The Best Budget Friendly Seafood Tacos in the Riviera Maya!

The Riviera Maya is a foodie’s paradise, with people from all over the world setting down roots in this beautiful country, and bringing their traditional, cultural recipes with them. Causing a fusion of culture and flavors with so many restaurants that you are sure to find one that suit your mood.

Set right on the Caribbean Sea, the Riviera Maya is known for its fresh seafood caught daily by the local fisherman.  There are so many options, you could have fish, shrimp, octopus, calamari, the list goes on and on, and you can’t visit the Riviera Maya without trying the seafood tacos. Trust me, you will not be disappointed and they will probably go down in the books as the best seafood tacos you have ever eaten. Here are the top budget friend, delicious spots to enjoy the best seafood tacos around.

La Floresta

La Floresta is a no frills, large outdoor restaurant with delicious food. The food is so good that the restaurant is always full. This is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.

Immediately upon arriving you are served a bowl of homemade chips and Pico de Gallo, which is to die for. I suggest ordering the fresh fish tacos which are fried, light and crispy, cooked to perfection and the shrimp tacos which are delicious, they are both served in a homemade tortilla.  The tacos at La Floresta are only 20 pesos each. They also have a variety of ceviches and ice cold beer.

La Floresta is a cash only restaurant and they close early, so make sure to get there before 6:00pm.

La Floresta: Playa del Carmen

14 Norte and the Carretera federal highway

Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo

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Chiltepin has really good food, ice cold beers and a small pool that you can take a dip in. What’s not to love!

This is one of my favorite place, it has reasonable prices good food with a mix of tourist and local alike. They offer a variety of tacos ranging from 22 – 40 pesos, so mix and match and try different flavors. They also have fresh ceviche and if you are not a fan of seafood they have arrachera tacos, hamburgers and beer bucket specials.

Chiltepin: Playa del Carmen

Calle 34 and 15th Avenue

Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo

(984) 147-2487

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Los Aguachiles

Los Aguachiles is a popular restaurant in the Riviera Maya, so expect to see a crowd outside and to have to wait for a table. Los Aguachiles has many delicious menu items and a wide variety of seafood platters including aguachiles, tostadas, tacos and several others!

I have tried all the tacos on the menu and I can’t pick a favorite, they are all so delicious. We often bring our friends or family who are in town to Los Aguachiles and it is always a huge hit. Feel free to experiment at this restaurant because you will not be disappointed!

Los Aguachilies: Constituyentes                                                   Los Aguachilies: Playa 34                                                            

Ave. Constituyentes Mz. 63 Lt. 3                                                   Calle 34 and 25th Ave.

Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo                                                               Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo

Los Aguachilies: Tulum                                                                   Los Aguachiles: Cancun

Ave. Tulum MZA. 40 LTE. 1 Centro                                                Ave. Nichupte MZA. 4 LTE. 1 Super MZA. 17

Tulum, Q. Roo                                                                                   Cancun, Q. Roo

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Mateo’s is a beautiful place with a jungle setting to have a nice dinner. The price at Mateo’s ranges from 70 – 280 pesos, which is reasonable for Tulum.

The restaurant features a coffee shop, a bar and the restaurant, so there is something to suit everyone’s mood! Their classic margaritas is one of the best I have ever had. Mateo’s offers grilled fish, battered fish or shrimp tacos served on a flour or corn tortilla. The platter comes with four tacos, a side order of rice and beans for 120 – 170 pesos and you can also add a salad for 40 pesos. If you do not like seafood there are plenty of other options such as burgers, fajitas, and burritos.

Mateo’s: Tulum

Tulum Beach Road-Boca Paila KM 5.2

Zona hotelera Tulum, Q. Roo

(984) 179-4160

We hope you enjoy the gorgeous beaches, the beautiful sunsets, and the delicious restaurants in the Riviera Maya. Keep posted for more popular places to eat at around town!

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE…

We make it happen!

Tipping in Mexico: 5 Things You Need to Know!

Mexico is a beautiful country full of diverse landscapes, a rich cultural heritage and prideful people. One of the things that stand out to many visitors is the joy by which Mexicans live their day to day lives, always with a smile on their face. This is evident when it comes to the staff working in customer service. You will often receive excellent service in Mexico that exceeds your expectations and that is when the question arises…

When and how much should I tip in Mexico?

There are the traditional tips we all give to waiters, bartenders and hotel maids, but there are also many other situations unique to Mexico where a tips are welcome, and it’s important for travelers or foreigners living in Mexico to know about these customs.

