Real Estate & Legal Topics

Copal: An Interview with Antonio Jiménez Raya

Meet the builder behind a new urban development in Tulum which seeks to integrate the natural surroundings with its spaces and amenities.

Copal is the name of a sacred tree that grows in the region of Tulum, surrounded by turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean, and covered by the vegetation of the jungle canopy. It is also the name of the newest development in the community of Aldea Zamá, one of the most exclusive urban developments in Tulum. Copal will have 56 residences designed to be integrated and harmonized with the natural environment.

Copal recently held a special event on the site of the in-progress development, with brokers from the Riviera Maya and members of the media given a tour of the premises. Atacama Riviera, a division of Atacama Inmocapital, is the investment and construction company of Copal Tulum and they have hired Onix Holdings to jointly develop project management and vacation rentals. After the tour I spoke with Antonio Jiménez Raya, Director of Atacama Riviera, about the history of their company, the future vision for the project, and their reasons for choosing the local paradise of Tulum.

The Playa Times: Tell me about the team behind Atacama.

Antonio: Our history goes back generations. We are a family of builders; it’s been a tradition to be in the world of building. The company is well established in Madrid, Spain. After the economic crisis of 2007, it looked for alternatives for investment abroad. Several options were reviewed for countries in Europe and after careful analysis it was decided to expand the company to Panama.

How did you end up working on the Riviera Maya?

We have arrived here thanks to our relationship with Onix Holdings. Our company has consolidated itself as a multinational with projects in Spain, Panama and Mexico, dedicated to the promotion, construction and sale of properties.

What plans do you have to incorporate the natural surroundings?

Copal was created with the intention of being a space that is integrated with nature, with diverse amenities. The conservation of this natural paradise is one of the keys to our philosophy and our project. With it we are looking to strengthen the identity of this place and preserve its charm. Development is a process of community and not of excessive urbanization.

What is the vision behind Copal in Tulum?

People that come here connect with the history and culture of this tiny paradise in the Riviera Maya. We want to transform the spirit of those who come here and give them a feeling of peace, a desire to relax their soul and disconnect from the fast-paced rhythms of the major cities.

What kind of rental program do you have for Copal?

We have an efficient system for management of vacation rentals, with proven experience in the Riviera Maya. This allows for high percentages of return on investment. Our rental program takes care of the quality, therefore the emphasis on design, furniture, spaces and service. The administration of Copal will be equivalent to a five-star hotel, optimizing costs and delivering the best to owners and investors.

What do you like most about Tulum?

Escaping the chaos of large urban environments, feeling rested and relaxed; it’s a place of equilibrium and reflection. For me, Tulum is a special place; the Maya civilization understood this, that the area provokes a strong connection to nature.

During the tour you said that you live here now.

Yes. My brother and I visited Tulum several years ago as travelers. We were enchanted by it and we developed a bond with the place. We didn’t have to think twice about doing what we enjoy here. I am now another one of the many residents of the Riviera Maya.

For more information about Copal visit their website:, email them at or contact them on Facebook: CopalTulum and Instagram: copal_tulum

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