10 Interesting Facts About Whale Sharks

  1. Despite their name, the whale shark is neither a whale nor a mammal; it is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known fish species. The whale part of the name comes from its sheer size. The whale shark is an Ovoviviparous species, this means that it keeps its eggs inside her body and once they are mature; tiny whale sharks emerge alive from the mother’s body.

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  1. The whale shark has an extremely thick skin, in some cases up to four inches thick. In addition, their skin has a much darker tone than the rest of the fish with white patterns comprising dots, vertical and horizontal lines; making really interesting patterns.
  1. The whale sharks huge mouth can be as big as five feet long, but swimming alongside a whale shark is 100% safe as they have no interest in consuming humans. They also have a filtration system that does not allow the passage of anything bigger than small fish like sardines and their many rows of tiny teeth are located in the back of their mouth; so they can not really harm anyone.

 photo whalesharkteeth_zps9pmy2akf.jpg Whale Shark Teeth
Source: https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/whaleshark/whaleshark.html

  1. These majestic animals have an advanced filtration system that allows them to eat without having to swim, compared to other animals that require them to move forward to push water inside their mouth. The whale shark is able to use their gills to pull water into their mouth, where it accumulates plankton, krill and other small seafood like sardines or anchovies.
  1. These fish live in tropical waters at an average 700 meters deep. They are generally solitary animals, but are grouped when they find an area rich in food.
  1. The whale shark is known to be the world’s largest fish, with verified specimens as long as 40 feet; that is as long as a trailer. There are many reported sightings of much bigger whale sharks, over 65 feet long; but they have not been documented and therefore are considered a myth.
  1. Despite its imposing size, whale sharks are completely harmless and peaceful creatures. Tourists can swim very close them, and in the past visitors were even allowed to even touch them but this is no longer permitted.

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  1. Summer is the best season to observe these magnificent creatures, especially the months from June to September. The Riviera Maya has many tour companies that organize whale shark tours, which includes everything you need to enjoy this experience.
  1. If you live in the Riviera Maya or are vacationing here, the best places to find whale sharks are in the area between Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Holbox Island.
  1. Each year an estimated 1,400 whale shark reach the coasts of the peninsula, and about 200 approach the islands of Holbox and Contoy in the state of Quintana Roo.

Swimming with the whale sharks is a once in a lifetime experience, remember this is a peaceful creature but there have been reports of them attacking boats; after being harassed. If you are going on a whale shark tour, respect the whale sharks and follow the indications given by your tour guide.

Would you like to partake in unique experiences like this all the time? Consider retiring or purchasing a vacation home in Mexico there are so many things to do here, you will never run out of once in a lifetime experiences.

From dreaming to owning your dream home in Mexico, Top Mexico Real Estate has a decade team of Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives with the experience in helping foreigners become homeowners in Mexico.

Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

10 Things to Do in Merida

If you want to visit a place with charm, history and culture; Merida should be on your list! Founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo and Leon, Merida has a rich heritage that combines elements of the Mayan and Spanish traditions.

Everywhere around the Yucatan, you will find that the Maya culture is present. You will see it in the traditions, history and even how the Yucatecans speak Spanish; while the Spanish influence can be traced to language and religion. The mix of these two, make for today’s Yucatecan culture.

The Yucatan people have a distinctive culture, in many ways different to the rest of Mexico and this is due greatly to the isolation in which they lived for centuries; as communication routes with the rest of the country were almost inexistent.

If you want to know more about this beautiful city, here is a list of 10 things to do in Merida.

  1. Enjoy a cold Agua de Chaya or other cold drink in one of the cafes across the street from the Zocalo or main Plaza. What better way to learn more about the Yucatan people, than observing the busy life in the downtown area?
  1. While in downtown, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Montejo Palace, a museum located in one of the corners of the main plaza. This XVI century building was property of the Montejo family and is the only building in the Peninsula built in a Renaissance style.

