What are the Best Areas in Downtown Playa Del Carmen?

Neighborhoods of Playa Del Carmen

 What are the Best Areas in to invest in Playa Del Carmen?

In this article and video, we are going to talk about the best areas of the downtown of Playa Del Carmen. This is for the purpose of real estate buying and investment mainly. It is also for tourists that might be staying a longer time in Playa Del Carmen and want to know the neighborhoods and what each one is like. We have divided the downtown of Playa Del Carmen into 11 areas as you can see on the map below. On the map you can click on each section to know the name and a brief description. 

In our video below, we walk through these 11 areas and talk about what each area is like. We comment on different features and what are some positive and not so positive features of each area. 

Who am I to give you advice?

When you go online or watch videos about real estate in Playa Del Carmen, you often find people talking about how wonderful everything is and what a good time it is to buy. Most videos and articles are from realtors trying to sell you something. I am not a realtor, nor do I care if you buy something here.  What I do care about is giving sound advice and having a good reputation. 

After living here for 15 years, which, in this time frame I have bought property in Playa Del Carmen, sold property, renovated properties, bought other property, built a property for myself, worked as the architect on my project and other projects, overseen 5-11 workers for years at a time, so I do have a lot of experience about property before it gets to become real estate. 

Over the past 10 years I have also interviewed many experts in the field and written dozens of articles. I want to present this information to you so in case it is helpful for you.  Over the years I have seen a lot of people make average purchases or overpaid for basic units that will not rent well. I want to have the most honest advice so readers can make good decisions about big purchases. 

Our Video Introduction to the downtown neighborhoods of Playa Del Carmen

This video is meant to give people and introduction to the neighborhoods in the center of Playa Del Carmen. Each area is generalized and there can be some exceptions in some areas to the general rule.  We do hope however you can benefit from it and get some good information. 


All the Neighborhoods of the Downtown of Playa Del Carmen

We have divided up the center of Playa into 11 neighborhoods. Some of these do not really have a name, and others have loosely defined boundaries. Be sure to watch our video because we show you more of what these areas are like and what each one features. 

Two notes about fringe areas:

Here are two things that we want to comment about the areas surrounding the core of the downtown area. These would be the area on the south, west between 30th Avenue and the 307 Highway, and on the north end, Colosio. Fringe areas often have more petty crime. As areas change, there is a little friction between locals and tourists descending into the areas. Playa Del Carmen is a pretty safe area, but one of the aspects that is worse is petty break-ins or crimes of opportunity. This mainly means theft. This means if you stay in this area or buy, it is important to look at the access to your property and be alert not to leave bikes around or be flashy with what you have inside. This is not to scare anyone, just be alert that this is more of an issue in these areas. See our safety guide for residents here

The second note is about developers. Most reputable developers have a body of work to gain a good reputation. Usually, developers with a good reputation will have more capital to do projects and work in better areas of Playa Del Carmen. This does not mean there are some good developers in fringe areas of the downtown. It just means that many of the developers are doing their first project, or do not have a reputation yet. This is where you definitely need a good realtor so you can know which developers have a good reputation and to make sure the projects are funded correctly before investing. 

Also, condos in fringe areas are cheaper because it is a less desirable location. Developers need to have attractive prices to draw people to the projects. This means that often developers will use cheaper finishes and quality to cut costs. This might end of costing you a little more in the long run after you need to replace things that wear out with minimal usage. 

1. South of Juarez Avenue

Area: 10th Avenue to the 307 Highway, Juarez Avenue to the Calle 7 Sur Diagonal on the south side of the airport. 

The main two things about this area are the airport and the age of the neighborhood. The airport was supposed to be moved years ago but is still in operation. It basically only is for skydiving flights. If it eventually closes, it opens a big opportunity to redevelop this whole area. 

The second part of this area is the fact it is an older part of Playa Del Carmen. There are a few new condo buildings, but a majority is older and not the nicest of areas. The fact that there are no notable hotels in this area and two hostels plus a few Airbnb listing should tell you that this is not an area people like to stay in. We would not recommend buying in this area unless you plan on living there. 

There is a Chedraui supermarket next to the highway and also the colectivos that run up and down the highway. Because local transportation is accessible from here, many Mexican locals like to live in this area for the cheaper rent and colectivos to work south of Playa Del Carmen. 

2. Older area of the downtown of Playa Del Carmen on the south end

Area: 10th Avenue to the 307 Highway, Juarez Avenue to 12th Street. 

In 15 years of living here, this area has hardly changed. There are a few new condo buildings in this area, but even if the neighborhood changed for the better, it is still limited as to what beach you can access. You can walk to the beaches from Juarez to Constituyentes but the better beaches are up past Constituyentes. 

