Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – Capital of The Yucatan Cities

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has many historical events, early cultural influence, and the indigenous humanity that is native to the area. Visiting this part of Mexico – northern Yucatan Peninsula brings out the curious side of many historians. There is so much to see and explore in a land that has experienced so much history throughout its existence. The Mayan culture has endured many changes throughout the millennium but still has such an influential status in the region.

Yucatan Peninsula – The Mayan Indians

The Mayan Indians arrived in the Yucatan Peninsula, which today is the state of the Yucatan, around 500 BC – 250 AD. Evidence of these dates lie in the archeological sites of Coba, Dzibanche, and Kohunlich. This ancient but very highly-advanced civilization showed signs of a suffocated society that developed an infrastructure that operated very similar to today’s modern cities. The Mayans were also very innovative farmers who knew how to enrich soils and use the landscape to their advantage.

The Mayan culture mingled amongst other indigenous tribes that were inherent to the area during the 10th through the 13th centuries. Spain invaded the Yucatan Peninsula during the 16th century, which interrupted the Mayan civilization. When Spain finally conquered the Yucatan region in 1537, they were on their way to ruling the region for almost three centuries. The Spaniards brought their off-shore influences to a culture that knew nothing about the opposing foreigners.

Spanish influence on the Mayan culture

Spain wanted to change the Mayan culture to their way of thinking. They imposed their social rule, economic posture, and the ever-expanding Christian faith – Catholicism. Many of the Mayan’s centuries-old books and documents were lost and/or destroyed during the Spanish conflict. When visiting the city of Merida today, much of its structures were built with centuries-old Mayan temples and pyramids carved out stones.

Spain created new colonies in a region that offered several advantages that included an alternate shipping port that created new tariffs and tax revenue that supported its vast empire. Not all the Mayan tribes gave into Spain’s efforts to overthrow their homeland. There were still pockets of resistance towards the Spaniards. The Mayan Indians utilized the element of surprise to their favor when warring. The Indians used handmade spears, bows and arrows and stones against the well-equipped conquistadors. However, the Spaniards brought diseases to the region that took many Mayan lives.

How Spain took control over the Yucatan state

Spain’s Francisco de Montejo y Alvarez, a captain who commanded four Spanish inquisition ships, return to the Yucatan in 1528. He tried to capture the eastern coast of the peninsula – Tulum & Chetumal, with little to no success. He was met with overpowering resistance and was forced to retreat back to Merida. Francisco was reassigned to search out further possibilities south. Spain set up township counsels in Campeche and Merida in 1541 – 42. The Conquistadors eventually moved their forces south through what is now Central American. At this particular point in time, Spain was gaining control over the Yucatan state. Spain’s King V, – Holy Roman Emperor, announced Francisco de Montejo y Alvarez as the Captain General of the Yucatan.

At this point in the article, we are going to end this segment. We hope you have enjoyed this first portion of a three-part series article. Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.

If you have any question regarding real estate in the Riviera Maya, please let us know! We’ll be happy to help you. Remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate… We make it happen!

Experiencias Xcaret: 6 Experiences, 6 Times the Fun

If you’ve ever been to or heard of the Riviera Maya, you have probably heard about Xcaret. It is one of the biggest ecofriendly touristic and natural parks in the area, attracting thousands upon thousands of tourists per year. Although some may consider it pricy, it is worth every penny you invest. The Xcaret family has expanded over the past 20 years and now has a total of six parks ranging from eco-natural parks, to adventure parks, to culture parks. There is something for everyone! Check out the list of Xcaret parks and their highlights:

  • Xcaret

Priced at approximately $129 USD (for the full package, including transportation), Xcaret is one of the most popular destinations in the Riviera Maya. The park offers a full days’ worth of fun water activities, learning opportunities, culinary experiences, and much more. You can swim down the underground rivers, visit the butterfly pavilion, visit the newborn macaws, the jaguar island (where you can spot jaguars and panthers), or just walk around the park exploring every corner of it. Churches, haciendas, restaurants, observation towers, archeological sites, and much more, make up the 200 acre space. Don’t forget to stay until the end to enjoy the amazing Mexico Espectacular show featuring live music, traditional folkloric dances and a journey through Mexico’s history.

