5 Restaurants in Playa That You Can’t Miss

Life in Mexico is full of adventure, great weather… and delicious food. If you’re visiting or if you are thinking to retire in Playa del Carmen, here is a list of 5 restaurants that you must visit!

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Zenzi Beach Bar & Restaurant – This beachside eatery is located at the end of Calle 10 Norte and is situated directly on the beautiful white sandy beach in Playa del Carmen, along with Mexico’s beautiful Riviera Maya. You also have the advantage of looking out over the gorgeous Caribbean water as you enjoy your food and spirits.

Zenzi appeals to a large expat and retiree crowd who mixes well with the many locals who also come to enjoy the restaurant and its laidback ambiance. Almost every afternoon and evening you can listen to live music being played from one of Playa del Carmen’s many talented musical groups.

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The atmosphere is very beachy and offers plenty of open air seating. After the sun goes down, accented lighting around the palm trees provides an intimate feel with music and conversation happening in the background. Take your shoes off and feel the cool sand between your toes!

The menu offers a variety of appetizers, sandwiches and dinner entrees. The food is very well prepared and is complimented with great service. They also have a full bar that will prepare your special request or a menu to select an alcohol or non-alcohol beverage.

Zenzi is a great place for family and friends to get together, where couples can meet or just drop in for a quick bite or a cool refreshing drink. Sit back and enjoy the music while you’re relaxing in paradise!

Fah

Restaurant Fah Bar – Fah Bar is a unique restaurant that sits directly on the world famous Quinta Avenida (5th Ave), between near the corner with Calle 10 Norte. Fah offers lots of exciting street action that includes everything from break dancers to traditional mariachi music, to jugglers. It is also a great location to people watch from your street side table, booth or the open air dining area.

The off street dining area provides a tropical forest like feel with an oversized tree that provides a natural canopy but still allows the outside in. They have a variety of seating choices that consist of tables and chairs to padded sofa duets, and a back wall with bench seating that faces the bar, dining and stage areas.

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Entertainment is provided most every afternoon and evening. The music mixes very well with any mood. The menu is quite extensive and offers a cuisine that can be found in many fine dine restaurants. The service is very courteous and complete with complimentary servers who assist the waiters in keeping your needs met.

The drink menu offers some unusual cocktails served with or without alcohol. If you are an exotic connoisseur of martinis, you must try the cucumber martini or any of the other creative beverages. The relaxing atmosphere will provide a subtle comfort that can’t always be found in similar eateries.

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Pez Vela – Another great 5th Ave. restaurant and bar is Pez Vela. It is probably one of the longest standing eateries on Quinta Avenida, with an astonishing 28 years of existence. They must be doing something right to be around for that long. You can find this restaurant on the corner of 5Th Ave. and Calle 2 Norte.

They are more of a casual – lets hangout restaurant and cantina. Their walk up “U” shaped bar has swing seating that offers quick service and a full drink menu. Their clientele ranges from locals to vacationing singles or couples, to expats looking for a casual conversation. The atmosphere of the open air corner bar kind of reminds you of a Mexico version of ‘Cheers’.

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The restaurant offers curbside dining which is great for people watching and other activities that are constantly passing by. There is an inside dining area, as well as a mezzanine that is ideal for group parties or a special occasion get together. The motif is traditional Mexican with a flair for color, and yes there is a big screen TV for watching your favorite sporting event.

The food is true Mexican but has its own special flavor. They have received awards from the Federal Tourism Board regarding their quality of cleanliness and kitchen preparation – a big plus for delicate stomachs. Their menu is fairly simple but covers all the desired dishes normally wanted when visiting Playa del Carmen. The service is friendly, prompt and very attentive. The prices are budget friendly and offer great value.

Oasis

El Oasis – El Oasis on Calle 12 Norte between 5th and 10th Avenidas is an eye-catching location. The eatery is a true seafood venue with an extensive menu of top notch dishes. They aren’t a high capacity restaurant like a lot of their neighboring peers. They do have a fully stocked bar, but their main focus is Seafood cuisine!

