Thanksgiving in the Riviera Maya: 3 Great Ideas for a Wonderful Dinner

If you happen to be in the Riviera Maya during the holidays and are planning on having a nice thanksgiving celebration you have different choices available. Mexico is the number one destination for North American  tourists and the hospitality business is always looking to accommodate to the needs and tastes of our visitors.Whether you want to have dinner in a nice restaurant, use a catering service or prepare your dinner yourself there are plenty of options to choose from. Below are some of our recommendations.

Thanksgiving in the Riviera Maya: Five Star Dinner in a Resort

Hyatt Playa del Carmen
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Start the holidays with the right food, enjoy a delicious dinner in the recently opened Hyatt Hotel in the Riviera Maya. This hotel is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen at the corner of the famous 5th avenue and 26th street.

Their traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be held on the 26th of November from 6:00 – 10:00 PM in “La Cocina Restaurant”. The cost per person is going to be $650 MXN Pesos (about 40 USD).

Enjoy your Thanksgiving in Paradise, and make sure to visit the shopping area within the hotel and have a look at their 150mts stretch of beach. Wow!

Thanksgiving in the Riviera Maya: Enjoy Traditions in a Local Restaurant

4th St. & 5th Ave.
+52  (984) 873-1382

 photo menu1_zpsfjc2ufrt.jpgIf you are not fond of crowds and want to have a formal dinner then a Thanksgiving feast at Carboncitos is a good idea. This restaurant is part of El Cielo Hotel in Playa del Carmen and has been been awarded the TripAdvisor Excellence award for 5 years in a row. It´s a quaint option for those looking for privacy and superb service.

This Thanksgiving they will have a seated three course dinner beginning at 5 p.m and ending at 11 p.m. Keep in mind that this is a popular place and last year they ran out of food in a couple of hours, so reservations are encouraged.

Thanksgiving in the Riviera Maya: make your own traditional dinner

The Riviera Maya has a huge expat community and you will likely find most of the ingredients for your dinner in any local supermarket. Soriana and Chedraui have a big selection of imported items and ideally you start start buying up ingredients with plenty of time. Keep in mind that the chances of finding a turkey, green beans, potatoes, and other fresh ingredients are high. If you are looking for a particular brand of stuffing, canned pumpkin or other specific imported goods you might not be as successful. Keep an open mind and enjoy everything the Riviera Maya has to offer.

You can also add your own twist and add new traditions to your family dinner, after all there is a huge offer of tropical fruits and Mexican delicacies, so use your creativity. Let us know if you are planning to visit one of our suggested restaurants or you have somewhere different in mind. We would love to know!

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Riviera Maya Jazz Festival: Jazz Things Up!

The 13th edition of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is back this November 26th to the 28th in Playa del Carmen at the famous Mamitas Beach Club. Are you ready to have your senses flooded with the soothing and rhythmic vibes of jazz music? There’s nothing quite like mixing amazing instrumental talent, powerful voices and the gorgeous Caribbean ocean and, like in previous years, the event is completely free!.

Since 2002 this event has touched the lives of locals and tourists alike with their star line-ups, their great atmosphere and the mixture of different jazz rhythms. Since its invention, jazz has been the music of the people, and one that – through beat, rhythm and creativity – everyone has come to love. The festival´s sound mixes other genres such as hip hop, blues, r&b, soul and the occasional cumbia session to create a vibrant and diverse representation of the genre.

Herbie Hancock and John Scofield are among the top grossing artists to have graced the stages of the festival in previous years. Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as Celso Piña, have also been special guests in the festival, allowing music-loving audiences to drown in a sea of great music in great company. This year the artists are on par with these giants of the different genres.

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The three-day festival will see the grandness of Shela E., Zappa Plays Zappa and Gino Vanelli and many others whos fame and ear for music is sure to attract hundreds upon hundreds of music lovers to the beautiful beach in the company of their friends and family.

