TIME­LESS TULUM

Mex­ico’s hid­den gem, a short hop from Southwest Florida

RSWLiving - - DEPARTMENTS - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT

Mex­ico’s hid­den gem, a short hop from Southwest Florida

Oc­ca­sion­ally there are world lo­ca­tions that are on the brink of ex­plo­sion in real es­tate and dis­cov­ery from the out­side, and at the mo­ment many eyes are on Tulum, Mex­ico. A small Mayan fish­ing vil­lage, Tulum, which is di­rectly north of Belize and near Can­cun on the Gulf of Mex­ico, has been known for years for its sug­ary, pic­ture-per­fect beaches, turquoise warm wa­ters of the Caribbean, yoga, an­cient Mayan ru­ins perched high atop a cliff and its eco­log­i­cal vibe. Its small beach bun­ga­low-type ho­tels use so­lar energy, and of­ten opt for can­dle­light. Reg­u­lars in­cluded hip­pies and back­pack­ers.

But things started shift­ing in the 1990s, and the change has been most ob­vi­ous in the past few years. Fol­low­ing the trend in the Riviera Maya re­gion, where Can­cun and Playa del Car­men flour­ish, Tulum has been grow­ing at a rapid pace. Tulum’s em­ploy­ment lev­els since 2008 more than dou­bled, and its pop­u­la­tion tripled since 2000. The state is build­ing a rail net­work, and de­vel­op­ment is vis­i­ble in each sec­tor: ho­tels, restau­rants, tourism and lux­ury de­vel­op­ments. The good news is that Tulum is a short hop by air from Southwest Florida;

jet Blue, for ex­am­ple, of­fers af­ford­able and fun travel pack­ages.

For the lovers of Tulum’s tran­quil, mes­mer­iz­ing at­mos­phere, its eco-vibe re­mains un­de­stroyed. Only its vis­i­tor list has been chang­ing and now in­cludes such Hol­ly­wood stars and celebri­ties as Demi Moore, Heidi Klum and Jude Law. Lit­tle beach­front ho­tels started re­mod­el­ing, and their prices have been ris­ing ev­ery sea­son. Lux­ury bou­tique ho­tels, such as Be Tulum, el­e­vated the level of ac­com­mo­da­tions avail­able. Gourmet restau­rants, such as Hart­wood, Sim­ple or Casa Ba­nana, started pop­ping up and draw­ing lines of eco-chic tourists, mostly New York­ers, ev­ery evening. “De­spite the change, the big­gest part of land around Tulum re­mains un­der­de­vel­oped, though for-sale signs are vis­i­ble left and right,”

For the lovers of Tulum’s tran­quil, mes­mer­iz­ing at­mos­phere, its eco-vibe re­mains un­de­stroyed.

says Ram­inta Li­laite, a part­ner and di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Riviera Maya Prop­erty Con­sul­tants in Tulum.

There are com­pa­nies, of­ten run by for­eign­ers who live in Tulum, that of­fer com­plete ser­vices for land buy­ers: se­cure land pur­chase for the best mar­ket value, ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign, con­struc­tion and prop­erty man­age­ment, which is quite im­por­tant if the prop­erty is meant as an in­vest­ment that would bring prof­its ev­ery year. On av­er­age, the value of real es­tate has an in­crease of about 7-8 per­cent per year, and these fig­ures may more than dou­ble for in­vest­ments right on the coast, Li­laite says.

So when con­sid­er­ing new choices in liv­ing, in­ves­ti­gate time­less Tulum.

Fol­low­ing the trend in the Riviera Maya re­gion, where Can­cun and Playa del Car­men flour­ish, Tulum has been grow­ing at a rapid pace.

Tulum is not that far from Southwest Florida. Clear Gulf wa­ter is a huge at­trac­tion.

Mex­ico is still a mix of the an­cient and mod­ern. Mayan ru­ins and an eco­log­i­cal vibe dom­i­nate the land­scape.

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