Whether you’re traveling or on vacation, there’s nothing worse than getting an upset stomach and having your fun interrupted. You might be wondering, can you drink tap water in Playa del Carmen?
Drinking tap water in Playa del Carmen is not safe, but you can still brush your teeth and clean yourself with it. Most locations, however, will serve purified or bottled water, and you might even find some places with their own filtration systems.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the tap water in Playa del Carmen, including why you should avoid drinking it and what it is safe to be used for.
Can I Drink the Tap Water?
At home, it’s easy to get used to drinking water straight out of the tap, but it’s not always safe to do so in other countries. Many places worldwide do not have the same water purification infrastructure as countries like the United States, and the regulations on tap water are often very different.
Generally, it’s not safe to drink tap water anywhere in Mexico, including Playa del Carmen. Although the water that comes out of the taps has been purified to some degree, it is not safe for consumption.
The distribution network for tap water in Mexico does not have the same sanitation standards as we are used to. Therefore water is likely to become contaminated before it reaches the taps. In fact, most locals won’t even drink water straight from the tap – they stick to bottled or filtered water instead.
What Happens if You Drink the Tap Water?
Drinking tap water in Mexico is obviously not an immediate death sentence, but the likelihood of you becoming sick is quite high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 30% and 70% of all travelers experience stomach upset when they are abroad, and the chances are much higher in locations with unclean tap water.
If you drink the tap water in Playa del Carmen, there is a high chance of exposing yourself to bacteria, viruses, or parasites. That means that you can develop all kinds of sickness just from a single glass.
The most common illness associated with drinking unpurified tap water is traveler’s diarrhea, and the symptoms can include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Gastrointestinal problems are not the only risk, though, as you could also contract a parasite or another virus as well.
You might want to check out these amazing water filter bottles that remove tap water impurities (perfect for both at home and on vacation): Water Filter Bottles.
Can I Brush My Teeth With Tap Water?
With that being said, the tap water in Playa del Carmen is not completely unusable. You can brush your teeth with it, for example.
If you brush your teeth with tap water, you are very unlikely to consume a large enough quantity that you would become sick in any way. Of course, you should still avoid swallowing while you are brushing to be on the safe side.
Can I Cook With the Tap Water?
Theoretically, tap water should become safe to consume once it has been boiled, but it’s still not a good idea to cook with it. Even the locals tend to use bottled or otherwise purified water when they are cooking.
For a cup of coffee or tea, it’s safer to use bottled water also, even if you are boiling it in the process.
Can I Clean with the Tap Water?
As long as you aren’t swallowing it, the water that comes out of the taps or showers in Playa del Carmen is perfectly safe for you to clean yourself with. The tap water in Mexico is safe for cleaning most things because you won’t end up actually consuming any significant amount of it.
Most fruits and vegetables in Mexico are cleaned in tap water, along with a product that contains an iodine-based disinfectant to ensure they remain safe to eat.
Should I Avoid Drinking Water in Mexico?
Although you should avoid drinking water from the taps in Playa del Carmen, you definitely shouldn’t be avoiding water entirely. You are far more likely to become sick from dehydration or sunstroke than drinking most of the water the country has to offer.
Almost every resort, restaurant, and hotel will serve lots of bottled and/or purified drinking water, and nearly all of the food and drink you will be made with purified water. Even the ice in your drinks will be made from safe water, and some locations will have their own filtration systems.
Of course, not every establishment will have the same hygiene standards, so it is best to exercise a bit of caution if you are eating or drinking somewhere that is a little off the beaten path.
How Do I Get Safe Drinking Water in Playa del Carmen?
You don’t need to worry about having access to clean drinking water – it is incredibly easy to find safe water in Playa del Carmen. You can buy bottled water from almost every supermarket, and it is cheap and comes in large quantities.
You can usually get a 1-gallon drum for around $5, and then you often get a discount on your next gallon if you bring back your empty drum.
Even services will deliver safe drinking water directly to you, although it will cost you a little more.
Summary: Can You Drink Tap Water in Playa del Carmen?
So, can you drink tap water in Playa del Carmen? The short answer is no. It is unsafe to drink tap water in most of Mexico, including Playa del Carmen. Using tap water for cooking or making hot drinks is also not advisable.
However, you can use tap water to clean yourself and brush your teeth, as long as you are not swallowing it. If you do end up drinking tap water, you can become quite sick.
Check out these amazing water filter bottles that remove tap water impurities (perfect for both at home and on vacation): Water Filter Bottles.
Fortunately, there is plentiful access to bottled and purified drinking water all over Playa del Carmen, and almost every resort and restaurant will offer you all the clean water you could need.