Chuburna ex-pats in the Yucatan

Chuburna is located on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, right beside Chelem and pretty much the farthest village from Progreso (by literally about a 20-minute car ride). Chuburna has some beautiful beaches and lots of boomer ex-pats live here.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

The town is very popular, particularly during the summer months with the families and groups from Merida who come to take advantage of the lovely beaches. Well-loved by the ex-pats in the area there is an area of Chuburna known as gringo gulch due to its high concentration of ex-pats and boomer retirees from the US and Canada.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

In the summer months, while the beach is most crowded, some vendors on the beach will offer you shaved ice, open coconuts that you can drink the milk from, tubes and rafts for the water, hammocks, meringues, and other things.  The water is very pleasant and refreshing in the daytime, and in the nighttime, it is as warm as bathwater.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

The four streets around the Zocalo or the square,  have most of the shops in town, as well as several tortillerias.  Chuburna has restaurants on almost every corner.  The restaurants are all covered outdoor patios with more than enough plastic tables and chairs.  Since Chuburna is a fishing port all of the restaurants have a menu mainly consisting of fish.  Fried fish, raw fish, ceviche, the restaurants all make different types of fish.  Most restaurants are open from 1 until 5 so for dinner many residents head into Chelem, Progreso or Merida for a night out.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

There are a few shops in Chuburna.  You might go to one shop to get your fruit, and another to get your newspaper.  Then, you would probably go to the tortilleria to buy a fresh supply of tortillas for the day. 

Chuburna also has a pharmacy, as well as tons of fish shops to go along with all the fish restaurants.  As well as shops that you can actually walk into and take the items you would like to buy off the shelves yourself, there are also shops called tendejons that you stand outside of, and tell the store worker, through a window what you would like to purchase. 

A long lagoon borders the backsides of Chuburna, Chelem, and Yulculpetan. It is home to many waterbirds, among them herons, egrets, and eagles. For as little as 100 pesos (though if you’ve enjoyed yourself a tip is appreciated) a local will take you out in a little pole-propelled boat for a couple of hours. In addition to the birds, you may see crab, fish, jellyfish and a beautiful shellfish called ‘barcolas’ which is the snail-like creature listed as ‘civitas’ in the local restaurants.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

There are quite a few private rentals available in Chuburna check out Air BnB and HomeAway for listings here are some I have seen personally and they are gorgeous.

Flamingos Inn is owned by Stig who is a Norwegian ex-pat and the house is absolutely beautiful. Each apartment is beautifully appointed and very luxurious.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

Real Estate and Rentals in Chuburna

Lots of options with Real Estate, but buyer beware there are some very trustworthy reputable brokers and dealers, but we suggest you ask around for references and check out Yucatan Beach Friends Facebook page for more information.  These are a few of the ones that we would heartily recommend:

Flamingo Coast Real Estate – This is run by Ramona and Neil Robinson very dependable and have lived in the area for a long time they know all the ins and outs of buying and building in the area.

Homes for Sale in Yucatan –  Bobby and Christine are a lovely couple who sell properties and lots from the beach to Merida.  Great reputation and they speak Spanish and English.

House Hunters of the Yucatan has a Facebook page where they show videos of the homes they have for sale. They have really impressed me with their information and trustworthiness.

There are a number of private rentals available in Chelem and Chuburna check on the Yucatan Beach Friends Facebook page for recommendations and lots of information about the area.

Check out VRBO for lots more rentals in the area. 

There is no major shopping in Chuburna but check out Progreso which is only a 20-minute ride.  Just down the road in Chelem you can catch a terrific artisan’s Market once a month in season and every Monday there is an excellent farmer’s market 

Various vendors and contacts for food, catering and personal chefs:

Merida Food Hunt FB page an amazing resource for all those questions about where to get spices, herbs, meats and various other items.

Eterno Kombucha:  Rae Ann does fantastic quiches, kombuchas and a variety of pickles and fermented veggies

Merida Epicure FB page anything to do with the food you will find here, from restaurant reviews to cooking classes

Natural Thangs Farmer’s Market:  takes place every Monday morning, except during the off seasons which is generally from the end of May until September

Muelle Market:  Chixulub

Slow Food Market Yucatan:  Saturdays in Merida from 9 to 1 and Weds from 6 to 9.

