Sunday, December 26, 2010
This prize is one that almost makes me want to cheat and take part myself. Of course, I won't--but I'm sorely tempted.
It's a four-day, three-night stay in a resort with five-star amenities...a 27-hole golf course, spa, restaurants, bars, and swimming pools...
And a coral-sand beach, wrapped around turquoise Caribbean Sea, on Mexico's magical Riviera Maya. You'll experience this stunning location, and check out a red-hot real estate opportunity first-hand...
Best of all, we have three trips for couples on offer...so you have three chances to win. Simply enter your name and e-mail address here...and find out on January 7th if you're one of the lucky winners.
Read more below on Mexico's Riviera Maya, and the real estate opportunity that your fellow readers are snapping up.
This Is like Buying When You Could Retire to the Bahamas for under $150,000...St. Kitts Was Unknown... and Cancun Was Just a Coconut Plantation with $36,000 Beachfront Lots...
The 'Second-Best Beach Destination in the World' according to Tripadvisor
But Values on This Stunning Caribbean Outpost Are Set to Skyrocket...
Nestled at the end of a stunning Caribbean coastline, surrounded by untamed jungle, ancient forest cities, a protected nature reserve, and the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea, lies one of the world's best-kept secrets...for now.
Here you will find miles of crescent-shaped, coral-sand beaches, lapped by turquoise waters. The world's second-longest coral reef hugs the seashore. There are no high-rise condos or big shopping malls...and no spring-break crowds...on these tranquil beaches. Million-dollar homes and chic boutique hotels are dotted along the coastline. Home to a protected biosphere and UNESCO world heritage site, ancient Mayan ruins and lush green jungle, this is a pristine unspoilt paradise. It's the quintessential Caribbean...
Just 80 miles from Cancun, these beaches have the same sugar-white sand and clear blue waters as Cancun, but long overshadowed by its big brother up the coast, this tranquil getaway managed to stay off the radar...attracting a chic and trendy set looking to escape from crowded resorts.
This tiny town started as a backpacker retreat. Most of the hotels were a collection of primitive thatched huts on the sand, surrounded by beachside jungle. But it's now turning into an upscale eco-destination, where travelers pay up to $500 a night to practice yoga on the beach and stay in minimalist suites with solar-powered flat screen televisions and iPod docking stations.
This area receives hundreds of thousands of tourists a year, but chances are you have never even heard of this small Caribbean outpost.
But its fabulous beaches are not The Big Secret...
What you really need to know is...
Even now, as travel industry giants like Conde Nast, and Tripadvisor rave about the beauty of this Caribbean paradise, nobody realizes that you can buy here without draining your bank balance. And we're not talking about a postage-stamp sized plot of land in the middle of nowhere...we can tell you where you can buy a luxury condo in a resort with five-star amenities... for a fraction of the cost back home.
There's a powerful trend underway here, right now. It involves one of the biggest tour operators in Europe...the Mexican President...a small group of private beach houses...and what Conde Nast is calling 'the anti-Cancun'...
This is the Caribbean's Next Big Thing, no doubt about it. But the deals aren't going to last long. The floodgates have opened, and the media are now raving about their new find--uncrowded, picture-perfect Caribbean beaches right next door to the U.S. It won't be a secret much longer. Think of Roatan in the Bay Islands and Ambergris Caye in Belize...undiscovered until the mainstream media reported on their epic beaches and laid-back lifestyle...
Its "Big Brother" up the Coast Has always Overshadowed Tulum ... until Now. This Has Been to Tulum's advantage... and Yours, too!
As I said, the mainstream is only just catching on. Right now everyone is raving about Tulum, a small town at the southern end of Mexico's Riviera Maya, as the ultimate luxury vacation spot... but they haven't tuned into the opportunities to buy! Soon homes here will be beyond the reach of all but the rich and famous...but for now, there is still a short window of opportunity to claim your slice of the Caribbean before Tulum's market explodes.
Today, Tulum is a couple of quiet streets with beachfront hostels, bars and boutique hotels. That's set to change...the same way Playa del Carmen started to change 10 years ago. It's a unique time for this market...where right now you can buy a luxury condo for $153,000, with developer financing ...in a luxury resort where others are paying up to $270 a night to vacation.
But first let me tell you little more about the story of events that has Tulum on the edge of a boom. It's not just all this media attention that will turn Tulum into the next Bahamas...there is also the inside story of the president, and a multi-million dollar investment...
It's the quintessential Caribbean...
The Last Undeveloped Stretch of Caribbean Coastline
So why is Tulum so affordable? How has it managed to remain off the radar for so long?
With Conde Nast calling its beaches 'near perfect'... Tripadvisor ranking it the second best "Beach and Sun Destination" in the world...boasting a world famous protected biosphere, and ancient Mayan ruins, it's certainly not lacking in natural beauty.
