We arrive in Cancun at 9:50 am. Our flight is on time. On the way out, we find a tourist information center. The representative tells us about discounted day tour that is associated with certain hotels. The more I talk to her, the more it sounds like a timeshare sales pitch. So, we get away and finally locate the ADO (express bus) ticket center at the end of building. The cost for an express bus between cancun airport and Playa Del Carmen is 80 Pesos.
The bus promptly leaves Cancun airport at 10:45 am, just like what the schedule says. The trip takes approximately 1 hour. The view between Cancun airport and Playa Del Carmen is a bit mundane with some bushes and palm trees dotting the sides of the highway. There are attempts to make things better like placing sculptures every few hundred meters on the highway median.
We arrive in Playa Del Carmen bus station around 11:45 am. The taxi from the bus station to our hotel is supposed to be 12 pesos, according to the information that I have on the Internet. However, the taxi broker (that's how I call this guy because he seems to be doing the price negotiation between the taxi driver and us, and other potential passengers) quotes 40 pesos. Although the real distance is only about 12 short blocks, since we are carrying a lot of stuffs, I just take the quoted price. BTW, if you look at the hotel address (Calle 26), you would think that it's 20 something block away from the bus station (on Calle2). However, in Playa (the short name for Playa Del Carmen), the street naming convention is the following. For streets that are parallel to the beach, the number goes up by 5. So, it starts with Ave 1, then Ave 5, then Ave 10, 15 and so on. The streets that are perpendicular to those Avenues are called Calle, and the number goes up by increment of 2. Hence, the distance between Calle 26 and Calle 2 is actually just 13 blocks.
We get to our hotel, hotel Luna Blue, around noon, but the room is not available for check in yet. Fortunately, we can drop off our luggage and go out for lunch. We go to a nearby restaurant called Vagabond Cafe. It's on Ave 5 between Calle 24 and 22, I think. If you come for lunch between 1 pm and 5 pm, you can ask for menu del dia for a really good price. I think appetizer, soup, main course and drink costs just 69 pesos. Today, the main course for the lunch special is chicken in wine sauce, and beef in tomato sauce. The soup is either cold tomato soup (gazpacho) or chicken corn soup.
After lunch, we check in to our hotel, and we are then on our way to the Mamita's Beach Club. This place is really swanky! Over here, you will find not only beach huts and reclining seats, but you will also find the real beach beds, big and cozy sofa or swings accompanied with ever present bar services and hip music. Another great thing about this place (or our hotel) is that admission to this place is actually included in our hotel rate. The water color is so blue, and we can see the nuances from light blue to greenish blue to finally dark blue. It's amazing, how does sea here gets such terrific color? After checking out the place, we pick a spot and then enjoy the rest of the day relaxing, having sun tan and enjoying the view.
Once in a while, you see outside food peddlars come in offering their goodies, like fresh cut mangoes (it's sweet), and professional photographers offering the service. The photographer will just swing by and ask if you want to have some pictures taken. He/she (in our case she) will tell you how to pose to make a professional looking magazine cover-like pictures. Afterwards, if you choose to have your pictures, you can take it from the store, also on Avenida 5 between Calle 12 and 14. I forget the name of the store though.
We have our dinner at Las Brisas (see itinerary). This place is terrific for fresh seafood. The lobster tail is great! It's just half a block off from Ave Quinta (Ave 5), but because of that, the price is almost half of the price charges by the competitions. We have a seafood platter for 2 that includes a 400 gr lobster tail, prawns, squids, fish for just under 300 pesos. This place is highly highly recommended.