Thai Bistro:  We finally have authentic Thai take out at the beach, place your order online via Facebook and then arrange a pick-up time.  Great fresh food.

Anita – The Sausage Lady:  Currently Anita is building a new shop and preparation spot at the Beach and her products will be available at the local markets Natural Thangs, Muelle and the Gypsy Market.  Sometimes you can drop by her house and pick up as well.  Anita makes fantastic Italian sausage, bratwurst, salami and much more.

Eeka Boo’s Gourmet Eatery  –  a classically trained chef from FL, moved to Progreso, Erica does private parties, meal planning and prep, baking, wine dinners, catering & cooking classes.

Virginia Jans: Menu includes: Chicken Pot Pie, Sheperd’s Pie, Greek Meat Pie, Lasagna, Meatballs, Mac n Cheese, plus Cinnamon Buns, 3 different cookies and Fudge Brownies!

Rancho Haltun Xiki is a working farm located in Yucatan, Mexico. They Provide organic produce and meat products. lamb; mutton; turkey; chicken; duck; duck eggs; chicken eggs.

Fabulous Pizza at Maasai Maya Bistro

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side

There’s many helpful ex-pats and locals in Chuburna, plenty of places to hang out at and have a drink or find some new friends. Enjoy a relaxed retirement and living on the Emerald Coast.

Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side
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13 thoughts on “Chuburna Living the Ex-Pat Life in Mexico |Gulf Side”

  1. Thanks for the great infos.We are looking to spent next Canadian Winter in Mexico but we don’t really know were the weather is less humid and also we are concern about security.

    Thaks again Julie

    1. glad you liked it, I have to say though it can get immensely humid in the area and I mean temps of 45 with around 70% humidity. That can be absolutely brutal and is why most Canadians head home around March. April through to early June are the absolute worst and sometimes the area is the hottest in the world. I hear San Miguel is much cooler due to the mountains and lots of Canadians there.

  2. What can you tell me about those condos at the pier? I am looking into buying one of them for retirement. What is the back ground of them value wise ect. I plan to use it in the winter months. Thanks Steve

    1. to be honest Steve although I have seen them closeup I was not impressed particularly the location. There is much to choose from in the area but you do have to be very careful with purchase and pricing. Many of the older homes were built with gulf water, rebar and concrete and so rot from the inside. Not to mention the upkeep on places beachside can be horrendously time consuming. There is a new Property place just started and it is run by Ben and Julie Tinkey who I would trust with my money you can find them here https://www.facebook.com/FCPMexico/ on Facebook. They have lived in the area for several years, bought property run a couple of businesses and then built some new apartments and just started this aspect of their business. There are many shady people in the area and these 2 are most definitely trustworthy.

      1. stephen fiege

        Thanks for the reply. They want 70,000 which sounds high to me. Could you tell me more about this area? You mention that it seems not that good? Doe’s the pier have something to do about that. I no what you mean about beach front homes about up keep. It can keep you very busy and broke if you don’t watch it. I own a home now on a canal in Florida for boating and it is much easier to maintain than an island beach front home I had years ago. The sea air eats everything up very quickly. I do love this area but maybe I should stay in Florida.Thanks again for your time and info.

        1. It’s not a bad price but I would wonder about who owns it, who built it and so on. Sometimes the day to day stuff escapes many builders and property management people and many are just not aware of the problems with upkeep on the water. At our place we used to have to change the shower heads every three months because the would clog up and rust, taps need changing every 6 months or they are useless. Stuff like that doesn’t get taken care of very well. You may be better off with looking at 2nd or 3 row back as well the erosion is not too bag around Chuburna and they do have bigger beaches but I would look at picking up a smaller house that has been upgraded by a Canadian or American. For example I know of a beautiful little house totally redone inside and out, gorgeous gardens with lovely pool I think it may be 3rd or 4th row back, only 1 bedroom but living room is very big and tons of room to add on or have a pull out couch. That is going for under $80,000. As for staying in Florida no don’t do it…lol…sorry not a big Florida fan and living in Mexico is just so dang cheap for electric, food, water and taxes and there are tons of US folks in that area as well so lots of people to hang out with. Did you join Yucatan Beach Friends on Facebook – great people on there tons of info.