It's simple...Tulum has always been overshadowed by Cancun.
Earmarked for development in the Eighties, the Mexican government poured millions of dollars into transforming a coconut plantation lacking in basic infrastructure into a tourist hot spot. Cancun got the government investment, the airport, the infrastructure, the hotels, the marketing, the media coverage, and (of course) the tourists. The area boomed, and real estate prices skyrocketed. This transformation slowly spread south along the coast...from Cancun to Playa del Carmen.
Think back... In 1976, Cancun was a deserted strip of beach with no electricity, no phones, and one sorry, sand road. Land changed hands for $3.70 a square foot. Today it sells for 19 times that. If you'd bought a beachfront lot in 1976 for $36,000, it'd be worth $700,000 today. That's an appreciation of nearly 2,000%.
Thirty years ago, Cancun didn't exist. Today the hotel zone with its high-rise buildings, gourmet restaurants, and U.S.-style shopping malls attracts more than 3 million visitors a year.
You have to admit, Mexico knows how to run a PR campaign.
Mexico's Riviera Maya, and Tulum in particular, Is now Set to Take the Spotlight
The Mexican government has recently committed to transforming this last stretch of Caribbean coast into the next great tourist destination. And this government knows what it's doing. It did this with Cancun...
Last year, Mexico's Riviera Maya greeted 2.9 million visitors. That's a big number. The government plan now calls for this number to increase to 18 million by 2025. This is a Fonatur project, and these guys make things happen. They were the ones that turned Cancun from a coconut plantation into a gleaming tourist Mecca...
A major government investment is now targeted at attracting high-end tourists and developing high-end tourism infrastructure.
Along the Riviera Maya, the government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve accessibility--highways and roads, electricity and telecommunications, a new international airport, and new docks for cruise ships.
And Tulum Is Getting its own Airport.
Tulum's airport is seen as an "economic trigger" that will turn this part of the coast into one of the most prosperous areas in the Mexican Caribbean.
Mexico's president Felipe Calderon was here in Tulum in March 2010. Accompanied by his minister for tourism and infrastructure, he officially kick-started the Tulum airport project. Once open, the airport will bring 3 million tourists directly to this area.
Tulum is set to explode. Tulum today is where Playa del Carmen was 10 years ago. Fifteen years ago in Playa, you could buy a corner lot for $10,000. Today, the ground floor retail unit on that lot would rent for up to $20,000 per month...and a condo on the beach can set you back up to $600,000.
Tulum has always been a "boutique" destination. Restriction on development and lessons learned the hard way in Cancun will keep it that way. There are already strict density and environmental regulations in place to preserve the natural beauty. Height restrictions, for example, mean you should never see a string of high-rise towers along the beach.
Unlike neighboring Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the Riviera Maya is being developed to cater for high end tourists. With the media already calling Tulum the 'Un-Cancun'...this is where you will find the exclusive resorts, private communities and club houses....think of the Bahamas when you are looking at the potential for values to grow here!
Only 80 Miles of Coastline...An Investor's Dream
The presence of national parks like the 1.3 million-acre Sian Ka'an biosphere at the end of this short 80-mile stretch of coast means limited developable lands. Add the Caribbean Sea on one side...jungle with protected Mayan ruins on the other...and you have a classic 'high-demand, limited-inventory' story, much as you see with island destinations, where land is at a premium. Plus, Tulum is positioned at the end of the line as far as current infrastructure goes on this coastline.
That means buyers and renters chasing limited inventory. These conditions make Tulum an investor's dream...
Right now, Tulum offers a unique opportunity to snap up undervalued Caribbean property: And the key here is undervalued, but not completely undeveloped.
You are not talking about endless hours along bumpy roads, or single jet airplane journeys to get here.
With this opportunity, you're not relying on a developer's promise to build roads, or put in infrastructure. The roads are in place. Infrastructure is first-rate. This project boasts beach clubs, pools, good paved roads, a brand new golf course, medical center, shops, and fine dining, all on your doorstep...and a small but active expat community.
Not so, once you travel any further down the coast.
Keeping You Ahead of the Mainstream
While the mainstream media has only just discovered the stunning beaches, and natural beauty of the Riviera Maya, we have already scoured this coastline from Cancun to Bacalar... scouted out the best beaches, best resorts, the best properties... met the developers...ruled out the mediocre, and ruled in the top properties for investment. We have already done all the leg-work for you.
Insider groups have been coming for three day scouting trips to this location ... and it's no big surprise to hear that 9 out of 10 people in those groups bought property while they were here.
Last year, some of our readers bought penthouses in the same resort for $199,000. Ten months later, similar units were listed for $249,000. And this was before all the recent media interest...never mind the airport and tourist boom yet to come!