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  1. Restaurants and Bars: If you eating at a taco cart where one person is serving, cooking and charging you for the food it is not necessary to tip. If you are dining at a small business and there is a person who brings food to your table and takes care of you, you should leave at least a10% tip based on consumption. If you are dining in a fine dining establishment the tip should be at least 15% and if you receive exceptional service you might want to leave a 20% tip. Many restaurants in Mexico pay their server’s minimum wage and the server share their tips with the other staff members such as the bartenders, kitchen and cleaning crew. Tipping really makes the difference for these people and their families.

2.    Gas Station Attendant: In Mexico, all gas stations have full service attendants, meaning you will never have to pump your own gas again. Many of the attendants work on a voluntary basis and they depend on your tips to survive. For a regular service of filling your car with gas and cleaning your windshield, you can tip 5 pesos, if you need additional services such as checking the oil or the air in your tires, or vacuuming out the inside of your car, a 15 – 20 pesos tip is adequate.

3.    Groceries Bagger: This is another example of voluntary work, where school child or elderly people bag your groceries. If you are buying just a few items it is normal to leave a couple pesos. If you’re doing your weekly shopping you should tip between 5 and 10 pesos and if you need help carrying stuff to your car or to load something, you should tip between 20 – 50 pesos; depending on the size and weight of items.

4.    Musicians: While this is not mandatory to tip musicians at a bar or restaurant, you can leave a tip to show them that you appreciate them and enjoyed their music! Again many of the musicians survive only on the tips they are given.

5.    Outstanding Job: If someone exceeds your expectations and they were particularly helpful or just made your day, it is important to recognize their service and offer a tip. Many times they will insists on not taking your money, you can always say: para tu refresco, which means for a soda, this usually shuts the discussion down and the person graciously accepts the money.

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Mexico is very different from other parts of the world and many foreigners are not aware of the costumes and ways here. We hope this has answered all of your tipping questions and helps you get around in Mexico.

Top Ten Reasons to Retire to Mexico

Mexico consistently ranks one of the top destinations in the world for vacationers but did you know that many people from all over are choosing Mexico to retire. Many retirees are looking for a more fulfilling, happier and affordable lifestyle, which can be achieved by living in Mexico. Here are the top ten reasons to retire to Mexico:

  1. Culture and History: Mexico is a country rich in culture and history. Complete with ancient Mayan ruins, warm proud people and a society steeped deeply in religion, heritage and a manner of living, working and playing that predate most industrialized nations.
  2. Weather: The weather in Mexico is nearly perfect and gorgeous year round. Mexico has NO SNOW! January, the coldest month of the year in the Riviera Maya has average high of 29C/84F and an average low of 21C/70F.

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  1. Food: It isn’t a shock that a country so rich in culture and heritage would have such amazing food. Mexico offers everything from a hole in the wall taco stands to gourmet fine dining restaurants. Mexico is also a melting pot for food because people from all over the world come to this beautiful land to set up shop.
  2. Safe: Mexico is very safe. For Example, the Yucatan State with its beautiful beaches and ancient Mayan ruins has a homicide rate that is lower than the U.S. rural states of Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, North Dakota, West Virginia and several others. People feel safer in Mexico than in many places in the United States.
  3. Close: Mexico is close to home. Your friends and family can come to visit in just a few short hours, with easy access through direct flights from the United States and Canada.
  4. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Mexico is amazing low. In Mexico you will save on everyday items like groceries and public transportation, to things such as water and cable bills, you will even save on entertainment such as going to the movies or out to dinner. Mexico, on average is 40% cheaper than the United States.
  5. Medical: As you reach your golden years you find yourself taking more trips to the doctor. Mexico has top-notch medical care facility and quality hospitals in all major city and tourist destinations, offering a 60% – 80% savings from what you would expect to pay in the United States and Canada.

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  1. Insurance: Private health insurance for many is thought to be only a dream but in Mexico it is very affordable and feasible. Also, foreign residents can qualify for social security. Health Insurance is attainable in Mexico.
  2. Benefits: Senior citizen are treated with respect in Mexico. Locals receive many benefits such as senior citizen discount cards, discounts at restaurants, and free or discounted passes to archaeological sites, museums and other tourist attractions throughout the area.
  3. Real Estate: Mexico is the gorgeous backdrop to some really stunning real estate. There are phenomenal real state opportunity’s in Mexico. On a whole, real estate properties, property taxes, HOA fees and Insurance prices are lower than what you would pay in the United State or Canada.

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Perhaps, one day you will be one of the many who retire to this beautiful country and call Mexico your home!

Now if you have any question about living in Mexico 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 BUYER’S RERESENTATIVES 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!


