Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen in Mexico is one of the coolest holiday destinations you can imagine! Here you can find all kinds of beach activities from kitesurfing to paddleboarding to scuba diving. The second largest coral reef is just in front of the coast and goes all the way down to Belize. It is one of the best spots worldwide to practice freediving because of the underwater cave systems are here. Beautiful rock formations under water will make you feel like you are on a different planet.
Besides the beautiful nature and wildlife, beach and jungle, Playa- as locals call it - has a vibrant night life with many bars and clubs and nice beaches to relax the day after. You can swim with whale sharks, dive with bull sharks, snorkel with turtles and watch crocodiles in their natural environment.
Add to that the fascinating culture of the ancient Mayaâ€™s, the many archeological sites here, and the amazing Mexican food and the friendly locals and it is no surprise that for many years this has been the fastest growing town in the world.
Right in the middle of all of this, and only one block from the popular Mamitaâ€™s beach, you will find Bendito Rancho, a Mexican hacienda style hostel that recently opened its doors.
The hostel has a real familiar atmosphere since it is run by a group of friends who used to hang out in La Bendecida CafÃ© right here in Playa. This coffeeshop was famous for the friendly atmosphere, the laidback vibe but mostly for the fact that they roasted their own organic coffee. This concept, plus the hostel plus the authentic Mexican food they offer, is now part of the Bendito Rancho experience. The owners are all Mexican besides one Dutch guy who used to run the (in)famous The Bulldog Hotel in Amsterdam and now joined forces with his Mexican buddies. Andale!!
The hostel has 36 beds divided over 6 rooms so it never feels crowded. The whole place is light and airy and it feels like there always is a nice ocean breeze to cool you down a bit. Everything is clean, comfortable and there are always people around to chill with, or dogs to play with (or the other way around). Even though the hostel is only 10 steps form the famous quina avenida where all the action happens it has a really quiet and relaxed feel to it. Mainly because of the beautiful garden that separates the hostel from the street.
A lot of the guests that come there decide to book extra nights because they find it hard to leave such a magical place. Imagine waking up in your comfortable hostel bed, or in your private room, and smelling freshly roasted coffee while you take a nice shower. You walk down and take a seat in the garden where they serve breakfast and play some nice tunes on the radio. You practice some Spanish with other guests or one of the staff members, who are all amazing, while you plan your next Mexico adventure. Suddenly it becomes clear to you why Mexicans smile all the time. And if that doesnâ€™t do it a bucket of ice cold coronaâ€™s willâ€¦