Not long after landing in Playa del Carmen, I started the hunt for a long-term apartment. Lucky for me, I was able to stay with my friend while I searched for a place of my own. I knew I wanted to find an apartment downtown (Centro) that would be close enough to 5th Avenue and the beach, but also close enough to the highway for an easy commute to work. With so many rental options available, it was a bit overwhelming at first but I discovered the following resources which made my search a little easier:
During my first couple of weekends in Playa, my friend and I walked all over downtown Playa del Carmen looking for apartment buildings with signs that said “Se Renta”. Once we found one, we would call the number listed to find out more information. More often than not, the apartments were not actually available but the landlords usually had other properties nearby to recommend. This is a great way to discover the area and find streets that you would like to live on, as well as gauge the proximity to nearby restaurants, shops, and grocery stores. If you don’t speak Spanish, I would recommend taking a picture of the phone number and asking a Spanish speaking friend to assist.
THE END RESULT
In the end, I was able to find a 1 bedroom apartment through the Rentas Playa website. My apartment is in a brand new building only 5 blocks from the beach and has an amazing rooftop pool. It came furnished with a couch, kitchen table, a queen-sized bed, and TV. It also came with some basic plates and dishes, but I still had to purchase some additional kitchen utensils, bedding, pillows, towels, etc. The monthly rent is about $600 USD, with most utilities included but with electricity as an added expense. I had to pay a 1 month deposit, and although mine did not, most apartments charge a contract fee for a notary signature as well. I was able to start with a 6 month lease, which I will have the option to renew.