If we had a condo on the beach it would be in Playa del Carmen and specifically the Elements Condo. We’ve actually lived in Playa del Carmen for 5 months back in 2016 and it’s a place we keep going back to. Have you ever been on vacation and thought to yourself I could live here?
Well for us that place the Elements Playa del Carmen. It really feels like a home away from home (even though it’s not our home lol).
We first stayed at Elements in 2016 when Hannah’s parents came to visit us when we were living in Playa del Carmen and again in July 2017 staying in this penthouse. Bric Rentals has some of the best units in the building and we stayed in one of their penthouse condos with a rooftop.
It’s the perfect place for families traveling with children, a bunch of friends traveling, or even a honeymoon in Mexico. Here are just a few reasons why we love staying at Elements Playa del Carmen:
Elements Playa del Carmen
Elements is close to everything you could possibly need in Playa del Carmen. You have the beach right outside your door, a quick and easy 45-minute drive from Cancun International Airport, and tons of restaurants & bars minutes away.
Make sure to check out our how to get to Playa del Carmen guide. Elements is only a two-minute walk from 5th Avenue, the walking street in Playa del Carmen which is 1.5 miles full of restaurants, bars, and shops.
The first thing you’ll see after checking into the Elements is the gorgeous white sandy beach in Playa del Carmen. There are a ton of beaches in the Yucatan but Playa del Carmen is still one of our favorites. Just steps away from the condos at Elements and your toes will be in the sand.
Related Article: Isla Holbox Mexico’s Beach Paradise
3. Beach Bar
You can’t have a beach without a good beach bar! Elements also have their own private beach club (right on the beach obviously) complete with a beach bar. There is no shortage of beach chairs. You won’t have to leave your beach chair all day, the waiters will bring your drinks and even food.
The prices are great too margaritas are only 85 Pesos and beers 40 Pesos. If you head down the beach 5 minutes to Mamaita’s Beach Club prices will be twice this and it won’t be nearly as relaxing.
The condos are literally like walking into a home, which is the main reason why we love staying here and why we keep going back. They are complete with everything you need and super comfortable. The kitchen is fully stocked with blender, coffee machine, pots/pans, etc.
If you are traveling light there is a washer & dryer in every unit which is also great for families with children. They are the perfect place to spend a week/a month or however much time you can get away to Mexico for.
When you first check-in you’ll meet Miguel who will be your go-to guy if you need anything during your vacation in Playa del Carmen. He’ll show you to the room and everything you need to know about your room. Ask him for his favorite restaurants he can mark them on a Playa del Carmen map for you.
It’s always great to hear from the locals where their favorite places are, and if you are open to street food ask him about that too. He also made our reservations to some of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
The penthouses at the Elements have some epic views but are also a great place to hang out. Every penthouse is different but our’s had an outdoor bar, hot tub, and basically an entire living room setup. Some of the penthouses have less outdoor space and instead have a 3rd bedroom on the top floor.
The pool is MASSIVE, you won’t miss it. It’s a great place to swim laps or just dip into cool off from the heat. Once again there are always plenty of chairs & umbrellas around the pool. We really like the chairs that half-submerged into the pool, it’s a great mix of sun and pool. The pool is also open late, we like to go for a swim right after sunset before heading up to our condo.
8. Nearby Restaurants
There are a ton of great restaurants with a 10-minute walk from the condo, we love the smoothies & guacamole at El Sangha Rito right down the street. If you’re feeling lazy have Miguel order you in food or pick up a pizza at Salento 1 minute up the street.
Each condo also has a complete kitchen and grill, head to Walmart or Mega to cook a meal in. Make sure to check out our complete list of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
9. Nearby Day Trips
There are a ton of things to do in Playa del Carmen and great day trips near Playa del Carmen. We highly suggest renting a car for a few days. We always rent our car on Rentalcars.com, they have the best prices and free cancelations.
Driving in Mexico is relatively easy once you get out of Playa del Carmen, the roads are well marked and we’ve never had an issue. Rental cars for some reason are really cheap we typically pay $1-15 a day for the standard car. Here are our top 5 places to visit near Playa del Carmen.
Other useful things to know about Playa del Carmen
How To Get To Elements
Getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun international airport is super easy and affordable, for our complete guide click here. The 35-mile commute typically takes 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic.
There are several options you can rent a car in Cancun and drive yourself, take a taxi, take the ADO bus, or take an airport shuttle. We have taken all of these options, no matter which one you choose you’ll still end up in paradise just some options sooner than others.
Airport Shuttle – The easiest would have Bric Rentals arrange airport pickup so that as soon as you pass immigration you can be whisked away. If this is your first time in Playa del Carmen we would suggest this option. Click here for booking options.
