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Tulum Real Estate: Inexpensive Luxury on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

19 January, 2014

The tropical jungle of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is home to a wide variety of exotic animals,including the curious,ring-tailed coatis,which are members of the raccoon family,and birds in a number of vibrant hues. This Caribbean paradise is just a short plane ride from many U.S. cities,but has a totally different vibe than Cancun,which lies just over an hour and a half to the north. And perhaps best of all,you don’t have to be a millionaire to buy Tulum real estate.

Tulum is fast becoming a favorite destination for the fashion crowd and has a distinctly eco-chic vibe,with many establishments committed to sustainability. It’s a town with a laid-back atmosphere and is also home to some of the best beaches in the world,according to TripAdvisor,Expedia and Conde Nast Traveler,to name only a few of the respected travel organizations that have recognized Tulum. 

The beaches here are characterized by soft,white sand that stays a comfortable temperature even in the heat of day. Jagged rocks add drama and texture to parts of the shoreline and are framed by the untouched jungle. The sea is a gorgeous,crystal clear turquoise hue near the shore,but darkens to a deep blue as it fades out to the horizon and meets the bright blue summer sky. 

Tulum is home to the only Mayan pyramid overlooking the sea,known as El Castillo,as well as the world’s second-largest barrier reef,which lies just offshore and provides excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. Small marinas can be found along the shoreline,offering sailing trips and mooring spots. 

There is also an extensive network of caves,rivers and sinkholes known as cenotes located throughout the region that offer plenty of additional diving and swimming opportunities. The nearby Sian Ka’an biosphere nature preserve borders Tulum and encompasses more than 2.5 million acres,including 23 important archaeological sites and countless species of plants and wildlife. 

If golf is your pastime of choice,don’t worry - Tulum has something for you as well! Here,you will find some of the best courses in Mexico,designed by Jack Nicklaus,Robert Trent Jones II and P.B. Dye. 

The town itself is growing rapidly,with three banks,two supermarkets,five gas stations,and much,much more. Not to mention the larger metropolis of Playa del Carmen lies just 40 minutes to the north and features all of the businesses you would expect to find in the U.S.,including Wal-mart,Sam’s,Starbucks,Home Depot,English-speaking AMC theaters and more. Playa is also known for its lively nightlife,film festivals,shopping and gourmet food. Over the past 15 years,property values in Playa grown dramatically,and in 2006 the Guinness Book of World Records dubbed it “the fastest-growing town in Latin America.”

Today,Tulum is quickly following in Playa’s footsteps. The town was once home to more rustic,off-the-grid-style hotels and beach resorts,but today even these establishments have become more luxurious,offering organic haute-cuisine,spa treatments,bikini boot camps and yoga on the beach. 

Although real estate in and around Tulum is still reasonable,if you take a closer look you will see that the amount of land available for development is limited. This is due in part to the Sian Ka’an biosphere and to tight building regulations that limit the height and density of new construction. 

As Tulum’s popularity continues to grow,this is good news for buyers who get in early. A limited inventory means increased profits down the road. And with a new international airport already in the planning stages for Tulum,it’s just a matter of time before the region’s real estate market really starts to heat up. Now is the time to invest in Tulum,which is bound to have a similar development story to its neighbors to the north,Cancun and Playa del Carmen. 

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