Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen

Scuba diving in Playa del Carmen has become a very popular activity for tourists and professional divers from all over the world. Playa del Carmen offers novice and expert courses and tours of various levels of difficulty, making it ideal for everyone interested in diving.

Playa del Carmen is a popular Caribbean destination, with beautiful calm beaches, white sandy shores and a vibrant culture and nightlife. When it comes to destinations in the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen offers an interesting mix of real Mexico and a modern city.

Playa del Carmen is located 45 minutes south of the Cancun International Airport, and sits along the Mesoamerican Reef; the second largest barrier reef in the world. The Mesoamerican Reef is 600 miles (965 km. long) and it is renowned for its abundance of fish life and variety of diving sites.

 photo ScubaDiver_zps8a6f8dca.jpg

The Mesoamerican Reef has a wide variety of animal life such as turtles, groupers, barracuda, and tarpon. Other animals that can be found in the reefs are:  seahorses, pipefish, fire worms, and all sorts of tiny shrimp and crabs.

Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen: Once in a lifetime experiences

If you visit Playa del Carmen, and you are interested in a diving tour; make sure to shop around for a certified provider. Check sites like Tripadvisor or PADI to make sure you are picking the right provider for you! There are however, diving experiences that are unique, and shouldn’t be missed by any diver visiting the area.

Whale Shark


The whale shark is the biggest fish in the world, it can grow up to 40 feet in length and can weigh up to 13.6 tons. Despite its enormous size, it does not pose any danger to humans since it feeds on phytoplankton, microalgae, plankton, krill and small nektonic life, such as small squid or vertebrates. Do not miss the opportunity to swim close to these gentle giants, a magical experience you will never forget!

 photo WhaleShark_zps1484d8fd.jpg

Sailfish Adventure


Swim with one of the fastest fish in the ocean, the sailfish can reach speeds of up to 68 mph. During winter, the sailfish arrive in the Mexican Caribbean, near the shores of Contoy Island; attracted by the abundance of sardines in this area. Contoy Island is a nature reserve and a beautiful tropical paradise, this tour is an excellent opportunity to see a variety of native animals in their natural environment.

Bull Shark Dive


Experience the dive of a lifetime with these amazing creatures! The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is a robust shark with a flat rounded snout, grey top and white bottom.  The larger females can grow up to 11 feet long, weighs upwards of 500 pounds and live over 15 years. A bull shark is a unique species that can tolerate freshwater, hence these species have been found up rivers and have been responsible for attacks on humans and other species. The attacks of Bull Sharks have inspired movies like jaws, where sharks attack their prey in the open sea, near the shore and even rivers!

 photo BullShark_zps7d742b83.jpg

Searching for the adventure of a lifetime, look no farther, scuba diving on the Mesoamerican Reef. Don’t miss one of these wonderful experiences! Visit Playa del Carmen.

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!


Action Packed November Events in Playa del Carmen – Golf, Food, Music and Fun!

November is a busy month in Playa del Carmen!  As low season is nearing the end, and more people start to arrive in to the area, we have packed lots of events in our calendars starting this month!  November is a time for Golf Lovers, Food Lovers, and Music Lovers!  If you love all three you are in for an extra special treat!

What can you expect to see around Playa?

The OHL PGA Golf Tournament!
Kicking off a slew of November events in Playa del Carmen is the annual OHL Classic PGA Golf Tournament at Maya Koba!  Come see the pros, and spend the day with your friends and family on one of the most prestigious golf courses in Mexico.  The PGA Golf Tournament will start off on Thursday November 14th and run through Sunday November 17th.

If you like to golf and want to get in on some golfing action, join in for the “Golf para todos” event on Saturday November 16th!  This fun event was a huge hit during the entire summer at Maya Koba!  This Saturday, as part of the PGA Tournament schedule, will be the final chance you have to partake in the fun for this season!

