Living in Playa Del Carmen

…there is no better time than now…

The other morning I was lying in bed with a particularly bad hangover.

As the empty bottle of tequila lay by the bed, I somehow thought it was a good time to ask the tough questions like, “What am I doing with my life?

I’m single, spend most of my time in beach bars, and would fail to impress anyone with my long-term relationship prospects.

I can imagine the conversation with a new girlfriend’s mother.

Yes, well, hmmm, I have a pet lizard and divide my time between suntanning and getting lost in the jungle…

However, and this is the BIG however that corrupt me smile despite the vicious hangover – I’m living in Playa Del Carmen.

While my buddies have 2.4 children, a used-to-be-hot-but-now-not wife, and a dead end office job, I live in paradise.

I consider myself one of the lucky few.

But most people don’t realize, that living in Playa Del Carmen is cheap, beautiful, and incredibly easy.

Yes, life is pretty sweet despite the hangovers.

So read on for my five step guide to how you can swap the concrete jungle for an oceanfront paradise.

Why Should You Consider Living In Playa Del Carmen

Not sold on the idea yet?

Playa Del Carmen doesn’t have everything.

I mean, if you’re obsessed with watching bad cable TV and going to the McDonalds drive-thru, you should stop reading now.

In fact, read this short list, and if you don’t say yes to them all, then stick to the real world.

Do you want to live in a place that:

  • Is completely surrounded by stunning natural scenery (jungle, beaches, nearby island, etc…)
  • Has beautiful weather all year round
  • Has hundreds of amazing things to do
  • Is a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, ideas, people, and foods
  • Is cheap
  • Has modern healthcare, communication, and proximity to larger cities
  • Considers sunbathing and admiring beach bodies as a genuine occupation

Living in Playa Del Carmen is easily achieved through the following five steps:

Step 1 To Living In Playa Del Carmen – Visiting Playa Del Carmen And Admiring The Beauty

Most people are enticed by Playa Del Carmen through pictures on the internet or in vacation brochures.

They see some pristine beaches, perhaps a mysterious jungle, and definitely a turquoise looking ocean.

Then they get to Playa Del Carmen and realize that it’s got a whole lot more than just a few postcard perfect photo opportunities.

There isn’t just one beach.

There is a whole 200km stretch of virgin sand that surrounds Playa Del Carmen.

Then there is so much diversity in the natural beauty.

Vivid jungle, cool cenotes, unexplored caves, ancient ruins, and then some sights that combine all of the above.

When you visit Playa Del Carmen you have to make a decision about his paradise is right for you.

Step 2 To Living In Playa Del Carmen – Realizing That Playa Del Carmen Is Beautiful All-Year Round

When you visit Playa Del Carmen on vacation you get a glimpse of the beauty.

You head home, put the kettle on, look at the your photos, and convince yourself that it’s only that good for the two weeks that you visited.


Playa Del Carmen is not only beautiful for a few months a year.

It’s an all-year-round destination.

It never gets too cold.

Unless you consider 70°F as cold.

And when it gets really hot there is a nice little breeze that cools you down.

Some people might put you off by mentioning the dreaded words “hurricane season.”

But a bad one only comes around every few years and it’s amazing how the community comes together at this time.

Step 3 To Living In Playa Del Carmen – Discover That You Won’t Get Bored In Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen isn’t just about beaches.

Most people come on vacation and go home knowing that they missed out on so many activities.

In a single day you could be swimming in cenotes, riding an ATV through the jungle, snorkeling with turtles, and visiting Mayan ruins.

What’s more, once you become a local you know how to do these things for a ridiculously low cost.

Then there are the hundreds of bars, restaurants, and clubs, to fill the evenings.

And yes, regulars get cheaper drinks.

While Playa Del Carmen isn’t huge there is so much going on that you will never get bored.

Unless that is you want to spend your whole day playing Xbox or Playstation.

Then you will be bored because you won’t find anyone to play with.

Step 4 To Living In Playa Del Carmen – Realizing That Playa Del Carmen Isn’t A Typical Mexican City

Playa Del Carmen isn’t just your average resort city.

This is for two main reasons.

Firstly, it’s not a typical Mexican city where the only language is Spanish and the only food you can eat is tacos.

Secondly, it’s a city that is popular with nationalities from all over the world.

Most Mexican tourist cities are dominated by Americans.

And most people (Americans included) are trying to temporarily escape American culture.

Playa Del Carmen has Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, South American, Asian, and just about every other possible influence you can imagine.

There are even a whole bunch of Argentinians who think they’re European. Seriously, they will argue with you about it until they’re blue in face.  Hmmmm…isn’t Argentina in South America? DOY!!!

So if you want a place where everyone has the same ideas and cultures then Playa Del Carmen isn’t for you.

Playa Del Carmen lets you explore the world while staying in one place.

And that includes taking notes on the differences between foreign women.

Furthermore, there is a strong local Mayan influence that ensures you know exactly who’s land you are living in.

Step 5 To Living In Playa Del Carmen – Asking Whether Playa Del Carmen Is Modern Enough For You

This is the big question.

Most alternative destinations around the world are plagued by this question.

You usually have to weigh up the pros or paradise with the cons of bad healthcare, no internet, and inadequate basic facilities.

Excuse the political incorrectness, but most people coming from a “first world” country are worried about whether a “third world” country will be modern enough.

Many Mexican cities aren’t that advanced.

In fact, many of them are just plain garbage.

However, due to the tourism industry, the infrastructure of Playa Del Carmen has developed, so it truly is modern enough for anyone.

It has excellent healthcare, great telecommunications, good sewerage systems, good roads, and a very efficient police service that is not nearly as corrupt as in most other cities.

And you get all this for much cheaper than the majority of other places in the world.

The Living In Playa Del Carmen Question Everyone Says “YES” To

Can you afford to live in Playa Del Carmen?

This is an easy one.

  • For as little as $1000 a month, you can live comfortably.
  • If you have $2000 a month, then you will be living like a king.
  • If you had $3000 a month, you would be ruling the roost as one of the city’s high-rollers.

Read my cost of living in Playa Del Carmen article to see how.

And this is all much cheaper if you have a significant other or roommate to split the costs with.

It all makes for a great lifestyle in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

What are you waiting for? I’ll see you at the beach bar!

Lots of love,


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It’s your turn. Do you have anything you can add to this conversation about the local real estate market? Please leave it in the comments section below!

2 comments on “Living In Playa Del Carmen

  1. How much per month rent is a furnished one bedroom apartment in PLAYA DEL CARMEN? I am retired, single, with a retirement income of about $1500 per month. I might like to live there all the time. I am tired of the snow, and ice, and the below zero temps in the winter. I would like the beach, and warm weather.

    • Cheap-Apartment Charles,

      A nice 1-bedroom, furnished apartment in a great part of town should run around 12,000 pesos/month. Today, that’s around #700 USD. You can find cheaper, but I have no idea what your expectations are.

      As you might imagine, much will depend on your location and lifestyle expectations. You should be able to live very well with that amount of money with today’s exchange rate. I lived on $800 USD/month for some time here! I didn’t go hungry and even had a lot of fun! Gained weight!

      Take a look at my Cost of Living In Playa Del Carmen page in order to get an idea of costs today (mid-2016).

      Hope this helps!


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