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Can you drink water from the tap in Mexico?

Let’s be honest, nobody wants to get sick while on vacation. Although at home you may be able to drink the water straight from the tap, here in Mexico it’s generally not a good idea.

So, if you want to avoid the dreaded ‘vacation belly’ you should stick to the advice in this guide. Mexico is a big country and the water pipes and treatment varies from state to state. For the purpose of this guide we are just going to focus on Playa del Carmen, although it is the same for the whole Yucatan area.

a drop of water falling into water

How is the tap water in Playa del Carmen processed?

The water in this area of Mexico is treated, but there is still a chance of bacteria being present in the water, even after the treatment. Once the water arrives at its destination it is collected in big tanks, which generally sit on the top of buildings, in the sun. The sun causes the water to heat up which creates the perfect environment for any bacteria in the water to multiply.

Is is ok to drink the tap water in the resorts in Playa del Carmen?

Now the above processing is true for the average home in Mexico. However if you are planning on staying in one of the big resorts here in The Riviera Maya they can not afford for their guests to be sick. So they take no chances. Even if they leave you a few bottles of water in your room it’s very likely that the tap water is safe to drink.

It is always a good idea to check with the concierge at check in. Especially we can do all we can to avoid using single use plastics. So please check if you can drink the tap water and even if you see a plastic bottle next to the tap please help save the environment by not using the bottled water. Instead buy yourself a reusable water bottle and stick to using that. If you get a double insulated metal one it will keep your water nice and cool even after a day at the beach.

Is tap water ok to brush my teeth in Playa del Carmen?

Although there will be some bacteria in the water from the tap it is fine to brush your teeth with, even if you are at a place where you can’t drink the tap water. I have been doing so for 7 years without any issues. That said if you know you have a extremely sensitive stomach you may want to use purified water just to be on the safe side.

Is it ok to have Ice in Mexico

a drink with ice and lime

Ice here is purified. Trust us when we tell you than no business is going to risk making a guest sick. If you ask for ice it will be safe for you to drink.

Can I ask for a glass of water in a restaurant in Playa del Carmen?

As with the ice, no business will risk making you sick. If you ask for a glass of water (vaso de agua) you can rest assured that they will give you purified water and not water from the tap. So please, rather than asking for a bottle of water, ask for a glass. Restaurants and bars will automatically bring you a bottle of water unless you specifically ask for a glass, so be sure to specify that you want a glass and not a bottle.

If you see a jug of water on a bar, this will be purified water and it is fine to take a glass and drink it.

a glass of water

Can I wash fruit and vegetables with tap water in Mexico

Yes, absolutely! Although here in Mexico we need to soak our fruit and vegetables in an antibacterial solution. This soaking process will not only kill the bacteria on your food but also in the water. You can buy drops to add into the water in most shops and supermarkets (you will find it in the fresh produce section). If you prefer to mix your own or use a more natural option then vinegar or bicarbonate soda are both excellent options. You can read more about this process here.

Final Thoughts

We really hope this post has been useful and has answered all of your water worries. Did we miss something? Do you have anything to add? Then leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

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