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  • Xel Ha

The aquatic-themed park is located approximately 120km south of Cancun. Also priced at $129 USD, this park offers less activities than Xcaret, but more food and drinks! With an unlimited buffet, beverages, and national open bar, you will enjoy a – literally- full day. You can swim down the river and into the cove while snorkeling and observing the beautiful life. Xel Ha, after all, claims being the biggest natural aquarium in the Riviera Maya. Amongst the many activities, you can also purchase swimming with dolphins, Sea Trek, amongst other fun extra activities.

  • Xplor

Although the park uses the natural surroundings, caves, underground rivers, and jungle, it is much more focused on adrenaline and adventure. The $149 USD per person entry fee includes an unlimited buffet, zip line circuits, river rafting circuits, circuits for amphibious vehicles, and two river circuits to snorkel in. The four activities take all day to go through, so it is recommended to bring comfortable shoes and be ready for a lot of walking and, especially, fun! They have recently opened Xplor Fuego, which is essentially the same thing except at night. Everything is illuminated with fire, making it a whole different experience for only $99 USD.

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  • Xichen

Chichen Itza isn’t a park, under the strict description or general idea of what a park is; however, Experiencias Xcaret now offers tours to Chichen Itza as part of the many activities tourists can do while visiting the Riviera Maya. The archeological site tour is 12 hours long, but is as luxurious as it gets. Besides having an experienced – and bilingual – guide with you throughout the tour, and having the opportunity to visit the beautiful ancient Mayan civilization, the luxury tour includes a light gourmet breakfast, drinks, a visit to the wonderful Valladolid City, a cenote, lunch buffet, and a unique experience that will leave you longing to visit all the other archeological sites in the region.

  • Xenotes

Everyone tells you that you must visit at least one cenote when visiting paradise. But it’s so hard to choose just one from all the many options out there, and even more, what type of cenote should you visit? The Xenotes tour offers a nature-filled day at four cenotes (of different types). The price is $119 USD and you get snacks, coffee, breakfast breads, a glam picnic, rappel, kayak, zip lining, and snorkel. Just like Chichen Itza, it isn’t a park in itself, but rather an adventure offered by the same company that has given millions of people memories for life.

  • Xoximilco

This glammed up version of the original Xochimilco is located just a few minutes south of Cancún. Trajineras (traditional Aztec boats) are pushed with long sticks by experts down beautifully landscaped canals while guests enjoy a night to remember. Each trajinera can carry up to 22 people; whether you are here with many friends, or about to make new friends, you will have an experience of a lifetime. The $119 ticket includes a cruise through the canals at night, a three-course Mexican meal with an open bar of tequila, beer, fresh water and soft drink, all while being accompanied by different traditional ensembles playing music through the cruise.

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We recommend that you visit Experiencias Xcaret website for further information about each amazing adventure that will leave you wanting more. Whichever park you choose to visit – or if you choose to visit more – you will find yourself diving into a world of adventure, nature, adrenaline, and excitement. These parks are made to be enjoyed with friends and family. Start booking your holidays and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Now, if you have any questions about any of the Xcaret experiences, about living in Mexico, buying property, or are interested in one of the many real estate options we have listed on our website, feel free to contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives who will gladly assist you on your journey to becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

New Pyramids Discovered in Veracruz, Mexico

Once again, Mexico shows that it is capable of discovering, analyzing and preserving ancient pyramid sites for the sake of science and enjoyment of visitors.  All of this comes in complete contrast to the destruction of Mayan pyramids reported from Central America.  Here’s an excerpt from a news report:


An ancient settlement, including 30 skeletons and the ruins of a pyramid, believed to be up to 2,000 years old, has been unearthed in Mexico.


The discovery was made during construction work in eastern Mexico. Clay figurines, jade beads, mirrors and animal remains have also been found in the site of the graves in the town of Jaltipan, southeast of Veracruz, according to the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH).


