From being a little fishing village that served as the port of call for the ferries going to and coming from the nearby island of Cozumel, Playa del Carmen has certainly faced a massive development in the last decade. Nowhere is this more evident than at its heart and soul: the famous Fifth Avenue (La Quinta).
Just ten years ago La Quinta Avenida was a small street with a few shops, restaurants and cafés, scattered here and there. Now it’s a lively, buzzing and sophisticated pedestrian walkway filled with the most exclusive boutiques in the region, an impressive diversity of gourmet restaurants, trendy nightclubs, art galleries, jewelry shops, and all kinds of street artists, musicians, clowns, etc.
Located just one block west of the beach, “La Quinta” runs for 3 miles through downtown Playa del Carmen and it definitely fits into the must-see category. For example if you are traveling up and down Riviera Maya but not staying in the Playa del Carmen area, this is the place you have to go to “get-to-know” Playa, feel its vibe and taste its flavor. Here is where you’ll go for that romantic dinner with your partner, the place you visit with your friends to spend a crazy night dancing until the sunrise, and the walk you take for the best shopping in the Riviera Maya.
Along the Quinta you will find a Tequila Museum, plenty stores of the most amazing Mexican handcrafts, a Victoria’s Secret boutique and a modern three-floor American-style shopping mall featuring brand stores such as Nike, Levi’s, Hurley, American Eagle, Forever 21 and Oakley, among many others.
By night this bohemian street takes on a different personality and becames a live-on party all night long. Some of the best nightclubs in the whole Yucatan Peninsula are on La Quinta, and in recent years it has become an Electronic Dance Music (EDM) hotspot with some of the best DJs in the world coming to this place to deliver incredible performances just a few steps from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The only ‘but’ that one could say about the Quinta Avenida, is that with its growth it has lost a some of its original feeling. Now it feels a bit too sophisticated, too cosmopolitan, and part of its charm was its simplicity.
Then again, you can always walk out of the Fifth, and you’ll find that quaint feeling all around Playa…