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  • Writer's pictureDean Nelson, (he/him) CTC, LLD

VACAYA Playa del Carmen All-Inclusive

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

VACAYA returns to Mexico just in time for Halloween & Day of the Dead 2021 with a vacation that delivers even more of the fun you’ve come to expect from VACAYA without breaking the bank. In the heart of the magnificent Riviera Maya, Panama Jack Playa del Carmen provides you and your friends a sun-kissed beach backdrop with the vibrant city center just steps away. Panama Jack is a favourite among locals, offering a young, hip, fun-centric vibe with all of PDC’s restaurants, shopping, nightclubs, gay bars, and Dia de los Muertos celebrations within a couple blocks!

Join our friends this October 30 - November 6, 2021. All-inclusive resorts offer an amazing value for any cost-conscious traveler, and Panama Jack Playa del Carmen offers all that along with a level of comfortable accommodations you can sink into at this affordable all-in price point. On a sun-drenched beachfront in the heart of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, all-inclusive Panama Jack welcomes guests to recharge amid the azure seas, authentic culture, and coastal charm of the Riviera Maya. Cool, casual, and simple, this gay-friendly resort is ideally located on the Caribbean Sea just steps away from Playa’s famed Fifth Avenue shops, clubs, and restaurants. From action-packed activities like beach volleyball and wine tasting to oceanfront swimming pools with waiter service, discover the perfect combo of relaxation and adventure. On top of all that, the resort was voted Travellers Choice by Tripadvisor in 2020. Explore all the inclusions and judge for yourself the incredible value of VACAYA’s newest and most affordable all-inclusive resort.

Accommodations for Kings and Queens - Included.

Contemporary and elegant, Panama Jack Resorts’ accommodations are designed with your comfort in mind and inspired by the sea, sun, and sand. With Jack’s deep insight into the desires of travellers, thoughtful amenities include stocked minibars, furnished terraces, ocean views, delectable room service, and several special touches – a true home away from home. And our more simple and economical options in “The Strip,” give cost-conscious travellers the chance to join in all the fun. INCLUDED.



CHECK IN Smiles, Everyone, Smiles! Welcome to Panama Jack Playa del Carmen! The Vacayans will welcome you as you arrive at the resort for a breezy check in. We’re easy to spot in our colorful “I AM VACAYA” T-shirts and we’re eager to make your vacation dreams come true. An amazing lunch awaits, followed by a casual walk around the resort. Is a dip in one of the resort’s freshwater pools what you crave? Or maybe you’re ready to take in your first spa treatment at our holistic spa? A fun dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants and a welcome party are on tap for your first evening, so get ready to flash your smile and say hello to all your new friends!

DAY 2 - SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2021

HALLOWEEN It’s Halloween and VACAYA & Panama Jack are ready with both tricks AND treats! Tonight, don’t miss our Halloween Costume Extravaganza poolside before we dance the night away. You’ll have the chance to walk away with our coveted “ZZOLO” Award. We know… most of you have NO IDEA what that is, but you will soon enough. And we promise… it’s worth it!


DAY OF THE DEAD Today is hands down the most special day of our week here in Mexico. It’s Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead), Mexico’s celebrated holiday for those who’ve moved on to the spiritual world. It’s a day like no other in the world and we’ll celebrate it authentically with our Mexican brothers and sisters both here at the resort and in the Playa del Carmen City Center. “¡Hay más tiempo que vida!” (“There is more time than life!”). Our first V-Dance of the week takes place this afternoon, but it’s not like any you’ve seen before. Expect the unexpected!


THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES We’ve reached the midpoint of our time here in Mexico and the choices for today abound! Will you take advantage of one of the excursions and head off to the Mayan Ruins to explore the ancient sites? Or will you explore the crystal-clear waters of Xcaret, a water themed eco-archaeological park? Or are you looking to expand your friend circle through one of our planned social mixers? Here, you literally can have it all!


THE SPA & 5TH AVENUE SHOPS CALL The Riviera Maya sun shines brightly today as everyone settles in to Panama Jack powered by VACAYA. Is today the day you finally experience the Aura Spa’s pampering treatments? Or are you looking to explore the city center? Panama Jack is just steps away from world-renowned “5th Avenue,” a lively pedestrian walkway that offers dining, nightlife, and endless shopping opportunities at internationally recognized boutiques. Can’t decide? We don’t blame you. There’s so much to see and do.


SUN’S OUT! BUNS OUT! Feeling adventurous? Want to avoid tan lines and a sand-filled swimsuit? Why not go au natural at our clothing optional rooftop deck and hot tub? If being naked isn’t your definition of utopia (and we totally understand if it’s not), maybe try a little volleyball on the beach. Or how about a Mexican cuisine cooking class? No matter your “state of dress” preference for the afternoon, we’ve got something to “suit” just about everyone! After a fun dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants, don’t miss the chance to dance poolside as we celebrate the night away!


RELAX. REFRESH. REJUVENATE. Where does the time go? Panama Jack’s inclusions, adventure, rejuvenation, and connections are waiting to be discovered around every corner. No matter your choice, you’ve entered UTOPIA and it’ll be hard to say goodbye… guaranteed. Our last V-Dance of the week takes place this afternoon and we can’t wait to see you there!


