Summer in the Riviera Maya, is your home Fiesta friendly?

People living in the Riviera Maya are always looking for an excuse to organize a Fiesta. Most of the local subdivisions have nice common areas, which will allow you to enjoy a nice afternoon with friends without spending too much money.

If you are looking for the right property for you, you might be thinking about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or even the location or neighborhood. But something that you should also consider is how Fiesta friendly your home might be.

This obviously does not apply to everyone, as social butterflies might use these areas more than others but the weather is defiantly fiesta perfect. For people that enjoy relaxation and being by themselves, these areas can be used to recharge, surrounded by nature, meditate or practice Yoga.

Is your home Fiesta friendly? Finding the right spaces

Most of the properties in the Riviera Maya have several social areas, some of them have spacious patios or gardens, other have a nice common area with a palapa and pool and some others even offer a clubhouse or a beach club. Imagine the possibilities!

 photo Agua de Mar 2_zps8dkgyxft.png

Agua de Mar offers two bedroom luxury condos with endless possibilities for your party.

The property the photo is a good example of a Fiesta friendly property, as you can see it has huge balconies; if you want to keep your party private and be close to your kitchen. You can also use the beautiful modern-chic palapa, and have easy access to the pool; or even organize a nice party at the beach club!

Another space that can be used for a beautiful party is the rooftop, especially if it has views to the jungle or even better… the beach. Some of the rooftops also have common areas with barbeque grills and even a pool to take a refreshing swim in. Here is an ideal property for your next rooftop party?

 photo Pool 2_zpsq2swkw66.jpg

This property is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, it has a huge common area with a swimming pool in the garden as well as a rooftop with a common area including a kitchen, sitting areas and an infinity pool. All of these with magnificent view of the pool, the jungle and the Caribbean Sea.

 photo Pool_zpsshvjrl0u.jpg

Finding the right property for you and your family depends on many things such as the main use of the property, personal habits and taste, etc. When looking for the perfect home it is important to list your priorities and let your Real Estate Agent know about them and your lifestyle.

Here at Top Mexico Real Estate, we have helped thousands of foreigners find their dream home in Mexico and the Riviera Maya. Our decade long experience of living and loving the Riviera Maya gives us special insight on what our clients need and what properties might be perfect for them.

Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Enjoy the Summer in the Riviera Maya

The summer is here, and we are so excited to enjoy the beautiful Caribbean weather, the warm calm water at the beaches and the cool water in the Cenotes. The Riviera Maya is so beautiful this time of the year, even when it rains and the jungle turns a brighter green and the smell of exotic flowers are in the air.

If you are lucky enough to live in paradise, you know that summer is here! Kids are almost out of school and you can see them enjoying the common areas like the pool or the playgrounds, family and friends are gathering to enjoy life and share some food under a Palapa.

Invite your friends and have a BBQ!

People moving to Mexico are looking for a slower pace of life, for a relaxing lifestyle. What better way to enjoy the Riviera Maya than to hosting a BBQ party with your friends and family or this is the perfect excuse to make new friends by inviting some neighbors.

If you are lucky enough to have a big patio or a beautiful common area with a pool… this is the perfect setting to host your party. If cooking is not your thing, keep it simple with some drinks and delicious homemade guacamole or salsa.
 photo Common Area_zpsvhzspgif.jpg
What about having a party in your common area?

This Puerto Aventuras property is located on the golf course and it features the perfect party worthy common area with a swimming pool, grill area and a palapa.

