So currently there’s no direct route from London, or even Madrid, and the only way in is either to Mexico City and a change, or direct to Cancun, an uncomfortable six-hour drive away? Yes, I’m told but a key member of the development team conveniently has an ‘interest’ in the Mexican airline and he will ensure that the proposed service between London and the local airport will launch with the completion of the first phase of building. A vested interest is reassurance indeed.

Campeche is a colonial city on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The old town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage protection in 1999 and the coastline is protected from the main Gulf of Mexico hurricane path. Although an established destination for US and Canadian tourists, the area is not well known by the British market, except for a handful of backpackers who are working their way around the many Mayan ruins scattered throughout the peninsula. This, however, is set to change.

Campeche’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Having recognised that wealthy Mexicans are turning their backs on the overdeveloped traditional resorts of Acapulco and Cancun, the local government are set on developing Campeche in a way which ensures that the blights of the two aforementioned resorts are not repeated. The first, and currently only development to be given the green light so far is the 5* Campeche Playa Golf Marina resort, a 45 minute drive from Campeche city. Before planning permission was granted, a detailed environmental impact report showing how the developer, Grupo Mall, would manage to build 3,000 apartments and townhouses, a marina and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf resort while protecting the wildlife, flora and fauna of the local beach was submitted. ‘We’re ensuring that the timing of the building work does not coincide with the turtle hatching season on the Esmeralda beach,’ a representative from Grupo Mall explains. ‘And if we’re not allowed to move a tree because of ecological reasons, we build around it.’

The resort will undoubtedly raise the star-rating of the area. The absence of mass tourism is a major plus and managed development of the area should ensure that this remains a priority. The expansion of the local airport to receive flights from Europe will ease year-round access not to mention the fact that Campeche is set to become the largest golf region in Mexico, with eleven courses underway. Moreover, the marina at Campeche Playa will be the first along that coast, luring some of the lucrative Caribbean yachting market south.

Campeche Playa

Phase one of the resort will not be completed until 2008. All properties will have sea views, and every apartment has a spa bath on its terrace which in turn is equipped with moveable shades to protect the interior from the glare of the tropics (while providing views of the setting sun). Prices for the two-bedroom apartments (buying off plan) start from £130,000 rising to £325,000 for three bedroom and penthouses. (Summer 2006) For more information, contact PURE International +44 020 7331 4500 or email contact@pureintl.com and visit www.pureintl.com