Fashion in Tulum, a series of runway shows from May 12th to the 14th

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All this trendy and exclusive fashion runways we see on TV are mostly just that: a show to watch from your comfy home and not really living it… but have you thought about a more natural and wild fashion show situated in one of the best towns in Riviera Maya? Tulum has it, and for its five consecutive year, Fashion Tulum will impress many people from around the world in order to promote this awesome destination from May 12th to the 14th of 2016.

What’s the main goal of the event? Bring people into the city, activate tourism and most of all, build a fashion trendy site out of Tulum and out to the open world. Government tourism area has design not just Fashion Tulum this time, but even more events in order to create a big and great promotion campaign to increase the incentives into this specific industry in the area.

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The state of Quintana Roo has also plans to turn Tulum into a national and international referral in the fashion industry, this way, the whole Riviera Maya can grow even bigger in tourism and society and local business can get the best out of it with thousands of visitors this kind of expos and events can provide.

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Can you imagine? The best models from all around the world along with the top kind of clothes and trends all gathered in just one place for three awesome days… yeah, Tulum. Get your things, start marking this on your calendar and get on with your fanciest clothes, we’re all going to Tulum for an enjoyable fashion event at the best beaches in the Mexican Caribbean.

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If you are interested in exploring properties in the Riviera Maya contact a Top Mexico Buyers’ Representative today.

We Make It Happen!

Life around Xel-Ha Park – Being Part of an Eco-Friendly Community Pays Off!

It’s no secret that Riviera Maya is the closest thing to Paradise! There’s no doubt or question of that, and there’s also no room for doubt that we, as its inhabitants are the ones with the power to change it for better or for the worse. Having said that, I am very happy to say that I am particularly aware of the nature and special environment that my family and I live in and  do my best to keep my mind and actions as eco-friendly as possible.

I’ve never disguise my preference for this park (as well as all the other parks belonging to the Experiencias Xcaret group) for different reasons. I love the fact that you can spend all day enjoying the inlet with many water activities, eat delicious food, learn about the delicate eco-system existing within the area and snorkeling in the water’s larger natural aquarium.

Xel-Ha De Oro; environmental sustainability for visitors and the community!

Last Saturday was an exceptionally special day for Xel-Ha Park as well as the Tulum and Chemuyil community.

We were invited to the press conference in which the park was being awarded with the EarthCheck Gold Certification for its environmental policies and efforts in this natural reserve.  There we we also learned about the work that they have been doing with the neighborhood community of Chemuyil.

It is necessary and worth mentioning that Xel Ha first attained the EarthCheck Silver Certification in 2009, being the first park in the world to have ever to gotten this kind of recognition.  They have steadily maintained this status for 5 years which has driven them to achieve this new level of Gold Certification.

The most valuable asset to this event was not only the scenery (which of course is to die for) but the tour around the village of Chemuyil, to the parks recycling center and the plant nursery.

In Chemuyil, the outstanding efforts include a baseball field, a library and a clean façade program in which Xel-Ha gives away the painting materials and colors, and Chemuyil’s residents make a compromise to keeping their homes clean and spotless façades.

For me, the library was one of the biggest hits because as a result of the educational efforts, all of the community residents are alphabetized. Isn’t it wonderful?!

Keeping it clean and green!

The recycling center was a revelation to everyone on the tour because basically, about a 75% of the disposable waste generated within the park is actually recyclable (they call it “Valuable Material”). The entire Xel Ha family and the Chemuyil community are involved in these programs as well. At the plant nursery, about 50,000 plants are planted every month and then transported to different places around the country.

Maintaining this beautiful place is not a business, it is a true labor of love for the beauty and nature surrounding us. There are generations of families working at the park for more than 15 years now, from fathers to sons and nieces and nephews; everyone’s involved.

Why is this so cool?

Xel-Ha Park is located between two of the most tight and eco-friendly communities in Riviera Maya, which are Akumal to the north and Tulum to the southern end. Both are strong and its residents are pretty much hands-on with environmental issues, whether is with the different sea turtle conservation programs or community wellness centers.

