Playa del Carmen Natalie Ast Reading week is right around the corner, so I wanted to share another post from my Mexican getaway to Playa del Carmen. While shopping in the city, I wore a fun Mexican print dress to match the colourful, ecclectic surroundings. Just like Playa del Carmen’s recent development, this dress blends a traditional print with a modern silhouette and fabric. The cotton midi dress was super comfortable (and kept me cool) for exploring, but I added a pair of suede booties for dinner and drinks after. I’m wearing a Mexican print dress from H&M (similar printed dress here), oversized sunglasses from Urban Outfitters, a leather bag from Mexico (similar bag here), and gladiators from Athens (similar sandals here). I couldn’t resist snapping some pictures with the adorable decorated VW Beetle. I thought it matched my outfit perfectly after all! For shopping, I picked up some sugar skull mugs, and a sugar skull votive holder for my boyfriend. I was shocked to see yet another big shopping mall spring up in the year I was away. It contains H&M, Hollister (ugh) and the second Victoria’s Secret in town! I’m getting more and more sad with every visit, as many of the traditional merchants are being swallowed up in these complexes. A Thomson Hotel also opened up, as well as other condo projects. While tourism is important to be stimulated, I would much rather leave mall stores to the shopping malls at home in Canada. Therefore, I always make a point to visit local merchants and pick up a few items before heading back. I was tempted by those colourful leather and fabric espadrilles, and now I regret passing on them! My leather bags are extremely durable and a lovely souvenir if you’re looking for something to buy on your Mexican getaway. Of course, a trip to Playa del Carmen wouldn’t be complete without a photo in front of this cute wall. Let’s just hope it’s not replaced with a Starbucks next year. If you’re lucky enough to be going to the Mayan Riviera for reading week or spring break, have fun! Feel free to message me for tour recommendations or check out my Playa del Carmen shopping guide or review of my Tulum tour. This is an excerpt from the article Playa del Carmen which originally appeared on Natalie Ast.