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  1. The production of Sisal in the XIX and XX century made a few local families extremely wealthy, it was said that Merida had the most millionaires in all of the Americas. Most of that wealth is gone now, as Sisal was replaced with cheaper synthetic materials; but a stroll along the magnificent Paseo de Montejo will take you back to the golden era of the Yucatan.
  1. While on Paseo Montejo, you need to visit to Palacio Canton, built in the early 20th Century for the Governor’s family; with elements imported from different parts of Europe. This museum has a vast collection of Mayan Artifacts, and it is itself a historical piece that will let you experience the beauty of the Belle Epoque.
  1. If you feel like a tour but don’t fancy the walk, you can hire a Calandria to take you through the main streets of Merida. The slow paced horse carriage will let you appreciate the beauty of the city, and the magnificent colonial buildings and churches.

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  1. Have a nice Yucatecan lunch; there are plenty of new dishes to try. A mix of Mayan, Spanish, Lebanese and Dutch influences; Yucatecan food is a completely different to Mexican food! The isolation of the Yucatan Peninsula influenced their cuisine, as they had to cook from a limited list of ingredients.
  1. Eating a Marquesita is another culinary experience that you can only have in the Yucatan. This delicacy is a mix of a Crepe and a Wafer, can be filled with savory ingredients like Dutch Edam cheese, cream cheese and ham or sweet fillings like dulce de leche, perserves, banana, condensed milk or nutella.
  1. Buy a Guayabera, despite the controversy on the origin of this garment, the Yucatan has a claim on this popular shirt and many specialized shops where you can find the best Guayaberas in Mexico.
  1. Visit the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya and learn everything you have to know about this mystical culture. There are videos, interactive material and many Mayan artifacts that follow the history of this ethnic group starting from the beginning of time until today.

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  1. Visit a Hacienda and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of its surroundings. Most of these old buildings are used as hotels or restaurants, but their splendor can take your breath away.

These are only a few of the things you can do while visiting or living in Merida, there is so many things to do that it is impossible to write them all in an article. If you think we are missing something, please let us know!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local company specialized in helping foreigners acquire property in Mexico. If you are looking to live or retire to the Yucatan Peninsula, please browse through our Merida real estate properties or contact one of our agents; we are here to help!

Top Mexico Real Estate, We Make it Happen!

Behind the 9th Travesia Sagrada Maya (Sacred Mayan Journey)

For thousands of years, the ancient Mayans would pay respects and prayer to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel. Every year, they would take off from the Polé market (known today as Xcaret), and row all the way to Kuzamil (or the Island of Cozumel, as it’s known nowadays). Brave oarsmen and women would row in Mayan canoes facing the wild Caribbean ocean, risking their lives, to bring offerings to Ixchel and be granted favors in return.

As the years went by and the Mayan civilization slowly disappeared, many of its traditions disappeared with it. However, the Xcaret Park, which is located right where the market was, decided to continue commemorating the old traditions of the Mayans by reliving this sacred and spiritual ritual. For the past nine years, the Travesia Sagrada Maya (or Sacred Mayan Journey) has seen hundreds of modern oarsmen and women bravely cross the ocean and pay tribute to Ixchel and the old civilization we’ve all come to know and love.

(Related: Read more about the history of Travesia Sagrada Maya here.)

Of course, Top Mexico Real Estate did not want to miss out on the opportunity of being part of this, so they chose one brave participant from the Marketing office to take part in this journey. Julio Salinas, designer, took a step forward and volunteered himself for this spiritual pilgrimage that will change his life forever.

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“I decided to participate because I had the chance to see this great event in 2014, and I was motivated by the drive and emotion that the participants delivered that year, and the passion with which they were willing to relive the history and tradition”, shared Julio. And rightly so; training sessions have been ongoing for six months, where they have worked “resistance, concentration, swimming, sailing, and we went through different filters to prove that we were ready to achieve the goal”, he said.

Six months of physical and mental preparation – the journey can take five hours to complete, depending on the wind and ocean’s conditions of the day. The journey does not end in Cozumel. Here, they rest for the night after a spiritual welcome ceremony, and take off the following morning to return to Xcaret. Amongst the things that they have learned, Julio emphasizes on the importance of keeping these traditions alive. These are traditions that “have lost strength, language, and communication through time”.

