Like you, I'm a huge fan of solo travel!I ended up being ditched on a trip to Italy once and now I bless that blooper as one of the best things that ever happened to me. Consequently, I'm addicted. I've always been obsessed with freedom as a concept, the freedom to do as you please, the freedom to live life on your own terms. Before I decided to make Mexico my home I traveled here solo for a vacation.
Traveling to Mexico didn't exactly fill my mother's heart with glee, but my stories and experience since have opened her eyes and mind up to the bigger picture and she now travels here multiple times a year to come and see me.She can't get enough. I tell her "the more I travel, the more I realize that the perceptions we have of a place are simply derivative of what we see on TV or hear in the media, it's nothing like the real thing". Mexico surprised me in more than a million ways and it's the reason I now call it home. As much as I love solo travel I will admit that it can get a little lonely from time to time. That's why I'm here to spread the love and share my top tips (from experience) of how to meet new people in Playa del Carmen. You see, not many people realize it, but Playa del Carmen is a haven for digital nomads, long-term travelers, poker players, and more! Making friends here is easy (if you know where to look). So, let's get into it...
Expats & Locals in Playa del Carmen - All the local knowledge you will ever need at your fingertips. Can't find what you're looking for? Just simply ask a question and wait for the helpful responses to come pouring in.Expats & Locals in Playa del Carmen Marketplace - Useful sister group if you are hoping to buy or sell something at a good price during your travels. Ladies of Playa - A group conversation for all you ladies out there. regular meetups and social events free to tag along too. You will meet lots of new and interesting people. Mexpats - An excellent group if you plan on staying in Mexico for a while. They often host regular meetups in swanky hotel bars and post lots of useful information about what's going on in Playa right now. Roomies in Playa - Staying in Playa for a while? Looking for somewhere cool to live and possibly a roomie? Look no further. Roomies in Playa was my gateway to moving here. Before I got a place by myself (I like my own space) I was able to arrange a place to live before I even arrived back here. Initially, I lived with two girls, both Mexican, so it was really helpful when getting to terms with the language and showing me around. You will be surprised by how many Mexicans speak English so don't worry too much. However, if you do plan on spending quite some time here (which you should, because it's amazing) try to brush up on some Spanish it will serve you well. If you are keen to do some Spanish classes use the groups listed above to point you in the right direction (that's how I did it).
When you arrive in paradise and you've traveled all this way you are going to want to get involved and do your homework on the best things to do in the region.Playa del Carmen enjoys a privileged position along the Riviera Maya sitting right at the heart of all the action. On either side, you have Cancun and Tulum. This is great news for travelers because it means you will be in close proximity to all of the regions top attractions.
When doing your homework you will undoubtedly come across Selvatica in your research.Voted the #1 outdoor activity by TripAdvisor amongst a whole host of other credible accolades, Selvatica has held on to its reigning title of one of the best things to do in the region for a number of years. After experiencing it for myself it's not hard to see why.
When I was fairly new to solo travel I used to put off going on excursions or tours because I didn't want to feel awkward showing up alone.But I overcame it because I didn't want to miss out on everything there was to see. Now I thrive off it because I know what a great opportunity heading out on excursions or day trips are to make new friends. That said, in my experience, some types of tours are better than others. I highly recommend witnessing the beauty of Mexico from the air. The lush jungle that encapsulates the region houses many secrets and wonders of its own.
At Selvatica you are divided up into small groups and assigned your very own personal tribe leader (who even gets to know you by your first name).(P.S some of the leaders are HOT!) Everyone is always super pumped and in a great mood when visiting Selvatica, regardless of whether they are a little nervous or not (which I was on my first visit). Everyone on this adrenaline adventure encourages each other, and it's a great way to get chatting to new people and have fun. When I first visited Selvatica I made friends with a couple from Canada who I met up with the same day for a night out along 5th Avenue.
However, at Selvatica you can expect to zip-line on 5 different types of zip-lines including the celebrated "Human Rollercoaster + Jungle Coaster", swim in a cenote, enjoy an ATV jungle adventure, and much much more.Selvatica works with dynamic pricing to always help you get the best deal. This means that there is no fixed price. It can change depending on the date you book, what time, and how many people for. However, to give you a rough ballpark figure during high season the prices at the time of me writing this are as follows...
You can always speak to an advisor on the website who can assist you with the booking.Selvatica also has a page on their website dedicated to promotions, where it's likely you'll find deals like 'save 30%' or 'pair Selvatica with a trip to Dolphinaris', check it out before you book!
Many of the hotels and rooftop party pools often host regular meetups for new visitors, solo travelers, or long-term 'mexpats'.In my experience, they are a great way to network. It's like dating, but for friends. Oftentimes, the venues charge a small entry fee and provide you with your first drink for free. There is usually live music, DJs, setups showcasing different businesses/services and more. One of my favorite meetups is the beach clean up. Every so often the people who live close to the beach meet up in large groups to do a full cleaning swoop of the beach. Something to look into if you care about looking after our planet.
It brings me great pleasure to inform you of this news. Women can drink for free EVERY WEEKNIGHT in Playa del Carmen.Below I've listed the venues where ladies can drink for free every night in Playa del Carmen. The hours the offers apply are subject to change so check with the venue (I've linked to their Facebook pages) before you visit.
Expect bottomless gin and tonics, rum and cokes, and more...Monday - La Choperia Tuesday - Lucky Luciano Wednesday - Burro Playero Thursday - Cannibal Royal Friday - Bronze (free premium brand gin and tonics). My personal favorite is Bronze on a Friday. As you can imagine this kind of giveaway attracts ladies from all over! Hence, why it's such a good opportunity to meet new like-minded people. Nothing like a good gin and tonic to break the ice.
I'll admit I'm a little reluctant to put this one in here, but it worked for me, so it can work for you too.Before I delve right in I would say is that when traveling to a new place never meet someone alone for the first time. Always meet in a public place with other people around. This is especially important when you don't know the area well.
In most case, you either love or hate Tinder.But let me tell you something, Tinder in Mexico (particularly Cancun and Playa del Carmen) is brimming with the creme de la creme from around the globe. You'll meet Americans, Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, Europeans, Australians...you get the picture. If you are a solo traveler staying in the region for a longer period than 2 weeks, it's not always easy to find people who aren't here simply on vacation. But short-lived friendships are better than no friendships if you ask me. Who knows, if you really get along you may meet up somewhere along the road in future. It's worth taking a look to see what's out there either way. Everyone needs a good dinner date from time to time. Luckily there are plenty of delicious eateries to choose from in the area.
What better place to bond with someone than over a delicious taco or tostada.Looking for somewhere with a good vibe, friendly service, and cool people? Los Hijos de la Tostada is the place to be. Located on 25 Avenida & 28 Calle Norte **They have now a second location on the corner of 5th Avenue and Calle 38 ** you can enjoy fresh quality food in a very enjoyable atmosphere.
Not only is their food delicious, it's reasonably priced, and the staff that works here are chill dudes who enjoy a good laugh.I've met many of my friends at this eatery and we often return here regularly because it's one of our favorites. If you do decide to give this place a go, be sure to try The Camarón Roca. This delicious tostada is made up of breaded shrimp, red cabbage, topped with chipotle and red wine sauce. Finger-licking good!
I hope this blog has inspired you in more ways than one to get yourself out there.Get ready to meet lots of new and interesting people and form friendships that last a lifetime. Do you feel like I missed something out? Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section, I'd love to hear from you. :)