Why some people move away from Playa Del Carmen

living in Mexico humidity

Leaving Paradise

You might think that moving to some beach town on the Caribbean with year round sunshine and warm temperatures would be the perfect life. Many dream of living in Playa Del Carmen and some make it a reality. With so many wanting to move to a paradisiac location, why do some move away? If you are have thought about moving to Playa, you might want to read this to see just why some people don’t find it the right fit.

We will look at the main 6 reasons why people decide to leave after moving to Playa Del Carmen.

  1. Health reasons.
  2. Children.
  3. Economics.
  4. Climate.
  5. Looking for further cultural experiences.
  6. Fitting in.

Sometimes just the cycle of becoming an expat brings on feelings of being down and confused. But then there are concrete reasons why people move away. Lets examine these 6 reasons more in detail.

Moving because of health reasons

A majority of people that move to Playa Del Carmen are of or near retirement age. This means many people are in good health but also in their 50’s and 60’s. This is a great time of life with more time for the things you want to do and the financial ability to accomplish them. However with time comes more health issues. Most minor medical issues can be handled in Playa Del Carmen at clinics or one of the hospitals but more concerning issues, people do look outside of Playa. Cancun, the largest city in the Quintana Roo, only offers a few more specialist than Playa. Merida, Yucatan offers the excellent Star Medica Hospital where many expats have gone for medical attention.

With the above mentioned facilities and options for health care, some still prefer going home. Some people that have moved to Playa have government health benefits in their own country they choose to take advantage of. Others seek out experts in the fields of medicine for conditions or the support of family and friends. For these reasons people choose to sometimes move back to where they lived before.

Moving for age and health reason

For those that have gotten up in years and are in need of home care or a nursing home, Mexico offers less options than most countries. There are less options for nursing facilities and many find themselves moving back “home”. This can be another big adjustment in life especially if people have been living in Mexico for some time.

The good news is that medical care, insurance options and home care is getting better in Mexico. This is a growing market and business opportunity for people willing to take it on.

Hospiten hospital in Playa Del CarmenHospiten if one of the hospital options in Playa Del Carmen.

Educating children

As people become more mobile, people have been moving at younger ages and with families. Work age people who can manage are moving more and more to the Riviera Maya. Schools have improved in the past few years and parents have more options. Most of the international/bilingual schools cater to younger children. Options for older children are limited and if they do not speak Spanish, you will be have very limited options.

Some with growing children have decided to move back home to take advantage of the educational systems. If you have children and thinking of moving to Playa Del Carmen, take this into account in making your decisions.

Making the pesos and style of life

For people wanting to move to Playa, just arriving and looking for a job is not really the way to go about it. Immigration requirements are restrictive for those looking to move to Mexico and get a job. This can limit options.  For those that set up a business or get a job locally, the scale of income is usually much lower than where people moved from.

Being paid less can be a compromise for living in sunny Playa and any beach day can remind you why you live in Mexico (see our article on the secret life of the Mexican worker). Some however have found it limiting to what they can do or are planning for the future and want to make more money. In larger cities in Mexico you can find higher paid jobs and more technical jobs. Some have moved within Mexico for economic opportunities and other go to Europe, Canada or the United States.

Things don’t change fast in Mexico and getting rich quick is very much the exception. We hardly ever hear someone say they moved to Mexico to get rich. Most people moving to Playa have some savings or a good plan to maintain life for their families.

If your plans are to make good money and step up your life, you just might find yourself working harder and longer then you might have expected. Others that want to pursue a higher lifestyle have moved away, so you might consider this before moving to Playa Del Carmen.

Moving for a cooler climate

Paradise comes with it’s own issues. That sunny beach weather and year round snow free environment can become more then what some people expected. Warm or even hot weather on vacation is usually a welcome thing. When dealing with it as part of life and paying the air-conditioning, that is another thing.

Some only move to Playa for the winter months and avoid the hottest months. The weather in Playa Del Carmen is normally the most ugly when it is dry and hot. This is from late April to June. Of course July-September are hot as well but a little more bearable with rains and more greenery.

Some have moved for more climate areas of Mexico like San Miguel De Allende and others find other countries more what they are looking for.

moving to playa del carmen

Playa Del Carmen as a stepping stone

Moving to another country and culture can be hard. Sometimes there are easier places that offer more familiar settings, access to things we are used to and other expats. Playa Del Carmen is an easy entryway to Mexico. It offers modern condos, shopping, beaches and international restaurants. This can be enough to keep anyone busy but for those looking to be surrounded by more local culture, there are many places that offer authentic looks at traditions and culture.

Some move to Playa Del Carmen and get comfortable living in Mexico. Then, feeling more confident and adventurous look at other places that offer more space, culture, cultural immersion, lower cost of living or a combination of any of these. Some look to other places in the Yucatan Peninsula where expats have found to be good places to live.

Mexico is a very diverse country. Many rural areas carry on traditions hundreds or thousands of years old. Striking out on your own can be rewarding and for those that blaze paths to new areas. See our article about what small town living is like in Mexico and some of the challenges.

Tihosuco Mexico
A Maya woman demonstrating how ancient techniques were used to make string.

Fitting in

Visiting for a vacation anywhere is very different then living there. Many people come on vacation spend time on the beach but not the real life activities. Life requires, cleaning, working, grocery shopping and just fitting in. Believe it or not many find it hard to meet people in Playa. This is part of feeling at home. New friends and acquaintances can be harder to meet because Playa is a tourist destinations and transient.

Playa Del Carmen is becoming more of a city and more stable as far as people living and working here. However it can be hard to fit in if you are alone.

If you are looking to be more sustainable and in touch with nature, Playa has become more of an urban environment. Only on the remote edges can you find people living with farming and eco living. If you want this to be your lifestyle you may find it hard to fit in.


Not every place in the world is perfect for everyone. Calculating the cost before making the move can prevent disappointment later or get you closer to the place that it’s you best.  The more you know about somewhere, the better decision you can make. We want everyone to enjoy Playa Del Carmen and if possible to live here but we know it is not for everyone. We hope by giving you some insight into why some people move away, it can help you know more about the location.

Have you overcome some of the difficulties of living in Playa Del Carmen? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you. 


  1. I am a solo retired woman visiting Playa in February to look for a rental apartment for 1 month month or so to test drive living part year. I need a realtor that speaks english to take me around and show me what is available. Do you know realtors that I could work with?

    • Hello

      Realtors don’t do rental in Playa. If you are looking for a month rental it is best to look at short term rentals or Airbnb. Once you decide to move to Playa and you are interested in buying something, we can recommend some realtors to you. We wish you the best in a search for a rental.

  2. We rented an apartment near 5th Avenida and Calle 28 for one year. We loved our time in Playa. Many restaurants that were amazing. Fun trips to cenotes, Bacalar, Holbox, Cozumel, Cancun and Merida. But there are problems in Paradise. Too much seaweed on the beaches. Many people asking me to buy drugs as I walk down 5th Avenida each day, and countless murders nearby by the drug cartels. We are leaving Playa in 3 weeks and we don’t think we will ever live here again. Looking for a town which is more peaceful.

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