3 Inexpensive Things I Didn't do in Playa del Carmen this Weekend, But You Should


I've been longing for a beach day ever since I touched down last week. I've had the chance to spend 15- 30 minutes at a time, usually at the end of the day-- which I appreciate, but there's nothing like a full beach day. I made all of these other plans for the weekend, all of which fell through and crumbled in the most perfect way possible. Which was totally fine because I just kept going with the flow, while learning easier, alternate ways to get to the 3 things I wanted, all while leading me right to my first desired destination that I was longing for all week-- to post up at the beach.

Nothing went as planned, like at all-- but everything worked itself out in the end, AND I had fun along the way. I think I'm starting to notice a trend here. That's real cute, Universe.

Even as I sit writing you, dear reader, it's Sunday afternoon and I'm supposed to be in Tulum with my new friend and neighbor. Yet, when the call came, I just didn't feel like spending the day outside. There's barely any sun today, it's windy, plus I only had about 30 minutes to get ready. And anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot be rushed. So, I passed on the opportunity to, instead, sit here with my computer, a cup of tea and write to you. 

Like I said before, this is not a story of defeat; it is, rather, a tale of the sweet path of least resistance. So here's what happened:

Saturday, Plan A: Go on an adventure tour

On Friday night after drinks, I researched and found a nice adventure tour package from Punta Venado that seemed perfect, because it was literally 5 minutes from my place, and at a SWEET deal. The only issue was that their online booking feature was not working. So, I did what any forward thinking millennial would do-- I hopped on social media to tweet and FB them. It really is the modern day equivalent of sending up a smoke signal. 

Needless to say, the next morning I kinda overslept. I mean, it was Saturday and I had been ripping the streets everyday during the week seeking out all of my basic needs like groceries, the bank and doing other responsible adult stuff. Plus, with all of the walking, which I'm not quite used to, I felt entitled to a few extra Zs.

I checked social to find that the company, which is really a beach club (more on this later) that sells adventure packages, hit me back saying,  "Yessss, miss... come on down. We've got you." I mean, not in those words, but you get the picture. But something told me to call first before getting excited and hopping out of the bed. Because the tour I wanted was scheduled to start at 9 AM and I was just rolling over at 9:39. Come to find out, due to some renovations, at the time of publication, they are unable to provide the complete, "All In" package in one central location. Instead, one can create their own package, but at nearly double the rate (umm, no thanks) until they get fully up and running again. What initially attracted me, was the price and their close proximity to where I'm located. So, paying double and venturing further away was not exactly what I had in mind.

Pause. Now, what I didn't know then, but found out later in the day (because I chose to chill out and do what seemed easiest), I ended up finding a similar tour package at a better, low-cost. I met a tour guide from my hometown who offered me an adventure package to ATV, horseback, and snorkel, for 60 bucks instead of the $99 that I would've paid at Punta Venado. Don't get me wrong-- $99 is a steal for a whole 8 hours worth of activities you get access to. Plus, you can relax at on their beach with food and drinks at lunch and the end of the day.

I'm not saying I wouldn't give it a try if they get up and running before I leave, but personally, I'd rather wait until they can offer the "All In" package again before I visit. PV does, however, have other packages to choose from, if you are so inclined.

So, I was onto Plan B. Which to their credit, Punta Venado helped me with by referring me to their sister company, My Cancun Tours.

Saturday, Plan B: Take the ferry to Cozumel

I started looking at option #2-- which was to hop on the Ultramar ferry over to Cozumel. It's only about $30 roundtrip, and departs from the dock near me each hour. I figured I'd go snorkeling with the tour company, then either rent a scooter and beach hop or hit up Coral Princess Golf & Dive Resort while there. Keep in mind, not all beach clubs or resorts charge an entry fee-- but I decided I was willing to pay at Coral Princess, since I'd researched and found that it is one that's fairly priced. Some places charge up to $50 just visit, not including food or drinks. Also, one of the benefits of going to a beach club or resort is having access to bathroom facilities (which, sometimes includes outdoor showers) a bar and their food. They typically offer lounge chair service with beach umbrellas at the pool and/or on the beach, and sometimes bottle or hookah service (it varies on the crowd they're trying to attract). Does one really NEED all of that just to go to the beach? Not really, it's more of a convenience thing. With proper planning you can always bring your own food, drinks and an umbrella, you can pretty much post up wherever you want. However, one of the reasons I considered the Coral Princess is because I was told that the beaches in Cozumel aren't all that sandy, due to the proximity to the coral reef-- which is why there's such great snorkeling. That's the trade-off. See, even my plan B had a plan B.

