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A Piece of Paradise for Sale ….. SOLD!!

Posted by Tony & Cheri on September 27, 2007

We HAVE NOW SOLD our little piece of paradise in Mexico…our palapa covered bungalow in Paamul, on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. The front entrance to our casita

If you’ve read any of our blog or followed our adventures on other websites, we know we moved to Mexico to run a small hotel. But we also came here to find a new place to live and a new way of life. Before we ever moved to Playa, back when we still lived in San Francisco, we were regular visitors to the beach at Paamul.

Paamul is a little cove south of Playa del Carmen that has been subdivided into palapa covered lots. Lots are rented so that people can install house rv’s/trailers and then build out around them: decks, living areas, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. We always thought when visiting the beach and restaurant that it would be a cool place to live–down by the ocean in an open air, tropical style. And what a style it can be. The little thatched covered lots have been transformed into some amazing homes by the people living there. With very few building restrictions, and no permits required, and labor and materials being very cheap, people have built some pretty impressive places a few steps away from the Caribbean Sea.

When we decided we were making the move to Mexico, we knew that we didn’t want to live in the hotel. Who wants to live where they work? So our first thought was Paamul. The idea of beachfront living at affordable prices really appealed to us. So, when we went down to sign the final papers to buy the hotel, we also went down to Paamul and bought a palapa covered trailer/lot. We picked one that was nestled up against the jungle so that we had open air, sunshine and bird songs flowing through the living space. We thought it was pretty cool. We added a few things, heightened a few walls, but generally it was ready to go. We even bought furniture that we stored there in anticipation of our new life. And we finally had a place to use our kayaks! Our dream is that we would wake up every morning, swim and kayak on the calm bay, cook breakfast in the large open-air kitchen, take a quick shower in the open air walk-in shower and then head off to the hotel for a day’s work. Well…it didn’t quite work out like that.

When we pulled into the area, driving our van, the Big Bastard, along with our pets and everything we own (see The Ultimate Road Trip), we ended up moving into the hotel anyway. We knew we’d have to spend at least a couple of weeks getting organized at the hotel, and besides, the palapa had sat empty for 6 months and needed a thorough cleaning before we could move in. It just would be a matter of time, we thought.

The outdoor living room/dining room/kitchen area
The weeks stretched into months and we were still living in the hotel. When the architect/contractor at the hotel ran off with our money (that’s another story and future blog entry), we ended up hiring our own work crew and supervising the remodeling and renovation of the hotel on a 24 hour basis for a couple of months (no, we had never done anything like that before). We kept hoping and planning on returning to our little seaside casita (little house). But even after the construction was finished and the hotel officially opened, the first several months were non-stop work. Eventually we realized we would have to live in town near the hotel and had to give up our dream of our little thatched roof home.

The casita consists of an outdoor area with large living room space, dining room space, a huge kitchen with dining counter, a separate vanity, bathroom and walk-in shower. Attached to the outdoor living area is a 26-foot one bedroom, one bath trailer/rv which has been stuccoed to make it blend in with the surrounding living area. In addition, there is a second completely enclosed air-conditioned bedroom and a separate laundry room with washing machine.

The outdoor living area is tiled throughout. The kitchen has a gas stove and refrigerator included with plenty of cabinet space. The bathroom is also tiled in beautiful colorful Mexican tile with more cabinets for storage. Close up of kitchen

On the side of the palapa is an open space for parking even the biggest vehicle. Behind the lot is a large area which can be turned into a backyard, patio, garden, etc.

The location is unique in that it does not have another lot with a trailer or rv on one side of it, which guarantees privacy and quiet. The palapa sits on the final building space at the end of Jungle Road in Paamul. From your living/dining area, you can look out upon a tropical forest and be serenaded by the local birds. It is open to the sea breezes and the sunshine. The other side of the lot (behind the trailer) has another palapa lot and trailer which is occupied approximately three months a year by its single female owner. You won’t find a quieter, more private spot in this area. Because of its location at the end of the road, it also offers more usable space than most of the other homes in this area.