So, if you happen to be living in Tulum and want to watch the programs and community efforts done by Xel-Ha nearby, just do your homework and research and get in touch with any of the non-profit organizations they support or look for others within the area. Let´s keep our home as the natural wonder that it is!

-By Bea Lozano

Beach Thursday in Riviera Maya– We are all Xcacel Lovers!

The Riviera Maya is a place best known for its incredibly clear waters; in some places it is almost impossible to determine how many shades of blue are visible! The Riviera Maya sand is so soft and powdery that it stirs through your toes almost like water.

One of those Riviera Maya beaches is Xcacel; which is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also one of the most important nesting spots for sea turtles.

I can’t help but go almost every I time can, after some 35 minutes driving south from Playa del Carmen, in a kind of “hidden” entrance between mangroves. After entering you drive for about 3 more minutes until you reach a security stand where the keepers will come and meet you and tell you some basic facts about Xcacel.

TOP Facts you need to know about Xcacel-Xcacelito!

In case you didn´t know, these are the TOP 4 facts you will learn as soon as you enter Xcacel-Xcacelito Sanctuary:

  1. It was designated as the Xcacel-Xcacelito Sea Turtle Sanctuary in 1998.
  2. Its total area is about 365 hectares that combine 3 different ecosystems; which are beach, mangrove and cenote (sinkhole).
  3. The Xcacel-Xcacelito sanctuary has a wide and long beach, sand dunes, an open cenote, mangroves and great wildlife diversity.
  4. There´s a “Turtle Camp” with volunteers run by the ecological organization Flora, Fauna y Cultura that´s been operating for the last 10 years on site.

Once you pass the entrance and park your car, take a walk on top a sand dune and what you will find will astound you; everywhere you look is a wide and white sandy beach, filled vegetation, indescribable shades of turquoise and blue, a few families or groups of young people setting up their umbrellas or looking for a shade underneath a palm tree, walking along the beach, swimming, jumping from wave to wave, taking pictures… and many endless and wonderful beach scenes.

The purity of diving in a Cenote next to the beach

After you set your camp and go for a swim, it is worth to take a short walk to the cenote; you will cross a wooden bridge and pass throughout the mangrove until you get to the cool and clear waters of this sinkhole. For those who are not fond of that salty sticky feeling on the skin, take a dip here to cool off, these waters will make your skin feel softer than ever, trust me!

There are also a few spots within the cenote where you can just sit on a mangrove branch or the wooden dock and let the fish do their job, a way of pedicure which you can find at spas in Playa del Carmen and other cities of the world but in its natural environment! If you are the kind of person who is very ticklish, then try to stay out the fishes way, if not, you´re in for a treat and it won´t cost you a thing!

I wish I could stay longer but sometimes it’s just time to leave!

After a long day of sun bathing, swimming, taking long walks to explore, having fun with the kids and taking pictures with your waterproof camera, around 4:30 to 5 in the afternoon it is time to leave! The beach closes around 5:30 to public and all that remains is a few keepers and the Sea Turtle Conservation program volunteers.

It is extremely important that you bring with you the following items: organic sunscreen and mosquito repellent, enough water, snacks, fruits or sandwiches, and last but not least, garbage bags so you can leave the place as clean as you found it; remember, this is a place where for a few months every year, 2 species of sea turtles come to lay their eggs; so let´s keep it safe for these amazing creatures.

So, if you –like me- live close enough, take a short drive from Playa del Carmen or Tulum and you are ready for a full day of pure fun, feeling blessed and thankful for the life you´ve got, come on over and become a Xcacel Lover yourself.

-By Bea Lozano

Throwback Thursday: Tulum Then and Now! A true piece of Art Reflecting life in Tulum 500 Years Ago!

Over the years, the group known as Xperiencias Xcaret has brought amazing surprises and initiatives to the Riviera Maya area; whether it’s a new park, attraction or conservation project. They have also brought educational programs that involved, not only the parks visitors but the entire community. Keeping this in mind, it is no surprise –well, maybe a little bit- the new surprise is now being featured at Xel-Ha Park.