To pull off it off, I would've had to rush: cook breakfast, shower and pack my filming gear, sunscreen, and whatnot, then walk 15-20 minutes in the the sun to make it down to the dock in under an hour. Not ideal. I like to take my time and ease my way through things. I thought about going at 3 PM instead of 1 PM-- which would've bought me an extra hour-- the ferry takes about 45 minutes to get there. But as the universe would have it, as I got ready to book my 3 hour snorkling tour for just $19 (also a deal), and I noticed that they don't have a same day booking option. Damn. So, there went the entire plan, which the main focus centered around snorkeling! Coral Princess offers a snorkeling tour, at a higher cost. Or, if you're a confident and strong swimmer, one can always jump in and snorkel on your own. Even though I know how to swim-- I, myself, need to be supervised due to the number of near drowning incidents I've had since childhood (long story). So, one would think I'd avoid the water altogether. Lol. Not a chance. Anyways... I digress... plan diverted, and it was still all good. Like I said earlier-- I just followed the path of least resistance straight to the beach right down the street from me. Plan C.

Saturday, Plan C: My neighborhood beach

Finally, something I wanted to do all along! Though, notice how even this unfolds very differently from how I initially planned it.

It wasn't my initial intention to go to a beach club in Playa-- not right on this day, anyhow. I'd brought my own towel and I figured I'd grab an umbrella at one of the dozens of tourist stores on 5th Ave.-- which is also where all of the food you could want happens to be. Suddenly, it dawned on me to check out these two places, Zenzi and Wah Wah, that I looked up prior to arriving. I didn't realize these were BCs until I got down here and realized that was a thing. And even then, I only remembered to maybe give them a try after going into the first store and not finding a beach umbrella. I won't tell you the whole story, instead-- you can check out the vlog to see exactly what did go right, besides the rightness of everything else I've told you so far.

I keep telling y'all who follow me on social, the path of least resistance and most fun is always right there-- even if it's not what you thought it would look like or the way you thought you wanted to go. Now... 

Sunday, Plan D: Take the local bus to Tulum

Here we are, back to the beginning where we started, friends. You already know how we got here, and you already know that I didn't go to Tulum. Not this weekend, anyway. No, instead, I'm here with you :) ... and I mean that in the most loving way possible. I did tell you there were 3 things that I didn't do (plus one thing I did)-- and you undoubtedly should if you happen to visit. All of which are very inexpensive, by the way. I, on the other hand, will be here for a couple of months and will have plenty time another day. But as for you, I'll just give you the heads up that if you plan to head to Tulum, this is something that you don't really have to pay for on a tour. Unless you want to, of course (much like going to a beach club ;) ). Rather, it's quite easy to jump on the ADO bus on Calle 12 Nte. & 20th Ave. It's a pretty plush coach-style bus ride for just 7-10 bucks. Or, if you really want to rub elbows (literally) with the locals-- take the cheaper community taxi, Colectivo, which you can grab on Calle 2nd Nte. St. & 20th Ave, and just go there yourself. I'll probably grab the ADO the first time, then venture onto Colectivo at some point. So, the next sunny weekend those are my plans! Except THIS time, I'll be fully prepared with all new insights, thanks to my ability to relax and let the flow take me where it will, which is everywhere I want to be.

Until then, I'm just enjoying the ride. Follow me @TheSassyNation for daily, real-time status updates on IG stories. Plus, subscribe to The Sassy Nation on YT for weekly vlogs

Where to go, Martina's, Zenzi or Wah Wah's? Beach club review coming soon...