Weekend Getaway to Cozumel

Are you looking forward to packing up for the weekend and heading off on an adventure? Head over to Cozumel! This beautiful Caribbean island is full of wonder, life, and amazing things to discover. While it can get quite packed with tourist during high season, it is still enjoyable…especially if you know where to go!

 photo cozumel_zpsy8uhphx9.jpg

How to get there

Transport between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel is reliable, affordable and fun! There are three ferry companies that navigate between the ports: Ultramar, Mexico Waterjets, and now a government-run company. Services run from 5am to 10pm from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel, and from 6am to 11pm from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen.

Expect to pay approximately $10 usd for a one-way trip.

Where to stay

Cozumel offers beautiful bed and breakfasts, hostels and elegant hotels either very close to the beach, or just on it. Prices range depending on what you are searching for and the season you visit. For example, during the Divers Week in Cozumel (usually during summer) you can find some beautiful 5-star resorts with discounts as many people travel just to go scuba diving. Cozumel real estate also offers options as many owners rent out their property to vacationers.

What to do

Cozumel is one of the favorite diving spots around the world. Because the gorgeous Mesoamerican Reef passes right by, there is an array of marine species to observe. If you’re not into diving, you should at least go on one of the many snorkeling tours. You are certainly going to be surprised by the amazing underwater world.

 photo cozumel 2_zpsvet4hfp9.jpg

There is a secluded snorkeling area known as El Cielo (The Sky). It was named like this due to the outstanding number of starfish that lay on the white sand banks. Unfortunately, many of these starfish are gone due to overfishing and overpopulation of visitors, but you can still manage to see a few more than you would normally.

For those looking for an adventure, renting a cheap car at any of the rental agencies to go around Cozumel should be fairly easy. WARNING: at night certain roads are blocked and very largely signaled, so stay away from these roads.

You can visit Isla Pasión, a small island off the coast of Cozumel. Offering breathtaking views, this private island does not have any hotels or restaurants, and it can only be visited via authorized tour operators during the day. There are no overnight stays at Passion Island.

Shopping and eating

Cozumel’s boulevard is quite popular, lined with stores, bars, restaurants, supermarkets and hotels. Shopping options are endless as vendors offering all types of souvenirs and unique items. If you wonder off the main boulevard street you are sure to find local indigenous women selling small hand made turtles and other quirky things.

 photo cozumel 3_zpsnzqxdbvf.jpg

If you are looking to enjoy delicious meals in Cozumel, your taste buds are in for a party! Cozumel is lined with cute and cozy seafood restaurants, beach clubs serving everything from shrimp ceviche to octopus tacos, and much more. For those craving a typical American meal (hamburgers, and such), you will find a Hard Rock Café and other similar restaurants throughout the island.

Recommendations

Cozumel is a gorgeous island with many things you can do. Even if you plan a strict itinerary, you are sure to wonder off eventually and find something new or different to do. So we recommend bringing cash – especially Mexican pesos, as prices tend to change from USD to the local currency.

Do some research on scuba diving shops before going to Cozumel. The options are endless as it is one of the most popular activities to do, but that doesn’t mean every shop around has great quality or service. Check online before to see what other tourists are saying about the dive shops and find one that suits your budget and what you want to do! If you’re an avid diver and own equipment, we recommend you bring it with you. It’s worth the hassle of carrying it around, as you will save plenty of money from renting out equipment at the shops.

Eat seafood, talk to locals, engage in fun and unusual activities, and enjoy your weekend getaway in the gorgeous island of Cozumel!

Craving for more Weekend Getaway ideas? Check back next week for another one!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a real estate company based in Playa del Carmen, catering to thousands of Americans and Canadians who are searching for the perfect paradise home. If you are planning on relocating to Mexico, feel free to contact one of our Top Buyer Representatives, who will gladly guide you through the process of becoming a homeowner in Mexico!