There will be lots of tourists flying in to be a part of the event so you may be noticing Playa a bit busier this coming weekend.  If you already live in Playa del Carmen this can be a great weekend activity to add to your agenda!

Annual Taste of Playa!  Get your mouths watering for Playa del Carmen’s annual Taste of Playa event coming Sunday November 24th at Parque Fundadores.  This is an annual event held in Playa and is one of the most popular, and geared up for, events of the year.    An incredible selection of Playa chefs, caterers and restaurants will be there to provide you samples of their best dishes.
You can pay for your samples by purchasing “Playa Pesos” which is a similar concept to buying tickets for a carnival ride.  Once you purchase your Playa pesos you can use them towards food samplings which range 2-3 pesos per sample.

If you like you can purchase VIP tickets which get you early entrance, special VIP seating and 20 Playa Pesos towards your samples!  The event will run from 3-9 pm!  This is a do not miss event if you are Playa.  Where else do you get to try the best of Playa del Carmen’s amazing selection of restaurants all one on place.

Taste of Playa Pre-Gaming!  Do not forget to pre-game for this exciting event by participating in some of the “Taste of Playa Kick off” events!  On November 16th Wah Wah Beach bar will be a hosting a Taste of Playa Pre party event!  Come and join in for National Open bar and Appetizer buffet for 450 pesos at the door (online tickets available for 400 pesos).  The party will include raffles and great live music as well.

Casa del Agua will also be hosting their yearly Taste of Playa food and wine paring dinner on Wednesday November 20th.  The dinner costs 750 pesos and can also be purchased online through the Taste of Playa Website.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival!  All the fun and all the food all lead down to one well anticipated yearly event – The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival!  Here we will see amazing artists such as Earth Wind and Fire take the stage at Mamita’s Beach in Playa del Carmen.  This event starts off on November 28th and runs through November 30th.
This is often times the weekend that starts brining our friendly snowbirds down from the United States and Canada to spend the winter.  The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival has been an incredible success in past years and is expected to carry on the same great reputation and popularity for years to come.

If you are wondering time of year is great for travel in Playa del Carmen, November is your prime time.  On top of the fact that there are fun events going on throughout the entire month, you can also still take advantage of low season rates on airfare and hotel stays.

We, at Top Mexico Real Estate, hope to see you around town this November in Playa del Carmen!

“A Day Full of Wonder at Xcaret”

Sure you have likely seen many reviews about Xcaret Park but given that it is a place I love I would like to share my own thoughts and feelings about this wonderful destination!

What is Xcaret?

Xcaret is one of the biggest and most attractive eco-friendly attractions here in the Riviera Maya!  And it’s no wonder since the park is filled with so many beautiful aspects to explore.  I always recommend getting the Xcaret Plus package because it includes a fabulous meal and also all of your necessary aquatics and snorkel gear.

What can I do at Xcaret?

You can start anywhere in the park but for me I always prefer to start off swimming through the underground river and allow the rest of the day for exploring through the jungle, swimming in the lagoons and visiting the Mayan Village.

The underground River is a mysterious and historical experience.  If you have never swum through an underground cenote cave before it can be wondrous to know that you are exploring some of the greatest nature in the Riviera Maya which is known for their underground magic! Xcaret provides a very safe and structured way to do it!  They provide you with all the necessary equipment to snorkel!  You will never be lost as there are lots of exits with xcaret personnel available if you get tired; but most people will enjoy the entire route.  Along the way there are plenty of areas where you can have your photo taken!

After your swim you can move on to any other activity that you desire.  I like to take some time to relax in the hammocks over- looking an incredible view of the ocean and crashing waves!  It is pretty much breathtaking to see this area of the park.  You might also decide to grab a tube and hang out in the lagoon.  There is no schedule; you do as you please!

