As you may know, after spending two months on Mexico’s western coast, Luna and I flew across the country to explore the Caribbean coast, basing ourselves in Playa del Carmen.
We spent a month here from mid-June to mid-July and it officially got Too Hot on July first, so I’d recommend traveling earlier or later in the year if you have your dog along. It’s no fun to be constantly worrying about the dog overheating (which is why Luna and I spent much of our days in places with air conditioning and only ventured out in the evenings or to play in the rain).
That said, here’s the skinny on the town:
Dog-friendly housing: As we so often do, Luna and I rented a little studio that we found on Airbnb. Also as usual, it wasn’t listed as pet-friendly, but when I reached out with a polite email, they were happy to make an exception. I won’t recommend the specific apartment (as they had quite a few water, power, and landlord issues), but I will use this space to remind you – always politely ask about dog exceptions. Most people don’t list places as dog-friendly, but plenty are open to well-behaved pooches.
The beach: There is one spot on the beach where I saw a no dogs allowed sign. However, the entire beach is connected (not separated by rocks or coves) and it’s totally unclear which part of the beach is the no-dogs part, so I think it would be very easy to get out of a ticket if someone did try to give you one (and Luna and I lived dangerously and walked the whole beach, as did many other people with dogs).
Veterinary care: I love love LOVE the vet here in Playa del Carmen. The office is called Sanimal. The vet and his staff speak perfect English – so no worries if your Spanish is rusty. And when Luna got sick over the weekend, the vet was sweet, reassuring, and gave us an immediate solution. He also had a new perspective on Luna’s allergies…so hopefully we’ll be able to implement his suggestions and get better control on her allergic reactions.
Treats and supplies: the vet (Sanimal, info above) carries all the basics – food, doggie toothpaste, etc. And there’s also a shop called Mundo Animal in Centro Maya, which is the mall here in Playa del Carmen. It’s a bit far from town, so you may want to take a cab. Cab fare is 50 pesos from town to Centro Maya if you nab a cab off the street (just pay, don’t ask; if you ask, they charge more).
Restaurants, bars, and shops: Good news, puppy lovers! Playa tends to be a pet-friendly place. I took Luna to restaurants on the beach and on 5th Avenue and they always had a spot for us (usually on a patio or on the beach). We also spent a lot of time in coffee shops, indoors. And I only saw one coffee shop that had a no-dogs sign. Similarly, I didn’t see any shops with no-dog signs and we never had trouble just walking in and looking around.
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