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.


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!

Happy 111th Anniversary Playa del Carmen! #ThrowbackThursday


I love you now like I loved you then!  Happy 111th Anniversary Playa del Carmen!   Life keeps moving and changing but the beauty of Playa del Carmen’s amazing beaches have remained.  Let’s continue to keep Playa del Carmen clean and beautiful for years to come!

Travel Tuesday – The Pure Magic of Bacalar

Bacalar is one of the most magnificent places that one can ever experience!  If you talk to anyone that has been to Bacalar they will tell you, it’s purely magical!  And that is as true as it gets!  It is not just a beautiful place to see but it leaves every visitor with a special feeling; sort of unexplained and mysterious!

Bacalar lagoon is the second largest lagoon in Latin America.  It is known as the lagoon of 7 colors and has been announced to be one of the most magical sites in Mexico!


The Charm of Bacalar Town Center!

When you enter Bacalar you head into a small, but quaint, Mexican village!  Although this is a tourist destination, the town remains pure with a small center, a local church and a couple of local restaurants and cafes that have been operating for years.  This magic town is little but it is big with charm!
One of the biggest landmarks in the town center is the Fortress de San Felipe Bacalar which was built after the town had been attacked by pirates in the 17th century.  This fortress is a staple in the town and can be visited as a museum during the day light hours!


Finding a place to stay!
If you intend to stay the, or for an overnight stay in Bacalar, you will need accommodations.  I will highlight the fact that there are no resorts or high end hotels in Bacalar.  Your options will be more like bed and breakfast type concepts.  Instead of typical hotels, you will find houses that rent out rooms and will likely provide you the use of their back yards and docks. Most of these houses are located directly on the lagoon!  Vacationing in Bacalar is more like going to a lake for calmness and pure relaxation rather than a beach which might hold lots of attraction.


The Magic of the Lagoon!

But now for the best part!  The Lagoon!  The Bacalar Lagoon is one of the most special and intriguing sites to see!  If you look out you will notice colors ranging from crystal, deep blue, to turquois!  What makes the colors shine is the pure white sand at the bottom!  It is incredible how one body of water can take your breath away so deeply!
Swimming in the lagoon is incredible!  Everything is crystal clear and you can see everything!  One of my most favorite things to do is to swim downwards and then rise up to the surface looking up towards the sun. The water is so crystal clear that you can’t even tell when you will reach the surface; again leaving you with another magical feeling and experience.


The Green Lagoon

The lagoon is about 34 miles long and is connected to a deeper lagoon heading to the jungle called the Green Lagoon!  The Green Lagoon is much deeper and can be visited simply by taking a boat tour through the lagoon.  The Green Lagoon can give you somewhat of a creepier feeling as you are surrounded by nothing but jungle.


Deep underwater world in the Centotes
The Bacalar Lagoon is also connected to seven different cenotes (deep natural sinkholes).  Cenotes are a very popular location for swimming all around Mexico and Latin America.   One of the most popular cenotes connected to the Lagoon is called “Cenote Azul”.  What makes this cenote so wondrous is that nobody actually really knows how deep it goes.  It is estimated to be 90 meters (295 feet) deep. Many flock to this area to swim every day!


Getting around the lagoon!

It is a great idea to take a boat tour through the lagoon if at all possible!  One of the interesting attractions that your tour guide will take you too is where you can take a natural mud bath and experience the weird sensation of walking through quicksand!


Sunrise Sundown!
After the sun goes down you can look out into the quiet calm Bacalar lagoon and find peace and quietness.  It is a place to be completely in tune with nature and your surroundings.  In the morning when you wake up you will have the chance to see the sunrise over the Bacalar Lagoon which is sure to be one of the most amazing sunrises that your eyes will ever have the honor to witness.


The Feeling of Bacalar

There are so many mysteries and wonders about the Bacalar lagoon which is why it can leave you with such an interesting and amazing feeling.  The whole town and lagoon itself is filled with history and mysteries!  Where else do you get to swim in crystal clear waters, seemingly eternally deep cenotes, walk through quick sand and be surrounded by miles and miles of jungle and nature?

For more adventures and quick trip ideas through Mexico, click here!

-By Bea Lozano

Xperience True Beauty and Nature at Xel-Ha

Xcaret Xperiences created fantastic opportunities for people from all over the world to come and experience nature and beauty at its best.  Recently we have highlighted Xplor and Xcaret but today I want to introduce to you the beautiful park that started it all – Xel Ha!


Where the jungle meets the ocean you can go take a full day of relaxation, swimming, snorkeling and eating! Xel-Ha is a nature park that is ecologically preserved and respected!  Your entrance is all inclusive and includes snorkel gear and unlimited food and drinks all day!  Yes, cocktails are included for those of you who like their does of tequila now and then!

Xel-Ha (Shell-Ha) is more of a relaxed environment where you will find hammocks throughout the park or chairs overlooking the water!  You will see that this particular eco-park focuses more on aquatics highlighting the natural wonder of the ocean and cenotes.

You can walk through some beautiful paths created throughout the jungle where you can see different animals and natural wildlife!  Don’t feel like walking?  That’s ok; pick up a bicycle and make your exploration on wheels.

Once you arrive to the lazy river you can grab a float and chill out until the river takes you to a beautiful centoe that eventually meets the ocean.  There you can swim, go cliff jumping, walk across the tight rope, or go zip lining!

There is a fun wobbly bridge where you can see the lagoon from one side while watching the breathtaking ocean waves roll in on the other side!

In between the swimming and site seeing you can grab a bite to eat in one of the buffets or just simply sit, relax, breath and take in all the beauty surrounding you!


Extra activities

While you can enjoy the park all day long with your original admission, there are some other add on options that might perk your interest as well!  Xel-Ha offers swim with the dolphins programs as well as the new Sea Trek adventure where you can get the best underwater experience!


You should remember a few things before you go!

Bring your water shoes!  You will be in and out of the water the entire time and walking through dirt paths and rocky areas!  Water shoes will make you the most comfortable for all activities throughout the day

Leave your sunblock at home unless is ecologically approved!  Many sunscreens have chemicals in it that can be harmful to natural wildlife and to the environment!  Xel-Ha respectively asks you to help them preserve nature!  They will be happy to provide you eco-friendly sunscreen if needed.


Xel-Ha is a well-known excursion for both tourists and those who live in the Riviera Maya.


-By Bea Lozano
 Mexico Real Estate e-book

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


Mexico Real Estate Testimonials

When Beaches are Full of Tourists, You CAN Escape – At Xcalacoco Beach

One of the appealing points about Playa del Carmen is that there are many people from North America, Europe and many other parts of the world coming and going all the time.  Yet, there comes a time in the late winter/early spring when you’re just waiting for the crowds to disappear for a while so you can enjoy a quiet beach.


Yet, the good news is that in a few places, you can enjoy this even during the busiest tourist season in the winter.  One such beach that offers quieter, relaxed enjoyment of the sunshine away from the crowds is Xcalacoco Beach, just 10 minutes out of town, to the north.


Take a look at these pictures:


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


Retirement in Mexico - Playa del Carmen Beaches


By the way, you might be interested to know about El Cielo Residencial, a beautiful gated community which we’ve written about before.  It is a very short bike ride away from this wonderful beach!


-by Bea Lozano


Mexico Real Estate Testimonials