CHECK OUT Parting is such sweet sorrow. Our time here in Mexico officially comes to an end today. Many of you will, of course, extend your stay here at Panama Jack and other hotels in the area, while many others will return home today. Whether you stay here or head home, we wish you the safest of journeys.

Click here to book now.

Playa Safe Stay - enhanced health and safety protocols

The Vacayans worked through each and every detail with our partners on the ground at Panama Jack Resort. They have come up with a solid plan to mitigate risks and maximize enjoyment. Of course many things look different than they did pre-COVID, but they have approached each challenge with verve and ingenuity to ensure you have a fantastic time.


Playa Hotels & Resorts, including the brand Panama Jack, announced the Playa Safe Stay initiative on May 4, 2020. In direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and elevated guest expectations, Playa Safe Stay focuses on preventive antiviral measures, reassuring guests with confidence that only Hyatt or Hilton can deliver and bringing key sectors of the travel industry together for solutions.

Click here to learn more.

And in no way contradicting those standards, the VACAYA team also believe in individuals’ personal liberties. So to blend those two concepts, VACAYA will institute the following measures to enhance safety, minimize risks, and create an environment where we can all have a great time together. As a community, we have a shared responsibility to each other as we embark on this new path. We’re confident each of you will follow the protocols we outline here for the safety and well-being of your fellow travellers.


With the health and safety of guests and team members of paramount importance, The Vacayans (which are your dedicated team of paid VACAYA staffers) will follow the same protocols as Playa employees to ensure a pristine and relaxing environment for our guests, including:

  • Pre-trip Covid-19 Test

  • Pre-trip isolation to avoid unnecessary contact

  • Rigorous temperature checks throughout the week

  • Face coverings when servicing guests

  • Personal hygiene regiment, including hand sanitization

  • Training on protocols, reporting, and guest support for anyone displaying symptoms


With only a few minor exceptions, all VACAYA events will occur outside. Based on all the available science, it is abundantly clear that outdoor events are markedly safer than large indoor events in ensuring everyone’s well-being.

After your temperature scan at check-in (please note that for everyone’s peace of mind, we’ll be conducting random temperature checks throughout your stay at the resort. Temperature checks are only ONE of the tools in our arsenal.), you’ll receive a coloured waterproof lanyard to hold your room key. You will have two choices – RED or GREEN. These colours reflect your preferences as they relate to your own personal social distancing protocols (they do not represent being taken or single).

Choose RED and you’ll be wearing a visible sign letting all other guests know you’d appreciate 6 feet of social distancing at all times.

Choose GREEN and this lets other guests know you have a more relaxed stance on how close they may get to you.

The goal of these visual cues is to remove the burden of having to repeatedly say, “Please stay 6 feet back” for those who choose RED or “come on in” for those who choose GREEN. There is no stigma whatsoever in your choice of RED or GREEN, and we ask all guests to respect the choices of their fellow guests without judgment, interference, or attitude.

We have lots of fun in store for you and we’re confident a great time will be had by all. But it’s incumbent upon all of us to understand the new social contract we’re writing with each other. It can be summed up in 4 easy-to-remember phrases:

  1. Wear a mask/shield (when required)

  2. Meet outside

  3. Give space

  4. Don’t be a jerk


Masks/shields are required in the following circumstances:

  • Inside all airports and on all flights to Cancun (cloth mask covering mouth and nose)

  • In transfer vehicles from the airport to/from the resort

  • When moving around the resort from Point A to Point B (for example, when going from your room to a restaurant), but once you’re settled, feel free to remove it if you’d like

  • At our parties when moving around the area. Mask/shield not required when socially distant and stationary.

  • At all times in the Salon while receiving salon services (haircut, manicure, etc.)

  • In the fitness center

  • In all excursion vehicles

At all other times, masks/shields are not required. However, they are highly recommended.


VACAYA will provide all guests who wish to have one a clear face shield upon check-in. They’re incredibly comfortable, but more importantly will help overall communication between guests – especially between our hearing and Deaf guests. Deaf people have had an incredibly challenging time through the pandemic as their ability to read lips has been limited by masks. Our clear face shields remove this specific challenge for our Deaf guests. If you’re wearing a mask and find yourself in a conversation with any of our Deaf guests, we ask that you be super conscious of those inherent communication difficulties. Obviously, talking louder through your mask is not effective. So please do your best to facilitate easier communication as the situations warrant.


  • Be mindful and eliminate generalized touching of random surfaces

  • Wash/sanitize your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth at all times

  • Be aware of your surroundings and your proximity to others at all times

  • Physically distance from people not in your travel group when possible

  • Wear your mask and/or face shield when required or when physical distancing can’t be achieved

  • Isolate as much as possible before traveling

  • Don’t travel if experiencing any symptoms

  • Get tested before and after traveling to ensure you’re safe to travel

  • Follow outlined protocols at the airport, on the plane, in the transfer vehicles, and at the resort

  • Monitor your health daily and participate in random temperature checks

  • Avoid sharing personal items (drinks, dishes, eating utensils, or towels)

  • If feeling ill, report immediately to the resort medical center and follow their guidance. A doctor is available 24/7.

  • Be kind and courteous to fellow travellers and staff through and through

Book your VACAYA escape today. Click here to set up a consultation or to book today.

Interested in other dates? Click here to view other LGBTQ departures.

departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt. (BC Reg. 2806) proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.

Where do you want to go? Click here to contact me.


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