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Teamwork is another key element in this journey. While spiritually the pilgrimage might be personal and unique to each individual, the physical journey to the island of Cozumel, and back, relies on teamwork. Ten oarsmen ride in each canoe, and they are unable to finish if anyone of the gives up. “The most important thing is to learn from your team and to support it. While we trained, motivation and communication became very important elements”.

While the tradition is very rooted to Mexico, it is not only a journey where Mexicans can participate. Over time, more and more foreigners have decided to be part of a tradition that was very important to the ancient Mayans. Many travelers or people who have moved to the Riviera Maya indefinitely from other countries want to be involved in everything to make them understand the history and culture of this beautiful country. Julio finds it especially joyful to see that foreigners are taking part. “It’s nice to see that not only Mexicans are interested in being part of the Journey, as many foreigners […] have joined this party full of tradition and history”.

You can be part of the oarsmen’s journey by joining them in the farewell ceremony on Friday 22nd of May, at 6am in Xcaret. If you are located in Cozumel, you can receive them around 1 or 2pm in Chankanaab Park and participate in the Sacred Mayan Journey Dances for the Lady of the Moon (Ixchel). You may also bid them farewell and a safe journey back to Polé the following morning (May 23rd) at 9am. For those located in Playa del Carmen, you can watch the sacred Mayan celebration and receive the brave oarsmen at Xcaret around 1pm, as well as enjoy all that the park has to offer.

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“The idea of completing the journey makes me feel great emotion and great satisfaction, because it’s been a long preparation”, Julio shares. As part of our team, it makes us feel great satisfaction, as well! Every participant of the Journey will return changed and with great spiritual stories to tell of their sacred pilgrimage to see Ixchel.

Top Mexico Real Estate is the leading real estate website in the Riviera Maya. If you are looking to be part of the land that has seen thousands of traditions born, and relived, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives who will gladly help you in your personal journey to find the perfect paradise home.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Travesia Sagrada Maya: Celebrating Old Mayan Traditions

For thousands of years, the ancient Mayans went on a sacred pilgrimage to worship and pay respect to Ixchel. Also known as Ixchebelyax, she was the goddess of fertility, water, health, and vegetation. Fertility of the lands was one of the most sacred things for the Mayan civilization, as they lived off their lands both for trading and for survival. In the Travesia Sagrada Maya, an annual ritual where brave oarsmen and women crossed the ocean, they brought offerings to Ixchel in exchange for granting special favors for their lands and families.

The chosen people to embark on the journey were priests and elderly women. Children, young women, and other priests or men did not take part. Painted in black (for fasting), white, yellow, blue (for sacrifice), and red (for war), they got ready early morning as the sun barely rose. Their journey started in Polé main shipping port (which is what we know today as Xcaret).

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The word Polé derived from the Mayan word for merchandise (p’ol). The port was were the trade networking happened, making it one of the most important places for the Yucatan Mayan civilization. It was also used as a harbor to conquer inland and a starting point for the sea routes they developed.

From Polé, they would navigate for hours until reaching Kozumil (known today as the island of Cozumel). The journey itself was a transition for the oarsmen and eldery women involved. The ocean, just like the cenotes, was an entryway to Xibalba, or the underworld, which would represent a “transition to the beyond” for those sailing. The Caribbean Ocean’s importance went beyond that, as it was the greatest source of transportation and food for the ancient civilization.

The rituals had a specific structure which was not to be broken. Food deprivation, insomnia and sexual abstinence (in other words, fasting) were the sacrifices made in order to purify the soul. The priest or oracle at the time would determine the date and time the ritual would take place. He would also decide which members (other priests) would participate in this spiritual celebration.

The ceremony was celebrated with steam baths, alcoholic beverages (Balché and Chicha), prayers, perfuming with incense, devotion, music, singing, dancing, special food (corn, turkey, dog meat and cacao, mostly), and the sacrifice of a living being (whether it be animal or human), amongst other things. The sacrifice was of upmost importance, because this would link men with the divine gods, making the journey sacred.

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The canoes in which they rowed were filled with offerings for Ixchel. Offerings ranged from foods, plants, animals and humans. The importance of Ixchel was grand, as without fertility existed no agriculture, and agriculture was the base of a civilization that was wealthy and valuable.

