A romantic getaway to Holbox Island!

A romantic getaway to Holbox Island: After all the Christmas festivities in Mexico, many people can feel pretty drained. Let me tell you, between kids activity’s, parties and having family in town, one could need a vacation from their vacation.

Living in the Mayan Riviera gives us a wide variety of romantic little known spots to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and our daily responsibilities: Tulum, Bacalar and Holbox, just to mention some!

We had been in Holbox many times, it’s a perfect relaxing, romance getaway!

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About Holbox:

Holbox is a small island located in the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Famous for being a whale shark sanctuary, this island is ideal for nature lovers and those looking for a tranquil setting to enjoy the beach.

Holbox is 26 miles long and about 1 mile wide, and it offers pristine beaches with white coral sand. The island is located within the Yum Balam Natural Reserve, as a result, the marine life of the island is diverse and abundant: from whale sharks, dolphins, lobsters as well as octopus, stingrays and sea turtles, just to name a few.

How to Get There:

To get to Holbox, first you need to get to the town of Chiquila. You can drive which will take about two hours from Cancun or you can take a 20 minute plane ride. Also, there is a new toll road from Playa del Carmen, but there is also public transportation available.

Once you reach the town of Chiquila, you need to find a safe parking spot for your car and then take a boat or ferry to Isla Holbox. A big boat will charge around 40 pesos per person for a 25 minutes trip to the island, if they are not available you can hire a local fisherman and pay about 250 pesos per boat (for 6 people and their bags).


Its shallow, turquoise waters allow people of all ages and abilities to swim at ease; ideal for snorkeling or paddle boarding. Holbox is also the ideal place to learn or practice kitesurfing, as there is always a strong breeze.

During the months of June to September, Holbox is host to the largest congregation of whale sharks: the largest known fish. These majestic creatures, which can grow up to 15 meters, come every year to feed on plankton. Because of its peaceful nature, you can swim alongside these gentle giants and observe them in their natural habitat. Swimming with whale sharks is an unforgettable experience.

Sport fishing and fly fishing is a popular activity, the ocean is full of fish such as: bonefish, barracuda, snapper, pompano and mackerel, among others. Bird watching is another popular activity, where you will be able to see: flamingos, white and brown pelicans, cormorants, reddish egrets, roseate spoonbills and herons.

There are plenty of other activities to enjoy in Holbox like horseback riding, diving, kayaking through the mangroves, kitesurf, or swim in Yalahau.

Romantic Getaways:

Here are two romantic getaway packages I found in Holbox:

Sweet Escape in Hotel Casa Las Tortugas


Whether you are celebrating a wedding anniversary, a special birthday or an engagement, this Sweet Escape package is a perfect way to say ‘I love you’. This romantic retreat includes a surprise candle-lit dinner on the beach and some of their best spa treatments.

This Package includes:

  • Three nights in a Standard room
  • Half-board for two people (breakfast and lunch)
  • Spa package for two people (Honeymoon package)
  • Romantic dinner on the beach for two people

For only $1175 USD*

*Room upgrade on request.

*Transfer on request.

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Romantic Escape at Casa Sandra


Casa Sandra is a very romantic and intimate home, conceived with art, music and coziness in mind, where every detail is created with love. This boutique hotel provides personalized service and a friendly atmosphere, allowing loved ones can connect more deeply.

This package includes:

  • Three nights’ accommodation with upgrades
  • Daily American breakfast (including one room service per stay)
  • Romantic amenities in your room
  • One hour massage per guest
  • Romantic dinner on the beach with personalized service, a bottle of wine and a special menu
  • Evening cocktails and seasonal fruit platter, one per stay
  • One hour daily golf cart rental
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • Ground transfer and private plane, one-way each

For Only $2645 USD*

*10% Discount for locals with State issued ID

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If you are looking for an ideal romantic getaway, do not search any further than Holbox! Holbox is the ideal destination for of those looking to rekindle the spark or just recharge. Let the professionals pamper you and your significant other and enjoy everything Holbox has to offer.

