A Full Day in Playa del Carmen (PT 3/5)

IMG_20160513_104404_394Thanks to our wonderful Nexus Tours representative Angelina, my travel partner and I were able to fully enjoy an entire day in Playa del Carmen and take in its charm!

After breakfast, we started our morning right by feeding some fish with our feet. Oh, and to be clear, our feet were the food. Confused? Well, there is a small breed of fish native to Turkey that are commonly used around the world as “pedicure helpers”. In other words… they eat the dead skin off your feet.20160409_133404-edited

That may sound horrifying for some of you, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try! It’s extremely difficult to find a salon offering that service in the United States, but here we were, on the main drag of Playa del Carmen with our feet in a fish tank and on display to passersby. My biggest concern was that the fish would tickle, as I’m extremely ticklish on my feet, but they felt like tiny gentle bubbles, and it was truly a fun and relaxing experience.

20160409_150027(0)_editedAfter our fish pedicures, we spent the majority of the day walking up and down Quinta Avenida, perusing the souvenir shops, snacking in different restaurants, and generally exploring. One of the highlights of the day was happening upon the voladores de papantla by the main plaza that leads to the beach. The voladores are a group of men who, wearing traditional Maya vestments, climb a maypole-like structure and fall from the top of the pole attached only by a rope around their ankles as they slowly descend in a spinning motion while one man remains atop the pole playing a traditional flute and drum. According to legend, the original purpose of this ritual was to ask the gods to bring rain in times of drought. As it’s now recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO it can be found performed all throughout Mexico but most notably in the areas with a strong Mayan history.

After enjoying the voladores ritual, we spent the rest of our time relaxing at the beach until our Nexus transfer arrived to pick us up in front of the regal Gran Porto resort. The beach in Playa del Carmen is stunning, with the majority being a white expanse of sand leading into crystal clear waters, but where we chose to sit was a beautiful rocky enclave where in the shallows you could see the tiny black and yellow striped Sergeant Major fish darting in and out of their crevices; no snorkle required!20160409_155245_edited

By the time our private Nexus transfer whisked us away, we were exhausted from an active day of walking and drained from our fun in the sun. With much pleasure we relaxed in the air-conditioned van, grabbed a beer from the cooler and rested easy on the smooth ride to Cancun.

IMG_20160513_104440_73When we arrived at the Great Parnassus Resort & Spa we were hungry and eager to familiarize ourselves with our home for the next three nights. Great Parnassus is designed like a cruise ship, giving it an incredibly unique perspective which also means it is easy to navigate. The main restaurants could be found on the ground floor stretching from the lobby to the beach and all extra amenities such as mini-golf and the kid’s waterpark could be easily found and accessed thanks to the simple layout. We checked into our Club Room on the top floor, which was just lovely. It’s hard to complain about full-body jets in the shower and an in-room jacuzzi to complement a beautiful view of the beach! After enjoying a great meal at the hotel’s Mexican restaurant, we retired to the room to rest.

We’d have a busy and exciting day ahead of us tomorrow…

 

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