Today, more and more people are opting for healthier options at home AND on vacation. If you are looking for the vacation destination that will allow you to stay healthy while relaxing and having a fun, or if you are wanting a fitness retreat that will begin you on the path to good health, consider Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Exercise and Fitness
Playa del Carmen offers lots of ways to challenge your body! Just by its urban design, Playa (as the locals call it) encourages visitors and residents to just “walk it” or “bike it.” Bike rentals run about $10 USD per day and most bike rental places will deliver your bike to your vacation rental. No gas fill ups, no insurance policies and clean air for all to breathe! Playaride or Holabike are excellent options.
Playa del Carmen has full service gyms with more ways to stay in shape than you can shake a hand weight at.
The Gym offers visitors day, week and month long passes. Kickboxing, Pilates, Spinning, Yoga, Body Sculpting, Crossfit and more are taught in this air conditioned, sexy, state of the art facility.
Playa del Carmen is a yoga hotspot! If you have never tried yoga, but always wondered if it was for you, Playa is an excellent opportunity get your Om on. Hatha, Bikram, Anusara, Yin, Ashtanga, Vinyasa…we’ve got it all. Just choose a style and well, namaste. Yoga By the Sea is one of our favorite studios where there is always something new going on. The “Enlivened Women’s Yoga Wellness Retreat” begins January 25 and runs through the 31st. Yoga By the Sea offers yoga vacation packages that will take you all over the Mayan Riviera.
Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants
It was once believed that being vegetarian or vegan in Mexico, the land of lard, beef fajitas and cheese smothered dishes was attempting the impossible. Well, times have changed. The cosmopolitan town of Playa del Carmen has made nutritional breakthroughs with its NEW great-tasting, healthful restaurant options.
Gluten intolerance has become a health issue for many in recent years. As a “new” digestive disorder, it can sometimes be difficult to find restaurants and grocery food items in developing countries that are even aware, much less geared toward, people with allergies to gluten, a protein present in many grains and processed foods. 100% Natural, a healthy eating concept restaurant chain found in Playa del Carmen and Cancun, has a special menu of delicious, gluten-free dishes. The really good news is that most dishes in Mexico are made with corn and rice which are naturally gluten-free! Eat nachos, guacamole, tacos with corn tortillas, rice and beans, pico de gallo, salads and fresh fruit juices to your health’s delight!
Los Aguachiles is THE place if you love seafood. The ceviches and tostadas are healthy and fresh. Located well out of the tourist zone on Calle 34 and Ave. 25. Try the fresh tuna in a lettuce wrap for a low cal, gluten-free treat!
Green 373 is chef, Rocio Norzagaray’s, healthy haven on 5th Ave between calles 34 y 38. This sweet little breakfast spot will have you getting up early on your vacation. We LOVE the Frutiza, a seasonal fruit salad with baked oatmeal granola, agave honey, amaranth, toasted grains and yogurt – YUM!
The Green Box on 5th Avenue and 38th Street is the perfect spot to grab a healthy lunch on the go. Their amazing fresh fruit juices are guaranteed to rejuvenate after a stroll through town on a hot day.
Kaxapa Factory is owned and operated by a Venezuelan family that understands what vegan means. Located on Constituyentes between 10th and 15th, has lots of vegetarian options and almost everything on the menu is gluten free! Try the traditional Venezuelan corn pancakes.
La Ceiba de la 30 is on 30th Ave. norte, between Constituyentes and 20. We bet you find yourself at this location more than once while eating well on your vacation. Authentic Mexican done healthy. Still don’t believe that is possible? Check it out.
La Senda is all natural, all vegetarian (and vegan) and all homemade. Vegans and even their non-vegan friends will be delighted with this ever changing, creative menu. Round the meal out with the superfood truffles or cookies. If happiness if found through good health, then La Senda is Utopia. Find it at 10th Avenue between 10th and 10th bis.
Organic Grocery Shopping
DAC on 30th Ave. and Constituyentes has been a Playa del Carmen health foodie godsend for years. Organic produce, spices, fresh cheeses, They have gluten-free bread and pasta!
Bio-Natural on 5th Ave. between 40th and 42nd is a new organic food store with lots of different milks like rice, almond, soy and coconut. They even have a small cafe serving up organic and even gluten-free dishes like veggie pita sandwiches, salads, hummus, curry, quinoa, falafel, lentils and smoothies.
Organic Boutik organic mercado located in Plaza Paseo Playacar stocks vegan and raw food ingredients, as well as gluten-free items.
Somos del Maiz, or “we are from corn” in English, is a health food store selling veggie, organic and ecological food products. They also serve delicious vegan dishes in the back of the store. Located on 46th Street between 5th & 10th Avenue.
Going on vacation in the Riviera Maya means you don’t have to give up your healthy eating habits or forgo your exercise routine. And for those of you who have been meaning to get your healthy groove back, Playa is the perfect place to kick start and turn those good intentions into a healthy NEW you.