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October 13, 2022 3 min read

Mexico is great. And there is no shortage to the amount of reasons it’s great.

Rationale below:

  • It’s easy and cheap to get to.
  • Delta has non stops from most places in America.
  • The people are gentle and kind
  • The food is incredible (we have a few of our favorites in Playa and Tulum listed below)
  • The adventure is non stop. Cenotes, scooters, clubs and shenanigans for days.
  • The vibes of the restaurants and shops down there are great.


We recently took the IVY core team down to Playa Del Carmen for a retreat to dream, strategize and set goals for the rest of this year and 2023. We stayed at a Mariott resort called the The Residence Inn and even though it wasn’t right on the beach:

  • It was very close to it
  • Quite affordable
  • Newer construction
  • Clean rooms
  • Rooftop pool
  • Amazing breakfast
  • Friendly staff


While in Playa Del Carmen, here was a few of our favorite places that we ate:

Senior Taco - This was a mom and pop type of place that didn’t have all the glits and glamour, but had damn good food (you know the place) it’s located conveniently just a block and a half off the main walking strip in Playa that runs parallel to the beach. Our favorite thing on the menu there was the chips & guac, the fajitas, and the Alambre de camarones. That one was insane! This would be a great spot for a mellow night with the best food.

Mercado 174 - This is a good lunch spot! Noon in Mexico can be quite hot an Mercado 174 has a really great area that is air conditioned and extremely vibey. The guac is also good at this spot, the Stone Bowl is incredible and just about everything else on the menu is good. This is also a convenient location, right off the main drag in Playa.

Inti - This is a little bit more upscale and would make a great spot for a late night meal. We went after dark and the lighting and ambiance was perfect. This is located right on the beach and some of the tables were even set up in the sand so you can dine to the sound of waves crashing. The food was incredible, service was excellent and the indoor/outdoor boho vibe was perfect! This is right in downtown Playa and super easy to get to!


Our favorite coffee shop was Ah Cacao. We usually enjoy one off spots and while Ah Cacao has multiple locations in Playa, the coffee is amazing and they open early so that you can grab a coffee and watch the sunrise on the beach.

If you find yourself wanting to visit Cozumel, there is a lot of fun stuff to do over there! You can take a ferry for about $25/person round trip.

Our favorite food in Cozumel is El Abuelo Gerardo, best coffee shop is Coz Coffee Roasting Co and our favorite bar is Rasta Bar.

El Abuelo Gerardo - This translates to Grandpa Gerard, which definitely fits the vibe! It is close to everything but feels LOCAL, which we love. Everything here is good and the staff is super friendly and amazing. It doesn’t feel touristy which are always the spots we are looking for and wanting to recommend.

Coz Coffee - This spot is right in town and like a 3 minute walk from the Ferry. It is the only coffee shop in town that is organic and roasts their own beans fresh!

Rasta Bar - This place is on the south side of the island and has the best vibes. The drinks are amazing but it is cash only so be sure to keep that in mind. It’s right on the beach, plays great music and has some hammocks to relax in. A must visit!



Within just 15 minutes of Playa, you will find tons of Cenotes which are beautiful, colorful bodies of water found in the middle of the jungle! Cenotes are natural deep-water wells (sinkholes), which are fed by the filtration of rain and by the currents of underground rivers that are born in the heart of the earth. That is why when swimming in a cenote you feel so much freshness. The average temperature of its waters is a maximum 75° F!

We visited Cenote Azul which was a great spot. It was just 15-20 minutes from Playa Del Carmen and cost 150 pesos (just over $7 per person) to visit. There was a nice platform you could jump off and lots of different pools of water to soak in!

We are working on building out hundreds of IVY A-LISTS that we will be giving away for free! Click THIS LINK and drop your email to get access to our A-LISTS and more! 

Steve Weigel
Steve Weigel

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