We enjoyed our time as Playa del Carmen digital nomads and totally get why it’s quickly becoming a top digital nomad hotspot.
You’ve got the delicious Mexican food, the coffee, the rooftop pools, the beach, the walkability – I mean what more could you ask for! The only thing that would make this place even better is…a great apartment!
Welcome to our Airbnb Playa del Carmen Mexico apartment tour.
Airbnb Playa Del Carmen Mexico Apartment Tour
Finding the right apartment in the right location is such a crucial decision because oftentimes, this dictates your routine in a certain city. So you want to make sure you’re choosing the right place for you.
In this blog, you will take a tour of our very own Airbnb apartment (link included below) and you’ll also learn about the costs, where to stay, living situation and get a feel for the kind of lifestyle you can live here.
Our Digital Nomad Crib at The Gallery Condos
We stayed at The Gallery Condos and booked it via Airbnb. We wanted to settle in quicker and have a place ready for us once we arrived – and we found a dream apartment! Take a look…
This Airbnb had the most comfortable king-size bed – you can bet we had some nights of sleep here. The spacious master bedroom was big enough for the two of us to walk around without getting caught on anything.
Image courtesy of Airbnb
The closet was more than enough for us (note we have two 50lb suitcases only). There were lamps on each nightstand and enough outlets/plugs for both of us.
The entire apartment had 2 TVs – one in the bedroom and one in the living room. They were both smart TVs and we could access Netflix easily. We also used our Fire stick and Matthew was so happy because he could connect his Nintendo Switch and play his games.
We had our own private bathroom which was separate from the bedroom which was a nice change.
Our Airbnb location could NOT have been more perfect for us! We were right smack dab in the middle of Playa del Carmen – which meant we walked everywhere and barely spent on transport.
We were on 15th Avenida y Constituyentes which is a few blocks from the 5th (thank goodness)!
We were 5 minutes walk away from a huge supermarket, Mega Soriana, and a really good local grocery store, DAC. Our favorite coffee shop, Midogo, was only a 5-minute walk away. The beach was a 10-minute walk away.
In short: we had an excellent location.
And if we wanted to go further, we simply used a bike app. Playa del Carmen has bike paths so it makes it a really easy and fun way to get around. More on the bike app here.
Our beautiful bathroom had everything we needed! There were 2 cabinets and more than enough storage for our toiletries. The sink was pretty big and we had extra bench space to put our electric toothbrushes.
Image courtesy of Airbnb
There was a plug inside for your hairdryer or toothbrush. And the water pressure? It was strong and felt great to have a rain shower!
This kitchen was well stocked! An electric stove with 4 tops and…
We were so excited when we saw we had an oven because we’ve been digital nomads in Asia and this has been such a rare sight. I couldn’t wait to get bakin’!
Image courtesy of Airbnb
Plus, we also had a coffee machine (if you know us, you know how important that is for us), a microwave and even a blender. Talk about a functional kitchen!
We usually cooked at least 1 meal at home every day so this was a big selling point for us. The fridge was bigger than what we are used to so it was also nice to have some space. There was plenty of storage space for pots, pans and other kitchen things.
Ahhhh…I’ve never watched a movie on such a huge TV!
This living room was another reason we were vying for this apartment. Matthew and I have started to up our budget and look for places with a couch just because we wanted a separate place to chill in (that’s not a bed).
The couch here was pretty comfortable and great for a movie marathon (totally binged The Hunger Games here)!
Lots of apartments in Playa del Carmen are studios so we were pretty happy to snag a legit one-bedroom apartment with a separate living space.
Images courtesy of Airbnb
We noticed something unusual in PDC and that’s that…
…dining tables just aren’t a thing.
However, they do have a kitchen bar with chairs like in the photo which still worked for us. Again, we would prefer a dining table because that acts as another workspace for us.
Facilities – Our Favorite Part!