Because it’s free and likely to be busy here are some recommendations to take into consideration when attending the festival:

Get there early

Although the festival doesn’t attract quite as much people as Arena or the BPM, it attracts crowds of hundreds of people ready to enjoy a night out listening to the fine tunes of jazz. It’s highly recommended that you arrive early in order to find a nice place on the beach to sit and enjoy the music. Additionally, if you’re driving, be aware that you will most likely not find any parking nearby Mamitas Beach Club, so be prepared to park further away.

Bring a light sweater and a towel

The festival offers no seats or anything. The stage is mounted on the beach and the sand is your chair. Come prepared with a towel or anything similar to put down on the beach and sit on. Additionally, even though the Riviera Maya is known for its eternal summer-like weather, it’s wintertime and nights can be chilly. Bring a light sweater or a wrap, as sitting still on the beach at night with the breeze from the ocean can make the weather a little cool.

Bring food, snacks and wine

The beach is public and you are allowed to bring as anything you like. There is quite nothing as chill as enjoying a nice glass of wine to the sound of music. Although food and drinks are sold at Mamitas Beach Club, and some people go around selling food and drinks, it’s best to bring it from home in order to save money. Pack yourself a nice picnic basket with snacks or food and a bottle of wine – or if you prefer, beer. There is nothing like a beautiful evening with friends, family or that special person, in the form of a picnic.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride

Music takes you to different places, and jazz is no exception. So sit back, relax and enjoy the concert. Take it easy and enjoy the night with the people you love. Usually during the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival people are just chilling, not intensely jumping around and creating tight crowds. Luckily, jazz gives space for sitting and relaxing, which is what most people do.

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World-class drummers, distinctive voices, family legacy superstars, and much more are waiting for you at the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival this year. Don’t miss out on this amazing (and free) experience that provides the perfect place for a relaxing weekend with your friends. You can follow the hashtags #RMJazz and #RMJazz2015 on Twitter and Instagram during the festival to learn about everything that is happening.

Top Mexico Real Estate is the number one website for real estate in the Riviera Maya, catering to American and Canadian people looking to relocate, vacation or retire in the beautiful Caribbean coast of Mexico. If you’re looking to rent or purchase a property, contact one of our Top Buyer Representatives for further information about everything we offer. We are also your top news outlet for cultural events throughout the Riviera Maya, such as the RMJF.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Weekend Getaway: Akumal Bay

This weekend, we’re taking a day trip to the gorgeous Akumal Bay, just half an hour south of Playa del Carmen. Never forget that the Riviera Maya is vast, full of hidden (and not so hidden) gems, and it offers a million things to explore. Playa del Carmen doesn’t quite give an idea of everything there is to see. Are you ready? Let’s go!

How to get there

Akumal is located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, only a 30 minutes drive from both cities, and approximately 1 hour and 20 minute drive south from Cancun. The best way to reach Akumal Bay is by renting a car and driving. However, colectivos (public transport) leave from the central coelctivo station in Playa del Carmen (15th Avenue with 2nd Street) towards Tulum. All you have to do is get on it and ask to stop in Akumal. You should expect to pay between $2 and $3 USD for the ride.

You will be dropped off on the west side of the highway. There is a huge crossing bridge over the highway, which you must cross and you have reached Akumal. If you’re driving, take the Federal Highway 307 heading south and following the signs that read “Akumal”. It is very well signaled and the exit is clearly marked.

Akumal is quite small and parking is limited. There are two small parking lots, however they tend to be quite expensive. Unfortunately, there are no free parking areas in Akumal so be ready to either pay the parking fee or you can park on the Akumal Pueblo side of the town (on the other side of the highway), and cross the highway by foot.

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Where to stay

Akumal is a very small town with a beautiful bay and a few hotels. Accommodation varies between renting one of the houses or apartments available down the road towards Yal Ku (where you can enjoy Half Moon Bay beach), and staying at one of the hotels available there. Hotels, however, are quite expensive and you can expect to pay no less than $100 USD per night, or even much more. If you are staying in Playa del Carmen or Cancun, Akumal is great for a day-trip, with no need for staying the night.

