How To Find Cheap Apartments In Playa Del Carmen

Cheap Apartment Playa del Carmen Mexico
My Gated Apartment Building
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

I’ve spent the last year living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. My first cheap apartment near the beach only cost $500 a month. This is how I found it.

Playa del Carmen is a laid-back beach town located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a favorite spot for backpackers and expatriates from around over the world.

Digital nomads like myself like to base themselves here for a few months to get work done. There are a lot of benefits that come with living in Playa del Carmen.

Tasty cheap food, inexpensive housing, good public transportation, and white sand beaches make it ideal. Not to mention modern conveniences like fast internet, decent nightlife, and Walmart.

But there are all kinds of fun things to do nearby as well.

You can explore ancient Mayan ruins, go snorkeling with sea turtles, scuba dive underground cenotes, and more.

READ MORE: Where To Stay In Playa del Carmen

Inside Apartment Playa del Carmen Mexico
Every Apartment Should Have a Hammock!

Searching For An Apartment

After arriving in Playa del Carmen, I recommend staying in a hostel or cheap guesthouse to use as a base while you search for an apartment.

I began by reading this helpful post from Wandering Earl, and then asked locals for advice using the Playa del Carmen CouchSurfing forum and a Playa del Carmen Facebook Group.

What did I want my apartment to include?

It needed to be furnished, including a kitchen, hot water, and be somewhat secure. Air-conditioning would be nice too. I also wanted to be able to walk to the beach. Wireless internet was an absolute must.

I didn’t care if it was fancy or not. Just basic & clean would be fine with me. The budget I set for myself was $500 per month.

Kitchen Apartment Playa del Carmen Mexico
A Simple Kitchen

No Luck At First…

Walking around town looking for Se Renta signs didn’t yield much. There were plenty of signs out there, but after calling I was told the building was full. Or the price was out of my range.

Unfortunately, it was still high-season (November – March). I’d need to narrow my search down to apartments that were actually available and would meet my budget.

Time to hit the internet.

Now I’d been traveling in Central America for over a year so my Spanish was decent. But good Spanish isn’t a requirement, because Google Translate will give you a pretty good idea what they’re offering & for how much.

Some of the landlords speak English, others don’t. So when you call, just ask a friendly staff member at your hostel to do the talking for you. I recommend offering to buy a few cervezas for their trouble!

Local Classified Websites

Both include local apartment listings with photos, details, and prices.

Beach Playa del Carmen Mexico
My Beautiful Beach 2 Blocks Away

My Apartment In Playa Del Carmen

Using these websites I found my ideal studio apartment for only $500 a month! It was located close to the city center in a local Mayan neighborhood.

Just a 5-minute ride by city bus or Colectivo to get into town, and only two blocks from a beautiful (uncrowded, tops-optional) beach.

My apartment included an air conditioner, ceiling fan, cable TV, fridge, hot water shower, gas cooker, kitchen utensils, WiFi, and a secure gate out front. Electricity was extra, but it didn’t cost much as I rarely used A/C.

There was also a pair of hammock-hooks built into the wall! Hammock not included — that I picked up on my own. Laundry service was available across the street for a couple bucks.

It was exactly what I wanted.

Nicer one bedroom apartments in the center of town run $800-$1000 USD.

Vacation Rental Mexico
Bric Rentals In Playa del Carmen

Rental Resources In Playa

Playa del Carmen has recently become a popular town for expats from the United States, Canada, and Italy. Here are some additional resources to help you find an apartment in Playa.

If you want a company to help you find an apartment, make sure to visit my friends over at Bric Rentals. They offer short or long-term vacation rentals for any budget. ★

Travel Planning Resources for Playa del Carmen
Vacation Rentals: Bric Vacation Rentals

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Book cheap flights on Skyscanner, my favorite airline search engine to find deals. Also read my tips for how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Book Accommodation is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent local apartments on Airbnb ($35 discount!). Read my post for tips on booking cheap hotels.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.

Recommended Guidebook: Lonely Planet Yucatan
Suggested Reading: The Maya: Ancient Peoples & Places


I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to find cheap apartments in Playa Del Carmen! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Do you have any cheap apartment hunting tips?


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 9 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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Comments (132)

  1. Thanks this is helpful on getting cheep apartments Carma Del Playa I am retired and looking forward to become an ex-pat.

  2. I like your posting. I too have been a road warrior while working and lived throughout Latin America. I think you hit a lot of good points and just wanted to say I appreciate you taking the time to post this, and I hope the ads are bringing it some dough. Saludos.

