Most North Americans are well aware of the success of Cancun real estate, following on the huge success of the area’s tourism which has, and continues to, set standards not only in Mexico, but throughout the world. An interesting result of this gigantic success is sort of “domino” effect it has had running hundreds of miles down the coast all the way to the end of the Mexican Caribbean. As tourism continues to grow further and further along this coast, we also begin to see markets such as Akumal real estate near Tulum and Costa Maya real estate at the south of this large region bloom into appealing expat communities.
Historians will note that not that long ago, there were only a handful of fishing villages in the area, like Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, but they were just that – fishing communities with no tourism, no services and no expats. The history of the area as we know it started with the creation of Cancun from scratch just over 40 years ago; the area was nothing but an abandoned corner of sandy beaches separated from the mainland by a large lagoon. Construction began of Mexico’s first Integrated Resort Community to help kick off large-scale tourism in the country. Soon Cancun was not only a thriving tourist destination, but one of Mexico’s most successful real estate markets.
As tourists and residents began to travel around the area, they took interest in the ruins at Tulum, and the beautiful island of Cozumel. This placed Playa del Carmen in a central position in the area as the ferry dock to the island and an ideal mid-way rest point to Tulum. With the development of Fifth Avenue – a quaint pedestrian street of shops, restaurants and bars running parallel to the beach – Playa del Carmen became the area’s next large-scale success, paralleled by interest in real estate in Cozumel. This was the first “domino” to fall, and we now see the rest of the series ready to tip over!
From Playa del Carmen, success has spread to Tulum, which is showing large amounts of promise with a new airport on the way, and a unique combination of nature and modern convenience, evident in several new real estate developments. Along with Tulum, the environment focused village of Akumal is ready to see new development of upscale real estate on or very near the beachfront, with a very central focus on preserving the area’s nature and integrating development into it.
The upcoming construction of the Riviera Maya International Airport in Tulum is a new link in this chain of dominos; it is a bit of a larger leap since south of Tulum is the protected Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. South of this area, however, the airport will still be able to open up a new level of interest in the Costa Maya area, which already enjoys large-scale success as a cruise port. Real estate buyers can currently find very good prices, and can count on the fact that when the Tulum airport opens up, the shortened access (now 2 hours less than the previous trip from Cancun) will bring more tourism and more services to the area.
The entire Mexican Caribbean can be taken together as one single success story; this success story started with Cancun. Most of the area still looks to Cancun for the greatest variety in stores, specialized healthcare services and air access. As the rest of the area continues to reap the benefits of Cancun’s success, the dependence will be less, but it will nevertheless continue to grow and succeed as one single region – the most important in Latin America for tourism and expat communities.
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