Tequila Bar - Mayan Grill House - Salsa Club
Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo, México

Rated “the Best Restaurant” in Playa del Carmen, the Riviera Maya and theCosta Maya for Fresh Wild Mayan Lobster and Seafood, USA Certified Angus Steaks, and authentic Maya and Mexican cuisine.

Unforgettable Dancing Waiters, Fabulous Drinks,
Romantic, Bohemian 5 Star Garden Dining
Under the Starlit Caribbean Nights . . .
the Essence of  Ajua!
Mariah Brooks, The Miami Herald – Cancun

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About Us

(click photos for slide show)

AJUA! Maya . . . the only 100% authentic Mayan restaurant in Playa del Carmen's tourist zone, first opened in 1998 as a Ranchero style Mexican restaurant under the name of AJUA! and had many owners until Brenda and Jorge Alfaro acquired it in May 2001. Prior to the Alfaros' acquisition, its first owners were Spanish then Mexican, Yugoslavian, German and French -- some lasted a year, others just a few months.

The soul of AJUA! finally came to rest in the hands of Brenda and Jorge. She's a Virginian and he is from Chiapas, and the rest is a wonderful tale of fun, hard work, and life in a Mayan paradise

Now AJUA! is complete with their new lobster logo toasting the wonderful ambiance of a fine restaurant in a cantina setting – the Ritzy Cantina – where you can come, relax, have fun and enjoy the paradise of Playa del Carmen.

“What a talented staff we acquired,” relays Brenda. “When we entered the restaurant for the first time as owners, I gingerly talked with the young Mayan Chef, Pedro Balam Dzul. My fears that we may have a chef, who was difficult and macho, were quickly laid to rest. This marvelous chef, who remains with us today, is such a natural talent, capable and calm, and a joy to work with.”

With the support of Chef Pedro, only a few changes were made at the beginning. The most significant was a commitment to quality and service. Finally the Chef was giving the tools of a successful restaurant – a participatory and calm working environment, recognition and, the most important, the commitment to purchase only the highest quality seafood, steaks, vegetables, and ingredients available on the Riviera Maya.

“We withstood quite a first year.” remarked Jorge Alfaro. “Since I am from the state of Chiapas, I came into Playa del Carmen knowing hardly anyone. In Latin America that can make it very difficult. Thanks to the pressure of a few, who wished to push us out of the market (for many, competition is not welcomed), I have met so many wonderful officials and people.”

“Brenda and I laugh sometimes at that first year. Those who sent us health inspections at midnight , repeated complaints that our tables were 2-4” beyond are street front limits or our band's music was too loud, had no idea they were actually doing us a favor. From all the many frivolous complaints, we now have wonderful contacts, both in government and the community, and life in
paradise is good.”

“So, we invite you to come join our AJUA! Maya family of friends, customers and employees and experience the most marvelous food, fun and service in Playa del Carmen and the world of restaurants.”

Nightly you will meet Jorge and Brenda, Jorge, our manager (yes, Brenda has 2 for 1 – Jorge her husband and Jorge the manager – Lucky girl!); our waiters Pedro, Luis, Enrique, Victor, and Alvaro; our Chef Pedro and his talented crew; our bartenders and the remainder of our staff that work every day to keep our success on the go.”

We are all here keeping the lights on, the tequila flowing, and having fun with fresh lime margaritas and flavors you will savor for a lifetime. AJUA!


Moonlight Kisses the Sea

“Moonlight Kisses the Sea” is the true story of Brenda and Jorge Alfaro's romantic journey that began when their eyes met for the first time in Cozumel, continued atop the pyramids in Teotihuacán on to Paris and the Loire Valley and finally, many years later, returning to their Caribbean paradise, Playa del Carmen. It was love at first site – she spoke no Spanish and he no English, and for more than 20 years they have continue this journey of love and devotion.

There devoted commitment is shared with each and every person who shares this paradise with them. Devotion, commitment, and service guide them to provide you with a dining experience whose minimum standards are excellence, honesty and always fun!

Our Mayan chefs, waiters, and service staff strive, each and every day, to provide you personalized attention and allow you to relax and enjoy your time with AJUA! Our only goal is for you and your friends to celebrate this special moment in your life and to leave our paradise with glorious memories to share all through your life.If you would like to read Brenda and Jorge's story, “ Moonlight Kisses the Sea ” just click on the title and it will appear.

Reflections on a Southerner

One of Brenda's passions is to write essays, web sites, press release and perhaps, one day, a novel. She contributes to the Playa Maya News on a regular basis. Her most recent essay is Reflections on a Southerner . Hope you enjoy.


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