Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya: A Day at Bahia Principe Beach

Beach #10 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Bahia Principe Beach

The Riviera Maya is an area located south of Cancun and expands south for about 80 miles, offering its visitors incredible beaches, archeological areas and many activities for all the family. This makes it an ideal destination for almost every tourist, from families, to young single adults and couples looking for a romantic getaway. The Riviera Maya has it all.

If you are one of the 10 million that visit the Riviera Maya every year, you must consider exploring different areas. One of these little known secret is the beach at Bahia Principe, an exclusive area located near Akumal that allows free access to their pristine beaches.

 photo Bahia Principe 2_zpsrd8ubdmq.jpg

 

Bahia Principe: General Information

Bahia Principe is both a large five star luxury hotel and an exclusive residential community with many different real estate opportunities located near Akumal. Their beaches offer shallow waters, white sand and beautiful views. This little known gem is waiting for you to come and enjoy!

Even though this beach is located right next to the beautiful Bahia Principe resort, you are not going to be able to access the premises unless you are staying at the resort. It is important to bring your food and drink with you, as well as towels, umbrella, icebox or any other items you might need. If you’d rather experience everything the hotel has to offer you might consider getting a day pass for only 90 dollars.

Bahia Principe: Getting There

Address: Carr Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 104 L36 Akumal, Quintana Roo. México.

Bahia Principe has a great location, in the heart of the Riviera Maya. It is located 60 minutes south from the Cancun International Airport, 25 minutes away from Playa del Carmen and 20 minutes from Tulum.

By Car:

From Cancun: Get the 307 Federal highway southbound (Towards Tulum) and stay on this road for about 60 miles. Once you pass Akumal, you’ll notice a huge white entrance to the right and the hotel to the left.

By Bus:

You can take the bus straight from the Cancun Airport, the cost is around $15 USD for a one way ticket to Tulum, or you can opt to buy a ticket to the Xel Ha Park and take a cab from there, as it is much closer.

 photo Bahia Principe 1_zpswwsoxlr3.jpg

Bahia Principe: Alternative Lodging

If you want to enjoy everything Akumal has to offer, and enjoy all the amenities in the Bahia Principe hotel for a fraction of the cost, you might consider staying in one of the Bahia Principe vacation condos. This beautiful development allows its residents to enjoy a professional golf course, free access to the exclusive beach club and other benefits such as:

  • 7 Pools
  • 9 Jacuzzis
  • 3 Spas
  • 15 Restaurants
  • 22 Bars
  • Disco
  • 3 Gyms
  • 5 Tennis Courts
  • Soccer and Basketball Courts
  • 3 Kids Clubs
  • and many others!

We hope you enjoy your visit to Bahia Principe and the beautiful beach. Keep up to date with the best beaches in paradise by following our Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown every Friday! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out our options. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

If you love the beaches at Bahia Principe and are interested in purchasing a vacation home or retirement home Bahia Principe has several real estate options, please feel free to contact any of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives! Browse our beautiful properties; we are sure you will find your dream home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We make it happen!

Behind the 9th Travesia Sagrada Maya (Sacred Mayan Journey)

For thousands of years, the ancient Mayans would pay respects and prayer to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel. Every year, they would take off from the Polé market (known today as Xcaret), and row all the way to Kuzamil (or the Island of Cozumel, as it’s known nowadays). Brave oarsmen and women would row in Mayan canoes facing the wild Caribbean ocean, risking their lives, to bring offerings to Ixchel and be granted favors in return.

As the years went by and the Mayan civilization slowly disappeared, many of its traditions disappeared with it. However, the Xcaret Park, which is located right where the market was, decided to continue commemorating the old traditions of the Mayans by reliving this sacred and spiritual ritual. For the past nine years, the Travesia Sagrada Maya (or Sacred Mayan Journey) has seen hundreds of modern oarsmen and women bravely cross the ocean and pay tribute to Ixchel and the old civilization we’ve all come to know and love.

(Related: Read more about the history of Travesia Sagrada Maya here.)

Of course, Top Mexico Real Estate did not want to miss out on the opportunity of being part of this, so they chose one brave participant from the Marketing office to take part in this journey. Julio Salinas, designer, took a step forward and volunteered himself for this spiritual pilgrimage that will change his life forever.

 photo Julio copia_zpsczjsoofj.jpg

“I decided to participate because I had the chance to see this great event in 2014, and I was motivated by the drive and emotion that the participants delivered that year, and the passion with which they were willing to relive the history and tradition”, shared Julio. And rightly so; training sessions have been ongoing for six months, where they have worked “resistance, concentration, swimming, sailing, and we went through different filters to prove that we were ready to achieve the goal”, he said.

