The guidelines in this blog are general, make sure you do what is best for you.
Probably one of the first things you will want to do is figure out how to get drinking water in Playa del Carmen.
And if you’re planning on staying for a month plus, the standard large 1.5L bottles from OXXO aren’t going to cut it.
Can You Drink The Water In Playa Del Carmen?
No, you can’t drink the water in Playa Del Carmen.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t drink the water out of the tap anywhere in Mexico and this includes Playa del Carmen.
Water in most major cities in Mexico has usually gone through some sort of purification process, however, this doesn’t mean it is purified enough to drink. There is also a significant chance that the water may have been contaminated as it travels to your tap from its source, making it unsafe for drinking.
How To Get Drinking Water In Playa del Carmen
There are 2 ways to get drinking water in Playa del Carmen:
One: you can buy it yourself from the supermarket or OXXO.
Two: you can get it delivered to your home.
You are going to want to order the big gallon (19L) drums of water, as this will be the most economical way to do it. You will also get annoyed if you have to buy bottled water each day!
If you are staying at an Airbnb or hotel- we recommend asking your host or concierge where you can get water.
We have found that at a lot of places while living in Mexico, our host often has had a supplier of the 1-gallon drums as they also need regular drinking water. If this is the case, you can easily buy it from them for the price that locals pay.
Buying Your Own Drinking Water In Playa del Carmen
We opted for just getting our own as we had an OXXO directly underneath where we were staying. We also saw gallon drums of purified water at Wall-Mart, Mega Soriana, and other supermarkets.
The first time you buy water you will need to pay for the plastic drum it comes with. After you have your first-gallon drum, you can continue to swap it over and this becomes very cheap as you are just paying for the water inside.
The first time you buy the 1 gallon drum it will cost you approximately $99 pesos ($5 USD).
Just go into the store and pick one up and take it to the counter to pay.
If you are swapping over the gallon drums, simply take your empty drum to the front counter and tell them you want to get water. They get it for you or you can get it yourself. You pick up the full drum and leave your empty one there. This should cost you between $35-$40 pesos ($2 USD) each time.
One Thing To Remember-
We found that the staff was pretty strict on the condition of the gallon drum.
If you accidentally crack or damage your gallon drum…
…they won’t change it over (and you’ll have to pay for a new bottle again)!
Almost every time the person on the front counter would spend some time investigating it to make sure it wasn’t cracked or leaking.
Pro tip: Check the bottle before buying a new one each time!
Getting Drinking Water Delivered
Your second option is to get water delivered and this is relatively easy to do.
Although you may end up paying more depending on how many drums you get delivered each time.
If you do get your water delivered, the company will likely want you to order a minimum of 3 each time.
The best way to find a delivery service is to ask your host or concierge or you may see sellers as you walk around. You can also just Google it and message the company directly on WhatsApp.
If you’re in a PDC WhatsApp group, just pop a question about their ‘water guys’ and you’ll get an answer each time!
Best Bottled Water In Playa del Carmen
What is the best bottled water in Playa del Carmen?
There are the two we trust- Epura or Ciel.
Epura is the one that you will see almost everywhere- very popular!
Ciel is owned by Coke and you can usually buy it in bulk from the supermarkets. Generally, any bottled water you buy from a convenience store or supermarket will be purified and after to drink, so just see what you prefer.
Can You Cook With Tap Water In Playa del Carmen?
Nowhere in Mexico did we see the local people using tap water to cook with. In saying that, theoretically if you boil it first- the water should be fine to cook with… In theory…
We used bottled water for cooking and followed the advice of our local friends.
Can You Brush Your Teeth With Tap Water In Mexico?
Most residents in Mexico will brush their teeth with tap water. Rinsing and spitting should be fine but be very careful not to swallow it.
We brushed our teeth with tap water and we were fine the entire time.
As a tourist, you may want to ere on the side of caution and just use bottled water to brush your teeth.
What About Ice Cubes In Drinks?
You will find at most tourist restaurants, hotels, and resorts that ice cubes are made from purified water and should be completely found to consume.
If you are buying an ice-related something from a street cart, we recommend excising a bit of caution and maybe even avoid it altogether!
Showering In Tap Water
Showering in running tap water will be normal anywhere you go in Mexico and this includes Playa del Carmen. Just don’t open your mouth in the shower and be careful not to swallow any of the water and should be fine.
Making Tea & Coffee With Tap Water
In theory, boiling tap water before using it should mean it is safe to drink and this includes tea and coffee.
We’re a little more cautious- we just used bottled water anytime we made tea or coffee.
In our experience, this was what most of the locals did as well.
Play It Safe When Drinking Water In Playa del Carmen Mexico
No matter what city we are in, we prefer to play it safe with water.
Getting sick from water contamination is no fun at all and can lead to some severe consequences.
People have different sensitivities to water when traveling.
Make sure you are being careful and work out what’s best for you.
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