There completely different profiles of expats depending on each area in Yucatan. You have the people who live in Cancun who moved there a long time ago and are the pioneers. They are doing businesses and they have an expat community in Cancun.
The expat community in Playa del Carmen started around 1986 so you will see that the people there decided to live there because they want to be in a very small town contrary to Cancun that was becoming a big city with big hotels. This trend has changed. Now, Playa del Carmen has more hotel rooms than in Cancun. That area and the whole Riviera Maya corridor (which includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the areas in between) is a very important area and a lot of expats live there.
We noticed that the people who moved at the beginning to the areas like Playa del Carmen looking for tranquility and a nice place to live without the hustle of the big city like Cancun was becoming are now caught up in another big town. Playa del Carmen doesn’t have big hotels but it is very busy in terms of hotels, tourism, and activities in the area. So in order to go to a less touristic place some of these expats are now moving out to Merida (the largest city in the state of Yucatan in the Yucatan Peninsula) and some to Campeche (a much less developed state in the Yucatan Peninsula).
Merida also established itself around 20 years ago as a nice place. Then it started opening opportunities in downtown Merida. People started buying old houses, renovating them, and they either sell or live in them. It turned out to be a huge business and now we have around 10 realtors that are very good in the area of Merida with offerings downtown.
The expat community in Campeche is also starting to grow.
Just in the state of Yucatan, the expat population could range between 6,000 and 8,000, depending on the season. When the snowbirds come, they establish themselves on the coast and some of them rent houses downtown. In general, the Yucatan has a huge expat community. They come back year after year and from what we’ve seen and from the stories we’ve heard, expats really do love the Yucatan. They feel at home. In the end, they get used to the traditions in the area as well.