In the heart of downtown Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, between the city’s main tourist street (a pedestrian walkway with plenty trendy restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, etc.) and the beach, there are two separate studio condos being sold as one unit, in a beautiful little complex of 19 condos – low rise, like everything in Playa del Carmen.
What sets these Playa del Carmen condos apart from others is that in the complex’s common area there are two natural cenotes!
“What on earth is a cenote?”
A very good question, and it’s probably what you were thinking if you haven’t spent time on the Yucatan Peninsula.
You’re more likely to be familiar with the fact that the Yucatan Peninsula is home to one of the world’s largest underground river and waterway system. In short, a cenote is a cool, naturally formed fresh-water pool at the entrance to this river and cave system. The water, coming from underground sources, is cool and refreshing. In their natural jungle setting, tall trees shade the water and keep it cool, as well as numerous vines and other sub-tropical vegetation; the water itself is home to small fish, and is often crystal clear. Many of them are great for swimming in.
One famous cenote is located on the site of Chichen Itza, the Mayan pyramid site located in the central area of the Yucatan Peninsula, about 3 hours from Playa del Carmen; this site appears in many photos linked with Mexico’s history, and popular sights to see, and was recently named one of the new Wonders of the Ancient World. (Although it is important to note that many cenotes are much more suitable for swimming in!)
It is also important to note that these are completely naturally formed! Other than the stairways running down to the edge of the water on some of them, there was no human involvement in their creation. Many have naturally shallow slopes down to the water, and need no stairs.
They are unique ecosystems with wonderful stalagmites and stalactites. Visitors are told not to wear bug spray or sunscreen (despite the Baz Luhrmann song, not everyone’s free to wear sunscreen!), or touch the stalagmites, since grease from our fingers can deter the formation of these mineral features.
Your Personal Cenote
Cenotes are beautiful, natural and unique pools, and come in many forms, forms and sizes.
Now imagine living in a condo, with a balcony very literally sitting right over the water of a small cenote, a couple of yards above the water, with a beautiful view of the trees growing on the opposite side of the cenote (also only a few yards away), and the vines growing down over the edge. From the balcony, there is a very short flight of stairs (about 5 or 6 stairs, to a little landing, where you can sit on the edge, dangling your feet into the water, or go in for a swim …
This is what makes these condos very unique; while other properties in the area include similar features, very few residential properties have cenotes ideal sizes for swimming in, and even fewer are designed to provide visual and active enjoyment of the pool. These cenotes include plenty of fish, and one of them is even home to a turtle.
You’ll need to note that at about 7 pm, the mosquitoes near any body of water will not be pleasant; at this time you’ll probably want to stay indoors, or keep to the balcony with some bug spray (not in the cenote, of course!) and a citronella candle.
2 Comfortable Cenote Studios For the Price of One
In general, this condo unit is a pleasure to live in. Plenty of palm trees in the large green area keep the complex cool; very few of the other residents currently make use of the green area, making it quiet and relaxing. The patio space at the entrance are spacious and shaded. The common area is connected and shared with that of another complex, where there is a swimming pool, in case sometimes you prefer something a little more conventional for your swimming.
Of the two suites for sale (one called “Roca” and the other “Cenote,”) one has a complete kitchen which has recently been remodelled, with hardwood cupboards and stainless steal appliances. They include comfortable interiors with a simple, conservative elegance. Both have large terraces for comfortable relaxation. There is a pleasant rooftop terrace, with terracotta tiles, lounge chairs and a view of the ocean.
The price for the 2 units together is very competitive in the Playa del Carmen real estate market, considering the location – only half a block from the beach, on a relatively quiet street, directly in the core of Playa del Carmen’s downtown tourist district, combined with the very unique feature of having the terrace space conveniently integrated into a cenote. Currently the seller is also offering a 12% price reduction.
The condo fees are competitive, and include all utilities, making monthly payments and bills convenient. Property taxes in Playa del Carmen are low, and discounts of up to 25% are offered for early payments. Again, the location, and the costs involved in these suites make them an ideal investment for rental income; the cenote will add that competitive touch of something no one else offers.
Playa del Carmen
The location within Playa del Carmen is a big plus as well. Although this part of the street, Fifth Avenue is fairly quiet, just a block or two the road is the heart of the area’s nightlife, with lots of bars and trendy clubs. Fifth Avenue also has restaurants offering Mexican, Mayan, Italian, Argentinean, Lebonese and Thai food among many other choices. There are a number of gelaterias and cafes, including a Starbucks. Within Playa del Carmen, there are large grocery stores (Walmart and similar stores), club stores like Sam’s, theaters which play movies in English, and 2 new malls.
In addition to the eco-parks mentioned above, nearby there are golf courses, marinas, Mayan ruin sites, and a broad choice of activities. The Cancun international airport is about 50 minutes away. This airport is becoming an international air travel hub; so if you want to get back home in a cheap, direct flight, this is one of the best locations you could choose. If you’re sick of back home (you really want to escape from America) the rest of the world is becoming ever more accessible from Cancun.
While you may find comparable conveniences in other properties, you’ll be hard pressed to find a high-quality condo so conveniently designed around a cenote; your own personal cenote!
TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely
About the Broker: Thomas Lloyd, Founder and President of TOPMexicoRealestate.com
Originally from Indiana, and a graduate of Purdue University in the Krannert School of Management, he holds a degree in management with a speciality in finances. Lloyd has several diplomas and certifications in Mexico Real Estate topics and is one of only a few professionals to hold Mexico’s new degree in real estate. This degree is accompanied by a Professional Identification Number, “cedula profesional,” which is issued for trained professionals such as those in the medical field, or in law. He has over 15 years of direct experience in Mexico’s business culture.
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