You have a choice to either be seated street side, on a small open-air covered patio or dine inside. The décor is styled very elaborately with a strong emphasis on a nautical theme. The walls, ceiling and seating are painted with bright colors that provide quite a novel experience.

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The menu goes from ‘A to Z’ in seafood choices and cooked any way you want it. They pride themselves on fresh lobster, ceviche and their signature shrimp tacos. The food is plentiful, served hot and fresh and is extremely delicious. They serve a small cup of seafood chowder as an appetizer that will arouse your taste buds and tease you for what is ahead. The service is excellent with a smile every time they visit your table.

They do have a small bar area that offers Happy Hour specials, but not really known for having a cocktail hour crowd. However, they serve up a mean margarita that is crafted at your table with ingredients that you would never have imagined being in a margarita. It is actually served to you in a mortar type bowl with an accompanying straw. If you enjoy good seafood in a unique setting, then a visit to El Oasis is a must.

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Casa Sophia – Located on Avenida Aviacion between 10th Ave. & 50th Ave (Highway 307), Casa Sophia is a great place to have some good Italian food, great conversation and enjoy a glass of wine. Its cuisine is prepared authentically as if coming from its own origins.

The restaurant and bar is a stone’s throw away from Playacar and is very popular with the locals, as well as the area’s expats and seasonal residents. It has multiple dining sections that include a glassed in dining area with a full bar, two open air covered patio areas, and a smaller indoors area near the deli counter.

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Its ambiance is simple but casual and very comfortable. The menu is very detailed with some of Italy’s finest dishes. Their pizzas and pasta are handcrafted with true Italian style. They also have a variety of wines that compliment any meal. The table settings are reminiscent of the old country where dining is an art of ambiance and food combined. The service is exceptionally friendly and delivered in a professional manner.

Casa Sophia is somewhat off the beaten path and offers no significant similarities to its peers that reside beachfront or on Playa’s Quinta Avenida. There is no hustle and bustle or lapping waves or street entertainers. Just a relaxing setting for family, friends or couples wanting to enjoy a conversation. The pricing is very reasonable for the exceptional quality of food served. They accept pesos and USD only.
Enjoy Italy in the heart of the Riviera Maya!

Do you have any other recommendations for eating out in Playa del Carmen?

Let us know!

Remember… we make it happen!

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House Sitting in Mexico

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I’m sure you have heard stories of folks who come down on vacation and return having purchased real estate.  And then there are folks who sign a long-term lease and move a container full of furniture. But maybe for you, the idea of living in Mexico is elusive. You wish moving down here but cannot pinpoint the best place for you.

The good news is that there’s an easy way to explore your options about moving to Mexico, and it happens to be free. It’s called house sitting and it’s a very good way to explore your options for a move to Mexico. Instead of a hotel, house sitting allows you to stay in a “real” home, similar to what you might consider for yourself when you move. You can stay there long enough to see what it’s like to live there, while you are informing yourself, meeting people, exploring various neighborhoods and forming your own opinions about the town.

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House sitting is typically a no-cash exchanged relationship in which a sitter receives a place to stay in exchange for keeping the home occupied while the owner is away, plus other responsibilities as required.  In this “win-win” relationship, house sitters have an opportunity to see what daily life is like.  Typically the homeowner introduces their house sitter to neighbors and friends, so there are people to get to know, and opportunities to benefit from their experience, plus enjoying the lower cost of living of their new host country.

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If you want to know more, there is a website that brings homeowners in Mexico together with people like you who might want to house sit for them. It’s www.HouseSitMexico.com and easy to use, highly functional website that offers two types of interactive maps of Mexico (helpful as you get to know the country), sophisticated search capabilities, private messaging and email updates of new house sitting opportunities.

If you want to learn more about house sitting, visit the HouseSitMexico website and contact them for more information.
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Reasons why I enjoy living in Playa del Carmen

Tony Scopel

We have written a lot about retiring in Mexico, but what about just living here part-time?

