Do I need to know how to speak Spanish to live in Playa del Carmen?

I get asked this a lot by people considering making a move to Playa del Carmen.  Especially if they haven’t spent much time here, or of the time they have spent here has been spent in the confines of one the amazing all inclusive resorts that line the coast of the Riviera Maya.

Learning Spanish in Playa del CarmenIt’s a fair question and when I moved here, I was under the assumption that I would be forced to learn Spanish to be able to get by.  For me, that was a plus because I wanted to learn the language.  However, I couldn’t have been more mistaken…

In Playa, like many resort and tourist towns in Mexico, English is very prevalent and quite honestly you can get by without knowing anything in Spanish.  It’s kind of sad because I know people here who have lived in the area for 15 + years and don’t know anything more than “gracias” and “hola.”


Is Spanish needed in Playa?

Watch the video below and get the real scoop…


So there you have it…  the real deal on whether you need to know Spanish to get by in Playa.  Not really but I think that learning the language is one of the best ways to truly learn about and get a thorough appreciation for a culture.  Plus, if you’re going to be living in Playa del Carmen – or anywhere in Mexico for that matter – you might as well adapt and really become a local.

Just know up front that the temptation to get lazy is going to be there.  It’s easy to get by without putting in the effort.  Trust me, I know firsthand.  

Fortunately, if you want to accelerate your learning process, there are some very good programs you can buy, such as Rosetta Stone and some pretty good free programs like DuoLingo.  For the really motivated among you, there are some very highly rated language schools in Playa del Carmen – Berlitz, Playa Lingua and The International House are just three of the more regarded schools in town.

So jump in and get to learning!  It’s a rich and fascinating language and simply being competent in conversational Spanish makes you feel amazing!


Watch on YouTube  —  Do I need to know Spanish to live in Playa del Carmen?



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