Playa del Carmen Food and Wine Tours

Party in an old world Mexican paradise

Playa del Carmen is a beach resort on Mexico's east coast quickly developing into a foodie hotspot. Sure, the 240 days of sunshine it receives every year helps a little, but who doesn’t like to sample delicious dishes and tan at the same time? With its beautiful sheltered beaches characterised by white sand and clear blue water, the town known simply as “Playa” is a growing paradise fast becoming a go-to destination for sunseekers and foodies alike.

As the third largest city in the state of Quintana Roo, for many years the Playa del Carmen was an important trade route. Its rich history as a Mayan settlement and ancient ruins meant that, for many years, it was a small fishing town with a splash of interesting culture. Now, extensive redevelopment has made it into a trendy, cosmopolitan destination. Water sports such as diving and snorkelling offer the chance to peer below the surface of the Caribbean sea, bustling bars provide a life after sunset, and year-round festivals keep travellers coming out of season.

A trip to Playa would not be complete without authentic Mexican food and drink. Playa is becoming a thriving nightlife destination, but a little further from the main hubs you’ll discover tantalising street food vendors serving quesadillas and tacos and an old town ready to welcome foodies with a smile. In addition to traditional fare including tortillas and enchiladas, there are some more unusual dishes to try. Pibil is one such treat. Made with either pork or chicken, it’s prepared in a red sauce and served with beans and onions on a banana leaf. If you really want to roll back the years, a Mayan favourite is a dish called poc chuc. It consists of grilled pork that has been marinated in a sour orange juice. Huevos motuleños, a breakfast dish made with egg, ham, cheese, and peas, is the best way to start a day by the sea. For lighter, fishy treats, try out the local ceviche.

Of course, no true Mexican meal would be complete without a shot of tequila. This world-famous liqueur is made from the extracted sap of the blue agave plant, and there are four different varieties to taste in Playa del Carmen. First is the silver, the purest type of tequila with no added flavourings. Gold tequila has added caramel, tequila reposado has been aged for two months and anejo tequila has been aged for between one and three years. Each offers something different, so naturally, you’ll have to take some time savouring each option.

All in all, Playa del Carmen is fast making a name for itself as the place to be in Mexico. Its scenic beauty and growing nightlife scene are both without question, but scratch below the surface and you’ll discover sumptuous, local cuisine with a kick in this little piece of paradise.

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