Visas: US citizens traveling by land or sea can enter Mexico and return to the US with a passport card, but if traveling by air will need a passport. Citizens of other countries need their passport to enter Mexico. Chinese, Indians, Russians and South Africans are amongst those who need a visa. However, Mexican visas are not required for people of any nationality who hold a valid visa for the USA. Regardless of nationality, every tourist must have a Mexican-government tourist permit, easily obtained on arrival. The fee for the tourist permit is around M$360, but it’s free for people entering by land who stay less than seven days. If you enter Mexico by air, the fee is included in your airfare. Tourist visas will need to be handed in when leaving the country, so do not lose it.
Local transportation: Playa is pedestrian friendly town and you can basically walk to everything. Cycling is a fun alternative to walking; there are a number of bike rental shops at the north end of 5th Ave.
Where to buy a SIM card: There are four cell service providers in Mexico: Telcel, Movistar, Iusacell and AT&T Unidos. Telcel is most expensive, but has the most subscribers and widest coverage. You can purchase the SIM cards at any telephone shop or Telcel/Movistar/AT&T Unidos stores, and credits can be added at the local Oxxo (convenience store).
Popular areas: Quinta Avenida
Popular food: Street food carts selling tacos of various types: seafood, carnitas, pollo and chorizo.
"Playa", as the locals call it, is considered as one of the Riviera's trendiest cities (along with Tulum). During peak season, the town's beaches are packed with American and European tourists, and the city's tourist center can feel like a mass-tourism destination. Quinta, sometimes called 5th Avenue, is the place to see and be seen in Playa. It has the feel of a touristy beach resort during the day, changing to a pretty thriving night scene. However, there’s a lot more to Playa del Carmen than just the beach. Rent a car and visit Puerto Morales for the view of fishing boats and spectacular aquamarine ocean off the pier.
Playa del Carmen is safe, but use common sense. Don’t wander around drunk (and/or alone) after dark. When out at night, watch your drink. Make sure you cannot be easily pick-pocketed. Getting scammed by taxi drivers is more common. Walking further away from busy bus stations or main roads should help you land a cheaper cab, even if you speak perfect Spanish. Always ask the price before getting in.
There is a community of digital nomads from around the world that are now living in Playa del Carmen either long term or permanently. The internet connection however might be decent at best.
Although the beach town is known as one of Mexico’s most expensive destinations, it is possible to have a great time in Playa on a budget.
The best time to visit Playa del Carmen is between April and May, when there are less people along the shore. Day temperatures hover between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, dropping to around 60 degrees during the evening. From October to March, the climate is generally dry and slightly warm. The coolest time of year falls between November and January. During these months the daytime temperatures are very comfortable and warm, but the air tends to cool off at night. There is some rain, but not constant or overwhelming. Summer days and nights tend to offer high temperatures and humidity. Hurricane season lasts from June to September, so check weather forecasts and hurricane warnings before booking your trip.
Coworking Spaces in Playa del Carmen
Cafes with wifi
Don't want to work at a coworking space? Check out these cafes with wifi instead.