  3. Iam looking for a cheap one bedroom apartment with ac in the month of august for one month in playa del carmen not to far away from 25 and 10 street

  4. Good Article but a bit deceptive to say it needs to be walking distance To the beach and then add first you must take a 5 minute bus.

  5. I am glad I found you. Thinking of visiting and possibly moving to Carmen Del Playa from US. I am creating a travel business and need low cost living. Thank you for your awesome tips!

  6. Hello! Just discovered your site as I sit here in the Northwest Territories in far northern Canada the day after a blizzard in Mid-April! Playa looks very nice from where I’m sitting. I’ve been starting my travels by going to Arizona and down towards the border (Nogales) but would love to explore Playa. Have you seen any accommodations similar to the YMCA/YWCA where one can rent a sleeping room while still having access to a recreation ctr/gym and be within walking distance of downtown and markets? Thanks for the tips in your post!
    Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

  7. Thank you for such a great article. I’m getting ready to retire and I just want to get an idea Of what I will be spending. All my best from Texas

  8. Hi I’m going down to teach English for March 1 need a room in shared accommodation for now, or if possible a cheap apartment. I know probably difficult but putting it out there :).. any tips, links, etc. would be great. Warmly, Vicki

  9. I am American, live in western Massachusetts, and considering relocating to Playa del Carmen area. Is there a required minimum income that one must prove in order to relocate long term? I will be looking for a 2 bedroom rental in order to use one for my jewelry studio. And I have a lot of books that will be coming with me; and two indoor cats! I’m determined to make this happen…any thoughts appreciated.

  10. Brand new house, 3 bedrooms, air con, fridge, kitchen and nice swiming pool. Well known area. 600 USD per month! NO

  11. solo female traveler from US looking to rent a furnished apartment near the beach from June 30,2017 until December 2017.

  12. Your Huntin tips for rentals are great !!!!! And recommendations.
    I thank The Lord for peaple líke you.

  13. Thinking of moving to Playa del Carmen from September 1, 2017 to April 1, 2018. I am Canadian. Have pension of $2100 per month. Looking for a suitable furnished apartment near beach from $500-$800 per month.

  14. If you are willing to live in a mixed Mexican neighborhood you can find rentals for around $300 with less amenities than yours. It all depends on what you are willing to pay and your requirements.

    • I would prefer mixed Mex neighborhood. Single Senior efficiency , cooking, no AC./ fans good. Budget accommodation for month of February maybe longer. Please advise. I could do month of March if February is full. Thanks,! Amelia Plant can pay ,$500-600

  15. I’m really wanting to go south… could ya help me a little? By myself, would like to bring my dogs. Would like most everything included in the rent payment…. say around $500 per month.
    Didn’t have to be perfect, but as close to beach as can be… lol..
    Would like to stay for at least a year.
    Or maybe i should purchase?
    So lost right now… lol

    • How would you like to buy a property with 3 studios, 2-2 room apartments and a 1 bedroom house. The property has 6 electric meters, 2 water meters and a pressurized hot water system. Some units have window A/C , all have been partially furnished, and more. Call me, Tom, for details.

    • I see your post is from September. Curious if you found a place to rent out that was reasonable or perhaps decided to purchase? I’m in the same boat, think I’ll rent and later decide if I want to purchase.

  16. Hello everyone I am a single retired french man with a small pension of $1000… my question is..Can i possibly retire in Playa 1 bed room with internet and if possible air condition as well as all living expenses on my pension ??? I am fairly fluent in spanish..also is there a way to meet other US there ? i appreciate any info you might want to send my way….Thanks MARC

  17. Great article as usual! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Will use some of your advices for sure! Playa del Carmen sounds like a paradise and a great place to spend few months!

  18. Hey I am looking to move to Playa del Carmen soon. I need a 1 bedroom, clean and must have decent Internet. Mainly also looking for a contact that could help me get situated and show me the ins and outs of the area.

    [email protected]

  19. Enjoying your knowledge! I plan to go to Puerto Morelos for a change. Do you know this area? Looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom apt.

  20. Hey Im going on a trip to playa Del Carmen in September 2016 I speak enough Spanish, but I just need to know how to go about getting a place as soon as I arrive I’ll be leaving January 2017. Please email [email protected], or whatsapp 12424365655 I would like to be financially!! Prepared when I do this!

    • 2 years ago I paid 500 pesos (it was about $40USD) but usually it costs 600-800 pesos. Of course taxi drivers will say at first that it’s 1000 minimum.

