Ideas for Rainy Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your time off!

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

we make it happen!

Neighborhoods of Playa del Carmen – Little Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

we make it happen!

Xenses Park in Mexico’s Riviera Maya

Welcome to Xenses

Last month the Xenses Park in Mexico’s Riviera Maya opened to the public, becoming the sixth adventure park to open inside the Xcaret development grounds. Recently I wrote about how Xcaret in Cancun and the Riviera Maya were recognized as the best international theme park and the best water park, winning the 2016 Travvy Award held in New York City.  This new addition is a 23-hectare property and was made possible with an investment of $25.5 million.

Getting to Xenses is easy. It’s approx 15 minutes by car from the entrance of Playacar Phase II’s across from Centro Maya. You can also take the bike path which runs along the east side of the highway all the way to the inside of the park. Keep an eye for some of the local wildlife like the iguanas, who will quickly run under the pavement when they see you coming.

Once inside of Xenses you will find a variety of things to do, including zip lines and slides, a river of mud and a waterfall. One of the more intriguing things you will find is a bizarre looking village where everything looks off. The houses seem like they are completely crooked and the road appears to incline but in reality it is flat. The optical illusion that it creates is so believable that you will likely struggle to walk properly as your sense of balance is upset.

The timing for this new park couldn’t be better, as this year is the 25th anniversary of Experiences Xcaret. According to the Riviera Maya News the concept is to “offer a range of new experiences for visitors.” For those of you who have never been to Xcaret or to the Rivera Maya this is a great way to explore the environment of the peninsula in a manner which is challenging and fun.

Xenses Park can be found between Xplor and Xcaret and is currently operating from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Because it’s has just opened you can take advantage of there being less visitors, making your waiting times short. Admission for adults is $59, children under 5 years get in free and those aged 5 to 11 get in for half price.

To quote the developers: “Upon leaving Xenses, all your senses will be awakened. You will distinguish in more detail the world around you. You will be a Xensei.”

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

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

we make it happen!

TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE

2016 Travelers’ Choice by Tripadvisor

Top 25 Destinations — World

The 2016 Travelers’ Choice award by Tripadvisor is out. This list could have been taken straight from my bucket list of places in the world to see. Most are far away, distant lands but one destination close to your home made the list.  And not to be biased but it is my favorite place… Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Here is the top 25 worldwide destinations;

    • 1. London, United Kingdom
    • 2. Istanbul, Turkey
    • 3. Marrakech, Morocco
    • 4. Paris, France
    • 5. Siem Reap, Cambodia
    • 6. Prague, Czech Republic
    • 7. Rome, Italy
    • 8. Hanoi, Vietnam
    • 9. New York City, New York
    • 10. Ubud, Indonesia
    • 11. Barcelona, Spain
    • 12. Lisbon, Portugal
    • 13. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    • 14. St. Petersburg, Russia
    • 15. Bangkok, Thailand
    • 16. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • 17. Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • 18. Hong Kong, China
    • 19. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    • 20. Cape Town Central, South Africa
    • 21. Tokyo, Japan
    • 22. Cusco, Peru
    • 23. Kathmandu, Nepal
    • 24. Sydney, Australia
    • 25. Budapest, Hungary

 photo PDC_zpslkkf000b.jpg“Playa del Carmen is one of the top dive destinations in the world, thanks to vibrant sea life and dazzling underwater caverns. On dry land, Playa is a hipper and more modern version of the fishing village it once was. Spend some quality time on the golf course or wave hello to the playful spider monkeys at The Jungle Place sanctuary. Explore the ancient ruins of the Coba Mayan Village, or get in some quality people-watching as you shop and stroll along 5th Avenue.” Commented Tripadvisor about the destination hotspot Playa del Carmen.

Top 25 Beaches — World

Some of the most exotic and beautiful beaches made the list. Coming in at number 21 is Playa Paraiso in Tulum, Mexico. It is known gorgeous turquoise blue water, white powdery sand and breathtaking views.

