Cancun and the island of Cozumel made a huge splash on the worldwide tourism scene in the 1970s, but real estate in nearby Playa del Carmen was still largely overlooked by the masses, who were too busy making money elsewhere in Mexico. Fast forward to the early 1980s and Playa was definitely on the radar of forward-thinking investors, who knew its fantastic location and natural beauty would soon put it on the map.
“Playa welcomed new tourism-focused eateries, shops and accommodations to garnish Quinta Avenida – or Fifth Avenue – with energized local flavor,” wrote TravelPulse. “It evolved into a Bohemian haven with high appeal to everything from European backpackers to budget travelers from the U.S. and Canada.”
With this came a growing demand for luxury accommodations in Playa del Carmen as more and more travelers decided to stay here instead of just visiting on day trips from nearby Cancun just to the north. Over the years, a variety of chic boutique hotels, all-inclusive resorts and luxury condos elevated Playa del Carmen’s visitor profile as the city developed a reputation for being a tamer option to the large crowds in Cancun. Still, Playa’s nightlife is legendary.
“With its large expat population, the scene is vibrant to say the least,” wrote TravelPulse.
Today, Playa del Carmen is still the ideal location for enjoying the warm turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the Riviera Maya, which lies along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast. Mayan ruins; snorkeling and diving to explore the world’s second-largest barrier reef; action packed eco-parks like Xcaret, Xel-ha and Xplor; world-class shopping and dining; swimming in cenotes and some of the world’s most spectacular golf courses are only some of the many reasons living in Playa del Carmen is increasingly popular among expats from the United States, Canada, Europe and around the world.
Thanks to its subtropical climate, the weather in Playa is warm year-round, with the average temps usually around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The air can be a bit cooler at night from November through January, and you can expect to see more rain between October and March, but it’s unlikely to be overwhelming.
“As an extremely positive note, the sea is almost always warm enough for a swim,” wrote TravelPulse. “During peak season from February to May, rain is sparse and the sea is prime for swimming.”
Of course, crowds (and prices) are also typically higher during the peak season and from Dec. 15th through New Year’s Day due to holiday travel.
So, if you’re dreaming of living in Playa del Carmen you’re definitely not alone! Come see why this part of Mexico was named among the best places to retire abroad by International Living in 2017.