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Weekend Getaway to Isla Mujeres

Living in Mexico and looking for the perfect place to escape to for the weekend? Have we got the perfect place where you could spend your weekend: Isla Mujeres! The gorgeous island off the coast of Cancun is home to over 12,000 people who can enjoy views of Cancun when the skies are clear. This small Caribbean island has much to offer to tourists who dare go on a getaway weekend to enjoy a new side of paradise.

 photo Isla Beach_zpscb4vkhhx.jpg

How to Get There

Getting to Isla Mujeres is quite easy. Ferries leave from Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam or Gran Puerto, all located in the Benito Juarez municipality. Ferries depart to and from Isla Mujeres every half an hour from 5 AM to 12 AM from Gran Puerto through Ultramar, but make sure you check schedules prior to your trip so you don’t get stranded on the island for an extra night! The other two companies run at different times, usually once an hour.

You can expect to pay $70 mxn for a one-way ticket, and if you want to cross with a car, moped, bike, or van, you can do so departing from Punta Sam and at an extra cost of $82 to $256 pesos.

Where to Stay

Isla Mujeres is lined with hundreds of gorgeous beach town hotels – from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Additionally, the real estate options are gorgeous and many home owners rent their properties by the day, week or month. Because the island is so small, staying in a condo or hotel in the center is perfect as you can walk or go by golf cart to the beach. If you would rather stay by the beach, the options are endless, also depending on which side of the island you want to stay at. The north part is where the arenales (sand banks) are, creating a beautiful view of white sand and crystal clear blue waters.

 photo Isla Downtown_zpsxjr5msvm.jpg

What to Do

The options of what to do in Isla Mujeres are endless. Snorkeling and scuba diving are the most common activities – you can’t say you went to Isla Mujeres without dipping a toe in the ocean! Amongst the most popular things to do is swimming with the great whale sharks (although this can only be done during Whale Shark Season) and visiting the underwater museum. You can also visit the natural reef park Garrafón, take a tour to visit the best snorkeling spots, go fishing, and much more.

As soon as you step off the ferry, dozens of people will approach you selling their tours. The best thing to do is rent a golf cart to be able to move around the island and discover its amazing nature.

 photo Isla Mujeres_zpsx92cl15o.jpg

Shopping and Eating

There really is no tourist experience without some shopping and fine dining! Isla Mujeres has a great boulevard by the beach offering an array of shopping options. Most shops offer beautiful Mexican crafts such as sarapes, clay art, carved good, paintings, hammocks, typical dresses, shoes, and others. You will also find dive shops, restaurants and jewelry shops.

As to eating, the top recommended places are Mango Café for delicious breakfast, tea and coffee. Lunch can be had at Q’Bravo where enchiladas suizas and guacamole are recommended highly. Additionally, most (note: not all) restaurants in Isla Mujeres are affordable, as is everything in general, compared to Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Recommendations

Isla Mujeres is small but has a lot to offer, so plan out your weekend getaway before getting there so you’re not trying to see it all and end up seeing nothing. Snorkeling and scuba diving tours usually take up quite some time from your day, so if you’re wanting to also explore the island, find the hidden gems, visit the parks and see the local life, you need to organize your times.

Bring money! Although it is more affordable than other places on the Riviera Maya, it is still a highly touristic destination and money will be spent. Whether you’re paying for tours, beers, meals, or just shopping, it’s always better to have money.

Most importantly, remember to be open-minded, enjoy the local laid-back lifestyle and make new friends!

Tune back for another great Weekend Getaway trip next week!

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned company in Playa del Carmen catering to thousands of Americans and Canadians wanting to own property in paradise. Feel free to contact one of our Top Buyer Representatives if you’re interested in purchasing a vacation, retirement or permanent home in Mexico! If you fell in love with the area there are many Isla Mujeres real estate options to choose from.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Should you purchase Medical Insurance in Mexico or back home?