    • We paid exactly 700 pesos from playacar to the airport. The prices at the hotel were set so there was no negotiating but we felt it was fair.

    • You can also take ADO bus from airport to playa del carmen. Its about $10 USD. Ask for ADO bus terminal at the airport. Buses are fully air conditioned. They run every 30 minutes. From playa del carmen you can take the bus at 2 places; calle 12 & 20th and calle 2 & 5th.

    • Hello…I am looking for an apartment for about 300Usd for this January 2017…I saw your post and wondered if you could email me with any helpful information…. Looking for furnished,with kitchen,a/c,Wi-Fi… Would really appreciate any help!!Thank you Allison Vancouver Canada… [email protected]

  21. Hey guys,
    My girlfriend and I are moving to Playa Del Carmen for the months of May – September and would love to rent a place much like the one our expert vagabond mentioned in his post! Let me know if anyone has any info!
    Thanks a bunch and all the best!

  22. I have nice condominiums right in front of the ocean, and in the hearth of playa del carmen, is complete furniture, wi-fi, etc, price per day 50 usd dollars minimum three days, view of the ocean, if you need more information e-mail: [email protected] or whatsapp +52 9847451919

    I speak english, french and little Italian and Portuguese.

  23. Im heading to playa del carmen in jan to find a place big enough for family and friends to stay for the months of april and may 2016… any help out there for me? thank you

    • Hi saw your post !!! Dont know if u are already in playa or still looking for a place?? My 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bathroom fully furnished becomes available march 26th for subrent or maybe even take over ??

      • hi.. I don’t know if this apartment is still available… but I’m going to be In playa del carmen tomorrow and am looking for an apartment. How much is it per month?

      • Hi Henrik. Here it is June 2016 and I am wondering if you still have that apartment. I am coming week of June 13th. Regards!

        • I’m traveling to playa Del Carmen in September, were you able to find an apartment ? Was it hard and what are the prices looking like?

  24. Hey guys, I’m looking for a villa with four bedrooms to rent for one month. I want to get married in Mexico and I want my family to come as well. I think renting appartement is going to be much cheaper than staying in hotel. It should be close to the beach. Any advice?

  25. if anybogy knows where i can get a long term lease on a beach unit for about 1100 a month please advise. anywhere on the mexican coast

  26. Hello Matthew!

    Great post by the way! I am very grateful for the time and effort you put into each post.

    I was just wondering how much you think a beachfront one bedroom apartment would cost in Playa del Carmen?

    Thanks again!

  27. I didnot have a good luck with Elizabeth. Was not happy with my rental and I have been told by her go find another one when I already was in Playa Del Carmen. She never came to check and try to help.
    Be careful with long term lodging arrangements. Best solution, come down, check in a motel and do your search.

  28. So much great information on this site. I am looking for a cheap apartment my future wife and I want to spend about 5 month in the Playa del Carmen or surrounding area beginning in March of this year. It does not have to be anything fancy just safe, close to the beach, and close to town. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    • The best time of year to look for a cheap apartment in Playa del Carmen is April – November. It gets MUCH more difficult to find one during the winter high season (November – March). You’ve been warned!

  29. Hey Matt,
    Great article!! The GF and I are also moving to Playa.. We’re going to be there Nov 2nd for 6 monts to see if we like it.
    thanks for the articles and keep up the great work!
    Denis & Bridget

    • Denis, I just got a job there and neeed a place asap. Any suggestions. I want to rent for 3 month, first then figure it out. I need a place walking distance to the center and the beach. Never been there before so any thing would help

  30. Hello All! Also, if you are looking for a place and really do not mind a 25 minute ride to the beach, I have just the places for you! For $250 dollars a month you can have a furnished 2 bedroom Condo, some with Central Air, Hot water, parking, water filter, and many other Ammenities! If you would like to do a Timeshare with some Family, Friends or Co-Workers, etc. this can be arranged also!

    If you have any questions please contact Nallely D. Torres at +52.984.745.3341 and she’ll be glad to take your RESERVATION!

    God Bless!

  31. Hi, Great article! I’m coming for the first time in August. I’ve been looking over the net to find cheap hotels but I’m having a hard time finding an inexpensive hotel ($50 bucks a night is about the cheapest I’ve found so far). I would like to stay for about a week or so until I find more permanent apartment and painting studio…Any suggestions?

    • I stayed at Hostel Playa! Great owner and staff. The place is cleaned three times a day needed or not. This was our first time at a Hostel and it was a blast!!!

  32. Hello everybody my name is Rouzbeh I’m from Iran living in Canada for almost 9years ?! Me and my friend wants to move to playa and try to open small business I try to finds some retail space for rent but I can’t find some /good source if there’s any idea I’m really appreciate

    • Hello Rouzbeh,
      My name is Aldo and I live in Bellingham, Wa which is about 30 min from the Canadian boarder. I was wondering if you ended up moving down to Playa because i will be there in about a week for 8 months and it would be nice to meet up with someone who is from around the same area. What part of Canada do you live in?

      • Hey, we are moving down there next month (wife and daughter)
        We are living in Castlegar, BC about 30 mins from washington Crossing.

        • Hi Evan I was just checking out a site for rentals and saw your comment that you were moving from Castlegar BC I have a cousin there and live in Hinton AB and just came back from staying in a resort by Playa Del Carmen How is living there going could you sent me some info on cheap rentals that are nice? We would need a three bedroom as our daughter has an aide possibly that might come. Any info would be appreciated:) A 2 bedroom to check things out at 1st would definitely work to furnished a must:) Hugs

  33. Hey, are there any places for rent where you can have a pet? Also, when is the slow season or the cheapest time to move to play de carmen. Thanks.

  34. Looking forward to Playa. I emailed Elizabeth this morning. I use Google Voice to make a lot of calls for work. Do you know if this can easily be done from Playa? Making calls through Google to US based phone numbers?

    • Yeah, you should have no problems with WiFi in Playa. I use Google Voice & Skype for that as well. Enjoy Mexico, and say hello to Liz for me!

  35. Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for this helpfull post!!

    Just have one question, do you recommend to search for an apprtment before I go to playa del carmen for 6 months in January or arrange an appartment while i’m there and book a hostel first?

    • It doesn’t hurt to look at what’s available online first, but you may find better luck walking around and responding to “for rent” signs. I’d try a combination of both.

      • What’s a good site to go on-line and look for apartments for rent in carmen del playa? I’m looking for exactly what you got here in your article, are they still found under $350 a month or are rents going up? can I just show up between april and summer and in the meantime where can I look online for places for rent in carmen del playa? I see that this is an old article and it’s 12/20/15 as i write this. also, i’m going in april 2016 when I will have to rely on a fixed income of 1180 per month. After 350 rent I’ll have 800 to live on per month, can that be done in playa del carmen? i hope to have free time to write and swim in the ocean

        • Moving in March….would possibly be interested in combining our money towards something nice for rent 2 bedrooms $700-$800 for 3 months…traveling as a single male looking to have major dental work during my stay.

        • Saw your add and realise this answer might be old by now. I am female( early retired) and looking for a place in Playa del Carmen from March /16 for three months. Wants to see if I want to settle there? Price not over $500 US,pr.month. Seasoned traveler has lived all over the world, albeit never Mexico. Will share with mature person. Any help appreciated. Wendy. Canadian, Vancouver.

        • Wendy…I wish I would have checked for a reply sooner….I am looking to stay in Playa for awhile to have major dental work done…I am semi retired..55 yr old male…would love to be in contact with you to possibly combine $ towards a place to stay. I am trustworthy. Please contact me if interested. As I am going the first week of March 2016. As of now I have found some great options if I could find someone that could put say $350-$400 a month towards rent…I will say I am a chef by profession. Will give more info after contacting me! [email protected] I HAVE MADE THIS EMAIL FOR MY CONTACTS WITH DENTISTS AND FREINDS!……At the moment I am in Pennsylvania. I will check my Email daily hoping to hear from you! Reply plz either way it would be appriciated!


  36. Hey matt! This is a good post. I just got bad news today in Philly and I’m thinking of leaving. I’m from Houston TX originally so mexican culture is extremely familiar to me. I got a question tho. I’ve got my girlfriendwith me. Is it just as cheap to live with a mate in carmen as it is to be alone? I mean, I know food will be double but is rent still cheap and are the 250-300 dollar apartments big enough for 2? We don’t need much space (you should see our place in philly lol). I’m working with about $700 a month now. I hate Philadelphia. Please help!!!!!!

    • I am moving to Mexico in a couple of weeks and will be looking for an apartment… thanks for the information… it’s very helpful.