Six months of physical and mental preparation – the journey can take five hours to complete, depending on the wind and ocean’s conditions of the day. The journey does not end in Cozumel. Here, they rest for the night after a spiritual welcome ceremony, and take off the following morning to return to Xcaret. Amongst the things that they have learned, Julio emphasizes on the importance of keeping these traditions alive. These are traditions that “have lost strength, language, and communication through time”.

 photo T Maya 2_zpsfp9imvnl.jpg

Teamwork is another key element in this journey. While spiritually the pilgrimage might be personal and unique to each individual, the physical journey to the island of Cozumel, and back, relies on teamwork. Ten oarsmen ride in each canoe, and they are unable to finish if anyone of the gives up. “The most important thing is to learn from your team and to support it. While we trained, motivation and communication became very important elements”.

While the tradition is very rooted to Mexico, it is not only a journey where Mexicans can participate. Over time, more and more foreigners have decided to be part of a tradition that was very important to the ancient Mayans. Many travelers or people who have moved to the Riviera Maya indefinitely from other countries want to be involved in everything to make them understand the history and culture of this beautiful country. Julio finds it especially joyful to see that foreigners are taking part. “It’s nice to see that not only Mexicans are interested in being part of the Journey, as many foreigners […] have joined this party full of tradition and history”.

You can be part of the oarsmen’s journey by joining them in the farewell ceremony on Friday 22nd of May, at 6am in Xcaret. If you are located in Cozumel, you can receive them around 1 or 2pm in Chankanaab Park and participate in the Sacred Mayan Journey Dances for the Lady of the Moon (Ixchel). You may also bid them farewell and a safe journey back to Polé the following morning (May 23rd) at 9am. For those located in Playa del Carmen, you can watch the sacred Mayan celebration and receive the brave oarsmen at Xcaret around 1pm, as well as enjoy all that the park has to offer.

 photo T Maya 6_zps1bqn8tjm.jpg

“The idea of completing the journey makes me feel great emotion and great satisfaction, because it’s been a long preparation”, Julio shares. As part of our team, it makes us feel great satisfaction, as well! Every participant of the Journey will return changed and with great spiritual stories to tell of their sacred pilgrimage to see Ixchel.

Top Mexico Real Estate is the leading real estate website in the Riviera Maya. If you are looking to be part of the land that has seen thousands of traditions born, and relived, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives who will gladly help you in your personal journey to find the perfect paradise home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Travesia Sagrada Maya: Celebrating Old Mayan Traditions

For thousands of years, the ancient Mayans went on a sacred pilgrimage to worship and pay respect to Ixchel. Also known as Ixchebelyax, she was the goddess of fertility, water, health, and vegetation. Fertility of the lands was one of the most sacred things for the Mayan civilization, as they lived off their lands both for trading and for survival. In the Travesia Sagrada Maya, an annual ritual where brave oarsmen and women crossed the ocean, they brought offerings to Ixchel in exchange for granting special favors for their lands and families.

The chosen people to embark on the journey were priests and elderly women. Children, young women, and other priests or men did not take part. Painted in black (for fasting), white, yellow, blue (for sacrifice), and red (for war), they got ready early morning as the sun barely rose. Their journey started in Polé main shipping port (which is what we know today as Xcaret).

 photo Travesiacutea-Sagrada-Maya_zps8ot52z3g.jpg

The word Polé derived from the Mayan word for merchandise (p’ol). The port was were the trade networking happened, making it one of the most important places for the Yucatan Mayan civilization. It was also used as a harbor to conquer inland and a starting point for the sea routes they developed.

From Polé, they would navigate for hours until reaching Kozumil (known today as the island of Cozumel). The journey itself was a transition for the oarsmen and eldery women involved. The ocean, just like the cenotes, was an entryway to Xibalba, or the underworld, which would represent a “transition to the beyond” for those sailing. The Caribbean Ocean’s importance went beyond that, as it was the greatest source of transportation and food for the ancient civilization.

The rituals had a specific structure which was not to be broken. Food deprivation, insomnia and sexual abstinence (in other words, fasting) were the sacrifices made in order to purify the soul. The priest or oracle at the time would determine the date and time the ritual would take place. He would also decide which members (other priests) would participate in this spiritual celebration.

The ceremony was celebrated with steam baths, alcoholic beverages (Balché and Chicha), prayers, perfuming with incense, devotion, music, singing, dancing, special food (corn, turkey, dog meat and cacao, mostly), and the sacrifice of a living being (whether it be animal or human), amongst other things. The sacrifice was of upmost importance, because this would link men with the divine gods, making the journey sacred.

 photo T Maya 11_zpsfvrjnsuq.jpg

The canoes in which they rowed were filled with offerings for Ixchel. Offerings ranged from foods, plants, animals and humans. The importance of Ixchel was grand, as without fertility existed no agriculture, and agriculture was the base of a civilization that was wealthy and valuable.

