The Playa del Carmen property scene and Cancun real estate areas are only about 1 hour away from each other; yet a comparison of Playa del Carmen beachfront for sale with that of Cancun shows fairly significant differences in lifestyle atmosphere. The following are some of the differences and similarities.
- High-rise vs. Low-rise – This is the most obvious visual difference; in Playa del Carmen, no building over 4 stories tall is permitted, giving a small-town atmosphere. In Cancun, there is no height restriction, and many condo buildings are high-rise. This also affects the real estate market, offering a larger variety in Cancun, sometimes with lower prices. On the other hand, Playa del Carmen tends to appeal to those who prefer the feel of a small community.
- Modern city vs. Provincial town – Closely related to this is the atmosphere of each community. Cancun was designed more or less in a modern suburban style with wide access roads, traffic circles, ample parking areas and large malls. Playa del Carmen’s atmosphere was more shaped by Italians expats who gave the low-rise city a very provincial feel.
- Beachfront & City - The connection between the beachfront and the downtown area also shapes the atmosphere. In Cancun, downtown is back from the beach separated from the hotel and condo area by a large lagoon; this emphasizes the suburban feel of the beachfront communities. Playa del Carmen’s downtown is located directly on the beachfront, and there is no distinction between the city and the hotel area. This emphasizes the small-town, walk-everywhere atmosphere.
- The Beaches – The beaches of Mexico’s Caribbean are wide, soft, white and warm, and the water is warm and a beautiful turquoise. These beaches are just as splendid in Cancun and Playa del Carmen alike.
- Modern Services – While Cancun excels in modern services, both offer large international supermarkets, malls (in Playa del Carmen, these are back in the new developments), movie theaters, state-of-the-art hospitals, etc. Cancun has the area’s main international airport, but this is only 45 minutes away from Playa del Carmen.
- Great Real Estate Prices – Both areas offer excellent value for the lifestyle. Prices are also low in the absolute sense, and homes or condos can be found for any budget. Pre-construction discounts and price reductions make this pricing even more accessible.
The preference between the two basically comes down to personal taste. Since they are so close, it’s also completely feasible for a buyer to view some properties in each area.
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