, which are a Chuck Norris insect version. Holbox has a very important place in my heart to the point that often you can hear me saying is my favorite corner of the planet. I highly recommend Hotel Casa Las Tortugas, an hotel lovely decorated with vibrant Kahlo-ish accents; their jalapeño martini is a must if you like spicy flavors.
The second jewel is Xcacelcito, a beautiful beach located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. ITs speciality: several kilometers of white virgin sand and hidden cenote in the back, yes.

I’ll leave you with this pic of the last sunset I’ve seen there. It happened a few moments before embarking the ferry to going back to Playa. I’ve never been this happy for a long line.
Which are your favorite Caribbean gems?