Reader Question: We're looking to explore Playa Del Carmen this winter for a week. Been going to Key West for the past 10 years and as we reach retirement age, we have come to the conclusion the we can't afford Key West. Wanting to see if we like Playa and hopefully start to look for a home to spend December through May.
Any advice on where we should stay to start our search would be greatly appreciated and we are SOOOO excited to take this adventure. We would consider other spots on the peninsula but think that Playa just may be the best to start this quest. We're both in our mid 50's, and from Ohio
Any correspondence is welcome and I want to thank you in advance for your time and assistance.
Answer: Hello Greg!
Playa Del Carmen is absolutely beautiful and full of retirees, snowbirds and expats. Much, much nicer than Cancun for a permanent move (which is super-touristy). My suggestion is to rent a place on 5th avenue and just peruse the whole city on foot (Airbnb is where we usually book our reservations because we prefer to stay in Condos with a full kitchen, rather than hotels).
Take a day trip to Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, too. It's worth it, you might like the islands more.
Akumal is fantastic and so tranquil, but it's a little further south, so it's a bit of a drive. Worth exploring though if you are looking for a "forever" home.
We liked Tulum for it's wildness and natural beauty, but the modern amenities just aren't there yet, plus there is a TON of real estate fraud going on in Tulum right now, so buying down there is very very risky, even for Mexican citizens.
Be free! Expatriate!
An update on our Keepgo device. It's working great in Guanajuato, Mexico and has worked well for us all throughout Salamanca, Celaya, and Irapuato.
We didn't have internet access at our rental for the whole first week we were here, and it's given us a reliable connection, and speeds fast enough to read emails and do basic work so we can continue running our business even while we are outside the US. Once again, we are not affiliated with KeepGo in any way, but we want to post information about products that make our lives easier when we travel.
Next up: Banking woes for a full-time expat!
Reader Question: We are considering moving to Playa del Carmen from Missouri and wondered if you could inform me of the average cost of sending our preschool and kindergarten children to a private school in Playa ?
If possible could you also tell me how the cost of living would compare to rural Midwest living in the states ?
I would very much appreciate any info you could give me . We will be in Playa in a couple days to start house hunting . Thank You!
Manny's Answer: Hi! The cost of private schools is about $200-400 per month (on average). A lot cheaper than the US, but still a but costly for some. The average cost varies wildly throughout Mexico, and currently the peso is at 20:1 so everything is a huge bargain (currently).
As for housing, Playa Del Carmen has a lot of good options that are very affordable, as long as you stay away from beachfront property. You can easily find a nice 2-3 bedroom for $500 dollars, as long as you are away from the beach. (Check Vivanuncios, Spanish classifieds, I've had good luck with them, but you will have to know some Spanish to use them.) The classified ads in Spanish give you a much greater likelihood of dealing with locals, rather than scammers.
Beachfront is what everyone wants, and the winter is the most expensive time of year down there, so just plan accordingly. Hope this helps!
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