Don’t Miss the Super Bowl Between the Patriots and Rams in Playa del Carmen

February 3rd will be the 53rd annual Super Bowl to pick the NFL’s champion this year. The New England Patriots will be facing off against the Los Angeles Rams for what might prove to be a rematch from when these two teams met back in 2002. This will also mark the third consecutive appearance for the Patriots, and their fourth in five years. Overall, it’s their eleventh time (and if they win, sixth ring) in the Super Bowl. The Rams will only be appearing for the fourth time.

Tom Brady

For those who aren’t necessarily big football fans but still want to participate in the fun of watching the biggest football match, Maroon 5 will be featured on this year’s halftime show. Moreover, they’ll be featuring Big Boi from Outkast and Travis Scott.

Just because you’re in the Riviera Maya, it doesn’t mean you have to miss the big game. In fact, many American expats live in Playa del Carmen and get together to watch. Because of this, many bars, beach clubs and restaurants host events for the game. But, if you want to go out and watch it somewhere, make sure to make reservations ahead of time.

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Playa del Carmen

LA Rams

Photo from USA Today

Zenzi Beach Club

Located right on the beach at the end of Calle 10 Norte, this restaurant and beach club is a great location to watch the game. You will be able to make use of their big screen TVs while you chow down on delicious food and tasty drinks. Besides, you will have the fresh ocean breeze around you and views of the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. You could even run down to the water for a quick swim during half time.

Wings Factory

Chicken wings are a very traditional snack for a Super Bowl game. And that is exactly what will be supplied at Wings Factory. Besides, you will be able to accompany the wings with large draft beers or other drinks special just for the event. This restaurant is located off the beach on 10th Avenue. They have plenty of screens for everyone to comfortably watch the game. That way, you won’t miss any of the action.

Legends Bar

Legends is probably one of the most well-known sports bars in Playa del Carmen. It is sure to be a top location to watch the game. With 15 screens and 3 projectors, you can be sure that you will be able to watch the game from wherever you are. Plus, you will be able to enjoy a selection of delicious sports-related foods and drinks to keep you satisfied at all times.

These are just some suggestions to not miss what is sure to be a great game at the Super Bowl. But, a quick walk down 5th Avenue or the surrounding areas will open a world of bars and restaurants showing the game. Or, you can do the old-fashioned at-home Super Bowl bash with friends, family and more. For that, of course, you need a beautiful and spacious home, like the ones you can find at Top Mexico Real Estate. May the best team win!

Top 5 Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

Most people come to the Riviera Maya for the white-sand beaches. They think of their holidays and picture themselves swimming in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. However, the Riviera Maya has one of the most complex and exciting underground river systems in the world. And it is worth it to swim in these cool, fresh waters for a change. Cenotes offer a special, sometimes secluded, and certainly refreshing, spot to cool down. These are sinkholes that form when limestone collapses and leaves a hole, often filled with incredible turquoise water.

Cenotes: Mayan History

Cenotes Riviera Maya

These natural features were important in Mayan history. Villages were often built around cenotes because they offered a source of water. The Mayans believed they were a gateway to the underworld gods and the afterlife. Today, they offer a beautiful sport to take a swim or dive, beat the hit, and explore underwater worlds that you can only imagine.

There are thousands – perhaps even millions – of cenotes, underwater rivers and systems in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. However, here are Top Mexico Real Estate’s top 5 favorites.

Cenote Zaci, Valladolid, Yucatan

Cenote Zaci

Found right in the heart of the city of Valladolid, this cenote is a great option for anyone traveling back from Chichen Itza or Merida. While many cenotes are inside mostly covered caverns, this particular one is mostly open. The entrance fee is $30 Mexican pesos. However, if you decide to enjoy a delicious Yucatan meal in the attached restaurant, your entrance is free. And if you do, make sure to try the chocinita pibil.

 Dos Ojos, Riviera Maya

Cenote Dos Ojos

If you are more interested in cave diving, then this cenote is an amazing option for you. However, it is also a perfect place just for snorkeling or dipping your toes. Does Ojos is named like that due to the two sinkholes that are connected via a 400-meter-long underwater passageway. These sinkholes resemble two eyes. It is located just 3 kilometers off the Highway 307, 22 kilometers north of Tulum and 50 km south of Playa del Carmen. Because it is one of the most popular cenotes in the region, it is slightly more expensive and its price varies depending on season.

Cenote Cristalino, Riviera Maya

Cenote Cristalino

Photo: elcaminomascorto

This is one of those hidden gems in Playa del Carmen. While it has a large sign outside, it is rarely as populated as other cenotes on this list. Cenote Cristalino is a 20-minute drive south from Playa del Carmen on the Highway 307. The cenote is entirely open and does not have a cavern. However, the water is 6 meters deep, allowing enough to jump off the wooden platform located next to it. The entrance here is 150 pesos.

