Conch Shell House – Isla Mujeres, Mexico - Atlas Obscura
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Conch Shell House

Beach instrument turned bed and breakfast. 

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Visitors shelling on Isla Mujeres dream of finding a conch like this. Its shape is perfect and its exterior is a lovely sea-washed white. It also comes with two bedrooms, air conditioning, and a lush outdoor pool.

The Conch Shell House is tucked away on the Yucatán island and offers fantastic views of the Caribbean Sea. Its detailing is so similar to a conch and so close to the sea, onlookers must ask themselves if the shell house simply washed ashore ready for its inhabitants.

In fact, the house was designed by one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Octavio Ocampo, and his brother Eduardo Ocampo, an architect who dreamed of building a house in the shape of a seashell. Construction started in 2001, and took three years to complete. The house is a perfect display of Ocampo’s surrealistic touch meeting summer-home functionality, and adds a unique underwater aesthetic to the neighborhood. 

The Ocampos’ masterpiece of the sea is as close to the sea snail lifestyle as a human being can get. Of course the Conch House has all the necessary creature comforts, but its origin in the Caribbean is present throughout. Aside from its impressive likening to the conch on its facade, the shell house features much sea-like detailing inside as well. Sinks and faucets are made from coral and shell, and the master bedroom’s headboard is styled like a massive scallop shell. Paintings of mermaids by Octavio Ocampo hang on the walls.

The house is available to rent, and Eduardo and his wife Raquel live next door. However, the house can be rented for private events and parties, or a romantic getaway.