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This month, BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors is sharing our new "Why to Buy" series. In these articles, we'll showcase different Riviera Maya destinations in order to highlight the perks of buying property in the area, according to our very own Riviera Maya real estate experts.

Just 10 minutes south of Playa del Carmen sits a quiet beach community created for laid-back fun and relaxation in a gorgeous natural setting. The neighborhood of Paamul features open-air palapa dwellings along with a stunning beach area, creating a close community atmosphere right by the Caribbean Sea.


Originally an RV park, these palapas and bunkers were built so that an RV could be pulled in and connected to services while having a safe bunker to weather storms, as well as provide shaded outdoor living space to enjoy this beautiful tropical climate. It has functioned as a high-bred trailer park of sorts for the past 20 years or so; today, many of the bunkers now have enclosed living areas, open-air kitchens and many other perks for comfortable living.  


Paamul 62: $99,000 USD


Paamul 73: $69,900 USD


Paamul 104: $85,000 USD

Paamul’s incredible beach area is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Here, you’ll see plenty of small fish and even some sea turtles. Beachside amenities include a restaurant with pool, massages, and dive tours. If you have guests visiting the area, Paamul also has a small hotel, RV hookups and camping. Life here in the Paamul community is comfortable, easy and relaxing!




The community of Paamul is especially ideal for buyers in search of what we call “a seriously champagne beach lifestyle on a totally beer budget”! These properties are just steps from a gorgeous Caribbean beach, but are all very, very affordable, starting at only $69,900 US dollars.

The land at Paamul has been handed down for generations within the same family, and there is no way this family will ever give up this lifestyle to sell the area to a developer.

The bylaws of this community do not allow for subletting, so the properties will not be used as vacation rentals. The neighborhood is much better suited to those who want to truly spend more time in their Riviera Maya vacation home.

Paamul is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a postcard-perfect beach lifestyle, but don’t want to bother with the hassle of ownership: no taxes, no lawyers, no stress. Just enjoyment.

Paamul 62: $99,000 USD

Paamul 73: $69,900 USD

Paamul might not be your typical vacation home setup, but we think it’s even better! Nowhere else in the Riviera Maya could you be this close to the beach at such an affordable price, not to mention the like the pool, restaurant and hotel.

If you’re thinking about buying an affordable vacation home in Paamul but would like to know more about the land rental concept, feel free to contact us with any questions. Send an email to … or call us directly at …

Click here to read Why to Buy in Playa del Carmen

Click here to read Why to Buy in Akumal

The city of Playa del Carmen is home to beautiful white sand beaches, lovely parks and a variety of charming outdoor spaces, ideal for community gatherings. A few years ago, El Cine Club (The Cinema Club) began thinking outside the box and figured out a new way to take full advantage of Playa’s gorgeous outdoor locations: movie nights!

Playa del Carmen movies on the beach 

El Cine Club began with weekly film screenings at Parque La Ceiba, and over the past year or so has expanded into several additional venues to provide movie nights under the stars for the people of Playa del Carmen. They offer documentaries, indie films, box office hits, family movies and more. Best of all: most of these screenings are FREE.

With several locations on the beach, in the park, and beyond, movie nights with El Cine Club are better than ever, and more frequent, leading up into summer 2016.

Playa del Carmen kids events

Mayakoba events Riviera Maya 

For the foreseeable future, El Cine Club will have outdoor movie nights in Playa del Carmen on the following schedule:

  • Every Friday at Parque La Ceiba ($25 peso recovery charge)
  • 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at Blue Parrot Beach Club (free entry)
  • Last Saturday of the month family movie at Blue Parrot Beach Club (free entry)
  • 2nd Thursday of the month at El Pueblito at Mayakoba (free entry)
  • 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at Thompson Beach House (free entry)
  • Once or twice a month Bar Movie Sunday at La Culpa Gastro Cantina ($25 peso recovery charge)
Playa del Carmen bar events

El Cine Club posts upcoming movie night options week-to-week, so follow El Cine Club on Facebook to see what’s coming up on the itinerary! You just might find that an Oscar-winning film or your kids’ favorite feature length cartoon is being shown on the beach or in a charming Mexican square.

