Since 2013, I’ve called Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya home. When I visit Iowa and talk with friends, they always ask “what is life like, do you just spend all day on the beach?” The answer to that is, no, not every day at the beach, maybe every other day. 😉
But seriously, life in the Riviera Maya really is something special. When I visit other countries and even the city I grew up in, I can’t help but notice and appreciate the differences.
I think the thing that gets me every time is seeing the ocean. Which makes sense because I grew up and lived in Iowa my entire life before moving to Playa del Carmen. Being landlocked for 30 years really makes you appreciate the sea. You’d think living here for a while, I’d be used to the turquoise blue of the Caribbean, but every single time I see it, I just can’t get over how beautiful it is. One of the many great things about living in Playa del Carmen is that it is a super easy city to maneuver in, so no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always been less than 15 minutes from the beach, walking, biking, or in the car. My favorite way to get around town is BiciPlaya, an affordable bike rental app with locations all over Playa, on both sides of the highway.
Another thing that I love about life in the Riviera Maya is how easy it is to get fresh and affordable vegetables and fruit. On almost every corner you can find a fruteria where you can find allllll the veggies, tropical fruits like mango, dragonfruit, and papaya, and fresh juices that they make daily. One of my favorite places to shop and one of the most popular for locals and expats alike is DAC, in downtown Playa. Living healthy and being active is not only easy, but inexpensive. Gym memberships are incredibly affordable, with monthly membership fees as low as $399 pesos a month.
So the perfect day for me starts with a bike ride to the beach, to swim in the Caribbean, a workout at my gym, then I head to the fruteria to get some fresh veggies for lunch. Dinner is a night out with friends, did I mention Playa del Carmen has over 800 restaurants?! International cuisine, national cuisine, you name it, we’ve got that type of food. There is a restaurant for all budgets, something fancy for special occasions or something more local for some of the best tacos you’ll have in your life.
Life in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya is truly all that it’s cracked up to be. The pace of life, the proximity to the sea, and the fact that I can maintain a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank truly makes this my home. Whether you’re single, married with kids, or retired, there is something for everyone here. And did I mention the tacos??!?! 😋😉