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Your Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Guide

Playa del Carmen is a city located along the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. I can’t get over this place. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

1. How to get there?

– You arrive at Cancun International Airport – airport code: CUN

– Arrived at the airport? Passengers first clear Immigration then collect luggage for Customs and a possible inspection. Wait for instructions to press the red or green light that will determine whether you have been chosen for a search.

– Avoid offers for transportation inside the airport.

– To Playa Del Carmen, its around a 45 minutes to one hour drive (I arranged for a taxi pick-up from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen, driving is an option)

– Renting a car is a good idea for those who wish to tour areas such as Tulum, Cobá, etc. You must rent in advance and pick it up upon arrival. (contact us if you need us to help you reserve a car!)

Taxis:

Vouchers for taxis rides to Playa Del Carmen are on sale inside the main terminal.  Taxis are private rides (quoted prices vary from $60-$90).  Returning to the airport in a taxi is often less than the trip upon arrival.

(If you need further recommendations on what private companies to use for transportation, please feel free to drop us an email or contact us at our Contact Us form)

 

2. Where to Sleep?

  • Banyan Tree Mayakoba
  • The Fairmont Mayakoba
  • Grand Velas Riviera Maya 5 Star Luxury Hotel
  • Pueblito Luxury Condo Hotel
  • Viceroy Riviera Maya
  • Blue Diamond Riviera Maya
  • Casa Rebeka – Ocean Front Villa
  • Luxury Villas

 

3. Other than staying at the hotel all day and enjoying my friends/spouse/significant other.. What to do?

  • Cenote Chaak Tun (Cenote means the hole in the cave filled with water/ sink holes – you can swim)
  • Cenote Chikin Ha
  • Rio Secreto
  • Xcaret theme park (excellent for families too!) – Underwater Trekking is awesome!!!
  • Flyboard, and all other activities
  • See Playa del Carmen’s main street, La Quinta Avenid. It runs parallel to the shore and serves as a pedestrian walkway
  • Diving tours (Playa is one of the best places on the coast to dive)
  • Xel-Ha day trip
  • Tulum Day Trip
  • Xplor Adventure Park
  • Go to Mamitas Beach during the day (Fun, music, sun)
  • Indigo Beach (beside El Taj Condo Hotel)
  • Take a boat and go Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres
  • Chichen Itza

For more, and personalized itineraries please drop us an email or contact us here.

 

4. Food

  • Diablito cha cha cha (loud, music, food) q
  • El Tacombie (tacos, not a restaurant)
  • Los Aguachiles (Mexican, seafood, casual but good food)
  • Yaxche (Mexican)
  • Chez Celine (Breakfast/Brunch)
  • Como Como (Mediterranean)
  • Mosquito Blue Restaurant

 

5. Other Stuff

– Whats near Playa Del Carmen?

  • Tulum
  • Cozumel
  • Akumal
  • Puerto Aventuras

– Withdraw money from a local ATM as you will get the exact current exchange rate. Almost all stores will give you an unfavorable conversion rate

– If you love snorkeling, purchase your own gear and bring it with you on vacation. At many locations you can snorkel right off the beach anytime you want, saving tour fees

– When going out, put your money in an inside pocket or pouch, where it isn’t visible

– Phone? There is a “data” phone. I got mine from Mexico City, and used it in Playa Del Carmen and different parts of Mexico

 

6. Switch off your phone, switch on your camera, and e-n-j-o-y.

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Hello965 Team

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia ~ A la Hello965

‘This post is after my visit to Dubrovnik in 2012’

Dubrovnik Dubrovnik, Oh Dubrovnik.

No matter what I say about Croatia, I don’t think I’d give it justice. I’ll leave it to you, to see and judge.

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How to get there.

.. By Plane

> Dubrovnik Airport is located about 20 km to the south of the city. www.Airport-Dubrovnik.hr

> Hello965 Tip: we recommend to fly from a nearby country like Spain, England, France (as part of a multi-country trip). For example, go to Barcelona and from Barcelona to Dubrovnik/Split.

> Flight Options: Iberia, BA, Lufthansa, Vueling.

 

.. By Car

If you’re going to Dubrovnik from Split, the trip along the coastal road (Jadranska Magistrala or D8) is a beautiful scenic journey through small, quaint village and other tourist destinations. Split to Dubrovnik takes about 3,5 to 4 hours drive.

 

.. By Boat

Im not quite sure which cruises go to Dubrovnik but I’d say check Royal Caribbean. 

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Sleep. 

We highly recommend to stay as close to Old Town as possible, but dont stay inside Old Town, as the place can be noisy and crowded by tourists, Pile region is ideal place to stay in Dubrovnik, as it is right next to Old Town and within a walking distance to the city center.

Apartment and Villa renting is very popular inside Dubrovnik (Feel free to contact us to learn more on this). Hotels, specially high stars rated, can be pretty far from the city center and will require to take a shuttle/cab to get to where you want.

