Viver na Península de IucatãoIyna Bort Caruso
The Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico is a region of ancient Mayan ruins and modern architectural jewels, underground pools and breathtaking beaches.
Many of the greatest treasures of the Mayan culture, which spanned more than 3,000 years, are located here in the Yucatan and are surprisingly well-preserved.
Not surprisingly, Americans are the largest group of international buyers here, followed by Canadians. Europeans, particularly from France, Italy and Germany, are an increasing presence among the communities of ex-pats and retirees.
Mexican law allows non-residents full property ownership in the interiors but bans purchases within a restricted zone of 100 kilometers of a border and 50 kilometers of a coastline. In those areas, international buyers are required to hold property through a bank trust called a fideicomiso. Contemporary beach homes and condominiums fringe the coast. At the other end of the luxury spectrum are 18th and 19th century haciendas that have been meticulously restored into country homes.
The municipality of Merida is the peninsula’s capital of culture, a city known for its elegant boulevards, European architectural influences and flourishing arts scene. Sometimes called the “White City” or La Cuidad Blanca, for the color of its buildings, Merida’s strong infrastructure and international airlinks have created high demand for properties, especially in the city’s historic core.
The peninsula’s Gulf Coast is touted for its virgin beachfront and old-world authentic feel. Tourism is less pervasive here, although wealthy Yucatecos, as locals are called, are building luxury beach homes, especially in a stretch from the port towns of Progreso to Telchac Puerto.
The Caribbean Coast of the Yucatan is the pricier, more glamorous side with its coral reefs, tony resorts and famous turquoise blue waters. The Mexican state of Quintana Roo has more than a million acres of protected lands yet it’s also the location of bustling Cancun. Exclusive villas extend from Cancun south through the tourist districts of the Riviera Maya and the Costa Maya, which borders Belize.
Some of the world’s top golf destinations are scattered here, too. One course, the Cozumel Country Club, was carved from the jungle and is the first in Mexico to be approved as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.