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By Kybor | Apr 12 2024 | Beach Real Estate

The good, the bad and the ugly!

Merida Vs The Beach

City living vs Beach living - Chelem - Chuburna - Progreso - Chicxulub

We're going to cover the pros and cons of living on the beach and then do the same for living in Merida. If you'd like to jump straight to the Merida Portion, click here.

Don't be fooled by "Cerveza agents" pretending to know the local laws and Spanish, looking for an easy commission.
Work with a seasoned Real Estate Professional.

The Pros of Living On the Beach

Picture of the sunset on the beach in Progreso

Whether you'r living or plan to live in Chicxulub, Progreso, Chelem or Chuburna, we've picked items that are almost universal to all beachfront properties.


The View

Regardless of which beach you live on, the sunsets are to die for. Personally, having lived on the beach for 3 years, I prefer the summer sunsets. I know, I know, these are the warmer months, but with the ocean air, it isn't as bad. The way the clouds form vertically and the sunset it closer to the central point of your view makes this an unbeatable bonus to living on the beach. This alone is worth it. The sunsets are better than Cancun as their beachfront points east.  You don't get to watch the sunset from your balcony there, Chelem and Chuburna and the rest give that to you.


The Air

We often take this one for granted. If you have any type of pulmonary condition, this can be exactly what you need. Breathing in the cooler, high salinity air, not only does wonders for keeping many complications and symptoms at bay, the air has healing properties and is fresher than anything you'll ever get inland. Of course the caveat to this is sometimes there is an algae smell at certain times of the year... but it's totally worth it.


Vacation Feeling

Living on the beach truly gives you the feeling of living in a vacation destination. It's hard to forget where you are and how lucky you are when you look out at the ocean every morning. No matter what happens at work or with family, you don't find yourself asking "why did I move down here?".

The Cons of Living On the Beach

Chelem beachfront home broken into with broken glass door. Robbery.


By far, the toughest part of living on the beach is the maintenance. Especially if you own the property. To begin with, your floors and windows are constantly in need of washing. This moist film builds onto these surfaces and clouds the windows and makes the floors slippery. Having someone come and clean these several times a month is well worth your while.


Now for the rougher stuff, you've no doubt come to the conclusion that all oxidizable metals will rust fast and need scraping and painting every couple years if not every year. Additionally, your AC units on the roof as well as the hot water tank are going to rust very quickly. Spraying an anti-corrosive over portions of this equipment is not a bad idea, where it is safe to do so. But do be prepared to replace these units more frequently than one would in Merida.


In addition to the metals is the concrete. The salinity will also permeate through the paint and into the concrete. The effects of this is that repainting the concrete is a must, but also, repairing portions of the concrete every so often. The reason is that the salinity also gets to the metal rebar inside the concrete. This cannot be left exposed as it is an essential structural component of your building envelope.

Pro Tip: So budgeting for this will keep your expectations right and stress low. It's not a bad idea to get a beachfront property contractor to give you an expected maintenance plan with costs before you buy.



Unfortunately, the sad truth is that while your neighbors are affluent and you live in a great neighborhood, the beach is still public property. And while the Yucatan is low on violent crime, theft is still a big thing. We live in a 3rd world country and we best remember it. It is best to consider this when buying and see what creative solutions you would apply to the problem before buying.

Pro Tip: Some solutions include building cages or casas over the water pump, shatter proof windows (or "protectores" over your windows if you're ok with that kind of thing). Another great solution is installing additional hammock hooks near valuable large items. These "hamaqueros" are cemented into the wall. You can then chain up valuables, making it very hard for someone to steal these without wrecking the item or its resale value.


Expensive Service

Most people move down here with the understanding that there is a dual economy. For those that don't, I am talking about "gringo pricing" here. From souvenirs to food to construction and real estate, these are more often more expensive when one finds out who they're selling to.


Now multiply this factor when you live on the beach. There is no way to hide your wealth when you live on the beach. Even if you got a great deal and paid less than you would have back home. It's still much more than most locals can afford. So expect every service provider to charge extra. From cleaners to drivers and contractors.

