The infrastructure is poor. The water smells bad. During high season, the electricity (and thus water) goes out often. The wifi is poor, even in the nicer neighborhoods. Everything is obscenely expensive for no increase in value. Full of rich white hippy-ish people who don't speak Spanish trying to get an "authentic" international experience, sometimes with their kids along for the "multicultural" ride. I have nothing wrong with this. It's only an observation. I find it interesting that these environmentalist (probably) liberals (probably) turn an eye to all the piles of trash on the road, dumping of sewage in the mangroves, and septic tanks leading into the groundwater. The roads are not paved with indents that fill with water. Horrible during rain. A 6 minutes taxi ride from the bus stop to the hotel is $11. Just up the road in Playa del Carmen, this same ride would be $2. Day pass at the gym $14. Beard trim $23. The only somewhat normal price was laundry service at $4 for a load, but there's no possibility of same day service. It reminds me of Bali in many ways, and that's not a good thing. Like Bali, the locals aren't all that friendly, mostly ignoring the visitors. They're not overtly rude, it's subtleties, and, in restaurants, bad service. Once I ordered, I went to the bathroom, and my food was placed on a separate table. I sat down and the server pointed to my food on a different table. I'm still unsure why people like it here so much other than it's a safe environment outside of the western world?
With that said, there is potential. Minus the humidity, it's got pretty good weather, it's got beach, it can be very walkable. I'd love to see a coordinated effort in development like planned sidewalks, paved streets, trash pickup, or not cutting down 99% of the trees and losing a lot of the potential magic vibes. The dirt roads, can even work. Walking on a basic, dirt road turning to your left and there's a modern coffee shop. That would be cool. Instead what I'm seeing, like Bali, is privately developed plots of land which look great (!) then total shit an inch from the privately owned land, garbage, uneven roads, aesthetically poor.