Schools and Educational Options for foreigners in Playa del Carmen / Riviera Maya

Schools and Educational options for foreigners with children in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

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One of the most frequent e-mails we get here at All About Playa comes from people from all over the world, who want to move to Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya in general. As many come with children, they naturally wish to know more about educational options for their kids. Some of the most common questions are: What is Mexican schooling like? How good are public schools? Are there alternative teaching options? As a former teacher, I decided to make this education master post, about the best schools in Playa del Carmen, for foreigners.

About Schools in Mexico

The first thing we need to discuss is public and private schools. In Mexico, most schools are private; especially in Playa del Carmen. However, there is also a few public schools available. From my experience, there is a generalized problem in Mexican public schools: they are overcrowded and tend to not have bilingual programs. Even when they have bilingual programs, they are not really that good. That is why in this article I will be focusing exclusively on private schools.

All schools require uniforms, and parents are required to pay registration fees, book fees, and all the school materials. I.e. glue, pencils, paper, notebooks. This rule applies to both public and private schools. In addition, in private schools, the average monthly payment runs around $300 – 450 USD. As children grow older and get into higher levels, so will increase their fees.

Registration fees: they are called inscription (inscripción). This consists of a non-refundable fee collected at the registration period and ensures the place for your child within the program. The earliest registration periods are in March (for the next school year starting in August). As some schools have higher demand, it is good to register early.

You must bring your child to a SEP-certified program. What does it consist of? The SEP is the Secretary of Public Education, and it issues the accreditation of all schools so that they can award valid diplomas at the end of their programs. This is especially important if you are an expat, because you wouldn’t want to go to a different country without a valid certificate of your child’s studies. The SEP also synchronizes the school calendar of most centers, so by checking their website, you should get an idea of most school years. 

Mexican Schools vs. US Schools

Schools in Mexico and those in the United States are very different. First, because Mexican schools tend to be more strict. They also usually give a heavy workload to their students of all ages. However, Mexico is sufficiently flexible to allow other educational options, such as alternative teaching methods (Waldorf, Montessori, and others), or homeschooling. 

Playa del Carmen School Levels Comparison

School \ LevelMaternalPreschoolPrimaryMiddleHigh
Ak Lu’um ☑️☑️  
Colegio Inglés ☑️☑️☑️☑️
Montessori ☑️   
Puerto Aventuras ☑️☑️☑️☑️
La Salle ☑️☑️☑️ 
Manuel Acosta ☑️☑️☑️ 
Papalote ☑️☑️☑️☑️
Tepeyac ☑️☑️☑️☑️
Weston ☑️☑️  
Yits’Atil☑️☑️☑️☑️☑️

If you want to check our quick comparison of teaching methods, location, and student composition, check at the bottom of this article.

Schools in Playa del Carmen

Schools in Playa del Carmen

1. Ak Lu’um International School Community

Waldorf based education and they are SEP certified. They have pre-school through 6th grade, and they have a fully bi-lingual program. In the last few years, they have incorporated French and German teaching to primary-aged children. They are the only non-profit school in the area and the only ecologically friendly school in Mexico. The student body is made up of both a foreign and national population. Opened in the Fall of 2006 they have developed their jungle-based campus into a beautiful learning environment.

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Ak Lu’um is a SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Official Address of Ak Lu’um School 

Calle La Selva s/n Ejido.
Rumbo a Xcaret (on the Route to Xcaret).
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 77710

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

(+52) 984 115 4367
email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

info@akluum.com
international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

www.akluum.com

2. Colegio Ingles

SEP certified preschool through high school. Has a large foreign student population, a fairly traditional curriculum, and it has a very impressive campus and grounds boasting a large pool, soccer field, and large outdoor auditorium.

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SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Official Address of Colegio Inglés

Lote 4 Fraccion 24 Col Ejidal, s/n, 77710
Playa del Carmen, Q.R.
Map.

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

(+52) 984 879 0814

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

admisiones@colegioinglesplaya.com

3. Colegio Montessori

Colegio Montessori is a Montessori based program located within the Selvamar development just north of Playa del Carmen. They are SEP certified and have a mixed foreign and national student body. They offer a bi-lingual program from pre-school until 6 years old. Map.

medal (1)

SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Montessori Playa Address 

Residencial Selvamar,
Carretera. Federal. Chetumal,
Km. 295 + 400
77500 Playa del Carmen, México

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

(+52) 1 984 109 9406

Whatsapp

(+52) 1 984 118 5866

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

montessoriplaya@hotmail.com

4. Colegio Puerto Aventuras

SEP certified preschool through high school. Large foreign population, perfect for Puerto Aventuras residence, but a bit of a commute for Playa del Carmen families. Map

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SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Colegio Puerto Aventuras Address 

Colegio Puerto Aventuras
Desarrollo Puerto Aventuras s/n 77733

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

(+52) 984 873 5141

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

cpa@pa.com.mx

Colegio La Salle - Instituto La Salle

5. Instituto Playa del Carmen de la Salle

SEP certified preschool through junior high/middle school. Traditional private Mexican school with a prominent Mexican student body, and a Spanish only curriculum.

medal (1)

La Salle is a SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

La Salle Instituto Playa del Carmen Address

30th Avenue on the corner of 12th
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 77710

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

984 873 0756
international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

ipclasalle.edu.mx

EMMA Escuela Manuel Acosta Playa del Carmen

6. EMMA Escuela Manuel Acosta / Playacar Grand School

SEP certified preschool through junior high/middle school. Largely a Mexican student body and Spanish based curriculum. It is a very traditional private Mexican school. Facilities include large pool, and extensive after school activities such as dance, karate, theater, and soccer. Conveniently located in Playacar.

medal (1)

SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Escuela Manuel Acosta Address

Paseo Tikal Mz. 29, Fracc. Playacar
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 77710

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

01 (984) 80 31 05 6
01 (984) 87 30 65 2

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Contact them

https://www.escuelamanuelacosta.edu.mx/contacto.html

international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

https://www.escuelamanuelacosta.edu.mx/

7. Comunidad Educativa “El Papalote”

Papalote is a Waldorf inspired SEP certified school and has a pre-school through high school program. Mixed national and foreign population, and they offer a fully bi-lingual program. Conveniently located in downtown Playa del Carmen.

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SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Escuela Papalote Address

25th Avenue between 30th and 32nd Streets
Gonzalo Guerrero. Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 77710

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

984 879 3052

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

contacto@colegioelpapalote.edu.mx

international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

www.colegioelpapalote.edu.mx

instituto tepeyac

8. Instituto Tepeyac Campus Xcaret

Tepeyac is the newest private school to open in Playa del Carmen. They are backed by Xcaret so they have great resources, and they offer a fully bi-lingual program from pre-school through high school. A traditional private Mexican school with a mixed student population Tepeyac is the new “it” school since it opened its doors in 2008.

medal (1)

SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Address

Carretera Federal 307, km. 282, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. CP. 77710

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

01 (984) 877 25 00

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

cap.xcaret@tepeyac.mx

international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

https://tepeyac.mx/campus-xcaret

9. Colegio Weston

SEP certified preschool through primary. Traditional private Mexican school with a mixed student body of foreign and national students.

medal (1)

SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Address

Carr. Tulum – Cancún, Luis Donaldo Colosio, 77712. Playa del Carmen, Q.R.

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

+52 984 109 2216

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

info@colegioweston.edu.mx

international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

colegioweston.edu.mx/

Yits'Atil

10. Yits’Atil Educational Institute

SEP certified preschool through high school. Traditional private Mexican school with a mixed student body of foreign and national students. Daycare also available for young children 1 to 2 years old. Convenient downtown location on the block between 20th and 25th Avenues and 24th and 26th Streets.

medal (1)

SEP Certified School

location of school in Playa del Carmen

Address

Carretera Federal 307, km. 282, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. CP. 77710

Telephone of Schools in Playa del Carmen

Telephone

01 (984) 877 25 00

email address school for foreigners playa del carmen

Email

cap.xcaret@tepeyac.mx

international school in playa del carmen website

Website URL

https://tepeyac.mx/campus-xcaret

11. Home Schooling – the alternative to private schools

Contact your local association and bring the material from home or check out your options with Internet Schooling.

We hope to expand this section soon, so we can give you the best and most complete information.

Quick Playa del Carmen Schools comparison

SchoolLocationEducationStudents
Ak Lu’umOutskirtsWaldorfMixed
Colegio InglésPlaya cityTraditionalForeign
MontessoriOutskirtsMontessoriMixed
Puerto AventurasP.AventurasTraditionalForeign
La SallePlaya cityTraditionalMexican
Manuel AcostaPlaya cityTraditionalMexican
PapaloteOutskirtsWaldorf inspiredMixed
TepeyacOutskirtsTraditionalForeign
WestonPlaya cityTraditionalMixed
Yits’AtilPlayaTraditionalMixed
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