What are the Best Areas of Playa Del Carmen to Live In?

condos Playa Del Carmen

The Worst and Best Areas of Playa Del Carmen for Living

If you are thinking about living in Playa Del Carmen than you want to know about the best areas to live in. This can help you if you q=are looking to buy something or rent. We have put together a detailed map to help you get a feel for Playa Del Carmen. Here are some of the worst and best areas of Playa Del Carmen to live in. We factor things like:

  • Accessibility to services. 
  • Rentability of you want to rent out your property also. 
  • Crime and quality of neighborhoods. 
  • How loud is an area is. 
  • If an area is popular with foreigners. 
  • Quality of life issues in each area. 

Our map of best areas to live in Playa Del Carmen

Before we begin, we realize that all opinions are subjective and just because one area has a lower rating, it does not mean it might work for you. Also, there are always exceptions to areas, but our rating system is based on the overall general feel of an area. 

 How To Use This Map

There are 5 colors on this map. We have ranked each area with a score of 1-4 with 1 being the best areas to live in Playa Del Carmen in general. 

  • Green areas Rank #1. There are four of these areas of the map. these include areas close to the center that afford a good quality of life. These are also areas that are popular with foreigners. 
  • Blue areas Rank #2. These are second best areas by our estimation. There are two blue areas. One includes the downtown and the other an area of quieter residential areas. 
  • Yellow areas Rank #3. These areas are shoulder areas to the center. They have closer access to things but are developing areas and are a little more densely built compared to the green areas. 
  • Red areas Rank #4. There are three of these areas in Playa Del Carmen. Teo of these areas are older parts of Playa Del Carmen with small properties and mishmash of housing types. The other red area is many planned developments. These areas are good for families to live in because they are affordable and offer some services that families like. 
  • Grey areas. Here are two areas that generally foreigners do not live in nor rent in. 


More Details About Each Area of Playa Del Carmen

Green areas: Best Areas to Live

There are four areas that are distinct areas to live in. These are Playacar, Coco Beach, Corasol, and developments on the north end of Playa Del Carmen. Most of these are preferred areas because of more green space, less noise, accessibility, beach access and access to services. 

Playacar Phase 1&2

Playacar has been a long favorite of expats. It offers a little bit the comforts of home with green spaces and golf course views. Both phases of Playacar are private. Beach access 

Coco Beach

This area is ranked in category 1 because it is close to the downtown but a little removed from the super busy parts. Most of this area is newer and you can find some nice buildings in this area. The beach is very accessible and there are a few beach club options in front of this neighborhood. 

The drawbacks are the number of renters that also visit this area. Even though this area is not in the center, noise from beach clubs or concerts can be loud. 


This large private development has houses, condos and even several beachfront towers. This area was known as Gran Coral. There are new owners that are renovating this section of Playa now. The good thing is 66% of the land will be left for green spaces. This area affords more space, private communities, and luxury living. 

This area offers a private community with some beautiful beach access. This is definitely a neighborhood to own a car to get around. 

North End of Playa Del Carmen developments 

Since Playa Del Carmen is moving north, there are some newer developments in this area. A popular one is El Cielo. There are a mix of houses and condos in this area for example. There are other developments like Ciudad Mayakoba. 

All of these areas require you to have a car to get around. These areas are a little more upscale and afford more space and a sense of being removed from the busy center. These are also areas where you might build a house to fit your needs. 

El Cielo Playa Del Carmen
A street in the El Cielo neighborhood.

Blue Areas

Many might think the downtown of Playa Del Carmen is the best area to live. We do have it as rank #2 because of sound issues and many buildings are shared with vacation renters. It is great to visit Playa and stay in the center. Living in the center is another thing because of issues. 

The downtown has a lot of pluses. You can live in the center without a car, walk to the beach, and some of the nicest condo buildings are in the center of town. A lot will depend on where you live and which block. This might be where many people start looking, but it might not be where you eventually end of living. 

Playa Del Carmen
Being able to walk to the beach daily is a nice perk of living in the center of Playa Del Camren.


Yellow areas of Playa Del Carmen

These two areas are for those that like to be close but a little separated from the hubbub of the center. These two areas also offer cheaper prices for rent and purchase. 

The shoulder area of the downtown offers new condos at about 20% less than the center and rent at about 35% cheaper, which might influence some to look at these areas. The shoulder area is not as nice as the center and might be on a mixed street. By mixed, we mean some local houses, older condos, strip clubs, bars, small businesses and people with chickens in the backyard. 

The shoulder area closest to the downtown for purchasing real estate is a good move for appreciation. There are always pressures to develop more this area as the center expands. This also means that there can be friction when two worlds collide, Meaning, petty thefts and quality of life issues can occur a little more in these areas. 

The second shoulder area on the south end of Playa has larger plots of land and is a little more spread out than the area next door, Ejidal. You have good access to Centro Maya and many things on the south end of town. Just the beach is a little harder to visit from this neighborhood. 

Red Areas of Playa Del Carmen

This area is mostly planned communities called fraccionamientos. These areas are good for families and middle-class Mexicans. These areas are affordable but are more for long term living. Not all fraccionamientos are the same though. Some are higher end and some more middle-class Mexican areas. Some fraccionamientos allow people to open businesses in their properties and this can lead to a junky looking street. Other areas offer private streets with pools and parks which work well for families. 

In general, this is not where most foreigners look to live. There are a few developments that many foreigners have gravitated to, but in general these areas are best for families. Foreign families are something relatively new to Playa in recent years. So, if you are a family looking to move to Playa Del Carmen, one good idea is to connect with other families here. You can do this with Facebook groups. Often searching by budget will narrow the options down, but talking to people who have looked around and made a decision already, can be a great source of info. See also our article on buying in a fraccionamiento

Buying in Playa Del Carmen
This is what a private street looks like with row homes.

 Grey Areas That are Not the Best Areas to Live In. 

There are two areas that we designated grey on the map. One area is Nicte-Ha. This area is just passed Colosio. It is a fairly small area of Playa where there is a mix of houses, small businesses and industry. Not only is this area far from most things, it also does not have a lot of services in the neighborhood. If you drive around this area, you notice that people live in compounds. Meaning buildings and homes have high walls, razor wire and gates as added security. Not because it is so dangerous, but because it is not densely populated and leaving your home alone for a while might give you pause. 

The second grey area on the map is most of the west side of Playa Del Carmen. Most of this area is pre planned developments. Many of these are the cheapest areas to live in. Many low-income Mexicans flock to these areas since starting prices can be some of the most affordable. People living in these areas do pay with time and putting up with more drama (anyone who reads locals news knows that many times the news is coming from these areas). Residents here also pay with time in the sense of getting around, a bus to the center can take over a half an hour. This makes living in some of these areas means a harder quality of life. 

Many of the houses, row homes and apartments are close together and are not built with the best standards. Often you can hear your neighbors through the walls in rowhomes or apartments. Dealing with cheap faucets, leaks, noise and smells are all reasons why we already know most foreigners will prefer other areas. 

There are enough areas to choose from without having to look at these areas. 


We hope this article has given you an overview of the Playa Del Carmen area and what areas are good to live in. Since you are thinking about moving to the area, you might like to check out our other related articles below. 

best areas of Playa Del Carmen
This is 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen. 

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