When you consider your Mexico real estate options, the Mexican Caribbean (i.e. Cancun and the area extending south) is one real estate region, and therefore one option, right? While it most certainly is one region in many ways, it offers very distinct lifestyle atmospheres in its various communities. This fact is demonstrated in a comparison between Playa del Carmen, Mexico real estate and Tulum real estate.
Both are small towns, focused on tourism and directly on the beachfront. The following is a brief description of each community, and will show the distinct lifestyle atmosphere provided by each.
Playa del Carmen
The lifestyle atmosphere in Playa del Carmen is best described as “European style” or “provincial.” The downtown area, which can be crossed walking, is focused around the shops, dining and nightlife of Fifth Avenue which runs parallel to the beachfront about a block away. Downtown’s atmosphere was largely defined by the large number of Italian expats who played a significant role in the development of the city as it grew, combined with a real local Mexican style. Residents of the downtown area walk every; they walk to the café, the local bakery, the local markets, the bar or the art galleries. They also walk to the supermarket and the clinic. It’s a lifestyle defined by small city blocks with everything nearby and a neighborly society.
Real estate is defined by the same concept. All buildings are low rise (4 stories or less). Condo complexes are small adding to the small-community feel. From balconies and terraces residents enjoy views of the beach, or of the local cafes, or a nice boutique hotel.
In addition to the downtown lifestyle, Playa del Carmen has also developed a strong culture for gated communities in the outlying areas. These are largely focused on the area’s already well-established role as Latin America’s golf capital.
While Tulum shares some of the same atmosphere features – small town, relaxation, low-rise buildings – it does not share the “European” flavor that Playa del Carmen has developed. Instead of this, the defining characteristic is that of nature and the environment. Eco-hotels offer alternative accommodations “off-the-grid.” Forums and conventions in the area explore how environmental concern can be combined with a luxury lifestyle.
This fact is important for many residents of the area who build unquestionably luxury homes that are mostly sustainable running primarily on alternative energy such as solar panels and wind turbines. There are a number of land developments which offer off-the-grid lots, supporting contractors and instructions on how to build an off-the-grid home, and road and other infrastructure made of local, natural materials.
For those who are a little sceptical of this kind of lifestyle, Tulum also offers excellent, modern developments and complexes that incorporate some sustainable features that do not affect day to day life, and also maintain a large amount of natural green space. Standard real estate is also available allowing residents to enjoy Tulum’s splendid nature and laid-back lifestyle without directly involving such principles in the real estate itself.
These brief descriptions show how two towns which are less than an hour away from each other, on the same beaches, based in virtually the same tourist market, can offer real estate buyers quite distinct lifestyle options. The best way to see the difference between the two is for a buyer to visit and view some real estate in both locations.
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