For years after the Mayans slowly disappeared, their traditions went uncelebrated. However, nine years ago, Xcaret decided to relive the sacred Mayan journeys experience and the spirituality that was once so sacred to their ancestors. Aiming to create a link between the cultural identity and today’s inhabitants of the Yucatan Peninsula, they have reestablished the ancient practice of the Travesia Sagrada Maya or Sacred Mayan Journey.

Hundreds of brave oarsmen, from children to elderly, locals and foreigners, train for six long months, physically and mentally, in order to row for hours until reaching Cozumel. They will depart on Friday 22nd of May, at 6am, as the first rays of sun rise over the horizon and will arrive in Cozumel around 1 or 2pm. A sacred ceremony celebrating the Lady of the Moon (also Ixchel), will take place that night in Cozumel.

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Their early departure from Cozumel back to Xcaret will take place on Saturday 23rd of May, and Xcaret will be expecting their return at 1pm with a celebratory and spiritual ceremony to commemorate the oarsmen, the goddess Ixchel, and the ancient civilization that taught us this practice.

You can be a part of the celebration, as well, by being present at the farewell and welcoming (plus, you get to enjoy the park!). You can read all about the program and how to be a part of it here.

And to bid farewell and a safe journey to the participants who are devoting their strength, emotion, and spirit to what was once the most sacred journey of the Mayans, here is a poem written by C. Hawthorne Flaherty called “Diary of an Oarsman” (source).

“We row;

fire in our muscles,

salt in our eyes,

wind at our bow,

and sun on our skin.

 We burn and burn, until we have nothing more to burn.

We row and row until we can’t row any longer – then we row on.

We row and row beyond the vigor of our bodies until we row only with our hearts.

We row and row beyond the courage of our hearts until we row only with our souls.

We row and row beyond the spirit of our souls – beyond ourselves – until we row only with each other. 

Each and every stroke is one moment of choice – one choice after the other – we transcend the limits of what was impossible just one stroke before. 

You are not the Rutter-man for 13 hours of the journey.

You are not the Rutter-man for 156 hours of training.

You are the Rutter-man in moments.

You are the Rutter-man in the moments when you have lost sight of land and still you choose a course.

You are the Rutter-man when, despite absolute exhaustion, you hold the line against the current.

You are the Rutter-man when you have nothing left, but you still give. When you find laughter in tears, find joy in suffering, the will to persevere when others have lost heart. 

You aren’t the Rutter-man when you think you can’t do it; you are the Rutter-man when you do.”

Top Mexico Real Estate is a local American-owned real estate company, leader in its field in the Riviera Maya. If you are looking to retire or find a second home in paradise, feel free to contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives who will gladly help you, just like they have helped hundreds before, to find your very own slice of paradise.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Find Your Dream Home with Mi Casa es tu Casa!

The Riviera Maya is a dream come true for expats looking to invest in a vacation, retirement or investment real estate property in paradise. Thousands of Americans, Canadians, and others, flock down to Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum, and everywhere in between in the search for their perfect paradise getaway home. And there’s no blaming them! With its beautiful stretches of white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and year-round tropical weather, everyone wants to be a part of this sought after slice of paradise.

To make the buying process easier, fun, and entertaining, the Top Mexico Channel launched an original series called “Mi Casa es tu Casa with Thomas Lloyd”, following the journey of couples who are down here trying to find their dream home. The show follows real people on their international adventure of finding the perfect real estate property in Mexico with the help of Thomas Lloyd, real estate expert.

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As a viewer you will be able to follow through the whole process of finding a home. From talking to the guests and finding out what their wish list is, what their concerns are, and what type of property they are in search of, to the actual delivery of the keys. As host Thomas Lloyd puts it, this is an adventure of a lifetime!

Officially premiering in December 2014, the show has gained popularity with expats and people looking to move down to Mexico. The premiere took place at a movie theater, attracting a great audience who enjoyed the first episode, “Golf Living in Paradise”, with popcorn and sodas. Amongst the present people were the host, Thomas Lloyd, the producers, and even the guests from the first episode!