For years after the Mayans slowly disappeared, their traditions went uncelebrated. However, nine years ago, Xcaret decided to relive the sacred Mayan journeys experience and the spirituality that was once so sacred to their ancestors. Aiming to create a link between the cultural identity and today’s inhabitants of the Yucatan Peninsula, they have reestablished the ancient practice of the Travesia Sagrada Maya or Sacred Mayan Journey.

Hundreds of brave oarsmen, from children to elderly, locals and foreigners, train for six long months, physically and mentally, in order to row for hours until reaching Cozumel. They will depart on Friday 22nd of May, at 6am, as the first rays of sun rise over the horizon and will arrive in Cozumel around 1 or 2pm. A sacred ceremony celebrating the Lady of the Moon (also Ixchel), will take place that night in Cozumel.

 photo T Maya 10_zpsoxjkwkjh.jpg

Their early departure from Cozumel back to Xcaret will take place on Saturday 23rd of May, and Xcaret will be expecting their return at 1pm with a celebratory and spiritual ceremony to commemorate the oarsmen, the goddess Ixchel, and the ancient civilization that taught us this practice.

You can be a part of the celebration, as well, by being present at the farewell and welcoming (plus, you get to enjoy the park!). You can read all about the program and how to be a part of it here.

And to bid farewell and a safe journey to the participants who are devoting their strength, emotion, and spirit to what was once the most sacred journey of the Mayans, here is a poem written by C. Hawthorne Flaherty called “Diary of an Oarsman” (source).

“We row;

fire in our muscles,

salt in our eyes,

wind at our bow,

and sun on our skin.

 We burn and burn, until we have nothing more to burn.

We row and row until we can’t row any longer – then we row on.

We row and row beyond the vigor of our bodies until we row only with our hearts.

We row and row beyond the courage of our hearts until we row only with our souls.

We row and row beyond the spirit of our souls – beyond ourselves – until we row only with each other. 

Each and every stroke is one moment of choice – one choice after the other – we transcend the limits of what was impossible just one stroke before. 

You are not the Rutter-man for 13 hours of the journey.

You are not the Rutter-man for 156 hours of training.

You are the Rutter-man in moments.

You are the Rutter-man in the moments when you have lost sight of land and still you choose a course.

You are the Rutter-man when, despite absolute exhaustion, you hold the line against the current.

You are the Rutter-man when you have nothing left, but you still give. When you find laughter in tears, find joy in suffering, the will to persevere when others have lost heart. 

You aren’t the Rutter-man when you think you can’t do it; you are the Rutter-man when you do.”

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-owned real estate company, leader in its field in the Riviera Maya. If you are looking to retire or find a second home in paradise, feel free to contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives who will gladly help you, just like they have helped hundreds before, to find your very own slice of paradise.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya: A Day at Puerto Morelos Beach

Beach #11 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Puerto Morelos Beach

The Riviera Maya is a stretch of 80 miles of pristine beaches located just a few miles south of the hustle and bustle of Cancun. This area attracts around 10 million visitors each year and offers luxurious hotels and resorts, as well as a number of theme parks, clubs, shopping malls, and other attractions.

Puerto Morelos is located about 10 miles south of Cancun and about 20 miles north of the beautiful Playa del Carmen and it is one of the best kept secrets and one of the top 25 beaches in the Riviera Maya. Walking on its square and around the town will let you feel the vibe of this small fishing village.

Puerto Morelos: General Information

If you want to stay away from the Cancun crowds, do not forget to visit Puerto Morelos! You can not only enjoy the quiet atmosphere, but also visit the Mesoamerican Reef; which is located only a few meters from the beach.

The main roads have a wide offering on small restaurants, cafes and boutiques; no huge chains or massive hotels. The locals and hotels in the area want to keep it that way, by having strict building restrictions and working together to preserve the little town feeling.

 photo Puerto Morelos 1_zpsxqkw23va.jpg

Puerto Morelos: Getting There

By Car:
From Cancun: Get the 307 Federal highway southbound (towards Tulum) and stay on this road for about 10 miles. Once you get to Puerto Morelos you need to take the exit and turn left under the overpass.

By Bus:
You can take the bus straight from the Cancun International Airport; the cost is around $6 USD for a one way ticket. This bus does not go to the town center, but it does go to the highway turnoff into town just 2 kilometers away from the square. From there you can grab a 20 peso taxi or a collectivo to the downtown beach area.

Puerto Morelos: Things To Do

Snorkeling:
Enjoy the beautiful Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world. There is plenty of local providers offering tours just off the main plaza, for only $25 USD your get the boat ride and all the needed equipment.

