expansion south into the Riviera Maya.
Today, the Rivera Maya stretches from Cancun in
the north, with a world-class airport, to beyond Tulum, 80-plus miles to the south. Literally hundreds of
hotels, resorts, and living communities dot the shoreline bringing visitors from far and wide to enjoy the
pleasures and hospitality the area has to o;er.
To get just a glimpse of this endless paradise, consider this: Mexico has become the number one host
to retirees in the entire world. Cancun’s new International Airport connects directly to dozens of U.S.
and European cities with daily ;ights. New hotels and
international ;rms are vying for space to develop and
prosper. ;e centrally located city of Playa Del Carmen is the fastest growing city in the world.
But why are all these people coming to what was
once a sleepy Caribbean coastline? Here are just a
few of the reasons. ;e government is stable, a new
middle class is getting more wealthy, and many who
were once in the lower class have found good jobs that
were previously unobtainable. Approximately half of
the tourists in the area are Mexican citizens who come
to play and have fun year-round. On the other hand,
visitors from foreign countries seem to follow di;erent rules of seasonal tourism. You can expect most
American visitors to come during summer when children are out of school. Beginning in late August, Europeans start ;ocking into Mexico because, for them,
late summer is holiday time.
But there are also compelling reasons why many
come to stay. A retiree in the Riviera Maya will ;nd
hospitals and clinics with doctors trained in the U.S.
and Europe. With an investment in a home, perma-
nent residents can get private medical insurance cov-
erage in the range of $700 to $1,000 a year. Because
of excellent medical availability, the Riviera Maya has
become a health and surgical tourist destination.
Low property taxes are another big draw at
around 0.1 percent a year. (On a $100,000 investment, taxes would only be $100 and permanent residents are exempt from capital gain taxes.)
Safety, always a concern, is highly valued and not
felt to be a signi;cant problem. According to Chris
Gill, director of A-Nah, a community in the Riviera
Maya, “Most of the crime reported in the press does
not a;ect us. It is between the drug cartels and the
military on the northern border with the U.S. We
cherish our safety and work hard to protect it.”
;ere are many other reasons to consider moving
to or investing in this vital, growing area. When com-
pared to other destinations throughout the tropics,
the Riviera Maya o;ers much that is unique.
Just o;shore, for example, the second largest reef
system in the world can be found. Here, an almost
endless area of natural marvels and ecological reserves are all bounded by emerald green jungle.
Deep in this jungle and easily accessible by car,
there are countless lost cities of the ancient Mayan
civilization. Some have been buried by dirt and vegetation and are only now being discovered and unearthed. Other than the ruins at Tulum that overlook the sea, most of the Mayan ruins are miles into
the jungle. Some are close to the populated coastline while others are up to a ;ve-hour drive inland.
;ough many of the known sites have been worked
on for years by archeologists, only a small percentage
of each site has been restored. A visitor standing on a
recovered pyramid will see huge mounds still covered
by jungle growth, each a visible clue to the locations of
unearthed treasures yet to be excavated.
As a highly vocal proponent of the area, Gill says,
“;e time to come is now. Conditions have never
been more exciting and favorable.”