Share a Bowl of Delicious Guacamole

Authentic Mexican Guacamole Recipe
Ingredients
Makes 4 servings

  • 3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • 1 lime, juiced (strain the juice or remove the pits before squeezing it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (disinfect before using)
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Jalapeño/Serrano Chile
  • Optional – 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (if you don’t like spicy food, exchange the chile for cayenne pepper or a dash of Tabasco Sauce)

 photo Guac_zpsbsc9yfpi.jpg

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic.
  2. If you are using fresh chilies, cut lengthwise and remove the seeds, then proceed to cut it in small pieces, stir it in the guacamole. Substitution, add in cayenne pepper/Tabasco Sauce.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

If you like cooking and are looking for a property where you can host a party with a spacious open floor plan kitchen, dining room and living room that flow to a large balcony, with amazing views of the Mayan jungle and common areas, take a look at these beautiful condos located just outside of Playa del Carmen. Look at all that space!! You can perfectly set up a table, chairs and even a big cooler full of cold drinks for your guests.

 photo Balcony_zpsbgsc1wz9.jpg

Look at the size of these balconies! If you like this property click here!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local company based in Playa Del Carmen, we have over a decade experience helping foreigners find and purchase the house of their dreams in Mexico. If you are considering purchasing a vacation, investment or retiring to Mexico, please let us find you the property you have always dreamed of.

We Make It Happen!

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

Beach #6 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Lighthouse Beach

For those looking for a beautiful beach, Playa El Faro (Lighthouse Beach) is one of the best places to be. Not only does it have the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, a winning combo of the Caribbean Sea, but also it is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen.

Lighthouse Beach is just off the famous 5th Avenue, and close to many bars, restaurants and beach clubs. Why bother visiting deserted beaches and having to carry so much stuff? Lighthouse Beach has everything you need for a fantastic day at the beach.

 photo Lighthouse Beach 1_zpsrxnygbjf.jpg

Lighthouse Beach: General Information

Lighthouse beach is a popular spot for those looking to spend a day at the beach without the hassle of driving, carrying supplies and struggling to find a bathroom. Find a comfortable place where you would like to spend the day either on at bar, a beach club or just grab a spot on the sand and enjoy.

If your budget is tight, do not worry as the access to the beach is free and you can bring your own food and beverages, as Lighthouse Beach is also a good option. Another advantage is that several convenience stores are not very far away, so if you need an extra drink or a tasty snack, they are easily accessible.

Lighthouse Beach: Getting There
Lighthouse / El Faro Beach
10 street between 5th avenue and the beach
Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo CP 77710

Walking: If you are on 5th avenue, walk to 10th street and towards the beach. When you reach the lighthouse you know you have arrived.
Driving: From the Federal Highway 307 take the Constituyentes Avenue Exit and turn towards the beach (east). It is really difficult to find a parking place on constituyentes, there is a parking lot under Plaza Alegria on 5th avenue but it also has limited spaces, so if you see a parking space take it and walk to the beach.

Lighthouse Beach: Things To do

  • There is diving centers and sailing Catamaran tours leaving from this area, you might inquire about costs for these activities.
  • Enjoying a nice cold drink and your favorite Mexican snacks: Guacamole, Chips and Salsa, Nachos, etc.
  • Lighthouse Beach is a perfect place to get in some people watching, suntan and relax.
  • If you are into relaxation, there are masseuses offering massages on the beach.
  • The beach in this area is very calm, it is an ideal to snorkel, and go paddle boarding or kayaking.

 photo Lighthouse Beach 2_zpsalllalyn.jpg

Lighthouse Beach: Recommendations

  • Arriving early will let you get the best lounge chair or maybe a nice shaded area under a palm tree or palapa. Some bars and beach clubs have specials early in the day as there are fewer customers.
  • If you decide to hire a tour or partake in a relaxing beach massage, shop around and do not take the first rate offered to you. This will insure that you receive a fair price for the service provided.
  • Bring a bag to carry your trash with you, as there are no trash cans on the beach. Make sure to leave the area cleaner than when you got there.

Learn about the different beaches throughout the Riviera Maya, and count down with us to the Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya every Friday.

If you are looking for the perfect beach, you can follow our blog and learn about other local popular spots. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

There are many luxury real estate properties located on or near Lighthouse Beach. If you are interested in Playa del Carmen real estate please contact one of the Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives. We have the credentials and expertise and we are here to help you find your dream home in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We make it happen! 

Chaya: The Mayan Superfood

Finding local organic vegetables in the Riviera Maya can be difficult, due to the lack of soil in the Riviera; most of the fruits and vegetables have to be brought from other places. Even healthy food like spinach can be contaminated with chemical or organic elements, and little is known about the effects that those chemicals can cause in our body, soil and water.