Here is the top 25 worldwide beach destinations;

      • 1. Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
      • 2. Baia do Sancho in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
      • 3. Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo, Cuba
      • 4. Anse Lazio in Praslin Island, Seychelles
      • 5. Cayo de Agua in Los Roques National Park, Venezuela
      • 6. Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico
      • 7. Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera, Balearic Islands
      • 8. Ngapali Beach in Ngapali, Myanmar
      • 9. West Bay Beach in West Bay, Honduras
      • 10. Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Philippines
      • 11. Maho Beach in Cruz Bay, St. John
      • 12. Whitehaven Beach in Whitsunday Island, Whitsunday Islands
      • 13. Sharm El Luli in Marsa Alam, Egypt
      • 14. Elafonissi Beach in Elafonissi, Greece
      • 15. Playa Manuel Antonio in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
      • 16. The Baths in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
      • 17. Camp’s Bay Beach in Camps Bay, South Africa
      • 18. Praia da Marinha in Carvoeiro, Portugal
      • 19. Kata Noi Beach in Karon, Thailand
      • 20. Clearwater Beach in Clearwater, Florida
      • 21. Playa Paraiso in Tulum, Mexico
      • 22. Agonda Beach in Agonda, India
      • 23. Horseshoe Bay Beach in Southampton Parish, Bermuda
      • 24. Tumon Beach in Tumon, Mariana Islands
      • 25. Praia de Santa Maria in Santa Maria, Cape Verde

“One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Swim, take a nap, read a book. You’ll be happy to just be here.” Commented one Tripadvisor client about Playa Paraiso in Tulum.

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“Best time to go: Year-round”, states Tripadvisor… can you imagine a gorgeous beach that has weather so nice it can be enjoyed year-round.

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How many places have you been to on these lists? To experience beautiful places you don’t have to travel across the world, just go to the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Explore the culture and cuisine, wonderful sights such as ancient Mayan ruins, cenotes and pristine beaches. Enjoy the near perfect weather year round… leave those frigid winters behind. Many Americans and Canadians are not just exploring the area but are choosing to retire here. They have selected a place where their social security, pensions, and saving will go much further. See what so many are talking about, explore the Riviera Maya.

If you are interested in exploring properties in the Riviera Maya contact a Top Mexico Buyers’ Representative today.

We Make It Happen!

Centro Maya, Shopping in the Valle Bambu Neighborhood

We usually don’t think of a mall as a community center or defining a specific community.  Yet, Centro Maya in Playa del Carmen most certainly does define the new community sprouting up around it.  Real estate buyers will do well to consider this community, for the following reasons:

The mall offers many services and conveniences 

There is a large supermarket, City Club, a movie theater, a food court, several furniture and appliance stores (including a newer, upscale European store,) clothing, shoes and jewelry, and a variety of other shops.

Easy access, good transportation 

The mall is right next to the highway offering quick access to the international airport, ecoparks and the many attractions that the area offers.  A nice, wide boulevard offers direct access past the mall and into the community.  The mall is also a taxi hub, making it easy and quick to get good transportation to any part of town without having to wait.

The beach is just a short drive away

The beach is about a 10 minute drive away.  Those who enjoy biking can get there in about 15-20 minutes. And, of course, you have to remember that these aren’t just any beaches – these are Playa del Carmen’s beaches, among the finest to be found!

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There are excellent properties at good prices

A large master development is taking shape behind the mall.  There is a variety of properties, including lots, luxury homes and also simple homes.  For some examples of the real estate options in the Valle Bambu neighborhood, please click here. All offering the full benefits of this community. In this location, you can expect to get even more for your dollar than in downtown!

It is quiet and natural

The community has been designed to have plenty of trees, tree-lined boulevards, parks and nature integrated into the residential development.  As well as a new bike/walking path around the neighborhood.  This community offer parks, plenty of green space, a school, shopping and family friendly entertainment.