Top Mexico Real Estate is your one and only stop for everything Riviera Maya, we thrive to offer our readers the best possible information. We have also helped thousands of clients find their dream home in Mexico. Live the life, Live in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We make it happen!

Mexico’s Hidden Gems: Michoacan and Morelia Are Central Mexico’s Finest

Mexico has many wonderful places that almost everyone knows about – like Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta. Yet, there are also dozens upon dozens of “hidden gems” and “best kept secrets” that if you were to visit, you would swear that some mistake had been made in the international travel agencies.


Morelia, the beautiful colonial city, and the state of Michoacan of which it is the capital in central Mexico, are two examples that we’ve written about before.  But to give you a glimpse of how people react to their first vist, I just found this great blog post called “The Best Place You Have Never Heard Of;” this place is – you guessed it – Michoacan.


He starts of:

“I don’t know why the state of Michoacan in Mexico isn’t more popular – well yeah, I guess I do know. American’s get 5 vacation days a year and want to spend them blitzed on a beach, while the Euros are busy dancing to terrible electronic music mixed by some greasy hipster wearing skinny jeans in Ibiza, but regardless – the Michoacan is way underrated. And by underrated, I mean it isn’t rated at all.”

Now, if that rings a bell with you already, you can guess that Morelia and Michoacan are probably your kind of place.  He then continues:

The Michoacan state really has it all, from untapped colonials cities to ancient P’urhépechan Ruins (kind of like the Aztecas) resting on hilltops revealing panoramic views of lakes. Most of the Monarch Butterflies migrate to the reserves throughout the state because it is obviously the perfect place to make love for days on end. And when the hunger sets in from that marathon, Michocan’s city of Uruapan happens to be the capital of California’s most ubiquitous beloved vegetable – the Avocado. Lastly, and most notably, the Michoacan is missing the tourist attraction I hate the most: other white tourists. I spent over 10 days in the state and didn’t see a single other white person, which for me, is like a warm bubble bath while listening to Kenny G- because traveling these days requires wading through a swath of tourist-villes. But there is plenty of love to go around in the state of Michoacan – not only from the butterfly mating but all of these happenings are spread across mountains, beaches, lakes, and most importantly, areas that harvest Mezcal


So, you can tell that Turner (the writer) isn’t a big fan of finding other tourists! I certainly have nothing against being with other tourists, and I love talking to and learning the stories of my fellow expats, the point is this; Michoacan is off the radar, despite being a very beautiful and interesting part of Mexico.


Read the entire honest and entertaining account here.


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate e-book

5 of Mexico’s Best Kept Secrets – Travel Tips for Expats and Vacationers

Now, if you’ve been reading our blogs or otherwise making use of the Top Mexico website, 3 of the 5 of these will be no secret to you, but this is a nice overview of 5 mostly undiscovered locations in Mexico.  These locations are ideal for your own discovery road trips – which are a great way to spend retirement years or vacations in this beautiful country – or you can even choose them as your home away from home!



So, from Fodor’s, here are excerpts from “Undiscovered Mexico: 5 Places You Haven’t Been”:




Costalegre (from Costa Alegre, “Coast of Joy”), also known as the “Virgin Coast,” is a series of beaches, capes, and bays set like pearly brooches along the Pacific coast, just south of Puerto Vallarta. If travelers know Costalegre at all, it’s for the fabulous eco-centric jetsetting celebrity haunt, El Careyes, with its polo fields, golf courses, turtle recovery program, and spectacular multi-million-dollar cliff-side villas exploding with color. But you don’t have to be Heidi Klum (who owns), or Uma Thurman and Francis Ford Coppola (who rent), to enjoy its wonders. …