Researchers believe the settlement was occupied from around the first century AD until AD 600 or 700. However, little is known about the people who lived there, ‘LiveScience’ reported. (source: Business Standard)


Mexico offers contact with and information on a rich variety of ancient civilizations that lived throughout the country for anyone who wishes to travel and see these sites.  Yet another reason to choose Mexico.

-by Thomas Lloyd
Mexico Real Estate Investment Kit

A Large New Mayan Pyramid Site Discovered in Campeche

While recently I wrote about the very sad situation of Mayan pyramids being bulldozed in Central America, here on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula we’re seeing  the opposite – discovery and preservation.


Just yesterday, Tim Johnson of McClatchy Newspapers wrote about a new discovery deep in the jungle of the state of Campeche, which share’s the Peninsula with Quintana Roo (where Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located) and Yucatan (where Merida is located.)  Here’s an excerpt:


Deep in the jungles of southeast Campeche state, archaeologists have discovered a significant new Mayan site, called Chactun, or Red Rock, that was thrived roughly from 600 to 900 A.D. The site, never reported previously, is “one of the largest sites ever registered in the Central Lowlands,” the National Institute of Anthropology and History said.


Led by Ivan Šprajc, a team of Mexican and foreign archaeologists and experts financed by National Geographic came across the ruin a few weeks ago after studying aerial photos. The expedition was also financed by the Austrian firm Villas and the Slovenian company Ars longa. That’s Šprajc in the photos, by the way. “It is one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in extent and magnitude of its buildings to Becan, Nadzcaan and El Palmar in Campeche,” said Šprajc, a Slovenian researcher.


And, a couple more amazing pictures:


Mayan pyramids in Mexico


Mayan Pyramids in Yucatan


Read the full article here.


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate e-book

Mayan Pyramid Bulldozed – But Not in Mexico!

This is a a sad, sad situation.  I friend sent me a BBC article about a a 2300 year old Mayan pyramid that was recently bulldozed!  That means the pyramid is several hundred years older than even the famous ones at Chichen Itza!


I guess a construction crew was looking for road fill and decided to bulldoze this “mound.”  The government officials say it was impossible not to know  that it was a Mayan pyramid – I’m guessing because of the shape, and, if you look at the pictures, it’s more than obvious that it’s a structure that they’re dismantling.


Can you imagine that??? A 2300 Mayan pyramid for road fill!


Where Was This Atrocity?

But here’s the catch; this was NOT in Mexico.  This was in Belize, the country that borders Mexico, just south of the Mexican Caribbean, starting where serene, quiet and virtually unknown Costa Maya area ends.


The article says that this is pretty common in Belize.


In Mexico, this Wouldn’t Happen

Some Americans have been looking towards Belize and similar places for their new warm-weather home.  While I’m not going to get into comparing different Caribbean or Central American destinations, I will say that I’m glad to live in a country that protects its history.


Here in Playa del Carmen, for example, we have 2 small, minor pyramid sites right in the city.


  1. One is in the heart of downtown, just behind the storefront on Fifth Avenue.  It was incorporated into the development so people eating the restaurant can enjoy views of it.
  2. Another is in Playacar, a gated community right next to downtown. They made the area surrounding the pyramid a park, preserving a good deal of vegetation, helping to make the community greener with another park area, protecting the Mayan pyramid and allowing people to enjoy seeing it.


Out the jungle there are also many Mayan sites which archaeologists are constantly visiting.  Many have been uncovered and are being planned for tourist visits.  Even in non tourist area (I’ve been to quite a few) the pyramids may not get much investment to make them pretty for visitors, but at the very least they are left alone and no one bulldozes them.


Sure, many Mexicans may not be as knowledgeable of their history as they should be, but at least they respect these artifacts.


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate e-book

Celebrate the Equinox in Mexico – Joyfully Welcoming the Spring

The spring equinox is a beautiful time anywhere, but especially in Mexico, there are some places that excel in charm, beauty and spiritual strength.

On Wednesday, Tom posted about the spring Equinox at Chichen Itza, and yesterday about welcoming the spring in Playa del Carmen.