Diving:
Enjoy all sorts of diving adventures: there is the reef, caverns and cenotes in the area; ideal for every level and age. Dive Shops are available directly in Puerto Morelos.

Sport Fishing:
The waters off the Puerto Morelos coast have a wide variety of marine species: Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Barracuda, Grouper, Snapper, Snook, Pompano, and more…

 photo Puerto Morelos 2_zpsdyenbqgk.jpg

Ruta de los Cenotes:
This is a wonderful way to visit many cenotes in a day for a reasonable price. Local run cenotes are open for visitors; enjoy the cool transparent water and the amazing caves, a life changing experience!

Alma Libre Bookstore:
Alma Libre is the Riviera Maya’s best English language new and used bookstore. In this book store you can find regional guide books and maps, as well as books about the indigenous culture, flora and fauna of the region.

Crococun:
This is ideal for families, a guided tour to learn more about crocodiles and other native species. Seeing the spider monkeys in the wild is amazing, the kids will love it!

We hope you enjoy your visit to Puerto Morelos and the beautiful beach. Keep up to date with the best beaches in paradise by following our Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown every Friday! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out our options. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-Owned company that specializes in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico. If you are looking for a second home or to retire in paradise, please feel free to contact any of our Top Buyers’ Representatives! Browse our beautiful properties; we are sure you will find your dream home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We make it happen!

The Fourth Annual Riviera Maya Film Festival

The fourth edition of the Riviera Maya Film Festival just wrapped up their event in Playa del Carmen, which was the host to the opening and closing ceremonies as well as several galas. The Riviera Maya Film Festival brings art, glamour and movie stars to this tropical paradise. This year Anton Yelchin, Ashley Green and Aaron Paul were in attendance. Over a hundred screening of national and International films were showed in the movie theaters, at the parks and on the gorgeous beaches in Playa del Carmen.

 photo RMFF Unico Beach_zps1qj5ycyq.png

The Riviera Maya Film Festival will continue its special touring program at in select city throughout the Riviera Maya from May 13th – June 6th. Here is a list of the venues and screens where you can enjoy the Film Festival.

Puerto Morelos May 13th -17th May

Location: Unico Beach Club
Address: Av. Javier Rojo Gomez SM2, Mz2, Lote 2 cp 77580

Wednesday May 13th
19:30   “Incomprendida” / “Misunderstood”  Dir. Asia Argento Time: 1hr. 43min.
21:30    “Los días no vuelven” / “Missed days” Dir. Raúl Cuesta (1hr. 14min.)

Thursday May 14th
19:30    “Ícaros” Dir. Pedro González Rubio (55min.)
21:00    “La Maldad” / “Evilness” Dir. Joshua Gil (1hr. 25 min.)

Friday May 15th
21:00    “Los muertos” / “The dead” Dir. Santiago Mohar Volkov (1hr. 28min.)

Saturday May 16th
19:30    “Alexfilm” Dir. Pablo Chavarría (1hr.)
21:00    “El regreso del muerto” / “The return of the dead man” Dir. Gustavo Gamou (1hr. 30min.)

Sunday May 17th
19:30    “La princesa de Francia” / “The princess of France” Dir. Matías Piñeiro (1hr. 7min.)
21:00    “Resultados” / “Results” Dir. Andrew Bujalski (1hr. 45min.)

Cancun May 20th -24th

Location: Park Los Palapas
Address: Calle Margaritas on the corner of Tulipanes in Centro

Wednesday May 20th
19:30    “Incomprendida” / “Misunderstood” Dir. Asia Argento (1hr. 43min.)
21:30    “Los días no vuelven” / “Missed days”  Dir Raúl Cuesta (1hr. 14min.)

Thursday May 21st
19:30    “Juanicas” Dir. Karina García Casanova (1hr. 18min.)
21:00    “Plan Sexenal” / “Sexennial plan” Dir Santiago Cendejas (1hr. 26min.)

Friday May 22nd
19:30    “Muchachas” Dir. Juliana Fanjul (1hr. 4min.)
21:00    “Memoria oculta” / “Hidden memory” Dir. Eva Villaseñor (1hr.)

Saturday May 23rd
19:30    “El señor de las tres caídas” / “Lord of the three falls” Dir. Roberto Olivares Ruiz (55min.)
21:00    “Noche de resurrecciones” / “Night of the resurrection” Dir Raúl Rico (1hr. 12min.)

Sunday May 24th
19:30    “A las escondidas” / “Hide and seek” Dir. Joanna Coates (1hr. 22min.)
21:10    “Resultados” / “Results” Dir. Andrew Bujalski (1hr. 45min.)