Whether you are traveling or living in Mexico, it is highly advisable (almost compulsory) that you purchase medical insurance to cover you in case of anything. Given the fact that Mexican social security is a) hard to obtain as a foreigner (unless you have full immigrant residency status), and b) not necessarily top of the line treatment – sometimes lacking in doctors or equipment – it is an intelligent choice to cover yourself privately.

 photo Health_zpsbmpuoqyj.jpg

Given the circumstance of needing health care in Mexico, you will be able to use private hospitals, private physicians or clinics without having to crack your head open about the costs. Although medical insurance in Mexico is significantly more economic than in the United States, for example, private health care can sum up to the thousands of dollars if you are involved in an accident or suffer from a serious illness.

Mexico offers a plethora of insurance companies that thrive in the country offering coverage for you and your family for monthly premiums. Depending on how much you are willing to pay determines the type of plan and how much coverage you get. Additionally, factors such as age, pre-existing conditions or past accidents determine whether you will have to pay more, or if you get insured at all.

Underwriters tend to look at family history and treat a family as a single unit, when in reality each member is an individual and should therefore be covered for their personal needs. Make sure you check which companies offer this type of service so that you ensure the best possible coverage for your family.

But the question remains. Should you purchase your medical insurance in Mexico or in your country of origin? As mentioned above, Mexico has a wide array of big insurance companies (ING, GNP, MetLife, Axxa) that offer different plans depending on your needs and the amount of time you are insuring yourself for, whether you are a national or a foreigner. The easiest way to go about it is by checking and comparing. Check the companies back in your country of origin (costs, small print, benefits, cons, amount of time it covers you outside your home country) and compare it to the companies in Mexico. At the end of the day, you get to pick what you feel most comfortable with.

 photo medical-insurance_zpsobxwcdvr.jpg

Although, as stated, health care in Mexico is cheaper than in the United States – a visit to a private doctor may cost up to $45 USD – the buildup in case of needing medical attention can take a toll on your budget. If you accommodate your budget to include either a monthly premium or an annual, life-long payment, you will end up saving thousands of dollars in the long run. Remember that where there are tourists, there are higher prices – and the medical industry is not left out.

Insurance companies cover more than checkups and accidents. Dental, maternity care, ophthalmologists and dermatologists, are some of the services that are included as well. Some even include – or have the option of purchasing for an extra cost – repatriation in the event of a life-threatening accident or death. Ask around to make sure you can also purchase additional guests when it comes to caring for health. Some companies will cover the plane tickets of someone back home so they can join you after an important surgery or accident.

 photo Health insurance_zps3lhya3v8.jpg

For those who visit Mexico regularly but do not live in Mexico full time, purchasing short-term medical insurance or purchasing one that works for both the United States and Mexico is ideal. Again, shopping around the industry is the best guaranteed way to find what suits you.

A short-term medical policy, such as IMG Patriot Insurance offer plans for as little as a week’s holiday. Usually, these are geared towards travelers and offer the “no questions asked” plans, but again, it all depends on your personal situation.

Purchasing insurance in Mexico is an easy task and it will be considerably more economic than in the United States in the long run. If you are a full-time permanent resident of this beautiful country, I recommend you go for one of the abovementioned Mexican insurance companies to take care of you.

If you have any questions about Mexican health care, insurance companies, or the pros and cons of investing in health insurance in Mexico, feel free to contact us. Additionally, for those looking for a paradise vacation – or otherwise – home, our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives are more than glad to help you through the process of becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Mexico Health Care Kit

The Perfect Meal: Best Spots for Lunch in Playa del Carmen

During my time on Earth I have met plenty of people who have claimed they do not eat breakfast. I’ve heard hundreds of others mutter that they would rather skip dinner and avoid being bloated before going to bed. However, not once in my life, have I come across someone who proclaimed they “don’t do lunch”. Sure, whatever, breakfast thinks it’s the most important meal of the day (it actually is, so don’t skip it), but who would ever say no to lunch?

Lunch means many things. It means that the time of the day when you can take a break from work or the hectic day has come. It represents freedom and everything in between. Lunch is that time of day when your brain can shut off and your senses can awaken. Ah, lunch, you are precious.

Because lunch is obviously delicious and important, I have set out to find the best spots to have a delicious and satisfying meal in the gorgeous town of Playa del Carmen. Are you ready?

Here are my Top 5 favorite restaurants to have lunch in Playa del Carmen!

