Okay, so you’re almost ready (or ready now!) to retire, and you’ve got your eye on the Riviera Maya.
Maybe you’ve been to Playa del Carmen a few times, and realize that it’s become “just too busy”. You’ve looked at Puerto Aventuras, but feel it’s too commercialized. You may now be looking at Tulum, however for retirees Tulum is probably not going to provide the vibe you’re looking for.
If you’re planning on moving here full-time, or at least living here 4 to 6 months out of the year (the cold ones up north!) THE ABSOLUTE BEST place to purchase a retirement property here in the Riviera Maya is the Akumal and Chemuyil area. Specifically any of the developments within the Bahia Principe Golf & Residences project. Why? Here are 7 great reasons, which I’ll expand on individually below: Tranquil living. Community. Beaches. Restaurants & Entertainment. Golf. Culture. Affordability.
Tranquil living: This area has seen some growth over the past 10 years, make no mistake, however it’s nothing compared to what has been happening in Tulum and PDC. There just is no “hustle and bustle” here. The communities of Chemuyil and Akumal are both relaxed and have an authentic vibe.
Community: Just a few years ago the buying trend was for people to purchase a condo with the intention of visiting 4 or 5 times per year, and renting it out while they weren’t using it. That trend has been replaced with more and more owners chosing to move here on a permanent basis. This means that the friends you make this week, will be there next month etc. Games nights, progressive dinners, golf / shopping buddies; these are all things that having a growing community of full-time residents can provide.
Beaches; Some of the areas absolute best beaches are right here. Xcacel beach is a federally protected turtle sanctuary, and has been consistently voted as one of the top 10 beaches in Mexico year after year. Crystal clear water, powdery white sand, great snorkeling with a close reef, and no vendors or developments.
Within 10 minutes drive from anywhere inside the Bahia Principe you have access to Xcacel Beach, the public access beach and public beach club Kay on the resort side of the Bahia Principe, the Beached Bikini beach bar and restaurant, the Jungle Fish restaurant and beach club, and Lol Ha and La Buena Vida at Akumal.
Restaurants & Entertainment: Great food at great prices can be found all over the area. Some well-known options now are La Palapa, Leo’s pizza, and Los Primos restaurants in Chemuyil pueblo, and over in Akumal pueblo you have Tequilaville, El Ultimo Maya, Cueva del Pescador, and Que Onda. A bit pricier options can be found at the Lol Ha, La Lunita which are located right on the beach in Akumal.
As far as entertainment goes, every Monday at La Palapa there’s a great Karaoke event, and on Wednesday and Friday nights they have live music. These events have been a catalyst for bringing expats together.
Golf: The golf course at the Bahia Principe is simply magnificent. Challenging yet forgiving in places. Come out on Fridays and play in the locally organized skins game.
Culture: Although more and more of the locals are learning to speak English, there are still MANY locals who only speak Spanish or Mayan. It’s a pleasure to see the happy faces of the children and adults as you walk or drive by their shops and homes.
Affordability: Maybe this one should have been further up the list! (The list is in no particular order). The resale market is definitely where you’ll find the best deals here. There is so much available space for developers to continue to build new projects that there simply is no limit to the supply, which in any market will result in lower prices. People who wish to sell their properties are being forced to compete with brand new units priced at the same price point they bought in at just a few years ago.
Here’s an example of a great deal. This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, second-floor corner unit in Tao that faces the golf course. This condo *Should* be listed at $215,000 however the owners need it sold and are listing well-below market value at $165,000.
Recently I sold a penthouse unit for $225,000. Unfortunately I don’t have any vendors THAT motivated currently, but I do have a couple of penthouse units in the $260,000 to $280,000 range, which are GREAT deals as well.