But don't worry. It's not too late for you to stake your claim here. I'll give you full details of how you can check out Tulum for only $180 per person in a moment...
First, there is one more piece to this story...
And this is the inside line that you only get by being on the ground and spending time with key contacts.
Our top pick for Tulum is located on a first class beach and golf resort, where the owner has opened up small parcels of the resort land to small developments of private properties. I am keen on this particular opportunity, because it not only comes from a solid developer with a proven track record in delivering quality builds, but is also backed by an experienced and successful resort operator.
This means you get a readymade rental market...
We met with developer Benjamin Beja in Tulum back in March. While the swine flu epidemic had left most tourist hotspots in Mexico half-empty, this resort was already back up to almost full capacity.
You see, the Spanish company who own this resort also owns Europe's second biggest travel agency, Soltour, which sells and runs 2.5 million vacations every year...
If (like many investors) you decide to wait until the airport is built, and things are really booming before you sell, you can reap in the rental returns while you wait. Not only will you have the Mexican government marketing your town but you have your own 'travel agency' bringing in tourists directly to the very resort you own in.
I know and trust developer Benjamin Beja. I've seen his work and have been impressed. The luxury condos Benjamin is building at Tao are perfect for the chic Tulum set. Whether you are buying here as an investment or plan to retire in luxury...you can rent the property out when you're not here, and watch the checks roll in...
The Boom Is just Beginning
Two years ago, Benjamin spotted the huge opportunity here, and decided to build condos in Gran Bahia Resort. We brought this early-in deal to our readers in March 2009...and they jumped at the chance to buy luxury condos at an affordable price, in a Caribbean resort. The condos are sold out. But it's not too late to get your foothold in this market before prices explode.
Tao, Benjamin's new development, is located next door, right on the Robert Trent Jones II golf course in Gran Bahia Resort...just a few minutes from the Caribbean Sea with its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.
You will have full use of the entire resort amenities at a reduced rate...restaurants, the beach club, luxury spas, the medical center, and the shops...and the golf club and private clubhouse.
This resort is truly a first class experience. At the clubhouse, you have tennis courts, a spa, and restaurants overlooking the cenotes and the golf course. And when you are ready to head down to one of the 'world's top beaches' a shuttle bus whisks you to and from the beach and main hotel amenities. Every luxury is right on your doorstep!
You'll have all the luxuries of a five-star resort on your doorstep
In Playa del Carmen, 35 minutes away, beachfront units can cost up to $5,000 per square meter. Units back from the beach are in the $2,700 per square meter range. Tao works out a fraction of Playa del Carmen's prices--and with all the amenities of an upscale established resort.
If you're interested in real estate investment, Tulum should be on your radar. If you want to own a home near a pristine Caribbean beach, under the cool shade of palm trees...at early-in, ground floor pricing...then you should definitely check Tao out first-hand.
Own at Tao from $800 a Month
Luxury condos at Tao, with 969 square feet, start from $153,000. Plus,the developer is offering attractive financing terms. This deal makes a luxury Caribbean lifestyle affordable. Vacationers next door could be paying up to $1155 a week to holiday where you live...
These same vacationers would be happy to rent your property while you are away. Although if my day started with a swim in the warm crystal-clear waters of 'The World's Second Best Beach', and ended with a cool drink as I watched the sun set over an unspoiled Caribbean skyline...I don't think I'd be in any hurry to leave...
These luxury condos will make perfect rentals for the chic Tulum set
Try the Tao Lifestyle for Size...
While all of this all seems tempting--gorgeous coastline, an established resort with five star amenities, and good opportunities for rental income, as you know we always advise you to buy what you see. So, why not check out this stunning location in person?
We've got a three-day chill weekend trip on offer...and three chances to win. The trips make it possible for you to explore Tulum, and the stunning setting for Tao. Explore first-hand the resort, the clubhouse, the golf course...experience the location, the climate...talk to the locals, get a feel for your would-be neighborhood...whatever is most important to you. And when you meet with the developer, you can ask your questions first-hand--based on what you see.
Simply book your flight to Cancun and Benjamin's team will pick you up at the airport, bring you to the Gran Bahia resort, wine and dine you...and you'll enjoy the resort's amenities. I hate to say it... but the trip would be well worth it, even if you never looked at a single property!
But there won't be any pressure. This is not a hard sell trip. These pristine beaches offer the ultimate luxury vacation... swim in the clear waters, swing in a hammock under the shade of palm trees dotted along the white sands, snorkel the reef, explore the ruins...if you don't like what you see in Tulum (although I think you will), you can skip this investment opportunity and indulge yourself in a Caribbean lifestyle...even if it's only for a few days...
There are three free chill weekend trips for couples on offer in today's competition...so enter your name and e-mail address here for your chance to win.