With proper planning and a compost bin, almost anybody can have an organic vegetable patch in the Riviera Maya. If you lack the space and the motivation to do so, maybe planting a traditional Chaya Plant is a great alternative to growing a whole garden. This plant has three times more nutrients than spinach and it is easy to find and grow everywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula.

 photo Chaya 1_zpsuaizrjum.jpg

Chaya: Characteristics and Nutrition Facts

The Chaya Plant, also known as Tree Spinach is a bush that can reach up to 10 feet in height. It has big green leaves and a fragile stem that can produce a sticky white liquid when it breaks. For centuries, people in the Yucatan Peninsula have been consuming this plant, as it is rich in nutrients, flavorful and easy to grow.

Nutritionists claim that the Chaya provides enormous benefits to the human body, it improves blood circulation, regulates blood sugar and blood pressure. It also aids digestion as it has a good amount of fiber. This nutrition powerhouse has other nutrients that are highly beneficial to our body as well.

The best part about Chaya is that because it is indigenous plant it is really easy to grow in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula. If you find a Chaya plant, take a stem and break it in to foot long pieces, stick them in the soil and voila; your tree spinach will grow at an amazing rate and will be producing nutrition packed leaves in no time.

 photo Chaya_zpsm7wlnuw4.jpg

Chaya: Benefits of Consuming the Mayan Spinach

The Chaya is a natural source of vitamin A, vitamin B, phosphorus, calcium, iron, protein and minerals. It also provides a boost of energy, and some people claim that it even has an anti-stress effect.

Some of the benefits of consuming Chaya are: improved blood circulation, a better digestion, and it is aids with cases of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It also helps to lower cholesterol, reduce weight gain and to disinfect the lungs preventing coughs.

Eating Chaya can increase the calcium in bones, as the Chaya has more natural calcium than the traditional spinach. Chaya also has a massive amount of iron, which prevents anemia, improve memory and brain function. Some people believe it can help against arthritis and diabetes.

 photo Chaya 4_zpsuhqjpjff.jpg

Because this regional plant is easy to grow and maintain it is a great starter plant for your new home in Mexico. Providing many nutritional and healing benefits Chaya really is a Mayan superfood.

Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen on a Rainy Day

Like every good tropical region, the Riviera Maya has one long rainy season. It starts in June and runs all the way through October. However, this does not mean that every day is a rainy day! While most days you will be able to enjoy the beautiful, paradise beaches, outdoor activities, site seeing, and much more, you should also plan (and pack) for occasional rainy days.

Most people come to the Riviera Maya because it’s a fully outdoor holiday, but there is plenty to do and enjoy while it’s raining outside. And worry not, because rain tends to fall strongly for an hour or two and then stop completely, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the beach, 5th Avenue, or anything else. Just carry a poncho (or umbrella) with you!

Here are some fun things to do in Playa Del Carmen on a rainy day:

Go to the Movies
Believe it or not, most movies screened in Mexico are in their original version and subtitled. Only children’s movies are dubbed. You have plenty of films to watch in either of the two movie theaters found in Playa del Carmen: Cinemex in Centro Maya, or Cinepolis in Plaza las Americas.

Go Shopping
Since you’re already in Centro Maya or Plaza las Americas, you might as well go shopping. Both malls are not as big as you are used to back home, but they have plenty of shopping and food available. Another option is visiting the new Quinta Alegria plaza located on 5th Avenue. This plaza is open but offers shelter from the rain to walk around.

 photo Shopping_zpsbd4q46of.jpg

Have a Long Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner
It doesn’t matter what time it starts raining at…visiting a restaurant and enjoying a long and relaxing meal is a great option while the rain falls. You could visit any one of the many restaurants on 5th Avenue, or somewhere off the beaten path, and try some delicious Mexican, Italian, French, gourmet, street, or even German food!

