Family friendly activities in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is the perfect destination for your next family vacation. Just one hour from Cancun airport and easily accessible from almost any international destination, there are plenty of family friendly activities in Playa del Carmen to entertain everyone, young and old.

1. Sailing

Why not rent your very own catamaran for the day and take the whole family for an afternoon of sailing on the Caribbean? Your kids will love being on an exciting sailing adventure, spotting silver fish through the crystal clear water and keeping watch for other boats at sea.

Sailing Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

2. Snorkeling

Sign up for one of our custom snorkeling tours to the outer reef and catch a glimpse of the second largest barrier reef in the world. Spot colorful fish and uniquely shaped coral and discover why the Caribbean coast of Mexico is an underwater lovers paradise.

3. Zip-lining

Fly through the jungle and experience an adventure like no other at one of two zip-lining parks near Playa del Carmen. Xplor has the longest zip-line in Mexico, with a range of other family friendly activities such as driving an amphibious vehicle on land and water and swimming in an underground river.

Aktun Chen Nature Park has a great zip-line through a lush green jungle and a tour of an ancient cave system. The day finishes with a snorkel tour of one of the region’s most beautiful cenotes, or natural sink holes.

4. Horse Riding

Catch the free shuttle from Condo Hotels to our secluded beach club at Blue Venado, twenty minutes south of Playa del Carmen. From here you can snorkel, swim and participate in a range of water sports and activities.

Horse Riding Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Horse riding along the beach is a great activity for animal lovers and adventurers alike, and fun for the whole family!

5. Fish Spa 

Fun for mom, dad and the kids, the fish foot spa on Fifth avenue is an experience like no other! Let these hungry fish nibble your feet until they are smooth and clean, if you can stand the ticklish sensation! This is something you simply must try once, and what better place than on vacation in Playa del Carmen!

Of course there are many, many more family friendly activities in Playa del Carmen to discover, and our knowledgeable and friendly concierge is at your service to ensure your family has a vacation to remember.

Top 3 Live Music Spots in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to enjoy live music. Every night of the week, local musicians are playing around town to bring you a great selection of music styles for all ages and tastes. Whether you like classic rock, folk, soul or mariachi, there is a live music spot for you to enjoy.

1. Indigo Beach Club

Our very own Indigo Beach Club is one of Playa del Carmen’s most beloved live music venues. What better way to spent a balmy evening than under swaying palm trees with a cold drink in hand, listening to some of your favorite tunes played by a top local band?

Indigo Beach Club band photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

On Sunday evenings, Indigo plays host to some great live acts who focus on laid back rock ‘n roll to match your mood. While local families fish off the pier and children run around the beach, Indigo serves up delicious signature cocktails, local and international beers and fine wines in an idyllic setting on the Caribbean.

2. Kitxen Bar

Located on Fifth Avenue just around the corner from your Condo Hotel near Avenida Constituyentes, Kitxen is a live music institution for up and coming local artists. The open sided bar is a much loved venue for locals and tourists alike, and even if you don’t go in for a drink, you can pull up a bench on Fifth Avenue and absorb the lively evening atmosphere along with some well-loved covers.

Kitxen Bar Elizabeth Ynez photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

3. Local restaurants

Local restaurants around Playa del Carmen are great places to hear live music. Mexican acts tour the popular local spots around town, performing a few songs then passing the hat for a small tip.

One of my favourite acts is a Cuban three-piece who sets up their drum at the front of several local restaurants, bringing the whole place together with their rhythmic drumming and distinct Cuban beat. It’s like the Buena Vista Social Club – only it’s more like the Playa del Carmen Social Club!

It adds a lively atmosphere and unique cultural flavor to the evening when a mariachi, folk or Cuban band stops by your restaurant to perform. And just another reason why Playa del Carmen is known for its colorful cultural performances.

Of course, you only need to step out your door and onto the street to experience live music in Playa del Carmen. The streets are teeming with local acts performing all over town every night of the year. Of course, certain times of year are more musical than others, with the Riviera Maya Jazz festival in November and the BPM electronic music festival in early January.