10 Things to Do While Visiting Cozumel

Cozumel is a worldwide famous destination, a heaven for divers that travel from every corner of the planet to explore the second largest reef in the world. However, there are plenty of other things to do in Cozumel; it is more than just a gorgeous diving island. Here is our handy list of 10 things to do while visiting Cozumel.

1. Cozumel has one of the best reefs worldwide, and there are plenty of water activities to partake in such as fishing, diving and snorkeling; the options are endless!

2. Learn to snorkel; this is an easy activity for children and adults. Also, the equipment required is minimal. The water that surrounds Cozumel is crystal clear and there is an abundance of marine life. Don’t forget to take an underwater camera because you will be surprised at what you find.

3. Cozumel offers plenty of shopping opportunities, if watersports are not your cup of tea. You can stroll around and visit the shops. You can find everything from small arts and crafts stalls to top designer shops. You could even shop for real estate. In Cozumel you are sure to find something you like.

4. Take a jungle tour on an ATV; have fun on dirt roads and enjoy the jungle. The tours are about three hours long and take you to the gorgeous beach or cenotes, followed by a delicious meal.

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5. If you’re an adrenaline junkie and love speed, take one of the famous thriller jet speedboat tours. Test your ability to ride a boat and take it to the limit, an activity that will surely pump up your adrenaline.

6. Rent a jeep and drive around Cozumel; this is one of the favorite activities for nature lovers and will allow you to visit different areas of Cozumel Island.

7. Take a ride in the only submarine in the Mexican Caribbean around Cozumel exploring America’s largest reef. This tour will allow you to dive to depths of 100 feet beneath the surface of the water and see the wonders of the underwater world without even getting wet!

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8. Segway through Cozumel. One of the favorite activities for a family looking to explore the island is renting Segway. These can be used by everyone: enjoy the sun and the breeze as well as the magnificent views.

9. Visit the archeological site of San Gervasio, known worldwide as the home of the Ixchel: Goddess of Love and Moon.

10. Parque Punta Sur is a major archeological site as well as a Lighthouse Museum. Do not miss this historic place in Cozumel!

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Top Mexico Real Estate is your one and only stop for everything Riviera Maya, let our real estate experts help you find your dream home! From a small cabana in the jungle to a luxurious beachfront villa: we have something for every budget and taste!

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We make it happen!

Thomas Lloyd Stars in a Podcast about Retiring to Mexico

Thomas Lloyd, CEO and president of Top Mexico Real Estate was recently ask by George Puckett to be a guest on his podcast show, Choose Mexico to Retire. Choose Mexico to Retire is a show that discusses all thing having to do with retiring and living in Mexico.

In this podcast, Thomas Lloyd discusses what brought him to Mexico, how he got into the real estate market and the education and certification he took to become a qualified real estate agent. Thomas and George also discuss why Mexico is such a desirable retirement spot for retires. Thomas goes into the events, groups and organizations that expats to get involved in while living in Mexico. George asks Thomas to educate the listener on what AMPI is and why you should have a good buyer’s representative when purchasing real estate in Mexico. Thomas tells George about his new venture creating an original new series, “Mi Casa es tu Casa”. Thomas and George discuss all of this and many more interesting fact you might want to know about retiring and living in Mexico on this edition of choose Mexico to Retire.

In the podcast, Thomas Lloyd tells George that it is possible to invest and retire in Mexico.

Now if you have any question about how to move to Mexico or about any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our Top Mexico Buyer’s Representatives 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!

Small Town Values in the Riviera Maya Are Still Alive…For Now!

After living in the Riviera Maya for quite some time now, I have made a clear observation about the value of hard work and the appreciation for small business in the area.

I remember a time when….

Coming from the United States, I remember a time when you can still go to a local family owned hardware store.  I remember family owned video rental stores and small movie theaters where you can enter for 2 dollars.

But over time the Home Depots, Walmarts and Redbox’s of the world came wiping out family owned business. And in some cases, like Redbox (a vending machine for DVD rentals) which are eliminating the need for stores and employees all together.

Small Business is Still Strong in Mexico

What I always thought was wonderful about Mexico is that these small family run businesses are still alive bringing a little bit of that wholesome feeling back to your heart.  You build relationships with store owners who have been their running businesses for years.  It is always nice to know when someone knows your name and you know theirs!

While we welcome some conveniences or “one stop shopping” so to speak, there is still charm and value in small business in the Riviera Maya.  Most times they offer a service above the rest with integrity, honesty and hard work. They offer a personal experience; one that is appreciated and missed on many levels in the United States.

Unfortunately our children might never know what that is like.  But here in Mexico there is still a chance to learn those old small town values.

In Mexico hard work is valued

One thing that is true about Mexico is there is a genuine value for hard work!  Lazy is not often found here, even in this beautiful beach paradise where life tends to be a little more laid back.