Go Dancing!
12th street is waiting for you, regardless of rain. If it’s raining at nighttime (or party time), don’t stay in just because of the weather. Once you reach 12th street you will find plenty of choices between bars and clubs to dance the rain (and night) away!

Go on a Tour
Visiting cenotes, going on ATVs, or visiting Río Secreto and Xplor are great options for when it’s raining. You’ll be getting wet anyway. Rio Secreto is a beautiful underground river and cenote, perfect for any weather. Xplor is Experiencias Xcaret’s adventure park – zipline, swim through rivers, and have fun…rain or not! Most ATV tours include visiting a cenote and riding through fun filled and muddy paths!

 photo ATV_zpsoxec3qjf.jpg

Discover a Café 
Playa del Carmen is full of uniquely designed, delicious coffee and teashops. Find one that you like and spend a rainy afternoon reading a book and enjoying a Mexican brewed coffee or tea. You can also find cookies, breads, cakes, and other sweet things to enjoy with the drink of your choice.

Get a Massage
You know you’ve been thinking about it since you arrived in Playa del Carmen. You’re on vacation and you deserve a massage. So what better time to get one than when it’s raining outside? The sound of the rain and the relaxing music at the spa will surely allow you to let it all go, relax, and enjoy. Playa del Carmen is full of spas waiting for you…get off 5th Avenue and find one that is not as expensive and that will leave you feeling more relaxed!

 photo Massage_zpsv1dg1xuo.jpg

Stay In 
Seldom do you get to enjoy a day of relaxation in the hotel. Pamper yourself, order room service, turn the TV on and watch a movie. You may not be getting the full Playa del Carmen experience through it, but you will definitely feel ready for your next adventure day in paradise!

There is no reason to feel frustrated because your holidays are “ruined” by the rain! Never forget that Playa del Carmen is much more than paradise beaches, and that there are plenty things to do in Playa Del Carmen on a rainy day.

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned, locally based real estate company, leader in the Riviera Maya. If you are thinking of retiring or relocating to paradise, feel free to contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives who will happily guide you on your path to becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

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

Beach #7 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Coco Beach

More than 2 million visitors choose the Riviera Maya for their holidays every year, making it the second most popular destination in Quintana Roo not too far behind from Cancun. Once a sleepy fishing village, Playa del Carmen has become a hot destination for tourists looking for beautiful beaches and a cosmopolitan vibe.

Playa del Carmen has many different neighborhoods and each neighborhood has its own beach, from the popular Mamita´s beach to the least known areas in the outskirts of Playa del Carmen; every one of these have special characteristics that make it special and different from the rest.

 photo Coco beach 1_zpsnhoaytyj.jpg

Coco Beach: General Information

Coco Beach is near the Colosio subdivision and for years it was an area visited almost exclusively by local families, as there were no touristic services in the area. Time has changed that, as the city sprawls more and more visitors have made Coco Beach their favorite spot.

Access to Coco Beach is easy nowadays, as there are roads and it can also be reached via 5th Avenue. There are also plenty of hotels, restaurants and bars in the area, in case you would like to grab something to eat or drink.

The access to Coco Beach is free, you can bring your towel, food and drinks, and relax on the beach all day. There is also the popular Canibal Royal Beach Club, which has a lounge area as well as food, drinks, showers and restrooms for their customers.

Coco Beach: Getting There
48 North & The Beach in Colosio
Between Flamingo Rd. and  Albatros Rd.
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

Walking: If you are walking on 5th avenue head north towards Cancun, once you reach Calle 48 turn right and walk a block to the beach.

Driving: From the Federal Highway 307 take the CTM Avenue exit and turn towards the beach (east).

