Playa Del Carmen Running
Playa Del Carmen Running is best done in the early morning although I often see people running in Playa in the full heat of the midday. The warm, sunny weather and fresh Caribbean sea breeze can make for an exhilarating running experience. Especially if you are accustomed to the cold weather of the north like me and so many vacationers and other expats who have chosen to make Playa their home. Running at night is possible and much cooler but I find there to be a lot more traffic, pedestrians and bikes.
The best hours for running and exercising outdoors on any given day are between 6 am to 9 am and after it gets dark because of the hot sun and intense heat. If you do choose to run or workout outside in the midday I recommend you drink an extra liter of water, use sunscreen if you are fair skinned and try to stay in shaded areas as much as possible to avoid getting overheated and sunburned. Another tip for you if you have bigger or wider feet like me. If you are size 11 or more you may have a hard time finding running shoes, and sometimes athletic socks, that will fit you. Make sure you bring your own good comfortable shoes to Playa if you are a bigfoot runner like me. I have never seen wide running shoes either and the selection is limited on size 11 or 12 if you can find it. I am certain this will change in the future as Playa continues to grow.
So where should you run in Playa Del Carmen?
1. 5th Avenue, The famous pedestrian boardwalk, in the early morning is excellent. No cars and very little foot traffic before 9 am. After 9 am you can expect to dodge around a lot of people as the regular hustle and bustle of the city begins. I have found it better to actually run on left side of the street, against the normal walking flow, when there are a lot of people. People will see you running and tend to move out of your way more.
2. Playacar Gated Community. I really like running in here because it is clean, has small ruin sites, a golf course and there are big sidewalks for pedestrians and bikes. It is also very accessible from downtown Playa so is very popular for runners. But I have to say, I would not like to live in Playacar because of the ridiculous amount of speed bumps(topes) that make it take so long to drive there and tear up your vehicles suspension. I also find the security checkpoints to be horribly inefficient and often times there are very long traffic delays at the entrances to Playacar. In many cases you could ride a bike or even jog or walk to your destination in Playacar faster than driving.
3. The Beach. Well, the beach is an obvious choice but the same suggestions apply. After around 9 or 10 am the beach can get very busy and hot. I prefer to run on the more packed sand near the edge of the sea without shoes for short distances when I run on the beach. I have, however seen many people running in running shoes on the soft powdery sand to make the beach a part of their running route.
4. The New 5th Ave. from calle 40 and continuing north to calle 112 and beyond is great as the pedestrian shopping and dining boardwalk morphs into a low traffic walking and cycling route lined with graffiti wall art and a few trendy, young shops and restaurants. Just watch out for off leash dogs if you are running with your dog like I do, as many local dog owners like to walk their dogs off leash in this area and there are sometimes street dogs lurking around as well.
Looking for some maps of running routes and more information? For a great 8 km sightseeing running route for vacationers check out Loco Gringo here:
Or Check out the Complete Guide To Running In Playa Del Carmen here: RUN