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|Why you Benefit if you Invest in Cozumel Land Now
Cozumel, Mexico is the "jewel of Mexico" and a Caribbean paradise!
Land in Cozumel is not gold. But like gold, and because of its location and limited quantity, land on the island tends to hold its value very well in bad economic times (though some properties do loose value), and steadily gain value in good economic times. In the past few years prices have been flat largely because potential buyers in the US and Canada have had less money to spend due to a slower economy and the fact that US banks are less likely to loan money. The Mexican economy has been improving, however, so there have been more Mexican buyers.
The reason for this ability for property to hold value is that Cozumel island has some of the most beautiful beaches and some of the best SCUBA diving in the world, as well as many other interesting attractions, including 2000+ year old Mayan ruins. It also has a finite amount of land in an area of Mexico with a steadily growing population: The Riviera Maya. That regional population growth also supports land values in the entire area.
So rather than investing in the US or some other country, give some thought to heading south of the border to invest in land on a beautiful island in the Caribbean sea!
(Note: The source of some of the pictures used on this site is Google Earth. They have a wonderful service, and we highly recommend you sign up for it so you can directly explore Cozumel in detail for yourself: Go from here. )
To find out more details about Cozumel, go here:
This site has loads of information, bulletin boards, and much more.
This site has information and reservations for tours and activities.
These sites are for home/condo rentals and a good lawyer.
Location: As you can see from the Google Earth pictures, Cozumel is a beautiful island about 430 miles (692 Km) SW of Florida, just 12 miles (19 Km) off the coast of the Yucatan penninsula, and about 60 miles (97 Km) SE of Cancun, which is on the NE tip of the Yucatan.
Climate: The climate in Cozumel is milder than Florida with temperatures in the 70s F for most of the winter (dry season) and high 80s to low 90s F in the summer (wet season). Most days year round are partly cloudy with beautiful, puffy cummulous clouds floating gently by on the wonderful sea breezes.
Key Attractions: Cozumel is a emerald island surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Caribbean ocean. In fact, the island sits right in the middle of the Caribbean Current, which is known further north as the Gulf Stream. The water here comes from the deep ocean to the south and warms to 84-88 degrees in the summer. In the winter months it is a little cooler at 76-78, but still very nice to swim in. The seawater is very salty here, supposedly the third saltiest in the world after the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake. As a result, you are very bouyant when you swim and SCUBA divers need a little extra weight. The water is also very clear most of the time with visibility ranging from 40 to 200 feet (12 to 61 meters). A snorkeler can float over the bottom in 40 feet of water and see everything on the bottom. Drifting with the Caribbean Current, it feels somewhat like flying over a meadow, except for all the colorful fish!
More Detailed Information about Cozumel and Various Island Locations
The following picture provides a more detailed idea of where Cozumel is in relation to the Yucatan Penninsula, and some key island locations.
The City of Cozumel is located under the red dot in the picture above, and you can see the transversal road going east from town, as well as the roads that go north and south from town to the hotel zones. The light blue water is shallow, only about 20-60 feet deep in most places. Where the color turns deep blue ("azul cobalto" in Spanish), that marks the location of the underwater "wall" or cliffs that drop off sharply all around the island except to the north where the shallow water extends a few miles. (Cozumel is sort of like a Texas butte in the middle of the ocean.) The deep green is Cozumel forest or jungle, which is the source of the Cozumel's fresh water and the water wells for the city water system, which you can see in the next picture. The two yellow arrows at the bottom of the picture above indicate how the deep blue Caribbean Current splits around the island and nourishes the coral reefs.
Hourly ferries run from Cozumel directly across to Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. Playa is midway between Cancun to the north and Tulum to the south. A new international airport is planned near Tulum and Playa. The Cozumel international airport runway is under the "red Cozumel" label. The airport was built as part of this defensive treaty in WWII. Unlike many parts of the US and other parts of Mexico and especially along the US border, Cozumel has very little crime. Many people here do not lock their cars. That, may not be wise, but it is true. While some increase in burglaries and other petty thefts have occurred, they are not the norm here, nor are most of them violent, though there are more threats of violence in some of the relatively few muggings that have occurred. Cozumel still has much less violet crime than most US cities of its size. Yes, once in a while we have a murder, but it is usually a love triangle between locals, or at least it was before 2008 when the murder rate was less than 1 per year on average. Since then due to drug gang disagreements, there have been about more murders, so the average is probably around 5 per year. This may be a sad fact, but we all believe we are safer than in many US cities and towns (compare the crime statistics for most US small cities). Also, there is usually no travel advisory from the U.S. Dept. of State for Cozumel, even when there are for Playa del Carmen and Cancun. For the past 25 years of regularly visiting and 13 years of living here, Cozumel is one of the safest places the author has ever lived.
(Special Note: If the last paragraph does not sound believe-able to you given all the negative media attention Mexico receives now on almost a daily basis, don't just take my word for it: Read this blog.