The series blends the perfect ideal of property, process, lifestyle, and neighborhood. After watching a couple of episodes you will be longing for the day when you make your move to the amazing Riviera Maya.

You can watch the 4th episode, “Life’s a Beach” at the Top Mexico Channel website – where you will also find videos about real estate and lifestyle in the Riviera Maya, as well as the top tips of the week by Thomas Lloyd which will give you greater insight on the process of buying real estate in Mexico. In the 4th episode you will meet Terry and Steve, a couple from the United States who dreams of a beachfront condo so they can have breakfast in the balcony while looking out to the Caribbean ocean. Sounds like everyone’s dream! Amongst their hobbies are scuba diving, relaxing, and hanging at the beach. Check out the episode to see if Thomas Lloyd and the Top Mexico Real Estate team can come through and find the perfect place – and neighborhood – for the Evans.

Mi Casa es tu Casa will help you find the perfect neighborhood, suited for your lifestyle, needs and wants – your Caribbean dream home will follow!

Want to see more about Mi Casa es tu Casa and the Top Mexico Channel?

Check out their website and their YouTube Channel! Every month a new episode is released and you can be featured in one… “but you gotta get down here first” (in the words of host Thomas Lloyd). If you’re looking for a paradise home, you can browse through the thousands of options on the Top Mexico Real Estate listings website and contact one of our Top Buyer’s Representatives who will guide you through the process – and put you in contact with the Mi Casa es tu Casa crew if you want to appear on an episode!

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Remember, here 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!

Xpu-ha! Heaven on Earth on the Riviera Maya

As the winter is fading out, and yes even we get a small hello from winter, we are finding warmer days meant for staying all day on the beautiful beach!  We love Playa del Carmen but always want to show that in the Riviera Maya, there are always small escapes right around the corner.

Since it’s always good to share different experiences and perspectives I would like to share a story of a friend of mine who loves to spend her free days exploring different adventures.  In this story she tells us how she first met a paradise that was only a small drive away – Xpu-ha.

“Last weekend, for the first time, after all my time living on the Riviera Maya, I discovered Xpu-ha beach!  I had always heard a lot about it and have seen incredible photos but believe it or not, despite the short 20 minute drive I have never made it there.  But finally I have discovered paradise!

I suppose it’s the same as living near Boston for almost your whole life.  You get comfortable with the fact that you know it’s there, yet since you know you can go anytime you have a tendency to put it off until actually you are the last person on earth to ever have been there.

Searching for a place to stay on an impromptu trip at about 8 pm at night my husband and I landed at Xpu-ha hoping to find a decent enough hotel room.  While we didn’t find any pretty place to stay we did discover for the first time, the incredible beauty of Xpu-ha.

True!  The sun was not out but it did not matter.  The beautiful moon shining down on the water gave us a clear impression of what this hidden place must look like during the day.  And the stars!  Just incredible!  I hadn’t seen that many stars since my childhood trip to the planetarium.

While we didn’t find such a great place to say we did however return back in the morning, and Wow!  When I say wow, I mean WOW! My first thought was “how could I have lived so near to this amazing place for such a long time and haven’t experienced it?”  I felt as if I had missed out on the last years of my life.  But not anymore!

Xpu-ha is one of the absolute most beautiful beaches with clear blue water that you will find on the Riviera Maya.  The main entrance leads you to a great beach club where you can lounge all day, enjoy perfectly made drinks (and I don’t always say that about drinks), and great food!  If you walk further down there is another beach club which is attached to a small hotel with a more upscale appeal.  Either way, no matter where you decide to park your tush you have the same sparking incredible view.

Xpu-ha is very well known and loved by local kite surfers.  The temperament of the water combined with the wind creates the ideal spot for those who love the sport.  If you have never kite surfed before and would love to try this is the spot for some of the best kite surfing schools in the area.

We spent the day lounging, drinking, laughing, swimming and just soaking up the sun.  The water is so clear that you can see the bottom of your feet.  Everything is transparent!  I highly recommend bringing a water proof camera as you can take photos clear as day in this water.