On another note, during one of our Dubrovnik trips, we stayed at a resort called Importanne Resort – Hotel Neptun Dubrovnik. We were a group of 8 people, took 2 rooms (super spacious, beautiful with an amazing big terrace) for 6 nights. Almost all our mornings were spent at the hotel’s, or at the hotel’s pool. There is no sandy beach, cause it’s on a cliff (The highest hotel in Dubrovnik, stunning panorama of the sea). The hotel is 3.8 km away from old town.

Another recommended hotel in Dubrovnik is The Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, you can find it on booking.com.

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Things to do.

  • Old town.
    • Roland’s Column
    • Bell Tower
    • Sponza Palace
    • Rector’s Palace
    • Placa Stradun (main street of the city)
    • Pile Gate
    • Big Onofrio´s Fountain
    • Old Port
    • Aquarium
  • City Walls – Walk on the walls around the old town, great views. It is highly recommended to visit the walls during the early morning hours or the late afternoon hours during mid-summer months as it can become hot
    • Minceta Fort – known to be one of the most beautiful cultural attractions in Dubrovnik
    • St. John’s Fort
    • Bokar Fort
  • Spend the day touring the city’s rich religious and cultural history. Visit the large Onofrio Fountain, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Rectors’ Palace
  • There are many tours you could take, depends on your interest
    • Game of Thrones fans, you could do a Game of Thrones walking tour. Not only this tour covers the locations of which the show shot its scenes, but also it covers the entire Old Town and City Wall, informing you about the history of Dubrovnik and the TV show itself
    • Biking Tour, if you like cycling, you will love biking in Dubrovnik. Tours take you to the country side of the city and nearby towns
    • Day trips to Bosnia, Montenegro, Split and others. Keep your passport handy when you’re crossing borders
  • Enjoy a cable car ride to Srd Hill for spectacular views of Dubrovnik Old Town and its entire Riviera
  • Arrange either by yourself, or with the hotel concierge for a Kayaking tour. You can kayak to one of the nearby islands and spend your day at one of the “secret beaches”
  • Safari (ATV, or Horseback riding) Be sure to bring with you a light rain coat and a decent pair of shoes!
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Banje Beach or other beaches within beach clubs

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Eat.

High-end

Proto (Fish & Seafood)
Nautika (Classic and modern cuisine)
Restaurant 360 (Mediterranean flavors but is also grounded in classic French gastronomy)Orsan

Vegeterian

Nishta

Traditional Croatian Food

Villa Ruža
Restaurant Dubrovnik
Gusta Me
Levanat (Seafood)
Kamenice
Poklisar

Sushi

BOTA ŠARE

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Other Information.

– VISA: For you to enter Croatia, you need either 1) a Croatian visa or 2) a Schengen – There has been some debate whether a Schengen gets you into Croatia or not. For us, our two visits to Croatia were one in August 2012 and second in late June 2014, both with Schengen visas. In order for you to do so, I believe you need to enter a Schengen visa country (Spain, Paris, etc..) and then fly to Croatia. 

Having said that, please contact or email a consulate or the embassy to make sure this is still the case. In Kuwait, there is neither a consulate nor an embassy. The nearest one is in Cairo, Egypt.

– Local Currency: The Kuna (HRK) is the official currency of Croatia. Banks are the only place you can change Kuna back into hard currency. You can get a cash advance on your credit card at banks throughout the country, though Visa® credit cards are not accepted by all banks

– Travel applications that won’t work in Dubrovnik: Yelp!

– The area code is 020.

– Yacht charter website: http://www.croatiacharter.com/

– Taxi and transportation services: http://www.taxiservicedubrovnik.com/

– Best time to visit: Naturally, you want to check Croatia’s weather and climate before you plan a trip. This is what CroatiaTraveller says:

January
Brrrr.  Continental Croatia is nippy indeed and the coast, while often sunny and pleasant, is not exactly swimmably warm.

February
It’s still cold in most of Croatia but the energy level is definitely picking up.

March 
It’s great outdoors weather along the Adriatic coast and, depending on the calendar, there are the festivities around Easter.

April
Spring is here at last. The snows have melted, flowers are budding and it’s time to celebrate.

May
The days are getting long and increasingly sunny. The tourist season is gearing up but is not yet in full swing which can be a good thing.

June
We’re in prime coastal and island-hopping season now and there are plenty of interesting cultural events.

July
The tourist season is in full swing now as coastal resorts fill up and excursion boats leave the docks groaning with passengers.

August
Don’t show up on a small island without a hotel reservation or you may find yourself on the next boat out.

September
The tide of tourists has largely receded leaving the resorts quieter, if not completely empty even though you can still swim.

October
The weather is turning cooler but it’s often still possible to swim in southern Dalmatia and tourists are few and far between.

November
Think concerts, culture, and cozy cafes.

December
The mood has swung away from tourism and toward Christmas preparations.

‘This post is after my visit to Dubrovnik in 2012’
The journey is not the destination..
Cheers,
Hello965 team
‘This post is after my visit to Dubrovnik in 2012’

Explore Madrid

Home

Beautiful Madrid is Spain’s Capital.

