Trying to find an apartment in Playa del Carmen?

Before heading to Playa del Carmen on a 180 tourist visa, I was trying to find and apartment to rent but I was not having any luck.

My boyfriend at the time managed to find us a room with shared accommodations in a house, where we would stay until we found our own apartment. The house had a large common area, a balcony, and a big kitchen with dining area. It was a good place to start and including the deposit, it was about $3000mxn for the month.

When I arrived we stayed at the house, and the next morning we got to work making calls and sending messages to potential leads. We followed up on some of the places he had tried before, but No luck. I needed a sim card for my unlocked phone, so we ventured out early that day to find a Telcel. On the way, we called every number we could find with a for rent sign. Being the central area, we got a lot of no longer available, or high rent for an unfurnished unit. We were looking for places around the $4000-$6000mxn a month.

We had started to enter the hottest part of the day and had been walking around for hours, so we stopped at a little restaurant to get lunch. After lunch, we decided to keep walking up the main street called Av. Juarez, further from the downtown area. We found an apartment that had a Se Renta sign, but the guy we called had just rented it. He suggested we check across the street. We didn’t see a sign on the building but we did see a guy coming out and we asked him for his landlords number. He gave it to us and we called the lady. She told us that a 1 bedroom had just opened up and for us to wait for her to view it.

The landlord arrived and was very nice, she showed us the place. It was $4200mxn a month, fully furnished with internet included. She required first and last months rent up front and gave us a contract for 6 months. The location was great, far enough away from the beach and more tourist populated streets, but still close enough to walk to all amenities. We paid and signed the papers and she handed us the keys. We got a friend with a truck to help bring our things over and we were in the apartment with Coronas in hand by 10 pm that night.

Tips when looking for an Apartment in Playa del Carmen

Looking for a place before you arrive?

You may find some nice places online before arriving. One tip is to try entering your search in Spanish rather than in English. Looking in English will most likely turn up with result for vacation rentals at a higher rate.

Plan to stay somewhere while you are looking

Hitting the streets once you arrive is most likely going to be your best bet, so try arranging a place to stay either in a hostel, a cheap hotel or renting a room for the first few days while you are looking.

Check maps when looking online

Check any potential places you may have found on the map, many listing will be advertised as a short distance from the beach, but that almost always is in a car. Also if possible go to see the place in person before sending any deposits or first months rent.

Utilize online market place

If looking online a good place is the Facebook Market app where you can use filters to narrow down your search. There are lots of places for rent there and it may help to change your sim card to a local one once you arrive, this way your phone can pick up your location giving you better results. Also, the messaging app WhatsApp is very popular here so I would suggest downloading it to message potential landlords.

Look for places away from the beach and central area

Ideally you would want to be close to the beach but you will of course pay significantly higher for this convenience. We ventured further and paid less and I got to know most of the city just by being a 20-30 minute walk away from the beach.

Avoid looking for a place in high seasons

High season for tourists is usually never a good idea to start your search. Around Christmas, Easter, and early September is typically the busiest times in the city, and while it may not be impossible to find a place, the options do become slim.

Be prepared to pay the first and last months rent upfront in cash

I don’t recommend walking around with first and last months rent in your pocket but have a plan to take the money out of the bank upon signing your lease. Sometimes when traveling you need to arrange with your bank to take out a larger amount of cash and you may have to wait some time in between depending on your daily cash withdrawal limits.

I hope this gives you an idea of what you will need to do to find your own place in Playa del Carmen. It is not a very formal process and I have no doubt that you too can find the perfect place. Good Luck in your search!