Celebrating the Life of Music in Playa del Carmen-Saint Cecilia’s Day

In honor of Saint Cecilia’s Day we would like to honor all of the musician’s here in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.  Music is a traditional form of expression and culture in Mexico as it is in most places.  It fills our hearts, it helps us be happy, helps us cry, helps us to feel deeper, stronger and more motivated.

We love to hear music in the streets and on the Playa del Carmen beaches.  If you are around town, and you love the music, be sure to help support the local musicians who bring music into our hearts every day and to this beautiful beach town of Playa del Carmen!

Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day on September 15th!

Viva Mexico!!!  These are the words that you will hear shouted in every town square, every home, and nearly every establishment in Mexico when the clock strikes midnight on the start of September 16th! Mexican Independence Day is an important holiday full of pride and enthusiasm for the Mexican people!

Most of the celebrations will start the day before on the “eve” of Independence Day which is September 15th!  Just like July fourth,in the United States, it is usually taken as a long weekend and results in lots of travel to main touristic points in Mexico.


Celebrating in Playa!

If you are in Playa del Carmen or any other area in Mexico during this time period you will see a high increase in Mexican tourism during these days and it is no doubt that the beaches will be packed!  Many people take advantage of the long weekends to go out and celebrate.

Here in Playa, there will be a gathering the night of September 15th at the “Municipal Palace” which is the town square or town hall.  In addition, Playa del Carmen’s nightlife establishments will be packed full of people and energy!

Whether you are in the town square or in one of the nightlife hot spots you will be directed to all the screens which will show the President at the Zocalo or town square of Mexico City.  At exactly twelve o’clock the president comes out to ring the liberty bell and Shouts “Viva Mexico” and “Viva la Independencia” Which means “Live Mexico” or “Live Independence”.
After each shout the people repeat after him, “Viva Mexico”, Viva la Independencia”!  If you are standing outside of your home in Playa del Carmen you will likely be able to hear this shouting very loud and all over town!

It is normal to start the celebration the 15th of September throughout the day eating and drinking and having parades. Other traditional ways to kick off Independence Day are rodeos and bullfights!  It is normal to have a traditional Mexican dinner the night before.  A very important Mexican dish called “Pozole” is usually cooked and served in homes.


It’s a celebration for everyone!
If you are visiting Playa during this time and are not already invited for a traditional Mexican dinner, try preparing your own Mexican feast or go out for dinner! Many places will be offering Independence Day specials!

After dinner, go out for some cocktails, be social with your friends and wait for the President at Midnight!


A day of rest

September 16th is a rest day for most people and used to spend the day with family or just hanging out or in some cases surviving the hangover from the night before!  You will likely see the beaches of Playa del Carmen packed!

We hope that our expat community will embrace our tradition and join in on the festive atmosphere!  For more information about holidays and celebrations in Mexico click here!

-By Bea Lozano
Livin' Playa video interview

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

Oops – Did Somebody Die Here?

“Did somebody die on the construction site?”


That was the question I got earlier this month on a phone call.  It was a Canadian who we helped buy a home in a new development here in Playa.  I have to admit – I was worried, even though I shouldn’t have been.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “What happened?”


“Well there’s a cross up on one the buildings – one that they’re still working on. It looks handmade, just out of wood from the site. They put it up quickly this morning.  We tried asking the workers, but, you know, the whole Spanish-English thing.”


“Really?  Are you sure?  I haven’t heard anything.”


“Well we say a priest there and everything.  It looked like some special service – we thought it might be some memorial on site for the other workers or something.”


After ending the phone call I was about to start making some frantic calls to the developer and construction team. But Bea had overheard.


“What’s going on?” she asked.


I told her the story.


“Oh, they do that every year at the beginning of May. It’s for the day of the workers and the Holy Cross.”


Of course!  I knew that.  The concerned Canadians on the phone had got me worried, made me forget the culture.


At the beginning of May there are two holidays that workers have combined in a way.  May 1 is the international worker’s day, which is important for construction workers.  May 3 is the day of the Holy Cross, which is why they put the cross up.  They often have a priest come and bless the construction site.


I called the Canadians back.  We all shared a good laugh – and a sigh of relief!


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Insurance Kit

In Uruapan, Michoacan, Bright and Lively Festivals Are Celebrated All Year

This is a guest post from John Glaab, an real estate expert in La Paz and in Mexico’s international connections.  He also has strong interest in the city of Morelia in central Mexico.

All year long there are festivals occurring in Uruapan, near Morelia. The two most noteworthy and that fill the hotels are; Noche de Muertos (Night of the Dead) and Semana Santa (Holy Week). The first is November 1 and the second is Holy Week which includes Palm Sunday and Easter.


Michoacan is the center of the part pagan, part Christian celebration of Noche de Muertos (Night of the Dead). Tzintzuntzin the capital of the Tarascan empire is especially important, but Ofrendas (altars) are also abundant in the streets of Patzcuaro and Uruapan. For the past three years, Uruapan has also had a celebration of velas. (candles) More than 10,000 candles adorn the Centro Historica and the main plaza.


During Semana Santa, the artisans fill the four block long plaza in Uruapan. This year more than 1,200 came to display and sell their work. Representing 73 communities, the artisans came with 1 million pieces. These ranged from copper works of art (Santa Clara del Cobre) to fine guitars. (Paracho)


There were two parades during the week. One the parade of the artesanos and the other the parade of the aguadores. (Water carriers) The later in rational costume carried water from the Rio Cupatitzio, to the Inmaculada church for blessing. Of course both had musical groups in the processions.


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-by John Glaab


Awa Condos Playa del Carmen