When people want beachfront luxury in Mexico real estate, Playa del Carmen is one of the first places that come to mind. But what about the “real Mexico” – what about buyers who want authentic Mexican food, real Mexican crafts and, in general, Mexican culture the way it really is? Does Playa del Carmen offer this?
The answer is “yes.”
Since Playa del Carmen real estate is defined by modern comfort and has held high appeal for expat buyers from the U.S., Canada and Europe, it is not typically associated with “authentic” Mexico. However, a more careful look will show that Playa del Carmen is Mexican in many ways, most importantly, in a way that is accessible to the average American real estate buyer.
The following are some of the ways in which real estate in Playa del Carmen offers distinctly Mexican options:
- Visual design – While Playa del Carmen offers a wide variety of designs and styles in real estate, some of the favorites are the Mayan influence and the old-Mexico style. The Mayan influence design includes features such as “palapas” (thatched-roof style shades) over windows and lounge areas. This style is closely related to the rustic-contemporary style, which combines rugged, natural materials such as rocks and wood, with modern design. The old-Mexico style includes arch ways, nicely designed tiles and fountains. The nice thing about both is that they are available in modern constructions with all modern conveniences and amenities.
- Local ecological construction – Because there are distinctly local climate and environmental features, distinctly local ecological construction concepts have developed. These range from fully ecological homes which incorporate ideas used since the haciendas of colonial times to more standard condominium complexes with high-efficiency water use and alternative electricity resources combined with the municipal service. Again, many American and Canadian buyers prefer properties where sustainable concepts are incorporated, but in such a way that it is not noticed in day to day life.
- Distinctly Mexican building techniques – Mexican construction includes concrete with lots of iron reinforcement, sometimes combined with concrete blocks. This applies to interior features (such as kitchen bars) as much as to the construction itself; the interior often has ceramic tile directly over concrete, either in contemporary styles or in traditional Mexican styles. These techniques also make a difference in renovation techniques.
In addition, lifestyle in Playa del Carmen is also Mexican in the following ways:
- Ancient traditions – The ancient Maya civilization has continued into a modern culture which is still alive and strong in the area. Many ancient traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, and are now accessible to visitors; other traditions have been revived in recent times. Playa del Carmen’s strong tourism has actually made it easier to preserve these, giving the people a context in which to justify maintaining their traditions.
- Close access to historical sites – One of the key types of attractions to see in Mexico is the many historical sites, including the pyramids and city ruins of ancient civilizations and the old charm of the colonial cities which thrive as living cities to this day. Mexico’s most famous pyramid site – Chichen Itza – is about 2 hours away, and its second largest colonial city center – Merida – is about 3 hours away. There are many, many more examples of both pyramid sites and colonial cities within the area.
- Access to cultural events – Besides events which present the ancient rituals and games of the Mayan people, there are many music festivals, cultural festivals and typically Mexican fairs. These events take place in the downtown area and in the nearby “eco-parks,” some of which have a strong cultural focus. Handicrafts and artwork are readily found.
- Mexican food – While residents can enjoy food from Japan, France, Thailand and Lebanon, they can also enjoy excellent Mexican food, ranging from the universally-loved 100% Mexican tacos to local Mayan seafood dishes.
- Variety of Mexican traditions – One of the most distinct features of Playa del Carmen’s being “Mexican” is the combination of traditions from throughout the country. This is true of food, as well as some of Mexico’s richest cultural traditions; those who buy real estate in Playa del Carmen, for example, can enjoy a variety of celebrations of the “Day of the Dead,” the Mexican, and far more culturally rich, version of Halloween. Every year, Playa del Carmen hosts cultural fairs from various parts of the country.
Those who still need evidence that Playa del Carmen is truly “Mexican” need only to visit, or, better yet, to live here for a while, and they will see that they can enjoy some of the best that Mexico has to offer!
TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico's Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely
Thomas Lloyd, founder and president of TOPMexicoRealestate.com, is originally from Indiana, and a is a graduate of Purdue University in the Krannert School of Management. He holds a degree in management with a speciality in finances. Lloyd has several diplomas and certifications in Mexico Real Estate topics and is one of only a few professionals to hold Mexico's new degree in real estate. This degree is accompanied by a Professional Identification Number, "cedula profesional," which is issued for trained professionals such as those in the medical field, or in law. He has over 15 years of direct experience in Mexico's business culture. He can be reached at email@example.com.