The following are a few more of the key places where people gathered for spiritual enlightenment, beauty or simply for the pleasure of seeing the sunrise on the first day of spring:

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan – an Aztec city just north of Mexico City

Retirement Travel in Mexico

Retirement Travel in Mexico

Retirement Travel in Mexico

El Tajin Pyramid, in Veracruz, on the Golf of Mexico

Retirement Travel in Mexico

Retirement Travel in Mexico

Retirement Travel in Mexico

Dzibilchaltun Pyramid, Yucatan

Retirement Travel in Mexico

Retirement Travel in Mexico

I hope that next year, you can make it to one of these magical places to welcome the spring!

-by Bea Lozano

Mexico Real Estate Testimonials

Discover the Mystery of Coba’s Pyramids in Pictures – Gallery #2

Yesterday, I posted the the first set of pictures from my recent trip to Coba, focusing on the main pyramid. Today, I’m going to share some more pictures of this beautiful and mysterious pyramid site.


It’s incredible to imagine that the excavated part that we can see is only a tiny portion of the 80 km2 (about 20,000 acres) that the ancient site occupied!  Enjoy the pictures.


You’ll remember in my posts about Chichen Itza that I mentioned the ball court, where the very well-known and very wide-spread ball game of ancient Meso-America was played. Coba likewise has one:


Pyramids in Mexico


Pyramids in Mexico


Pyramids in Mexico


Pyramids in Mexico


Two more pictures of various structures and scenes:


Pyramids in Mexico


Pyramids in Mexico


This is one of several large lagoons on the site, adjacent to the pyramids:


Pyramids in Mexico


Whenever you get the chance, be sure to visit Coba! I’m excited to see what archeologists discover in this enormous site and to visit again in the future!; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely


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Discover the Mystery of Coba’s Pyramids in Pictures – Gallery #1

While Chichen Itza and Tulum are beautiful for the excellent preservation of the ruins, Coba, a pyramid site near Tulum, further back into the jungle, is beautiful because it is only half preserved and less than half discovered.


The tumbled ruins still surrounded by jungle – and many parts still entirely covered in jungle – offer a more distant and deeper mystery, leaving your imagination to reach deep into the past, and deep under the jungle for ancient treasures still to be found.


Today and tomorrow, I will be sharing some pictures from a recent trip to Coba!


Starting in the middle, this is the main pyramid:


From the front
Pyramids in Mexico


From the side
Pyramids in Mexico


Looking down from the top
Pyramids in Mexico


Those who survived the climb
Pyramids in Mexico


Now, two neat little figures on one of the other buildings:
Pyramids in Mexico


Pyramids in Mexico


Tomorrow, we will see the ball court and some other scenes from around Coba.; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely


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In Chichen Itza, I Rediscover The Ancient Mayans Each Time! Gallery #2

In yesterday’s post, I shared some pictures of the main temple, or “Castillo,” and other central features in one of the world’s greatest pyramid sites – Chichen Itza. Today I have a few more to share from various parts of the site.


The ball court, where the winners would have the “honor” of being sacrificed to the gods, or so the story goes:





The famous Choc Mool:



And finally, just some shots of nice scenes throughout the ancient city:







I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures as much as I did taking them!; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely



In Chichen Itza, I Rediscover The Ancient Mayans Each Time! Gallery #1

There are some tourist sites where you visit once, see it, and it’s done; you never need to go back.  Chichen Itza is most certainly NOT one of those places.  Since I moved to the Riviera Maya, and even before, I’ve visited numerous times.


Every time I’m left with the feeling that I should have stayed longer, looked at engravings more closely, or just admired the grandeur of the main temple. And every time I go back, I feel like I’m discovering it for the first time again – it’s a truly awe-inspiring place.


A few days ago we went back again.  Other than these brief opening comments, I just want to share some of the pictures I took. Today I’ll share some of the main temple or “Castillo,” and tomorrow I’ll share some pictures of various other buildings and features.


To start off, here are a couple of shots from the car:

And the majestic “Castillo:”


The sacred cenote nearby, at the end of the Sacbe, “White Road”:


Be sure to check in tomorrow for more pictures!; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely


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