Taxi – Taking a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is an option but unless you are really good at negotiating it’ll cost you more than if you prearranged a shuttle. If you don’t speak Spanish an this is your first time in Mexico you more than likely will get a really bad rate. No one likes getting ripped off by taxi’s, we would suggest avoiding the taxi route.
Rent a car – If you plan on renting a car in Playa del Carmen it often isn’t any more expensive if you pick it up at the airport. If you choose this option you will save money on airport transfers. Driving in Mexico is relatively easy once you are out of the cities. We would only suggest this option if you have international data so you have GPS giving you directions. We always book car rentals on Rentalcars.com, they have free cancellation and the prices are the best, typically we paid $1-15 per day for a rental car in Playa del Carmen.
Take the Bus – The ADO bus leaves right outside of the arrivals at the Cancun international airport. You can purchase a ticket inside or where the busses loaded. The bus will take about an hour. The bus drops you off 1.5 miles away on the opposite end of 5th Ave. Once here you’ll have to take a taxi to Elements. This option is only good for those on a budget or has taken the bus before. It’s best to purchase your ticket with pesos, it’s typically $10 per person one way. For detailed step by step directions from Cancun to Playa del Carmen click here.
You’ll quickly notice that most restaurants and shops accept USD and Mexican pesos. If you don’t want to exchange your money or use an ATM you won’t have a problem. We HOWEVER always suggest using local currency, you’ll always get the best prices this way.
Every store sets its own exchange rate so make sure you ask this before purchasing an item, there are several shops that advertise the best exchange rate in Playa del Carmen.
Restaurants on 5th Avenue accept credit cards but it’s always best to leave tip in cash either USD or peso. Speaking of tipping, tipping in Mexico is expected to leave at least 10% we typically tip 15% depending on service and bill amount. Make sure to read our tipping in Mexico guide.
When you using ATM’s we suggest using them during the day and ones inside of banks of a mall/hotel. We always hit the ATM at the airport right away and then if needed a local bank in Playa. Always call your bank and credit card company before traveling to let them know the dates you’re traveling and where to. That way your card won’t be shut down while you’re on vacation.
Best Time To Visit Playa del Carmen
We’ve lived in Playa del Carmen January through May and have also visited during the months of July, October, and November. So it’s safe to say we’ve experienced every “season” in Playa del Carmen. Different seasons not only are different temperatures and weather but also different tourists traveling during that time.
January – March
We personally think the best time to visit is January through March. The winter weather is in full effect in the USA so it’s a great time to head to sunny Mexico. Temperatures are very comfortable 70-85 most days and rain is not common. The beaches in Playa del Carmen aren’t that crowded, on the weekends they are busier with locals enjoying the weekend. Many tourists from the midwest and east coast come for a week of relief of shoveling their driveways.
We didn’t notice a bunch of college spring breakers in March, they tend to stay in Cancun. Those college students that spring break in Playa del Carmen isn’t nearly as heavy of partiers than those in Cancun. If you want to avoid college spring break in Mexico you may want to avoid traveling in March.
April – June
The weather is starting to get warmer in April but April is still a good time to visit. It’ll be busy depending on when Easter is and children’s holiday break. If you can avoid Easter week we would, prices are higher this week and it’s much busier. As soon as school is out you’ll notice way more families with children traveling. May and June you’ll notice more American families traveling since the kids just got out of school.
July – September
It’s hot very very hot. On our last trip, we spent 8 night at the end of July and we said the weather was ” 3 showers a day hot.” Every time we stepped outside we were slapped in the face with the heat and humidity. No matter what you did you were sweating. It’s also hurricane season and the weather is unpredictable some years it can rain for weeks on end and tropical storms will keep you trapped in your room. This time of year there are a lot of national tourists flocking to the beach to beat the heat.
October – December
You can score some really good deals to Mexico October and November but you run the risk of storms and it’s still pretty hot. This is probably the slowest time of year and the least amount of tourists in town. By the end of November, the storms have passed and it’s the perfect time to visit. We like the first or second week of December, you’ll avoid the Thanksgiving day break and Christmas break crown.
Places in Mexico to Visit Before or After Playa del Carmen
If you’ve got more time to explore Mexico there are some amazing places nearby you should check out. If you can’t make it on this trip consider them on your next trip. Make sure to check out some of our other Mexico articles to fuel your wanderlust.
Have you stayed at Elements Playa del Carmen? What do you love about these condos? We can’t wait to again, the penthouse is calling!
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Thanks to BRIC Rentals for having us as always we feel deeper in love with Playa del Carmen. As always opinions are our own.This post may contain affiliate links, see our disclosure