Fifth Avenue photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

No matter what your musical leanings, there is a genre of live music in Playa del Carmen to suit you. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Giving back to the local community

Playa del Carmen is a wonderful vacation destination with stunning beaches, friendly people and fantastic restaurants. It’s no wonder many of our guests return year after year to experience the magic of this vibrant Caribbean town.

For those guests who would like to deepen their experience of Playa del Carmen by volunteering their time or resources to help the local community, there are several not-for-profit organizations who are doing some great work.

KKIS Project Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

The KKIS Project (Keeping Kids In School)

What started as a small gathering of ex-pats who bought basic supplies for local schools has now grown into a thriving non-profit organization.

The KKIS project aims to ‘Keep Kids In School’ by assisting hundreds of needy families with their school supplies every year. In 2013, the project delivered over 300 brand new backpacks filled with high quality supplies, from pencils and rulers to dictionaries and calculators.

The project also co-ordinates volunteer English classes in several schools around Playa del Carmen. Donating your time and energy once a week for one hour is a great way to connect with the community in a valuable way.

KKIS Project Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

The project accepts donations of money, supplies and time, in whatever way you can help. From leading a small group of children in an English-based activity once per week, packing backpacks with supplies, delivering supplies to the local area or making a donation, every little bit is appreciated.

The KKIS project’s long-term goal is to provide a better education for Playa del Carmen’s youngest residents, resulting in increased opportunities for the future.

The Amigos Network

The Amigos Network is another group of Playa del Carmen ex-patriots doings some great work in the community. Led by Russell Granger and Michele Kinnon, this group of local business owners raises money for developing communities on the outskirts town.

They recently installed ceiling fans in a tiny, make-shift school in a small village south of Playa, co-ordinated the ‘Kicks 4 Kids’ shoe drive for needy children in rural villages and delivered blankets and clothing to the elderly people of the Puerto Aventuras community.

Kicks 4 Kids Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

They are open to donations and welcome volunteers who would like to make a difference to the community’s most needy residents.

Christmas Dreams Playa

Christmas Dreams Playa is a project which gathers donations of children’s gifts. Every year in early January, coinciding with ‘Three Kings Day’, they deliver the donated goods to children in needy communities.

This year, with the help of the two other organizations above, they hosted a party with food, drink and even a Santa Claus appearance in the village of Nuevo Noh Bec. The smiles on the faces of the local children is proof of the generous work they do.

Christmas Dreams Playa Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

If you would like to donate a small gift for next year’s event, contact Christmas Dreams Playa via Facebook.

Coco’s Cat Rescue

Of course the four legged members of the community also need some TLC. Coco’s has been offering free neutering and spaying services in Playa del Carmen for several years, in order to decrease the stray cat population and increase the quality of life for those who are born to the streets.

They offer many other valuable services, and even host a ‘kitten cuddling’ session every week at their premises.

Coco’s welcomes donations and volunteers who care about the well being of Playa’s furry friends.

If you are looking for a way to say ‘thank you’ to the local community of Playa del Carmen, getting involved in these wonderful programs not only helps those in need, but will provide you with some unique and special memories.

 

Playa comes alive with festivals, art and culture!

Welcome to the most lively season in Playa del Carmen, where the streets and beaches are alive with festivals, music, art and culture. Visitors from all over the globe, particularly those fleeing the biting-cold winters of the Northern hemisphere, converge on Playa’s shores to soak up the Caribbean lifestyle and unique cultural offerings.

Pool Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

There is so much to discover and experience this time of year in Playa del Carmen, you won’t have any trouble filling your time with us. From the world renowned electronic music festival, BPM, to the open air art gallery on Fifth Avenue, there is something for everyone as Playa comes alive to welcome you all.

There is a heightened energy in the air this time of year during the BPM festival, which takes place on Mamitas beach and across several other venues. World-class electronic musical acts take over the decks to create one of the most exciting festivals in the world.