The bathroom vanityThis beautiful palapa is located in the beach community of Paamul, about 10 miles south of Playa Del Carmen and 50 miles south of Cancun in the heart of the Mayan Riviera. For a link to the community go to and to Google Earth for a view of the area. Paamul offers its own 24 hour security, an excellent restaurant, pool, dive shop and use of one of the prettiest beaches in all of Caribbean Mexico. The Yucatan’s world famous coral reef comes so close to the shore in Paamul that it is an easy swim for a morning snorkel among beautiful tropical fish. The community is also just 15 minutes away from the exciting restaurants and night life of the resort town of Playa del Carmen.

Paamul is a friendly community consisting primarily of Americans and Canadians. Some are retired and live here year-round, while some simply use Paamul as their vacation home. There are always community activities and friendly people to meet.

Happily we’ve now sold our little palapa home in Paamul to a very nice couple. We’re sure they’re going to love it. For many more photos, click here.

7 Responses to “A Piece of Paradise for Sale ….. SOLD!!”

  1. Kandy Shelton said

    I love Paamul. We had a short visit four years ago and I have still often thought of it. We will be arriving in Cancun on June 14th and will be on Isla Mujeras through June 27th. My husband and I would like to visit and see this casita while vacationing. The only date we have something set is on June 19-20th. My husband will be fishing. May we set a date for a visit? Thank you.

  2. Larsi Sondreal said

    Having recently returned from vacationing in Play del Carmen, I was compelled to send you a note. The Caribbean charm, culture and natural beauty, left me deeply in love and longing for more. As a result, I have begun looking for job opportunities in the area. While online, I stumbled across your advertisement for the bungalow in Paamul, and from there found my way to your hotel website. I was thoroughly impressed with your passion, attitude, and determination as I read about your adventures while becoming established in the area. If you would have any advice or resources for someone looking to relocate to the area, I am very interested in gathering information.

  3. Peter Scalise said

    My wife and I will be coming to Pamuul in Dec or Jan We would like to see this palapa I will let you know dates

  4. april said

    Hi..we are inspired by your dream! we have been researching small hotels within mexico the past few weeks in hopes to move there later in the year and do the same!
    we are lookin on isla,tulum and Huatulco at the moment at a few places. We are presently in NYC and living the life we cant wait to leave!..
    can you offer any good advise to a couple who wish to move to mexico and run such a business, purchasing the hotel, etc?

    Our family owns a bed and breakfast in the bershires so we are VERY experienced in this aspect, just not in the mexican laws and procedures …
    thanks soooo much for any insight you can offer

    First, we would recommend becoming fluent in Spanish if you aren’t already. That will make a big difference. There is so much to know that we can’t possibly comment on it all here. Find a good lawyer for starts–someone who comes highly recommended. And then make friends with someone in a similar business and pick their brains from before day 1. If only there were a good manual, but we never found one that covered everything that was important! Good luck to you.

    Tony & Cheri

  5. -tim and ruth- said

    Woo Hoo!
    Good news for the seller and buyer alike.

    Can’t tell you how much we loved seeing your place in Paamul when you showed it to us, and we were completely floored that it hadn’t been taken.

    It’s a really fine place and it will make the new owners very happy!

    Congrats T&C!

  6. Cheryl and Frank said

    Hi there!
    We are the new owner’s of the “Palapa in Paradise”!! Tony, we know it was tough for you to let it go, but you and Cheri have a standing invitation to come on down any time!!

    We are so excited and cannot wait to get back down there. If things go well, maybe we will be full-timers by next April or so. We look forward to meeting our Paamul neighbors, as well as the Playa community.

    Cheryl and Frank

  7. Hey man, whenever I try to load up pages I only end up seeing half of the site’s post. I do not understand if it is caused by my browser(Safari) or not, is anyone else having this problem?

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