How to Survive the Riviera Maya’s Summer Heat Wave

Meteorologists warned locals and tourists in the state of Quintana Roo of an upcoming heat wave in the next few days that will be breaking records. The Solidaridad Civil Protection warned of roaring temperatures that will reach 38°C (100°F) but have a thermal sensation of 47°C (116°F). According to the director of meteorology in Solidaridad, “the heat wave is due to the inclination of the earth that causes solar radiation to arrive perpendicularly and is a period of time, which is fixed from July 15 to August 24, but in itself, does not have an exact date for it to start or end.” Moreover, humidity will also be at its highest, and the rainfall at its lowest. With news of the rising heat, many people may wonder how to prepare accordingly to avoid heat stroke, sun burn or anything more serious.

Drink Plenty of Water


Obvious, we know, but many people like to hydrate with beer. And while it’s definitely a nice and refreshing drink, water helps you replenish all you sweat from the heat. If you’re leaving your house make sure you bring bottled water with you everywhere, and replenish when you’re at a restaurant, bar or beach club. Caffeine and alcohol, while enjoyable, can contribute to dehydration. So, try to steer clear from them.

Eat Right

While we’re on the subject of staying hydrated, there are foods that will help you replenish and re-energize your body. While others contribute to the loss of water. With the heat, you need to eat moisturizing foods such as cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and others. Of course, you can’t deny yourself other delicacies, just make sure you’re consuming these, as well. Also try eating in smaller portions throughout the day. Large meals can raise your metabolism, which in turn increases your body heat. The less you eat during one sitting, the less heat you’ll create.

One Word: Air Conditioning

Another obvious one, perhaps, but try to avoid walking out on Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen at midday, for example. Try to stay in closed places where you can cool off and if you really want to take a stroll make it short, through the shade and stop at stores, bars or restaurants to cool off from time to time. And while your electricity bill might go up slightly over the summer months, it’s best to stay cool at home, as well.

Dress Smart

White clothes

You might want to stay away from darker colors while you’re putting up with this summer heat! Black fabric transmits heat to the skin, rising your temperature. Light colored clothing with lighter fabrics will be your best friend during this heat wave. The best color to wear is white, of course, as it rejects heat and helps you keep cool.

Take Advantage of Paradise

Hey, you’re in the Riviera Maya! Go cool off in the gorgeous turquoise waters and enjoy the beauty of the area. Be careful, however, and make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen to avoid sun burns and skin cancer. Make sure it’s biodegradable and apply it 30 minutes before you plan on swimming. Rash guards and hats are also your best friends when taking a dip in the ocean.

Avoid the Outdoors During Peak Hours

Doctors highly recommend avoiding being under the sun between 12 and 4pm as these are know as the peak sun hours. Especially when the sun is scorching hot and there are heat waves it is more important to avoid being out at this time. If you can’t avoid being under the sun then, make sure you’re wearing plenty of sun screen and alternating between sun and shade to avoid skin problems.

Keep Your Pets Safe

Beach dog

Avoid tragedies by keeping your pets constantly hydrated and only taking them out for walks really early in the morning or after dark. The heat of the streets and sidewalks can hurt their paws and exercising them during peak heat times can give them heat stroke as well. Give them enough cool water or cold treats (like frozen peanut butter and banana).

You Can Beat the Heat Wave

By following the previous advice and keeping yourself cool at all times, you’ll be able to take this heat wave like a breeze. Most importantly, however, you need to know the signs and ask for help when you start feeling dehydrated. Headaches, muscle pain, cramps, exhaustion and thirst are just some signs of heat stroke. Ask for medical assistance and head over to a cool and shaded place as soon as possible. Make sure you are given cold water both on your body and to drink. If there are any other major signs, call 911.

Travel Tips – The Charm and Beauty of Mexico City

When I tell people that Mexico City is a great place to travel to, they usually give me a funny look – like they think it’s a joke, just waiting for me to start laughing.


“Isn’t that a big, ugly city, full of smog, litter, traffic, graffiti, poverty and crime?” is what runs through most people’s minds. “It’s not safe, is it?”


Mexicans as much as anyone else have a very negative image of the city (compare to how most Americans feel about New York, or Canadians about Toronto.) But contrary to what people think, it really is a good place to travel.


You’ll notice that this page speaks highly of its travel potential.  This travel site ranks it as Mexico’s #1 place to travel to, safely.