It is well designed

The layout of the roads, the visual appeal of the communities and all other aspects have been designed to create a relaxing environment for a quiet but active lifestyle.  The road layout offers quick access to the highway while still offering privacy.

There will be sports facilities

At the center of the community there will be sports complex for the community to use.  Combined with bike trails and an appealing outdoor atmosphere make it easy and enjoyable to keep fit!

This community offers many amenity’s, benefits and good prices, as well as easy access to Playa del Carmen’s best mall.  Be sure to consider it as one of your Playa del Carmen real estate options.

 photo IMG_0652_zpsyovghraa.jpg And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We make it happen!

Weekend Getaway: Puerto Morelos

The Riviera Maya is a stretch of 80 miles of pristine beaches located just a few miles south of the hustle and bustle of Cancun. This area attracts around 10 million visitors each year and offers luxurious hotels and resorts, as well as a number of theme parks, clubs, shopping malls, and other attractions.

Puerto Morelos is located about 10 miles south of Cancun and about 20 miles north of the beautiful Playa del Carmen and it is one of the best kept secrets and one of the top 25 beaches in the Riviera Maya. Walking on its square and around the town will let you feel the vibe of this small fishing village.

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Puerto Morelos: General Information

If you want to stay away from the Cancun crowds, do not forget to visit Puerto Morelos! You can not only enjoy the quiet atmosphere, but also visit the Mesoamerican Reef; which is located only a few meters from the beach.

The main roads have a wide offering on small restaurants, cafes and boutiques; no huge chains or massive hotels. The locals and hotels in the area want to keep it that way, by having strict building restrictions and working together to preserve the little town feeling.

Puerto Morelos: Getting There

By Car:
From Cancun: Get the 307 Federal highway southbound (towards Tulum) and stay on this road for about 10 miles. Once you get to Puerto Morelos you need to take the exit and turn left under the overpass.
By Bus:
You can take the bus straight from the Cancun International Airport; the cost is around $6 USD for a one way ticket. This bus does not go to the town center, but it does go to the highway turnoff into town just 2 kilometers away from the square. From there you can grab a 20 peso taxi or a collectivo to the downtown beach area.

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Puerto Morelos: Things To Do

  • Snorkeling:
    Enjoy the beautiful Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world. There is plenty of local providers offering tours just off the main plaza, for only $25 USD your get the boat ride and all the needed equipment.
  • Diving:
    Enjoy all sorts of diving adventures: there is the reef, caverns and cenotes in the area; ideal for every level and age. Dive Shops are available directly in Puerto Morelos.
  • Sport Fishing:
    The waters off the Puerto Morelos coast have a wide variety of marine species: Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Barracuda, Grouper, Snapper, Snook, Pompano, and more…
  • Ruta de los Cenotes:
    This is a wonderful way to visit many cenotes in a day for a reasonable price. Local run cenotes are open for visitors; enjoy the cool transparent water and the amazing caves, a life changing experience!
  • Alma Libre Bookstore:
    Alma Libre is the Riviera Maya’s best English language new and used bookstore. In this book store you can find regional guide books and maps, as well as books about the
  • indigenous culture, flora and fauna of the region.
    Crococun:
    This is ideal for families, a guided tour to learn more about crocodiles and other native species. Seeing the spider monkeys in the wild is amazing, the kids will love it!

We hope you enjoy your visit to Puerto Morelos and the beautiful beach. Keep up to date with the best beaches in paradise by following our Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya countdown every Friday! If you are in search for the perfect beach to spend the day at, make sure you check out our options. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-Owned company that specializes in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico. If you are looking for a second home or to retire in paradise, please feel free to contact any of our Top Buyers’ Representatives! Browse our beautiful properties; we are sure you will find your dream home.