Cenote Jardin El Eden, Playa del Carmen

Cenote El Eden

Photo: TripAdvisor

Just next to Cenote Cristalino, you will find a tourist-favorite: Cenote El Eden. Its name translates to the Garden of Eden, and it lives up to it. The cenote is open and its clear waters create the perfect place for snorkeling. The middle of the cenote features an area made of old bricks for people to rest. If you sit still, little fish will come and clean your toes of dead skin. These are the same that you would pay $20 USD for on Fifth Avenue. Except here you’ll pay 200 pesos and enjoy one of Mexico’s most beautiful natural wonders.

Gran Cenote, Tulum, Coba

Gran Cenote

Last, but not least, is El Gran Cenote, located near Tulum on the highway towards Coba. This is one of the top diving spots in the Riviera Maya. Although the name suggests it is quite large, it is actually made up of several smaller cenotes that are all connected by wooden walkways. The water here is so clear you can see fish swimming without even needing a snorkel. The entrance fee is 180 pesos, and you can rent equipment for an additional fee.

Cenotes truly are the door the Mayan underworld. They can open your eyes to the culture and help you understand why they settled in this region. Moreover, they are the perfect place for a refreshing cool-down after exploring the Riviera Maya. Today, there are thousands of cenotes in the region – big and small. Some are privately-owned, others are still up for grabs. But the truth is, everyone must visit a cenote at least once.

Especially if you’re living your retirement out in the area, it is the perfect way to spend your weekends and explore the area. If you’re just considering the Riviera Maya as your retirement home, start by contacting one of our expert Buyer’s Representatives who will guide you through the process so you can start enjoying these adventures as soon as possible.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…we make it happen!

Benefits of Living in Mexico

5 Reasons to Retire to Merida, Mexico

Merida is both the capital city and largest city in the Mexican state of Yucatan. It is known for its culture, art and history. Of course, it’s also close to the beach. When thinking about where in Mexico you may want to retire, Merida is sure to be at the top of your list. In fact, Merida is one of CNN Money’s top retirement destination. This comes hand in hand with Mexico being International Living’s best place to retire overseas. Now that we’ve got your attention, here are five good reasons you will want to retire to Merida.

Safety

Merida Monumento a la Patria

The National Survey of Public Security listed Merida as the safest city in Mexico, and subsequently the city was recognized for this by the organization Building Spaces for Peace. The award recognizes Merida as, “an inspiration for others in relation to the culture of peace and for the actions of authorities to carry out and maintain tranquility as well as the city’s continued meetings with local authorities, businessmen and citizens on peace issues and security.” Moreover, the Yucatan government has been actively injecting money into safety.

Affordability

Merida Modern Home

In Merida, as with elsewhere in the Riviera Maya, life is much less expensive compared to Canada or the US. Aside from the affordably priced homes, you will also find that every day expenses are a fraction of the cost for the same at home. Your own dollars will stretch further when converted into the peso as well. Mexico also provides low-cost public healthcare for expats (and citizens) which will ensure that you will be able to live comfortably during your retirement.

Amenities

Merida Supermarkets

Merida is the largest city in the state of Yucatan. In fact, it’s the largest in the whole Yucatan Peninsula, including Quintana Roo and Campeche. As such it is a large and developed city with all the amenities and services that you would need for a comfortable life. There are innumerable shops, both small and large, and the new Harbor Mall that opened in late 2018 is among the five largest megamalls in all of Mexico.

Culture

Cochinita Pibil Tacos

Merida has a rich history. Its colonial past has resulted in a beautiful downtown core. It features historic buildings painted in traditional bright shades of pink, blue, red, yellow and purple. The city is also an incredible destination for any art lover. The Museum of Modern Art shows regular exhibits showcasing local traditions and the beauty of the region.

The food in the city is also incredible. You won’t want to miss out on some Yucatan specialties including escabeche, cochinita pibil, sopa de lima, frijol con puerco, relleno negro/blanco, queso relleno, papazules, salbutes, tostadas and poc chuuc .

Living options

Home for Sale in Merida

Merida is a large, historic city. This means there are a huge number of options for anyone looking to buy and live in the area – everything from colonial homes in the city center to homes in the jungle. Nowadays, there are many new condo buildings and gated communities being developed. These are great options not only for those looking to move and retire, but also anyone looking for an investment.

Make Merida Your Home

So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring our listings in the region and find that dream home you’ve always wanted! Our Buyer’s Representatives can help you narrow down your choices based on preferences, needs and budget. Contact us today!

Benefits of Living in Mexico

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!

zenzi2

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.

zenzi

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.

fah3

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.

PezVela4

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’.

PezVela2

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.

Oasis2

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.

CasaSofia3

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.

CasaSofia

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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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!

Voladores Papantla

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.

tulum

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.

Tony Scopel

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!

Real Estate Tour

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.