Coco Beach: Things to do

  • Coco Beach is a perfect place to get in some people watching, sun tanning and relaxation.
  • There are plenty of fishing boats in the area, you can contact one of the fishermen that are always in the area for a tour or go on a fishing trip.
  • The water at Coco beach is very calm, an ideal place to practice water sports like snorkeling, paddle board or kayaking.

 photo Coco Beach 2_zpsvpa0elkc.jpg

Coco Beach: Recommendations

  • There are no bathrooms in the area, you will need to go to one of the local restaurants or bars in order to use their facilities.
  • If you decide to bring your own drinks and food, also bring a bag for your trash and make sure not to leave anything behind when you leave.
  • Do not forget to bring your biodegradable suntan lotion and insect repellent, as harsh chemicals harm the coral reef and the local fauna.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Coco Beach. It is a nice beach to catch some sun and relax at. 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 all of the other beaches on the list. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

If you have been dreaming about owning a home in Mexico, we are here to help! Our company has over a decade of experience in helping foreigners purchase their dream property in Mexico in a timely and legal manner. It all starts with a dream, browse our beautiful properties and find the ideal property for you, our team of certified realtors are going to be there for you in every step of the process.

If you like the Coco Beach area and are interested in purchasing a vacation home or retirement home, Coco Beach has gorgeous real estate options from beachfront luxury condos to beautiful homes, 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!

Is Mexico a Safe Destination?

Mexico has one main problem: the international media. For years, people from around the world have been too afraid to visit Mexico thinking that they are risking being kidnapped, robbed, carjacked, or worse. However, according to the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Consular Affairs), millions of U.S. citizens travel to Mexico safely year after year for study, business or tourism. This includes over 150,000 people who cross the border every day.

Is Mexico a safe destination you might ask? Well,the Mexican government invests millions of U.S. dollars to ensure the safety of visitors, mainly in resort areas that receive more tourism than other parts of Mexico. Although the war against the drug cartels is widely known across the world, there is no evidence of crime organization groups targeting any citizen because of their nationality. Mexico is safe.

 photo Is Mexico Safe_zpsehuteloq.jpg

Nonetheless, anyone planning on visiting Mexico should read about the area they will visit, research about safety, and take the necessary precautions to maintain your safety. Crime is a serious problem worldwide – mainly in major cities such as Mexico City, Chicago, Sao Paolo, and more. The most important thing to remember is not to expose oneself and to exercise precaution at all times. Read about what parts of Mexico to avoid completely, and what parts of Mexico are safe for a tourist.

As a major tourist destination, Quintana Roo state is a completely safe place to visit. Criminal organizations operate far from tourist areas where a lot of money is invested in safety. The Riviera Maya generates the largest touristic income of the country, so authorities are well aware that the area cannot be overlooked. The same thing applies for the Yucatan Peninsula.

Quintana Roo: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum are major cities/travel destinations in Quintana Roo – No advisory is in effect.

Related: Is Mexico Safe?

 photo mexicosafety_zpsbbxczq4y.jpg

Here are some recommendations to take into consideration when visiting the Riviera Maya, or all of Mexico in general:

  • Lower your personal profile
  • Do not display indicators of wealth
  • Maintain awareness of your surroundings
  • Avoid being isolated in unknown areas
  • Report any activities that you may find suspicious
  • Keep the consulate’s number with you at all times
  • Stay within the common tourist areas
  • If you have local friends, trust them as to what to visit and what to avoid
  • Do not carry around too much money
  • Avoid taking out a bunch of dollars – or any currency
  • Avoid any illicit activities that might get you involved in something (such as drugs, too much drinking, gambling, amongst others)
  • Do not walk in dark and lonely streets or alleys alone
  • When traveling long distances by bus, try doing so during daylight hours
  • If driving a car, preferably use toll roads and avoid isolated roads
  • Do not join protests or demonstrations (although they are usually peaceful, violence can break out and authorities will arrest regardless of nationality)
  • When talking to strangers, avoid telling them where you are from, how long you are around for, where you are staying
  • Do not give out personal information and try avoiding the use of credit cards

There are, of course, many other things to be precautionary about. However, do not let this get in the way of enjoying a relaxing and fun vacation in the Riviera Maya. Before embarking on a holiday, make sure to check out the U.S. Department of State website to read specifically about the area to be visited here.

