How to Find Apartment Rentals in Playa del Carmen

The sunny seaside destination of Playa del Carmen, Mexico has become a popular home for expats and digital nomads alike.  With year round warm weather, turquoise waters and low cost of living, it’s no wonder why so many now call this Caribbean city home.  However, finding apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen can be difficult and expensive if you don’t know what you are doing.

How to Find Apartment Rentals in Playa del Carmen

Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. The Parque de Fundadores. Playa del Carmen ranks as the fastest growing city in Latin America.
Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. The Parque de Fundadores. Playa del Carmen ranks as the fastest growing city in Latin America.

For the past decade I’ve owned a property management and vacation rental company in Playa del Carmen called Nasplaya.  Certainly I’ve helped thousands of travelers find lodging along these stellar shores.  Playa has a multitude of rental choices.   Narrowing through the myriad of options can be daunting.  Let me help you locate the right selection for your budget and needs.

Background of Apartment Rentals in Playa del Carmen

Apartment rentals in Playa start from $100 USD/month to well over $3,000 USD/month.  It really depends on your budget and desires.  Basically anything under $500 USD/month you would have to acquire directly from an owner on your own by canvasing the streets.  (see step 6).

The main part of Playa is essentially broken down into 4 distinct neighborhoods: Playacar to the south, Centro in the middle, Collosio to the north and the Ejido to the west.  Playacar and Centro hold the ritzier and more desirable units as they tend to be closer to the beach and the action of 5th Avenue, Playa’s bohemian pedestrian boulevard.  Prices in both these neighborhoods generally start at $600 USD/month and go up from there.  Most expats, including myself, tend to choose either of these two areas.

As for the Collosio and Ejidio, you are living more with the Mexican middle and working class.  However even these areas are becoming gentrified and more diverse.  You may either find an entire apartment or a small room in someone’s home.  Expect to relinquish some of the comforts of home.  However you can find rooms for as little as $100 USD/month.

1 – Rent from a Reputable Property Management Company

By booking through a reputable property management company you help ensure everything works within the property.  Furthermore should something go awry like the air conditioning, you can be fairly assured they will send some quickly to resolve the issue.  In the end you may pay a little more in rent, but you also are warranted less hassles during your stay.

Without a doubt, my first choice would be to book though my company Nasplaya:  http://www.nasplaya.com.  I play an active role in the running of the company. Plus I stand behind my properties and employees.

Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. Casa Rebeka in Playacar Fase 1. Playa del Carmen initiated in this area and gradually grew north from here.
Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. Casa Rebeka in Playacar Fase 1. Playa del Carmen initiated in this area and gradually grew north from here.

2 – Book During Low Season

If you rent starting anywhere from May – October, rates will be much lower than if you come during any other time of the year.  For example, you can expect to pay 1/3 in May versus securing something in January.

Frankly the weather is not that much warmer in the spring as compared to the winter.  Plus Playa is less packed, giving you more room on the beach.  And you have that much better a chance at negotiating a lower rate for your apartment rental in Playa del Carmen.

3 – Negotiate

Regardless of rental rate, always ask if it’s negotiable.  Often you wind up paying significantly less.  Sometimes you can get a deal, other times no.  But it’s certainly worth the effort to barter.

Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. The Grand Coral Beach Club. Located in the north end of Playa, this club sits adjacent to the Mareazul Condos.
Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. The Grand Coral Beach Club. Located in the north end of Playa, this club sits adjacent to the Mareazul Condos.

4 – Book through the owner online

Most Playa del Carmen apartment rentals can be booked online directly through the owner.   Sometimes you can attain better rates when you book directly.  However, first ensure they have someone in town who can fix anything that goes wrong.

Also, make sure to read reviews before securing anything.  I know many cases where the owner offers an excellent rate to guests, makes tons of promises and then fails to deliver.  The property is poorly maintained and smells.  Then guests have no recourse for a refund or cancellation.

Best sites to book online:

Airbnb:  http://www.airbnb.com

Booking.com: http://www.booking.com

VRBO: http://www.vrbo.com

5- Facebook Groups

Facebook has become a popular tool for connecting property owners, rental agencies and lessees.  First, you’ll need to ask to join the Playa del Carmen real estate group.  However, once approved you can post your real estate needs and budget immediately after.  Then you can expect a multitude of rental options to wander your way.

Facebook: Real Estate for Expats in Playa del Carmen

Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. Kaan 302 condo rental in Quadra Alea. This option includes your own private plunge pool.
Apartment rentals in Playa del Carmen. Kaan 302 condo rental in Quadra Alea. This option includes your own private plunge pool.

6 – Hit the streets

One of the best ways to save money is to canvas the streets of Playa calling every for rent sign out there.  I only recommend this option for the super budget conscious.  Usually you pay less, but wind up lacking in amenities.  Sometimes not having working appliances is a trade off for acquiring a super good deal.

Certainly do a walk through. And ask around for references and reputations.  You certainly will encounter bargains.  Just make sure they are not lemons!

Have you ever been to Playa del Carmen?  Are you planning a visit?

Please let me know in the comments!

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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