Isla Mujeres May 28th -30th

Location: Playa Posada del Mar
Address: Av Rueda Medina 15, Centro – Supmza. 001, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Q.R.

Thursday May 28th
19:30    ***TBD***

Friday May 29th
19:30     “El silencio de la princesa” / “The silence of the princess” Dir. Manuel Caribe (1hr. 24min.)

Saturday May 30th
19:30    “Elvira, te daría mi vida pero la estoy usando” / “Elvira, I would give you my life but I’m using it” Dir. Manolo Caro (1hr. 34min.)

Tulum June 4th – 6th

Location: Papaya Playa Project
Address: Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila km. 4.5

Thursday June 4th
19:30     “Incomprendida” / “Misunderstood” Dir. Asia Argento (1hr. 43min.)

Friday June 5th
19:30    “Resultados” / “Results” Dir. Andrew Bujalski (1hr. 45min.)

Saturday June 6th
19:30    “Elvira, te daría mi vida pero la estoy usando” / “Elvira, I would give you my life but I’m using it” Dir. Manolo Caro (1hr. 34min.)

 photo RMFF 2_zpsnjtrk8zz.jpg

Screenings on the beach, and especially on the beaches of the Riviera Maya, have a special charm and a magic to them. Great artistic films, soft white sandy beaches filled with colorful beach chairs, the Caribbean breeze and a star filled sky makes for one unforgettable night.

The Riviera Maya Film Festival wants their guests to enjoy the best films from around the world, as well as the welcoming tropical landscape, creating an unforgettable experience.

For more information about the Riviera Maya Film Festival please click here.

Seguro Popular for foreigners residing in Mexico FAQs

 photo Health insurance_zpszbyg5cq9.jpg
Seguro Popular is an option for foreigners residing in Mexico, it is a medical service offered by the Mexican government for those individuals that do not have with any other form of state issued medical care such as: IMSS, ISSSTE, SEDENA, etc.

   1.         What is Seguro Popular?

It is a state issued medical service that provides medical and surgical services, as well as pharmaceuticals hospitals and preventive health services. Its main objective is to provide financial protection to the non-insured population, through a scheme of health insurance, public and voluntary.

   2.         Who is it for?

Families and individuals who are not beneficiaries of the social security institutions or do not have some other mechanism of social security in health.

   3.        Is it is free?

In most cases it is free, a socioeconomic study might be required in order to set the premium.

   4.        What conditions are covered?

Currently Seguro Popular covers 284 medical interventions contained in the Universal Health Services Catalogue. This means that Seguro Popular will cover more than 90% percent of hospital casesm, 100% in health centers and 58% interventions for Catastrophic Expenses.

   5.        Can I join Seguro Popular if I have previous conditions?

Yes, however, the ideal is to apply for your membership when you are healthy.

   6.         If I am traveling out of my city, I am covered?

Yes, as long as it is an emergency and you present your current policy at the emergency room.

   7.        What if I lose my policy?

Go to the local office where you joined Seguro Populal and ask for a copy of your policy.

   8.        Do I have to pay for my medication in the Seguro Popular?

No, medication should be provided free to beneficiaries necessary for the treatment of diseases associated with conditions included in the Universal Health Services Catalogue.

   9.        Does Seguro Popular covers laboratory studies?

Yes, as long as they are required for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that are within the Universal Health Services Catalogue.

10.        If I require an ambulance, is it covered?

No, both land and air ambulance are not covered by Seguro Popular.

11.        Can I choose the clinic or hospital where I want to go?

A health center or hospital will be assigned to each beneficiary. If there is more than one option in the area the patient might be asked to choose their medical center or doctor.

12.         I’m a foreigner, can I enroll in Seguro Popular?

Yes, it is possible to enroll as long as you can prove your lawful stay in the country with a migratory form.

The foreign national will have to present the following requirements:

  • CURP
  • Migratory forms (immigrant or nonimmigrant or permanent resident)
  • Passport

As you can see, Seguro Popular is another good option for health care in Mexico. Sadly most of the centers have mainly Spanish speaking staff, so be prepared to use your Spanish or ask a friend to go with you and translate.

Even though medical treatments, medications, and doctor visits are very reasonably priced many foreigners living in Mexico have some form of health insurance. Whether you opted for IMSS (Mexican Institute for Social Security), Seguro Popular, private health insurance or a combination of these, it is always better to be covered medical wise should an emergency arise.

Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya: A Day at Colosio Beach

Beach #12 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Colosio Beach

Playa del Carmen is the most popular destination in the Riviera Maya and its famous for its vibrant international community, white sand beaches and upscale hotels. Once a sleepy fishing village, Playa del Carmen has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the world; according to the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Playa del Carmen is located about 40 minutes south of Cancun, and it offers its visitor miles of pristine beaches. Each local neighborhood has a favored beach, with its own attractions and crowd.