Some Airbnbs in Playa make the building a great space for people to hang out. Our building had some pretty cool amenities including:
- Pool/Billiard Table
- Cinema Room
- Meeting Rooms
- Spa & Sauna (wasn’t accessible due to COVID)
- Rooftop Pool
- Lobby Pool (yes 2 pools)!
- Hang Out Rooms
Images courtesy of Airbnb
Uhm…how can you not fall in love with that rooftop pool?! This is such a PDC thing!
A lot of afternoon sunsets were spent by the pool with a nice view of the city and a glimpse of the ocean.
And the billiard table was one of our favorite things to do – lots of nights were spent seeing who will win that night (Matt is demanding I mention that he won the majority of the time ?)!
There are a lot of apartment buildings that offer these types of facilities – be sure to ask your host before booking if they’ve got any included with the price of the Airbnb.
The wifi at our place wasn’t particularly fast (based on digital nomad standards). But it wasn’t slow and it was pretty stable.
Our average speed was 10 Mbps and this seems to be the average around Playa del Carmen. For faster wifi, we walked 5 minutes to our favorite cafe with almost 200 Mbps (yes, you read that right).
Another reason we booked this place was because of the level of security.
We loved that we were in an apartment building with a whole bunch of other apartments and they also had a reception/concierge desk with friendly staff during the day and security guards at night.
What does this kind of apartment in Playa del Carmen cost?
We paid $684.41 USD for an entire month including all facilities, electricity, and wifi.
FYI: Listen – we got an amazing deal (like a once-in-a-lifetime deal). This was a new listing and we were 1/3 of the first people to book. Hence we got significant discounts plus we also booked for an entire month (always better rates). This exact apartment costs significantly more now (like $2,000 more).
Want the link to this EXACT Airbnb apartment in Playa? Click here to check it out.
Is It Expensive To Rent An Airbnb In Playa del Carmen Mexico?
It all depends!
Playa del Carmen is a popular vacation spot and a rising digital nomad hotspot. This isn’t the cheapest real estate market we’ve seen but we can understand why it costs what it does.
Your choice of location will determine how much you’re going to pay. For example, if you stay in the Centro area, you can expect to pay higher than those in a different area. If you stay in Playacar, you are a 15-minute taxi ride from the center but you’ll likely pay less for rent.
You can find really cute studios for the price we paid but if you want a one-bedroom apartment that will cost more.
For your reference, we created a list of the average prices:
- For studios, you can expect to pay between $400-700 USD (depending on the season)
- For one-bedroom apartments, you can expect to pay between $700-1,100 USD (depending on the season)
- For two-bedroom apartments, you can expect to pay between $1,000-2,000 USD (depending on the season)
Of course you can get better deals if you search Facebook groups or WhatsApp realtors but this is generally the average prices we’ve seen.
What Area to Stay in Playa del Carmen: Best Neighbourhoods
Choosing where to stay in Playa del Carmen can be an overwhelming task especially if you’ve never been there before. For a relatively small beach town, there are so many different accommodation choices and thankfully there’s something for everyone’s budget.
The first thing you’ll need to decide before booking an Airbnb is deciding the neighborhood to stay in. Here’s a quick glimpse into some of the major areas in PDC.
Centro – Center of Playa del Carmen
The center has plenty of restaurants, shopping malls and cafe options.
This is where you’ll likely pay the highest for rent but you’re where the action is!
…stay at least 2 blocks away from the 5th Avenue – if you care about your sleep.
Gonzalo Guerrero – In The Center But Further From Tourists
This is where our apartment was located!
We enjoyed being so close to the beach and the Centro area but we loved that we could retreat home and get away from the noise and craziness of Centro.
Zazil Ha – Expat Neighbourhood
Further away from the Centro area is Zazil Ha located between 38th and CTM Avenue.
A popular area for expats and digital nomads because of the proximity to the beach clubs, cafes and restaurants while being far enough away from vacationers.
Playacar – Secluded Paradise
If you want to stay away from the center, Playacar is a great choice for you.
You’ll have pristine beaches and beautiful ‘suburbs’ to walk around. There are some good restaurants in the area and if you need anything else you can simply hail a cab to the Centro area – this only takes 15 minutes to drive.
Bella Vista – Up and Coming Neighbourhood
Our friend just rented an apartment in this neighborhood. The area seems to be growing and lots of apartment buildings are starting to rise.
You can easily rent a bike for a month and make it to Centro in only 15 minutes. You’ll get better prices and value for your money if you stay here.
Luis Donaldo Colosio – Not Recommended
I just wanted to mention this so you knew a suburb to avoid. It looks attractive on Airbnb because of the low costs but there’s a reason it’s priced that low.
We haven’t heard great things about the safety in the part of town and it’s also pretty far from any fun activities or restaurants.
Are Electricity and Wifi Included in the Price?
If you’re renting an Airbnb, you usually won’t pay extra for electricity or water. However, when we were searching for our place we noticed that a lot of Airbnbs would state in the description that you couldn’t go over a certain kilowatt usage.
If you go over a certain kilowatt per day that’s when then they will charge you for that extra electricity that you use. Wifi is usually included in the price unless you want to upgrade – you’ll need to pay extra to have the wifi upgraded.
If you find an apartment through FB Groups or realtors, you’ll most likely pay extra for electricity and water. You might also need to sign a contract and they usually have a minimum stay e.g. 3 months contract minimum. In this case, you might also need to pay extra for wifi. Remember- you can always negotiate with your realtor.
Airbnb Playa del Carmen Mexico: When’s the Best Time to Rent?
We didn’t realize how important this question was till…
…we literally couldn’t afford to stay in Playa del Carmen anymore.
We booked our apartment for September 2020 and once it turned December the prices rose dramatically.
“But Ashley, how much could it actually have gone up by?!” you might ask.
We were paying $684 USD and then the high season kicked in and our host quoted us $1,250 USD (note: she was already giving us a discount too)!
If you want to get the most value out of your money, you’ll want to make sure you arrive in Playa del Carmen for the low season to get the best prices. Otherwise, you will be paying top dollar.
High Season: November-May
During the high season you’ve got:
- New Years’
- Spring Break and
- Semana Santa (Holy Week)
This is when there will usually be an influx of tourists and PDC gets crowded.
You will pay more if you stay between November to May, possibly around 10-25% more than if you decide to visit during the low season.
Low Season: May – October
During the low season, this is when there will be the least amount of tourists and Playa del Carmen gets a little quieter.
But…the low season is also when the rain comes.
The absolute best month is September, in my opinion, because there won’t be many tourists.
It’s not crowded and the weather is still sunny?! Sign me up!
The weather turned in October and we had not 1 but 2 hurricanes visit! Our electricity went out for a couple of days and the weather dampened the mood.
If you visit Playa del Carmen in the low season, you will get the chance to have beautiful apartments without paying a hefty price.
If you want a detailed guide on when the best time to visit Playa del Carmen, read more here.
Renting an Airbnb in Playa del Carmen Mexico for Digital Nomads
We couldn’t get enough of the Playa del Carmen lifestyle!
We didn’t want our time in PDC to end because it was such a beautiful place with convenient amenities.
If you want to know more about long term rentals in Playa del Carmen, click here. We wrote a full guide that includes pricing, locations, info and so much more.
Any time the crowds got too much or we didn’t feel like heading out – we felt comfortable and safe enough to stay home.
We understand why Playa del Carmen is a rising hotspot – you’ve got cute cafes to work from, beautiful apartments to rent out and an endless amount of activities throughout the Riviera Maya coast.
What more could a digital nomad ask for?!
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We want to hear from you…
Would you spend a month in that apartment for $684 per month? Is this pricing you expect from Playa del Carmen – was it cheaper or more expensive than you thought? Comment below and let us know. We read every comment!