Recently we got in touch with Tony Scopel, an American traveler and creator of the website You, Me and the Dock, who chose Playa del Carmen as a temporary home. We wanted to know why he chose this destination and his answers are very interesting.

Even when he’s not retired yet, his lifestyle allows him to spend extended periods of time in this area, and we’re sure that his experience can be helpful if you’re planning to retire in the Riviera Maya.

Continue reading to learn more!

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We have on several occasions visited many destinations up and down Mexico’s beautiful Riviera Maya. Places like Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum are very picturesque and each has its own charming qualities. But now living in Mexico and specifically in Playa del Carmen, is a dream come true!

Being somewhat a spoiled American, Playa as it is known to the locals, offers many of the amenities we graciously enjoy back home. One of the many advantages we looked at was the cost of living in Mexico. It is approximately a third of the cost of United States. With that said, all the other benefits make this a perfect utopia for extended stays. When we were looking for places to stay for lengths of time, there had to be certain necessities that needed to be present, and one of those particulars is the need for sufficient and affordable healthcare.

Mexico’s health system has made great strides over the last decade. Merida, the capital of the State of Yucatan, is ranked number one in Southeast Mexico for healthcare services and medical research. I also have personally experienced medical and dental treatment in Playa del Carmen, and it was just as professional as anywhere in the States. Playa’s doctors speak multiple languages and have their doctorate degrees and credentials posted in plain sight. Their staff are courteous, professional and very knowledgeable. The part that makes this even better is that it’s about a quarter of the cost compared to the US… All this gets two thumbs up on my list of musts!

Beach food

One of my favorite things to do during the day is to walk up and down the beach and watch all the activity going on. There are people kite surfing, playing paddle ball and performing tricks with a soccer ball. You can also take a chair, an umbrella, your favorite beverage, and a good book and just relax. With the turquoise Caribbean water and blue skies above as a backdrop, there isn’t any place else on earth I would rather be.

We spend several days a week enjoying the many restaurants, cantinas and beach bar & grills. The cuisine here in Playa is some of the best I have tasted throughout our Latin America travels. The seafood is in abundance and is cooked in so many different ways to choose from. There are plenty of places to eat traditional Mexican food and it is made with the freshest ingredients. On certain days we order tacos, tostadas or empanadas from small cart vendors scattered around town. There are also other authentic cuisines represented here in Playa del Carmen from such countries as Italy, Cuba and Thailand to mention a few. Food is so affordable that there should be no reason why you have to cook and do the dishes every night.

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Shopping is a whole new experience here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There are name brand stores, department stores and my favorite, the homegrown shops. You can find just about anything you want, and then some at the best prices. I like going into stores and shops to browse and see what the latest Latin trends are. There are stores filled with appliances, home furnishing and electronics. We sometimes walk to a park where there are farmer’s markets filled with fresh fruits & vegetables, local crafts and food carts. It is amazing the things you can find that you can’t get back home. Not to mention the grocery stores and there are plenty of them. Shopping in Playa is an enjoyable experience and not a job.

When we decided to plant ourselves in Playa del Carmen for a year, we looked at all the nearby towns and islands as well. We are an adventurous couple and like to take day trips or spend a night or two somewhere close, but far enough away to consider it a brief getaway. Playa has several nearby destinations that offer easy day trips: Cozumel and its great snorkeling is a 35 minute ferry ride away, Puerto Aventuras and its aquatic attractions and town center is twenty minutes away via car, bus or taxi. Tulum with its Mayan Ruins and beachfront eateries and hotels is 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. The sleepy little beachfront town of Puerto Morelos is a 25-minute bus ride north of Playa. These are just a few of the places that can be visited in a day’s time.

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The attractions offered in and around Playa del Carmen are countless. You can visit Playa’s new indoor L’Aquarium. This is a great way to marvel and learn about many of the ocean’s inhabitants. You can take a walk down the beach and schedule a fishing, snorkeling or dive trip. Another exciting day tour is to explore a cenote. These below ground caverns of crystal clear fresh water are a great way to spend a hot day cooling off.