If you are looking for a true Mexican Caribbean feel, Xpu-ha is it!  It’s quiet, it’s tropical, there’s no overcrowding or overuse of the beach.  It is simply pure!  Since Playa has grown up, it is the ideal place to live full time because of the fact that daily living necessities are easily within reach, however you must remember that only a short ways away you can always find the peace and serenity of the Riviera Maya.”

We must always remember the beautiful place we live in and take full advantage of everything that it has to offer us.  This is the root of why people come to settle here in the first place.

­-By Bea Lozano

The Inspiring Cirque Du Soleil Set to Grace the Riviera Maya with its Magic in November 2014

If you are a resident in the Riviera Maya it is likely that you have already heard the great news that Cirque du Soleil is making its grand entrance to the Riviera Maya later on this year!

This news comes with great excitement since many people have waited years for this genre of entertainment to make its way to the Cancun/Riviera Maya area.

Bigger cities in Mexico have seen various visits from Cirque du Soleil but never to the Riviera Maya region. And now, not only will Cirque du Soleil be headed to town for a visit but they are coming to stay!

Cirque du Soleil joins hands to create an experience like no other

Cirque du Soleil has teamed up with Grupo Vidanta, a major Mexico resort developer, to build Latin America’s first permanent Cirque du Soleil Theater.  In fact, there are only a few other locations in the world where the show will run daily in a permanent location, one of those well-known locations being Las Vegas.

The new venue will is going to be built on the Riviera Maya strip about 10 minutes South of Cancun airport, nearby to the beautiful Mayan Palace resort which is directly affiliated with Grupo Vidanta.

Cirque du Soleil is sets out to create a Customized Experience in the Riviera Maya

The new Yucatan jungle inspired theater will be like no other Cirque Theater ever built, as it is intended for a smaller, more intimate, experience.  It is planned to consist of only 600 seats and will operate as a dinner theater, making this Cirque show to be even more unique and special.

This exclusive Riviera Maya Cirque du Soleil show is expected to be 70 minutes long and will run daily, adding yet another “must do” on the itinerary for visitors to Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

Strong news for the healthy growth of the Riviera Maya

This news would have to get some people thinking, clearly this kind of investment has come about due to the increased demand of tourism and residency in the Riviera Maya.  Certainly the Riviera Maya is different than Las Vegas but they share a common factor, which is that people will continue to travel! And people will always continue to seek new entertainment options in the region.

The Riviera Maya is a solid location that shows promise; as we continue to see major initiatives such as this, we can feel more confident in that every day.

Since the Theater will not be open until November, there are still plenty of things to keep you busy.  For more information on upcoming events and things going on around town don’t forget to subscribe to our special Playa del Carmen blog or follow Mexico real estate on Facebook.

Living in Puerto Vallarta – Beauty, Charm and Romance Part of an Everyday Life!


Puerto Vallarta is a Top destination for tourists who love relaxing, golf, scuba diving, adventures and even surfing!  But that is not all!  It is also one of the top expat and retirement destinations for Americans and Canadians.  There are more and more expats living in in Puerto Vallarta every year!

So what does Puerto Vallarta have to offer that is making people want to leave their own country to call Puerto Vallarta home?

Puerto Vallarta is a beach town with miles of charm and beauty.  The streets of this Colonial and historical backdrop are paved with Cobblestone giving a simple and traditional feel.  !  I should also mention that service and hospitality in Puerto Vallarta are quite amazing since the local people are so welcoming and inviting.

Beautiful Beaches

Besides all of the colonial, in-town, charm that Puerto Vallarta holds we must not forget that the beaches are one of the main attractions for this coastline town!  Among the most popular area beaches are Los Muertos Beach, Oro Beach and Playa Sayulita.

Surfs up! If you love hitting the waves Mismaloya Beach, about 45 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta center is a prime spot for surfing.

Things to see and do

Puerto Vallarta is for anyone!  Enjoy a nice day of golf on some of the most prestige golf courses, dive deep into the sea to explore underwater life, take a leisurely kayaking ride, go sailing, snorkel and go horseback riding!   If you are thinking of tying the good old knot, Puerto Vallarta is also a number one romantic wedding destination!

Puerto Vallarta in the Movies!