For those visiting the Riviera Maya specifically, here is the information for the closest Consulate, and Consulate Agencies:

U.S. Consulate
Merida, Yucatan
Calle 60 no. 338-K, Col. Alcala Martin
Phone number: (011) (52) (999) 942 57 00 or 202 250 37 11 (U.S. number)

U.S. Consulate Agencies
Cancun, Quintana Roo
Blvd. Kukulcan 13thkm, Hotel Zone
Phone number: (011) (52) (998) 883 02 72

Playa del Carmen, Quintana ROo
“The Palapa” Calle 1 sur, between 15th and 20th Avenues
Phone number: (011) (52) (984) 873 03 03 or 202 370 67 08 (U.S. number)

Enjoy your travels and just remember that Mexico is like any other country in the world. Avoid putting yourself in danger and everything will be fine!

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned, locally based real estate company in the Riviera Maya, leader in its field. If you have any questions about safety in Mexico, or are looking to move, travel, or retire to the Mexican Caribbean, feel free to contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives, who will gladly help you become a happy homeowner in paradise.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

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

Beach #8 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Grand Coral Beach

Every year, millions of tourists choose the Riviera Maya for their holiday, making it the second most popular destination in Quintana Roo; just behind Cancun by a few thousand visitors. From January thru June of 2014, Quintana Roo received more than 5 million visitors and almost half of those were visiting the Riviera Maya.

If you live in Playa del Carmen or are visiting the Area, there are plenty of beautiful beaches for you to enjoy: from the traditional Mamita´s Beach, to Coco Beach or Shangri-La, there is a beach for everyone.  However, if you are feeling adventurous and want to go somewhere new, with all the luxury and comfort of a 5 Star Hotel; Gran Coral Beach might be an excellent option for you.

 photo Grand Coral Beach 1_zpspgvqnvgr.jpg

Grand Coral Beach: General Information

Grand Coral Riviera is a complete neighborhood that offers its visitors a luxurious hotel, as well as modern condos for sale with beautiful beachfront and golf course views. The complex was designed in a way that every property has access to the 18 hole golf course designed by Nick Price, as well as to the Beach Club and the Club House.

Even if you are not a guest in the hotel or the owner of one of their magnificent residences, you can still access their beautiful private beach. Grand Coral allows guest to visit their beach club, there is easy access and parking right next to the beach club.

These are some of the amenities you will find in the Grand Coral Playa del Carmen Beach Club:

  • Pool
  • Bathrooms
  • Beach chairs
  • Cabanas
  • Towels
  • Beach umbrellas
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Snack Bar

Grand Coral Beach: Getting There
Grand Coral
Carretera Federal 307 km 294, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R.

Getting to the Grand Coral beach is easy, from Playa del Carmen you can:

Driving a Car: If you are coming from Playa del Carmen you will need to get on the federal highway 307 northbound heading towards Cancun. There are plenty of signs and you will see it on your right as a massive entrance. Once you get to the security post, tell them you are going to the beach club, they will take your plates details and ask for an ID, then let you through.

Taking a Van/Taxi:  Any taxi can take you to Grand Coral, ask a few different drivers to find the best price.

Public Transportation: Colectivos/buses are a great way to get around. You will find them driving all along the Federal Road 307 just ask if they go to your destination and hop in.  Keep in mind that the beach is about half a mile into the Grand Coral Complex, so if you are not a fan of walking a cab might be a better choice.

 photo Grand Coral Beach 2_zpspummw4ie.jpg

Grand Coral Beach: Things To Do

  • Sunbathing and relaxing is always a do!
  • Snorkeling is a good option; just remember to bring your own gear.
  • Enjoy a nice meal or a cold beverage at the Beach Club restaurant!
  • Take a dip in the swimming pool or ocean. 

Grand Coral Beach: Recommendations

  • Do not forget to bring your biodegradable suntan lotion and insect repellent, as harsh chemicals harm the coral reef and the local fauna.
  • Remember this is a beach club, if you wish to use the premises you will need to buy a drink or some food.