And additionally, I believe that sometimes people even work without certain technologies and conveniences, not because they do not exist, but because many of those technologies may eliminate the need for certain jobs, which are needed to support families, pay rent and buy food.

Some people believe that Mexico is a country without technology or enhancements.  That is quite the contrary actually. You can find all the same modern technologies as in the United States.  But I think the use of those things really comes down to actual necessity and values combined.

Will we slowly start to see small business in the Riviera Maya area disappear?

However, as demand for American convenience is growing in the Riviera Maya, due increased relocation and tourism form Americans and Canadians, large chains are slowly moving in.  Ironically, the very same Americans who crave these convenience are also a bit sad about the loss of small town charm that seems to be very slowly slipping away.

Will all this change and movement create the same purge of small business that we have seen sweep the United States?  We hope not, and we still have faith that the Mexican culture and values will remain solid to stimulate the local economy in the Riviera Maya region.

Check out our free EBook for more information on the best benefits of living in Mexico!

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival: Rain or Shine!

If you were lucky enough to have attended the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival this year then you certainly had a real treat!  The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival went on Rain or shine this past weekend, bringing an incredible crowd down to Mamitas Beach Playa del Carmen to enjoy great music on the beach; all for free!

The main headliner of the whole Jazz Festival was, ever so popular, “Earth Wind and Fire”! They brought us three of the basic elements while nature brought us the fourth…Water (rain)!  Although the rain delayed the performance just a little, nothing could scare away the crowd who stood tight with their blankets and picnic baskets full of snacks, wine and other beverages!

Besides Earth, Wind and Fire there were many other spectacular performances, over the three day event, by artists such as Frank Gambale, Brent Fischer and many many more!

A well-loved and enjoyable occasion!

It was certainly an enjoyment to be a part of such a well-loved and popular event in Playa del Carmen!  Many expats made the journey down to Playa del Carmen specifically to attend the Jazz Festival that brings more and more Americans and Canadians down to the area every year!

If you are not familiar with the occasion, it is one of the best events hitting the Riviera Maya every year!  Many come for the music but also because the setting brings an extra charm to the event.  You can show up to the beach with your blanket or chair, bring your own drinks, and take your whole family or group of friends with you to enjoy the show.

The setting of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival kind of reminds me of going to the drive in movie theater, with your whole family packed in the car and all your own goodies, to enjoy a major motion picture outdoors.  If you are part of the baby boomer generation, I’m almost sure you can relate with that feeling!

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is for the young and the young at heart!

What made the festival even more remarkable was that among the great turnout, there were people there were people of all ages joining in on the fun together!  Whether you are 20 years old or 65 years old, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival brings music into the hearts of everyone!

I found that some people were just content relaxing with their wine and enjoying the music; while others were dancing the night away underneath the stars!

Start Planning for next year!

If you did miss the Riviera Maya Jazz festival, be sure to add it to your calendar for next year!  It is such a great time of year to come to the Riviera Maya, due to the beautiful comfortable weather temperatures and the variety of November events such as the Jazz Festival, Taste of Playa, and of course the beachfront Thanksgiving celebrations!

I should also mention that if you purchase plane tickets for November you can take advantage of generally low prices. right before the peak season starts in late December!

This is certainly an exciting time in Playa del Carmen!  The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is always the very start of snowbird season here in the Riviera Maya!  Many expats who come for the event will remain here at least until April to escape those cold winter months!

To showcase some of the fun of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, I would like to leave you with a short video of the excellent performance by Earth Wind and Fire!   Enjoy and see you next year!


Colosio Beach in Playa del Carmen is One of Those Quiet Places I Love

As I’ve pointed out recently, I love getting up in the morning, and just going out for a relaxing walk along a quiet, empty beach – I usually do this after dropping the kids off at school.


We all love getting into the action and doing stuff.  But we also have those quiet moments just to enjoy the sound of the waves and the feeling of sand on our feet!


Luckily for me, I have one such beach just a short walk from my home – Colosio Beach.


One of the biggest charms of this beach is that it’s very quiet and natural; you feel you’re miles away from town, but it’s right next to the heart of all the action downtown Playa.


Recently, a couple of new hotels and condos have been opened along this beach, but they are a little back from the beach with the natural vegetation still growing next to the sand, preserving the tranquil atmosphere.


Take a look at some pictures:


Retiring in Playa del Carmen


Retiring in Playa del Carmen


Notice the crab in the middle:

Retiring in Playa del Carmen


Retiring in Playa del Carmen


For a full gallery of pictures of Colosio Beach, as well as videos and maps, click here.


-by Bea Lozano


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