First-World Comforts at Low Prices on This Tropical Island

While the notion of getting away from it all on a tropical island has near universal appeal, coconut phones and signal fires won’t cut it with today’s savvy expats. Let’s face it. You want to have your solitude, but also remain connected to the outside world through high-speed internet service and modern transportation options. Particularly when considering a full or even part-time lifestyle change, it’s likely you want the ”get away from it all” feel without the Gilligan’s Island infrastructure.

You’ll want a place where you can build a life and enjoy it to the max, without compromising creature comforts; an affordable escape from the daily grind. A place where the weather is tropical, the turquoise water is warm and teaming with colorful tropical fish, the beaches are sugar-sand white, and the water-based recreational opportunities are endless.

It really isn’t necessary to search the globe when you could be leaving footprints in the sand less than two hours from Miami, and own your own piece of paradise for as little as $128,000.

On the island of Cozumel, off Mexico’s spectacular Caribbean coast, the temperature normally hovers between 80 F and 85 F. Cozumel’s night life offers glitzy clubs and casual beach bars with restaurants, large and small, competing to offer the best seafood creations. The beaches are the stuff of postcards.

This tropical jewel of an island (about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide) is located in the Caribbean Sea along the eastern side of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Fifty miles south of Cancun, it rests only 12 miles from the mainland opposite Playa del Carmen and is a renowned tourist mecca. Don’t let Cozumel’s booming tourism credentials scare you away, though. In fact, because of its global popularity, this little island even has its own international airport.

Being a first-rate travel destination is a good thing, as it almost guarantees that everything works without a hitch. From the power grid to the Internet, transportation, supply chain and public services, maintaining good infrastructure is crucial for the economy.

A new Duty Free Store has been granted a 10-year contract and is planning an additional 10,000-square-foot expansion at the port.

Homes in Cozumel are remarkably affordable and can be had for less than $130,000. I came across a nice two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo recently that was listed for $128,000. It had tons of storage space, a huge closet in the master suite, and a modern kitchen with upgraded appliances. It’s an open concept floorplan.

Another I came across was a three-bedroom condo, of almost 1,600 square feet, in an upscale building. With shops and restaurants within walking distance, the condo was on the market for $187,600.

You won’t need a car on Cozumel. In fact, with the narrow, picturesque streets and ample numbers of taxis and motor scooters already on the road, a car may be an unnecessary inconvenience. To avoid parking issues but still have convenient transportation around town, many residents choose to buy a small motor scooter.

If you’re in the market for something bigger, then Cozumel delivers. Another example I came across was a 2,300-square-foot, two-bedroom unit. With nicely decorated granite counter tops, a nice big bar and a large patio terrace with a beautiful view of the tennis courts, cruise ship pier, and the Caribbean, it can be yours for $330,000. You can also enjoy the gorgeous pool area and garden just below and stunning views of the water.

Or maybe you’re in the market for a hacienda-style home? I found a gorgeous home with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, and beautiful landscaping surrounding a stunning pool area. This particular home comes completely furnished and expertly decorated, and can be bought for $299,000.

For those occasions when you want access to the big city, a ferry service to the mainland runs between Cozumel and the booming city of Playa del Carmen every hour, and costs about $10, depending on the exchange rate. It’s best to purchase only a one-way ticket as there are two ferry providers and they don’t accept each other’s tickets. That way, you can catch whichever ferry leaves next for your return trip.

Cozumel just may be the perfect island getaway. Not too far. Not too close. And with the right blend of affordability, modern conveniences, and tropical island attitude.


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