Stretched out along Mexico’s northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, the Mayan Riviera offers some of the best values in the Caribbean. From raucous Cancun to trendy, crunchy Tulum, the region is peppered with monstrous all-inclusive resorts and beachside boutique hotels, but if you’re looking for something a bit different, Playa del Carmen has the best selection of Airbnb rentals on the coast.
Besides being centrally located for anyone looking to explore the Mayan ruins, cenotes, and fishing villages around the area, Playa del Carmen has plenty of beaches along with the lively pedestrian-friendly Calle Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue). Here are 10 of our favorite rentals in Playa del Carmen.
Note to reader: Descriptions correspond to the images just above text. And, please make sure to double-check prices and details before booking your stay.
One block from the beach and one block from Quinta Avenida, this condo rental (pictured at top) includes the use of the building’s rooftop infinity pool, which looks out over the sea all the way to Cozumel. There’s a king-size bed and a futon for extra guests, plus Wi-Fi, concierge service, a cleaning service and a provided local cell phone. There’s also a small kitchenette, a washer and dryer, and a balcony.
This off-the-beaten-path two-bedroom house is two blocks from the beach and Quinta Avenida, with a private garden and jacuzzi, clean and comfortable common areas, and a kitchenette. Past guests say that host Mateo, a French expat, is helpful and communicative.
Located in the aptly named Centro neighborhood, this modern apartment is a bit farther away from the beach (an eight minute walk), but offers access to a rooftop pool, lounge, gym, parking and spa (extra fee).
Soak up the sea breeze at this open-air fourth-floor penthouse in Playacar Fase 1, a private gated community just south of Playa del Carmen. There’s plenty of outdoor space, including a rooftop deck and access to the community pool and tennis courts.
Antique furniture and colorful Mexican tile give this one-bedroom apartment ton of character, and with nightly rates starting at $49, it’s one of the best values on our list. There’s a cute little kitchen and dining area, a breezy terrace, and a sunny bedroom, and guests can use the complex’s pool.
This apartment might be pushing the “budget” label just a tad (nightly rates start at $120), but we think it’s still a bargain considering it comes with a private plunge pool off the patio. The light and bright space has a big kitchen, modern bathroom and outdoor dining room. It’s two minutes from the beach, and parking is included.
Take in the ocean view from this fourth-floor apartment in the Mamitas Beach neighborhood. Tucked between two beach access points and Quinta Avenida, the colorful space comes with access to private parking, beach chairs and an umbrella, and a shared rooftop pool and gym.
Escape from the noise of the city at this studio apartment surrounded by jungle-like gardens. A tranquil porch with a thatched roof looks out over the main home’s pool and grounds, and the apartment is equipped with a small kitchen. A car is recommended for this out-of-the-way spot, but past guests say that owner Benji is quick to offer rides as far as Tulum, where he runs a restaurant.
With room for six guests, this private house is situated behind El Jardin community center, where owners Paula (a yoga teacher) and Honza (a musician) host breakfast and lunch, an eco-market, and regular live music and dancing. The apartment is spacious and centrally located, but lacks air conditioning. Most guests say the ceiling fans are sufficient for keeping things cool.
This contemporary loft in Playacar is adjacent to a golf course and wildlife-filled jungle (keep an eye out for toucans). The apartment faces a small shared pool, and it’s a 10-minute walk to Quinta Avenida and the beach. The host, Andrea, has nearly 50 five-star reviews, and has several other properties for rent.
Paste’s Airbnb columnist Erica Jackson Curran is a former alt-weekly editor turned moonlight freelancer based in Richmond, Virginia.