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Living in Playa Del Carmen-how to do it guide!

Menesse on the Beach Condos Playa Del Carmen Really! This is the amazing view from the roof.

Have you thought about moving away from home and becoming an expat in Playa Del Carmen? What is living in Playa Del Carmen like? We are sure you have lots of questions so we attempt to give you a good overview of what Playa Del Carmen is like and what to expect.

What is living in Playa Del Carmen like?

Many people think about living in the Caribbean and sipping on a margarita, but what is life really like? Playa, as it is called by locals, is a very international city. Playa Del Carmen is unique in the way that it offers beach, access to so much culture and is modern. Being right in the middle of the Riviera Maya, Playa Del Carmen offers you access to many historic sights and Mayan communities. Playa also has easy access to the Cancun International Airport.

A nice overview of Playa Del Carmen can be found in our welcome article here.

Living in Playa Del Carmen

Golden moment at Park Fundadores.

Packing before you move to Playa Del Carmen

Moving in general is a lot of work, but to another country? Well it can be a lot of work or it actually can be quite a cleanse. It all depends on how you do it. There are two ways people pack to move.

  1. Take everything you want including furniture and put it in a shipping container or moving truck and bring it to Mexico.
  2. The second way is sell or give away most of the things you own and bring only your favorite things and clothes.

Whichever option you choose you still will need to know what is best to bring. Here is a list of things we have put together if you are moving to Playa.

Where to live in Playa Del Carmen?

Do you want a great condo overlooking the ocean? Sure, don’t we all. But reality might budget another option for you. Playa Del Carmen has a downtown and then the outlaying neighborhoods.

Your first move might be renting for a while you look around. How do you look for a place to live? What is the rental market like here? We answer these questions in our rental guide to Playa Del Carmen.

The map below will help you see where you might focus your search for living in Playa Del Carmen. We also have articles on some of the neighborhoods in the city that will help you.

Living outside Playa Del Carmen?

If you cannot find what you are looking for in Playa Del Carmen, what about the surrounding towns? Here is a look at where expats have moved to in the Yucatan Peninsula. These options might give you something to think about or reaffirm your desire for living in Playa Del Carmen.

Real Estate in Playa Del Carmen

If you are looking to buy a house or condo for living in Playa Del Carmen then you will need to understand the real estate market. We have you covered  in our Real Estate Guide for you.

Living in Playa Del Carmen

Water, Electricity, Gas, Internet and Cable TV

Getting services set up is always a challenge when you move somewhere and there will be some hiccups no doubt here. Hopefully we can take some of the mystery of how these things work and how to pay for services. Here is a primer for living in Playa Del Carmen and how to get started.

Everything about the water in Playa Del Carmen

The City of Playa Del Carmen provides water to each residence. The water is for use in your home but it is not potable. How does this water come into your home? You can see our article on how the water system works in your home here in Mexico.

Most people will use the city water for cleaning but not for drinking cooking.  What is the truth about drinking the water in Mexico? See our article for a complete discussion.

Each month you will receive your water bill from Aguakan. You can pay this at Aguakan offices or at convenience stores like OXXO. For where to pay, you can see our article about Aguakan here.

Everything about the electricity in Playa Del Carmen CFE

There is one electric company for all of Mexico. This company is called CFE. Electricity in Mexico is fairly low in cost but it can get expensive if you don’t use it the best. To learn how to read your bill and keep it low, see our article here in CFE.

Living in Playa Del Carmen

What an electric bill looks like in Mexico.

Everything about gas in Playa Del Carmen

Most houses and condos use gas for heating water and cooking. Many homeowners and renters have the responsibility to call and have tanks filled with gas. There are about three sizes of tanks that are common at house. Zeta gas is a service that comes to your home to fill the stationary tanks.

To order gas you can call them or order on their website. If you don’t speak good Spanish their website is pretty easy to use and it works well to get them to come. Their website is

Cable TV and internet options and prices

There are two main options for cable TV and internet in Playa Del Carmen. Service is basically around 600 pesos for  cable TV and internet for your home.

  1. Izzi (formerly know as Cablemas).
  2. Telmex Infinitum.

What is cable TV like in Playa Del Carmen? Here is a glimpse of what is on here.

Shopping in Playa Del Carmen

Once you are living in Playa Del Carmen you will need to go shopping. You may need to go shopping for furniture and home furnishings or it just might be grocery shopping. We have you covered in our huge Shopping Guide to Playa Del Carmen. The first half is mainly for tourist and the second half is for residents.

We cover bulk stores, small markets and specialty shops in Playa Del Carmen. If you need help after reading this guide just comment on the end of it and we will find it for you.

Crime in Playa Del Carmen

Each area of the world has things that you have to know about as a resident. Living in Playa Del Carmen comes with a few things to note. While Playa is a relatively very safe area we recommend you read our article about issues if crime that effect those living here. It is nothing shocking but just an honest look at what crime residents face most and how to avoid certain situations.

Exploring around after moving to Playa Del Carmen

Once you are settled into living in Playa Del Carmen you might want to explore a bit. We have you covered with our interactive map on places that are a days drive or perhaps an overnight trip. The tours and places to go guide will show you where is possible to go. We will keep adding to this as well so it is good to bookmark it for more tips later.

Playa Del Carmen is nicely situated in the middle of the Riviera Maya. That makes it easy to go to Cancun to go shopping, Tulum to the beaches or inland to see Valladolid or other colonial town or Mayan ruin sites.

We hope we having answered some of your questions on living in Playa Del Carmen. We are sure you have more. Feel free to comment below and ask away. We love hearing from our readers. Also use to search box on this page because we have hundreds of articles too that might help answer your questions.

Living in Playa Del Carmen

The Playacar beach in Playa Del Carmen.

4 Comments on Living in Playa Del Carmen-how to do it guide!

  1. What about cell phones??

    • Hello Mark

      That is a good question. Most people bring an unlocked phone or buy one here. Telcel is the preferred company to work with. You have an option to get a contract with a plan or just buy credit for your phone and you can recharge it at many stores. It will depend on how much data you use. Most people use WhatsApp and do not use too many minutes. If you don’t use much data you might get by with 200-300 pesos a month in credit or if you want something bigger you can get plans for about 600 pesos a month.

  2. Steven LaChance // June 5, 2017 at 6:30 PM // Reply

    We are very excited to be building our house and moving to Playa Del Carmen. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for this site. It is so helpful in many ways. I cannot tell you how much your honest and to the point information has helped us already in this moving process. Thank you so much and we cannot wait to be new neighbors.

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 5, 2017 at 6:51 PM // Reply

      Hello Steven

      Thank you for your nice comments and welcome to Playa Del Carmen! We hope we get an opportunity to meet you here.

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