A Sweet Spot on the Salty Side of Paradise
This bustling area known as 5th Avenue is a kaleidoscope of vibrant color and contrasts. However, unlike its more recognizable namesake in the Big Apple, here, you won’t find mink coats, McMansions, or (thankfully) blizzards!
Indeed the only snow you’ll see is likely tucked away on a shelf inside a snow globe in one of the countless souvenir shops that line this tourist-rich area in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
Bursting with the backpack and Birkenstock clad twenty-somethings, hand-holding honeymooners and mid-lifers in cargo shorts and tie-dye t-shirts; 5th Avenue embodies the quirkiness of popular tourist towns around the world while still exuding a unique and strangely lovable vibe.
Along this five-mile stretch of pedestrian-only walkways, you’ll find an abundance of rustic, outdoor café’s serving baskets of warm, salty chips and plates of sizzling deliciousness; bargain souvenir shops selling silver bangles, beaded earrings, Mayan calendars, unusual gemstones, bottles of local tequila, fabulous Frida Kahlo prints, along with every size, shape, and colorfully hand-painted, knick-knack imaginable. Plus roving, two-man Mariachi bands in giant sombreros serenading tip-friendly tourists.
You’ll stumble across an abundance of hole-in-the-wall bars, plying thirsty patrons with cheap, high-octane margaritas, and locals costumed as Mayan gods posing with cheeky tourists in hopes of a few pesos.
5th Avenue is to Playa del Carmen what 5th Avenue is to New York City: a wacky metropolis of memorable misfits on a mission of discovery.
It’s both predictable and surprising: the salty air a sweet reminder that you’re in the tropics and have entered an open gateway to enchanting and unexpected delights. 5th Avenue is the beating heart of this living, breathing body known as Playa del Carmen: a sweet spot on the salty side of paradise. So, dust off your passport, grab some sunblock, and head on down south to Playa del Carmen.
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