Xel-Ha is best known as the world´s largest natural aquarium but for this year it will also feature something very special for, both visitors and the overall community – a massive scale model of what Tulum looked like five hundred years ago. The beautiful model is displayed at the entrance of an amazing park, known as Riviera Maya Natural Wonder.

Bringing the Mayan World to life with Art!

It took over 12 months, 15 Mexican artist and craftsmen, as well as Mayan culture experts and anthropologist to put together this representation of Zamá (Tulum´s ancient Mayan name). With more than 400 architecture elements and 4,000 scale figures and miniatures. Over the 90 square meter (295 sq. ft.) scale model you will be able to see some scenes related to economic, political and religious life that ran around the post-classic period of the Mayan world.

It is truly unbelievable the level of detail put into every scale building, as well as the utensil figurines of human and animal life.  The creativity and detailing is just outstanding! You can see the fresco paintings, which, if you listen to your your tour guide or read the plaques of every remaining building on the actual archeological site, you´ll remember that Tulum had a red taint during its golden age.

History of Tulum

Back then, Zamá (Mayan word for dawn) played a crucial role within the Mayan civilization as being a trade center and communication route across the Mayan world.  Being such an important port, it had an intense fishing and maritime trade as well as a production center. Today whenever I visit this area I feel a certain vibe once I walk through the walls of the city. That is why I think the installation being held at Xel-Ha is so incredible.

For those living in Tulum or anywhere in the Riviera Maya, I highly recommend that you make a stop to Xel-Ha Park, even if only to take a look at this wonderful piece of art and learn more about our beloved Riviera Maya.

-By Bea Lozano

2000 Americans in the Riviera Maya?!?

Mexico News has a nice little article about how many foreigners (i.e. non-Mexicans) visit and live in the Riviera Maya:

“Quintana Roo, especially destinations like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Cancun, are very popular places for people from overseas to reside in.  Having an Italian, German, Argentinian neighbor (or from anywhere else around the world) is no surprise at all, if you live in these destinations.

“As a matter of fact, Quintana Roo is the state that receives the highest number of foreigners of Mexico …”

The article does a great job of showing how you’ll find neighbors and visitors from all over the world, all around you. (Read the entire article here.)

However, there’s a little point that isn’t very accurate: “Having said this, those who enter Mexico across the state, generally don’t stay here.” True, I agree with that.

But then the writer begins to cite “official figures from the National Migration Institute” on the numbers of expats:

2015 Americans

1178 Cubans

737 Italians

617 Canadians

Are you kidding? 2015 Americans?  I think there are more Americans in the condos next door than that!

Let me see, there’s Jim, Sally, Dana, Doug, … just kidding!

But in all seriousness, I’ve heard numbers upwards of 10,000. Just from the feeling of how many Americans I see around, I think that would be closer.  Now, of course, the “feeling” of how many there are is boosted by the large number of tourists.  But even during low season, there are expats everywhere.

On the other hand, these “official” numbers count only those who register.  Most expats I know don’t register.  In fact, I don’t think I know any who do.

I’ve written about similar topics before.  When it comes to counting the expats, it’s mostly guesswork.  But one think we can say with a good deal of confidence is that these “official” numbers are fairly useless.


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate Investment Kit

An adventure through Paradise to Punta Allen

I would like to share an experience of friend who traveled through the Jungle to the small little fishing village of Punta Allen.  The way she described it to me was somewhat humorous as they did not travel the traditional way through the jungle to arrive there.  Punta Allen is a very cute and small fishing village past Tulum and Sian Ka’an.  In order to get there you must travel through a rocky dirt road through the jungle.


There are many beautiful things to see as you travel through before arriving to the quaint little town.  My friend’s journey began in Playa del Carmen where she and her husband rented a scooter to take a spontaneous weekend getaway.


In Tulum

Although very close to home they stayed one night in a tiny but sweet and clean hotel room in the center of Tulum.  When they awoke in the morning they decided to head off to Punta Allen as they had heard about this destination yet knew nothing about it.  Still they wanted to find out.  They asked a few locals in town how to get there and received some directions but were advised to rent a jeep or a 4×4 if at all possible.