However, you should consider that if you do stay at one of the hotels you get the added bonus of enjoying beach beds, towels and shade; whereas if you go for the day, none of that is available.

What to do

Akumal means “place of the turtles” in Mayan, and people go there for one thing: sighting sea turtles in their natural habitat. Approximately 40 juvenile sea turtles live in the bay, coming and going as they please, as it is their feeding zone. There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Akumal, but swimming through the bay searching for sea turtles is the main attraction.

You can either rent snorkeling equipment and lifejackets at one of the two diving shops, or take a guided tour. Keep in mind that Akumal Bay is a federally protected area and offenses are taken seriously, so we recommend you hire a guide in order to not break any of the rules (touching or chasing the turtles, standing on the corals, touching the ocean bottom, amongst many others).

After spending about an hour swimming around the bay looking at all the amazing sea creatures (there are plenty of fish, turtles, rays and corals), you can head over to Yal Ku lagoon, just a 5 minute car ride from Akumal, to swim in the gorgeous mixture of fresh and salt water that is home to thousands of colorful fish. This is also a protected area and an entrance fee of $12 USD has to be paid.

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For those of you who love fishing or scuba diving, there are plenty of boats taking you out on tours. All you have to do is ask at either one of the dive shops for prices and information. Usually any fish caught can be cooked at one of the restaurants in Akumal. Diving is a favorite activity here as past the reef barrier there is a whole other world underwater.

You can also visit the NGO located in Akumal, which protects the ocean and the nesting turtles. Akumal is a nesting beach and if you visit anytime between May and November you are most likely to be able to take a tour at night with the biologists to see the turtles nesting and watch hatchling releases.

Shopping and eating

It’s clear that Akumal is quite small and there is not much to do but spend the day at the beach. There are a handful of small shops around selling hand-made crafts, paintings and other curiosities. There is also a small market on the basketball court at the entrance selling necklaces, earrings, clothing items, bags, amongst others.

For eating there are three main restaurants to choose from: La Cueva del Pescador, Turtle Bay Café and Lol Ha Restaurant. They all are delicious and vary in cuisine styles, so make sure you choose wisely depending on what you are craving. On the road towards Yal Ku there is another famous restaurant called La Buena Vida with delicious food and an amazing variety of drinks, as well. This restaurant is on Half Moon Bay offering beautiful sights, and even a section with hammocks for relaxing after lunch.

 photo DSCF3124-1.jpgRecommendations

Akumal is one of the biggest attractions in the Riviera Maya – not to be overlooked! Although a weekend getaway is perfect in Akumal, if you’re staying in Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cancun, one day will suffice to visit this gorgeous bay. Here are some recommendations to take into consideration:

Bring cash: there is an ATM in Akumal, but remember that those usually charge hefty commissions. Most restaurants and shops take credit card, but it’s better to be safe and sorry (La Cueva del Pescador is cash only and definitely a great dining option). The small market is also cash only and it’s worth having some money on you to buy anything.

Bring a towel, a hat, sunglasses, your own umbrellas and biodegradable sunscreen. Akumal, as mentioned before, is an ecologically protected area, so it is of utmost importance that no damaging sunscreen is introduced into the ocean. Put on your sunscreen half an hour before you plan on swimming and make sure it’s biodegradable.

There is no beach club in Akumal so you must provide your own towels and shade. There are no beach beds, no umbrellas or anything. People lay their towels down on the sand and sunbathe there, so make sure you’re prepared.

Visit with an open attitude. Sea turtles are free, and they come and go as they wish, and – although unlikely – you may leave Akumal without having seen one. Don’t complain to the tour guides or the locals, as they have no control over them. Have fun, enjoy the beauty of the place and keep an open mind about everything.