Did you know that Puerto Vallarta was the onsite destination for some well-known popular movies and shows, such as “The love boat” and “Night at the Iguana” starring Jim Burton?  Jim Burton and Elizabeth Taylor even bought a home in Puerto Vallarta which ignited the same idea for many other expatriates from all over!

A special little secret!

Have you ever head of Marietas Island before?  Maybe not!  But I am here to tell you that this special and unique Island is a must see, and do, in the area!  Take a sailboat tour and head out to one of the most gorgeous and interesting retreats in the area, even in the world, with beautiful crystal water and a virgin beach that is surrounded by a cave like opening.  It is just incredible!  A place to clear you head and escape from every sign of reality!

Love is in the air!

In general, Mexico is full of love and romance.  You should never be surprised to see hand holding, nuzzling or public displays of affection!  One of the well-known areas of Puerto Vallarta is the romantic zone!  A simple quaint little part of town that just lets you be free and without worry!  It’s all about charm in this little village.  Quiet beaches, little cafés and restaurants and an authentic Mexican feel! Perfect area for a romantic walk with your other half!

Puerto Vallarta is SAFE!

[I always like to remind people that Mexico is indeed a safe country to visit.  But ding ding ding, the statistics are in folks!  Mexico has actually some of the lowest numbers in statistics when looking at the numbers compared to the United States, Canada, Australia, some parts of Europe, south Africa, Honduras, Chile, Peru, and the United Kingdom!

So relax, in Puerto Vallarta México!  If you are poking at the possibility of living or retiring in Puerto Vallarta contact a reliable and trusted Mexico real estate agent who can help you through the process of buying your dream home!

The Island of Women – Experience the Treasure of Isla Mujeres!

In light of this glorious travel Tuesday I would like to highlight a day trip destination worth putting on your to do list this coming season!  If you have never been to the quaint charming Island just out of Cancun, called Isla Mujeres, then you are going to want to give this a shot! You will not be disappointed!

Travelers from all over will be arriving to the Riviera Maya right around Christmas time.  Some will stay a week and others will stay months! In any case, if you are a frequent traveler to Playa del Carmen or other areas of the Rivera Maya then you may want to take advantage of day trip or weekend getaway ideas…after all, there is so much beauty to see all over Mexico!

The Island of Women!

Isla Mujeres (The Island of Woman) is known for its amazing turquoise and crystal waters perfect, for anyone that loves to swim, snorkel, dive or even just stare!  The town is quite small but is very sweet and has an attractive, beachy, laid back Mexican feel.  You can walk around to shop or visit some delicious restaurants or bars.  If you like to be more of a site seer then renting a golf cart for a couple of hours is fairly inexpensive and a great way to explore the Island quickly!

The beaches on Isla Mujeres are some of my favorite in the whole Yucatan Peninsula; mainly because the water is just incredible.  There is no doubt that all of the Riviera Maya has beautiful turquoise water but each area still holds its own “special something”!

How to get to Isla Mujeres!

Find the most convenient transportation to Cancun either by bus, taxi or collective, and then hop on the Ferry which will get you to the Island in about 15 minutes.  If you want something a little bit more organized and fun, book a catamaran party boat during the day. The Catamaran ride will send you off with a lot of fun and music, and includes snorkeling, time in the town for shopping and site seeing, then relaxation and lunch on one the Islands exclusive beach clubs.

Night time dinner cruises and Party Boats

If you had enough sun you can certainly enjoy Isla Mujeres even under the stars. There are various dinner and party cruises for night owls. Enjoy a nice ride with fun and dancing before you arrive to the private beach club, where you can enjoy a fantastic buffet along with a steak or lobster dinner. You can book a tour with a local tour agent which will include transportation to Cancun. If you are already staying or living in Cancun you can provide your own transportation.  Make sure to book ahead as there is a high demand in prime season.

I always recommend exploring other areas outside your ultimate destination.  It gives you the chance to appreciate different kinds of beauty that you would never otherwise know.  This beautiful country of Mexico is way more than just beach and sand. It is filled with history, charm and nature!

We would love to hear from you!  Share with us your favorite destination or excursion in the Riviera Maya and we will feature your story.  Like our facebook page and feel free to send us a message at https://www.facebook.com/topmexicorealestate.