Joe Francis' beachfront estate in Mexico -- where tons of celebs have vacationed -- is partially in ashes, 'cause the place turned into an inferno.
Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... Casa Aramara -- Joe's oceanside estate in Punta Mita -- burned down late Tuesday night. We got a hold of some photos and footage from during the blaze, and it's quite clear he's gonna have to rebuild from the ground up.
We're told Joe wasn't in town during the fire, but was obviously made aware of it. Our sources tell us 20 people were renting the estate at the time, not to mention an additional 20 staff members that were on site. The guests are now shacking up in a hotel.
We're told there's no clear indication yet of what started the blaze -- but what is clear is the main house is completely gone. The other 3 smaller houses are still intact.
Our sources say Joe is en route to survey the damage, and you gotta imagine ... he's gonna be devastated. The estate has been a sort of celebrity mecca, and an incredible source of income, we'd imagine, for Joe.