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

Live it Tour Testimonial: Heinz & Vicky

2 new people have realize their dream of living in the Riviera Maya thanks to Top Mexico Real Estate. We went to visit Vicky and Heinz from Minnesota and asked them some questions about how they found the process of buying their new property in Mexico and their experience of working witht he Top Mexico team.

Vicky: We love Mexico and have been travelling here for 10-12 years. We love the culture, we love the people. Heinz did a lot of research in to realty places.

Heinz: I found Top Mexico on the internet and it appealed to me right away. I contacted Top Mexico and they put us together with the builder at Atsi.They were very forthcoming in every way. And here we are, we´ve moved in.

V: Last December Heinz and I came down and we contacted them right away and said we´re looking for some property to buy and we got in touch with William. We said ¨This is kind of what we´re looking.¨ He spent a lot of time going through all the different things within the parameters of what we were looking for and we spent a couple of days of looking at different places. Heinz had seen Atsi on the internet. William brought us around to all the different places and then once we saw Atsi nothing compared and William said ¨OK, let´s start working on it. And he stepped us through all the process. He made it really easy. Top Mexico put us in touch with MexLaw and we´ve been working with them through the contract and they´ve been fabulous.¨

¨So now we´re getting to the close and getting ready to come down here. We´ve made our payments and all of a sudden we get an email from Anita. She says ¨Hi,   I´m Anita. I´m going to be your closer.¨ And  now she takes over, and she always answered my emails immediately, any questions we had, any concerns. She´s been working with us now for the last 3 months. Both William and Anita have made this so easy for us because they´ve taken care of all the concerns and problems. Anita was our person here keeping track fo the condo, coming to look, giving us progress reports so we would know what´s going on. And it´s been flawless.¨

Are you looking to invest in property in Mexico? Then you should consider taking our Live It, Compare It & Buy It Tour. The tour is designed to make you experience life in certain neighborhoods throughout the Riviera Maya and includes exclusive and luxury accommodation along with private transportation to and from the Cancun International.

If you want to get an exact quote visit Top Mexico Real Estate’s website fill out the Live It Tour contact form and ask one of our representatives for their assistance.

And remember, at Top Mexico….

we make it happen!

Weekend Getaway: Playa del Carmen

The weekend quickly approaches, and you’re sitting at home wandering what to do or where to go. Luckily for you, the Riviera Maya offers an array of gorgeous – some explored and some unexplored – places for a great weekend getaway. This weekend we’re packing up our stuff for Playa del Carmen. Got everything? Let’s hit the road!

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How to get there

Playa del Carmen is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, halfway through Cancun and Tulum. It is located approximately 1 hour south of Cancun and 1 hour north of Tulum. It’s fairly easy to reach Playa del Carmen from either city by both private and public transport.

If you’re driving down from Cancun, you have to take the Federal Highway 307 heading south. Just follow the signs that read Playa del Carmen. You will pass Puerto Morelos about 15 minutes into your drive and just keep going straight. You will eventually reach a bridge over the highway. You’re now in Playa del Carmen. Depending on where your hotel is you will have to take one of the exits. If you’re coming from the north, Downtown is to your left – follow Constituyentes Avenue.

There are plenty of colectivos that take off from Cancun heading into Playa del Carmen. They cost approximately 35 mxn (3 usd) and will drop you off in Downtown, just a few blocks from Fifth Avenue. Alternatively, you could get on an ADO bus from the Cancun Bus Terminal which should charge around 50 mxn or 4 usd. It will leave you either at the main Bus Terminal in Playa del Carmen, on Fifth Avenue, or the alternate bus terminal which is just a couple of blocks away from it.

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If you are driving from Tulum, you must grab the Federal Highway 307 and head north. Again, follow the Playa del Carmen signs. You need to pass Bahía Príncipe and Akumal about 15 minutes into your drive. Once you reach the bridge over the highway, Downtown will be to your right.

