The young man who checked us in, Andres was so nice and very helpful, answering all of our questions. He also gave us the run-down on how the streets were set up with the Avenidas (Avenues) going North to South and the Calles (Streets) going East to West, which was definitely helpful with our navigation. He explained that Avenida Cinco (5th Avenue) is a beautiful area where people go to shop and eat. It is a few miles long, closed off to automobile and motorcycle traffic and lined with everything you could possibly want to eat or buy. A block past 5th Avenue is the gorgeous Carribean Sea. We really enjoyed visiting 5th Avenue multiple times and the beach, but we were in Playa del Carmen to do research and that is what we did!!
So over the six days that we were in Playa del Carmen…..we got busy learning about Playa del Carmen. I had gotten in touch with a realtor, who at the time was visiting in Germany, and asked if we could look at any apartments or homes that were for rent. She advised that the real estate market in Playa moved very quickly and if we would not be renting soon, it did not even make sense to look at this time. Since we were visiting Playa del Carmen in May 2017 and were not planning on moving until approximately December 2017, we figured we would not be looking at apartments/homes this trip. The realtor did send us a few maps of different apartment complexes and we did drive around and checked out the complexes, the neighborhoods, restaurants and shops, etc. We also checked out Walmart and different supermarkets and local markets and for the most part, we found that we could get most everything we can get in the States and were very happy to come to that realization.
Both Rich and I are on a good amount of prescription drugs along with some over-the-counter supplements and one of our most important research assignments was to go to some of the Farmacia’s in the area to make sure that we would be able to purchase our medications. Not only to make sure we could get the medications, but also to get the prices on the medications. You see, in Mexico, most medications that need prescriptions in the States are over the counter in Mexico. Only the strongest Class IV medications like Vicodin, Xanax, Percocet, and Ambien need a script in Mexico. So we went to three different Farmacias and luckily, found some people at the Farmacias who spoke English and got all the prices. Unfortunately, there were one or two meds that we could not get in Playa del Carmen, so one day we ventured out to Cancun (a 45 min. ride up the coast) to go to Costco and see if we could find everything we needed. After all was said and done, we found everything that we needed except for one of Rich’s meds and we would later speak with his doctor in Fort Myers to see if we could stock up on it while we were in Fort Myers until we could find it in Playa and that is what we did. None of the medications are covered under any type of insurance, so we had to make sure that the prices would be within our monthly budget and after going over everything, we found that we only had two meds that were a little bit costly and we readjusted and found that the prices are very reasonable, with some even being really cheap!!
There is a great website that we found called Everything Playa Del Carmen that is just that……..Anything you could want in regards to Playa del Carmen from cheap street eats to fine dining to tons of things to do in Playa and the surrounding areas to hospitals, stores, movie theaters, etc. It is great for expats and tourists alike.
There we found a deep dish pizza place called Don Chendo which is owned by a guy named Russell who is from NYC. (Not sure how he learned to make the deep dish, but it was really great pizza, so if you ever get in the area, that is the place to go!!) He came over to talk at one point and we picked his brain about lots of things from mail delivery in Playa to doctors and hospitals, setting up utilities and much more. Thanks Russell for all your info and the great pizza!!
In addition to all the “research” we did, we also spent lots of time eating!!! We found a great restaurant for us, very nicely named, “Karen’s Restaurant” which was fantastic because Rich does not like seafood and he really does not even like Mexican food…….Believe it or not!!! And I love Mexican and seafood and most anything else too, where he is very picky. Karen’s was really nice because they had a huge menu and he could get steak while I was enjoying the Mexican or seafood and we both fell in love with it!! They also had super unsweetened lemonade, which we have found is very hard to find!! So we ate there twice, we ate at some great breakfast places, had Mexican coffee and cappuccino a few times, wonderful tacos down the street from our hotel and lots of other great yummy places.
Even though we were still on a research trip, gathering all we needed to know before heading home to Fort Myers, we decided one night at dinner that Playa del Carmen, Mexico would be our new home. So now we needed to get home asap and do all that we needed to do to put our house on the market and get the heck out of Fort Myers, getting us back to Playa del Carmen as soon as we possibly could!!