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!)


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.


Hello965 Team


Hello965 in Cuba

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  • VISA Process:

Kuwaiti (and GCC) nationals need a visa to Cuba. Each national need to contact the Cuban Embassy in their country or the visa services office to inquire about the requirements.

In Kuwait, this is what you’ll need:

– A photocopy of your passport (The passport itself is not needed)

– A personal photo (sometimes not required)

– Hotel + Flight reservations

– Application Form to be filled in the embassy itself

Hello965 Cuba

I fell in love with this lady! <3


  • Duration of my stay: 7 days (3 nights in Havana, one night in Trenidad de Cuba and 2 nights in Varadero)



I choose the faster route the cheapest route, but you really have MANY options. As I mentioned in my previous post about Cuba. To add to it, you could always go through the Bahamas, Cayman Islands or else.

My Route was as follows: Kuwait – Abudhabi – Frankfurt – Havana and return via Istanbul (around 23 hours? more or less)

*** One big issue with this flight I took, my bags never made it to Havana via Frankfurt.

I was flying on Condor – A Thomas Cook Group flight, and had a very tight transit time (55 minutes). Unfortunately, I dealt with an impolite Condor representative, where she had confirmed 3 times that my bags were on board and 3 times dismissed me to “take care of other travelers”. The only reason I’m writing this, is because I was left with no bags for 4 days in Havana with not even a compensation from Condor.

FYI – shopping in Havana is VERY overpriced. I spent a fortune (i’m not exaggerating) just to buy shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush & paste, body gel and t-shirts for the days we have no clothes.   S


Hello965 in Cuba

1. Havana:

Stay: I stayed at a penthouse via Casa Particular. This is a tricky situation, if you’re comfortable staying at one of those, go for it at your own risk. Otherwise, stick to Hotel Saratoga in Old Town Havana, Nacional Hotel or read about the houses/rooms rented via the locals such as Casa de Miriam Y Sinai.


– Museo Revolucion
– Plaza Vieja
– East of Havana, go on top of the hill
– Eat ice cream at the famous Coppelia Ice Cream parlour for the true Habanero experience (Yes, this is part of activities and an activity you must do)

hello965 havana
– Plaza San Francisco
– 50’s car ride/ tour

hello965 cuba
– Visit a Cigar Factory
– See Casa Fuster
– Drive on, or walk on the Malecon Street
– Plaza de las Armas

Hello965 Cuba

Cigar Factory Visit



– Rio Mar

– Vistamar (1st Av and 22 strt)

– Litoral (on Al Malecon)

– El Templete

– Restaurante Dona Eutimia

– A coffee/bakery/pastry shop next to Dona Eutimia, is a place called Bambini .. very cute!!

– La Fontana


– Tropicana show; touristy and commercial but definitely a nice experience for a first time visit to Cuba

– Up & down

– Saratoga Hotel Rooftop Bar

– 304 O’Reilly

– Casa de La Musica (All salsa, live band)

Hello965 in Cuba

2. Trinidad de Cuba (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Stay: For the first time ever, and since it’s a one night stay, I decided to book in a hostel. It’s called Dr Suarez & Sra Addys. The owners the same day of booking dropped me an email expressing their excitement to have us at their home. I loved loved my stay at this place, couldn’t have asked for a better experience in Trinidad!

The hostel has two rooms, each room fits two persons max. However, we needed an extra room, so the owners arranged for our friend to stay at the opposite house/hostel. If you need more rooms, just ask them and they’ll organize it.

Another option which I was looking at before booking with Dr Suarez is a hotel called Iberostar, which is the best recommended in Trinidad.


– Valle de Los Ingenios Tour (RECOMMENDED!), I booked my tour via Havana Tour Company. This tour is about 19th-century sugar and slave trade! SUPER interesting.

hello965 trinidad

– Walk around the town, it’s a very small place, so just walk around and explore yourself

– Check out Plaza Mayor

– Train trip to the Valley of the Sugar Mills

– Hiking the Escambray mountains

– Checkout Galeria Pincelada Colonial

 – At night, checkout Casa de La Musica (All salsa, live band), it is similar to the one in Havana, but this is outdoors and beautiful atmosphere


Since my trip to Trinidad was super short, the place I got to try was:

1- San Jose

Actually, there was another restaurant that I absolutely hated, so won’t even bother to write it down.


3. Varadero

Stay: Melia Varadero Hotel is where I stayed, and where I recommend

Hello965 Varadero

Things to do:

– Go on a Catamaran to Cayo Blanco Island

– Varadero is all about the beach, so just relax and enjoy your hotel’s facilities and massages

– For the night, a place called La Rumba was recommended to us

hello965 catamaran

 Other destinations I stumbled upon that look interesting, you could look into more:

Cayo Largo & Cayo Coco – I read that these islands have two of the most beautiful beaches! – Not accessible via car

Useful websites other than this amazing post ofcourse;

I used these websites to book my hotels:

Hello965 in Cuba

Final words:

– I recommend you to hire a driver & rent a car for the whole period in Cuba. The driver most of the time act as a tour guide, where he’ll recommend the best places to see, reserve for restaurants when needed and take care of things.

– The way it works in Cuba from my personal experience, hiring a driver, and renting a car are two different activities (some websites combine both in one). I, contacted a driver, who in return recommended me the websites to rent a car from.

– Renting a car is tricky. If you do reserve a car online, and the car reservation is CONFIRMED, that’s not the end! You must pay the car full amount ONLINE for the reservation to be confirmed. I didn’t pay online because I wasn’t aware of this, so when I reached, I didn’t have a car. (Thanks Rafael for organizing a car for me!)

– Entering Cuba is not a big hassle. However, those of you feeling uncomfortable waiting, there’s a VIP service fo  25 CUC. Where an employee escorts you from the minute you leave the plane, passes you through VIP and Diplomats lane, and off to the luggage.

At the exit/Leaving Cuba – you’ll need to pay 25 CUC at the airpot, so just make sure you have the 25 CUC at hand on your way to the airport.

– In terms of safety, I haven’t encountered any dangerous situation or felt unsafe at any point. Caution is always good, so just keep your shiny and expensive stuff at home. Cuba has the lowest crime rate in the Western Hemisphere! You will be surprised by the visible police presence in Cuba.

– Heads up, Havana is not cheap. The minute they know you’re a tourist, they’ll automatically charge you much higher than original price/cost.

– WiFi & Internet: Almost all hotels have at least 1 or 2 computers to go on the internet for foreigners. Otherwise they’d charge you for an internet card to use for your laptop/phone. Having said that, Cuba’s internet is very slow, and some applications are blocked such as “Snapchat”.

Best time/weather to see Cuba: March, April October and November are the months with the nicest weather and less rain. Peak Season is December / January/ February.

– MONEY EXCHANGE – You can ONLY exchange money INSIDE Cuba. To exchange, you need to get Euros with you, and exchange either at the airport when you first get in, or in any hotel in Havana. I, for instance, exchanged at both Melia Cohiba and Nacional Hotel. Also, make sure you don’t get out of Cuba with their currency (CUC) because you will not be able to exchange it outside of Cuba.

– Cigars: For Cigar purchases, you are only allowed 50 pieces ‘per bag’ (carry-on VS. suitcase). More than 50 pieces, you’ll be asked present receipts of your purchases.

– Finally, don’t expect to eat delicious food. All food is spiced with only salt, pepper and lemon. So don’t have any expectations. (get your own spice if you could)

hello965 classic

***  Always remember, you could email us on to plan all of this for you.