With every passing day we constantly see clips of ADOS being used and abused in the streets,homes and venues of the USA. We have been here for 400+ years and it’s gotten better for us but it’s far from ideal and definitely not comfortable. So what are we to do when we want to travel and have a good time. Tired of Atlanta, Myrtle Beach and LA? Try the lovely Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Quintana who? Quintana Roo is located in the South East of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula (the ‘foot’ that jutes out into the Caribbean)and is home to beach cities like Tulum, Playa del Carmen and the world famous Cancun.

Cancun Lagoon

Why Mexico? Why not? I know the first thing that pops in your mind is I DON’T SPEAK SPANISH! Let me put that concern to rest, you won’t need to. Plenty of people speak English and even if they can’t , pointing and maybe knowing some numbers in Spanish should be fine.

The Mexican Caribbean is such a beautiful place, that it warrants dealing with the small communication problem you may have to deal with. Turquoise beaches, inexpensive quality tequila, myriads of night clubs,restaurants, and really awe inspiring archaeological sites are definitely more than a weekend and perhaps a couple weeks worth of distractions and relaxing.The exchange rate is the SHIZNIT, 18-20 pesos per $1 depending on the time of day. And YES you can get things for 5 pesos (like awesome tacos!!)

Portal Maya, Playa del Carmen

Now that’s all find and good, but how they treating US out there? Not too bad. Actually pretty good. The love is real. The inviting feeling is seeping from every corner and crevice of the area for US. Get used to the sexy stares and questions of “if you are famous?” because the attention is going to be heavy.  From the clubs to the Pyramids you will be flooded with love ( what can I say?! they love us out there) and good cheer. I never sensed any rudeness or hate, only love and peace. Not to say it doesn’t exist, they just treat you like they want you around,not like dealing with you is a chore.It was also weird but refreshing to not be questioned if i could “afford” something,because 1) We’re American so damn near everything is affordable 2) There is no existing stigma of “broke blacks” , because all they know are the traveling class. However with this comes the price gouging,everything from sticks of gum to Tequila will start off with a price of 2000 pesos! remember to bargain it down always,you’ll be surprised what the price could actually be if you do it right ( I got a ‘2500 peso’ bottle of amazing Tequila for 300 pesos after bargaining ,that’s $125 into $15.And did I mention it was off the chain!)

The people as a whole are very inviting, this is very specific to this area because they are one of the few areas that are used to foreigners,its a beach state. However,the fact that we (ADOS) aren’t out there as much makes us kinda exotic too (YES You can get mad when Gwen asked to touch your hair and also be flattered when Guadalupe does the same, it’s your god given ADOS right!!)

Each city has it’s own flavor and feel. The northernmost is Cancun with it’s real Miami Vice I’m too sexy clubs and beach parties on the ‘7’ (the hotel zone is on a coral reef shaped like a 7) a long 15 miles of touristic boulevard has the best and biggest resorts in the area, great night club life( the world famous Coco Bongo is here), and the most beautiful views of the turquoise Mexican Caribbean sea. Meanwhile, just across the street and you”ll find the Nichupte Lagonn, a really big and pretty lagoon in which you may have romantic sunset party boat trips , grab a jet ski, or get in to a clear bottom boat tour ($75-$100 2hr) and if you are lucky see some crocodiles sleeping, but please don’t try to get closer to them if you care about your life. If you have time go into the city, go by the ‘Marcado 28/Market 28’ . It is an open air market with a little bit of everything local Cancun has to offer, with a couple knick-knack shops,some restaurants, a couple of Tequilarias (Specialized liquor stores dedicated to craft Tequila.They are amazing and deserve there own story), clothing stores, hair braiding shops ( $15 – and they do a good job too, I was very surprised) and the chronic too( FYI not promoting :$30- $50 1/8th).

3 Cheese Sliders, 2 Fries,2 Hotdogs,Chicken Fingers,2 beers, 1 Mojito – $21 Mcarthy’s Pub, Playa del Carmen
1/2 Chicken,Pink Rice,w/ Salad – $4 Pollo Brujo, Tulum
Chicken,Beans & Rice – $3 El Pollo Feliz, Cancun

About 1 hour more to the south is located Playa del Carmen, similar to Cancun but a little bit smaller, but well known for its beach town feel. Once there you must visit ‘Quinta Avenida’ the pedestrian road lined with restaurants, clubs, shops,malls, tourist traps, and Tequilarias (ALWAYS GO). One of the bonus point of these area besides all the local and and charming atmosphere it has is the perfect location for planning trips to Cenotes (Underground freshwater lakes) and Xcaret parks ( think interactive safaris, very fun) that you can find just about 10 minutes away by car, also traveling by public transport (for about $1/$2) Best thing about Play del Carmen is the way it is situated.It’s not a reef beach like the other two so there is no barrier between you and the water when you are in the city

One the other hand Tulum the southern most of the three towns and the smallest, is in the middle of the jungle about 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen, you can get to this paradise full of energetic vibes. It can be kinda fancy but at the same time you still feel your in the middle of nowhere, perfect place to get lost from normal life for a while and get enveloped in the calming surroundings, nature smells ,sounds and refreshing waters on the beautiful beach. Tulum also has a separate Hotel zone reef like Cancun however it has a totally different feel from the other two towns. Its totally worth taking a walk or renting a bike to go for a picture tour (some spots are so popular that there is line waiting for taking pictures) It’s a little extra local flavor and archaeological sites galore (especially if you count the small village of Coba, just up the highway). It’s a calmer town then the others, but you can still turn up in the Hotel zone.

Mercado 28 (market 28),Cancun

So  it’s inviting, and beautiful wonderful. That combination usually means I’m paying heavy bank. I ain’t got it son! Me either, but you don’t have to. An AirBnB for a week for 2 with pool or rooftop (or both) can run between $250- $550 depending on how lavish you are trying to go. If you want to save money, stay towards the city centers and away from the Hotel Zones, because the Hotel Zones can get a bit pricey. However Playa del Carmen is the Goldilocks of the three ,it doesn’t have a Hotel zone so you can save and be on the beach(got a king size bed hotel room 1 block from the beach for $25/per night) Funny side-note / warning – don’t go too cheap because certain amenities you take for granted may disappear ( like the toilet seat – no cap).Also NEVER take a cab from the airport there is a bus service A.D.O. learn these three letters and save LOADS!!

In conclusion, I’m not saying that the promise land is in Mexico. What I am saying, is that the Mexican Caribbean is beautiful and being ADOS won’t hinder your enjoyment.Save on the hotels and splurge on the food and attractions book a flight and stay a while, you might enjoy yourself.

Tulum Beach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *