Do you love the Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen, or Akumal, or Tulum and want to stay for more than a short vacation? But how do you find long-term rentals in Playa Del Carmen? What do you need to consider before agreeing to your long-term rental in Tulum? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of long-term rentals in Akumal? As well, what is different when considering long-term rentals in Playa Del Carmen, or Akumal, or Tulum and a short-term rental? Below we answer the most common questions and highlight things you may not have considered yet.
So, you’ve stayed before at a vacation rental for a week or two. Or at an all-inclusive resort and enjoyed it so much you are looking to stay for longer this time. Long-term rentals in Tulum, Akumal, Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding areas are becoming more popular. And different types of peoples are searching for them. This includes
As a result, demand for long-term rentals in Akumal, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum is on the increase. So it can be challenging to find the right place and often means you have to book months in advance.
Remote workers are a growing trend all over the world. The recent Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this trend. And businesses are much more amenable and supportive of their employees working remotely. You can live on one side of the world and work for a company on a completely different continent. But remote workers have some distinct requirements when looking for a place to call home for several weeks, or months, at a time. For example, internet bandwidth, and reliability are the #1 priority. You may also need to have access to reliable business support services such as printing, or office supplies. And you will want to make sure you find a place that has good working spaces. Oh, and one that is quiet and not full of party-goers 24/7.
So long-term rentals in Playa Del Carmen have the services you need, and the social life. But it could also be very noisy and a little distracting too. Instead, a location outside of Playa might be better. Where you have access to business services and social life, but you also are in a quieter location.
People from all over the world come to the Riviera Maya, fall in love with it, and buy property here. Some do it sight unseen and buy over the internet using an unknown middle man. But the smarter ones do their due diligence and come to stay for several weeks or months at a time. This allows them first to explore several areas and stay in one, two or three places for a few weeks at a time. Staying in a long-term rental in Tulum, or nearby, for example, allows you to decide if Tulum is the location you want to buy in. Or if instead, Akumal a few minutes up the road might be the better option.
As well, a long-term rental stay can allow you to appreciate things you would like to have in a property before you purchase it! Thus, changing some of the criteria you might be looking for in a property. Finally staying in a long-term rental can allow you to look at lots of properties and become familiar with the real estate market in Mexico.
Often potential real estate buyers are looking for a long-term rental in locations they are interested in buying a property. However, for those undecided, they look for a central location with good access. From there they can explore a large area throughout the Riviera Maya. So, the location of a long-term rental property is important if you are buying property.
Usually less important is being on the beach or in a busy, bustling area filled with tourists. Those places they can easily visit. Often potential buyers are more interested in a secure and safe neighbourhood. Somewhere they can relax and learn to assimilate into the local culture. So rather than getting a long-term rental in Tulum on the main Centro, they are on the outskirts of Tulum, or in a smaller place located nearby such as Akumal.
Like those looking to buy property, Snowbirds are often looking for a place to stay outside of the hustle and bustle of the party scene. Snowbirds are usually looking for a long-term rental with some of the comforts of home. Such as modern appliances, a washer-dryer, and a good kitchen. They want a place where they can relax, feel safe and secure, while also being close to activities and amenities. This is one of the reasons long-term rentals in Akumal or close to it, are popular with snowbirds. Akumal is quiet, beautiful, and located close to many beaches, Mayan Ruins, cenotes and other attractions. While also being only a few minutes from Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. And, as you'll see below, rental rates are usually more affordable too.
Snowbirds are often interested in long-term rentals for 3-6 months or more. And usually over the high season Fall and Winter months. As a result, it can be challenging finding an owner who wants to forsake guaranteed short-term rental income in the high season.
In the summer months, Mexican residents from Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Merida flock to the Mayan Riviera coast. Some come for a short-term vacation stay, while others stay for a month, or longer. Often, it’s for a summer vacation with the family, or to escape the heat and bustle of the city. In Mexico, it can get very hot inland. And Mexican residents and nationals come to the Riviera Maya seeking the beach, the ocean breeze and the cooler temperatures.
Mexican residents and nationals know the fabulous attractions that the Riviera Maya offers. Those staying for an extended period are looking for long-term rentals that are close enough to beaches, cenotes and services. While also offering some of the comforts needed in a long-term stay. Finding an affordable long-term rental, for friends and family in the Playa Del Carmen, Tulum or Akumal area is also a high priority.
You are familiar with short-term rentals, but what is considered a long-term rental? And what are your options? This depends on how long you want to stay in Playa Del Carmen, Tulum or Akumal. Anything under a 3-month stay is a short-term rental. And many people would consider a stay under 6 months as short-term. But, some rental owners also offer monthly rates.
The main difference is the price you will pay. For a short-term stay (less than 1 month), you may be able to get a small discount if you stay for 2 weeks instead of 2 days. For example, a 10% discount if you stay 2-3 weeks. Often it is season dependent, and discounts are less common during high season. Also, depending upon the policies of the rental owner, you may have to pay a damage deposit. But more often nowadays you won’t be asked for a damage deposit for a short-term rental.
For a stay of 1 or 2 months, you will often be able to negotiate a larger discount. Typically, 20-30% off the standard short-term rate. Depending upon the rental owner you may also have to pay utilities on top of these. For short-term rentals, the cost of utilities is included in the rental price. And for monthly rentals, this is sometimes the case too. But, don’t be surprised if you pay a fee for utilities on top of the monthly fee you negotiate.
