Tulum has some issues to solve - but it also has eco-conscious developers that are taking Tulum future into their own hands

Yoga studio at Green Harbor project in Tulum by Riviera Maya Property Consultants


Lately, we've seen press about Tulum that highlights some of the issues that the quickly-growing Mexican Caribbean is experiencing, painting some in rather negative light - such as a recent Newsweek article.


We at Riviera Maya Property Consultants agree that Tulum still has lots of things it needs to solve: hotel dispossessions, corruption (which not unique to Tulum and is spread around the world, even the first-world countries such as the U.S.), environmental problems… However, we moved to Tulum to launch our architectural/ real estate firm because we strongly believe that Tulum has all the potential in the world to develop in a sustainable, eco-conscious way, bringing economical prosperity to the local economy and preserving its aura of a tropical seaside paradise.

As everywhere in the world, there are some developers in Tulum that only care about short-term profit, but there are also many who invest in Tulum’s future, meaning they keep more virgin land without construction in their lots, create green spaces open to public, preserve underground water system and so on. These developers know that they are investing in the future of Tulum, therefore, in their own economical wellbeing. It’s also true that there are projects in Tulum that start with good intentions, and then get abandoned, or take a different route in the process in order to cut the corners or to save money.

Therefore, it’s important to be dedicated to the goal of respecting nature and starting only the projects one can finish with this goal in mind. 

Here is our take on Tulum’s fast development, its issues and how to solve them.


1. Sustainable developments in Tulum. Tulum has some great examples of sustainable residential developments. For example, Los Arboles residential project takes the future of Tulum very seriously. The goal of the project is not only to provide spacious land lots surrounded by nature to its residents, but also to protect the pristine jungle where the project is being developed. Therefore, each residential lot has 5 acres of land, but 95% of it must remain in its natural state. Only 5% of the land can be used for construction, gardening, pool, etc. In addition, there are many green spaces throughout – nature trails, picnic areas, a garden of indigenous plants, eco-educational center and so on. Riviera Maya Property Consultants have also developed an eco-development project in Tulum, called Green Harbor. Green Harbor, which is currently receiving applications for investors, will preserve the jungle surrounding it, offer green spaces, a Spa, open-air yoga and meditation studio, green paths, clubhouse restaurant and more. Our goal is to give the deepest respect to the nature, underground water system and the jungle, while offering a comfortable lifestyle vision. There is a reason that municipality has put forward land density rules for construction, and these rules must be strictly followed by all developers and builders.


2. Preserving the underground water system. When a developer starts a project in a savage land lot that has no roads, sewage system or electricity, it's up to them to start developing these utilities. It's up to a developer to follow the municipal rules and not to build on top of cenotes that connect the whole underground water system. Different land lots have to follow different density regulations because of the distribution of underground waters. There are modern sewage systems that are available to be installed. The projects of Riviera Maya Property Consultants always respect municipal regulations related to preserving the underground water system.


3. Trouble with land dispossessions/ titles. As we have already written in our blog post on beachfront hotel dispossession, the land that has title documents in order will never be taken away from anyone. Therefore, when buying land in Tulum, it is crucial to work with a reliable local agency that will direct the buyer to a notary and lawyer to confirm that all land documents are in order. Currently, most of the beachfront land lots have no correct title documents. They were bought for a very low price by hoteliers from the locals, without properly dealing with the documentation and without going through the proper Mexican legal system. Sadly, this land has now become easy to dispossess, since the owners cannot prove it rightfully belongs to them.


4. How to buy a condo. When buying a condo, the buyers also need to make sure that it has regime de condo and a title. When a condo is built, it is thoroughly inspected by the municipality, and if all is in order, each condo owner given the regime de condo, thus becoming the owner of the land (the land is split into as many parts as many apartments there are). Titles are also given together with regime de condo. It’s important not to buy any condo apartments that do not have regime de condo and title.


Tulum is growing really fast – and unfortunately, infrastructure and legal system sometimes lag behind. Therefore, it’s up to us – land owners, condo buyers, investors, real estate developers, vacationers and locals – to make sure all rules are met, Tulum prospers in sustainable way and brings jobs and development to local people, while preserving its mysterious, unique charm.

Contact us anytime with questions or ideas.






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