Friends of mine just took a kid-free trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico and asked if I had any suggestions. My family vacations there pretty regularly so I’ve gotten to know the Riviera Maya pretty well. Playa is a great little town with a lot to do but my top recommendation is definitely eat at La Cueva del Chango.
Set in lush vegetation, the restaurant is made up of a series of round cement dining areas covered by palapas with unusual elements like wine bottles forming colored “skylights” through the roofs. The stream running through part of the restaurant means guests have to cross little bridges to get to their table. It’s so very cool!
Outside there are various levels all scattered through the jungle.
We loved our poblano soup so much that we immediately ordered another one and demanded to meet the chef. The owner came over and chatted us up. He’s doing some pretty creative things with local ingredients. If I remember correctly, this soup had poblanos, pistachios and sour cream.
Apparently they’re known for their brunch. Next time we’re trying that!
You might also like these posts about Mexico:
My friend, architect Patrick Gegen, has been traveling to Mexico City a lot for business lately and been spinning tales of his great discoveries. (Here he is on the roof of Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral.) Patrick not only has a trained eye for design – he worked on the renovation of Ralph Lauren’s Manhattan apartment for god’s sake! – he’s also an amazing cook who’s always up on the food scene. I completely trust his opinion, so I asked him to share his top design-minded picks for Mexico’s biggest city.
STAY: Condesa DF hotel
A modern 40-room hotel housed in a 1928 French, neo-classical building in Mexico City’s artsy Condesa neighborhood. “The restaurant is pretty great and the rooftop bar is amazing, but make sure to specify that you want tequila in your margarita,” says Patrick.
EAT: El Contramar
“Great seafood joint where you can sit outside and people-watch in the Roma
neighborhood. Great micheladas – different than they make in the
states – I remember tequila, I think.” Continue reading
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d highlight one of the coolest things happening in Mexico for travelers — and believe it or not, it’s happening near Cancun.
The newly installed Museo Subacuático de Arte is an underwater collection of 400 life-size concrete “villagers” by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. The last of the figures were submerged in October in the crystalline Caribbean waters north of Cancún, all of it explorable by both snorkelers and scuba divers. Aside from the obvious thrill of inventing a whole new ecosystem Continue reading
In honor of Elizabeth Taylor’s passing last month and my good friend Joseph Papa’s new book about her, “Elizabeth Taylor, A Passion for Life,” I thought I’d share a bit of travel trivia.
Taylor first traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico while the future love-of-her-life, Richard Burton, was filming “Night of the Iguana.” (Yes, she was married seven times but Burton was her true love. In fact, she married and divorced him twice.) Burton was married at the time so he had a house on one side of the street and he bought Taylor a house across the street called Casa Kimberly, for her 32nd birthday. As the couple was hounded by paparazzi, Burton had a pink bridge built over the street so they could visit each other without being photographed. Before Taylor and Burton arrived Puerto Vallarta was a small port town but once photos of their Mexican romance started appearing back home tourism boomed.
Sadly, Casa Kimberly, which has been open to tours and at one time was a bed and breakfast, is now surrounded by construction and rumored to become condos. It’s still worth exploring that area of Puerto Vallarta, called “Gringo Gulch” for its winding cobblestone streets and incredible views of the Bay of Banderas.
See my post about Puerto Morelos, Mexico where a different type of celebrity hangs out.
I may bristle at Jimmy Buffett’s cutesy, gettin’-drunk-in-the-sun lyrics — aren’t his fans the same parents that didn’t let us do that? – but the man knows how to live, sunburn notwithstanding. Case in point: Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
Posted in Travel, Writing
Tagged carribbean beach towns mexico, margaritaville, mesoamerican reef, Mexico, mexico beach towns, mexico snorkeling, mexico travel, Puerto Morelos, riviera maya, Travel & Leisure magazine
Back in October, I wrote about a grass-roofed cottage for rent - $380 a week! – in the quaint beach town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico, just south of Cancun in a post called Love Shack. The New York Timesrecently ran a big piece about how the town has managed to keep developers at bay and held onto family run shops, B&Bs and fish shacks. Check it out. (Just don’t go and build a resort there, please.)