1. Frutiyogurth

There isn’t much to say about this place except that it’s delicious! Located right in the heart of Playa del Carmen, this place is economic and serves rather healthy but amazing food. Salads, sandwiches, soups, eggs, and even chilaquiles, all with a special touch! The best part? Accompanying your meal with a delicious natural fruit frappe. I’m getting hungry!

2. Fruta Madre

This exotic restaurant is quite new in Playa del Carmen but has already captivated our hearts (and palates). You can choose between refreshing fruit sushi, hearty salads and even vegetarian burgers! It is located right outside Playacar where 10th Avenue starts. This is Mexican and Italian cuisine with a twist.

 photo Fruta Madre_zpsi5y9grlw.jpg

3. Los Aguachiles

This restaurant is quite famous – and perfectly located! Playa del Carmen is a fishing town and fish restaurants are everywhere. However, Los Aguachiles has something about it that keeps you coming back. Whether you’re having a delicious shrimp cocktail or some fish tacos, thinking of this place will have you drooling!

 photo Los Aguachiles_zps6c7fcyyl.jpg

4. Cheester’s

This pasta restaurant is nowhere near the touristy area but completely worth a visit. Their motto is that if you’re sitting across someone you are not allowed to use your cellphone, which is great for sharing with friends! Their plates are huge and worth splitting between two (and sometimes even three) people. Whether you’ve chosen one of their famous pastas or are going for a chic salad, this place will not disappoint.

 photo Cheesterrsquos_zpstpadupdd.jpg

5. Plank

And of course, we couldn’t forget the king of brunch! This chic restaurant offers a variety of brunch options, from omelets to molletes and chicken enchiladas (yum!). This restaurant is nothing but a mixture of saliva-producing tastes that will leave you wanting more and more.

My tummy is growling just from writing about my top five lunch (and brunch) favorites! Which ones are yours? Go ahead and give these a try, you will not regret it. Remember, everybody loves lunch, so call up an old friend and head over to a new restaurant every week.

If you like breakfast here are the best places to have breakfast at in Playa del Carmen.

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-based company, leader in its field throughout the Riviera Maya. IF you’re looking to invest in a vacation or retirement home in the paradisiac Caribbean, contact us! Our Top Buyer Representatives are readily available to guide you through the process of becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

5 Sports Bar to Watch NFL Games in Playa del Carmen

Steelers will come face to face against Super Bowl champion, New England Patriots, to kick off the NFL season on September 10th. This promises to be an exciting season as teams from the East to the West, the North to the South, and everything in between fight for the ultimate title. Regardless of what team you are rooting for, we are all equally excited about the season kicking off! Football season is here and there are several sports bars where you can watch NFL games in Playa del Carmen!

If you’re living or traveling in Playa del Carmen during football season, you need to know where to go cheer for your team. Without further ado, here are five sports bars that you can watch NFL games in Playa del Carmen at – because who doesn’t enjoy chicken wings, draft beer and football?

1. Wah Wah Beach Bar

This sports bar is an all-time favorite among American expats residing in Playa del Carmen. It is the only sports bar throughout the city on the beach, so that is nothing but a win-win situation, regardless of the final score. Food is delicious, drinks are endless, and the environment is fun, fun, fun. With a huge stage (for music performances), 4 big flat screens and a projector, there is no better way to enjoy NFL, or any sport for that matter.

Location: 2nd Street North and the beach

 photo wah wah football_zpsuynlygsd.jpg

2. End Zone (or EZ Bar)

Another favorite among expats and locals alike, EZ Bar is a unique, down-to-earth sports bar in the heart of Playa del Carmen. There are screens for everyone, often playing more than one game. The backroom projection is always showing the most important game. Drinks and food are relatively cheap and delicious. EZ bar has customers all day long, so make sure to arrive earlier if you want to get a good seat for the NFL game!

Location: 5th Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets

3. Legends Sports Bar

Eight HD screens and a projector decorate this fun and lively sports bar. Legends offers an extensive finger-licking menu (hot dogs, burgers, hot wings), and don’t forget their wide array of beer options. This sports bar is up to date with all sports and is more often than not showing the most popular games around; so make sure to check what they will be playing before heading there.

Location: 16th Street between 5th and 10th Avenue

 photo Legends Sports Bar_zpsbjjdk3xa.jpg

4. McCarthy’s Irish Pub

This Irish pub recently opened its doors in Playa del Carmen, but comes from an extensive family of pubs around Mexico. Famous for its live music weekends, it never forgets its sports fans. Their motto “eat, drink, be Irish” could easily be interpreted as “eat, drink, and come watch sports”. Again, like many sports bars, they will be playing the popular game, so make sure you know what you are going to go watch!

Location: 5th Avenue corner with 22nd Street

5. Tequila Barrel

For some American expats this bar can be “too American”, but it certainly is unique when it comes to sports. An inside air-conditioned room with a huge screen and betting machines are the perfect scenario for sports fanatics. Football, air-con, friends, delicious American food, beer, and an overall exhilarating ambiance make this place a fun sports bar. You can’t go wrong in Tequila Barrel. Now if you’re going for cheap, head to one of the above mentioned bars.

Location: 5th Avenue between 10th and 12th Streets

 photo tequila-barrel_zpscwnza40y.jpg

There is still a month left until kick off, but if you’re a true sports fan you’re already planning your calendar and social events around your team’s scheduled games! Now you know where to go watch the games if you’re looking for entertainment and a little bit of rivalry! Happy football season!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a leading real estate website selling properties in the Riviera Maya and throughout Mexico. If you’re looking to enjoy every NFL season for the rest of your life in paradise (which you really should be thinking about), then contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives! They will gladly guide you through the process of purchasing real estate and possibly engage in NFL talk with you.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Love is in the Riviera Maya

You are back home stressed with work, taxes, family, and even the news. You decide to take a vacation at your second home in the Riviera Maya, and you owe it to yourself and your significant other to do nothing but relax and enjoy each other’s company. Maybe you cancelled your date night with your wife because you had to stay late to work, or maybe you told your husband you weren’t in the mood to go out because you spent all day working or taking care of your children or grandchildren. Well, you’re in Mexico, and the place is nothing short of romantic.

The Riviera Maya offers plenty of fine dining and romantic restaurants for you to spark that light. Here are our top 5 favorite romantic restaurants in Riviera Maya:

Oh La La!

This quaint little restaurant has a French name but offers international dishes. From lamb chops to grilled tuna, this Downtown restaurant is sure to excite your palate. Accompany your meal with one of the wide array of wines offered and enjoy the cozy company of your loved one.

Location: 14th Street Bis, between 10th and 15th Avenue
Price: $$$

 photo Oh Lala_zpshmtf8plq.jpg

Pavo Real by the Sea

As the name obviously suggests, this beautiful restaurant is right by the Caribbean ocean. Offering romantic candle-lit dinners, you can choose anything from an exquisite ceviche to shrimp in saffron curry. Moreover, you will be enjoying the stunning and serene scenery. Sounds like the perfect atmosphere for rekindling love.

Location: Tulum-Cancun Federal Highway 307, in Punta Maroma
Price: $$$$

Como Como Osteria Mediterranea

This gorgeous little restaurant is attached to La Tortuga Hotel & Spa, but functions on its own. Romantically decorated, the food is tasty and innovative. At night, the hotel and restaurant is lit up by candle lights that create a uniquely and suave atmosphere, perfect for sharing a delicious fish fillet with an Italian twist.

Location: 10th Avenue between 12th and 14th Street
Price: $$$

 photo Como Como_zpsysw9eldr.jpg

La Cueva del Chango

Don’t be fooled by the name (the monkey’s cave), this restaurant offers one-of-a-kind dining. Some even claim that the best guacamole they’ve had was in this very restaurant. Surrounded by trees and with a great wine menu, this place is nothing short of romantic.

Location: 38th Street between 5th Avenue and the Sea
Price: $$$

 Alux

It can’t get any more romantic than this! Alux is built within a cave, which offers spectacular stalagmites and stalactites throughout! The food is delicious, the drinks are exceptional and the mood is perfect for a quite and enjoyable experience. The place has little light, which adds to the mysterious and romantic mood.

Location: Juarez Avenue S/N
Price: $$$$

 photo Alux_zpsncg2dk7x.jpg

Well, now you know where to go to forget about stress, work, or anything in between. Both you and your partner will not regret a dinner escapade to one of these – or any of the other hundreds of restaurants – that Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya have to offer. Bon appetite!

For more romantic things to do please read, Love Is in the Air in Playa del Carmen – 10 Most Romantic Things to Do.

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned real estate company, leader in the Riviera Maya market. If you are thinking of investing in a paradise home, feel free to contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives who will gladly help you through the process 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 Xcacel Beach

Beach #1 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Xcacel Beach

This is one of our staff’s favorite beaches, and number #1 in our list of Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya. Xcacel is a popular beach among locals, but a hard to find gem for tourists and people that are unfamiliar with the area.

If you are looking for a party beach full of comforts, forget about Xcacel Beach! This place is far away from the crowds. Instead you will find sand, sun and coconut trees in one of the most secluded beaches in the Mayan Riviera.

Xcacel Beach is a nature reserve protected by the federal government because it is one of the most important turtle nesting sites in Mexico. The reserve was established in 1998, with the objective of preserving the nesting areas of the loggerhead and green turtle.

This reserve covers about 90 acres of pristine jungle, mangrove, cenotes and coral reefs, and it is one of the few beaches in the Riviera without major constructions. Immerse yourself in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, sunbath on the soft white sands and enjoy the sound of the waves and the breeze swaying the coconut trees.

 photo Xcalcel Beach_zpsfamo97g3.jpg Xcacel Beach: Getting There

Getting to Xcacel Beachcan be a little bit tricky as it is not signaled on the road. It is located between Pueblo Chemuyil and Xel-Ha. There is one small sign, so keep your eyes open for a dirt road going to the beach.

If you are coming from Cancun, take the 307 federal highway and start looking for the sign by the road on the left hand side, you need to make a u-turn and drive back a few feet to get to the entrance of Xcacel Beach.

Xcacel Beach: Recommendations

If you go to Xcacel Beach, it is important to take your own drink and food, as well as chairs, umbrella, icebox or whatever you need. This secluded beach is quite basic and it only has a few toilets and showers available. There are no shops nearby, so it is important to plan ahead of time.

 photo Xcalcel Beach 2_zpsqlzqrcbs.jpg

Xcalcel Beach: Things To Do

There are plenty of things to do such as sunbathing, look for turtles or snorkeling in the nearby reef. Go for a short walk in the jungle and find a cenote with pristine waters or just enjoy nature and the view. We are sure it is going to become one of your favorite places!!

It is important to get there early, since the closing time is strictly enforced at 4:00 p.m. to make sure the turtles feel safe to make their nests on the beach. There is also a voluntary donation of 10-20 pesos per person, this money is used to keep the place running.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and have fun at Xcacel Beach!!

We hope you enjoy your visit to Xcacel Beach. If you missed any beaches along the way on the Top 25 beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown please feel free to go back through all the blogs! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out all on the Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya list, which includes videos, photos and maps for each beach. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

Finding Xcacel Beach might be more difficult than finding the house of your dreams in the Riviera Maya! If you are looking for a home in Mexico, contact our professional Real Estate Agents or visit our website and browse thousands of beautiful properties in the best areas of Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Playa Del Carmen: An Explosion of Color

It seems that the buzz in Playa del Carmen revolves entirely around the wonderful beaches and finger-sucking gastronomy for most visitors. Fifth Avenue, the “tourist trap”, as some have called it, features bars upon bars and restaurants upon restaurants just a block away from the beautiful and cool Caribbean Ocean.