I would only buy in this area if I found something I really liked and was something I would live in most of the time. Other than that, rentals in this area are not the best. 

There is a small exception around 20th Avenue to 30th Avenue and between 6th Street to 8th Street. This area does have some new, larger condo buildings that are close to Walmart. This can be more affordable condos to live in. There are somewhat rentable, but more for weekly or monthly rentals. You won’t get top dollar for the rentals, but it can supplement your use of the condo. 

3. Beachfront South in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen

Area: Beach to 10th Avenue, Juarez Avenue to Constituyentes Avenue. 

This is where Playa Del Carmen started and grew north from here. This area mainly has older hotels and not that much residential. In general, this area is “ok” to stay in, but not as popular and as good as the heart of the downtown area. 

At one time there was one of the most popular hotels and tallest on the beach. But as Playa has moved northward, this area has lost some of its shine. The beaches have also taken a hit in the past decade. Often the stretch from 12th to Constituyentes has seaweed issues because of the form of the beach. 

Some issues in this area to be aware of!

There are a few new buildings on 1st Avenue between 12th Street and 16th. Some of these do look nice and even have nice view2s from the roof, but there are a few issues in this area. Number one the clubs on 12th Street create a lot of noise. Second, 1st Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets often floods. It is a low laying area and drainage is not the best. You often see sandbags by garage doors when we get heavy rain. 

4. South of Constituyentes Avenue

Area: 10th Avenue to 30th Avenue, 12th Street to Constituyentes Avenue. 

This area has two notable condo buildings, Anah 1 & 2. these handsome buildings are popular rental buildings. This area is close to everything and is pretty rentable. Most of the older condos in this area have residents living year-round or longer-term renters. This area is ok to live in but is not as livable as Colonia Hollywood, which is just across Constituyentes Avenue. 

Most people that live in this area are 45–65-year-olds that mostly are foreigners.

Some issues to be aware of in this area!

Between 10th Avenue and 25th Avenue and 12th Street to 12th Bis there are some things that happen at night that you might not realize until after you buy or stay in this area. There is the large Coco Bongo Club on 12th Street. There are about hundreds to a thousand people there six days a week until 3:30am. Many of the people are bused in from all inclusive hotels. So around 3 or 3:30am you have hundreds of drunk and happy people walking up to get on buses on these two streets. This can be a real wake up call for you. 

Also, the immediate area around the ADO bus station has some noise issues with the buses and announcements. So, it is better to be on the northern end of this area. 

5. Gonzalo Guerrero

Area: 30th Avenue to the 307 Highway, 12th Street to Constituyentes Avenue. 

This area is the best shoulder area to buy in for the downtown. It is central and has three supermarkets within just a few blocks. This area does not have a lot of new condos in it but is an area to watch. The best time to buy here was 2015-18 when lots/old houses were affordable to buy. It was easy to demolish and build a three or four floor condo building. Nowadays the individual investor cannot afford lots but can buy a condo. 

This area has a lot of Mexicans that are 30 something that want to live in the downtown without a car. That means this is more of a residential area and not so much for vacation rentals. 

6. Heart of the Downtown

Area: Beach to 10th Avenue, Constituyentes Avenue to 34th Street. 

This is the number one area that most tourists want to stay in. It is close to the action and on upper 5th Avenue which is a little nicer than the lower part. Most rentals are short term since it is for people on vacation here for a week or two. There are many newer smaller condo buildings with rooftop pools that have some views of the Caribbean.

Since many buildings are smaller and it is a more densely built area, we do not recommend ground floor units with little light or airflow. These units usually only rent for short stays since they are not the most comfortable. They are also not great for living in. 

Part of this area was known as Little Italy because the number of Italians that once lived in this area. Nowadays it is very mixed, and most Italians have spread out in Playa. 

The main issues with this area of Playa Del Carmen

Noise. This is the main issue with this area. There are bars, restaurants and live music venues in this area. The joke goes that loud music is “Mexican advertising”. The loud music is the get people’s attention and draw them in. Each street is different and will depend on the position of your condo and the windows. Lively sounds are just part of this area and something that will not go away. This is why this area is less residential and more vacation rentals or short-term stays. 

Parking is also tight in this area. All of this area is metered between 10am-10pm daily. This means if you want to have a car, renting or buying a condo with parking is very helpful. 

Downtown Playa Del Carmen
The growing downtown of Playa Del Carmen.

7. Colonia Hollywood

Area: 10th Avenue to 30th Avenue, Constituyentes Avenue to 34th Street. 