BPM Festival Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Taking place from new year’s eve to January 12, the festival attracts music lovers from across Mexico and beyond who party the night away under the stars on the Caribbean sea.

If you enjoy electronic music, a BPM ticket is the hottest in town. If you simply want to see what all the fuss is about, wander along the beach and listen to the beats from outside the festival grounds.

If you are interested in other artistic pursuits, why not check out the art market on Fifth avenue. Operating most evenings during high season (with the official night being Thursday), the market showcases some brilliant local artist and a range of mediums including photography, sketches and paintings.

From modern abstract pieces and Maya-inspired designs to traditional landscapes and some excellent portrait photography, there is something for every taste at Playa’s outdoor art gallery.

Fifth Avenue Art Market Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Best of all, it’s free to look, and the artists are always happy to chat about their work and inspirations. If you wish to purchase a piece, packaging and shipping can also be arranged. Imagine an original work from a local artist hanging on your wall at home to remind you of your time in Playa del Carmen.

Playa doesn’t just come alive with cultural and artistic wonders after dark, however. During the day at Plaza Fundadores at the southern end of town, adjacent to the lovely white church, an amazing cultural performance takes place.

Danza de las Voladores Photo - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Danza de las Voladores, or the dance of the flyers, is an ancient Mesoamerican traditional ritual. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30 meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum.

It’s well worth waiting for the performers to climb to the top of the pole to begin their impressive spiral descent, and yet another event in Playa del Carmen which is free, unless of course you would like to leave a tip, which the performers appreciate.

Playa is officially alive with festivals, exhibitions and cultural performances! We hope you enjoy exploring this lively town and experiencing the eclectic activities on offer.

 

 

5 new year’s resolutions to achieve at The Gym

The Gym in Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to begin the new year with health and happiness. Whether you are looking to get fit, tone up or simply learn something new, there is truly something for everyone in our excellent range of classes and activities.

The Gym - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Whatever your resolution for 2014, you can make it come true at The Gym.

The Gym has become so popular in fact, that we have recently expanded to create more space for extra equipment. Now there is even more room to work out in comfort and style. There really is no excuse not to achieve your health and fitness goals in 2014, and achieve the following new year’s resolutions:

1. Get fit

This one is probably the most common new year’s resolution for a lot of us. The difference with committing to getting fit at The Gym is the wide variety of methods available. From boxing, spin, weights, step classes or circuit training, you will never get bored of the same style of fitness, ensuring better results.

The Gym Boxing - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

2. Make friends/socialize

This is an aspect that many people overlook. I have made some great friends by attending classes at The Gym. Locals and ex-pats from all over the world converge at The Gym to exercise and socialize, and The Gym also hosts many social events to get involved in throughout the year.

3. Dance more

Okay, so maybe this one is just for me, but in 2014, I really want to dance more! Dancing is good for the heart, the spirit and the mind, releasing endorphins and working the body in a gentle, fun way. I definitely need some more dancing in my life in 2014 and The Gym’s Afro Jazz, Salsa and Belly dancing classes are the perfect way to get my dancing fix!

The Gym Belly Dancing - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

4. Learn something new

They say that in order to stay young, you should learn something new every day. Whether you would like to try yoga for the first time or try a spin class to see what it is like, there are great opportunities for new experiences at The Gym. Often the hardest part is taking the first step, but the sense of achievement for getting out of your comfort zone and trying a new activity is always worthwhile.

5. Get strong

The Gym has a new personal trainer in residence, Ian Kelly, who brings years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to The Gym community. Ian’s commitment and dedication to his passion of fitness and strength training is a welcomed addition to the team and we have seen some excellent results since he joined us.

The Gym - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Check out this video of the Gym to inspire you to achieve all your resolutions for 2014:

Happy New Year from Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen and The Gym! Let’s make 2014 a happy, healthy and prosperous one!

Access to The Gym is complimentary for all Condo Hotel guests.

 

Ring in the new year at Indigo Beach Club!

If you are joining us at one of our five Condo Hotel properties this new year’s eve, rest assured that we are bringing the party of the year to you! Every year, Indigo Beach Club hosts a fabulous event, and this year’s party shaping up to be their best yet.

Indigo Beach Club - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

What better way to say “adios” to 2013 and “hola” to 2014 than a fiesta on the shores of the Caribbean? Feast on a lavish buffet of delectable European inspired cuisine and salsa the night away to Latin rhythms provided by Indigo’s resident DJ and live musical acts.

Indigo Beach Club Fiesta - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

It’s going to be a new year to remember, although the open bar means you may have some trouble doing that. Never fear! The staff at Indigo will ensure top notch service throughout the night, and since you are just a short stroll away from your luxurious condo, there’s no hassle getting home.

Let us take the stress out of your new year’s celebrations this year. Located on the white sand beach in front of the El Taj, Indigo Beach Club is European chic meets laid back Caribbean style.

Indigo Beach Club - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Kick off your heels and party the night away under the stars while the palm trees sway along in the breeze.

Meet friends, discover new ones and let all your cares and stresses of the busy year be carried away by the Caribbean Sea.

Indigo’s parties have a reputation for being the place to be in Playa del Carmen and they have had great success with new year celebrations in previous years.

On New Year’s Day, there is no better place to relax and recover than on the plush sun beds at Indigo. Over a delicious nutritious breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries, eggs, juice, coffee and more, you’ll feel like a million dollars in no time.

Indigo Beach Club Sun Beds - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

A dip in the sparkling Caribbean Sea is the best way to shake off the previous night’s indulgences and welcome in a brand new year, refreshed and invigorated.

With just a few days to go, secure your place at the hottest event in town, and send off 2013 with a bang!

Enjoy a Caribbean Christmas in Playa del Carmen

The countdown to Christmas is on and Playa del Carmen has recently come alive in a show of light, color and Christmas cheer. A huge tree has been erected in front of the Sanborns department store in the center of town, decorated beautifully in red and gold.

Christmas tree in Playa del Carmen - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

It seems the residents of Playa del Carmen take Christmas cheer very seriously – hotels, stores and local homes are stringing lights, tinsel and decorations, and trees are popping up all over town.

Playa del Carmen is in bloom with hundreds of bright red poinsettia plants, which really enhance the festive atmosphere around town. Poinsettias love the heat and lots of light, so if you pick one up for your condo, place it somewhere where it can get lots of both.

Poinsettias - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Some may find it strange to celebrate Christmas in the tropics, but here at Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen, a ‘white Christmas’ involves digging your feet into the fine sand of the Caribbean at Indigo Beach Club!

Indigo Beach Club - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Instead of hot cocoa and egg nog, Christmas drinks include creamy pina coladas and refreshing margaritas while watching the turquoise waters lap against the shore. Christmas day viewing includes miles of white sand beaches and sparkling seas instead of old movies!

Events and fiestas are happening every night around town, from the Mexican night at Indigo Beach Club on Wednesdays with unlimited fajitas and traditional pozole, as well as two-for-one cocktails at Imprevist.

Imprevist - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

Don’t worry about not being able to find traditional Christmas fare – the supermarkets are stocked with chicken, turkey, ham and all the trimmings for those who would like to prepare a meal in their fully equipped kitchen.

Or better yet, why not make use of your very own private chef to create a Christmas meal for you and your loved ones you will never forget!

Indigo beach club is also putting on a sumptuous spread at their beachfront restaurant in front of the El Taj hotel.

打印

Don’t have a tree? Well, that is easily fixed! How about a Caribbean-style Christmas tree? The kids will love it, and best of all, there is nothing to clean up afterwards and no messy pine needles!

Christmas on the beach - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

The Caribbean answer to a Christmas tree…

Whatever you decide to do for Christmas, whether entertain on your private terrace, relax by the pool or soak up the sun at the beach, you can be guaranteed it will be a holiday to remember.

While the sun is shining instead of the snow falling and the margaritas are flowing instead of hot cocoa, there is no shortage of Christmas cheer in Playa del Carmen. Come celebrate with us and experience a white Christmas – Caribbean style – on the beach!

Christmas on the beach - Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen

 Celebrate Christmas on the shores of the Caribbean with us!

Jazz under the stars in Playa del Carmen

Since 2004, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival has become somewhat of an institution for jazz and live music lovers. Set on the shores of Playa del Carmen at Mamitas Beach, this festival provides a unique evening of world-class international musical acts under the stars.

Now in it’s ninth year, the festival attracted a stellar line up this year, and took place over three days. Some highlights of the 2013 festival included the following stand-out local and international performers:

Aguamala | Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

Aguamala

Mexican band Auguamala are committed Riviera Maya Jazz festival performers, having played at every festival since its inception. A blend of Jazz, Rock, Funk and regional Mexican music, they are a long-time favorite among local festivalgoers and are even becoming popular with international audiences.

Their music embodies the colorful, frenetic and often chaotic lifestyle of modern Mexico, and is an excellent local addition to the cultural cross section of the festival.

Brent Fischer | Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

Brent Fischer

Heralded by jazz critics and fans alike, The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group (the band’s original name) has appeared on dozens of CDs over the decades, known for their Afro-Cuban and Brazillian rhythms and Brent Fischer’s unique writing.

Adding a distinctly Latino flavour to the lineup, they are well loved by fans all over the world for their spicy sound and hip-swinging beats. You will be hard pressed not to get up and dance to these guys.

Celso Pina | Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

Celso Pina

Celso Pina, ‘The Accordion Rebel’ hails from Monterrey in northern Mexico and has a distinct sound which spans across genres such as hip-hop, reggae, rock, pop, danzon and bolero. Opening the festivities on the final night, Celso created an electric atmosphere with his unique signature sound and it’s no wonder that he’s collaborated with many successful musical acts such as Lila Downs, Cafe Tacuba and Control Machete in countries such as France, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Colombia and Argentina.

Earth, Wind and Fire | Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

Earth, Wind and Fire

Headlining the festival this year and proving to be a draw card which attracted a large international crowd were iconic musical sensation, Earth, Wind and Fire. Closing the festival with a bang, this internationally acclaimed act didn’t disappoint, leaving a lasting impression with their signature sound.

Crowds flocked to the sand at Mamitas Beach like seagulls, hungry for the eclectic pop sounds of this iconic group, well known for bridging gap between black and white musical sound in the 70′s.

The last evening of festival was proof that their message of racial harmony and heightened cosmic consciousness is still extremely relevant, and their music has certainly stood the test of time.

We’ll have to wait until next year to see what the festival has in store for 2014, but whatever the lineup, we can be sure it will be another night of unifying, eclectic sounds in a magnificent setting on the shores of the Caribbean.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival | Mamitas Beach

Tip: The Riviera Maya Jazz festival takes place on the last weekend in November, from Thursday to Saturday. Entry is free, just bring something to sit on and your dancing feet…

The most famous locals in Playa del Carmen

You guys, we have some international superstars in our midst! These Playa del Carmen locals are more famous than One Direction, more photographed than Miley Cyrus, and have less personal privacy than all the Kardashian sisters combined.

They are – drumroll please – the world-renowned frogs of Señor Frogs!

Señor Frogs

These guys might look innocuous enough, but they are fast becoming the most famous residents of Playa del Carmen, with their images spreading far and wide across the globe.

People cannot get enough of these frogs! Everybody wants to be seen with them and is unable to resist their charms.

From tiny babies to mature ladies, these guys have the tourists and visitors of Playa del Carmen in the palms of their froggy feet.

Señor Frogs

Perhaps it’s their friendly demeanor, jovial nature, or larger than life personas that attract people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to them, but whatever the reason, these guys are destined for international super-stardom whether they like it or not.