Adventurous Mishaps …
Being adventurous and spontaneous as they are they decided to ignore the advice and swing it on the scooter! Well about a quarter of the way through the long dirt road of Sian Ka’an, they finally realized the importance of the 4×4 as the ride was very slow and very bumpy.  None the less, they took frequent stops to take a look and snap photos of all the beauty that surrounded them.


There are beautiful jungles, pristine bays of water, and sheer quiet and relaxation!  In some points of the route you will even see camping areas where people come to enjoy a place where the jungle truly meets the sea.  They realized half way that they hadn’t even arrived to their destination yet and they were already taking in quite a beautiful experience.  Alas, they arrived and there was the sign “Welcome to Punta Allen”!  It probably should have taken them half the time in a jeep but they didn’t mind because it was an experience.


Definitely Not a Resort!
Punta Allen is a tiny fishing village that attracts some attention for a quiet weekend or night away however fully maintains its charm.  There is only one restaurant there and they have some options for cabanas.This is not a place for resort goers!


The cabanas are small, simple, clean and nice!  You are surrounded by beauty and nature.  There is a light house if you stroll down the path and in the little town you will see what some may think of as typical Mexico as this is not a tourist destination in general. The main activity there is fishing and as a tour option you can head out on a boat with a guided tour out into the ocean.  Other than that it’s all about the relaxation.  My friend thought it to be quite cute and funny that the restaurant owned a turkey for a pet, which had been tied to a tree in the restaurant, you know, just in case it ran away!


The Journey Home

The duration of the stay was not too long; only one night but enough to have a beautiful experience.  Then they headed home back on the scooter back towards Tulum and back to Playa.  It is truly wonderful that when you live here you have the option to just pick up and go somewhere and explore in such a beautiful place!


We should remember that some people save up for a year to take a vacation out to the Riviera Maya to explore and experience as much as they can because for many it is only a once in a lifetime event or at least every once in a while.  Take advantage of what you have surrounding you and go!


-by Bea Lozano

 Mexico Real Estate e-book

Akumal is Everyone’s Beach!

The Riviera Maya is known for its beaches, so it’s no surprise that everywhere you go you can find cool fresh white beaches of sand and awesome green blue water. But my favorite stretch of beach is called Akumal.

Akumal is about 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen and about 10 minutes from Tulum. It’s a small little beach town that sports only a few restaurants and cabin-like hotel rooms. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing quiet beach day.


The Best Thing about Akumal

Well there are a few things, but first, it’s a great place to go snorkeling. You can swim right off the beach and find turtles and fish within seconds. And not just little turtles and fish, huge ones!


Secondly, the beach is spotted with palm trees, so it makes finding a shady spot easy. I love just taking a sarong and sitting under a tree reading a good book or listening to some music.


Another great thing is that it is a bay, so the waves are calm and don’t knock you over. You can sit in the water and enjoy the gentle rock of the water.


A Place for Everyone

Retirement living in Akumal, MexicoAkumal really is a great place to enjoy the beach on any day. I guess the only negative thing is that on Sunday it’s the place to be and can get a little crowded. You can find all the locals enjoying their surrounds as much as any tourist. The whole family comes down to the beach, with coolers full of drinks and lunch for everyone.


It really is nice to see that Akumal is not only a touristic place but also home for so many. Take a trip and enjoy!!!


-by Bea Lozano



This is the Place to Enjoy Nature Near Tulum!

While many people have heard of the bigger theme parks near Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Xcaret, Xplor and Xel-Ha, fewer people know about some of the smaller gems nearby. Kantun-Chi is one of these places.


Kantun-Chi is a lower-key nature park, with focus on tours and diving in the underground caves, a small zoo, and a few cenotes to snorkel and dive in. I can tell you, the last time I spent a full day there, it was one of the most relaxing I can ever remember having – and here in Playa there are plenty of relaxing days.


A highlight of the park is that they have an a full underground tour where the caves are lit up with colored lights giving a very surreal effect:


Here are some more pictures of the park:


If one day you just want an active but quiet and relaxing day, where you don’t feel you have to hurry to finish all the activities, this park is the place to go.


-by Bea Lozano