Playacar is a popular expat neighborhood in Playa del Carmen. It’s actually where we live currently. The large gated community is full of homes, apartment buildings, hotels, and golf courses. Let’s start by diving into the basics of Playacar.
Basics of Playacar – Phases, Location, Security
Playacar is located just south of the town of Playa del Carmen, although it is a part of the town itself. There are four entrances to Playacar via roads, and you can also get in via paths by the Xaman-Ha ruins. It is bordered by the 307 highway, the beach, the Playa del Carmen airport, and the jungle.
Playacar is actually split up into two Phases, or Fases in Spanish. Phase I is the smaller of the two, and located near the beach. It is considerably more expensive, and almost entirely residences.
Phase 2 is the main area of Playacar. There are multiple big hotels, tons of homes and apartments, several golf courses, and shops and stores. This Phase is significantly larger, and can be found around the main circle, Xaman-Ha.
Both phases of Playacar have security stands at the entrances. At these security stands, guards are working to keep Playacar one of the safest areas of Playa del Carmen. Drivers must leave their licenses, receiving them back upon their exit. Residents can get electronic gate openers, while walkers are often permitted to come and go.
Living in Playacar
Many people choose to live in Playacar. There are several pros and several cons to living in this area. First, let’s go through the reasons why you may want to consider Playacar as the location for your new home.
Playacar is definitely one of the safest areas of town. With security at the entrances and at most buildings, crime is relatively low here. We both walk around late at night alone without any worries here.
Playacar is also much quieter than the center of town. This is great for those who want to avoid the partying and clubs, or who simply want a quiet home.
Playacar is family and dog friendly. Many buildings have areas for pets, and you can’t walk around without seeing people and their dogs. There are also a lot of young families and even a public park with a playground.
Unlike many other housing developments, Playacar does not all look the same. There are houses, villas, apartments, shops golf courses, and more. It doesn’t feel as artificial as other developments and gated communities.
Finally, Playacar is close to town. Yes, it’s not right in town, but it is closer than basically all other developments. For those who want to live somewhere quiet and safe, there’s nowhere closer to town than Playacar.
On the downside, Playacar is expensive. You’re likely to pay significantly more to live in this area of town. Other developments and the center of town are much cheaper as far as rent goes.
To add to this, basically everything is expensive in Playacar. The restaurants are a bit pricy, deliveries may cost more, and even your electricity bill may be at a higher rate. This is definitely not the most cost-efficient area in town.
For some, Playacar is too far out of town. A bike or scooter is definitely handy when living here. If you prefer walking, it’s a good kilometer or two to walk into town, depending on where you live. This can make it difficult to get groceries or go shopping without transportation.
Many people say Playacar is not “real” Mexico. Playacar definitely doesn’t feel like the center of town or most other places I’ve been in Mexico. However, there are a lot of Mexicans living in Playacar. Our building is predominantly Mexicans from all over Mexico.
If you want to walk through Playacar, you can likely walk right through the gate to check it out. It’s a great place to go for a walk or a run, or take your dog.
You can access beautiful beaches that are signficantly quieter than the beaches in town. The beaches in Playacar made our list of the 11 Best Beaches in (and near) Playa del Carmen, and is our personal go-to beach.
You may also investigate one of the many hotels in Playacar. It’s a great place to stay. It’s closer to town than many of the resorts to the north of Playa, and offers all Playa del Carmen has to offer.
There are also attractions like world-class golf courses, the Mayan ruins of Xaman-Ha, and the bird aviary with flamingos, spoonbills, pelicans, and more. Playacar is definitely worth checking out if you’re in town visiting.
Questions about Playacar? Want to find a place to live in Playacar, or looking for a hotel recommendation in town? Feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions!