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Environments: Yucatan

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has an abundance of diverse regional amenities that include ancient Mayan ruins, Colonial Period haciendas, world class beaches and diving, sport fishing, jungle eco-tours, Cancun nightlife, the international phenomenon of Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Punta MayaAvenue, and an airport that has direct flights from 25 cities in the United States and 15 in Europe.

Though the hub of Quintana Roo’s tourist and investor activity is from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, the market is expanding to Tulum and Majahual in the south and to Isla Holbox in the north.

Located within the Yum Balam conservation area, Holbox is all about wildlife. It is the last unspoiled continuous stretch of beach remaining in the Yucatan. Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, congregate from May through August. Flamingos paint the beaches pink from April through October. Dolphins, five different turtle species, manta rays, sport fish, and a large variety of birds can be found year-round. Most of Holbox is on the Gulf of Mexico, with the Yalahua Lagoon between the island and the mainland. Cabo Catoche, a point near the eastern end of the Big Island, is where the Gulf of Mexico officially meets the Caribbean Sea.

Isla Holbox (pronounced Hol-bosh) is a 42 kilometer long island that runs east-west along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. At its closest point, on the eastern tip, it is a couple of hundred meters from Mexico’s mainland. A river passes north-south through the island about quoteseven kilometers from the western tip, creating two islands. All of the island’s 1700+ inhabitants live on the western “Small Island”, which is the hub of all daily fishing and tourist activity. The eastern 36 kilometer “Big Island” is totally uninhabited and hosts a 21 kilometer long beach.

Island activities include fly-fishing, kite surfing, swimming with the whale sharks and dolphins, beachcombing, kayaking, and bird-watching. A daily supply of local seafood helps to provide some of the best seafood cuisine anywhere in Mexico. Holbox is especially famous for its ceviche.

Yum Balisi’s Punta Maya Resort sits on the western tip of the inhabited “small” island. It is approximately 5 acres of sprawling beach front and adjacent to a natural lagoon that is open to the Gulf of Mexico. Forty resort units with fractional ownership capability will be housed in 10 four-plex buildings. Consistent with the Yum Balisi development philosophy, a “residential” marina will be built in the lagoon. To help keep the lagoon pristine, no typical marina services, fueling, pump-out, repair, or retail sales will be allowed. Fresh water and power will be available for large sport fishing boats, but the primary marina activity will be small launches, kayaks, and sailing activity.

A narrow belt of mangroves surrounds the lagoon. Yum Balisi recognizes the importance of mangroves in nature and preserves and even re-forests these unique plant species whenever they exist on the properties. In the case of Punta Maya, access to the marina will be by a wooden bridge that spans over the existing mangroves. None of these valuable plants will be removed.