This post's overview:
- 1 Where is Playa Del Carmen and is it better than Cancun?
- 2 What’s the best time to go to Playa del Carmen? Is it warm in winter?
- 3 Do you need a car in Playa del Carmen?
- 4 Working remotely from Playa Del Carmen: things you need to know
- 5 Summary of working remotely from Playa del Carmen: things you need to know
- 6 If you liked this article, here are some other articles that you might find useful:
Planning on working remotely from Playa Del Carmen? In this post, I will share our own experience of remote work from Playa del Carmen & other places in Riviera Maya and provide some recommendations on the best places to stay. I will also review the places where we stayed while working remotely in Mexico.
If you’re new to this blog, hi! We are Liza and Jose, a Russian-Mexican couple based in London, UK. We try to go to Mexico every year and each time, I try to share the most useful city guides, tips and advice on this blog. Are you interested in more blog posts about Mexico? Read our Mexico destination page.
Before we start with the best places for remote work in Playa Del Carmen, I just wanted to answer some frequently asked questions.
Where is Playa Del Carmen and is it better than Cancun?
Playa del Carmen is a large town in a place called Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Riviera Maya is a large stretch of land that starts just after Cancun and finishes after Tulum. All this area is served by Cancun International Airport. Getting to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun International Airport thanks around 45 minutes.
If you compare Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Cancun is a destination for mostly all-inclusive holidays. The distances in Cancun are larger, and the variety of properties you can book that you can use for remote work is actually somewhat limited. All the ones we’ve seen on travel websites were located far away from supermarkets and other amenities and far away from public beaches. Cancun isn’t really the best place for remote work in Mexico. However, if you want to learn a bit more about Cancun and other areas on the Mexican Caribbean coast, you can head to my guide to Cancun vs Riviera Maya, where I talk in more detail about each of the locations, so feel free to check it out if you’re interested.
Playa del Carmen, on the other hand, only has one or two all-inclusive resorts, and all the beaches in the town are public. There are plenty of multi-storey apartment blocks with modern apartments with swimming pools and gyms, as well as hotels that consist of apartments. You can either rent one of such apartments via Airbnb or book an apartment in a hotel using OTAs (online travel agents). We will talk about the best apartments for remote work in Playa Del Carmen a bit later in the post.
And what is really the best thing is that most of these hotels in apartment blocks are located just minutes away from amazing beaches.
What’s the best time to go to Playa del Carmen? Is it warm in winter?
Another frequently asked question is what is the best time of the year to go to Playa Del Carmen. Generally, the weather is good in Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen, which is part of Riviera Maya all year long. If you go in summer, it’s going to be hotter, and there is a higher chance of a storm. In winter, on the other hand, it’s colder under higher chances of rain or just cloudy skies. We spent about three weeks in Riviera Maya last Christmas and only had two rainy days. And circa 3-4 grey days. Some days could be colder than the others; for example, the temperature wouldn’t exceed 23- 25°C. However, normally it would be around 27-29°C. It gets chilly in the evening so make sure to bring a couple of hoodies, like jackets or cardigans with you. You can check the weather forecast for Cancun and Playa del Carmen here.
There is a chance that if you are only coming for a week, the entire week could be just grey and rainy. However, as with pretty much all tropical destinations, weather is extremely hard to predict. Even if the sky is grey, you can still swim, and it’s still going to be warm and pleasant, especially compared to cold and rainy Europe in winter (or North-West US as well).
Do you need a car in Playa del Carmen?
You definitely don’t need a car to get around the town; however, if you want to explore the areas outside the town or drive to various parks or Chichen Itza, having a car would be helpful. You can always hire a car for two or three days, for example, for a weekend, and make sure to have a pretty busy weekend trying to visit as many places as possible. If you decide to rent a car, I recommend using services like Rentalcars.com or Expedia because they have excellent third-party insurance, and it ends up way cheaper than just purchasing and full insurance from car providers directly. Make sure to avoid companies like national or Hertz because they tend to scam their customers in Mexico. We were [almost] scammed by National and heard about so many horrible stories about Hertz as well, so make sure to avoid them at any cost.
Working remotely from Playa Del Carmen: things you need to know
As I mentioned before, Playa Del Carmen is a perfect place for remote work. It’s probably the best place for remote work across all the Riviera Maya. The reason for that is the fact that there are so many beautiful new properties located 5-10 minutes away from the beaches. And if you’re working European time, you can actually start working very early, and you can be done by 2 or 3 pm, which leaves you with a bit of time to spend on the beach every day.
Alternatively, if you’re working local hours or US hours, you can either wake up earlier and spend the morning on the beach or take a longer lunch break and spend them on the beach as well. There are plenty of possibilities.
There are also plenty of food options for any budget. There are so many supermarkets as well (which is not the case in some other towns). It’s also just generally effortless to live and work from there, as everybody speaks English and there will be no communication issues whatsoever.
I actually got a separate post about spending a vacation in Playa del Carmen on a budget and some valuable tips for saving money there, so feel free to check it out if you’re interested.
How to deal with the noise in Playa del Carmen?
The only downside of working in Playa del Carmen is noise. A lot of properties that are located close enough to the beach are also located close enough to bars and nightclubs. We were very picky about the hotel we chose, as it had to be very quiet at night. You can either sleep using earplugs or pick a hotel/apartment that is located further away from 5th avenue and the beaches or is at the end of Playa del Carmen, with no more loud nightclubs located in the area.
For us, it was a small issue only because we worked European hours, which meant that we had to be awake and working by 4am and we had to got to sleep at 9pm at the latest.
Best hotels and apartments for remote work in Playa del Carmen
Finally, let’s chat about the best hotels and apartments to stay in if you plan to work remotely from Playa del Carmen. There are plenty of options for any budget, so I will make sure to include them in this list as well.
Best places for remote work in Playa del Carmen
Affordable places for remote work in Playa del Carmen:
Where did we work remotely in Playa del Carmen?
While in Mexico, we actually stayed in two different places in December and January. One of them being Andaz Mayakoba (read my full review of Andaz Mayakoba here), an upscale resort in Mayakoba, circa 10 minutes driving from Playa del Carmen. Andaz was the perfect place to work (however, the internet quality wasn’t that great in our room and wasn’t enough for Zoom calls). However, Andaz had a lot of different lounge areas that were just perfect for working. You could work from the beach (and have a good signal), from the Juice bar next to the beach (on comfy bean bags and chairs) and from a variety of restaurants that were open all day.
When we relocated to the heart of Playa del Carmen, we decided to book an apartment in an aparthotel, so we could cook when he had a chance. We booked a one-bedroom suite at Serenity Hotel Boutique, located in a quiet spot just 5 minutes away from the beach. Serenity Hotel Boutique had amazing internet speed (probably better than we had at home) and enough surfaces to work from. It also had a nice breakfast included in the price, which was very convenient for us!
Summary of working remotely from Playa del Carmen: things you need to know
Alright, I hope you found this article about the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen while working remotely useful for you and it helped you plan your trip. As I mentioned before, I think, Playa del Carmen is the best place for remote work on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. The main reason for that is good infrastructure (good transport connection and internet), affordable prices and the proximity to nice public beaches. Other destinations, e.g. Cancun or Tulum, lack these useful characteristics. For example, Cancun doesn’t have that many apartments close to lovely public beaches, restaurants and supermarkets, and Tulum doesn’t have great internet access yet (it’s definitely quite unreliable there).