There are also colectivos and ADO buses leaving from Tulum towards Playa del Carmen. The costs are the same as those coming from Cancun and they drop you off at the same spot.

Where to stay

Playa del Carmen is quite a touristy city with an array of accommodation options. If you want to go fancy, you can stay at one of the multiple 5-star resorts that are lined down the gorgeous coast. However, if you’re looking for a more intimate and personal experience, I’d recommend any of the small boutique hotels that are in the Downtown area down Fifth and Tenth Avenues.

Renting holiday homes is also quite popular in the area, as many owners don’t actually live in Playa del Carmen. There are plenty of beachfront condos that are up for grabs for a fair weekly price. There are also plenty of hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and hostels scattered throughout the city.
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What to do

Playa del Carmen offers an immense array of things to do. It depends on the type of weekend you are after, but there is plenty to see and do. Fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, parachuting, sunbathing, partying, shopping, eating, and much more, are just some of the activities you can take part in while in Playa del Carmen.

Take a stroll down Fifth Avenue for a unique shopping experience, or hit Mamitas Beach for a day full of sunbathing, eating, drinking and snorkeling. If you’re feeling adventurous, head out on a catamaran or rent out some kayaks and enjoy the beautiful ocean. You can even water board in Playa del Carmen! Rent a couple of SUPs or go scuba diving to the wrecked ship or to see the beautiful underwater life that the Riviera Maya hosts.

If you want to visit an eco-park, you can visit the famous Xcaret. Swimming, snorkeling, snuba, zip lining, swimming in rivers, natural ocean pools, and looking at animals such as dolphins, parrots or jaguars are just some of the fun you can do while in this park.

There is no such thing as “there’s nothing to do” while in Playa del Carmen. So make the most of your weekend and enjoy the beautiful paradise.

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Shopping and eating

Because Playa del Carmen is an expanding city there are plenty of places for shopping and eating. However, you didn’t visit Playa if you don’t stroll down Fifth Avenue for shopping. The 3-mile long street hosts a huge amount of shops and stores, cafés, bars and restaurants. Additionally, two new shopping malls opened this year with many new stores.

Stroll away from Fifth Avenue onto the adjacent streets to find other quaint and unique shops – you will find everything from handmade candles to handmade embroidery. You can’t walk away from this gorgeous beach town without having purchased at least some small souvenir.

When it comes to eating, there is a wide amount of options. Playa del Carmen is quite international offering all types of dining experiences. You will find Italian, Mexican, German, Spanish, and French restaurants, amongst many others. Many places are a mix of several. Although Fifth Avenue has a great amount of restaurants, you should save the bucks for other activities. You can eat perfectly delicious Yucatan food if you wander off the touristy area for a quarter of the price. There are many local restaurants that are worth a try.

Recommendations

Fortunate for some, unfortunate for others, Playa del Carmen is a hot spot tourist destination, and for that reason, you will find many people around. Patience is an important virtue to be able to have a great time in Playa del Carmen.

Bring money – both cash and credit. Even though USD are an unofficial accepted currency in the state of Quintana Roo, it’s a nice gesture to change your money into Mexican pesos. Besides, you will get much lower prices like that.

Even though Playa del Carmen is seen as a relaxing place, if you’re cramming many activities into a packed weekend you should be prepared to be quite tired towards the end of the day. Make sure you schedule some downtime into your weekend, as well.

Eat local food! There’s nothing like trying some real local food instead of spending hundreds of dollars in the fancy Fifth Avenue restaurants. Stroll off the beaten path to discover a new culinary experience.

Hopefully these tips will help you have an amazing weekend in the gorgeous beach town of Playa del Carmen. There is a lot to explore in the Riviera Maya, so keep checking back for new hidden gems and getaway destinations!

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!