If you just want to casually stroll around and see what’s going on in town, then set out with no particular destination in mind. We have done this many times on a lazy day. You never know what you might stumble upon. Sometimes you can find a festival or cultural event happening in a local park. If you get bored in Playa, then it’s your own fault.

An important line item on my list was to have great weather, beautiful beaches and fabulous water. Mexico’s Riviera Maya has all that and more. Playa’s beaches and turquoise waters can only be explained visually. When we turn the corner and the beach comes into view, it takes our breath away. I think to myself, “I am living a post card dream”. The summers get a little hot and humid here for sure. But a trip to the beach and the cool tempered Caribbean water cures that in a heartbeat.

In summary, all the information provided above are things that are readily available for us to enjoy whenever we want. But there are other important reasons why we chose to be retired in Mexico. Life is simple here. People are genuinely sincere and friendly and always willing to help you in any way they can. It reminds me of the way it was when I was a kid and I walked or rode my bike everywhere I went, when the local stores and eateries were friendly and filled with charm. People worked hard to make an honest living for their family. In Playa del Carmen it’s the same: we meet people on the street and talk about anything and everything. The Mexican culture is a simple one and that is to enjoy life and what is around you. What you don’t have, you don’t miss!

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Halloween in Playa del Carmen… a great party by the sea!

Halloween is almost here! Once a North American tradition, Halloween is growing increasingly popular in Mexico. If you live or are visiting Playa del Carmen, you can join the people that goes out on this night and enjoy an amazing blend of traditions in Playa del Carmen.

In Mexico, there has been a long tradition of celebrating the Day of the Dead. This day commemorates the people that has left before us, and people make shrines to celebrate the memories of loved ones that are no longer with us.

However, many also join and celebrate the fun of trick or treating… and it is common to celebrate both. If you are in the area, you cannot miss celebrating Halloween Playa style! Get that costume ready and join the crowds trick and treating on 5th avenue.

Celebrating Halloween in Playa del Carmen:  Things to do

1.  Trick or treating

Every year, hundreds of visitors and locals go on 5th Avenue wearing costumes, dressed as Catrina Skeletons or even as an Xtabay. Playa del Carmen is the ideal place to see traditions merge and become something different, come and see and enjoy the party.

Don’t forget to bring enough candy to share with the hundreds of local and visiting children, trick or treating on 5th Avenue.

2.  Have an authentic Day of the Dead experience

If you want to learn more about the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead, Xcaret has an amazing festival every year. The festival has theater, music, performances and art… and everything is about the Mexican traditions to celebrate the day of the dead.

You can purchase your tickets and receive more information here. If you are planning to visit Xcaret, your ticket includes the pass for the Day of the Dead celebration.

3.  See the Mayan Day of the Dead celebrations

Celebrating the dead is a Mexican celebration with deep roots in the native cultures of Mexico, but the Mayans have their own way to commemorate the dead: Hanal Pixan. If you want to learn more about this amazing tradition in an authentic Mayan Village, Alltournative organizes a tour every year, which takes visitors to an authentic Mayan village and allows you to participate in the Day of the Dead traditions. The tour that includes:

  • Round trip transportation
  • A guided visit through the process of decoration of shrines and the celebration of Hanal Pixan
  • Traditional Mayan food

If you want to learn more about this exciting adventure, please click here!

4.  Go party!

After all the fun and adventures, you can also do what people love to do in Playa: Party! You can organize your own bar crawl, or visit one of the local clubs and enjoy the special events organized for the day.

You cannot miss the fun on 12th Street with all the clubs and the best place to see and be seen in Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen is a community with a rich culture, people from all over the world come to reside here and brings with them their own traditions. The merge of different cultures allows for a diverse and vibrant community, willing to enjoy and share with people from other places.

There are many options to enjoy an amazing Halloween and Day of the Dead, feel part of this amazing culture or feel at home with your own celebrations. Playa del Carmen is an amazing place to live and at Top Mexico Real Estate, we specialize in helping foreigners find their home in Mexico.

We would love to hear about your plans for Halloween, or if we are missing an awesome event… Please let us know!

Living in Mexico, Your lifesavers in the Riviera Maya!

Living in Mexico is an amazing opportunity for retirees, since a modest pension in your country of origin can stretch much more if you decide to move south of the border. As the dollar keeps strong against the peso, more and more people are looking to settle and enjoy retirement in this beautiful country.

There are over a million North American retirees living in Mexico full time, and an estimated 50,000 snowbirds that spend part of the year in the country. These numbers keep rising, as the pension system is failing and health insurance prices skyrocket.

The Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen are popular destinations for retirees from all over the world. Some of the reasons that make it such a popular destination are the closeness to North America and the available direct flights to Cancun from almost every main airport.

Once that you have settled in your new life, there are a couple of things that can make your life much easier. Keep in mind that transitioning to your new life is always to have challenges, but a positive attitude and a good sense of humor is the best tool to deal with them.

1.  Get your INAPAM card

If you are a permanent resident in Mexico, you can get your INAPAM Card and get discounts in services, property taxes, museums and cultural events. Your INAPAM card also will allow you to get discounts on buses and airlines tickets; just keep in mind that the number of discounted tickets is limited, so it is important to buy them in advance.

To get your INAPAM Card as a foreigner you will need to present:

  • Either your Migratory Form (FM2, FM3), Carta de Naturalización, Temporary Resident Permit or your passport to verify your identity and age.
  • A bill not older than three months of water, electricity or landline (TELMEX, AXTEL, TELNOR, IZZI, ETC) with your name and Mexican address.
  • 2 “Infantil” size photos.

The modules available in the Riviera Maya are open from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 PM and their locations are listed below.

Isla Mujeres

Address:  Av. Jesús Martínez Ross # 001, Isla Mujeres, Q. Roo

Phone Number: 01 998 274 04 22

Benito Juárez (CANCUN)

Address:  Región 94 Mz.76 Lt.3, C.P.77500, Benito Juarez, Q. Roo

Phone Number: 01 998 888 89 21 y 888 89 22

Cozumel

Address: Calle 50 Bis between 3 and 5 Sur, col. Adolfo López Mateos, Cozumel, Q. Roo

Phone Number: 01 987 872 56 61

Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen & Puerto Aventuras)

Address: Av. 40 Corner with calle 28, Gonzalo Guerrero, Playa del Carmen, Solidaridad, Q. Roo

Phone Number: 01 984 127 99 12

Tulum

Address: Calle Alfa Sur between avenida Tulum and Sol Poniente, Centro, Tulum, Q. Roo

Phone Number: 01 983 130 40 55 y 103 22 23

2. Enjoy your local status

Being a local has its perks, most attractions and archeological sites have special prices for locals. It is important to have a photo ID such as your driver license or Migratory Card. If you are resident of Playa del Carmen, there are special discounts at local beach clubs such as Lido, Senzi or Piola; ask for your local discount!

3. Meet your crowd

Living as an expat is much more doable if you make friends, not only you get a support system but also benefit from their experience living in Mexico. There are many activities that can allow you to meet new friends: The Rotary Club, helping in Animal associations such as Coco’s Cat Rescue, joining local Thanksgiving dinners, etc.

So, what do you think? Can you share with us what would be your lifesaver as a retiree living in the Mayan Riviera? We would love to hear your thoughts and comments! Let’s Retire in Mexico looks to share relevant information with retirees living in Mexico, either full time or part time.

Campeche – The allure of a colonial port town

Campeche is one of those places you might never consider visiting, when thinking of a short trip from the Riviera Maya. However, it is such a charming and romantic destination, you’ll never regret taking the time to go!

This beautiful port city was founded in 1540 and was the most important port of the Peninsula during colonial times, similar in importance to Havana and Cartagena. The area developed to be an important city, and the locals built elegant mansions, impressive churches and the traditional barrios grew around the main square.

During Colonial times, Campeche was a producer of precious woods, natural dyes and the main port for the neighboring Yucatan State. This made it an ideal target for pirates, so the city had to build a wall and fortresses all around in order to protect the population from the constant attacks.

Campeche offers it visitors a beautiful mix of Ancient Mayan cities, nice colonial cobbled roads, and the view of the sea along the malecon (esplanade). There is also a good mix of the old and the new, as you can walk along downtown and feel like you are living in colonial times, and then visit the modern shopping mall or the convention center and enjoy modern amenities.

Campeche Attractions

Campeche City

Campeche is full of charm, with its magnificent colonial mansions, narrow streets and the presence of the colonial life all around the city. Walk along the malecon, visit the forts and the remains of the original wall that surrounded the city, or visit the museum of Colonial times; we are sure you will be amazed.

Archeological sites

Campeche has magnificent colonial sights, Edzna is near the city and was an important ceremonial center, with an active trade with other Mayan regions. Calakmul is a large archeological site, located in a National park of the same name, and it also has a museum displaying both the nature and the archeology of the site.

Museums

There are many museums in the city and surrounding areas occupying the former bastions of the wall that surrounded the city, so you can pick your favorites or visit every one. The Virgen de la Soledad Bastion has an interesting Mayan Architecture collection, and the San Carlos Bastion holds an interesting history collection.

There is also the San Jose Museum showcasing the pirates, weapons and boats that used to attack the city, as well as other artifacts from colonial times.

Traditional barrios & their churches

Campeche grew during the Spanish rule and formed different neighborhoods, each barrio has a main plaza and a church; and the houses would be built around these plazas. There are five traditional barrios in Campeche: San Francisco, Guadalupe, San Roman, Santa Ana y Santa Lucia.

Each of the churches in Campeche are worth a visit, but the San Francisco Church is the place where the first mass in the continent was held.

Haciendas

Haciendas were the heart of the colonial economy, as Campeche was an important producer of natural dyes, cotton products, honey, wax and salt. Over time Campeche developed big farms, and started producing dry meat, leather goods as well as sisal, the fiber that made the Peninsula one of the wealthiest areas in the world.

There are haciendas all over Campeche, some of them have become hotels, while others are used as tourist attractions. Do not miss Hacienda Blanca Flor now converted into a hotel, and located just in the outskirts of Campeche, the Hacienda Santa Cruz is also well preserved and has an active production of palm that is used to make hats.

Getting There

Campeche is one of the best destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, one of those under the radar places that will make you fall in love. It is located about 5 hours away from Cancun, and even less if you depart from other cities in the Riviera Maya.

To get there, you can go via Merida, with possible interesting stops in Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Izamal and obviously Merida. There is also the option to go down the coast and stop in Mahahual and Bacalar, and then cross the Peninsula with a stop in the archeological site of Uxmal.

Do not miss out on this amazing city and its surrounding areas, bring comfortable shoes, your camera and time to enjoy every attraction. Winter is the best month to visit, as the days are cool and there is a constant cold wind from the sea, so the long walks are more tolerable.

Let’s Retire in Mexico aims to be the best source of information about living in Mexico, please let us know if we are missing an important attraction or if you would like to know more about Campeche.

 

Snowbirds are Returning to Playa del Carmen

It’s that time of year when the snowbirds start to prepare for their return to Playa del Carmen once again. Leaving behind the cold winds, rain and snow and migrate south to the sunny beaches of Playa del Carmen for much fun and well deserved relaxation.

Since your visit last year Playa del Carmen has had some changes to the Fifth Avenue. You will be glad to know that more stores have been added to the La Quinta Alegria Shopping Plaza, and there are several others due to open shortly. Unfortunately, the Body Shop has closed and remains empty right now but we are excited to see what will open next.

If you remember, last year there was a large construction site just a few steps away from the La Quinta Alegria mall, where the famous Calle Corazon used to be. Now there is a modern five story plaza called “Calle Corazon Mall”, where you will find well known retail stores like H&M -which opened one of the largest fashion shops on Fifth Avenue, plus sunglasses, cosmetics and a new Starbucks, and there will be much more to come. Above the shopping area is the upscale Thompson Hotel with 2 rooftop restaurants that are open to the public, the Cinco and Catch Restaurant, here you can enjoy a fabulous meal and some of the best views of the city.

Hopefully some things in Playa del Carmen will not change as we as locals and snow birds enjoy the simpler things too and a big hit with both is Kava Kasa. You will be happy to know that they still have a great yoga lineup and their weekly local market has not changed, you will find your fresh produce there every Tuesday morning. Kava Kasa posts their monthly yoga schedule on their Kava Kasa Facebook page and any other changes that may happen.

You will be happy to know that your favorite bars have not changed and still have their amazing lineups to keep your evenings full of entertainment and happy hours.

If this is your first year coming to Playa del Carmen as a Snowbird, there is a great online community of Expats that are always happy to assist you whether you just can’t find the right ingredient or if you are looking for fun night out.

One of the forums that is very useful is Playa Info, where you can find general information posted from where to find pink lemonade to a lists of the best happy hours in town.

Another very helpful community is the Facebook group Expats & Locals in Playa del Carmen, in this community they cover everything you need to know for daily living in Playa del Carmen and are eager to meet new people, they even arrange nights out which is a great way to meet new people and expand your social group.

Welcome Snowbirds Old and New!

Upcoming Webinar – Expats in Mexico: You Asked, We Answer!

Here at Top Mexico Real Estate we have been hosting monthly webinars helping expats on the do´s and don´ts on purchasing property in Mexico, and also covering the basics of what to expect when moving and living in Mexico.

This year so far we have held 5 webinars hosted by our CEO Thomas Lloyd, and we received much positive feedback. We have covered many different topics including Purchasing Property in Mexico, Mexico’s Property Law, and most recently we had a guest to talk about the experience of an expat living and working in Tulum.

During the webinars there is a Q&A section and we encourage our audience to email in questions for Thomas or our guest speaker to answer, but as these webinars are held live there is only a certain amount of time allocated for it, and unfortunately not all questions can be answered.

Taking this into account we have decided for our 6th webinar, ‘Expats in Mexico: You Asked, We Answer’, to be dedicated to answering all the unanswered questions plus any new questions we receive from you.  This webinar will be held on September 29th at 12pm CST.

All topics will be covered:

  • Real Estate and Investing
  • Visa and Immigration
  • Working in Mexico
  • Weather and Lifestyle

During the webinar there will be a raffle for a chance to win a 7 day Live It Tour, a real estate tour designed to help our clients to decide on what property best suits them by giving them the chance to compare many different types of properties and experience firsthand what a condo hotel is really like. Plus, they meet with a lawyer to explain the purchasing process and to answer all of their legal questions on real estate and immigration laws.

The winner will be drawn live at the end of the webinar and the prize includes all-inclusive accommodation for 2 people, transportation to and from the airport, personalized real estate tour itinerary, and to be teamed up with one of Buyers Representatives.

Join Thomas Lloyd and this month’s guest speaker Sherri Dixon, who have both experienced moving, working and living in Mexico for this special Q&A webinar. Feel free to reserve your seat and submit any questions you have!

Save the date – Thursday, September 29th at noon CST.

Ideas for Rainy Days

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing…– Billy Connelly

As we all know Playa del Carmen is known for its beautiful white beaches and sunny days. But with the recent storms and with the promise of more upcoming rain a question arises: what is there to do in Playa del Carmen when you can’t be outside? Surprisingly Playa del Carmen still has a lot to offer.

Here in Playa del Carmen there is a number of malls that may not be as big as you are used to in the United States or Canada but are great for an enjoyable way to pass a rainy day.

One of the main malls is Plaza Las Americas, located north of Playa del Carmen has many department stores, a grocery store, Sears and even a Sally’s. For entertainment Plaza Las Americas has a 12 theater cinema with many movies in English to choose from and a small casino and video arcade.

Closer to the center of Playa del Carmen on the highway towards Tulum you will find the Centro Maya mall, this mall is quite small but it does have Mexican known stores, a grocery store and a cinema next to the food court that shows movies in both English and Spanish.

