Playa Del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida
Everyone always wonders what there is to do in Playa Del Carmen and what the “must sees” are. When visiting you must see 5th Avenue Playa Del Carmen or “Quinta Avenida” as it is called by locals. This pedestrian street runs parallel to the beach and has the majority of tourist attractions including shops, restaurants, and street entertainment.
Visiting Quinta Avenida in Playa Del Carmen should be on everyone’s list to do when in town. If you are staying in the center of Playa Del Carmen then you are surely going to walk around here to explore and if you are staying at an all inclusive hotel then usually this is where tourist want to come for an evening to do some shopping and sightseeing.
Tip: Make sure you visit Quinta Avenida at different times of the day. In the morning it can be calm and peaceful place to take a coffee or run. In the evening it is very different because more people are out and there is even street performers and there is a special air of excitement.
Our map guide to Quinta Avenida
Here is a map of Quinta Avenida and some of the highlights you can visit. Click on the markers to discover what is there.
Where to start with Quinta Avenida in Playa Del Carmen?
Quinta Avenida runs from the same street as the Cozumel Ferry Pier and runs all the way through Playa Del Carmen and continues out of the center of town. Most of the tourists attractions are from Calle 3 sur (south 3rd Street) to about 40th Street. This may sound like a lot to see, and it is, but remember the street are just even numbers north of Juarez Avenue. So it is about 22 blocks of non stop shopping, dinning and fun!
If you start at the south end you will be starting in Paseo Del Carmen shopping plaza. This plaza is shaded and has clothes shops, tourist souvenirs and other shopping but don’t do all your shopping here, you still have dozens of other opportunities!
The area between Paseo Del Carmen and Calle 1 Sur is a very cheap and a tacky area of 5th Avenue. It is best to skip this strip or walk past it unless you want knock off sunglasses (make sure you read our article on how to avoid tourist traps and scams in Playa Del Carmen).
Parque Fundadores on Quinta Avenida
Between Calle 1 Sur and Juarez Avenue there is Parque Fundadores. This was once one of the original areas of Playa Del Carmen when it was a small fishing village. This park has grown into an exciting area with many tourists attractions. For example there is a kids play area, handicap beach access, Mayan dancers at night and papantla dancers performing throughout the day. This is a great area to visit in the evening and night. You can see some live entertainment here and they only ask for a tip.
Check out the little white church on the corner of this park. This is a real church where people get married and there are services.
Quinta Avenida from Juarez Avenue to 10th Street
From Juarez to 10th Street there is not much of interest except a few shops. In general this is the cheaper and older end of Quinta Avenida. One store to check out is the Sol Jaguar gift store where you can find quality crafts that have been made in locations around Mexico. These items make for great decorative items in your house.
When you come to the intersection of 12th Street you will see the new Calle Corazon shopping mall. This is mostly newer stores with American brands. You can find H&M here and stores like Sephora, Hollister and Bath & Body Works. For some tourists this might seem boring, for others (especially from other parts of Mexico) this can be exciting to shop here.
Also around 12th Street you are near to many bars and clubs. At night this can be “the” place to be. Just off Quinta Avenida on 10th Street there are many bars and 12th Street as well. See our bar guide to Playa Del Carmen for more information and also our Nightclub and Nightlife Guide. This area is happening from 10:00pm until 4:00am!
Quinta Avenida from 12th Street to 16th Street
From 12th Street to 16th Street you will feel a little more relaxed in this tree lined area with good shops. You will find the Rosalia store with many Mexican tapestries and hand woven clothes. This is the largest selection in Playa. They do not negotiate prices here but do take credit cards. It is a great place to get pillow covers or a decorative table runner.
In Plaza Corazon you will find the aquarium in Playa Del Carmen. This is a nice look at our marine life and to understand more about it and how we need to protect it.
Shopping on this section of Quinta Avenida
Just up from the Plaza Corazon is a small store with just hearts in every form. This is called Corazon De Mexico. This is store perfect for you romantics our there. You can find glass heard to hang in your window or Mexican designed decorative hearts made form tin.
Next on Quinta Avenida is one of our favorite places to send people for souvenirs! It is called Hacienda Tequila. You cannot miss the big yellow front and the statues outside. Inside you will find a large selection of gifts including a large many brands of tequilas. In the back is sort of a museum representing how tequila is made. Not only does this store have a lot of things for you, it also has great air conditioning! Take moment to cool off and look around.
Just about a block down on the opposite side as Hacienda Tequila is Tequila Bazar. This store is also good for tourist souvenirs but especialy before Christmas because they have some nice decorations to buy. They also have some food products here made in Mexico that make great gifts. Things like chocolate bars, jams and vanilla.
Right after you pass Tequila Bazar there is a little side street numbered 16th. Often in the evenings there are local artist that set up shop here and you can buy something original and take it home. There is also art in Quinta Avenida on Thursday nights. It is usually from 24th Street to 32nd Street. This is not just street art. Some of these artist are very famous and you can buy a painting here for half the price as it would be in a NYC gallery when they show there.
