03 Apr Our Guide to Playa del Carmen’s Famed 5th Avenue
Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue is a popular tourist attraction with high-end retailers, bars, restaurants, local shops, cafes, street entertainment and more. With so much to do in this lively and eclectic area, we wanted to create a guide to all there is to see. Read on for the best places to shop, eat, and cut loose.
Shopping on 5th Avenue
You’ll find a wide variety of stores on 5th Avenue, ranging from American brands like Forever 21 and Zara, to flea market-type stalls with handmade souvenirs. This is a great place to snag an authentic souvenir. You’ll love the hand-painted ceramics, colorful blankets, hand-beaded jewelry, and more.
If you’re not in the market for souvenirs or tchotchkes, head to one of two large shopping centers on Fifth Avenue. Paseo del Carmen is located just past the ferry docks and steps away from Playacar Palace resort. Quinta Alegria is another good option, located on the corner of Constituyentes Street.
Eating & Drinking on 5th Avenue
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many dining choices on 5th Avenue. Keep in mind that many of the restaurants on Fifth Avenue are geared to tourists, so you’ll see higher prices compared to eateries off the main drag. However, to really experience “Quinta Avenida”, there are a few very good choices. El Muelle is a seafood restaurant on the corner of 32nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Their website boasts inventive dishes like stuffed calamari with goat cheese and mixed ceviche, all served in a casual dining room.
Another good option is 500 Gramos Grill. This meat and pasta restaurant sits between 34th and 38th Streets on Fifth Avenue. This is another casual eatery, serving burgers, Italian and vegetarian fare. This is a good pick for groups or kids and outdoor seating is available. They do take reservations if you are trying to plan ahead.
For Mexican craft beer and small plates, try Club de la Cerveza. You’ll find this gem on 38th Street and Fifth Ave.
If you’re looking for nightlife, walk to 10th Street off Quinta Avenida. Here you’ll find Playa del Carmen’s best bars and clubs. On 10th between Fifth and 10th Avenue, try Don Mezcal, Bar Ranita, or L’ambassade. Most bars and clubs in this area stay open until 5 AM.
Although shopping, dining, and partying are what draw most tourists to 5th Avenue, it’s really the overall experience and ambiance of the area that makes it special. For instance, look for Mayan Dancers and flying Papantla performers near Parque Los Fundadores. You’ll also find a gorgeous church, Nuestra Senora del Carmen Church. there is also a kid’s play area and easy beach access here.
You may be surprised to find out that you can also find a secret Mayan ruin on 5th Avenue. A handful of small ruins hardly visited by tourists are located between 12th and 14th Streets on 5th Avenue. This is known as the Playacar neighborhood.
5th Avenue is also a great place to go if you run into inclement weather on your vacation – especially if you have kids. L’Aquarium is a large aquarium located just off of 5th Ave. It has three floors featuring more than 10,000 animals and 45 exhibits.
Where to Stay
There are many all-inclusive resorts and boutique hotels located very close to 5th Avenue. One of our favorites is Hilton Playa del Carmen. You can read our full review of this property here. Playacar Palace, briefly mentioned above, is another good all-inclusive choice if you want to be close to the action. If you are looking for a trendy hotel rather than the all-inclusive experience, book your stay at Thompson Playa del Carmen. If you can’t stay here, reserve a spot for dinner or drinks at CATCH. CATCH is an open-air restaurant on the rooftop terrace of the hotel that is open to the public. You’ll find it right off Quinta Avenida at Calle 12.
Call us today to experience 5th Avenue for yourself. You can reach us at 402-390-9291 or get started here.