the area

Casa Los Charcos is located in the exclusive gated community of Playacar Phase 1, in Playa del Carmen.

Beautiful Playa del Carmen sits about 40 minutes south of Cancun airport. It's an eclectic resort town where European influences meld with the traditional Mexican culture to create a busy, vibrant town featuring great restaurants, boutiques and large hotels, and a nightlife that rivals that of Cancun.

Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), the most popular street in Playa, offers blocks of shops, galleries, handicrafts, and every kind of restaurant you could want along the pedestrian promenade. Because of the large European influence in Playa, there are restaurants for all palates. Some of the boutiques feature trendy European clothes.

A short walk from Quinta Avenida, is the centrally located ferry dock, which gives visitors quick access to the island of Cozumel. You can take the 25-minute ferry ride, if you so desire.

In addition to having its own Caribbean shoreline, the city is also central to all that the Riviera Maya offers. From Playa, it's easy to visit the only seaside Mayan ruin, Tulum archaeological site, and to take in a day at Xel-Ha or Xcaret, Riviera Maya's mega-popular eco-theme parks. You can even visit the ruins of Chichen Itza, the most popular Mexican tourist attraction. From Playa, there are tours to some of the Yucatan's inviting cenotes, those mysterious and magical underground pools. Many tours allow you to experience contemporary Mayan culture.

There is nothing remote about Playa. If you forget to pack something or don't want to travel with snorkel gear, you can find whatever you need there.

Teens and young adults tend to love Playa del Carmen for all of the activity and the music pumping out of practically every doorway along Quinta Avenida. But Playa has its quiet back patios and gardens, too.

This once sleepy fishing village retains its small-town charm. Buildings are low-rise, and the atmosphere is still authentic. When the sun goes down, the temperature goes up. Bars get into full swing around midnight, and Avenida Quinta transforms from a family-friendly pedestrian way to a sizzling hot spot.