And here are some additional articles on the subject from the past years you may want to consider: If you hear of riots in the streets of a major US city, would you be worried about visiting a small town or a national park many miles away in an entirely different part of the country? Most people would probably answer "No." Well, that is a pretty good analogy to the current situation in Mexico, though in recent times even US small towns have not been immune to gun violence. In addition, by virtue of the fact that Cozumel is an island, we are naturally isolated from a lot of what happens even in Cancun and Playa del Carmen 12 miles across the open ocean. In addition, most businesses are very positive about their investments in Mexico according to an issue of Business Week magazine, and have no interest in leaving. Cozumel has also been called the safest community in Mexico by TopMexicoRealEstate. )
The point is that maybe you are just fed up with all the political and economic problems in the US, and the apparently uncertain future of the US economy. If you have a couple hundred thousand USD saved up, you can work over the Internet, or have a great idea to start a small business in the Cozumel tourist industry, maybe it is time for you to consider "early retirement." Just keep in mind that, yes, you do have to have a reasonable amount of money even to survive and be happy in "paradise." And since this is a very different culture, there is a pretty steep learning curve for the first couple years. Anyway, read on, give it some thought. If you have questions, there is an email address on page 3 where you can get some answers.
El Cedral is a little hamlet and a former Mayan sacred site and ruin. Some modern Mayan people still live there, along with some Mexicans, and they have a great festival there every year in early May.
The residential development of Mariposa Estates is one of only a couple residential developments in the forest of Cozumel, but there are several other areas that could be developed now that the new zoning law has gone into effect. The forests of Cozumel are a beautiful place to live, with beaches only a short distance away. In spite of what most people think, the forest is not full of nasty critters, and the mosquitoes are only a problem a couple months of the year. Watch this short video to see for yourself. And check out Cozumel Forest Fountain Interlude too.
Much of the land on Cozumel is not open for development.That makes the finite amount that is available even smaller, and smaller supplies of anything eventually lead to higher prices. For example, the entire center of the island cannot be developed because that is the fresh water supply. If you look carefully on Google Earth, you can actually see the grid of water wells there. Much of the forested area is carefully protected, as are the coastal mangroves. The new zoning law that took effect in January 2009 clearly specifies the exact amount of land that can be used and for what purposes in each zone of the island. The Mexican federal, state, and local government are slowly and carefully encouraging development Cozumel. As that happens over the next 5-10 years and the population grows, property values will very probably increase too, as they have for the past 25 years or so up to 2008. After the US real estate crash, as pointed out above, property values have been largely flat. But unlike the US, where real estate growth has been largely contrived by government manipulation of the mortgage markets or an over regulated economy, growth in the Riviera Maya is very stable, well managed, and mostly due to the fact of real population growth, as more and more people discover the beauty and wonderful climate in this area. The bottom line is this: There is no "real estate bubble" to burst in this part of Mexico.
As you can see from the pictures, most of Cozumel is covered with beautiful forest. The forest is filled with beautiful tropical hardwoods such as salam, jigo, and chichen trees. The Chaaka and sapote trees also grow here. Chaaka means "red" in Mayan (its bark is greenish red) and is a medicinal treatment for burns and rashes. The sapote tree sap is used for rubber and gum, but it also has small fruits that taste a little like dates. There is a Mayan pyramid in El Cedral that has been dated to 2000+ years old, but may be older. In Tulum, archeologists have discovered a monument tentatively dated to 5000 years ago, so some of the ruins in Cozumel may be much older than anyone previously thought too.
The entire southern part of the island from Mariposa Estates across to Punta Chiqueros is covered by low "walls" about a foot high called "petkots" in Mayan, as can be seen in the next picture. Though archeologists think they are "field walls," there is another theory that they are remains of Mayan foot trails. They run roughly north-south or east-west and pass near old Mayan wells (cenotes and chens). Since it is known the Maya people built roads by putting down a layer of rocks covered by crushed coral and shells mixed with sand (called "sascab"), this explanation is also likely. Thousands of Mayans once lived on Cozumel, and after 2000 years, the rains washed away the sascab. Or, perhaps there never was any sascab, and the Mayans walked beside the petkots to find their way at night. The Maya are known to travel at night when it is cooler, and the whitish rock here can be seen even in star light, making them excellent trail guides. Until more research is done, I guess we will not know for sure. The petkots in northern Cozumel are from later period, are about a meter high, and have a slightly different compass orientation. During the height of the Mayan civilization, Cozumel was a very sacred religious site, and it was known to the Mayans as the island of fertility. Pilgimages to Cozumel in dugout canoes from the mainland occcurred annually (one such voyage was recreated in 2009 and has been repeated every year since.). I guess one could say that Cozumel was to the Mayans what the Vatican is the the Catholics.
This petkot is mostly buried in leaves, but it is an example of what the Mayans built. Petkots are be found every few hundred meters (300-400 feet) all over the southern part of Cozumel. They are in a rough grid formation that runs mostly north-south and east-west, and most are straight as an arrow. It must have take many man-years to built them all, and it was done without the aid of a compass.
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