Weekend Getaway: Punta Laguna

It’s that time of the week again when you’re packing up for a new adventure in the gorgeous Riviera Maya. You’re probably wondering what to do or where to go. Luckily for you, the beautiful state of Quintana Roo and its surrounding states offer an array of beautiful hidden gems, offering millions of options to explore. This weekend we’re headed to Punta Laguna. Ready? Let’s get going!

How to get there

Punta Laguna is located inland from Tulum, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes by car from Playa del Carmen, or just 1 hour from Tulum Downtown. The best way to reach Punta Laguna is by car, as there is no public transport or buses heading that way. The only other way is by taking a prepaid tour that offers transportation.

If you’re coming from Playa del Carmen you need to drive south on the 307 Highway until you reach Tulum. Once you’re entering Tulum, keep an eye out for signs signaling the exit towards Cobá on your right. Take the Cobá highway and drive until reaching a roundabout with several exits. You will take the exit that reads Punta Laguna; it’s a rather small sign, but easy to find. Drive through this almost abandoned highway for approximately 20 minutes. You will find Punta Laguna on your left. There is a parking lot on site.
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Where to stay

At the reserve you can rent a Mayan hut for two people for $300 mxn ($18 usd). Take into account that this is a natural reserve and Mayan villagers run the area, which means not to expect any luxury. The other option is camping, for which they offer eco-bathroom facilities.

Punta Laguna is best as a one-day trip. If you want to make this a weekend trip, your best shot is to stay the night in Tulum. You will find many different types of accommodation from luxury hotels to eco-friendly cabins and even hostels in Tulum. If you’re staying there for the weekend, you will only need to drive for an hour to reach Punta Laguna.

What to do

Punta Laguna is a natural reserve, home to spider monkeys, howler monkeys and pumas. It is also home to approximately 30 Mayan families who share over five thousand hectares. If you’ve decided to visit Punta Laguna there is only one thing to do: take a tour.

The villagers of Punta Laguna are the perfect example of how they can live off tourism while protecting their natural and cultural heritage. The tour costs approximately $300 mxn ($18 usd) per person and it is worth every penny invested. The reserve opens at 8 am, and that is the best time to arrive, as prepaid and organized tours start arriving at 10 am. Additionally, at that time the monkeys are migrating towards their feeding areas and it is much easier to spot them.

Your guided tour will last for about an hour, and you will get close and personal with the region’s nature and wildlife. If you’re an early bird and you’ve hired a guided tour, chances are you will spot both howler and spider monkeys in the wild migration. They will not interact with you, but they commonly stop and stare. You will be walking through the lush jungle in small paths, so watch out for the flora and fauna as there are some amazing things around.

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You will then be guided towards the beautiful and peaceful lagoon where you will be able to hear the birds chirping and the howler monkeys howling in the distance. You will get to row your own boat across the lagoon, as well as swim in it – its water is quite refreshing after strolling through the humid jungle.

After crossing the lagoon you will zipline with beautiful views of the jungle and finish the tour with a Mayan ceremony and swimming in an amazing cenote that is home to some old Mayan skulls that are found at the very bottom.

Shopping and eating

Punta Laguna does not really offer any shopping facilities, as it is a natural reserve. It is probable that the Mayan population that lives there sells handmade arts and crafts.

For shopping and lunch it is better to head back out to Cobá, 20 minutes from the reserve, where there is plenty of shopping and eating options. If you’re not keen on stopping by in Cobá, your best bet would be heading back into Tulum where you can shop in Downtown and go to one of the many quaint restaurants on offer.

Recommendations

Punta Laguna is a natural reserve and only accommodates nature lovers who do not mind walking through the jungle, keeping an eye out for wildlife and letting mosquitos feast on them. Here are some recommendations to take into account:

-Bring comfortable clothes and shoes. Flip-flops are not appropriate for walking through the jungle. Either tennis shoes or sandals are a better option.

-Bring biodegradable sunscreen and apply it 30 minutes before jumping into the lagoon. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit, towel and a change of clothes.