    • I Steve, from the sounds of things it’s changed a bit as more people have moved into town, and rent prices are a bit higher. You may not find the greatest place for $300 a month, I’d expect $400+ for a studio. But keep in mind that Playa is kind of a hub for the area, there are smaller towns around it that will be cheaper.

  37. This is great info for PDC. I am thinking I’d like to go to Cancun or Tulum more than PDC so hopefully the same strategies might work for those places. I also love access to wal-mart!

  38. Great post! Its more proof for people who really think youneed a fortune to rent a niceplace! Good luck with you apartment hunting in Thailand!

    Your pics by the way have been really inspiring,keep up the good work!

  39. Hey Mathew .. thanks for the great blog and for the hints … We are looking at staying in Playa for a month (or longer … have definitely fallen in love with this part of the world) I have sent an email off to Elizabeth .. so hopefully she can hook me up with a great base from which to enjoy Playa.
    Hope you’re enjoying Chiang Mai or wherever in the crazy wonderful world that you may be.
    Safe travels

  40. Hi Matthew! Very cool post! But. The prices from Elizabeth and Cipriana are not so good. No $300, all prices start from $400. They said the reason is like high–season, and more and more attention to Playa from backpackers over the time. But I think they started to increase costs to make more money from English-speaking tourists. Like joined dark side a little bit :) I am staying in Playa, and found neat studio between avenue 5 and 10 for $290, from nice French-speaking family. Though they know English a little bit too.

    • Yeah, prices can go up in high-season. Glad you found a good one Sergio! I always try to negotiate a bit too, promising them that I’m a clean & quiet tenant, and rarely use AC. Sometimes you can get a deal if you promise not to use the AC at all and buy a fan.

    • Hi Sergio
      we are staying in France at the moment and have a reasonable command of french and would like to go to Playa and your appartment sounded great – do you have your landlords details in Playa please – we would love to go for a few months!

    • Sergio, My son is in Guadalajara and is looking for affordable accommodation in Playa del Carmen, can you put me in touch with your French family of anyone you know who is renting a 1 bedroom flat of studio for 6 Months?

    • Hi all, I will be in PDC first week of july 2016. If anyone would like to share rent please email me. I plan on a 6 month stay. gracias

  41. Hello, very good expirience to stay in studio in Playa del Carmen. espesially if you single man.
    but as i know in Playa del Carmen possible to find very nice places to stay in new developments.

  42. This post is great! Its a dream of ours to live in Playa for a few months and we are hoping to do so this year. I have bookmarked this page to help us in finding an apartment when we are ready.

    Its great to know there are opportunities for reasonable rents in this amazing location!

  43. This was a great find, and at only $300, you were at the right place and the right time. I wanted to know how accessible public transportation is, and if you ever thought of renting a car for the month to use instead. I love the simplicity of the apartment ; it has the right amenities to make it just enough for your average traveler.

    • Public transportation is super cheap and all over the place in Playa del Carmen. You have small city buses that run most of the day, and collectivos (shared taxi vans) everywhere too. These cost $5-10 pesos in town ($0.40-0.80 US). There are bigger buses to take you out of town, or you can use collectivo vans for that too. No real reason to have a car, unless you just like exploring on your own. Plus gringos (and locals) sometimes get stopped for bribes…

  44. AMAZING. We’re looking at taking a little getaway and are trying to pin down where we want to call “home” for a couple of months. $300 a month is an incredible steal!

  45. omg, you have actually posted the landlady’s contact information… stop tempting me like this, Matt!

    – Maria Alexandra

      • Strong work! I’m planning a move to Mexico and this info was very helpful. What was the name and contact info for your landlord. I’d like to see if it is available for my trip. Thanks again, you are inspiring people to actually make a move to a better pace of life.

  46. Another whole part of the world I’m yet to explore. But picking up a cheap apartment and basing myself in somewhere like this sounds like a rather fine idea. Maybe later on in the year ;)

  47. Hey Matthew! Great info. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be heading to Mexico sometime after the first of the year and this will help a bunch in finding a place to hang out for a few months.

    Here’s to an amazing 2013!

  48. That’s a nice looking place for $300 a month. I’m really itching to move to the Yucatan at some point; been there once and loved it. Enjoy your time there.

    • The Yucatan is beautiful Jim, plus there is a ton to do.
      This post is a bit late in coming, as I was in Playa last Spring. Currently in Chiang Mai hunting for a new apartment!

      • Hey Matthew,
        any good suggestions for accommodation in Chiang Mai ??
        We are spending 2 months in Thailand Jan & Feb 2016. Any and all
        suggestions appreciated.