The vision of cobblestone streets lined with craft markets and cafes, street vendors selling authentic foods, magnificent museums, and splendid colonial architecture lives in Morelia, tucked away in the central mountains. The capital of the state of Michoacan was founded in 1541 under the name Valladolid, and its original layout comprises a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 17th-century aqueduct, notable for 253 stately arches, still supplies water to the city. Most of the grandest structures date back to the 18th century, encompassing the various architectural styles that have been fashionable in Mexico, but most magnificent is the Cathedral, with its twin 200-foot bell towers. Nearly all are constructed of cantera (pink stone), really more ecru, which is particularly stunning at dusk. …



Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada


Tequila, tacos and… Tempranillo? Not to mention Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and more? Surprise: the Western Hemisphere’s first winery was established in 1597 in Coahuila. And the better-known Argentine and Chilean vineyards literally stemmed from Mexican grafts. Today, Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, just northeast of Ensenada and 75 miles south of San Diego, is wine central, with cool Pacific breezes and morning fogs mimicking the climatic conditions of the Napa or Rhône Valleys. Despite medals at international competitions and raves from such influential industry icons as Robert Mondavi, it remains undiscovered—meaning lower prices and a warm welcome, often from the vintners themselves. …





If you believe all the Yucatan has to offer aside from Mayan ruins is pre-fab Cancun and Riviera Maya all-inclusives, think again. Two hundred miles west of Cancun, cosmopolitan Merida remains virtually unknown to American tourists despite its reputation as one of Mexico’s safest and most gracious cities. Merida is nicknamed “The White City:” some claim for the gleaming limestone of the buildings, others for the residents’ cleanliness bordering on fetish. The Sunday market here jams with live bands and locals selling traditional crafts. The Paseo de Montejo, often called Mexico’s Champs-Elysées, offers chic boutiques, art galleries, and sidewalk cafes. You can also tour Mérida’s boulevards and plazas by horse-drawn calesa. …



Mazunte/San Agustinillo


Dubbed both the Costa Chica (“Little Coast,” despite Pacific swells that lure surfers) and the Riviera Oaxaqueña (despite its poverty), the 75-mile stretch between Puerto Escondido and the failed Cancun-wannabe Huatalco features gorgeous, unspoiled beaches the color of champagne and just as apt to make you feel giddy. The Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, percolating with resurgent coffee plantations, practically tumble down to the Pacific, forming a glorious backdrop. …



You can read the entire article there.  Of course, there are many other well-kept secrets in Mexico, such as Campeche, but this list is good one.



-by Thomas Lloyd
Mexico Real Estate Investment Kit

Visit the Beautiful Silver Town of Taxco in Central Mexico

Mexico Discovery TripsNestled in the rugged hills of central Mexico is the silver mining town of Taxco. Little white homes and shops line steeply sloped streets; the entire town is on a hillside.  Standing above the town is the classic old church, which looks taller than it actually is since it’s located uphill from most of the town.


I simply love walking around the town.  It feels like you’re stepping into a different time.


The Silver

Than there is the silver.  Taxco has remained true to its mining town heritage with silver shops on every corner, selling necklaces, rings, figures, engravings and much more.  The pure silver is of high quality and prices are low.


Whether you a silver fanatic or not, I’m sure you’ll find a few knickknacks to take home.  I always do.


As you can see in the picture below, the shops selling silver are much more in an informal “market” style than an elegant jewelry shop.  For me, this is part of the charm.


How to Get There

Most retirees tend to settle in the popular beachfront locations in Mexico, or in the two interior towns of Chapala or San Miguel del Allende.  But getting to a place like Taxco is not so difficult.


Very cheap plane tickets can be found to Mexico City from the places like Cancun – often under $100 USD round trip.  If you fly to the nearby city of Toluca, you’re even closer to Taxco (as well as the quaint lakefront town of Valle de Bravo) and you will skip out on Mexico City’s traffic.


The bus ride is about 2 hours from Toluca.  Mexico City should only be about 20 minutes more by distance, but traffic could add another hour.