Quinta Avenida and Constituyentes Avenue
Once you arrive just before Constituyentes Avenue you cannot help but notice Quinta Alegria Mall. To start with there is usually some form of street entertainers in front of this shopping mall. This can be a nice place to stop and watch some performers especially in the evening time. In Quinta Alegria Mall you can fins sports stores, clothes and a department store. This is also a good place to go to the bathroom while out walking Quinta Avenida. See our short video below for more details on this mall.
The last stretch of Quinta Avenida from Constituyentes Avenue to 40th Street
From Constituyentes Avenue to 40th Street you will find some of the higher end shops and restaurants. We call this “upper Quinta Avenida” because as you go north on Quinta Avenida you get to newer developed shops and restaurants and in general are higher end places.
If you are getting tired of walking you can stop at Ah Cacao Café. This is a local chain of coffee houses that offers coffee and Mexican chocolate products. Try the Mayan hot chocolate here for a treat! There are three locations for Ah Cacao on Quinta Avenida and all make for nice place to stop and have a drink and people watch.
One store to look to check out is from a Mexican designer called Pineda Covalin. This store features many silk prints inspired by Mexico and made into clothes. It is not cheap but it will they do have things that will be beautiful. This store is between 26th Street and 28th Street.
Just past 34th Street on the beach side you will see La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant and bar. In the evenings this can be a fun place to hear live music and feel like you are in Havana. Have a mojito or two and dance the night away!
Here are two other guides you might like looking at. One guide is for shopping just off 5th Avenue. There are some great stores that many tourist miss. The other guide is for the fashionista. This guide tells you where to find fashion, style and clothes all on Quinta Avenida.
So those are some of the highlights of Quinta Avenida. Things to see, things to buy and things to taste. Below are a few restaurants that you can enjoy while on Quinta Avenida.
Eating at Restaurants on Quinta Avenida
In general many of the restaurants on Quinta Avenida and geared toward tourist. This means that prices are a little higher because the rent is higher and the quality is not the true and authentic flavors of Mexico. If there is a type of cuisine you are looking for we recommend you look over our restaurant guide so you can choose a good option for you. There are many restaurants just off Quinta Avenida where you can get better prices and better quality meals.
Here are a few restaurants on Quinta Avenida we recommend:
- La Fisheria. This is a seafood restaurant which is based on a menu from a famous Mexican Chef. It is a little commercialized but a casual place to get some seafood. La Fisheria is on 5th Avenue between 20th Street and 22nd Street.
- Club de Cerveza. This is the place for beer lovers because they have the best selection of craft beers and offer many Mexican beers. They have a small menu for eating as well here. This restaurant/bar is between 34th Street and 38th Street.
- Chez Celine. This is a bakery and more of a favorite for breakfast but if you are out for a stroll on 5th Avenue it can be a destination to reward yourself for all that walking. They have their own bakery in the back and tasty pastries in the front. Chez Celine is on 5th Avenue near 34th Street.
- 500 Gramos Grill. A great find on Quinta Avenida in Playa Del Carmen. Here you get good tasting steak and other meat dishes along with pastas for good value.
- Hola Bangkok Restaurant. A taste of Thailand in Playa Del Carmen. This is in the plaza between 34th Street and 38th Street.
- De Local is a restaurant near the end of the walkable Quinta Avenida. This restaurant has good pizza and more plus reasonable prices if you make it to this end of Quinta Avenida. It is on the corner of 40th Street.
Tips for eating at restaurants on Quinta Avenida in Playa Del Carmen
- There are many people that will offer you menus and have displays of food out front. Most of these are average at best and if you are only in Playa Del Carmen for a short time, why not research some of the great restaurant to visit.
- Don’t fall for the 2×1 drink specials. Usualy there are drink specials from 4pm-8pm. This is more just to get people in the door and the quality of the drinks are usually not the best.
- Restaurants are very used to tourist on Quinta Avenida which means some take advantage of visitors not knowing the bills and they over charge. Always examine the bill. Add it up even if the prices are all correct sometimes the math is not correct. Check if that 2×1 drink special is on there or if they charged you for two. Is there a service charge, tax or something else on the bill? This is illegal. All prices on the menu are the price with taxes included. There are honest mistakes but many times it is not.
- Tipping in Playa Del Carmen is between 10% and 20%. The lower end is only for basic restaurants and the usual is 15%. Only 20% for exceptional service. Make sure you examine you bill that “Propina” (Tip) is not already added on. Restaurants are not supposed to do this but they just might try.
- Dinner is usually eaten later at night in Playa. From 8:00pm-10:00pm is usually the busiest time on Quinta Avenida.
- Don’t worry about dressing up, casual dinning is the order of the day. No ties for men! Some restaurants you might want to dress a little more fancy but usually things are relaxed for dinning.
We hope you have an amazing time in Playa Del Carmen and discover all that Quinta Avenida has to offer. If you have something you liked and is not on this list of things, please send us a comment below. We love to hear from our readers.