Colosio Beach: General Information

Colosio Beach has been a local favorite for many years, it is only a few steps north from other popular spots; but it feels like a world away because of its quiet and serene nature. It is located at the bottom of the Luis Donaldo Colosio Avenue (calle 72), a mile long area of undeveloped beach; an ideal spot for those looking for a more private and quiet setting.

Lately, there has been more and more condos and hotels being built in the Colosio Area, so do not miss the opportunity to visit this little corner of paradise.

 photo Colosio Beach 2_zpsg05gkut8.jpg

Colosio Beach: Getting There

If you are in Playa del Carmen you can get to this pristine beach walking along the coast line, Colosio beach would be located north of popular sites like Playa Mamitas.

If you are driving or take a cab, take Federal 307 highway and head north, once you get to Luis Donaldo Colosio avenue (the one with home depot in the corner) turn right and drive to the end of the road.

There is a small entrance at the end of the road, and two more on the sides of the Meliá Paradisus La Esmeralda Hotel.

Colosio Beach: Things To Do

The charm of Colosio beach is its quietude, so feel free to walk, meditate or even practice your favorite yoga pose. You can also get a beautiful tan and enjoy some quality time with friends and family.

Remember this is a beach favored by the locals, so it is going to be busy on the weekends and holidays. Entire families take advantage of the beautiful warm weather; it is amusing to see several generations of a family spending time together and playing in the waves.

 photo Colosio Beach 1_zps7ctxr8oo.jpg

Colosio Beach: Recommendations

If you are planning to spend the day at Colosio beach here is some recommendations:

  • Bring your own drinks and food, there is nothing close by and you will have to walk half a mile to get to the closest hotel or restaurant.
  • There are no toilets in the area, if you need to go plan to leave with plenty of time.
  • Do not bring valuables, the area is secluded and there is no security in the area.
  • Some parts of this beach are rocky, so bring your water shoes to protect your feet.

We hope you enjoy this beautiful beach, one of the spots for locals in Playa del Carmen. Keep up to date with the best beaches in paradise by following our Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown every Friday and watch the best beaches in the Riviera Maya Videos! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out all the options. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-Owned company, which specializes in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico. If you are looking for a second home or to retire in paradise, feel free to contact a Top Buyers’ Representative! Browse our beautiful properties; we are sure you will find your Mexico dream home.

We make it happen!

Shopping in Cancun & the Riviera Maya

If you are traveling to Cancun or the Riviera Maya, shopping might not cross your mind. However, this area has a wide variety of shopping centers and stores. As a rule of thumb the price for designer’s clothes and electronics are somewhat higher than in the United States, but you might find a great deal or some unique articles that cannot be found in America; liquors, cigars, etc.

Here at Top Mexico Real Estate we have made ​​a list of our favorite malls in Cancun and throughout the Riviera Maya. If you are looking for a souvenir, sporting goods or clothing; we are sure you will find it in the nearest mall.

Shopping in Cancun

There are several shopping malls in Cancun, offering everything one could possibly need. Some of them have movie theaters, casinos and supermarkets; however we are focusing in the ones closest to the beach, hotel and tourist area. Get a little shopping therapy in Cancun.

La Isla

Location: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 12.5, Cancun, Quintana Roo

This mall is located within the hotel zone, so it is pretty easy to find. This beautiful shopping center has a view of the Nichupte lagoon, waterways and open areas that allow you to enjoy the Caribbean breeze.

This is one of the most popular malls for visitors and locals alike, it is always packed on the weekends. Some of the stores that you can find here are: Liverpool, La Boutique Palacio, Ultrafemme, Zara, Benetton, Thai, Starbucks, Italianni’s, Massimo Dutti, among many others.

 photo Cancun Shopping 2_zpshpewx1yo.jpg

Luxury Avenue

Location: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 Mza 53 Lote 8, Cancun, Quintana Roo

Bring your wallet and your credit cards, this shopping mall specializes in luxury brands and offers specialized services such as a concierge or shopping assistant. Luxury Avenue is located in the hotel zone, it offers a wide variety of luxury shops and elegant restaurants and offers Tax Free or Tax Back options, if you’re visiting from abroad.

This mall is for those who want the very best, it boasts shops by international designers such as: Fendi, Burberry, Coach, Tous, Mont Blanc, Cartier and Swarovski.  Visit their page to receive more information about their fashion shows and special offers.

 photo Cancun Shopping 3_zps1lagjgly.jpg

Shopping In Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has many shops offering everything from A to Z. In Playa you will find beautiful outdoor malls, shopping centers and the famous 5th avenue a pedestrian only street lined with shops, restaurants and bars.

