A Guide to Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida
You’ve seen Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in film and on TV, but how much do you know about the other Fifth Avenue, south of the border — Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida? Check out our guide to this shopping street in the heart of the Riviera Maya city’s downtown, which is every bit as trendy and cosmopolitan as its stateside counterpart.
There are tons of souvenir shops along “Quinta,” most of them between South 3rd and 40th Streets. These include Ambarte, selling amber products; Rosalia, specializing in tapestries; and Tequila Bazar and Hacienda Tequila, featuring a large selection of Mexican food products and the namesake spirit. KIH Henequen Shop and Sol Jaguar have gained a following for donating a percentage of their proceeds to artisans and/or community initiatives.
Fashion malls and boutiques are abundant throughout Quinta, as are chain stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. Shopping centers Quinta Alegria, Calle Corazón, and Paseo del Carmen are joined by numerous upscale designer shops: La Bikineria for swimwear, bohemian La Troupe, Jula Luna jewelry emporium, and the elegant and artistic silk-scarf shop Pineda Covalin.
The 12th Street section of Quinta holds so many clubs that it’s considered one of Playa del Carmen’s nightlife capitals. There are Coco Bongo Club and Disco, which hosts a Vegas-style show; Salsanera salsa club; and several large themed dance clubs with stages and table service. For something more relaxed, bars like Fah and the Thompson Hotel Rooftop mix creative cocktails, and La Bodeguita del Medio features Cuban musicians.
Cafés and Restaurants
Havana-esque La Bodeguita del Medio, La Fisheria, French spot Chez Celine, and meat-centered 500 Gramos Grill are a few of the dozens of Quinta ristorantes, while Club de la Cerveza is known for small bites and beers. That said, Quinta is more of a shopping street than a dining street — for the best fare in Playa del Carmen, we recommend you head to one of the side streets, or sample Makehal’s own amazing restaurants, Fuego, Las Olas, and La Cocina.
Arts and Entertainment
Fire breathers, mimes, and breakdancers are scattered all around the avenue, and artists sell their work in public on Thursday nights between 24th and 32nd Streets. Seaside Parque Fundadores even boasts the astonishing papantla “pole-flyer” dancers, who soar through the air while performing flips and inversions. Certain parts of the avenue have held dozens of colorful suspended umbrellas that evoke Portugal’s Umbrella Sky Project installation.
Historical Mayan Sites
Before you leave Quinta, be sure to peek between 12th and 14th Streets, where you’ll glimpse a hidden ancient Mayan site and a small cenote.
Plan Your Trip
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