-Arrive early! Tours start arriving at 10 am, and you want to beat the multitudes that tend to scare the monkeys away.

-Bring a camera. Chances are you will spot monkeys and you might catch a glance at other wildlife (like coatis!), so bring your camera and be prepared at all times. Wildlife doesn’t pose.

-Bring an open mind and a positive attitude. Walking through the humid jungle while mosquitos are flying around you can frustrate people. This is where these Mayan people live and you must respect their habitat and their way of living.
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Hopefully these tips will allow you to have an adventure of a lifetime in this off-the-beaten-path paradise. There are always new places to explore in the Riviera Maya, so check back next weekend for a new getaway destination!

Read about a weekend getaway to Akumal or a weekend getaway at Bacalar here.

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!

Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015

Living in the Riviera Maya is such a wonderful experience. You are surrounded by natural beauty, mild weather and with a cool mix of residents from all over the world. Something special about living in the Riviera is the variety of World-class events like music, fashion, movies, and theaters to sports events and specialized forums such as the Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015.

For years Cozumel has been one of the Top 5 Scuba destinations, and it is especially popular among North America due the proximity and low cost. Imagine getting access to places of extraordinary beauty for a fraction of the cost; no one can resist that! Cozumel has experiences for all levels, from introductory level to advanced routes, all in one place.

On this occasion Cozumel is host one of the most anticipated events of the year: Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015. This event brings together the best Scuba specialists, trainers and fans in order to share experiences, learn about new products and techniques and practice scuba diving.

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The event is started on December 8, 2015 and will end on December 13th. There are so many exciting conferences and workshops it´s like a feast for both scuba fanatics and the general public.

Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015: Experience amazing Scuba routes

The Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015 is not only about the keynote speakers and the Expo, there is also the opportunity to experience the best Scuba adventures. These spectacular experiences will make you wonder and make for amazing lifelong memories.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Route

Advanced divers route

Yucatan Peninsula Route:

9 days 4 Days 8 days
9 dives/ 1 night dive 8 dives / 1 sinkhole dive 4 days in Cozumel/ 4 days in the Yucatan Peninsula
429 USD 560 USD 1010 USD
Includes equipment, certification and official logbook. Includes equipment, OWD certification is Required

 Includes: night stays in Valladolid, Merida, Tulum and Cozumel; as well as equipment, certified guides, snacks and drinks.

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Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015: Keynote Speakers

The Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015 has a plethora of world-wide renown specialist, ready to share their expertise and knowledge not only of scuba diving but also about conservation, the experience of diving in underground rivers and sinkholes,  the importance of preserving the environment and the healing power of Scuba.

The Scuba Fest has a multidisciplinary team leaded by: Guillermo de Anda, Sergio Zambrano, Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau. If you want to know more about these experts, have a look at their bios here. This is a great opportunity to hear these professionals speak even if you are not a Scuba fan.

Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015: Expo and Trade Fair

On top of the amazing events programmed for the Cozumel Scuba Fest 2015 there will be an Expo Trade Fair with a complete exhibition of specialized articles, accessories and providers for scuba services. This will give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the latest in technology, diving equipment, underwater photography equipment, materials dive shops, and more.

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The greatest thing about this event is the opportunity to meet like-minded people as well as diving friendly organizations, institutions of environmental protection, specialized hotels and tourist destinations.

So, if you are already living in the area, do not miss the opportunity to see living legends like Jean-Michel Cousteau about talking his favorite topic: the sea. Cozumel is so much more than scuba and cruises: find everything that makes this quaint island an excellent retirement haven.

Contact our Buyer’s representatives or check out the amazing properties on our website to learn more about purchasing Real Estate in Mexico in a safe, legal manner. Here at Top Mexico Real Estate we are with you every step of the way, from dreaming about your new home all the way to helping make it a reality.

Top Mexico Real Estate, We Make it Happen!