  3. stephen fiege

    Hi, Do you have any ideal what the purpose of that new pier is for? I just looked at google earth and it has pictures of the condo buildings and barge starting to build the pier. It must be around 2015. The condos were in rough shape then. Now with the new pier the condos have all been painted and the grounds have been fixed up. It looks like the best place in that little town. How did they pick that street to build the pier and for what reason? It cost a lot for a poor little town. The owner of the unit we are looking at is a priest out of Tampa Florida. The inside has all been redone very nice. This unit would just be a part-time home for us. Lock and go. I have had houses but you really need to live in them year round to keep them up. I am still thinking on it. If you pay to much it can take a very long time to sell it. Thanks for your reply.

    1. many of these things just kinda happen here…lol…they are trying to promote chuburna as a tourist location but in truth while they are lovely people there and loads of ex pats the village only has one store and a couple of not so great restaurants so you have to have a car to go shopping. Chelem is not much better to be honest but there are lots more places to eat that are run by some really great expats. I just think the price for that condo is way to high and most places sell there after around 3 years although right now there is tons of activity. There are a lot of really good property managers here than will look after your house at a very good rate and help like cleaners and gardeners is so cheap it is very affordable. I just don’t think a condo is a good idea when you can get so much more for your money but then that’s just my opinion.

  4. stephen fiege

    Hi, I just got back from Chuburna. I was there for 3 days looking around. I had a contract on a very nice condo at the place by the pier. When I got there I liked the condo a lot and there was nothing wrong with it. Except it would need AC. But I new that. But the very loud music being played every day right next to this building from a food stand at the pier was very bad inside the condo from about 12 to 7pm. I can’t think of anyone that would want to listen to that every day in there home. So much for piece and quiet on the water. So I didn’t buy it. Too bad because I loved the area. Is that one reason you didn’t like this area? Thanks Steve

    1. LOL yes that is something you need to be aware of – the Mexicans are a very happy family orientated loud community. Many expats have to suffer the loudness particularly during the summer months. That is the time the community vacations at the beach and there can be tiny little houses with tons of family members living there. Loud parties, lots of noise it is one of the “limitations” for some people especially Westerners. I like Chuburna well enough but not in a condo, its not the right place a house set back a couple rows from the beach is where you want to be. You want a condo try Progreso but its not a particularly nice looking town. For more peace and quite try Telchac area not nearly as many expats but very quiet it is where the rich Mexican families go when they need to escape the heat of Merida.

  5. stephen fiege

    I know what you mean. I went out of town toward Santa Clara and told my wife there is a lot of money out this way. It does seam to take a long time to sell something out that way most likely due to the higher cost. My wife didn’t like being so far out of town. We have lived in the middle of nowhere for so long she wants something different. But I think that would be a mistake. We just don’t like noise and large groups of people. She also doesn’t want to spend so much in a third world country. We had a place in Brazil and it can be very hard getting your money back when you want to sell it. Not enough rich americans with cash to buy. People tell me it is quiet at these condos in town in the winter when we would be there but I’m not so sure about that. I grew up on a barrier island as a kid and that complex reminds me of that with the ocean view and the pier. It is not like that any more. Everyone wants large homes now which cost to much for a retired person unless you are very very rich. So I don’t think I will do anything for now.

  6. Hi, we are thinking about buying a home in Chuburna. We spent almost a month in the Yucatán last year and we stayed at the Flamingo Inn. I noticed that it’s difficult to find comps to evaluate a property for sale. Would you recommend building or buying resale? Are there tax records to find out when houses were built? It seems like the “Wild West” as far as real estate goes. Do you recommend any Realtors? We were told to stay away from Larry I believe it was. Any information is much appreciated.

    1. LOL yeah, it can be pretty interesting and it is great to work with reliable honest folks. Everyone down there has heard of Larry and it’s true avoid him like the disease he is. I can highly recommend the following folks to work with Ben and Julie Tinkey at https://flamingocoastproperties.thetinkeys.com/about/ . They own and have built several properties in Chelem and Chuburna as well as working on some further up the coast. Ben and Julie are awesome, amazing folks and they work with Jeff and Sonya Damon who live in Chuburna and also have a great deal of experience. Whether you want to buy or build these are your go to folks.

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