Valentine’s Day 2018 in the Riviera Maya

Valentine’s Day is here! And we prepared a list of cool activities to enjoy this special day with your partner and your friends. Valentine’s day is an extremely popular celebration, so make your plans early and reserve ASAP.

Do not worry if your budget is limited! Our options include an affordable, a medium range and a more expensive plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Here are some ideas to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day:

Picnic at Xcacel-Xcacelito


Bring your own food and beverage and enjoy the best beach in the Riviera Maya, Xcacel. This is a favorite destination among locals and visitors alike. Also, its chilled atmosphere and beautiful natural surroundings will let you and your companion feel connected.

Keep in mind that the amenities are quite basic, so you need to bring everything you need: food, drinks, chairs or blankets, and umbrella, etc. as there is not a shop or restaurant in the area. This natural reserve is ideal for a romantic brunch or lunchs, as they close the beach at 5 pm.

Romantic dinner in a Romantic Restaurant


There are so many options to have a romantic Valentine’s day dinner in the Riviera Maya, it is really a matter of budget and personal taste. However, we picked the most popular Romantic restaurant in the Riviera Maya: Pavo Real by the Sea.

This beachfront restaurant has excellent reviews, and a good mix of international, vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant has put on a special menu for Valentine’s day, with a cost of 55 USD + 15% tip per person.

Fun day at a Catamaran in Puerto Aventuras


Surprise your loved one with a catamaran and snorkel tour, that includes an open bar, food and all the fun you can have. This service is provided by Catamaya and it departs from Puerto Aventuras, for a 4 hour tour full of fun and sun.

The tour is rated as one of the best things to do in Puerto Aventuras, so we are sure you’ll love the views to the Caribbean, the swaying of the boat and everything else! The price for this tour is $100 USD per person, and this include a national open bar and food.

So, which option would you pick? Do you have big plans for Valentine’s day? Please let us know about your Valentine’s, or if we are missing a cool restaurant or an extremely romantic experience in the Riviera Maya.

 Happy Valentine’s! From our friends at Let’s retire in Mexico!

Mexican Christmas Dinner, Much More Than Turkey, Stuffing and Gravy!

Mexican Christmas dinner might be an exciting experience for newcomers to this country, or a celebration full of memories for those seasoned retirees enjoying the holidays south of the border.

Retiring to Mexico goes beyond learning  a new language, or sorting out immigration and health insurance. Living in Mexico also pushes retirees to adapt old traditions and add new ones; mixing ingredients, languages, people and creating memories in your new home.

There are almost a million foreigners living in Mexico, there is a bigger offer of North-American products in the Mexican supermarkets. However, if you are planning to have a traditional Christmas dinner there might be a limited variety in items like: stuffing, cranberry sauce and others.

Some retirees stick to the traditional Christmas dinner and stock on basic ingredients when they travel home. Others ask friends and family to bring the ingredients from their places of origin and a third group improvises or adapts to the regional flavor and ingredients.

If you are wondering what would be a Traditional Mexican Christmas dinner, well it depends. Every region has its specialties and flavors so a christmas dinner can be a turkey, roasted pork leg, tamales, or even grilled meat.

So, if you are feeling adventurous this christmas, here are some suggestions to try a Mexican Christmas dinner:

A traditional Mexican Turkey dinner:

In Mexico a  traditional turkey dinner;  consists of a baked turkey stuffed with ground meat, spices and fruit. This is served with some pasta or potatoes as well as other traditional side dishes such as romeritos or Bacalao a la Vizcaina (Basque style cod).

A delicious suckling pig Roast (Lechon al horno)

This is my favorite Yucatecan dish, and if you are lucky enough to live in the Yucatan Peninsula you must try it! This is a traditional recipe but it is not spicy, and the flavors mix perfectly and leave a really juicy meat; it is also ideal to have the next day as Tacos or tortas.


(10-12 servings)

  • 1 piglet (12 – 16 pounds)
  • 6 sour oranges (the juice)
  • 6 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Red Achiote paste (Annatto paste)
  • Baking soda

24 hours before roasting:

  1. Mix the ingredients to form a marinade and let the piglet soak in this juice for 8-24 hours
  2. Make deep cuts on the meat so the marinade can really soak in the meat  (if possible, do not pierce the skin)
  3. Rub the meat and skin with the marinade

Before roasting the pig in the oven:

  1. Dry the skin thoroughly with a paper towel
  2. Rub all the skin with cooking oil or lard

To roast the suckling pig:

  1. Place the piglet with the skin side up in a baking dish with the marinade as the cooking surface. Do not overturn the piglet until the end.
  2. Preheat the oven to high (200ºC) Introduce the piglet and cook for 1/2 hour
  3. Reduce the heat to 180º C, and  cook for 4 to 5 hours, depending on the size of the piglet.
  4. After cooking, remove from the oven and sprinkle the skin with baking soda, and use a clean cooking brush to spread the powder
  5. Return to the oven using the grill to brown, and let the skin get a golden color

Note: Follow this process and make sure the skin does not touch the cooking juice, in order to get a crunchy skin.

To Serve:

Cut into uniform pieces and bring to the table.

We hope you have a great time making these recipes, and enjoy your Mexican Christmas. We would love to hear what dishes are your favorite, and if you try our recipes please let us know how it turns out!