Enjoying the off-season in Playa del Carmen

I arrived in Playa del Carmen in February, catching the tail end of Playa’s busy holiday season. There was an energetic vibe in the air as tourists and visitors from all over the globe converged on white sand beaches and tumbled out of waterfront beach bars. Posters for festivals and events were plastered around town, and ‘La Quinta’ was a buzzing hive of activity as stores and restaurants overflowed with happy vacationers.

Now, July has arrived along with warmer temperatures and fewer tourists, but I have to say, I’m enjoying the laid back pace of the off-season. Playa del Carmen is a thriving town, with enough locals to sustain the economy all-year ’round, so the place is far from deserted. It just feels like things have slowed to more chilled out pace, and life is moving along less frenetically.

I have to say, I’m a fan of the off-season, and I don’t think it’ll be long before other people start catching on…

For one thing, accommodation is more affordable, with many special offers and discounts available. Condo Hotels offer some excellent deals this time of year that people would be crazy not to make use of. Savings of up to 45% are not to be scoffed at, and can mean being able to afford the sort of vacation you’ve always dreamed of.

el taj condos

It’s not just accommodation that you can save on, however. Less tourists around town means you can bargain more at the stores along Fifth, and get much better deals on your souvenirs and handicrafts. And don’t worry, bargaining is all part of the shopping culture here, so don’t be afraid to haggle hard for a good deal!

shopping playa del carmen

Another gift of the off-season is quieter beaches both in town and along the coast. Visit Xcacel beach south of Playa and you’re almost guaranteed a completely empty patch of sand to relax on; a world away from the commercialism of Cancun further north.

Snorkeling in Akumal bay is a dream in the off-season, with far less tourists occupying the crystal clear waters to observe sea turtles feeding. If you get there early, you may even be the only ones out there, with prime viewing of the majestic creatures.

Akumal snorkel

Mostly, though, I just love strolling the streets in off season, especially around dusk. When the sun drops into the horizon, the sky comes alive in a blaze of orange and pink, it’s the perfect time to be out for an evening stroll. Families gather in the main square, children play in the street, and the local parks host out-door fitness sessions and Zumba classes. It’s great to pull up a bench and watch, or if you’re really game, join in!

playa del carmen sunset

There really are so many rewards for visiting Playa in the off-season, I just wonder why the secret hasn’t gotten out yet. From making use of better deals and discounts, to enjoying a slower pace of life, it’s a great time to travel. Of course, the busyness of the peak holiday season can be fun too, but personally, I like this time of year and the relaxed atmosphere it brings. For me, it’s more true to the Mexican way of life; the manana manana lifestyle that helps me slow down and appreciate the simple things in life like the ocean, good food, and beautiful sunsets.

Playa del carmen beach


Sunday Bliss at El Taj and Indigo

We awoke to a blazing blue sky on Sunday morning at El Taj Oceanfront and immediately knew it was going to be a great day. Though every day in Playa del Carmen seems like a weekend, Sundays have a special feeling of relaxation; a chance to completely unwind before the week ahead. First though, we had a few dilemmas to face in regards to how we would spend the day…

After waking up in our deluxe King bed clothed in high thread count linen,

Deluxe King Bed at El Taj

Perhaps we’d brew a pot of delicious strong coffee in our fully appointed chef’s kitchen?

Kitchen at El Taj

Then sip it on the terrace overlooking the pool, lush gardens and Caribbean Sea?

Balcony view at El Taj

Or head to Imprevist restaurant to indulge in a gourmet breakfast of pastries, fruit, yogurt and eggs?

Imprevist in Playa del Carmen

After breakfast, maybe we’d relax in the infinity Jacuzzi perched over the main pool like an overflowing champagne fountain?

Jacuzzi at El Taj

Or simply chill out on our private terrace, taking in the view of the stunning Caribbean sea, streaked with ten different shades of blue…

View from El Taj

Perhaps a soak in our private, heated Jacuzzi, relaxing our muscles against the massaging jets would be in order?

private jacuzzi El Taj

Then maybe we would spend the afternoon with a good book under one of the umbrellas at Indigo beach club, listening to the waves lap against the shore and watching pelicans soar overhead…

Indigo beach club

Later, we could make use of the complimentary ‘Manager’s Welcome Party’ buffet at Indigo, while sipping on fruity cocktails and listening to the live tunes of the resident band.

Indigo beach club

Then walk along the pier in our ‘front yard’ and watch local families haul shiny silver fish from the water with nets.

Pier condo

Fishing El Taj pier

Perhaps we’ll stop on the pier for a while, watching the sun set over our ‘home away from home’, El Taj, wishing we could stay forever in this Caribbean paradise…

Sunset at El Taj

Then make our way back to the comfy lounges at Indigo, singing along to old favorites as the beach turns black and the palm trees are illuminated with golden light.

Indigo band

Afterwards, maybe we’d retire to the luxurious comfort of our condo to watch a movie on one of our three flat screen televisions, lounging on the spacious modular sofa with a large bowl of pop corn…

With so many options, how would we possibly choose how to spend our Sunday at El Taj?

By doing them all of course!

So that’s exactly what we did, experiencing a day of food, music, sun, relaxation and pure bliss; the perfect Sunday at El Taj Oceanfront and Indigo beach club.

I’m already dreaming of next Sunday…