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6 Tips for Living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Mexico has become a favorite destination for expats seeking a Eurocentric atmosphere on the shores of the Caribbean. The strong European, Canadian, and Argentinean influences of this beachside location have made it the fasting growing community on Mexico’s Rivera Maya.

With such a cosmopolitan vibe, it’s little wonder that the number of new residential units and high-end resort properties is growing throughout the metropolitan area. Being able to choose between a modern condominium unit with state-of the art amenities, luxury resort living, or restoring one on the older properties near the center of town makes shopping for real estate an enjoyable task.

playa del carmen mexico

Sharon Hahn Darlin

Six Important Tips for Enjoying Life in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

With its unique ambiance, living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico can truly be a life-changing adventure. Here are some tips to maximize your experience.

Embrace the Cultural Blend

Nowhere else in Latin America is the influence of old world European style expressed as strongly as in Playa del Carmen. Often compared to continental resort communities, such as Nice, Playa is becoming a place to see and be seen. For those seeking the best of Euro-chic style and Mexican spice, Playa del Carmen is the place to be.

The central hub of activity is Quinta Avenida, literally translated as Fifth Avenue. With popular stores such as Louis Vuitton, H&M, and Christian Dior, it is little wonder that this former sleepy fishing village is on track to becoming both a cultural and economic magnet for the entire Yucatan peninsula.  Despite all its growth, Playa still retains its charm as a small Mexican town and artist colony.  One important step that was taken to achieve this was to limit building height within the town center to five stories.

Appreciate the Location

Playa del Carmen, while technically part of the Riviera Maya, is certainly off the normal “tourist track.” Being able to enjoy a more cosmopolitan, less frenetic pace while still being close enough to the action truly provides a style of life that embraces the best of both worlds.

Don’t Worry About Getting There

With its close proximity to Cancún and Cozumel, transportation to Playa del Carmen, Mexico is easy to arrange. The international airport in Cancún has many regularly scheduled flights from most major U.S. cities. Once there, it is just a relaxing one-hour drive along the coast to reach Playa.

A second option is to fly into Cozumel and take the twelve mile ferry ride across the bay. The ferry service offers regular airport transfers making this another option for reaching your destination.

No Spanish? No Problem

One feature of Playa that will definitely appeal to those who are concerned about navigating in a foreign language is that English is widely spoken. As the expat community continues to grow, finding English speakers is increasingly easier.

For those seeking a more rustic Mexican experience the smaller pueblos outside of the metropolitan area still provide a window into the culture of Yucatan. Here Spanish is the dominant language, and English speakers are far less common.

playa del carmen mexico

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Play and Explore

Playa has a number of great opportunities to relax, explore, and enjoy all that this Caribbean beach town has to offer. The growing number of luxury resorts in the area offers the kind of recreational options that one would expect to find on the European coastline.

The full range of beach activities (scuba, snorkeling, flyboarding, etc.) provides a variety of ways to enjoy the Caribbean waters. For those who enjoy the opportunity to catch their dinner, fishing charters will help anglers hook the big one. After the catch, finding a local restaurant to cook your fish is easy and inexpensive as well.

Less strenuous but equally enjoyable are a number of catamaran and sunset cruises that are readily available beachside. Appreciating the sunset while floating on the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea is a great way to finish off a day in paradise.

Eco-tours to the special reserves of Sian Ka’an Biosphere and Ria Lagartos give nature lovers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna of the region. For those who desire a more adrenaline-fueled natural encounter, summertime cruises near Isla Mujeres give adventurers the chance to swim with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.

The nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum (among others) are just a short distance away from Playa. These once in a lifetime experiences are perfect for anyone who wants to discover the mysteries and heritage of the ancient Mayan culture that existed in the area.

Understand That All These Elements Make Owning Now Irresistible

Playa del Carmen, Mexico has a tremendous upside for both expats seeking a unique beach location and investors looking for growth potential. The rich, “Eurocentric” atmosphere blended with the relaxed Mexican vibe makes property ownership both desirable and profitable.

The continued increase in the tourist trade (with cruise lines adding Playa del Carmen as a port of call) and the growing number of expats seeking to settle outside the more heavily trafficked areas of Cancun and the Cozumel districts have resulted in new construction of residential units as well as resorts.

Playacar, a planned tourist and residential center, is a prime example of the development that is going on. For investors, the purchasing of lots or finished units here has a strong potential for a good return on investment. For those seeking to make Playa their home, the well-developed infrastructure can support a cosmopolitan lifestyle while keeping the distinctive cultural aspect of the region.

playa del carmen mexico

Michael Muraz

The Most Important Tip of All

Mexico has a number of opportunities that investors and expats may not be aware of. Playa del Carmen is one of the special places that combines the potential of a strong investment return with a special ambiance that retirees, expats, and tourists will all be drawn to.

The best way to appreciate what life would be like in Playa is to go there. Walk the beaches, browse the shops along Quinta Avenida, and immerse yourself in the Euro-Mexican cultural atmosphere. There is no better way to start your Mexican experience.

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