Founder of Adventurely.
Playa Del Carmen is a blend of convenience, community, and paradise for digital nomads and remote workers. I find it to be a great destination for first-time nomads.
While Playa and Tulum are both popular Mexican beach towns, I recommend Playa over Tulum if you're working remotely. Playa is more walkable and convenient to get around, the Wifi is more reliable, and the community ties between digital nomads and locals in Playa are stronger. I’ve found the nomad community in Playa to be extremely welcoming. They’re fun, upbeat folks to be around. My biggest piece of advice is to explore Playa beyond 5th Avenue. You will inevitably encounter the infamous "5th Avenue" tourist strip, which gives a Vegas/NYC Times Square feel. You might like it, but you might also be turned off by it. If the latter is the case, you won’t be alone. Playa beyond 5th Avenue is why so many nomads love working remotely here! You’ll find calmer beaches and relaxing residential neighborhoods where most nomads and expats tend to stay.
For cuisine, tacos reign supreme in Playa. Chilaquiles are also popular (nachos with eggs or chicken and lots of sauce), as well as ceviche. The best food in Mexico tends to be in CDMX or Oaxaca, but Playa is a close 3rd or 4th contender! You’ll find an abundance of fresh, exotic fruit and veggies in commercial supermarkets and local stands. Food and grocery delivery is easy with Rappi, a local delivery app.
Most people navigate Playa on foot or by bike. It's easy to find local taxis or "collectivo" local vans. The beach is extremely convenient to access, as it runs along the entire length of Playa. This city makes a great base for weekend trips to other nearby destinations like Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Mahahual, Bacalar, or Tulum. Staying fit is easy. There are several gyms, and many studios for yoga/pilates/meditation, CrossFit, and salsa dance classes. There is a group of digital nomads in the city that get together to run along 5th avenue in the morning, or head to the public outdoor running track in the city center.
While there's always a party happening somewhere in Playa, you can find peace and quiet here. It’s a place where you can have a vibrant social life as a nomad, but also focus on your work if you need to. My favorite thing about living in Playa is the great work-life integration I enjoy day-to-day. Savoring great Mexican food and sunshine, feeling connected to a great local and nomad community, working from the many coworking spaces in Playa, and enjoying views of the beach every day.
Check out the Nomads giving back events & current volunteer opportunities! You're bound to meet many digital nomads through their community and work worldwide!