Playa del Carmen, Mexico – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

Playa del Carmen began as a more chill answer to Cancun, which is only an hour away.

However, in recent years word got out.

It’s now nearly as filled with obnoxious tourists as Cancun. Still not quite as bad, but getting there. The plus of Playa del Carmen is that the women tend to be much younger and much more attractive. Unlike Cancun, which is mostly Americans, in Playa you will see tourists from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Sweden etc, etc. The tourists are an eclectic mix of showboaters, snobs, hippies and druggies. If you can relate to any of the above categories, you should slide pretty well into a niche here.

POPULATION: 150,000


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RENT AN APARTMENT IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN

$600. Despite it being filled with foreigners, apartment rental prices in Playa del Carmen are rather reasonable. $600 should be enough to get you into something private and near the beach. Airbnb is the most straightforward option here, although not the cheapest.

 

NIGHTLIFE IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN

7.5/10 

Full of clubs. Clubs that can get pretty wild! This is a good place to come if you need to get the poison out and bang something. It’s an all out party here. People are here to drink and hook-up. You’ll be able to get yours. Like in any vacation spot in Mexico, expect to be offered drugs at least 5 times a night.

I recommend: The busiest club on the strip.

 

SAFETY IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Playa del Carmen isn’t as safe as most people think. Where there are tourists, there is crime. I know a Colombian girl who was robbed after being pushed down a flight of stairs, and I met 2 people who have been drugged here. Scary stuff. But those who don’t get too drunk and stick to well populated tourists areas normally won’t have any issues. Also worth mentioning: as of 2018/19, drug cartel violence has erupted. Now, this won’t effect you too much as a tourist, but what I will say is not to go looking too far off the main drag for a bar or strip club. There have been shootings in nightclubs. The main drag is pretty much OK, but all bets are off once you wander off it. I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to you! Be vigilant, but don’t let safety in Playa del Carmen be cause for too much concern.

 

COST OF LIVING IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN 

The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.

*Figures are listed in USD

You’ll need a minimum of $1208 USD/month to live in Playa del Carmen

cost-of-living-playa-del-carmen

FINAL THOUGHTS

Likely the ‘sexiest’ vacation city in Mexico. You’ll see plenty of scandalously dressed, sexy young women here. If you’re looking for that sort of thing, it’s worth checking out. Personally, I’m getting too old for this kind of party. I’d rather hit a bar or club in Mexico City any day. But that’s just me. For what it is (read: hook-up beach town full of drugs), Playa del Carmen is among the best in the country. But don’t expect anything beyond the obvious.


OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10


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