For a stay of 3-months or more, and definitely for stays of 6-months, you will receive a larger discount. Often 40-60% off the short-term rates. Added to this will be the cost of utilities. For long-term rentals in Akumal, Tulum, or Playa Del Carmen you will also have to pay a damage deposit. And often the last month's rent and the first months rent on booking. All later monthly rental payments are due in advance of each month.
As you won’t be staying in a resort, you will want to make sure you choose a location that is safe and secure. Crime in Mexico is like crime in many parts of the world. Often it is higher in cities and towns with larger populations. And crime rates in Mexico are much lower than you may perceive. While there is more crime in the larger town of Playa Del Carmen than in smaller communities in the rest of the Riviera Maya. So when finding long-term rentals in Playa Del Carmen make sure you find a place in a safe neighbourhood. Or find a long-term rental in a gated community or small neighbourhood within easy reach of Playa. Such as Akumal.
As you’re staying for several months, your Riviera Maya long-term rental doesn’t have to be on the beach. While you can find beachfront rentals, these are much more expensive. And as you’ll be living in the area, finding a place that’s a few minutes walk or drive from the beach can be much more affordable.
However, you want to make sure that where you stay has access to the beaches. In Mexico, while all beaches are public, the land in front of beaches isn’t. Often resorts and other property owners buy the land in front of a beach and then restrict access to those staying at their properties. For example, in Playa Del Carmen and Cancun many beaches aren’t accessible to the general public.
So, look for a long-term rental off the beach (to reduce the price) but within easy walking or driving distance to public beach entrances. For example, most rental properties in Tulum aren’t on the beach but are several blocks away. But there are public beach entrances. Around Akumal, several beaches within easy walking or driving distance are accessible free, or for a nominal fee.
The location of the long-term rental you decide upon should be determined by the lifestyle you want to live while staying in the Riviera Maya. For example, if you want to be in the heart of the hustle and bustle, next to restaurants and bars then you’ll want a place off 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen. Or off the main road going through Centro in Tulum. Both are a hive of activity morning, noon, and night, especially in Playa. Or if you want to be right on the beach then there are many options up and down the coastline. But be prepared to pay more for the beachfront location. These rentals will be less affordable.
Alternatively, if you want to be in a central location, in a safe and secure community, and with close access to either Playa or Tulum, then there are options along the coast. Many of these are around Akumal due to its central position with Playa Del Carmen 15 mins to the north, and Tulum 15 mins to the south. Here again, you can find beachfront long-term rentals but these are less affordable. Yet, if you don’t mind a short walk to a beach there are affordable options available in safe and secure communities. These are the places where you can relax in a home away from home rental, in a secluded spot. All the while still enjoying the full activities the Riviera Maya has to offer within easy reach.
When staying in a long-term rental in Tulum, Akumal, or Playa you will want to make sure that your accommodation is well-equipped. For example, do you have a washer-dryer or are you within walking distance of a laundrette? Is the kitchen modern and have appropriate appliances, such as a large fridge-freezer? While you won’t often find an oven here, you should make sure you have a good quality cooktop. If possible, a gas cooktop as it’ll be cheaper than electricity for your utility costs. As well, what’s the kitchen equipped with? The last thing you want to do is to have to go to Chedraui or Walmart to buy bowls, whisks, can-openers, salad bowls, serving platters, cutting boards, a quality knife-set, etc., etc.
And don’t forget to ask about parking and Wifi? Is parking available and easy? What’s the internet connection like? Can you get the internet where you are? How many hours a day can you receive the internet? In some places, the internet connection is poor, available only for parts of the day, or completely non-existent.
Also, a consideration is the amenities offered in the building. For example, what’s the pool like? Are there other outdoor areas, such as a terrace or deck? Is there a balcony? Are there areas with hammocks for you to relax in, or jacuzzi hot-tubs to enjoy?
If you plan to take your pet with you during your long-term stay then you will find it harder to secure accommodation. Many rental owners don't allow pets of any sort. Some will allow small dogs or cats, but often not large ones. And you should expect to pay extra, or at least a pet damage deposit.
Long-term and monthly rental rates vary based upon their location. And if its high or low season, or how well furnished they are, and the size of the accommodation. But, in general for 2-bedroom apartments, with a pool, and good wifi, in safe communities/neighbourhoods you can expect ranges listed below.
Long-term rentals in Playa Del Carmen $1,100 – $5,500 USD per month
Long-term rentals in Tulum $1,200 - $6,000 USD per month
Besides the monthly rent, utility costs will be added on to long-term rentals. Many property rentals will bill you an amount after they receive the utility costs. Some, however, will charge you a flat fee per month which they add on to the monthly rent. This simplifies payment. If your usage is significantly more than the amount you have been charged, you will be billed for the difference.
Utility costs for long-term rentals can vary a lot. Usually, the most expensive item is the amount of electricity used. This is often due to how much you use the A/C. As well, gas is often less expensive. So finding a rental that has a gas stove/cooktop, and which uses gas to heat the hot water, and run the dryer, can be less expensive.
A typical range of utility costs is $40 - $100 per month.
Policies for the amount of damage deposit charged also vary. Most common is an up-front payment of 50% of one month's rent.
There are many factors to consider when looking for long-term rentals in the Riviera Maya. Information on specific long-term rentals is available here. If you would like a quote on a specific type of accommodation please contact us. And don’t forget to download your checklist of 29 THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE SIGNING ON TO YOUR LONG-TERM VACATION RENTAL. It'll help you find your ideal long-term vacation rental.