(Kill Bill Volume 1, Birdman and Peanuts The Movie are all coming up in the next 2 weeks!)

Experience a night of dancing under the stars to the electrifying rhythms of Latin music!

El Pueblito at Mayakoba is hosting their first ever Latin Night on Friday, June 3 from 8:30 pm all the way into the night, ending around 1:30 pm. At this beautiful evening party, you’ll be able to begin your weekend with the sounds of Latin music performed by live bands along with a special guest DJ. Latin Nights will also feature samples of enticing Latin cocktails prepared with Patron tequila by the expert mixologists of Mayakoba resorts, in addition to mouthwatering Latin style street food created by the culinary team of Fairmont Mayakoba resort.

Playa del Carmen Latin Night event 

This is one of many exciting new events being hosted at El Pueblito, a stunning outdoor space styled like a traditional Mexican town square, located at the Mayakoba resort complex just five minutes north of Playa del Carmen. In addition to the new Latin Nights, El Pueblito also hosts Mexican farmer’s markets, family movie nights, yoga classes and much more. To see their full itinerary, click here to follow El Pueblito on Facebook, where they post a detailed events calendar at the beginning of each month.

El Pueblito at Mayakoba 

The June 3, 2016 edition of Latin Nights is part of the big Mayakoba Masters of Food, Wine & Golf event coming up in a few days, which will also feature a golf clinic, cooking classes, tequila and wine tastings, and many other incredible events you can attend when purchasing a ticket.

Tickets for this Latin Night are available for $900 pesos for the general public, or only $630 pesos for locals. You can buy your tickets at La Casa de los Pajaros in El Pueblito. Food, drinks and parking are included in the price.

If you’d like to stay updated on the latest news about the June 3 Latin Night at El Pueblito at Mayakoba, click here to join the Latin Nights event page on Facebook or click here to follow El Pueblito on Facebook.

With climbable stone remains, captivating carvings, a Mayan ball game court and the towering stairs of the Acropolis, the ancient Mayan city of Ek Balam stands as one of the most stunning and well-preserved ruins in Mexico.

Ek Balam Acropolis stairs 

Even so, if you’ve ever visited this mysterious site in the jungles of Yucatan, you’ve probably spotted the shy but sweet dogs that roam the grounds, often entering the centuries-old stone constructions for shade.

Ek Balam dog 

On Friday, May 20, a team from Playa del Carmen will be heading to Ek Balam (about 2 hours away) in order to help at a one-day spay and neuter clinic to be held on Sunday, May 22. They’ll be working with vets from Planned Pethood Mexico and AFAD Progreso. Their plan is to trap and spay/neuter as many of the feral cats and dogs at Ek Balam as possible, along with the village pets who will be sterilized in this campaign.

Yucatan dog 

How Can You Help?

You can help the animals of Ek Balam and beyond through physical donations for the clinic, physical donations for the animals, or monetary support.

Donations needed for animals:

  • Collars and leashes
  • Food and water bowls
  • Funding for dog and cat food (This will go to Lee at Genesis Retreat hotel near the ruins; there are no shelters in the area, so she does her best to provide food for the animals at the ruins.)

Donations needed for the spay/neuter clinic and volunteers:

  • Old sheets
  • Towels
  • Bleach
  • Dog muzzles (will be returned)
  • Snacks and bottled beverages for volunteers
  • Coolers (will be returned)
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Hand soap
Black dog on stairs

Monetary Donations: PayPal and CAD Interact: info@mexipaws.org (When sending monetary donations, please note what you would like it to be used for in the notes.)

Physical Donations Drop-Off: Click here to send a Facebook message to Tricia Cooper for drop-off locations in the Riviera Maya

Thank you to this wonderful team for taking the time to raise support and help the dogs and cats of Ek Balam, Yucatan. What a wonderful community we live in!

When moving to a foreign country or even just a new city, something as simple as public transportation can be a cultural obstacle. Luckily for those of us who have made the move to Playa del Carmen, using the city’s taxi service is affordable, fast and safe; however, it takes some experience to know the best places to get taxis, what to do when it’s hard to find a taxi, and how to avoid getting overcharged. For this very reason, we’ve developed a guide teaching Playa del Carmen newcomers the ins and outs of using taxis in our beloved beach town.