Well, one weekend comes after the next, and there are always new adventures and places to discover in the Riviera Maya. So check back next week for a new weekend getaway destination!

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned real estate company catering to American and Canadian people wanting to make the move to the Riviera Maya. If you want to invest in paradise, our Top Buyer Representatives will gladly help you in the search for the perfect location and the perfect home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Los Cabos Film Festival Returns for a 4th Edition

Another edition of the Los Cabos International Film Festival has come to an end. The 4th edition wrapped up after several fun filled days of work and play which saw the best talent from the film industries of North America converge on this beautiful location. Not only did it feature a lot of national and international premieres but it was a great location to enjoy a festival and get some business done in one of Mexico´s top destinations.

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Among the talent on hand were: Liam Neeson, who spoke about his latest acting performance in Silence, the newest film from acclaimed director Martin Scorsese; Ewan McGregor, who was there to receive the Protagonist Award for his years of excellent acting; Oscar-winner Jared Leto, who helped honor director Jean-Marc Vallee with a career tribute award; and Alexander Skarsgard, who presented his new film The Diary of a Teenaged Girl. 

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Not only is Cabo a great place for a film festival and a vacation spot for celebrities, it’s the perfect location to retire outside of the United States. If you are want to enjoy your retirement years living in luxury here are a few reasons why you should choose Cabo.

  1. The oceans provide many activities to engage in and keep you active, including fishing, sailing and whale-watching.
  2. The Weather is beautiful almost all of the time. Except for the chance of bad weather during hurricane season you can expect to have consistent weather that boasts around 350 days of sun. The sunsets and sunrises are also spectacular – and you get to experience them every day.
  3. The people in Cabo are friendly and fully support and embrace tourism and foreigners living in their town. Many Mexicans settle in Cabo for the same reasons retirees do, and have thriving business that sell arts and crafts as well as restaurants that will ensure you eat well on a regular basis.

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The lifestyle offered in Los Cabos is first-rate, with opportunities to live modestly away from the tourist bustle. The peninsula has communication routes by land, sea and air, with some people using their own boats to find easily accessible ports. The proximity to the United States of Los Cabos is great for American retirees, with Los Angeles only a 2 hour flight from here. This is a place where a retiree can enjoy an excellent quality of life among some well established expat communities who can offer support and advice. Many are involved in sports, hobbies, and even business investments, so rest assured that you will stay active.

It is for all of the above and more that Los Cabos will remain as one of the most attractive places in Mexico for foreigners to come and enjoy their retirement. For more information about purchasing property in Cabo contact Top Mexico Real Estate. And remember…


We make it happen!

Rainy Day in Playa del Carmen Got You Down?

Rainy day in Playa del Carmen got you down? Are you setting in your Playa del Carmen condo starring out the window watching the rain come down wishing you could go to the beach? Fear not there are many things you could do in the rain. One of the most popular destinations for rainy days is an underground tour at Rio Secreto. This natural reserve is located 15 minutes south from downtown Playa del Carmen and it is a fantastic adventure for anyone wanting to learn more about the Mayan Riviera.

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Rio secreto offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit one of the thousands of underground rivers that lay under the Yucatan Peninsula. What makes Rio Secreto different is the fact that the routes used for tours have semi-flooded caves, while the vast majority of the caves of the peninsula are flooded.

Exploring a semi-flooded cave means that you will not need to be a certified cave diver to see the stalactites and stalagmites, and discover the secrets of its petrified coral reef. You can walk and swim the underground river and discover more about the geological and cultural history of the Yucatan.

Rio Secreto is a place surrounded by jungle, as they pride themselves on being a natural reserve; the only in its kind in the Peninsula. Once you get to the entrance there will be a van to take you inside of the reserve, this is a 15 minutes ride on a bumpy road. A lot of people complain about the road, but opting for the dirt road allows rainwater to replenish the underground rivers, the only source of fresh water for Playa del Carmen.