If you are feeling brave and think you can make it shop to shop through the showers the Fifth Avenue has 2 malls, the newest is La Quinta. This 3 level modern mall (partially outdoor) has many well-known shops that include American Eagle, Forever 21, Victoria Secret and brand sport shops plus more.

The second shopping area on the Fifth Avenue, Paseo del Carmen is at the entrance of Playacar Phase 1, the south end of the Fifth Avenue. At this open air mall all of the department stores are next to each other if do need to make a mad dash between showers to get to the next store. This quaint shopping area carries on the cobblestone pavement and is the home to many stores for all ages such as Zara, Diesel, Ultrafemme, jewelry stores and even a Harley Davidson shop.

If you are not in the mood for shopping and the storm has settled why not head to beach with your favorite Starbucks coffee for some easy exercise to listen to the roaring waves come in. While you out for your leisurely stroll you will see many surfers on the beach. As you know this is a highly unusual sighting for Playa del Carmen and this is the only time you will see people surfing since the water is normally calm, but on these rare occasions when the heavy rain comes it also brings these huge amazing waves that surfers cannot help to take advantage of.

In the end we are very lucky here in Playa del Carmen, we have more sun than we do rain so another option is to simply take advantage of this weather. Stay home guilt free with your feet up and catch up on your favorite TV show, start or finish that book you’ve been meaning to read and listen to the rain against your window enjoying a hot cup of coffee or bowl of soup.

Enjoy your time off!

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

we make it happen!

Neighborhoods of Playa del Carmen – Little Italy

As many of you know the expats of Playa del Carmen are not only made up of Americans and Canadians, but a large number of Europeans have also relocated to Playa del Carmen. So it is no wonder that Playa del Carmen has its very own area called Little Italy.

Little Italy has truly an ideal location, located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and is walking distance to the beach and the 5th Avenue, the main tourist area. In this part of town you can find a few homes but it’s mainly condos and the real estate options start from as little as 90,000 USD and up to 700,000 USD.

As Little Italy is one of the oldest areas in Playa del Carmen you will find large mature trees scattered through the area as it is illegal to cut down trees in Mexico without permission from the government, which results in much appreciated shade and tree lined streets.

Going by the name of this area you can expect to find some amazing Italian restaurants, such as Piola on Avenue 38 North, with seating options either inside or out that offers a range of brick-oven pizzas, salads, pasta dishes and vegan options, but is mostly known here in Playa del Carmen for their basil margaritas, a definite must try. With so many different restaurants, cafes and bars in this area you will be really spoilt for choice.

The white sandy beach is only a few minutes away with many beach clubs and bars lining the beach, happy to serve you a refreshing cerveza or a cocktail of your choosing. Further along the beach, approx. a 10 minute stroll away, you will find the popular Canibal Royale Beach Club and in the other direction the famous Mamitas Beach Club and Zenzi, which the locals and visitors highly recommend. But don’t be shy! There is many more bars and beach clubs serving different dishes and with their daily promotions you will have many options to choose from.

There are large supermarkets not far from Little Italy such as Walmart, Mega and with Sam’s Club and City Club you will easily be able to cover your household needs.

Remember that there are small fruit and veg markets in the area too, with DAC being the largest and more popular due to its large range of fresh produce but also sells cheese, dried herbs and spices and a selection of tinned / jarred foods that is not very common to find in Playa del Carmen. DAC is open daily and located on Avenue 30, one block north from Constituyentes Ave.

For organic produce, handmade goods and gluten free baked goods, there are two markets that come to Playa del Carmen once a week. Both are organized by KaVaKasa, one takes place right in their HQ and the other one in Les Alizes Condos, on CTM Ave.

Whether you are looking for a calm stroll on the beach, a romantic evening out or just a simple trip to the market, if Little Italy does not have it you are guaranteed that it is close by!

If you’d like more information about Playa del Carmen or are interested in purchasing property here, we invite you to visit our main website where you can search further. Please get in touch with one of our agents who will gladly assist you in any questions you might have.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

we make it happen!