 Playacar taxi

Image Source: Wanderable.com

Where to Pick Up a Taxi

Finding a taxi on a sunny day in Playa del Carmen is usually a quick and easy task, no matter what part of town you happen to be in:

  • Downtown Playa del Carmen: Almost any street or avenue in the Downtown area will have frequent taxis driving by during the day. If you find yourself waiting for more than 5 minutes, make your way to the nearest busy road, like 10th Avenue, 30th Avenue, Benito Juarez or the highway.
  • West of the highway: In this less-touristy part of town, your best bet is to head straight for the nearest busy road. Constituyentes and Benito Juarez especially have plenty of taxis going by.
  • Playacar Phase 2: Paseo Xaman-ha is an avenue circling all through the Playacar Phase 2 area, and you can typically flag down a taxi on this road in less than 5 minutes. Anything off of Paseo Xaman-ha might be more difficult.

Site Taxis

Site taxis look just like regular Playa del Carmen street taxis, but they are more expensive and only located in designated site taxi stands. Usually, you can find them parked outside of supermarkets, right by the Playacar Phase 1 entrance, near 5th Avenue, at popular intersections, or by the ADO station on 5th. These site taxis typically charge $5 - $10 pesos more than regular street taxis, or whatever official rates they have posted, but they’re a great option if you’re carrying luggage or grocery bags that are too bulky/heavy to walk out to the road.

Another kind of site taxi can be found at Playa del Carmen resorts. Most hotels will have a large sign with the site taxi rates posted at the hotel motor lobby, and they tend to be considerably more expensive than regular taxis, mostly due to the longer distance from the hotel to other parts of the city. Typically, resort site taxi rates start around $100 pesos. Despite their higher cost, resort site taxis are often the only way to leave the hotel grounds without renting a car or making the long trek out to the highway.

Playa del Carmen resort taxi service 

Site taxi stand at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort

WhatsApp Taxi

This relatively new Playa del Carmen taxi service allows you to simply text their number via WhatsApp texting service with your exact location, and they will send a taxi right to you! The cost is only $10 pesos more than the official taxi rate, a great deal considering they drive to your location in addition to your fare. WhatsApp Taxi is ideal for many situations, whether you’re looking for a safer taxi situation (because they document your taxi number and location), less hassle when trying to find a taxi, an easier way to get out of the house with small kids, an easy way to get around in the rain, or a way to get around when carrying heavy bags. We recently wrote up a full article on WhatsApp Taxi service, which you can find here.

The numbers for WhatsApp Taxi are (984)197-0814 and (984)138-1075. They are available 24 hours a day.

Playa del Carmen Taxi Rates

Taxi rates in Playa del Carmen are non-negotiable, so haggling is a no-no when paying your taxi driver. That being said, local taxi drivers will sometimes try to charge you extra, anywhere from $5 pesos to $100 pesos, over the official rate, assuming you won’t know any better, especially if you look/sound like a tourist. The best way to avoid being hustled is to 1) know the rate ahead of time by checking the rate sheet, and 2) ask what the price is BEFORE getting into the cab. The rates as of May 2016 are on the below sheet, organized by city zones:

**Keep in mind that going into and out of Playacar will typically cost at least $70 pesos, and taxis TO nearby resorts just outside town (like Sandos Caracol) don't have an official rate but typically go for $50 - $80 pesos from the downtown area.

 Playa del Carmen taxi rate map

Playa del Carmen taxi rates 

Playa del Carmen taxi rates

 Playa del Carmen taxi rates


Additional Tips and Tricks for Using Taxis in Playa del Carmen:

  • Tipping taxi drivers is not standard practice in Playa del Carmen. However, we recommend a small tip when the driver helps you with bags or luggage.
  • When possible, try to flag down your taxi in an area where it’s easy for them to pull over without blocking the flow of traffic.
  • At night, try to stay in well-lit, busier areas when waiting for a taxi.
  • Always close the taxi door as gently as possible; door-slamming is typically considered rude in Mexico as they worry about causing damage to the door.
  • If you find a taxi driver you like, ask him for his phone number; many taxi drivers like to have additional business through loyal customers who call to be picked up. Having the number of a few reliable and honest taxi drivers is a great option for whenever you end up stranded somewhere with no nearby taxis, but keep in mind you will be charged more for the pick-up service.
  • When it’s raining hard, you might just have to wait it out and accept that you won’t find a taxi until the streets dry up a bit. Many taxi drivers prefer not to take their car out when the streets are too wet (to avoid potholes and possible flooding), and there are simultaneously more people searching for a taxi in order to get home as dry as possible. If you are desperate for a taxi when it’s raining, the safest bet is to search for a site taxi stand.
  • In Mexico, it’s typical for businesses and taxis to not have much change on-hand. To avoid frustration and possible overcharging, we recommend keeping plenty of exact change in your wallet.

Oasis Hotels & Resorts have announced the dates for their fourth annual Country Music Festival in Cancun! This year’s big event will take place June 22 – 26, 2016, and is set to include an exciting series of songwriting workshops by Rick Barker.

Oasis Resorts Cancun aerial view 

In its previous years, the Oasis Country Music Festival has included renowned artists and up-and-coming artists, and this year is no exception, featuring a number of promising musicians straight from Nashville. Throughout the 5-day festival, artists like Lance Carpenter, Cali Rodi, Greg Bates, Shelly Skidmore and Maddy Newton are slated to perform at numerous festival events, offering audiences intimate and memorable musical experiences at Oasis hotels and resorts in the Cancun area.

Lance Carpenter country artist 

Image Source: www.LanceCarpenterMusic.com

To make things even more exciting, the festival will also include a songwriting workshop run by Rick Barker, founder of Music Industry Blueprint and former manager of Grammy award-winning artist Taylor Swift. This workshop is a wonderful opportunity for budding artists, giving guests the chance to bring life to their lyrics, ideas and thoughts through the art of songwriting. Some of the most talented songwriters will help guests to create their song, and Barker will even offer the possibility of adding music so guests can leave Cancun with their own recorded song. The songwriting workshop will take place on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25.

“Having had the pleasure of working with the Oasis Country Music Festival for several years, we thought that including a songwriting workshop would be a natural sequence of the event,” Rick Barker said. “The lineup of artists this year also includes talented songwriters who can share their skills with those attending these workshops.” 

For more information on concert times, ticket prices and reservations, contact Oasis Hotels & Resorts by calling 1-(800)-446-2747, via email at info@oasishotels.com, or visiting the website OasisHotels.com

Since we live in an amazing beach community with such great vibes, we know many of you must be big reggae fans! Well, your dream is about to come true: one of the world’s most iconic reggae groups, The Original Wailers, is coming to the Riviera Maya!

The Original Wailers will be playing in Tulum, Mexico on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at Villa Pescadores, along with Tijuana-based reggae band Somos Uno Sound System for a magical night of reggae, beach and harmony.

The Wailers Mexico concert 

Villa Pescadores is a charming hotel and beach club located right on the beach at the northern end of the Tulum Hotel Zone. They offer luxury cabanas and laid-back Mexican style for a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere, as well as an on-site restaurant and water sports like stand-up paddleboarding and kitesurfing. With all the bohemian charm that characterizes the town of Tulum, this beach club is an idyllic spot for a reggae concert in the Riviera Maya.

Tulum beach cabanas 

Villa Pescadores Tulum 

Villa Pescadores Tulum map 

The history of The Wailers dates all the way back to 1969 when Bob Marley recruited the original members, and the band took on their now-iconic name Bob Marley & The Wailers in the early 1970s. Even after Bob Marley’s death in 1981, The Wailers have seen continued success, playing with musical greats like Sting, Santana, Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz and many other famous artists. Today, The Original Wailers is led by original group member Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who was one of Bob Marley’s most trusted friends throughout the 1970s.

The Original Wailers concert 

The concert begins at 8pm Sunday night, and tickets can be purchased for $475 Mexican pesos.

Click here to buy The Original Wailers and Somos Uno in Tulum tickets on EventBrite.com

You can also click here to follow event organizer Eden Tulum on Facebook for the most recent updates.

This month, BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors is sharing our new “Why to Buy” series. In these articles, we’ll showcase different Riviera Maya destinations in order to highlight the perks of buying property in the area, according to our very own Riviera Maya real estate experts. Click here to read “Why to Buy in Playa del Carmen”.


What Akumal lacks in size, it makes up for in charm.

This tiny beach community in the southern Riviera Maya sits on some of the clearest water and whitest sands in the entire Caribbean. With incredible snorkeling spots at every turn and lovely local bars and restaurants like La Buena Vida or Turtle Bay Bakery, Akumal has become a haven for buyers in search of that laid-back Mexico beach vibe.

 Akumal Bay beach

La Buena Vida beach bar 

We sat down with real estate advisor and Scottish expat Marieke Brown to talk about why Akumal is such a great place to buy a permanent home or a vacation home. Not only is she a local real estate expert, Marieke has also been living in Akumal for 11 years! Below are Marieke’s insights into buying a home in Akumal, Mexico:


Akumal real estate agent

What do you think is so special about Akumal?

"Akumal is a small eco village located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, with each town an easy 20-minute drive in either direction. It was the first tourist community to be developed on the coast more than 55 years ago, long before Cancun, founded by a group of adventure divers looking for gold on Spanish ship wrecks. Today both the adventurous spirit and laid back beach vibe continues in Akumal, with its beautiful beaches, Yalku Lagoon, eco center, good dive shops, spa, yoga, and no less than nine delicious eateries along the mile and a half of beach road that makes up the village."

 Yal Ku Lagoon house

Half Moon Bay Akumal 

What kind of properties can be found in Akumal?

"Prices in Akumal range from casitas as little as US$129,000 all the way up to large luxury mansions at US$3million+.  There are a great range of properties in the area to suit everyone’s budget and needs. Akumal is a great investment as it is one of the few communities where you can still find beachfront property at a very accessible price. There are large 2-bedroom condos directly on the Caribbean here, with pool, for under US$300,000, Akumal offers large, luxury homes, right on the beach, without the hustle, bustle and overcrowding of the urban areas of the coast."

Akumal vacation house 

Mexico Caribbean bedroom 


What kind of lifestyle can one expect when buying a home in Akumal?

"Akumal has been the Riviera Maya’s secret place for many years. However many more people are discovering and falling in love with Akumal.  Akumal means “place of the turtle” in Maya, and the bays are home to a large number of resident sea turtles that can be seen all year round.  Just last year, Akumal was declared a Federal Marine Protected Area, further guaranteeing that Akumal will retain its pristine beaches and low density charm for years to come. 

"As Akumal was the first village to be established, there is no place available for large hotels or commercial operations to move in. With the exception of a handful of empty lots, the beach community of Akumal is complete.

"When you buy into Akumal, you become part of a safe, friendly, and inclusive community of expats and nationals alike, with regular social gatherings, and always someone interesting to talk to should you wish to.  

"Properties in Akumal also enjoy profitable rental programs and property management offered by local well established companies, making ownership a breeze."

Riviera Maya balcony ocean view 

Mexico palapa 

Thank you so much for the information, Marieke!

If you’d like to purchase a beach home or a vacation condo anywhere in Akumal, visit BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors at BuyPlaya.com. Marieke and our other Riviera Maya real estate agents would be happy to guide you through the process.

Our van passed through the small town of Temozon, and I knew we were almost there. I gazed out the window up at the old cathedral, gazed longingly at my favorite taco stand in town wishing we would stop there for breakfast, and admired the beautiful chairs sitting on the curbs of the local wood shops as we pulled out of town.

Ten minutes further into the jungle, and we had reached our destination: the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam.

I hadn't been here since 2010, when I was too scared to climb more than halfway up the main pyramid known as the Acropolis. This time, an entire group was by my side to motivate my climb, and I hoped not to get left behind.

But first, we snaked our way through the crumbled outer walls of the ancient city while our guide, Gustavo, explained how these well-preserved constructions were built so many centuries ago.



As we passed through the Mayan ball game court, I couldn't help but notice how small it was compared to the court at Chichen Itza, and wondered if they two civilizations ever existed at the same time, and if so, did they ever play against one another?


After walking right through the ball court, we reached the Acropolis and began our ascent, stopping along the way to admire beautifully preserved plaster murals and statues that have somehow managed to survive the centuries. The trick to successfully ascending any Mayan pyramid is simple: don't look down! And so our entire tour group made it to the apex, where we could see the rest of the city of Ek Balam and the jungle treetops for miles around.







We all slowly made our way back down and headed back to the van for a 30-minute ride through low jungle and tiny Yucatan villages to reach Cenote Maya, Alltournative's impressive cenote complete with an organic orchard.

The organic orchard was our first stop, taking us along a winding path as we learned about which plants grow best in the rocky terrain of the Yucatan Peninsula. What a wonderful experience to see so many fruits and vegetables growing in their true form, before being cut and reaching the market stands. Along the way, we learned that Alltournative has been working directly with local Mayan communities for over a decade, offering employment opportunities in their different tour areas, like the cenotes, the orchard, etc. Many modern-day Mayans end up leaving their communities to work in cities like Cancun or Playa del Carmen, but Alltournative allows them to earn a living without leaving their towns.




Entering the jungle, a Mayan elder welcomed our group to the cenote in a cleansing ceremony, saying a prayer and purifying us with nopal smoke. Once we were spiritually clean, it was time to clean our bodies: we stripped to our swimsuits and took showers to rinse off any chemicals, sunscreen, or lotions from our skin before entering the pure waters of Cenote Maya.



What I was not prepared for: our guides told us we were to rappel 22 meters into the cenote cavern. We all nervously made our way to the platform and strapped on our rappel gear. Then, two by two we trusted the ropes as we descended into the abyss. Once inside, the cavern opened up and the immensity hit me; never had I seen a cenote this size, and now I was seeing it from the top. Once I reached the water, the cool temperature immediately relieved me of the jungle heat, and the entire group was glad to spend the next half hour falling off the zipline, braving the 3-meter platform (nobody braved the 6-meter platform), or simply relaxing in an inner tube.



Upon exiting the cenote, the bartenders had a tray full of their "Mayaritas" waiting for us, a welcome refreshment after a day full of daring adventures. I indulged in two Mayaritas before changing into dry clothes and heading to the buffet, where we had Yucatecan cuisine and some other goodies awaiting us. (Word to the wise: If the staff tells you the salsa isn't that spicy, don't believe them.)

Our group took an extra long time enjoying the buffet, reliving our experiences of the day, before getting back into the van to head back to Playa del Carmen, napping the entire ride.


To book this day tour to Ek Balam and Cenote Maya, or to see Alltournative’s many other eco tour options, visit www.Alltournative.com They have transportation that will pick you up right at your hotel in the Riviera Maya or in Cancun.

Savor, sip and swing your way through this beautiful upcoming event in the Riviera Maya!

The Mayakoba resort complex will be hosting their first Masters of Food, Wine & Golf event June 2 – 5, 2016, giving guests and locals the chance to savor incredible cuisine and wines while playing on one of Mexico’s best golf courses.

Riviera Maya food wine and golf event 

Highlights of this upscale three-day event include cooking classes, golf clinics, wine and tequila tastings, innovative drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the American Express Lounge, a signature Mexican dinner with Chef Richard Sandoval, a spa day and ladies luncheon, a farmers market at El Pueblito, plenty of impressive dinners and brunches, a Latin Night party, and the star of the event: the two-day Mayakoba Cup golf tournament! Click here to see the full events calendar.

Carl Emberson, VP of Operations and Marketing for Mayakoba, states, “We look forward to welcoming such a celebrated gathering of chefs, wine and spirit masters to Mayakoba for our first Masters of Food, Wine & Golf. Foodies, oenophiles and golf enthusiasts alike will appreciate the specially-curated events that highlight the culinary and cultural bounty of Mexico but also bring an international flair to the Riviera Maya. It's a unique way for our guests to experience the destination through food and wine, and we hope this is the first of many more events to come."

Playa del Carmen golf course 

Riviera Maya fish tacos


Playa del Carmen gourmet cuisine 

The Mayakoba Masters of Food, Wine & Golf promises to be a memorable event in a stunning location, with all the natural beauty and impeccable luxury that the Mayakoba resort and golf course have to offer. Located just five minutes north of the city of Playa del Carmen, this event at Mayakoba will be within easy reach for local residents who wish to experience a taste of upscale cuisine in a gorgeous atmosphere.