Quinta Alegria

Location: 5th Ave. and Constituyentes Ave., Downtown, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

This mall is a favorite for locals and visitors alike, offering a variety of prestigious shops and restaurants. Located on 5th Avenue and Constituyentes avenue is easily accessible and its open plan lets you enjoy the Caribbean weather and the sea breeze.

Enjoy an afternoon of shopping at great shops like Nike, Levi’s, Bebe or Forever 21 or enjoy a delicious Starbucks coffee or a glass of wine with some tapas in La Europea Deli and Wine store.

La Quinta Alegria is the place to shop in Playa del Carmen!

Paseo del Carmen

10 & 1st Ave. south between 36 and 37, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

Conveniently located at the end of the 5th avenue near the ferry station, Paseo del Carmen is a traditional shopping place for locals and visitors alike. It is ideal to have alfresco meals and margaritas, stroll under the native trees and relax to the sound of the fountains.

Some of the shops that you’ll find in this mall are Zara, Pull and Bear, Oakley, Starbucks and many others. We are sure you will love this location!

 photo Cancun Shopping 1_zpsyjxkzvlt.png

Enjoy the Riviera Maya and Cancun real estate. Relax on the beach, take in some sights, eat at amazing cafes and restaurants, and go shopping. This area provides a plethora of luxury, souvenir, specialty and unique shops… sure to empty you wallet and fill your suitcases.

Cinco de Mayo: Mexico, France, and Smart Marketing

 photo Cinco de Mayo 3_zpsyyle4emy.gif

The obscure reality behind Cinco de Mayo might shock you. Yes, you, with the fake mustache, sombrero and poncho. With a Coronita beer in hand, and…wait, is that a tortilla chip with guacamole, too?

We all love excuses to celebrate, have a few drinks, and throw parties…so why not Cinco de Mayo? Quick question, though, do you know why we (Americans) celebrate this holiday? Are you aware of the actual event that took place on this date?

Before we get into the Cinco de Mayo, let’s clear one thing up. It is not, I repeat, it is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Although Americans would very much love celebrating Mexico’s freedom from Spain (because we love celebrating everything), that actually took place in September, 1810, and it’s not something that is celebrated much in the USA except for the Mexican-American communities.

Alright, now, back to Cinco de Mayo.

Well, it was on May 5th, 1862, when the very small Mexican army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, won a battle in the state of Puebla against the great French army (considered the best world-wide at the time). An unlikely win that certainly deserved to be celebrated throughout the country… even if it was just one battle.

So how come Americans are so enthusiastic about celebrating said date when in reality…it had nothing to do with us?

Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla de Puebla

France took over Mexico as an aftermath of the Mexico-American war and the Reform war – both taking place in the mid-1800s. After Mexico was nearly bankrupt, then President Benito Juarez, advised France, Spain and Britain that they would not be paying foreign debts for the following two years as a result of, well, not having any money. Soon, all three countries sailed to Mexico asking to be paid what they were owed. Mexico succeeded in negotiations with Spain and Britain, who took back to their countries satisfied with the new arrangements. However, France was having none of this, and decided it was a good time to establish an empire in Mexico.

For a long time, Mexico was overtaken (very easily) by the French army. It wasn’t until the French reached the state of Puebla that they encountered an army that was very against being invaded (once more) and stood their ground. The battle took place between 6,000 French men and 2,000 Mexican men. It wasn’t military strategy, but courage, that helped Mexico win this battle on May 5th. This established a sense of patriotism and pride throughout the country which was very much needed at the time.

 photo Cinco de Mayo 2_zpsz7obgsrl.jpg

A few battles later, the French overtook Mexico and established Napoleon III as the new Emperor of Mexico. The United States had been fighting the Civil War, and as soon as it was over, looked over and helped Mexico free itself of the three-year French empire. France was kicked out of Mexico, and Benito Juarez took presidency again in Mexico City in 1967. Hoorah!

News of the great success of the battle of Puebla traveled quickly, eventually reaching Mexican workers living in the USA. It was in Columbia where Mexican miners fired their rifles and chanted songs in celebration about the win over the French army. This is the first ever recorded celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the USA. However, it was mainly ignored elsewhere.

Cinco de Mayo: Fast-Forward to the 1940s.

Chicanos, a widely known community of Mexican-Americans confused about their real identities and nationalities, soon started celebrating Cinco de Mayo, priding themselves in being a part of a country whose significantly smaller army crushed the strongest army at the time. This also boosted the Chicano movement in the USA. However, it wasn’t for another 30 years that Cinco de Mayo became the mainstream celebration we know today. And it was all thanks to marketing.