Balanced View

I love Mexico City.  That’s where I’m from.  But I think there’s more to it than that.  At the same time, I want to be honest; some of the ugliest places I’ve seen in any city are in that city. Yet, blocks away there are some of the most beautiful and interesting places you’ll find anywhere – even compared to Europe.  These are some of the reasons I recommend the city.


Colonial Charm – The old downtown of Mexico City (“Centro Historico”) with its splendid old churches and blocks upon blocks of beautiful Mexican architecture has been very well preserved and I would say it holds out well against any other colonial city, and even the charming European cities everyone goes on about.


Unique Culture – Walking around downtown Mexico City, you really feel something different. While the city is busy, it’s also relaxed and enjoys life. There are men playing guitar in the parks, and bands with young and old people dancing on the weekends.  The huge city square has been home to some of the most massive outdoor concerts of all styles.  And then there’s Garibaldi Square with its mariachis …


History, Museums, Art – If you love fine culture and learning about history, you will love Mexico City.  It has an excellent Museum of Anthropology, and the Bellas Artes fine art museum, among many, many similar  items.  There are also many religious sites, like the famous Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe.


Parks and Canals
– Inside and just outside of the city there are parks of all sizes, ranging from fairly pure nature and authentic Mexican countryside to very elegantly landscaped urban “park-ettes” ideal for sitting down with an ice cream. One of the most famous parks (Chapultapec) has a castle in the middle of it. There are also the famous canals of Xolchimilco in the south of the city where long boats offer both quiet, relaxing rides, and “parties on the go.”


Food – In Mexico City, you can find food from any part of Mexico; but as all people from the city point out, it has its own unique style.  There are also the city’s favorites, like tacos “al pastor” which offer meat similar to that found on doner kebabs.


Low Cost of Everything!! People who live in the city will tell you that part of its charm is that you can go out with only a dollar in your pocket (just enough for the subway and bus) and still fully enjoy an active day out in the city.  Street music, art displays, shows and much more are open for the public.  Museums and galleries are free on certain days. While you’ll want to enjoy the finer points of the city, you’ll find that your expenses in the city tend to be low – even compared to tourist locations in Mexico!


The Weather
– I always tell people that weather in Mexico City is nearly perfect.  Imagine something like late summer, but all year round.  The days are sunny and warm (not hot!) and the nights cool off nicely.  The rainy season can bring heavy downpours, but even these usually last for only an hour or so, and clear up quickly.


So, in conclusion, I wouldn’t recommend Mexico City as a place for expats to live (although it is in fact home to many who happily live there.)  But I would most certainly recommend a visit.  Plan your trip, investigate the  main attractions (there are many – you’ll have to pick and choose!) and stick to the tourist areas.  You’ll probably wonder why you never got to know this incredible city!


-by Bea Lozano

What to Do on Rainy Days in Playa del Carmen …

I’m going to make a startling admission:


There really are rainy days in Playa del Carmen!


There aren’t many of them – I’d say over 300 days of the year are mostly sunshine. Even when there is rain, it lasts for a couple of hours at the most, and sometimes much less, and then Playa’s bright sun comes out again.


But there really are a handful of days in which it rains all day. And in these cases, it usually rains hard.


So what to do on a rainy day in a place where life is out on the beach, a stroll out on Fifth Avenue or breakfast on a terrace?


I have to admit, it’s hard to keep stuff around just for a few days a year when the rainy days keep you inside. These are my personal favorites:

  • browsing the web – writing blogs of course (good internet connections around here)
  • watching a moving – there are good movie rentals in English, as well as 2 movie theaters, also mostly in English (with Spanish subtitles)
  • bowling – we just got our first bowling alley a couple of years ago!
  • hanging out at the mall – whether you like malls or not, you won’t find yourself spending much time at them just because it’s so easy to be outside – except on the rainy days! (One has underground parking)
  • a game of chess – you can do that outside too, but rainy days are especially good for it; my 8-year-old son has become quite the pro! There’s a very informal chess club that meets on Fridays at one of the malls.
  • drink hot chocolate – it never really gets cold enough for hot chocolate here, but I always feel like the hard rain makes it taste better
  • read a book – it’s a good chance to catch up on some over-due reading


So how will you spend your rainy days here? Well, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t worry too much about it, since it’s so seldom. But on the other, when it happens so seldom, you kind of appreciate it!


-by Thomas Lloyd


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