MexicoPlaya del CarmenReal Estate

Invest in the Best Places to Buy Property in Playa Del Carmen

Unlike a retirement home, buying real estate for investing purposes requires purchasing property in specific areas to maximize rental income. Depending on the location and your ROI goals, the real estate market in PDC may dictate selecting a fully-furnished house or condo, new development, lot, or land. While no listing agent is required to buy from a developer, many real estate agents here offer virtual tours that can easily be viewed online.


A gated community located on the south end of Playa Del Carmen. It is split into two phases, Playacar Fase 1 and Fase 2. Both offer luxurious living and a range of amenities along with the finest Playa del Carmen homes and villas, with the first phase having many options along the beautiful beaches near downtown Playa.

Phase 1

While this is the older area of the two, the beachfront homes for sale along the Yucatan Peninsula in Fase 1 are some of the most sought-after Riviera Maya properties. Here you’ll find many access points to the famous Playacar Beach, along with Xaman-Ha, the Mayan ruins of Playacar which all residents and renters can visit for free. The tennis courts beside the ruins are also easily booked.

This area is known for having luxurious oceanfront homes, lush tropical gardens, quiet streets, and a peaceful atmosphere. Many of the homes in Phase 1 have a beachfront location with stunning views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea.

The larger properties in Fase 1 led to many foreigners buying a family vacation home here. With Playacar catering to a very exclusive client list, the return on investment through rental income can be quite high during the tourist season.

Phase 2

The newer and more developed of the two Playacar areas, Fase 2 offers a wide range of housing options that is not usually found in Mexico real estate. This includes apartments, condos, and large homes with options available for many different budgets. Property values, however, tend to be higher for those built around the Playacar Golf Course and Hard Rock Cafe Clubhouse.

While Phase 2 is not located on the beach, you can still walk to the public access points in Playacar Phase 1, along with Quinta Avenida and Playa Fundadores. The main selling point beyond golfing is the fact it’s a gated community where visitors must identify themselves to enter. Many families purchase homes before because the streets are safe for their kids to play on.

You’ll also find the domed Xaman-Ha Bird Sanctuary in Phase 2 which features birds indigenous to the Yucatan Peninsula. The Hospiten Hospital backs up against Playacar Phase 2, while the Centro Maya shopping mall and the Cinemax are across the street.


Located further south of Playa’s 5th Avenue this narrow part of town runs north of the enchanting Calle 38 to Avenida CTM and is just a stone’s throw away from the action. Zazil-Ha properties are in high demand for owners looking to invest in the Riviera Maya region, as real estate in this quiet neighborhood offers a mix of convenience and relaxation with easy beach access.

Many new businesses and services are set up in this part of town, with new cafes and restaurants opening each month. The recent addition of the new Chedraui supermarket on Avenida 10 and Calle 34, and the large Ipana development has only added to the area’s appeal. The nearby Mario Villanueva Sports Complex is popular for its running track, tennis, and basketball courts, along with dancing, yoga, and fitness classes.

Calle 38 has one of the best restaurant scenes in Playa del Carmen, with this tree-lined street having many delicious favorites to eat at, including Mexican favorite Cueva del Chango and the Jamaican restaurant Rockas. Zazil-Ha also has a great selection of hotels and vacation rentals with budget-friendly options to luxury 5-star resorts.

It’s an ideal location for families, expats, or couples who want to enjoy a peaceful location. Many new developments are being built here with pre-sale prices, but we recommend using a trusted real estate agent before starting the buying process for an unbuilt unit.


The main hub of the city features the famous Fifth Avenue, a pedestrian walkway lined with restaurants, bars, shopping malls, global brand stores, and local boutique shops. Once a small fishing village, the Centro neighborhood spans from the south where the Playa del Carmen airport and ferry terminal are located and reaches all the way to Zazil-Ha. From east to west, the central area spans from the beach to the highway.

The benefit of living in the heart of tourist destinations is the proximity to all the fun. Homes and condos in the downtown core make great investment properties as they are in high demand on vacation rental websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway.

There are, however, many hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs in this part of town. When looking to purchase property in Playa Centro, it’s important to visit the surrounding streets during the day and night to get a sense of traffic and noise levels.

Many real estate listings will simply say ‘Centro’ and a ‘few blocks from the beach’, but if they are near main shopping streets they are overly busy. Many condos for sale here are somewhat older, however, several new developments started popping up in the last few years.

Colonia Hollywood

Despite not appearing on many maps, as it’s officially a sub-district of the Gonzalo Guerrero neighborhood, Colonia Hollywood spans from Calle 20 and 34 between Avenida 20 and 30. The local community is the one who gave it a new name, complete with spray-painted street signs. With its cozy cafes and charming tree-lined streets, the Hollywood neighborhood is popular with both tourists and expats looking for charming and affordable places to stay.

One of the main draws is the abundance of restaurants, many of which serve wonderful coffee to digital nomads. The cafes here have excellent combo menus and good Wi-Fi, making them perfectly comfortable for remote workers. One standout spot is Mercado 30, a courtyard filled with restaurants and shops. Papa Charly’s, an Italian restaurant connected to an artisan ice cream shop, is another must-visit.

Colonia Hollywood area also boasts the local sports stadium, where visitors can join one of the many exercise classes or watch a soccer game. Many expats and digital nomads choose to rent apartments due to their proximity to the bustling 5th Avenue without all the noise.

The buildings here tend to be more traditional and individually styled with many apartments converted from larger townhouses. While this desirable location can provide a good return on investment, it’s important to note that not all buildings in the area have private security.

Colonia Colosio

This very large neighborhood of Luis Donaldo Colosio stretches all the way from Avenida CTM (Calle 46) to Calle 110 between the beach and Carretera Federal 308. It is known for condos near La Quinta Avenida and a mix of local residential housing that lead up to the commercial areas around Avenida 30.

Colosio experienced significant development in recent years many foreign investors predicting it to be in high demand as the commercial shops along 5th Avenue expand towards Punta Esmerelda. Many newer apartment blocks are being built here with expansion already reaching Calle 72.

Due to its open spaces and laid-back vibe, many artisans, dog owners, and digital nomads rent in Colosio while families tend to stick to building no farther than Calle 58. Rooftop pools and sun loungers can be found on almost every building, but the smaller lot size in Colosio means they are more for dipping than swimming pools.

The beaches here are less touristy with no beach clubs or rental chairs. Beach Volleyball Playa del Carmen sets up two nets every day around 2-3 pm near the Calle 72 beach access point and everyone is welcome to join. Playa 88 (Calle 88) and Punta Esmerelda (Calle 110) and are both blue flag beaches that have amenities such as toilets and bicycle parking.