Vendors of all types are try to sell you everything, from shirts to souvenirs, to carved wooden masks. But what lies beyond the obvious? Many have claimed that Playa del Carmen is fun, but that it is missing something. There is no culture, no art, and no creativity, some have said. Of course, someone who is too scared to wander off the beaten path and retreats to their 5-star resort won’t see it. But in reality, Playa del Carmen is plastered in art.

 photo Street Art_zps2dekxqzm.jpg

Playa del Carmen is a popular and international destination, attracting all kinds of tourists. Amongst these are many artists hoping to leave a mark before moving onto another city. The town prides itself in having such a large and emergent art scene. But, are you missing it?

 photo Street Art 3_zpspnyvfhj6.jpg

Street art – not graffiti – is an art style developed in public spaces; anything from stencil graffiti to flash mobs or street installations is considered as such. Strolling just off Fifth Avenue, onto the more local beaches, you will find an explosion of color and outstanding street art worthy of a mention.

Although the Colosio neighborhood (past CTM, or 46th street and 5th Avenue) has a reputation of being rowdy, both visitors and locals use the walls throughout this neighborhood as canvas, creating beautiful – and sometimes powerful – works of art. While it is still light outside, it is worth a visit. Anytime after 5pm locals are gathered on the streets enjoying a cool beer and reminiscing about their weekends.

Local joggers, dog walkers, and couples hang out on the streets to enjoy the afternoon surrounded by colorful paintings created by ghosts – who are these artists? If you’re trying to gain insight on the actual Playa del Carmen lifestyle, this is where you ought to go. Not only is the area a great spot for people watching and for learning the customs of the real Playa del Carmen people (not the one following you on 5th Avenue trying to get you to buy a tour), but it is also a great display of creativity and imagination.

 photo Street Art 2_zpsvzft59ih.jpg

As everyone knows, Mexicans are nothing short of colorful, in their customs, traditions, language and art. While we won’t trash on the appeal and attractiveness of the tourist part of Playa del Carmen – it certainly has its charm – we will encourage everyone, or anyone with a passion for unique sightings, to stroll on past what seems the end to find a world that others can only imagine.

If your mind is set on taking a break from being a tourist and wants to venture deep into the entrails of this beautiful city, you know where to go.

Top Mexico Real Estate is a leading real estate company set in Playa del Carmen. Catering to foreigners wanting to invest in a home in paradise, our Top Mexico Buyer’s Representatives are readily available to help you. Feel free to contact us and let us help you find the home of your dreams.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Xoximilco: Experience the Mexican Fiesta!

If you are ever in Mexico City, you have to visit Xochimilco. This magical town is located south of the downtown area, and it is one of the most traditional tourist destinations in the country.

Xochimilco was established in the pre-Hispanic period and it covers an area of 125 km2 (48 sq. miles). This destination is best known for its canals, and its artificial islands called chinampas; where tourists can ride on colorful gondola-like boats called “trajineras”.

 photo Xoximilco 2_zpspttwsytk.jpg

Think of color, food, music and fiesta; all rolled in with some tequila or cervezas. The trajineras offer a ride through the different neighborhoods and attractions while offering traditional Mexican dishes, drinks and mariachis serenade you with romantic or lively songs.

Xoximilco: A Cool Alternative in the Riviera Maya

If this sounds like a fun experience that you can not miss, but you don’t have any plan in the near future to visit Mexico city; there is an alternative right here in the Riviera Maya… Xoximilco. This amazing park is part of the Xcaret group and it offers visitors in the Riviera Maya the opportunity to experience a fiesta in a trajinera.

Each of the boats in Xoximilco is decorated to celebrate the traditions of different Mexican states, including elements of their history, culture and traditional food. This is a fun opportunity to learn more about Mexico and its culture.

Xoximilco: What is Included?

