Celestun: Mexico’s best bargain beaches and its best kept secret

Greater flamingos in the Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve, Yucatan state, Mexico (PHOTO: google)

If one is seeking an inexpensive beachfront home in Mexico that includes the keys to a historical and culturally rich community, consider owning a piece of paradise in the beautiful state of Yucatan!

Yucatan is famous for its Spanish colonial architecture found in abundance in such cites as Izamal, Valladolid, and the state capital, Merida, also known as “The White City” for the all-white mansions that line many of the major thoroughfares. These mansions were built after an economic boom that hit the Yucatan in the form of a single plant, “henequen”.

At the beginning of the 20th century there was a huge demand worldwide for this natural fiber plant used to produce sacks, ropes, and anything that required a strong, breathable material, and Yucatan was the world’s number one henequen producer and exporter.

Today, the state of Yucatan is experiencing a different kind of economic boom. Merida and its coastal pueblos – Celestun, Sisal, and Telchac — have become a magnet for American and Canadian baby-boomers who are seeking a better quality of life at a reasonable price.

The Yucatan coast is ideal for active retirees. Just 40 minutes away from Merida’s International Airport, via a four lane highway, Celestún and other beach sites are very similar in appearance to the beaches of Southern Florida.

These coastal properties are quickly being acquired by foreign and Mexican national buyers that have an understanding of the value that is offered by the state of Yucatan. For example, coastal properties located in the nearby Caribbean state of Quintana Roo have risen astonishingly in the past 5 years, where one can easily spend $275,000 USD and up for a 20 meter lot without electricity or paved road. The coast of Yucatan still has relatively low beachfront prices starting as low as $20,000 USD.

Smart buyers are seeking oceanfront property in Yucatan with economic value that obviously will catch up with Quintana Roo. However, unlike its neighbor state, what appeals to most is that Yucatan is less touristy and has positioned itself as a relaxing foreign residential community with world class spas, boutique hotels, high end restaurants, shopping malls, signature golf courses and residential communities.

Plus the added benefits of a much older, more traditional and well established state, developed over the years by a conservative, no tolerant to crime, wealthy citizenship; that has positioned Yucatan as the state with the lowest crime rate in all of Mexico.

Not forgetting that our state features some of the country’s best hospitals (including the largest and most modern hospital south of the border) and a recognized university community with high standards for education and culture.

And if you want to do some shopping! Merida houses practically all of the North American style shopping malls, and familiar franchise outlets.

Yucatan is increasing its air connectivity with the USA, Canada and Europe via direct flights from Houston, Miami, Dallas, Toronto, Rome, Milan, (even Havana and Belize City). Once you land in Mérida, you are less than 40 minutes away from Celestún in a taxi or airport shuttle taking the new highway that connects the state capital with paradise.

It’s time to invest in Yucatán

Beachfront real estate in Yucatán is primed to emerge as one of the smartest investments of the next decade. With 80 million Baby Boomers now retiring, vacation homes in non-traditional markets are becoming more and more popular as people seek safe, low-risk opportunities with major profitability, just like Celestún.

Yucatán fits the profile of a great investment destination: it has a stable, growing economy, real estate prices are affordable, it’s a popular tourism destination, and market trends are headed in the right direction in terms of appreciation.

The coast of Yucatán keeps growing with leading regional developers, investment in vacation homes, marinas, beachfront resorts and hotels, boasting major infrastructure improvements and growing popularity with tourists.

Real estate prices in places like Celestun have seen double-digit year-over-year appreciation rates, for several years now, and experts expect that trend to continue well into the future. However, prices are still relatively low and it’s easy to get into the market, so right now is a great time to act.


The Popularity of Beachfront Properties

Beachfront properties are extremely popular with foreign investors, and one of the most common questions is why these types of vacation homes and condos command such a premium on the market. While many factors influence real estate prices, there are two or three main reasons why waterfront real estate in Mexico is valued higher than inland properties.

First, the basic economic law of supply and demand applies. A large number of buyers want beachfront properties, and there’s a limited number available. For security, home buyers typically pay a premium over what they would have offered for a comparable property in an inland location.

Second, these properties tend to cost more to develop and build, given the challenges involved with creating the right electrical, plumbing and wastewater infrastructure. Buyers need to offset these increased costs by paying a higher price for coastal real estate.

Advantages of Owning a Beachfront Property 

Owning beachfront real estate offers many practical benefits if you’re planning to use the property yourself. You’ll enjoy a fantastic view, and the surf and sand will be just steps away. But beyond these conveniences, there are two major financial advantages that come with owning waterfront real estate in Mexico:

These properties are easier to market to vacationers if you’re planning to generate rental income, since staying by the beach is a high priority for many visitors to Mexico

Appreciation rates are likely to be higher, given the strong ongoing demand for waterfront real estate and its relative scarcity. While you will pay a premium price to purchase a beachfront property, chances are your investment will pay off in a big way in the long run.

Beachfront property in Celestún is primed to be the best real estate investment of the upcoming decade, and getting in at an early stage will greatly boost your chances of generating an excellent rate of return.

Celestun Biosphere Reserve

But the main attraction in Celestun is the “Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Celestun” (Celestun Biosphere Reserve), a large coastal wetland reserve and wildlife refuge for thousands of plant and animal species.

Spanning an impressive 146,000 acres, the Celestun Biosphere Reserve is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Yucatán state and comprises one of the largest areas of mangroves in the Gulf of Mexico. The reserve is shallow, overgrown with vegetation and dotted with lagoons, salt flats and cenotes (underwater sinkholes).

The Celestun Biosphere Reserve is part of a fragile eco-system. Freshwater from the ria (estuary) mixes with saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico creating a habitat that’s perfectly suited to flamingos and waterfowl, and the reserve is home to more than 300 species of birds including egrets, pelicans, herons and a large flamingo colony numbering into the thousands.

Hire a boat to tour the reserve. The Reserve can be visited in a day and the experience is just exhilarating.

Who knows? Maybe after you live the experience, you could decide to turn Celestun into your own home.


For more information about Celestun visit: http://www.celestun.travel/



Photos:  igoyucatan.com