After spending time hanging in the sun and enjoying some swimming I like to start my hike or walk through the jungle to check out all the nature and history.  Along a long walking path around the park you can see lots of different wild animals such as Jaguars and spider monkeys, huge sea turtles, sharks and deer!  That is just to name a few!  My favorite is the butterfly house where you can visit and find amazing and colorful butterflies flying all around you in their natural habitat!  For me it is just incredible to see.

If you are tired of walking you can enjoy a canoe ride through the river where you can look around at all the nature surrounding you.

Wait there’s More?
Aside from all the nature Xcaret is rich in Mayan culture.  It offers a great experience to visit some Mayan ruins and see what a typical Mayan Village would have looked like years ago, as well as a beautiful Mayan graveyard full of colorful and interesting gravestones!

By this time you have probably had a long day and have worked up an appetite.  Although Xcaret has many food options to choose from all around the park I always like to use my included at the Mexican buffet that is located just towards the entrance.  In my opinion this is probably your best food option and it has a complete selection of various Mexican dishes!  If you can arrive around 5 pm you can also enjoy some nice entertainment as there is a horse show right there for everyone to see with some great Mexican attire for the riders as well as lovely music.  It’s fun and the kids enjoy this part as well.

The Mexican Show is a Must See Experience!
You must not leave the park without watching the Mexican show!  Xcaret includes two wonderful performances that are included in the price of your ticket and they are amazing and spectacular shows full of Mexican and Mayan Culture.  Recently during low season I have seen a new show that they have created that blew my socks off.  It was a show full of Music and Dancing and colorful traditional Mexican attire. Each act represented history from different states of Mexico.  Immediately following that performance you are invited to see a fire filled typical ball game from back in the Mayan days!  I will tell you that it is incredible!

Of course at the end of the night you can shop in one of the best souvenir stores that I have seen in Mexico.  By saying this I mean that it is not cheesy cheap souvenirs.  They sell things that are worth taking home.  Also, you can pick up and buy your photos if desired.

The day is long but well worth it and is absolutely a must do when you arrive here in the Riviera Maya!

-by Bea Lozano
Mexico Condo Hotel Kit

MexFest in London, England – A Celebration of Mexican Culture

For any readers in London or nearby, a friend sent me this about Mexfest:


London MexFest is an exciting programme of contemporary Mexican cinema, architecture, exhibitions, music and gastronomy.


Mexican and British exponents of all these creative disciplines will engage in talks and events to highlight the growing bilateral cultural collaboration between the two countries.


And the trailer video:


I think it’s going right now, but at least you’ll know for next time – and it’s always good to know that Mexican culture is gaining good exposure!


-by Bea Lozano


Mexico Condo Hotel Kit

Where Can I Watch the Superbowl in Playa del Carmen? Top Bars

One of the worries new expats have living in Playa (or in Mexico in general) is when February rolls around, will they be able to watch the Superbowl?  While this is a very important concern, you’ll be comforted to know that Playa del Carmen leaves you well taken care of!


Besides excellent and affordable satellite T.V. that lets you watch from the comfort of your living room, there are also a growing number of sports bars that show the game – live, of course!  The following are some of the bars you might consider, along with a promotional poster from that bar:


Pinche Gringo Sports Bar
on 26th St., at 1st Ave, down towards Mamitas Beach



Tequila Barrel Sports Bar
on Fifth Avenue



El Sinaloense
at 24th St.



Frida’s Mexican Restaurant
Fifth Ave., between 12th and Calle Corozon



Aldea Corozon
Fifth Ave., at 14th St.



Karen’s Steak House
Fifth Ave., between 2nd and 4th



Sur Steak House
Fifth Ave., at Calle Corozon



Los de Guanatos Restaurant
10th Ave., at 12th, across from Coco Bongo



Zenzi Restaurant and Bar
10th St., at the beach



Coco Bongo
10th Ave, at 12th St.



Blue Parrot
12th St., at the beach



Check out In the Roo’s Facebook page (source of this information) for updates on any new bars that happen to register their Superbowl events.; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely