Considering Becoming A Digital Nomad in Playa del Carmen? Here’s What It’s Like
As digital nomads, we try to build new routines that suit the current city we are in. For us, there are some non-negotiables though (as I’m sure you’d have your own too).
Non-negotiable #1: Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
Non-negotiable #2: Work 6-7 hours per weekday
Non-negotiable #3: Good digital nomad community & activities
In the blog, you will see how we were able to build our routine, the activities we did, and get a feel for what it’s like to be a Playa del Carmen digital nomad.
A Peek Inside: The Weekday Routine Of A Digital Nomad In Playa del Carmen
A sample of what a weekday looks like for us. This took a while to create but we always recommend spending the first few days seeing what kind of lifestyle you want in that specific location. Below was our ideal weekday lifestyle.
7:00am – Wake Up
Our wake-up time differs between cities, our moods or just how we choose to set up our routine. Playa was beautiful in the mornings, a little more peaceful to walk around and it’s nice to watch people head to work.
8:00am – Head Out For Coffee & Chill
Ah yes, the most important part of our day is our morning coffee!
We struggled at the start to find a good cafe to work from but leave it to us to find a hidden gem. We usually walk 5 minutes to the coffee shop, say hello to the baristas, order our coffee and sit down for a little chat.
Click here for a list of the top 5 cafes to work from in Playa del Carmen.
8:30am – Start Morning Work Session At A Cafe
For the next 3 and a half hours, we do our deep/focused work.
We’ve met a lot of other digital nomads at this cafe and it’s motivating to be surrounded by people who also work hard!
12:00pm – Grab Lunch, Go Home and Watch TV
By 12:00 pm, our stomachs start to grumble and we’re ready for a lunch break.
We head to our favorite salad/healthy restaurant and order some huge salads for only $5 USD! Sometimes, we eat at the restaurant but most times we will bring our food home and turn on some Netflix for an episode of Narcos.
1:00pm – Catch Up On Spanish Homework And Head To Class
After watching an episode, it’s time to catch up on Spanish homework that we should’ve done days ago but you know how it is.
Once that’s finished, we hop on our bikes and ride for 10 minutes to make it to Spanish class.
2:00pm – Spanish Class
The three of us decided to take up Spanish for a couple of hours a week.
If we learned to order our food in Spanish….
…it was a win!
Playa del Carmen is pretty English-friendly, however, we were going to continue traveling through Spanish-speaking countries so it was kind of a must for us.
3:00pm – Afternoon Work Session
We ride the bike back home and get straight into work for another session.
5:30pm – Workout / Gym Time
Our apartment has a pretty good gym and we go around 3-5 times a week.
The gym is well equipped with treadmills, weights and machines.
6:00 pm – Rooftop Pool Swim
After our workout, we head up to the rooftop for a nice sunset swim and after-work chat.
The water isn’t too cold and it’s refreshing after a long day. Plus – the sunset skies are always beautiful!
7:00 pm – Go Out for Dinner (aka Taco Time)
Finally, it’s time for tacos!
We have a few favorite taco joints around Playa del Carmen.
You can check out a list of our favorite restaurants here. Tacos are a MUST in PDC and we occasionally order a margarita too.
8:00 pm – Billiards / Hang Time
We were spoilt for choice-
Our apartment building had so many amenities.
There was a hang-out room where we played cards and there was also a billiard/pool table. This became our favorite night activity, we would play some music and try to beat each other at the billiards.
10:00 pm – Bed Time
We just chat and chill for a bit then go to bed around 10 pm.
What Weekends Activities Can You Do Around Playa del Carmen As A Digital Nomad?
As digital nomads, we are constantly striving for a work-life balance.
Since the start of our journey in 2018, we’ve met some of the hardest working people that continue to push and motivate us. But those same people also prioritized fun!
This was such a great thing to see because as much as work is important – we have to remember the reason we do this lifestyle.
We want to be able to explore new cultures, meet new people and just have a whole lot of fun along the way.
For our weekends, we try to get out and do something, whether that’s swimming in cenotes or simply going on a taco food tour around the city.
We’ve learned that in Playa del Carmen – there’s always something to do!
Here are some of the things we enjoyed:
Weekend Trip To Tulum
Pack your bags and head to the ‘famous’ beach town of Tulum. The serene beaches, the aesthetically pleasing cafes and the vibrant community has made it a top Mexican tourist destination.
Tulum is only 1-hour car drive from Playa del Carmen and you can easily rent a car or take a colectivo to get there.
Swim in Cenotes
If you’ve never heard of a cenote, it’s a sinkhole or natural pit that results from the collapse of limestone bedrock and exposes water a.k.a. natural wonders and a fun time!
Cenotes are all over the Yucatan Peninsula and it’s one of our favorite activities to do. You can spend a whole day swimming around the cenote or jumping off some pretty high cliffs for you adrenaline junkies.
Visit Chichen Itza & Valladolid
You can’t go to the Yucatan Peninsula / Quintana Roo without…
…visiting one of the 7 new wonders of the world, right?!
You have to schedule at least one weekend to visit the idyllic Chichen Itza pyramid.
We rented a car for 3 days and booked an Airbnb for 2 nights in Valladolid.
We enjoyed exploring the quaint and colonial town of Valladolid including its beautiful church (Iglesia de San Servacio) and there’s an epic cenote (Cenote Zaci) right in the middle of the town.
Weekend Trip to Merida
Another popular weekend trip is exploring the safest city in all of Mexico, Merida.
Just a 4-hour drive from Playa del Carmen, you’ll be transported to a beautiful, picturesque city that’s known for amazing cafes, colonial-style buildings and safety.
Beach Volleyball with the Digital Nomad Community
As you get more integrated with the expat/digital nomad community in Playa del Carmen, you’ll start to join a couple of WhatsApp groups for different things.
I was in 3 different groups:
- a women’s group
- a meetup group and
- a beach volleyball group
From here, it’s easy to make friends!
Tip: When we were there (2020), they had beach volleyball every Saturday afternoon.
Is There a Digital Nomad Community in Playa del Carmen?
There’s a rising number of digital nomads coming in and out of Playa del Carmen. While we were there, we hung out with a pretty great digital nomad community. Some were photographers, others were ad specialists and sales page builders. It’s not hard to make friends here – you just have to put yourself out there!
We all met up regularly and often found ourselves co-working at a cafe.
Join WhatsApp Groups and FB Groups
Wherever you go on your digital nomad journey…
…always join the FB groups and WhatsApp groups before you arrive.
This way, you get the feel of the vibe and people in the area. You can also start setting up meetups or going to meetups when you arrive.
We have learned that you need to take advantage of the time that you have in a spot.
In Playa del Carmen, there were several groups that catered to your interests. For example, there was a casual meet-up group, a Spanish practice group and even a scuba diving group. You name it – they’ve got it!
While we were in PDC for the first few weeks, we didn’t really get to know anyone.
Until one of our new friends, Christina, posted in the girls’ group and organized a coworking session together every Wednesday.
We worked from a cute beach club, got to know each other and became friends.
What’s the Cost of Living for 1 Month in Playa del Carmen as a Digital Nomad?
The cost of living for digital nomads in Playa del Carmen can vary from person to person.
There’s something for everyone’s type of budget here.
We spent around $1,869 USD including rent, eating out, groceries and more! We got a really good deal on our apartment and we were able to splash a bit more on coffee every day. 😉
Want a *detailed* breakdown of our cost of living in Playa del Carmen? Click here to find out more.
Being A Digital Nomad In Playa del Carmen Is Pretty Sweet
We enjoyed our lifestyle while we were living in Playa del Carmen as digital nomads.
Playa del Carmen is rising the ranks of digital nomad hotspots…
…and for good reason.
We would go back in a heartbeat!
The beautiful sunny weather, the endless amount of things to do and the friendly community have made our 3 months in PDC so memorable.