Cinco de Mayo: The Battle of the Beers (1980s)

Since the 1950s, everything has been about marketing strategies. If you don’t market, you don’t sell. Grupo Modelo, owner of Corona beer, had successful sales all throughout Mexico and was looking to break into international markets. In 1979, it made its way into the USA but flopped with its sales. Rival breweries laughed at its attempts to win over the market. So, Modelo decided to hit where it always work: national pride. Targeting ethnic groups, they decided to exploit the meaning of Mexican pride by promoting their beer through significant Mexican events. In the mid-1980s, it hit the jackpot by increasing its sales and eventually landing in 4th place world-wide, in the beer industry. They rolled out slogans such as “the Drinko for Cinco”, inviting mainly younger audiences – and mainly not Mexican – to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by drinking and partying.

 photo Cinco de mayo_zpshcl7xosb.jpg

After seeing their success, other breweries started imitating Modelo’s marketing strategies. Once that Cinco de Mayo had been established as a holiday amongst younger generations of both white and Latin communities, marketing became easier for beers, followed eventually by guacamole, chips, tequila, and more.

Here we are, 30 years later, still celebrating a battle that may have been overly insignificant in Napoleon III’s invasion of Mexico. We celebrate something that not even Mexicans celebrate, because beer companies told us to. Because proud Mexican-Americans wanted to sing and dance traditional songs as a celebration of their army.

So, pop those beer bottles open and bring out the guacamole, because today is Cinco de Mayo and we are in the mood to celebrate!

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned company based in the Riviera Maya. We are the leading real estate experts in the region. If you are looking to relocate or retire to Mexico, feel free to contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives, who will gladly help you find the home of your dreams (the perfect place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!). Happy Cinco de Mayo!

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya: A Day at Puerto Aventuras Beach

Beach #13 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Puerto Aventuras Beach

Puerto Aventuras is not as popular as other Riviera Maya destinations, but this location offers its visitors not only a beautiful beach; but also an exclusive marina and a golf course.

Puerto Aventuras is a private subdivision, but you can always visit their many restaurants and enjoy all of the amenities it has to offer; such as an exclusive shopping area, an aquarium and many other perks.

Forget about the crowds, traffic and noise and enjoy a private beach surrounded by nature!

 photo Puerto Aventuras 1_zpsbsnv2kzf.jpg

Puerto Aventuras Beach: Getting there

Driving a Rental Car: If you are coming from Cancun or Playa del Carmen you need to get on the federal highway 307 southbound towards Tulum (55 miles from Cancun/15 from Playa del Carmen) and follow the signs. In order to get to the beach you have to turn left in the overpass and get through the checkpoint. The security guards will ask for your ID and they will let you through.

Taking a Van/Taxi: This might be convenient if you are not planning to do other activities and just want to spend the day in Puerto Aventuras. Ask around at the airport or taxi station, shop around on the internet and try to find the best fare.

Public Transportation: If you are on a budget, Colectivos are a good way to get to Puerto Aventuras. They are white mini vans (10-14 passengers) that drive between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, all along the 307 federal highway. To stop them wave your hand in the air. Once the van stops get in and tell the driver where you want to go. Make sure to ask for the price to your destination. The fare from Playa del Carmen to Puerto Aventuras costs approximately $2 US.

Puerto Aventuras Beach: Things to do

CEDAM Museum:

The CEDAM museum showcases items recovered from shipwrecks and excavations around Puerto Aventuras, as well nautical items from the past. The entrance is free and the visit can be done in about an hour, an excellent choice for the hottest hours of the day or on a rainy afternoon.

Swim with the Dolphins:

This is a perfect activity for anyone visiting Puerto Aventuras, as bookings are not required; which allows more flexibility for your itinerary. If you want to learn more about these tours, visit their website.

Golf:

Puerto Aventuras had the first golf course in the Riviera Maya, designed by the renowned PGA player Thomas Leman. This golf course offers an amazing 9 hole Par 36 surrounded by beautiful vegetation, and cool breezes from the sea. For more information, visit their website.

 photo Puerto Aventuras 2_zpsviovigkg.jpg

Puerto Aventuras: Recommendations

  • Puerto Aventuras is an excellent destination for a day trip, make sure to arrive there early to enjoy a full day in the premises.
  • The access is restricted, but free of charge.
  • Walking around the marina is an excellent way to enjoy the views and even have the opportunity to see dolphins in the canals.
  • Walking is the ideal way to get to places within Puerto Aventuras, make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Keep up to date with the best beaches in paradise by following our Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown every Friday! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out our options. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-Owned company that specializes in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico. If you are looking for a second home or to retire in paradise, feel free to contact any of our Top Buyers’ Representatives. Browse through our beautiful properties, we are sure you will find your dream home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!