These bizarre homes in Mexico are as much works of art as they are conventional houses. Whether it’s eccentric architecture, notorious former owners or creepy backstories, these 11 flamboyant structures offer a unique, surrealist vision.
With her right hand aloft like the Statue of Liberty, the 55-foot sculpture called La Mona towers above a run-down neighborhood near Tijuana’s International Airport. Artist Armando Muñoz Garcia has been living inside the cramped five-story structure since 1991. La Mona was originally designed to mark Tijuana’s 1989 centennial anniversary, but city officials rejected the proposal. Muñoz Garcia built it anyway, completing the structure two years after schedule.
This incredible seashell-shaped house is the work of architects Raquel and Eduardo Ocampo. Located on the Caribbean island of Islas Mujeres, the Casa de Caracol boasts two spacious guest rooms and a private pool. The renowned property is even open to guests as an Airbnb rental for US$308 a night.
This incredible house, shaped like a seashell, is the work of famous Mexican architect Javier Senosiain. A young family commissioned the house because they yearned to live somewhere better integrated with their natural surroundings. The building is constructed with steel chicken wire coated with concrete, providing perfectly-formed curves that wind upwards organically.
Another Javier Senosiain masterpiece, the Organic House is another structure that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Located in Naucalpan, Mexico State, the design was influenced by the shape of the womb, animal shelters and igloos. As with the Nautilus House, Senosiain eschews straight edges in favor of smooth, curving lines.
Rumors have been swirling for years about this bizarre construction in the southern state of Oaxaca. Named the Castillo de Los Duendes, or the Castle of the Elves, the huge structure was clearly inspired by the Cinderella Castle in the Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disneyland. Boasting spiraling turrets and a garish pink and yellow color scheme, little is known about the owner.
This secluded area nestling Lake Xochimilco in Mexico City is believed to be one of the most haunted spots in the country. Dozens of discolored dolls hang from the branches of the island’s trees and many have missing heads or body parts. A hermit called Don Julian Santana once lived on the island, and began collecting the dolls to scare off evil spirits after he found the drowned girl in the lake. After his death in 2001, the island became a tourist attraction and many witnesses have claimed to see the dolls move or whisper.
This floating artificial island near Cancun is the latest project of British artist Richart Sowa. The base of the house is built from plastic bottles and is situated in a lagoon, so it is less susceptible to hurricanes. Sowa previously built Joyxee Island, another artificial island that has been open for tours since 2008.
Built in 1912, this Nordic-style mansion in central Guadalajara boasts elaborately designed stained-glass windows and a scenic garden. Built by the eccentric Englishman Duncan Cameron, the house is the focus of many local rumors and is reportedly inhabited by a number of paranormal entities. According to local legend, the attic suddenly becomes unbelievably hot and blood drips from the walls of the building.
This elegant boutique hotel in the thriving tourist hub of Tulum offers the perfect Caribbean coastal getaway. Yet the property was once owned by Pablo Escobar – one of the world’s most ruthless drug lords and the subject of the popular Netflix series Narcos. The 42-suite estate is currently owned by New York-based art collector Lio Malco.
This modernist mansion near the northern city of Monterrey is reportedly haunted by the ghost of an 11-year-old girl who jumped from the top window of the building. Now deserted, the building is nicknamed the Casa de Los Tubos, or House of the Tubes, because of its unique spiraling layout.
Designed by spiritual writer Mauro Azamar, La Casa con Espacial Cuántico, or Space Quantam House, is crowned by a sculpture of a meditating man and a mysterious orb. Located in central Cancún, the building is nicknamed the “House of the Egg” because of the size and color of the structure.