I can only imagine the number of Facebook profile pictures and family mantlepieces around the globe featuring these guys! From France to China; Australia and the Netherlands, there has never been a group of Playa del Carmen residents to reach such international acclaim!

Señor Frogs

Except perhaps this guy, the Mayan warrior who I suspect is actually the frog’s bodyguard, ensuring no harm comes to his amphibious friends. I certainly wouldn’t want to get on his bad side!

Mayan Warrior

If you don’t believe me, all you need to do is wander down 5th Avenue to 20th street and experience the hype for yourselves. That is, if you can fight your way through the melee of onlookers and paparazzi to catch a glimpse of these guys.

Señor Frogs

We did, and found them friendly enough. I don’t know where they find the patience to keep smiling in the midst of screaming kids and fussy posers who simply must get the perfect shot, but perhaps it has something to do with what one of them is drinking.

Señor Frogs

Either way, it was great to get up close and personal with these international superstars. They were fairly tight-lipped and didn’t say too much, although considering the level of international stardom they have reached, I suppose that is understandable.

As the most famous residents of Playa del Carmen, I suppose from here on out they will only communicate through ‘their people.’

I’m just happy that for the rest of my days, my claim to fame will be that I met the world-famous frogs of Señor Frogs in Playa del Carmen.

Sampling the world at Taste of Playa

Every year in Playa del Carmen, the parque fundadores at the southern end of Fifth Avenue becomes a stage for showcasing fine international cuisine at the Taste of Playa food festival.

Taste of Playa

Crowds of locals, expatriates and visitors converge in the square next to the iconic white church and striking ‘Portal Maya’ sculpture to sample local and international flavors from all across the globe for just one day in late November.

Parque Fundadores

If your stay with us at Condo Hotels coincides with Taste of Playa, we encourage you to head down and experience a wide selection of local restaurants and bars serving up their very best flavors with innovative creations and classic favorites.

I was blown away by the variety of cuisines offered, from local delicacies to Japanese, Thai, Lebanese, Italian and more. Never before had I eaten fresh ceviche, sashimi, barbecued lamb tacos, Thai satay sticks and locally made ice cream all in the one day!

Taste of Playa

I may have over-indulged, sure, but who could blame me with the world’s flavors gathering in one place?

I know Playa del Carmen is famous for its fantastic restaurants, but there is simply something special about having them come together to showcase the wonderful selection of international cuisine available in this colorful, lively town.

Not to mention the electric atmosphere as Playa’s diverse, multi-cultural population comes together to eat, drink and be merry while celebrating the wonderful food scene of this town we all love so much.

It was my first time at Taste of Playa and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was extremely impressed by the quality of samples offered, and loved experiencing an excellent cross-section of Playa’s dining scene in one place.

Taste of Playa

A few tips for Taste of Playa goers for next year:

1. Arrive early. Gates open at 3pm, and tokens are available for purchase then. We arrived just after 3pm and there were already substantial queues for tokens, which only grew throughout the afternoon.

2. Buy more than you think you need. Due the queues, I decided to ‘over purchase’ tokens, and ended up using them all. There was so much variety, including sweets, drinks and desserts, so it wasn’t too difficult to go through my tokens.

Taste of Playa

3. If you see something you like, get it! It can be a little overwhelming to have so much to choose from, but I found it best to try anything I thought looked good, rather than planning what to eat when. Due to the crowds, it was a little difficult to negotiate the small space, so go with the flow and sample as as you go. Ice cream for a starter? Sure! it is a food festival after all…

4. Decide on a meeting point and time. If you are going in a group, designate a meeting point that you can return to meet up with friends and family members. Eating is a serious business in Playa del Carmen, and as a result Taste of Playa is a busy place. It can be difficult to keep groups together, so unless you want to buy a VIP ticket for the event, pick a meeting point to ensure no one gets separated from the group for too long.

Taste of Playa VIP

The VIP zone…

We hope you’ll join us next year to sample the wonderful local and international cuisine at Taste of Playa 2014! See you there!