Now, this sounds like a lot of travel just to get to a little silver town, even though it is picturesque and quaint; however, there are a number of beautiful little gems hidden in these hills, and it’s worth a discovery trip of a few days – or even a week or two – in this part of central Mexico.


More Pictures

This is a beautiful view of the town at sunset:

Here you can see how the houses and shops line the steep streets:

Thi is the picturesque town square, right in front of the church, as is always the case in Mexico:

I hope that you have the pleasure to visit Taxco one day in your Mexico retirement!


-by Bea Lozano

My real estate - Mexico real estate buyers tools

Let’s Go to Valladolid, Again! Gallery Part 3 – Monastery

Yesterday and the day before I posted some pictures of the main square and various sights around town in Valladolid, a beautiful, quaint and very non-touristy colonial Mayan town in Yucatan. (See Let’s Go to Valladolid, Again! Gallery Part 2 – Around Town.)


Something you’ll note if you go to Valladolid, as is the case with many colonial and old European towns, it’s surprising how many churches and chapels there are in a town that you can probably walk across in half an hour (and I don’t mean just the downtown – that’s from one end of town to the other!)


On Monday, I put up some pictures of the main church.  Today I am going to share some pictures of the town’s large monastery (which I believe is still used as a monastery, which is rather rare for colonial Mexican monasteries and convents) and the surrounding neighborhood:


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


It’s rare to find a town that is so charming and authentic, yet almost completely undiscovered that is so close to major tourist centers like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Merida and Chichen Itza (in fact, it is smack dab in the middle of all of these, and only between 30 min and 2 hours away from each of them.)  This is truly an undiscovered gem and great place for retirement travel in Mexico.

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Let’s Go to Valladolid, Again! Gallery Part 2 – Around Town

Yesterday, I shared some pictures of Valladolid’s main church and town square. (See Let’s Go to Valladolid, Again! Gallery Part 1 – Church & Town Square.) Today, I’m going to continue with pictures of various scenes from around this charming, colonial Mayan town.  As I said yesterday, the town is not touristy, but it gains it’s charm from being more of the “real Mexico” with old-time shoemakers, local butcher shops tended by mustached men with cowboy hats and meat cleavers and the like.


First of all, the hotel where we stayed.  All of the hotels are smaller, local, colonial inns that are as charming as the town itself:


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


And now, just some random scenes from around town:


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico
(By the way, anyone who knows Mexico will know that “Palacio de Hiero” is an nice, modern, upscale department store – I wonder if they had permission to use the name?!)

Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Tomorrow will be the final post in this series with pictures of the monastery.


TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely

Mexico Insurance Kit

Let’s Go to Valladolid, Again! Gallery Part 1 – Church & Town Square

I love the colonial, Mayan town of Valladolid.  I’ve written about it before (Mexico Retirement Places to See – A Quaint, Colonial Mayan Town.)  It’s definitely a place I can see myself visiting more often when I retire, since it’s just such a relaxing and beautiful place to be.  Valladolid is small but it as nice restaurants, cafes and hotels.  It’s very inexpensive, even by Mexican standards, and it’s completely safe.


Part of the reason for this is that it’s off the radar for tourism.  In fact, it’s rare to find international tourists or even larger-scale national tourism, although a handful of tour buses now make stops as tour providers realize how charming and appealing the quiet, unaltered life of this authentic Mayan town is.


I went back again a few weeks ago, and got more pictures, which I’ll share over the next three days.  Today, I’ll share pictures of the main church and the town square.  First, the church:


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Now, some scenes of the lovely town square at night (some of which include the church):


Retirement Travel in Mexico
(A little blurry, but, hey, night shots are hard!)

Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


And finally, a couple of shots during the day:


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Retirement Travel in Mexico


Tomorrow, I’ll share some pictures of random items from around town, as well as the hotel we stayed in.  Enjoy!


TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely



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!


TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; 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!


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