Grand Coral beach offers its visitors exclusive access to their 5 star beach club and amenities, if you want to enjoy a day of luxury and relaxation this might be a good choice for you.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Grand Coral Beach Club 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 loved Grand Coral and are interested in purchasing a vacation home or retirement home Grand Coral has several real estate options from beachfront luxury condos to beautiful homes, 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!

10 Interesting Facts About Whale Sharks

  1. Despite their name, the whale shark is neither a whale nor a mammal; it is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known fish species. The whale part of the name comes from its sheer size. The whale shark is an Ovoviviparous species, this means that it keeps its eggs inside her body and once they are mature; tiny whale sharks emerge alive from the mother’s body.

 photo whale shark 10_zpsfctvww8z.jpg

  1. The whale shark has an extremely thick skin, in some cases up to four inches thick. In addition, their skin has a much darker tone than the rest of the fish with white patterns comprising dots, vertical and horizontal lines; making really interesting patterns.
  1. The whale sharks huge mouth can be as big as five feet long, but swimming alongside a whale shark is 100% safe as they have no interest in consuming humans. They also have a filtration system that does not allow the passage of anything bigger than small fish like sardines and their many rows of tiny teeth are located in the back of their mouth; so they can not really harm anyone.

 photo whalesharkteeth_zps9pmy2akf.jpg Whale Shark Teeth
Source: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/whaleshark/whaleshark.html

  1. These majestic animals have an advanced filtration system that allows them to eat without having to swim, compared to other animals that require them to move forward to push water inside their mouth. The whale shark is able to use their gills to pull water into their mouth, where it accumulates plankton, krill and other small seafood like sardines or anchovies.
  1. These fish live in tropical waters at an average 700 meters deep. They are generally solitary animals, but are grouped when they find an area rich in food.
  1. The whale shark is known to be the world’s largest fish, with verified specimens as long as 40 feet; that is as long as a trailer. There are many reported sightings of much bigger whale sharks, over 65 feet long; but they have not been documented and therefore are considered a myth.
  1. Despite its imposing size, whale sharks are completely harmless and peaceful creatures. Tourists can swim very close them, and in the past visitors were even allowed to even touch them but this is no longer permitted.

 photo whale sharks swim_zpspjtn1ixd.jpg

  1. Summer is the best season to observe these magnificent creatures, especially the months from June to September. The Riviera Maya has many tour companies that organize whale shark tours, which includes everything you need to enjoy this experience.
  1. If you live in the Riviera Maya or are vacationing here, the best places to find whale sharks are in the area between Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Holbox Island.
  1. Each year an estimated 1,400 whale shark reach the coasts of the peninsula, and about 200 approach the islands of Holbox and Contoy in the state of Quintana Roo.

Swimming with the whale sharks is a once in a lifetime experience, remember this is a peaceful creature but there have been reports of them attacking boats; after being harassed. If you are going on a whale shark tour, respect the whale sharks and follow the indications given by your tour guide.

Would you like to partake in unique experiences like this all the time? Consider retiring or purchasing a vacation home in Mexico there are so many things to do here, you will never run out of once in a lifetime experiences.

From dreaming to owning your dream home in Mexico, Top Mexico Real Estate has a decade team of Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives with the experience in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico.

Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

The Miracle of Life: Akumal Sea Turtle Nesting Season

The miracle of life is an amazing thing. For millions of years life on our planet has been the sole pillar of everything we know and love. It all really comes down to creating life, and keeping it that way for millions upon millions of years to come. And to be able to witness the miracle of life – be it human or otherwise – is a unique experience that not very many people get to live in their lifetime.

Amongst the many amazing species that call the Riviera Maya home is the sea turtle. In the world, there are eight existing sea turtle species – and most of them are critically endangered. Of these eight species, seven of them live and nest in Mexican beaches. We are a privileged country! And out of those, four nest in the gorgeous, pristine beaches of Quintana Roo.