Pro Tip: A tip here is to use a good translation tool and text people to get a price out of them before they have the opportunity to see your property or hear your accent. Try to hide your gringo name from them in your original text conversation as well.


Well that's it for the beach. There's so much more we could talk about, but for now, let's talk about Merida!

Have a Beachfront Question?

The Pros of Living In Merida

beautiful merida colonial building in centro merida

The Real Mexico

While some may argue that the beach is the real Mexico, it just the brim, there's so much inside the country to explore. The beach is relaxing and unwinding. Merida has a rich colonial history with bedazzling architecure and plenty of shaded parks, modern and historical. One of my favorite aspects of Merida? The hidden treasures behind the big walls. Regardless of the neighborhood you're in, if you can get behind people's big concrete walls, you're often amazed at the personal oasis and sometimes castle sized homes that people have hidden. right in the middle of the city, unbeknownst to passers by. You will never fully know how amazing Merida is. There is always another treasure to discover.



No one can deny that the beachfront towns are beautiful, but they are certainly not the mecca of shopping. Merida on the other hand has 5 Major malls and even more big box grocery stores to find those hard to find spices and specialty foods to make those home cooked meals we love and sometimes crave when we're missing home.


The Culinary

Wining and dining, whether you like to do it on the cheap or really spend some cash, you'll find something for everyone in Merida. Of course there are about 2 million taco stands, but in addition to this and other great street food, you have everything from fine dining steak houses to oriental and perhaps the largest selection of vegan restaurants in Mexico.

The Cons of Living In Merida

image of downtown Merida covered in trash.

The Heat

If you spend a little bit of time on the expat facebook groups, you will notice that the biggest challenge to living in Merida is the summer heat and humidity. It's unlike anything you've ever felt. In addition to not having that ocean breeze to cool you off, Merida has a lack of trees on its streets. This makes for a concrete jungle. It's for this reason that while there isn't much of a siesta period here like other parts of mexico, the city does come to life at night. It's not uncommon to see soccer teams and tennis courts full at 10PM. While it may seem irresponsible if one works the next day, understand that this is not the case. It's all planned out. Night time is our time to shine without the risk of heat-stroke. If you're in a newer neighborhood, you will find the unbuilt lots and nature covered in food wrappers and contruction debris, dumped there in order to save a few bucks at the dump.


Busy Lifestyle

Sometimes, one can forget why one moved here. While the hustle and bustle of Merida is nothing compared to our northern neighbors or even northern Mexican states, it's not the beach house you rented the first came down here. My recommendation? Take a quick day trip to the beach once a week. You'll get the soul-food you're looking for without having to live there and maintain a home there.


The Trash

Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't. The further out of centro you travel, the more you will notice that there is a serious lack of education and culture when it comes trash. People are only concerned with what happens behind their front door or gate. You may even witness some older folk sweeping their house and its trash out onto the side-walk. This can be infuriating at times. The lack of pride in the city and country is demoralizing.

If you're in a newer neighborhood, you will find the unbuilt lots and nature covered in food wrappers and contruction debris, dumped there in order to save a few bucks at the dump. This is a problem that will take some serious campning and several decades to fix. Thus far, the only glimmer of hope seems to be the "puntos verdes" where you can go drop off recycling and electronics. These are spread throughout the city and can be found by googling.

I believe that foreigners, both Mexicans from other states as well as from other countries will be leading this movement by example and hopefully inspire care and pride in many yucatecans who are lacking in this aspect.


Important: The image portrayed above is by no means real. It is a purely dramatized version of the problem for entertainment purposes only.


This is a half half picture of merida vs the sunset in chicxulub

As you might have guessed, we cannot say that one is better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference. Ideally, if you have the money, buy a home in both locations!

Additionally, depending on where you're from, driving from the beach to Merida restaurants and grocery stores may not be any farther than a commute in your home town. It's something to consider!

Need Some Advice?

Personal portrait of merida real estate agent with trustfirst

Article By

Kybor | 📚

Kybor is a an experienced Merida Real Estate Agent and seasoned entrepreneur in both the transportation and construction sectors with an aptitude for languages. Having spent 6 years of his youth in the Yucatan, he is adept at conversing and communicating with local without them knowing he is not of latino heritage.


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