We just got back from another trip down to Playa. Such a great town - I just love being there - every time I step off the plane I feel like I've come home and it's funny - I never get that feeling when I'm stepping off the plane in Canada.
It was fun to explore once again this year. There have been a lot of new developments going on around Playa and there were so many changes!
New hotels and condos are popping up all around us! The new mall on 5th Avenue that was under construction when we were there last year is up and running now. These new developments along 5th avenue are bringing a whole new, trendy vibe to the street and I really have mixed feelings about that. I understand that from a tourism point of view the trendy stores are important for the industry but it saddens me to see the cultural side of Playa being pushed aside. Don't get me wrong there is still a cultural side to be found but for the people coming in for the day from either a cruise ship, or a resort along the highway, the cultural side isn't right there in front of them as much any more. If you're only in town for the day - plan well - if it's modern shopping you want then you'll find it on 5th Avenue. If you're looking for the more traditional Mexican stores - there are still some but you will see more of them along the side streets that run down to 5th or along 10th Avenue. There is apparently another new mall coming to 5th Avenue - this one will be between 34th and 38th where the Real Playa del Carmen all inclusive used to be.
5th Avenue continues to be the place to see for shopping and restaurants but it's interesting to note that 10th Avenue, although not a pedestrian street, is becoming a fashionable street as well, more towards restaurants than shops but as you venture along toward Juarez you will find some traditional Mexican shops with jellyfish lights, hammocks and other gift ideas - often at a better price than on 5th Avenue.
There will be lots of changes for us to see next time we are there. Days before we were leaving they were just breaking ground on a new condo right next door to ours, which will apparently have retail on the ground floor and residences above. As well the newest mall may even be open by the time we return. We will be back and the adventures will continue!