Colonia Hollywood (or Hollywood Neighborhood) got its name because someone graffitied Colonia Hollywood all over and the name sort of stuck. This area is popular with residents that want to live downtown and be able to walk most places. The neighborhood is quieter and even has a small park which is rare for Playa Del Carmen. 

This is one of the most sought-after downtown neighborhoods to live in. It is close to 5th Avenue but when you cross 10th Avenue it is much quieter. There is more space and even better parking that some other downtown areas. Since this area is central, walking to Mega grocery store, Dac or even the new Chedraui on 34th Street is fairly easy to do. 

Another plus for this area is the Mario Villanueva Stadium. This is where the local soccer team for Playa Del Carmen practices and plays. It is open to the public most of the time and a great space to exercise. The open-air space also gives surrounding condos open views and a sense of relief from have to look out over other condo buildings. 

Tip: Many real estate agents buy in the area surrounding the stadium. This also borders the north end of downtown neighborhood. These two neighborhoods share this stadium and offer very rentable condos and good places to live with a little more luxury. You know it is usually a good building when agents buy units in them. 

Colonia Hollywood Playa Del Carmen
The Mario Villanueva Stadium is a nice thing to have in this neighborhood. Not only is it a good place to exercise, but it also creates an open space that give you larger views and a break from looking at lots of other buildings. This borders the north end of the downtown area also.

8. 30th Avenue to the Highway

Area: 30th Avenue to the 307 Highway, Constituyentes Avenue to 34th Street. 

This area is geographically close to the downtown, but very little has been built in this area. In part because this area consists of many houses owned by families. Some are attached to their homes and other wait until values skyrocket to sell. Since property taxes are so low, it is easy to wait for property values to rise and sell later. For example, most people pay less than $200 USD a year in taxes. That means that in 10 years you only pay about $2000 USD in taxes, but your property value triples in three years. The same principle applies to investors, values will rise, but it is a longer-term investment. 

Currently this area is not that desirable to rent in. Even though it is just across 30th Avenue from Colonia Hollywood, you would get about 70% less rentals and have to charge less rent.

9. North end of Downtown

Area: 10th Avenue to about 30th Avenue, and 24th Street to CTM Avenue. 

This area has one of the hottest blocks for real estate in Playa Del Carmen for 2024. The south side faces the Mario Villanueva Stadium which offers open views and a break from views of other condos. In this area there has been a lot of new construction. Including many nice condo buildings with beautiful rooftop pools. There is also the new Chedraui Selecto grocery store that offers a nicer more gourmet experience. Your beach access is down 38th Street or you can walk to Mamitas Beach. 

What are the downsides to this neighborhood?

There are not a lot of downsides, and that is why it is so popular. Most of the buildings here have great rooftops with pools and views to the Caribbean. These views are not guaranteed, so that is one downside as Playa grows and buildings go up in front of your view. This neighborhood is more expensive, and there is a lot of competition from other nice condos for rentals. The north end of this area is still developing, expect this area to change in the mid-range time period. 

Parking is very limited here. All parking in the area is metered from 10am-10pm. Because there are so many condos in this area and a shopping area, if you do want a car in this area, if it best to look for a condo with parking. Only about 25-30% of condos have parking spots in Playa Del Carmen.  

10. Coco Beach area of Playa Del Carmen

Area: 38th Street to CTM Avenue and the beach to 10th Avenue. 

Coco Beach is a popular place to rent short and longer term plus to own a condo to live in. Most of this area is residential and many of the buildings are new. On the south end you have 38th Street which is a nice commercial tree lined street with many good restaurants. The beaches are decent in this area and if you don’t like the beach there, you can walk down to Mamitas Beach. 

What most people like in this area is the close location to 5th Avenue and many of the downtown attractions, but the neighborhood itself is quieter and a little removed. It is a little more upscale for a neighborhood and the overall prices in this area are on average higher for both rent and purchasing. 

One of the things that people do not like in this area are the beach clubs that have events or parties with loud music. One other slight thing to consider is the low-lying areas of Coco Beach. When we do get some heavy rains, there are some pretty big puddles in the streets. Most of the streets have been paved in the past 5 years, this has made this area more transitable and comfortable. 

11. Colosio

Area: CTM Avenue to about 110th Street, the beach to 1oth Avenue.

Part of this area by CTM is also called Zazil Ha. This is a very undefined area, so we just split it into these areas. So just be aware that some listings in this area might be as Zazil Ha. 

The most important thing to know about this area is the history of Playa Del Carmen. If you don’t know the history, you will not understand real estate in Playa Del Carmen. Before when the Colosio area was nothing more than land, activist took over the area and settled it. This means that people did not have legal titles to the area. This paperwork nightmare has made for a very slow development of the area. 