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Once you get to the base, you will be provided with a wetsuit, life jacket, helmet with a special lamp and water shoes. It is important to follow the guide’s instruction like, leave your belongings a locker, and make sure to visit the restroom and use the shower to wash any chemicals that might be on your body and in your hair.

There will be a short walk through the jungle where you will arrive at the caves entrance. Mayans consider caves and sinkholes to be a passage into the underground world or “Xibalba”, so a Mayan shaman performs a ceremony to cleanse the visitors before entering this place.

Inside you will be in a labyrinth full of geological formations, thousands of stalactites and stalagmites as well as pristine water. The cave is very fragile and it is important to keep your hands away from the formations, as any misstep can cause damage.

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After about an hour and a half you emerge on the other side, tired and hungry. A buffet full of Mayan food is ready for you to enjoy.

So if you are starring out your Playa del Carmen condo window wondering what to do remember Rio secreto is a wonderful activity on rainy day! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Now if you have any question of this or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, The Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO EXPERT SALES TEAM and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE…

We make it happen!

World Travel Awards 2015: The Best of Tourism in Mexico

Every year, the winners of the World Travel Awards are chosen by a jury of international experts who cast their votes to select those destinations and tourism service providers. On the 22nd edition of these prestigious awards, Mexico’s leader destinations and providers have been favored as nominees and winners.

This is no coincidence, considering that Mexico occupies a solid 10th position among the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Only in 2014, more than 24 million tourists visited our beautiful country; generating a gross income of more than $10 billion dollars.

If you want to know more about these awards, we invite you to see the list of winners.
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World Travel Awards Winners in the Mexico and Central America Region:

Mexico & Central America’s Leading Airport Hotel Hilton Mexico City Airport, Mexico
Mexico & Central America’s Leading All Inclusive Resort Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
Mexico & Central America’s Leading Beach Resort Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa, Mexico
Mexico & Central America’s Leading Hotel Suite The Grand Penthouse Suite @ Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa
Mexico & Central America’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre Cancun Center, Cancun, Mexico
Mexico & Central America’s Leading Nature Reserve Rio Secreto, Mexico
Mexico & Central America’s Leading New Hotel Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen Resort, Mexico
Mexico & Central America’s Leading Resort Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort, Mexico
Mexico & Central America’s Leading Tourist Board Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau

World Travel Awards: Mexico Winners

Mexico’s Leading All Inclusive Resort Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Mexico’s Leading Beach Destination Cancun
Mexico’s Leading Beach Resort Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto
Mexico’s Leading Boutique Hotel Hacienda de San Antonio
Mexico’s Leading Business Hotel Hilton Mexico City Reforma
Mexico’s Leading Destination Cancun
Mexico’s Leading Family Resort Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Mexico’s Leading Hotel The Ritz-Carlton Cancun
Mexico’s Leading Hotel Residences Esperanza, An Auberge Resort
Mexico’s Leading Hotel Suite Bret Michaels Rock Star Suite @ Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Mexico’s Leading Resort Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita
Mexico’s Leading Spa Resort Banyan Tree Mayakoba

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International awards such as these, allow Mexico to remain in the spotlight as a leading world tourist destination. This is the perfect showcase for the wonderful destinations and hospitality services that can be found in this beautiful country.

If you want to know more about these awards, we invite you to visit the World Travel Awards website and learn more about the best travel destinations within Mexico and the world. If you have visited any of the destinations or have enjoyed the services offered by the winners, please let us know about your experience!

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Day of the Dead: sharing in honor of those gone

Mexican culture is colorful, lively and very unique. It doesn’t matter how grim or sad a holiday may seem, Mexicans will find a way of making it come to life– literally and metaphorically – in ways only their imagination allows. Day of the Dead is no exception to this, as the holiday is celebrated throughout the country. Although it sounds as if it should be a day of sadness, it is in fact a joyous day. It´s filled with music, food, friends, family, and remembering those who have gone.

A lot of time is invested in this November holiday as it features elaborate make up of catrinas, setting up altars, baking delicious meals, decorating with cempasuchil flowers, and dressing up the graves at the cemeteries,  The holiday is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, the first being dedicated to remembering children and infants and the latter for honoring the deceased adults. However, with the integration of Halloween the celebrations tend to start a few days earlier in certain parts of the country.

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The holiday is meant for those who have gone, so there is no indulging in what you like but rather in what they enjoyed. Altars are set up with a photo of the deceased person and decorated with cempasuchil flowers, while the deceased’s favorite food and drinks are placed on it as an offering. It is believed that on this day the dead come back to the world of the living to spend time with their loved ones. For this reason, all of their favorite things are placed on the altar to welcome them back.

Graveyards are a special place during this time of year, but visits to the graves are not as you would imagine. Instead, you will find families gathering around the tombs of their loved ones with flowers, offerings and even picnics. Throughout the night they will share their favorite stories of the person they are honoring and remember them. Mariachis are often found roaming throughout the graves singing the deceased’s favorite songs and bringing the cemeteries – quite literally- to life.

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Of course, with every holiday comes tales and legends, and this is also the case with the Day of the Dead. Some believe that not creating an altar for a deceased family member can have deathly consequences. According to legend, or as it is known in Spanish las malas lenguas, if a spirit comes back to see it has been forgotten they can be angered. This is especially true if they see the big and elaborate altars left for other spirits. Those who forget it will be struck with illness and maybe even become dead soon after. Some people celebrate the holiday out of fear rather than tradition, love and commitment. But hey, these are just stories.

And let’s not forget about food! Day of the Dead is full of some delicious treats such as pan de muerto and sugar skulls. It is tradition to buy sugar skulls with the name of a person and offer it as a gift to friends and family members. These skulls are usually decorated with catrina-like make up and have a sticker on the forehead with a name. The sugar skull is given as a gift. This is not to mean that you are suggesting death to the person you give it to, but rather as a statement of love. It says that if they were ever to be gone you would remember them on this day.

The other traditional food is the pan de muerto, which is a bun with decorations that resemble bones on top. It is a traditional sweet roll baked throughout the country and shared by family members by the grave or at home.

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Throughout the country you will find parades, parties, festivities and many things to celebrate this amazing tradition that has been around for centuries. Foreigners are welcomed with open arms to join the celebrations as Mexican culture dictates that teaching and sharing traditions with outsiders is good. Ask around your community and join the many events throughout. There is often theater, music, parks, pub-crawls and more.

Now you know how this beautiful tradition is celebrated and what to expect, so get out there and be a part of it. Nobody says that only Mexican souls come back. Erect an altar for your loved ones who have gone and they will surely appreciate it.

 photo 10384583_10152548898892648_7336645153002255580_n_zpsgg4qaw2z.jpgDo you want to be a part of this festive and lively culture that we all admire? Then maybe it’s time to consider moving to Mexico. Top Mexico Real Estate caters to American and Canadian expats looking for a forever home in Mexico. Browse through our thousands of properties and get in touch with one of our Top Buyer Representatives who will guide you through the process of becoming a homeowner in paradise.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Calle Corazon: Out With the Old, In With the New

The Summer of 2015 saw the arrival of a new addition to downtown Playa del Carmen´s 5th Avenue shopping experience. Located on 14th Avenue, halfway from the reigning mall Quinta Alegria on Constituyentes and Juarez Avenue, you will find Calle Corazon. It is a work in progress which is slowly rolling out a vast array of internationally renowned shops.

Some of the names include Steve Maddison, Hollister, Swarovski, Michael Kors, Puma and the highly anticipated H&M store, which is among the first to open. With professional footballer-turned-model David Beckam featured as one of H&M´s models it´s likely to draw many people to their fashionable yet afffordable catalogue of men and women´s clothing.

