March 2018 - Playa del Carmen, Mexico...Party Playa

4 Nights in Playa del Carmen (Playa as it's known locally) full of food, especially seafood and drinks, roof top pool and late nights in this party town.  Manage to check out a Cenote as well.

Is this known as Party Playa yet?

Made our way to the ferry terminal in Isla Mujeres which is about a 4 block walk. Ferry for $14 USD to Cancun, a $6 USD taxi to the Colectivos (Vans) to Playa which cost $3 USD finished with 12 min walk to our fantastic apartment with rooftop sitting pool.  A perfect 4 days of fun and relaxation on the mainland.

Nice contrast

Anavyantas, little slower and not any cheaper

But definitely less people


Heading to Cancun

Chau Isla Mujeres

Speed vs finess

In to the big city of Cancun.

Don't take the back seat!
Crammed like this for 1 hr or more.

Hot walk, but happy to be off that bus/van/colectivo.

Roof top area, so nice

























































Great spot in Playa; Petit Maguey

I can live with this


Tight beach area, not sure that's the best part of Playa.  I am sure the hotel brochures are sexier than the actual beach fronts they boast.  Beware!





Big hotel - Grand Hyatt

Busy And this is at the end of the day.

Possibly my favourite lunch spot ever!  Chiletin has a great vibe, great seafood and good drinks to get a guy back on track. A tribute to Chiletin.

Soup shooter to start. Ojo Rojo - Red Eye

Tuna Burger

2 Ojo Rojos is better than one
  
Like coming back from the bathroom
to your food, except sub in "the Pool"

Tostados, so tasty and only $2.5 each

Hey guys, "concrete anchor bolts"

Too spicy! Shrimp cocktail - "Aguachile"

Shot from next door hostel tower bar
Enjoying a swim before lunch...at the restaurant...nice

Perfect



Other moments around town.

Recommend: Chiletin for eating seafood, La Perla Pixan for authentic Mayan food, La Ranita for drinks, La Changla for live music.

Ran in to my old boss Grant and
 Tracy (Entec) on the street.

Dancing girls outside a $55 all you can
drink bar. "Mandala"

Out front of a live music bar "La Changla"

Last litre of the night for me at
Karaoke bar "Bambu"

Not a bad Hefeweizen from the can!

Check out the 200 ml beers, Ah cute

Homemade Margaritas by Sterling

Fried up Crickets at La Perla Pixan

La Perla Pixan

Cricket taco.  Taste like soya'd pumpkin seeds

COOL! knitted type thing...


Cenote Chaak Tun which is cold and dark and very overpriced.  $30 USD for 1.5 hrs to swim with rental gear (light did not work).  Stay tuned in the next post to see how you should do a Cenote proper!

Manicured area = could be expensive

Going in to the cenote cave



Definitely one of the good photos of the day

What?

Camera dying...

Staglamites


Screwed up camera, flashlight didn't work and we arrived late so we were the final group of the day and everyone wanted to go home.

Sterling and I listening to the guide



Roof top sunsets so great

March 2018 - Isla Mujeres, Mexico and checking in

Isla Mujeres where we landed and checked in to Mexico.  What a pleasant surprise with great food (lots of seafood as expected), spots to have a few drinks and a very nice North Beach.  Not to mention very sailboat friendly with a few protected bays where we passed quite a few foreign boats chilling for Free.

Well deserved
Cruising in to Isla passing many boats.  Big American Fishing Boat.

I wonder what that storage
arrangement is.


BIG boats

2012 - 62 foot Sunreef Catamaran ($1mm)

We are here, let's check it out.
And start working on the sea legs.

 Walking to the Port Captain Check In Point.

2 days to get checked in



Checking in to Mexico if you are the captain of a boat (expect 2 days):
0) CHECK OUT OF YOUR LAST PORT.
1) Capitania de Puerto, bring Zarpe, Crew List, Ownership papers, passport, 5 plus copies of everything
2) Migracion (Immigration), give passports
3) Bank to pay immigration taxes $32 usd (normally one of the taxes included in your flight to anywhere)
4) Get Migracion stamp
5) Agriculture check, may or may not need fumigation.
6) Aduana, likely need to bring the agent to the boat.
7) Pay about $500 usd.
8) Get 10 year Tourist Permit for the Boat in Cancun.

Once we were checked in it was only a matter of time before Arthur got the boat permitted and left to Puerto Aventuras where is Girlfriend and Dog were waiting on the A/C unit he had bought in from the USA.

While we were checking in to Mexico we stayed overnight in Marina Puerto Isla Mujeres which is fantastic for only a $1/foot.  So $32 per night got all of us showers and time in the pool.

Great spot, Part of the Wyndham Co.

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

And Captain Arthur was gone
Sterling and I continued to hang out staying 3 more nights on Isla Mujeres to get a feel for the place.  Two nights in Hotel Boca Inglesia (bland and pricey) and 1 night in Hotel Carmelina (cheap and friendly), both close to the North beach which was about 5 blocks away.

Recommend: La Mexicana for roasted chicken, Compadres for Tikin Xic and Hotel Carmelina.
Don't Recommend: Oscars for a sneeze of lobster on your pizza and Hotel Boca Iglesia.

Side Story: In Mexico watch the fine print on Booking.com.  "not included: 16% VAT, 3% City Tax"

Super Side Story: Dead guy on the North Beach.  I didn't take any photos and not sure what had happened; fisherman who washed up on shore or may be foul play.  I got a quick glimpse seeing the deceased was wearing clothes just before the police put a tent and police tape around the body which was there until the sun went down.  People who arrived later laid their towels right beside the tent.  One lady beside me a few hundred metres from the scene said "I don't know what happened, but I'm just waiting here with my kids until they move the body."  Tourism meets reality... 

Got to have a sign, so drunk people
know where they are.

Amazing lighting under a boat in the marina

Dinner strip in North Isla

More North town strip

Tikin Xic at Compadres

I think every night ended
like this in Isla

Free Coconut from the landscapers at
Marina Puerto Isla Mujeres

La Mexicana chickens

These girls are buried in laundry every day

North beach

Chicken at the beach
seemed like a good idea.
A little tricky, wouldn't
do it every day, but good!

Decided to make my own bulldog.

The $24 sneeze of
Lobster pizza.

Dancing at Poc-Na Beach Bar
  
All that was left of the
Tikin Xic today. Should be
ordered hours ahead. 
    
The boys setting up for some big time live music

Looks ok, but for $60 usd a night
and views of the concrete laundry
area and hallway. Not great.

And dirty! 5 mins there.

If you walk to the end of the hallway
What a view! 

Hotel location. Lots of golf carts
on the island.

Beach Wedding

Here's where the space is

Check out that Palapa

Some local ladies practicing a dance

Awesome sign
   
Hotel Carmelina - great value and location. $30 USD/500 pesos per night.

Like Melrose Place


Check out these big shots at Poc-na beach bar

Never did get in on the
6 shot set up



Other Stuff


Fantastic.  This guy threw this merial up in 30 minutes.

Different painting. Bottom refinishing

I just want to share Kale, Enjoy!