The Mexican Caribbean is every digital nomad’s go-to spot in the colder months, particularly if they are coming from the neighboring United States.

It offers higher levels of safety than most destinations South of the border, the weather is phenomenal, and living can be affordable away from the resort zones.

Though options are plentiful, one beach town in particular is stealing the spotlight.

Officially the most sought-after spot for remote workers in Mexico, it is a shor one-hour drive from the bustling Cancun, and soon enough, it will host train connections to the whole of the Yucatan peninsula.

Playa Del Carmen is on every nomad’s radar for a ‘workcation’ in 2024, and these are 5 of the main reasons why:

It’s Very Foreigner-Friendly

Visitors mingling on Fundadores Park beach at Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean coast of Riviera Maya with performers under the Portal Maya sculpture.

Digital nomads tend to flock to places that are prepared to host them.

In other words, where they won’t be faced with nonstop bureaucracy when staying long term, where there are very few difficulties integrating, and the local community is welcoming to foreigners.

When it comes to Playa, it has a thriving expat community, particularly U.S. citizens who relocate to the area either for the winter season or permanently in search of a better quality of life and access to the sea, and it could definitely be argued it is one of the most nomad-friendly spots in the world.

The large number of non-Mexicans living here makes it an incredibly multicultural, exciting place to be.

You’ll meet country-hoppers from all over the world, and you’ll likely have no problem communicating in English or making friends with fellow long-term visitors.

Working remotely while traveling by yourself can be quite the lonely life, but with Playa’s lively social scene, a myriad of bars, and coworking centers, where you can meet like-minded people, you have simply no excuse to be holed up in an Airbnb room for the month.

It Has Great Infrastructure

quinta avenida, Playa del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen is primarily a leisure destination, and it’s no secret it caters to big spenders and middle-class American families looking to splurge on an all-inclusive vacation for their sole yearly getaway, but luxury resorts are not the only thing it has in abundance.

This is a medium-sized municipality, after all, with over 300,000 inhabitants, and the ‘digital nomad infrastructure’ is among the best in Mexico, with numerous coworking hubs scattered around the busy Downtown area and high-speed, free WiFi in key zones, such as the shop-lined Quinta Avenida.

Some of the best coworking centers in the Mexican Caribbean are, in fact, located here, including the well-equipped COwork-in, where you can either rent private offices for the day, or share the space with other professionals, with weekly rates starting from only $49.

Nest is yet another popular option, with outdoor workstations, where you can bask in the Mexican sun while staying on the grind, and strong air conditioning.

Selina is our personal favorite: not only is it very modern, it has a common kitchen and lockers, and even a poolside bar and cinema room.

Tropical Atmosphere

woman on a beach on Playa del Carmen

Perhaps the main reason nomads have been flocking to Playa Del Carmen recently, however, is the town’s pristine Caribbean beaches.

Let’s face it: Mayan culture is fascinating, and the fact that Mexicans are hospitable is certainly a plus, but the big draw here are these white sands and turquoise ocean.

If you’re a digital nomad hailing from a big city like New York or Chicago, where climate conditions are suboptimal, winters are freezing cold, and the nearest somewhat paradisaical beach is hundreds of miles away, it’s no wonder you’d be keen on moving house to tropical Playa.

Basing yourself here, you can carry on working as usual (potentially spending less per month than your average living costs back home) and every time you clock out of work, you can always head straight to a sunny Mamitas beach for a dip in the warm waters.

Some sargassum is expected this time of year – the brown, smelly seaweed that often batters the Mexican Caribbean Coast in spring – but municipal authorities are aware of visitors’ concerns, and have already put preventive measures in place.

It Is More Peaceful Than Other Caribbean Cities

mexican caribbean playa del carmen

Playa is a lot less chaotic than Cancun, the largest Riviera Maya city in the vicinity. It is certainly no quaint fishing village left undisturbed by overdevelopment, but considering it is home to over 300,000 inhabitants and a popular beach, it is relatively peaceful and safe.

You shouldn’t let your guard down and walk around in crowded spaces flashing expensive jewelry or other valuable items, nor leave your phone resting on the table when dining alfresco, as petty crimes are a common issue, similar to every major tourist city.

On the other hand, Numbeo reports that tourists’ concerns about getting ‘attacked’, being ‘insulted’, or facing discrimination on the basis of race, sex or origin are ‘very low‘. As for ‘being mugged or robbed’, it rises up to ‘moderate’.

The data is in line with the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory.

According to the entity, Quintana Roo, the state Playa belongs to, is currently at Level 2, meaning crime levels are only moderately higher, and Americans should keep a close eye on personal belongings.

Airbnbs Are Becoming Safer To Book

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Airbnb is the leading platform for nomads booking long-term stays in Mexico, a country where short-term visitors are still prioritized.

All-inclusive stays remain the most popular offer by a wide margin. Needless to say, forking out over $600 per night is not feasible for the vast majority of remote workers.

Due to increased demand, Playa is now cracking down on unregulated Airbnb listings and improving safety levels for guests – a sizable percentage of whom are digital nomads – from conducting spot inspections to detecting serious technical faults.

Over 60,000 Airbnbs were available in Playa Del Carmen in 2023, but as The Cancun Sun reports, a whopping 75% of them have undetected gas leaks and other problems that could put a resident’s life in danger. Finally, authorities have decided to act.

This is only one of a number of measures the wider state of Quintana Roo is implementing to increase vacation rental safety: earlier this year, a new framework obliging landlords to sign up to a Regional Registry was introduced, making it harder for Airbnb owners to escape regulations.

Better Connectivity

Happy Traveler Walking Into A Train, Unspecified Location

Finally Playa Del Carmen will host its very own Maya Train station, linking it to Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Tulum, and other lesser-known gems of the Mayan Riviera that were previously inaccessible to nomads based here.

The poor infrastructure of public transport has been a main cause for complaints among visitors for years, who often have to turn to tour companies, unreliable bus companies, or overpriced car rentals to travel in the Mexican Caribbean.

As the Maya Train continues it’s launch from Playa (it is currently only connected to Cancun), they will not only have more autonomy and be able to commute safely between cities and reach all of those gorgeous Mayan ruins and hidden cenotes, but they will also save up a ton of money on taxi and tour fees.

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