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This is a project that has been two years in the making. The opening was preceded by the closure of a street on October of 2013 that gave that area of Playa del Carmen a touch of uniqueness. Its´ chic palapas made way for the new and ambitious project,  causing local playenses to say goodbye to a beloved street. For many years the small and romantically lit street offered a unique place for strolling, but the old has given way to the new. The opening heralds a new, modern place that is sure to attract thousands of tourists.

Calle Corazon also plans to build a hotel featuring 90 rooms, a restaurant, pool, roof top garden, bar and a gym. You can see that this is a big and ambitious project that offers new spaces for the immense tourist population that passes through Playa del Carmen every year. The hotel will surely be a great addition to an already busy 5th Avenue.

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According to the president of the Business Coordinating Council in the Riviera Maya the Calle Corazon project ¨will always be important because it speaks of the success of the Riviera Maya”.

This new project is bringing new and exciting opportunities to a growing city that many expats have come to call home. The new plaza will bring lots of new job opportunities for both local and foreigners and create a new open space for travelers and residents to shop, hang out, or simply pass the time.

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Top Mexico Real Estate is your source for information about life and culture in Mexico. Let us show you what is like here, and what you will be enjoying when you begin your adventure as a property owner in the paradise of the Mayan Riviera.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!


Grand Opening of La Memorable

Friday October 9, 2015 saw the grand opening La Memorable, a new food market located next to the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Located on the corner of 1st avenue and 26th, this is the third food market to open in Playa del Carmen and this night was dedicated to giving the residents of Playa a taste of what they have to offer. With a DJ and live band providing the soundtrack to an evening that gradually built in attendance, guests eventually filled the market and enjoyed the free samplings of wine and food. Juggling clowns and various street performers added to the entertainment ambience.

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Below you will see a photo gallery that not only captures the evening’s action but also also serves as an intro to the many shops that you will find when you arrive and explore for yourself.

 photo gonzales_zpsfaknbywg.jpg Upon first entering the food market you will come across the Gonzalez artisanal beer bar. There is only Mexican beer sold here, with seventeen on tap and 21 different bottled beers. The prices for beer begins at 35 pesos and goes up to 100 pesos.  If beer is not your drink of choice then there´s a full alcohol bar available as well. The bar´s location makes it an ideal place to sit and watch the people on the street but also is a good place to expand your palate of beers.
If you are a wine lover then head over to the Ensenada wine bar. It only features Mexican wines. and is the perfect place for business meetings or enjoying a drink after a day of work. Prices are very reasonable at about 90-140 pesos a glass, with bottles selling for between 300-1000. If you’re interested in something a little different, try picking up a bottle from the  Paladar De Mezcal store. There is not a lot of mezcal sold in Playa, so grab some for yourself or as a souvenir. They have a great selection that includes flavors such as mango and tamarind, and you can also order from their special cocktail menu.  photo DSC00371_zpsp6lwtdts.jpg

If you’re hungry and looking for something to eat head over to the Oye Carino seafood restaurant, a place where you can select your own fish for your meal or just have fish tacos. If you prefer a traditional  Mexican taqueria then head to the back of the market where you will find Taco Taco,  featuring a wide array of Mexican tacos.

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For dessert try the El Socio candy store, perfect for the kids and people with a sweet tooth, then wind things off with a trip to Sabor Illegal,  the place to go for specialty cigars from Cuba and all over.

 photo DSC00422_zpsewxlcwn1.jpgSee for yourself why this was a such big attraction to the residents of Playa. La Memorable is now open so drop by and enjoy for yourself!

Top Mexico Real Estate is your source for information about life and culture in Mexico. Let us show you what is like here, and what you will be enjoying when you begin your adventure as a property owner in the paradise of the Mayan Riviera.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Weekend Getaway: Bacalar

It’s that time of the week again when you start planning your next weekend getaway. The Riviera Maya is so vast that living in Playa del Carmen doesn’t really give you a great idea of everything there is to see. So this week, we are running away to the Magical Town of Bacalar! Are your bags pack? Let’s go!

