While the majority of focus for Playa del Carmen retirement is on the gated communities and resorts away from the tourist activity and noise of central Playa del Carmen, there are actually some quiet, peaceful residential neighborhoods directly in the downtown area, which present an ideal option for an active retirement lifestyle, within walking distance to just about everything.
The majority of these neighborhoods are found in the north half of downtown, which has recently seen a large surge in high-quality condominium complexes appear. From here, the beach is about a 5-10 minute walk, depending on which area. These beaches are Mexico's most famous, because of they are very wide, and have soft sand, stretching out for miles and miles! They are also a real visual pleasure, with their famous turquoise water.
On the way to the beach is Fifth Avenue, the focal point of the area's tourism activity. Here, there are cafes, restaurants, bars, live music concerts, excellent shopping options for clothes, jewelry and nick-nacks. While this is the “busy" area which many people refer to downtown, it is actually very full of relaxed people, going for walks, looking around, etc. - no cars are allowed on this street.
In case a retiree should feel they want something quieter, the downtown beaches are very empty and quiet most weekdays. Also, a block or two back the other way (towards the quiet condo neighborhoods) all the tourists disappear. In the neighborhood there are a few private schools. Also a block or two away is another main street; here there are a few bakeries, cafes, a fruit an vegetable market, some little restaurants which sell good, local food and tasty breakfasts at reasonable prices. All of this is a very short walk away.
In the same area there is a large supermarket, similar to Walmart. They have special prices for fruit and vegetables on Wednesdays, and even include a little cafe and pizzeria within the restaurant to sit down and relax during shopping.
The point here is that just about everything is within walking distance, but relaxing as well. Many of these condo complexes include parking. If residents choose a car-free retirement, taxis are inexpensive. The surrounding area includes many benefits more, including golf courses, movie theaters and state-of-the-art hospitals.
When considering your Playa del Carmen retirement options, consider the quieter downtown neighborhoods; they might be the right choice for you.
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