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

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Paradise away from Paradise in Mahahual

You live in paradise, you get to see the tropical blue water and put your feet in the sand any day you want.  What a dream it is that you get to reside in a place where people come from all over and spend their hard saved dollars just to spend a little time, leave and remember forever in a photo album.  Yes, it’s very true that we are lucky in that respect and every day we should appreciate the beauty that we are able to wake up to each and every day. But how do people who already live in a vacation destination vacation?  Some might say, no need for vacation but this is a misconception.


Everyone needs to get away every once in a while.  But the amazing thing is that we live in a place where it is so incredibly easy to take off and explore a new paradise without having to save large amounts of money or travel far away. The most wonderful thing about the Riviera Maya is that each area has a unique experience and its personal beauty.  Even if you travel only 15 minutes away you can feel like you have traveled to a completely different place. With that being said, and in lou of Travel Tuesday, I would like to start off my paradise away from paradise series.


The first place I would like to take you is Mahahual in the beautiful Costa Maya region! If you are traveling from Playa del Carmen you are looking at around four hours driving. For those of you who have not experienced this area yet I can assure you it’s a gem.  Mahahual has a bay somewhat like Akumal and is a nice spot for diving and snorkeling.  There you will find pristine blue bay water and beaches filled with palm trees and plenty of hammocks for sheer relaxation.  If you are looking for peace and quiet, this is your spot!  There are quite a few options for places to stay although no major hotels or resorts. Here you can find nice cozy cabanas or smaller rustic but very clean hotel rooms.  It can be nice to get there at an early hour to find a place to stay for a night or two.  Mahahual does not stay open late.


With the exception of Sr. Frogs you will find many bars and restaurants close quite early around 10 pm or so.  So if you are a party goer this may not be your cup of tea.  In any case, during the day Mahahual is moving, small restaurants and cafes are open with great food, baked goods and drinks.  There are some nice beach club options.  Buy some lunch or a couple drinks and you are free to use their loungers or hammocks all day!  You can take a nice walk around and find some nice vendors and places to shop for souvenir type things or Mexican Handcrafts. Keep walking and you will end up at the lighthouse which is a staple of Mahahual.  If you are wanting a little more action head over to Sr. Frogs where they are playing energetic music and promote lots of fun.


There are a couple of interesting things I would like to note about this particular area.  This is a normal and popular cruise ship stop and most of its visitors actually come from the cruise ship.  This little town of Mahahual caters very well to Americans and foreigners so much in fact that it’s even hard to find change in pesos.  Everyone will speak English and they prefer that you pay and receive change in American dollars.  Not to worry however if you only have pesos. They can accommodate as well.  When it is low season and not as many ships are sailing the little town can feel fairly deserted.  So if you are searching total serenity try picking a time when you know the season is low.  In any case, you will find this hidden paradise to be a beautiful option for an escape.  For those of us who live in the Riviera Maya we must remember to take advantage of some of the beautiful places that are surrounding us.  Having a change every once in a while can be refreshing.


If you have a favorite paradise away from paradise we would love to hear about it.  Find us on facebook and reply with key phrase “Paradise away from Paradise”.


It’ the simple things in life that can take our breath away


Sail your worries away, you’re on vacation!


-by Thomas Lloyd



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



The Village of Tepoztlan – Part 2: Markets, Shops and Cobblestone Roads

living in MexicoEarlier today, I wrote about the village of Tepoztlan, a truly magical village just south of Mexico City – an area which I just happen to be visiting right now for my work with AMPI. I focused on the hill with the mysterious ancient pyramid on top and the old convent.  I would also like to share a bit more about the town itself.


Living in MexicoThe Town

The main street and a few of the roads surrounding the convent are the center of the town, with artisan shops, colorful restaurants and cafes.  The cobble-stone streets of the entire town are lined with adobe-brick houses with red, clay-tile roofs.  The town is worth walking through just to enjoy the picturesque scenery and quaint atmosphere.

Living in Mexico

The Market

Another feature of the town center is the market, which is located right next to the church.  While it is probably the least picturesque part of the village, there is something very attractive about.  Living in MexicoVendors offer very fresh and tasty fruit and vegetables at amazing prices.  There is also an area where they prepare food, and you can enjoy everything from quesadillas to roasted grasshoppers, to full meals of traditional Mexican dishes like “mole” (a think black sauce that is both spicy and sweet usually served over chicken.)


Living in Mexico


One of my personal favorites is mushroom quesadillas; all the tortillas are freshly hand made.  There are also some shops that sell charcoal roasted chicken and rabbit.



While I’ve never seen a UFO or had a witch put a spell on me here, I most certainly feel a different kind of magic standing on the pyramid overlooking the town, seeing the centuries-old paintings in the convent and church, walking in the streets of the town or just enjoying good food!



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