My guide to Playa del Carmen Mexico is (finally) out!

I had wanted to get my Guide to Playa del Carmen out by the time we left Mexico over two months ago. Once again, the universe laughed at my plans and a travel guide was the last thing it had on it’s mind. I love my crazy ride of a life. I LOVE IT!


But you already know that.

I had no idea we would be abandoning our plans for a central and south American road trip (“HAHAHA!” said the universe) and find ourselves back in the promised land, discovering a new part of this country which has come to feel more like home than an other place I have ever been (and I have been to a LOTTA places).

But now that we have, it feels fitting to be releasing the guide in the place it was born.

I could probably write an e-book entitled, “How not to write a travel guide,” and regale you with the story of how I made this task far more difficult than it needed to be (story of my life). First I was going to sell it in PDF form, then I was going to make it available for a donation, but then decided to abandon those plans as it just didn’t feel right.

So, it’s here, and it’s FREE (Gratis!): GUIDE TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN MEXICO (and beyond)!

I have recently experienced some HUGE internal changes; this last spiritual growth spurt has seen my creativity re-surge and my faith in my divine purpose on this planet renewed. Big changes are coming (they always are, you know) and I am excited for the next chapter which will involve me embracing more of truth and love which I have discovered resides within me (and you!).

Writing more travel guides may or may not be in my future, so I am really happy to have finally finished my personal Guide to Playa del Carmen and beyond, which includes info on the other parts of Mexico we visited such as Oaxaca, Chiapas, Mexico City and Isla Mujeres.

It aint perfect, but it is enough (again, story of my life).

My only hope for this guide is that it helps you enjoy Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya more than if you didn’t have it. It is an AMAZING part of the world, filled with natural beauty, an eclectic international community and DELICIOUS FOOD.

It is a place to recharge and renew; to bask in the beauty of the Caribbean Sea which is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL one I have ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on (Xpu-ha, Akumal and Xcacel are some of my favourite beaches).

Being a touristy area, amenities such as supermarkets, cinemas and fancy restaurants bound, but I encourage you to get off the tourist trail and into the back streets where life is less glittery and more… Mexico.

Colourful, crumbling buildings; hole-in-the-wall taco joints; kids playing in the street.

Playa del Carmen is safe, friendly and relaxed. The local areas are a throw back to simpler times where the only thing that mattered in life was family, friends, good food and fresh air.

I hope you enjoy my personal recommendations of where to eat, where to stay and what to do.

I’d love it if  you will help me get this guide out to people by sharing it with anyone you think may be interested. After all, it is FREE and… TACOS!!!!!!!!

Gracias y disfrutas!

Sarah xxx

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My guide to Playa del Carmen Mexico is (finally) out! — 24 Comments

  1. Congratulations!! The guide looks great, and I think it’s totally admirable that in a world where people try and make a buck off everything, you put it out for free :)

  2. CONGRATS! What an incredible accomplishment & I personally can’t wait to dig into what you have created. Our nebulous future travel plans are focused on Mexico, and once we hit, I’ll be diving straight back into trip planning/researching mode, so I am sure your guide will be a huge help.

    More than anything, however, I’m just so glad to see you finally give life to this endeavor and send it out into the world! I’ve no doubt it will help many travelers, and I’m excited to see where you next channel your creative energies.
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Travel Photo Roulette #81: The Face of a NationMy Profile

    • I am so glad you will get to use it Steph and am sure you will fall in love with Mexico as we have.

      Yes, it has taken far longer than I’d hoped, mostly because I initially wrote it in an external program, thinking I was going to sell it.

      When I decided to make it free on the blog I had to copy and paste it all in and do the links and photos which was far more time consuming than if I’d written it straight into the blog.

      Live and learn! So glad it is out now!

  3. Great guide, Sarah! I love how conversational it is, drew me in so much more than the conventional travel guide style which can be so dry without any personal touch. Playa del Carmen sounds like an incredible place to live – I’d love to be living somewhere where I could do beach front yoga classes – I’ll be using this guide if I ever visit, which I hope I do one day.

    • Thank you Charlie, that is a lovely compliment!! I really wanted it to be a personal guide, as though I am there showing you my favourite spots. I hope you do get there some day, it is a beautiful place and there is so much yoga!!!

  4. Congratulations on rolling this out Sarah! I can’t imagine meticulously gathering all the necessary information as well as all the great anecdotes! We only whizzed through Playa Del Carmen on the way to Chichen Itza so I would love to go back and experience what the place really has to offer, knowing you love it so much (we were there one night during a DJ fest so there were a LOT of interesting characters roaming around…).
    Emily recently posted..Is La Boca Worth a Visit?My Profile

    • Thank you so much Emily! It was fairly easy to write, it was assembling everything and deciding what to do with it all that took the most time! Was that in early January? The BPM festival is on for the first two weeks of the year, and I have to say, it was my least favourite time to be in Playa… I was walking around the supermarket in my PJs (because, who can tell the difference?) and I was like, “what’s with all the HIPSTERS???!!” :-)

  5. Congratulations gorgeous! Looks fabulous. I hope to need to use it sometime in the near future and will certainly share with anyone heading over to those parts. Well done you!! X

  6. So grateful I found your site! Thank you, thank you, Thank you!

    I woke up at 5:30 this morning worried that my husband and I had made a huge mistake choosing Playa for our honeymoon. We are in our 60’s so I was trying to find anything that was more peaceful and laid back than what I’d been finding online. I was almost ready to cancel our trip when I discovered your site.

    You are a God send! Now I Know why I woke up so early! I now feel we can find our way out of the overly crowded-loud-glitzy-touristy Playa and find some sweet spots. We will be staying at La Tortuga Hotel and Spa and making day trips to Tulum and Puerto Morales. We will be there late Oct.through early Nov. and were hoping to find anything Day of the Dead related while there. We speak fluent Spanish.

    Can you recommend anything to us that will help us have a great honeymoon and avoid all the craziness?

    Love from Austin, Texas

    • Hi Lorelei! Thanks so much for your message. So happy the guide allayed your fears. Playa is awesome when you venture off 5th Avenue (nothing wrong with 5th, but it’s just nice to see what else exists). La Tortuga is nice! It’s on Avenida 10 which is a good street to wander, in fact, all the streets up to the highway are great to check out (beyond that so great too, it’s just more local, industrial and residential). I am going to look into Dia de los Muertos stuff. There is a cemetery in Playa del Carmen where I imagine there will be some local gatherings. Generally more colonial towns are where the festivities are more traditional, but you will still get to experience the flavor of it with shrines, skulls and marigolds decorating shops and restaurants. Isla Mujeres or Cozumel might be worth checking out on the evening of the 1st or 2nd of November, as they both have cemeteries too. Valledolid is a colonial town about 1 and a half hours away, which we may check out around that time. There is a festival at the park Xcaret in honor of Day of the Dead which is actually really good. It’s not cheap for visitors (around $80) but it is really good and a lot of local attend also. Here is the site: And here is my account of our experience a few years ago: Enjoy and felicidades!!!!

  7. Hello there,
    Thank you for your info about Playa del Carmen. We are going there this Friday. I am trying to lose weight so want to eat lots of fruits and veggies. Do you have an essential oil fruit cleaning wash recipe that you think would be safe? Would it be safer to peel all fruits? Should we avoid them altogether, as the guidebooks say? Thanks for any feedback you can give me on this.

    • Hi Kathy, you could use lemon oil with white vinegar and water – I usually just use water and have never gotten sick from fruit and vegetables here. Definitely don’t avoid them – they are amazing here! DAC is a good place to shop. Enjoy your stay!