The other important things to note about Colosio are:

  • The unknowns. There is a large beachfront area that could be developed. This could change this area a lot, but also could block views and or continue to be abandoned. 
  • This area is more of a long-term rental area. Many digital nomads and artist that are looking for cheaper rent will gravitate to this area. This means that buying something here will limit to who you rent to and for how long. 
  • Many small businesses open and close along 5th Avenue in Colosio. This area is sort of an experimental area. Since this area gets waves of visitors, sometimes there just is not enough consistent traffic to succeed in this area. 

The Best Areas to Invest in Playa Del Carmen Real Estate

Out of the above mentioned 11 areas of the downtown of Playa Del Carmen, here are our 5 best areas in order. 

1. Number One Best Area to Buy in is North End of Downtown

This area is the epicenter of real estate in Playa Del Carmen now. Why? It has many well designed and trendy condo buildings in this area. It is also close to 5th Avenue and has the new Chedraui Selecto Supermarket in it. On 34th Street you have the Mario Villanueva Stadium which creates a nice open space. The norther half of this area is still older and gradually the condos are moving northward, so not all of this area is the hottest area. It should be noted that many realtors have bought in this area, which is usually a very good sign for a good investment area. Most of the developers in this area are well known and have very good quality which adds to the rating of this neighborhood. 

2. Coco Beach Area of Playa Del Carmen

This area gets points for rentability and livability. It is not the center of Playa Del Carmen but has access to many of the nice parts like 38th Street. Because there are nicer condos, often these rent better and for better profits over smaller condos in the center. Tip: Penthouses and larger units often have better returns because there are less competition and people will often look for these units for a nice vacation. Coco Beach has more of these units compared to the heart of the downtown. 

3. Heart of the Downtown

Even though this is one of the most popular places to stay on vacation, condos tend to be smaller and higher price per square meter. You will have more short stays in this area, which is good for higher returns. Be aware that many of the buildings are newer and have smaller units. Avoid first floor units that are dark or have no air flow. These units do better as short stays, but not much more. 

4. Colonia Hollywood Neighborhood of Playa Del Carmen

This area is central, but a little quieter. It is a good mix of rentability and livability. Colonia Hollywood has good access to several grocery stores and the heart of the downtown. There is also more space in this area for parking.  With the open stadium, it breaks up the skyline and allows more views. One note about this area, be on the alert for very small units. These are often meant just for short rentals. This neighborhood gets more week or longer renters since it is semi residential. So, you will be limited in who will rent you place. 

5. Constituyentes South

The Constituyentes South area is very central and very rentable. This area gets people looking for a week or a little longer. This area is a good walking distance from the beach, 5th Avenue and supermarkets. It is not as hot as the first four, but also better than the south end of Playa Del Carmen. 

Note: Newer condos will rent about 40% better than older condos. We mention this because this area has both older and newer condo buildings. 

Do you want to see more than just the downtown neighborhoods of Playa Del Carmen?

In this article we focused on the center of Playa Del Carmen and the different neighborhoods. If you would like to see more about other areas of Playa and some examples of what places are like, see our video below. 


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  1. Interesting but not accurate.
    If you visited today , beaches are nicer between the two docks than Mamita’s, new hotels and condos are
    in development everywhere between Juarez and Constituentes because this is the original and still most visited tourist8c area .
    Zazil ha is short rental oriented , Colosio is moving but titles of the land are the issue
    Thank you anyway it was quite interesting .

    • We agree with you that in this moment Mamitas is not as nice because of the recent currents and erosion there. It is however coming back now and in general, Mamitas is nicer and gets less seaweed when it is around.
      Around 6th Street there is rock showing on the beach, so it makes it hard to swim there. The beaches are normally wider from Juarez to 4th Street, but this varies also with currents.
      There are some new buildings in the beachfront south areaa. There is the monster of a building at 6th Street and a new building at 10th Avenue and 6th. Street. just to highlight two examples. However, there still are a lot of older buildings. Even the beachfront from Park Fundadores to 4th is empty buildings or what appears to be abandoned buildings. It is price space, but still does not look the best.
      We agree with you about Zacil Ha being a short-term rental area. It is between Coco Beach and Colosio and the border is less defined as to where short term and long-term rentals start and stop.
      There are going to be exceptions to each area and of course if people see an opportunity that fits their needs, they it is up to each person to make that decision. We just like to keep people’s expectations in check regarding buying in some areas and what to expect about renting it out. If people are going to live in the condo, that means rentability is not a factor or principal factor and the area is just personal preference.
      Thank you for reading the article and your feedback.

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