To Be in Madrid Is to Feel at Home

Welcome home! Throughout the centuries, this melting pot of different cultures has welcomed wave after wave of migrants. Throughout the 20th century Madrid welcomed people from all over Spain; today it welcomes people from all over Europe and the rest of the world with open arms.

If you have just arrived, start thinking of yourself as a “madrileño”, it won’t take you more than a couple of hours to feel like you are one. Go for a stroll and put away your camera and map for a while. Walk around like one of the locals, pop into a bar and order something: soon you’ll find yourself talking to someone – it may well be someone who also came to Madrid for a couple of days and is still living here years later. That’s Madrid, a city for the people.

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Let’s start off this post with the best parks and gardens in Madrid. If it’s summer, forget it and stay indoors!

  • Parque del Retiro
  • Casa De Campo – “The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid,. It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than 1,700 hectares”
  • Parque del Oeste – One of my favorties. Huge, very calm and extremely nice for a relaxing walk or a picnic. 
  • Campo Del Moro
  • Las Vistillas
  • Alameda de Osuna – El Capricho gardens

Parque del Oeste

Out and About

It’s amazing that there can be so many people in so many places at ALL TIMES. they love being outside. The weather is wonderful (not when it’s boiling hot..) and there are places for everybody’s tastes. Madrid’s wide range of open spaces is one of the city’s main assets, and we love enjoying them to the maximum.

You don’t need a plan. Get out and take a walk, wandering the streets without a set destination. You will be surprised to see that there always seems to be something even more interesting on the next block. And you can walk everywhere; it is never very far from one place to the next. Around the next corner you will probably find a place that will become one of your favorite little haunts.

It is very easy also to use the metro if you’re not a big fan of walking long distances; Download the Madrid Metro application for both iPhoners and Androids (Available in English), and just follow the lines. You could also use Google maps to direct you with metro lines uses. If you’re staying for a long stay, get the 10 passes metro ticket, otherwise 1 way ticket should suffice.

Madrid Fiestas

There are dozens of fiestas in Madrid. Here are some:
February: Madrid Carnaval – Week before Lent
March-April: Semana Santa (Holy week)
June-July: La Semana del Orgullo Gay (Gay Pride Week)
August: Fiestas in La Latina and Lavapies barrios – dancing and live music
December: Navidad & NocheVieja (New Years Eve) – Plaza mayor during xmas
Shopping
  • Madrid Shop: The Plaza Mayor Tourist Center sells items related to the city under the brand ¡Madrid!.
  • EL RASTRO FLEA MARKET: Every Sunday
  • CALLE DE SERRANO (SALAMANCA DISTRICT)
  • CALLE JORGE JUAN
  • Gran Via 
  • Chueca District
  • ELCORTE INGLES
  • FUENCARRAL Market
  • Calle Ortega y Gasset
  • Puerta Del Sol
  • Calle Goya
General Information
Addresses: Addresses written as: c/Picasso 2 4izda. , means Picasso street number 2 4th floor, left. (Izquierda).
Pronunciations: Anything with double L is pronounced a Y. For example: Calle is pronounced “Cayye”. Alot of people in Madrid don’t speak English, try to learn some basic words before you head there for example: “No Hablo Espaniol” – I don’t speak Spanish or “Hablas Ingles?” – Do you speak English? and so on.. (The H is silent fyi)
Crime and Personal Safety:  The police in Spain usually come in green uniform-roads, boarders etc., there is also blue uniform police-crime, drugs, crowd control, etc. In the unlikely event that you are robbed (which could happen- becareful!), go to the police where you’ll have to make a statement known as a “denuncia” you can also do it online via policia.es .. If your passport is stolen, contact immediately the embassy or consulate. (Kuwait nationals, you could contact the embassy in Madrid or the consulate office in Paris)
Pickpocketing and bag-snatching is very common in Spain, particularly in Madrid. Never put your mobile phone on the table and forget about it. Never keep it visible from your pockets on your bag.
Spain’s Currency is EURO (€)
OPENING HOURS: almost EVERYTHING in Spain closes for “Siesta” of atleast two hours in the middle of the day. So basically its something like this – Monday to Friday 9.30 AM to 2 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM.
Internet/WI-FI is widely spread in cafes, bars, hotels and other public hotspots. WiFi in Spanish is pronounced (Wee-Fee).
For Restaurants, you could refer to our previous post here.
SIGHT-SEEING & Touristy Stuff
  • Paseo Real (where The Royal Palace of Madrid is, very nice area to walk around))
  • Bernabeu Stadium  
  • Puerta de El Cala
  • Plaza Colon
  • Plaza Santa Ana (very nice plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoors)
  • Plaza Mayor (same, plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoor, must go)
  • Templo De Debod
  • Hop on hop off bus will take you to whatever you need to see.
Museums
Reina Sofia – Modern (20th Century) art.
Museo del Prado – Large collection of 12th ro 19th Century Spanish art.
Thyssen – If you like Impressionist paintings this museum is a must. (more or less similar to Prado) 

 

Cheers!

Toomzie