Each trajinera has a long party table and can hold up to 20 people, allowing you to have fun with family and friends. It is easy to enjoy yourself when all the food, drinks and activities are included:
Main Attractions

  • Live music including mariachi, marimba and bolero.
  • Mexican cuisine and typical desserts.
  • Three-course tasting dinner with the best Mexican dishes.
  • Open bar with tequila, beers and traditional non-alcoholic drinks (fruit juices).
  • Night tour in the trajinera throughout the channels.
  • Transportation 

 photo Xoximilco-cancun-01_zpslumoo8si.jpg

Xoximilco: Before You Go

  • Xoximilco is a great place for those that like to party, a festive attitude will make the experience so much better. If you are traveling alone or as a couple, be prepared to be seated next to strangers as each boat can hold 20 people. This is a great opportunity to meet other travelers.
  • Remember this is a tour through canals and there are many insects in this area. Bring your eco-friendly and biodegradable insect repellent, and if possible wear long pants and a long sleeved top.
  • Kids under the age of 4 enter for free, but the park recommends this tour for kids 5 years of age or older. This is a 3 hour long night tour in a noisy environment, keep this in mind when deciding whether to bring the kids or not. All children need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.

 photo xoximilco-fiesta_zpsjrbwsi4n.jpg

This is an ideal activity for big groups, family reunions and celebrations. Embrace the fiesta and visit Xoximilco, it is so much fun!

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned real estate company based in Playa del Carmen, in the heart of the Riviera Maya. We specialize in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico in a safe and legal manner.

You can start your Mexican dream by visiting our website and learning everything you need to know about living, retiring or investing in Mexico. Contact our expert sales representatives and let us help you find the home of your dreams.

Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Celebrating 22 years of Solidaridad!

July of 2015 is giving people from Solidaridad (one of the ten municipalities that make up the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, home to Playa del Carmen) many reasons to celebrate. Twenty-two years ago, on the 28th of July in 1993, the small entity of Solidaridad was founded by the decree of the State Congress. Today, it boasts with tourism, beautiful beaches, residents, and a lifestyle to envy! Just like any young child, Solidaridad has grown to become something amazing full of life, history, culture, art, gastronomy, and much more.

 photo Solidaridad Aniversary_zpsivj52ia5.jpg

In celebration of this 22nd anniversary, the Municipal President of Solidaridad, Mauricio Góngora Escalante, will officially inaugurate the long awaited City Theater. The theater will host an array of culture and artistic activities for its opening night and for the celebration of the 22nd year of Solidaridad.

 photo 22nd_zpst2r25w6a.jpg

For the next couple of days, the municipality has put together a program that represents the growth and strength of Solidaridad, highlighting that the harmony and living of its citizens and authorities is steadily moving forward, creating a better environment.

The great celebration will bring families together; joyful for the celebration of the place they call home and for finally having the artistic stage that had been missing to make Playa del Carmen a fully cultural place. $650,000 USD was invested in the building of the City Theater, with an amazing display of activities and the presence of political figures.

From July 30th to August 2nd, residents and visitors of the municipality will enjoy a great variety of cultural activities. Amongst them, the Quintana Roo Symphony Orchestra, the hilarious Vagina Monologues, a great Ballet Gala with the State Dance Company, and the presentation of the play The Witch and the Witch Doctor which originally opened in the famous art and culture Cervantino Festival.

 photo Orchestra_zpscsc1iwv9.jpg

The theater will become a permanent home to the hundreds of artists that already call Playa del Carmen “casa”, such as poets, actors, artists, musicians, and more. Although it is not a huge theater – only hosting 780 spectators – this space will provide Playa del Carmen with the opportunity to place itself on the artists’ map. Cancun is home to the Cancun Theater were plays from around Mexico, concerts, and big events were held.

Playa del Carmen is giving Cancun a run for its money thanks to the growing interest in this beautiful part of the Riviera Maya. Hopefully the Theater will become an important cultural reference for Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Related: Cirque du Soleil Tumbles Into The Mayan Riviera

Mark your calendars, because this weekend will be busy with art, music, theater, and more! Raise your glasses for Solidaridad and the amazing growth it has witnessed in its short life.

Top Mexico Real Estate is a leading real estate website based in the Riviera Maya. Anyone wanting to relocate, permanently move or retire to Mexico can check out our thousands of properties listed throughout the country. Contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives who will gladly help you on your journey to become a homeowner in paradise.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!