However, due to heavy tourist congestion, sea turtles start migrating south to find isolated beaches that less humans transit through. And if that seems impossible, they settle for those where there are sea turtle protection programs that (try to) control the traffic of people. One of those places, and the most popular for both swimming with these majestic animals and witnessing sea turtle nesting season, is Akumal.

 photo Baby Turtles_zpshqo9wfpy.jpg

Akumal means “Place of the Turtles” in Mayan (‘Ak’ means turtle; ‘Umal’ means place). The name is, of course, justified, as this is not only one of the most important nesting beaches in the region, but it is also one of the biggest natural homes to juvenile sea turtles in the area. This tranquil bay area – very popular amongst tourists – is home to approximately 40 juvenile sea turtles. This is their natural habitat, as it is a popular feeding area for them due to the amounts of sea grass that the bay possesses.

While these juvenile turtles come and go on a daily basis, the phenomenon known as “sea turtle season” refers strictly to the nesting season, which takes place between May and September every year. Now, this season is not a general rule for all eight species, but to the three that nest in Akumal: caretta caretta (loggerhead), chelonia mydas (green turtle), and the occasional eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill turtle) – hey, now you know three scientific names to impress your friends!

Life Cycle

The most common species to nest in the region are the loggerhead and the green sea turtles, with record over 900 nests in 2013 (in Akumal) throughout the whole season, for both species. However, there are also leatherbacks and hawksbill nests found throughout the state. The life cycle of a sea turtle is fairly simple:

 photo turtle-nest-model_zpszyubiplf.jpg

  • Mating – adult female sea turtles come out to the beach to nest between May and September. They can lay anywhere between 80 and 120 eggs, depending on species.
  • Incubation – this period lasts approximately 45 to 55 days.
  • Hatching – after the incubation period, hatchlings pop out of their shells and make their way out to the ocean*.
  • The Lost Years – the first three years of a sea turtle are referred to as “the lost years” because they migrate to different feeding areas and are hard to keep track of.
  • Juvenile Years – for the next 15 years they migrate around the world to feeding areas until they reach adulthood.
  • Adulthood – this is when they reach their breeding age, which goes from 15 to 50 years old.
  • Mating – adult male turtles court females in order for the cycle to continue.
  • Lifespan – sea turtles can live up to 100 years old, depending on species.

*Unfortunately, only one out of 1,000 hatchlings makes it to adulthood for different reasons:

  • Natural reasons – during incubation, raccoons and crabs dig the nests and feed on the eggs. After hatching, seagulls target turtles, as they are soft-shelled and easy to digest. Through their first years, sharks and whales can eat them, too.
  • Human Interaction – ocean pollution, garbage, obstacles on the beaches, accidental fishing, ‘hit and run’ (when boats hit turtles), and more, are the major cause of death in sea turtles.

How You Can Help and Experience Nesting Season

There are many ways to get involved in the conservation process:

  • Volunteering – sea turtle camps rely 100% on volunteer work. Here they teach you the proper way to patrol and monitor sea turtles throughout nesting season (working with both adults and hatchlings). Volunteer work costs both financially and physically, but it is worth experiencing.
  • Eco-touring – the beaches on which these turtles nest are open to the public (places such as Xpu-Ha close the access at night, but you can stay at a hotel there), so the best way to help with conservation is by education yourself as to what you can and cannot do on the beach (such as leaving garbage or obstacles for the turtles). You can contact a sea turtle camp and find out if they offer educational night walks where you get to witness the nesting process, or if they will have hatchling releases for you to see. Donating to these programs is a huge contribution, as they are NGOs and do not profit from their work.

While Akumal is certainly not the only nesting beach in the Riviera Maya, it is the most popular one – specially because there are juvenile sea turtles swimming in the bay every day of the year. It’s their home, after all. However, you can witness the nesting season at other beaches such as Xpu-Ha, Xcacel, Sian Ka’an, Tulum and Cancun.

 photo Turtles_zpsudtglns9.jpg

Don’t miss the opportunity of experiencing this unique and life-changing event. Sea turtles are beautiful creatures and they depend on you to continue gracing the oceans we all visit the Riviera Maya for.

If you wish their home will someday be your home, please feel free to contact one of our Top Mexico Buyer’s Representatives who will gladly help you in the process of relocating and finding your dream home in paradise.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!