If we had a condo on the beach, it would be in Playa del Carmen, specifically the Elements Condo. We lived in Playa del Carmen for five months back in 2016, and it’s a place we keep going back to. Have you ever been on vacation and thought I could live here?
Well, for us, that place is the Elements, Playa del Carmen. It feels like a home away from home (even though it’s not our home).
We first stayed at Elements in 2016 when Hannah’s parents came to visit us while we were living in Playa del Carmen and stayed in this penthouse again. 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:
*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels check prices on Booking.com. We’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
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.
Check out our how to get to Playa del Carmen guide. Elements Condos are only two minutes from 5th Avenue, the walking street in Playa del Carmen, which is 1.5 miles full of restaurants, bars, and shops.
As we do love the location, we always still went a car when we go for a month. We like to take a few day trips and visit some of the best tacos in Playa del Carmen, which is cheaper and easier with a car.
There is no better way to visit Chichen Itza, a cenote, and Valladolid (one of our favorite towns).
Visit Tulum Ruins, go snorkeling, includes a lunch buffet, swim in a cenote, and visit Xtun Cave. This is an action-packed day!
Explore the Mayan jungle by ATV, then jump in a cenote for a little swim before heading off to the zipline!
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 Elements condos, 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 its 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.
Have ultimate freedom and save tons of money on tours with your own rental car! Don’t worry – It’s safe (we’ve rented 20+ times), the roads are good, and it’s easier than you think! We always rent from Discover Cars, it’s easy & they have the best prices.
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 a 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 or month or however much time you can get away to Mexico.
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 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; 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 ours 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 cool off the heat. Once again, there are always plenty of chairs & umbrellas around the pool. We like the chairs that were 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 many great restaurants within 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 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. 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 Discovercars.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. Discovery Cars, for some reason, are really cheap. We typically pay $25-40 a day for the standard car. Here are our top places to visit near Playa del Carmen.
- Xpu Ha Beach
- Isla Holbox
- Cenote Calavera
- Grand Cenote
- The Pit Cenote
- Chichen Itza
Other useful things to know about Playa del Carmen
How To Get To Elements
Getting to Playa del Carmen from Cancun international airport is 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 be to have a private shuttle. This is what we do. If this is your first time in Playa del Carmen, we 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 and this is your first time in Mexico, you will likely get a bad rate. No one likes getting ripped off by taxis. 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 Discovercars.com, they have free cancellation, and the prices are the best. Typically we paid $20-35 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 buses are 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. Several shops advertise the best exchange rate in Playa del Carmen.
Restaurants on 5th Avenue accept credit cards, but it’s always best to leave tips 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 use 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 from 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 are not only 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 midwest and east coast tourists come for a week of relief from shoveling their driveways.
We didn’t notice a bunch of college spring breakers in March. They tend to stay in Cancun. For those college students, spring break in Playa del Carmen isn’t nearly as heavy of partiers as 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 Easter and the children’s holiday break. If you can avoid Easter week, we would, prices are higher this week, and it’s much busier. You’ll notice way more families with children traveling as soon as school is out. In You’ll notice more American families traveling in May and June since the kids just got out of school.
July – September
It’s hot, very, very hot. On our last trip, we spent eight nights at the end of July, and we said the weather was ” 3 showers a day hot.” We were slapped in the face with the heat and humidity every time we stepped outside. 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, many national tourists flock to the beach to beat the heat.
October – December
You can score some really good deals to Mexico in 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 crowd.
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.