Where do Expats Live in Playa del Carmen? [Top Zones in 2023]

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Playa del Carmen, located in the Riviera Maya of Mexico, has become a popular destination for expats looking for a place to live outside of their home country. 

This beautiful city on the Caribbean Sea offers a relaxed lifestyle, affordable cost of living, and diverse culture. 

However, for those considering a move to Playa del Carmen, the question remains: where do expats live in Playa del Carmen?

In this article, we will focus on the best options to rent or buy a property in Playa del Carmen.

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    Best Neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen for Expats

    Best Expat Neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen

    Playa del Carmen is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character.

    Some of the most popular neighborhoods among expats include:


    Centro is the heart of Playa del Carmen and the main tourist area. It is home to the famous Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida), a pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Centro is also where most of the city’s events and festivals take place. This neighborhood is perfect for those who enjoy being in the middle of the action and don’t mind the crowds.


    Playacar is a gated community located just south of Centro. It is known for its upscale homes, golf course, and proximity to the beach. Playacar is perfect for those who want to live in a quiet, secure area while still being close to all the amenities of the city.

    El Cielo

    El Cielo is a new neighborhood located close to the entrance to Playa del Carmen from Cancun. It is a quiet, residential area with plenty of green space and parks. El Cielo is perfect for those who want to live in a peaceful, family-friendly neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

    Coco Beach

    Coco Beach is a neighborhood located just north of Centro. It is known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibe. Coco Beach is perfect for those who want to live near the beach and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.

    Playa del Carmen Norte

    Playa del Carmen Norte is a rapidly developing area located north of the city. It is known for its affordable real estate prices and proximity to the beach. Playa del Carmen Norte is perfect for those who want to live in a growing community that is still relatively undeveloped.

    Puerto Aventuras

    Puerto Aventuras is a gated community located about 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. It is known for its marina, golf course, and luxury homes. Puerto Aventuras is perfect for those who want to live in a high-end community with plenty of amenities.

    Which Neighborhood to Choose?

    Which neighborhood in Playa del Carmen to choose?

    When choosing a neighborhood in Playa del Carmen, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and budget.

    If you want to be close to the beach and nightlife, Centro or Coco Beach may be a good fit for you.

    If you prefer a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood, El Cielo or Playacar may be more of your style.

    And if you’re looking for a luxury lifestyle, Puerto Aventuras may be the perfect fit.

    Cost of Living

    In terms of the cost of living in Playa del Carmen, it is generally more affordable than many popular expat destinations, such as Tulum or Cancun.

    Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood can range from $500 to $1000 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment can range from $700 to $1500 per month. Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet are also relatively affordable, with an average monthly cost of around $100 to $200.


    When it comes to healthcare, Playa del Carmen has a number of hospitals and clinics that provide high-quality care. Many expats choose to purchase health insurance to ensure they have access to the best care possible. The cost of health insurance can vary widely depending on your age, medical history, and the level of coverage you require.


    When it comes to transportation, Playa del Carmen has a reliable and affordable public transportation system, with buses and colectivos (shared taxis) that can take you to different parts of the city and surrounding areas.

    Many expats also choose to buy or rent a car for added convenience and flexibility.


    So, is it safe to live in Playa del Carmen?

    In terms of safety, Playa del Carmen is generally considered a safe place to live.

    However, as with any city, it is important to take basic safety precautions such as avoiding walking alone at night and keeping valuables secure.

    Neighborhood for Expats in Playa del Carmen: Conclusion

    In conclusion, Playa del Carmen offers a variety of neighborhoods for expats to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and amenities.

    Whether you prefer a lively city center or a quiet residential area, Playa del Carmen has something for everyone.

    With a low cost of living, high-quality healthcare, and a strong sense of community, it’s no wonder that more and more expats are choosing to make Playa del Carmen their home.

    Overall, Playa del Carmen offers a variety of neighborhoods to suit the needs and preferences of expats.

    It is a vibrant city with a strong sense of community, making it easy to make new friends and meet people from all over the world. Playa del Carmen is also a great place for outdoor activities such as diving, snorkeling, and exploring beautiful natural surroundings.

    If you’re considering moving to the city, make sure to check out our Playa del Carmen real estate deals.

    Alternatively, dive deeper into the realities of the city by reading another article on our blog – Pros & Cons of Living in Playa del Carmen.

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    About The Author
    Oswaldo Ortega

    Hi there! I'm Oswaldo Ortega González, a 34-year-old real estate agent based in the stunning Riviera Maya. Originally hailing from Mexico City, I've immersed myself in the beauty of this coastal paradise for the past 5 years. With an equal 5-year span in the real estate sector, my journey here has been nothing short of remarkable. Before diving into the world of properties, I worked in retail onboard cruise ships, which was quite the adventure. But my real estate calling was ignited by a deep desire to help people discover the immense potential in real estate investments. I've always believed in the power of real estate to pave the way to financial freedom, and I'm excited to guide others on this path. When I'm not busy exploring the world of properties, you can often find me engrossed in a good book or working up a sweat through exercise. And when it comes to satisfying my taste buds, nothing beats the tantalizing flavors of Tacos de pastor. The driving force behind everything I do is the simple yet powerful desire to create unique and unforgettable experiences with my family and loved ones. It's what motivates me each day as I help my clients make their real estate dreams a reality in the breathtaking Riviera Maya.