How to get there

Bacalar is located approximately a three-hour drive south of Playa del Carmen (four if you’re coming from Cancun). The best way to reach this beautiful town is by renting a car and driving. This allows you to move around Bacalar easily without having to rely on public transport within the town.

Once you have your car, head onto the Federal Highway 307 heading south and following the signs that read “Chetumal”. Once you have passed Felipe Carillo Puerto (where you should definitely stop for breakfast at the market), be on the lookout for signs that read Bacalar. There is no “taking wrong turns” as it is fairly easy and straightforward.

If you are not into driving and would rather be taken, you can take an ADO Bus from the Playa del Carmen terminal, which will take you to the town. It takes approximately 4 hours and costs $240 mxn one-way.

Where to stay

Bacalar is quite a small town, sitting on the edge of a lagoon. Accommodation varies in quality and price, as in any other place on Earth. However, to get the great experience of waking up to the beautiful colors of the lagoon, a hotel by the water’s edge is ideal. You can choose from more rustic, eco-friendly hotels to more modern ones. Don’t expect to find 5-star resorts, as most hotels here are locally owned and have seen better days, but are still charming and comfortable.

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You should also consider a hotel that has hammocks hanging over the shore! Nothing beats getting up in the morning, enjoying breakfast and just relaxing on a hammock counting the colors in the lagoon.

What to do

Bacalar may be small, but there are plenty of things to do there. Other than just relaxing by the lagoon (which you should definitely put on your list as a priority), you could take a tour to cross the lagoon and possibly see some local wildlife. The lagoon is the second largest fresh water lake in the country, so it’s not something to be overlooked.

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For the adventurous bunch, visiting (and eating) the Cenote Azul is a must! This waterhole is 90 meters deep and of an intense navy blue. Nothing can really be seen downwards because of its depth and small amount of light it receives, but there are friendly fish on the surface, an upside down boat to hang around in, and a restaurant serving delicious Yucatan food.

Take a tour to San Felipe Fort. Located in the heart of Bacalar, this small fort has a lot of history. Initially built to fight off pirates, who would come to the town to steal corn, the fort stood up there for years and is now an iconic landmark of the town. You can’t leave without visiting – costs are quite accessible and tours are available all day long.

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Bacalar is not by the ocean, so if you are really looking forward to spending a day at the beach, you should drive down to Mahahual to spend the day. This beautiful town is located approximately a two-hour drive from Bacalar and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the region.

Shopping and eating

As mentioned before, Bacalar is a small town, ran mainly by locals. Restaurants are found throughout with local Mexican and Yucatan food (don’t expect menus in English!). But hey, you are in a country whose cuisine is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, so you surely want to eat some of that deliciousness!

Shopping in Bacalar is quite limited – for the same reason. However, the road to Bacalar will present you with many options for buying tropical fruits, hammocks, carved wooden souvenirs, and much more.


Bacalar is a must see in the Riviera Maya – so make sure you don’t leave without visiting! We recommend a long weekend so you can runaway for a day trip to Mahahual (although that can be a weekend getaway on its own).

Bring cash! Bacalar is a small town and some places might not take credit cards – especially foreign ones. So make sure you have some cash handy to pay any souvenirs, cenote visits, tours, amongst others.

Among other activities you can do in Bacalar is take a stroll through Downtown, the plaza that is directly across from San Felipe Fort, and take in the gorgeous and colorful Caribbean houses. There are also Mayan ruins near Bacalar that you can visit such as Chacchoben.

We recommend you take a translation app or study up your Spanish before visiting. Although most tour guides speak broken English, if you plan on visiting local restaurants or shops, you might find yourself lost in translation.

One weekend comes after the next, and if you’re in search for amazing adventures, check back next week for a new weekend getaway destination!

Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-owned real estate company based in Playa del Carmen. With a focus market of Americans and Canadians, our Top Buyer Representatives are happy to help you relocate to paradise and help you find your paradise home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!