In March, I spent 10 days in the Mexican Yucatan with my client, Rose. As her agent, my job is to help her find the perfect property in this beautiful region of Mexico to suit her lifestyle.
The trip wasn’t all work – it was also adventurous! We discovered that it’s possible to experience the Riviera Maya in many different ways from a secluded, off-grid jungle home to rising above the vegetation in a luxury penthouse condo to chilling at all-inclusive resort condominiums – your perfect place depends on who you are and how you want to “be.”
I am here to listen, to work closely with you to flush out your vision – it’s my super power! Anyone thinking about making a move to Mexico from the U.S. will benefit from my expertise. Keep reading if you’d like to go on a Walk Through The Yucatan with me, Lisa McIntyre, your Second Home and Resort Property Specialist.
Exploring Akumal – Remote and Secluded
We began our journey in Akumal, a secluded beach area south of Cancun. It is a beautiful place! The bay is active with tourists and eager local tour guides. We hired a fabulous company to take us snorkeling with the sea turtles and were able to see their sacredness up close.
However, due to Akumal’s remote location, it doesn’t fit the lifestyle Rose is seeking in her Mexican home. She learned that she desires easier access to amenities like grocery stores, international restaurant choices, fitness classes, and bike rentals.
Heading to Tulum – A Hub for Modern Expats
We then directed our rental cars down the highway to the sensational and ancient city of Tulum, a vibrant town that is a popular destination for global expatriates. This bustling international hub offers a unique combination of natural beauty, local culture, healing arts, and luxury amenities that attract a diverse crowd of visitors and residents.
Tulum is an option well-suited to anyone who wants to simultaneously find peace of mind and luxurious surroundings, like Rose. The area is blossoming with an astounding amount of development, ripe for investment. It has all the comforts a modern retiree or expat seeks and is somewhat “americanized”, but not “spring-breaky” like Cancun or Cabo.
Experiencing Merida – A Traditional Mexican City
Rose loved Tulum! And while she spent time taking it all in, I filled my tank with petrol and traveled across the peninsula to its capital city, Mérida. I heard that it was a more traditional Mexican experience where the economy is not focused on tourism, but on family and community.
The night I arrived, just a block from my accommodation, thousands of Mexican women, young and old, gathered together for an organized march along the streets for International Women’s Day; united in sisterhood to take steps towards gender equality. It was a thrill to witness.
I found opportunities to buy new single family homes north of Mérida toward the sea, or even on the sea in a planned marina community, in addition to condo-living in this colonial city. Be sure to ask me for more information if you’re interested in a truly traditional Mexican experience.
Safety First – The Native Mexican Mindset
U.S. citizens tend to have safety concerns in Mexico, I suggest that there’s more to understand. At one point during our trip, I ran out of cash and couldn’t pay for a taxi back to my condo in Akumal. I took a walk down the long beach in the morning and didn’t want to walk back alone at night (I accidentally left my headlamp that I usually carry with me). A generous Mayan taxi driver took me home and said “Just pay me when you can, but if nothing else, at least you are safe.” Wow! What an excellent example of the native Mexican mindset, which is all about helping others.
It’s important to note that Mexico is much safer than the media portrays. However, it’s still essential to cultivate a keen sense of awareness for potential danger. Depending on where you are, foreigners stick out and attract attention. Don’t make yourself an easy target by wearing all your bling and walking around like you own the place, but also don’t feel the need to ignore the local transportation infrastructure.
Transportation Infrastructure Developments
While we were in the Yucatan, “The Mayan Train” was approved by the Mexican government. Over the next year, a new railway infrastructure connecting cities throughout the Yucatan and beyond will be built. For some, there’s sadness because they fear the natural beauty of the area will be sacrificed for the sake of the money-making machine. For others, they’re excited by the idea of easy passage from place to place, thus enabling safe travel for tourists and townsfolk alike.
Additionally, a new international airport will be developed in Tulum, which will open up the area directly to international travel instead of asking explorers to first fly to Merida and then adventure to the coast. While these developments could dramatically change the landscape and economy of the area, they also present opportunities for investors and adventurers alike.
Rose and I had an incredible time exploring the Yucatan. In the 10 day window we were there, Rose went from “I’m not ready, just looking around” to “I need to be here ASAP”! Can you blame her!? The power of going, looking, and feeling the energy of an area cannot be overstated.
If you’re interested in living somewhere new, or perhaps living everywhere like me, then I get out of your head and into the terrain – go beyond. It’s intimidating, I know. But luckily, as your go-to second home and travel property specialist, I’m here to provide guidance and get you on the path to adventure!
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