When many people think of Playa del Carmen, they automatically think of a heavily touristed party destination for Americans and Canadians.
Well, the interesting thing about Playa del Carmen is that the people who stick around for a while, tend to undergo a drastic transformation, one that has happened to just about every friend, family member and traveler who has visited me here. Their initial perception suddenly turns into an intense attraction, and instead of looking for the ticket to back home, people start asking for apartment recommendations instead.
The phrase of the day then becomes: “I could easily live here for a while!”
And that’s the key. They could easily llive here for a while, which is much different than visiting this town as part of a summer adventure.
Playa del Carmen offers a combination of impressive benefits that is difficult to ignore for anyone looking to live overseas, especially if you prefer to live near the beach.
What are these benefits exactly?
1. Easy to get into the country
Most nationalities receive a free 6-month tourist visa upon arrival, making it quite easy to stick around for a while. And if you leave Mexico and then return, even if it is only a couple of days later, you’ll receive another 6-month visa valid from the date of your reentry. Working visas are a little more complicated to obtain, but nothing that a lawyer can’t sort out for a couple hundred dollars, especially if you’re hired by a Mexican company or take the necessary steps to start your own business here.
2. Near home
For those of us who are from the US or Canada, Mexico is a most convenient foreign destination. The airport in Cancun (which is located 45 minutes north of Playa del Carmen) is very well connected, with regular non-stop flights to cities such as Fort Lauderdale, New York, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Flights are cheaper than a flight inside US or Canada.
Even for Europeans, there are frequent, direct flights to/from Belgium, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany and France, making Cancun a surprisingly simple destination to reach.
3. Working opportunities
Playa del Carmen offers a handful of work opportunities that could help you pocket some money while living down here, although a good working knowledge of the Spanish language would be needed. Under the table jobs are available in bars, restaurants, hostels and small hotels and you could always try to teach English (or Italian, French or German) informally. In addition, you could apply to work as a Timeshare salesperson at one of the dozens of resorts in the area, as they prefer to hire foreigners for these potentially well-paid positions.
And for those who simply require an internet connection to get your work done, most apartments come with Wi-fi and there are at least a dozen cafes around town that offer air-conditioned lounges with comfortable seating and Wi-fi.
4. Healthy lifestyle
Playa del Carmen has an abundance of sun, fresh tropical breezes, white sand beaches and warm Caribbean waters, all of which seem to play a role in keeping the body feeling healthy. You’ll also find a never-ending supply of tropical fruits and freshly-prepared fruit juices available for sale on every street corner. Yoga classes in the park, a public sports complex complete with well-maintained basketball courts, tennis courts and a running track, as well as several modern gyms that offer inexpensive monthly memberships, runners every where so it’s difficult to avoid living a healthy lifestyle.
Yes, the throngs of visitors that flock to Playa del Carmen are actually a major benefit for anyone thinking about living here for a month or more. To put it simply, tourism equals infrastructure.
Thanks to tourism, getting around the entire region that surrounds Playa del Carmen (known as the Mayan Riviera) is not only easy, but comfortable and inexpensive as well. Air-conditioned minivans travel between every town and village in the Mayan Riviera, often leaving every 15 minutes and running 24 hours a day. Also you can even take a luxury bus, complete with free Wi-fi and plush seats. The roads here are some of the best in Mexico, car rentals are cheap and the beaches are kept in immaculate condition. And it’s all thanks to tourism.
6. Gastronomic offer
As a result of having so many tourists from around the world vacation here, Playa del Carmen offers an excellent selection of Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, French, Spanish, Chinese, South American and German restaurants in addition to the endless local Mexican eateries scattered all over town.
There are also supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets, organic markets and even shops that sell the ingredients necessary for one to prepare any type of international cuisine at home.
7. Affordable, Titled Real Estate in Playa del Carmen
For many people, this is the one factor that makes or breaks any destination, in terms of deciding whether or not a place is suitable for long-term living.
Playa del Carmen, long known as the playground of the rich, for the first time has a Project that regular buyers can afford.
The announcement of a new project of 25– 3 bedroom homes, in a gated secure community, reserved just for American and Canadian buyers, and priced under $130,000 USD, has changed all that.
So as you can see in Playa del Carmen you have everything.