Mayakoba resort 

Several packages are available, including a special events package for locals (Quintana Roo state residents), a 3-night resort stay with event access, or an a la carte option for tickets to specific events. Click here to visit the Mayakoba Masters of Food Wine & Golf “Packages” page for all the details and prices. 

Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue might be mostly for tourists, but that doesn’t mean the locals can’t get in on the fun!

La No. 20 Cantina (Cantina #20) sits right on the hottest corner in Playa, where 5th Avenue meets 12th Street. This Thursday night, the restaurant will be hosting a fun-filled Mexican Night especially for locals living right here in Playa del Carmen. When you purchase the minimum consumption, you’ll have the chance to experience a night full of excitement; you can play the classic Mexican Lottery game (“Lotería”), participate in the raffle, and try your chances with the Bird of Luck (“Pajarito de la Suerte”), a popular tradition at Mexican events where a little bird picks your raffle number for you. There will also be live Mexican music to set the mood.

Playa del Carmen Mexican party 

La No. 20 Cantina has planned this night as a way for Playa del Carmen locals to relive some of Mexico’s most charming and colorful games and traditions, and of course try some of the restaurant’s Mexican cuisine and drinks! This sleek modern restaurant serves mouthwatering Mexican classics like cochinita tacos, a variety of chiles rellenos and Yucatecan panuchos, and of course there’s a full bar offering a wide variety of cocktails and specialty drinks made with tequila, mezcal and more for a night out on the town on Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue.

Playa del Carmen Mexican restaurant 

Playa del Carmen Mexican cantina 

Mexican Night at La No. 20 Cantina starts this Thursday, April 21 at 8 pm (because no true Mexican fiesta starts early, as we all know).

For the latest news and photos of the restaurant and cantina, click here to follow La No. 20 on Facebook. They also have their own website at LaNo20.com.mx

Playa del Carmen Mexican restaurant 

Thanks to La No. 20 Cantina for celebrating Mexico and its great parties filled with vibrant traditions!

A growing trend in wine-drinking, the increasing popularity of Mexican wines, more and more international awards given to incredible Mexican wineries... all these elements came together to inspire the first edition of the Mexican Wine Festival here in the Riviera Maya back in 2011. Developed by Grupo Quinta, Xcaret, the Riviera Maya Tourism Board and the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, the first edition of the festival was so successful that a multidisciplinary organizing committee has met to resume this great event for 2016.


With more than 2,300 attendees at the various events during the three days of the festival, the 2nd edition of the Mexican Wine Festival reunites big names in wine, tourism and food.

BuyPlaya attended the festival's press conference at one of Playa del Carmen's most iconic restaurants: La Casa del Agua, which is also among the 25 restaurants hosting the pairing events.

Hans Spath De Cayón (owner of Casa del Agua), Clementine del Tel Tejo Corral (Director of Tourism for Solidaridad), Javier Martinez (President of the Festival Committee), Edna Vega (PR and Marketing Mayakoba) and Chef Pedro Abascal (Thompson restaurants C-Grill and Catch)


The goal of the 2nd Mexican Wine Festival is to promote the country's wine industry by bringing together producers, winemakers, chefs, sommeliers, distributors and educational institutions for one big cultural event. The festival hopes to promote wine culture through tastings and cuisine designed to appeal to various markets: tourism industry suppliers, wine lovers, academics and the general public.



The 2nd Mexican Wine Festival will hopefully lead to the creation of even more events in the Riviera Maya, setting it apart as the perfect travel destination for culinary and cultural festivals.


  • Conferences, workshops and tastings: April 13th and 14th (from 10:00am to 2:00pm, and from 4:00pm to 6:00pm)

Oenologists, sommeliers and opinion leaders will become the protagonists, spreading their invaluable knowledge about Mexican wine in a cycle of conferences, workshops and tastings offered at the festival. 

Venue: Hotel The Royal Playa del Carmen, for hoteliers and restaurateurs in partnership with Hotel Association of the Riviera Maya and CANIRAC.

  • Food pairing dinners at local restaurants

25 restaurants in the Riviera Maya will open their doors to present wine and food pairings, where the knowledge of each restaurant's chef will merge with the knowledge of each sommelier to create unique pairings. The cost will be unified, and averaging limited seating will be between 20 and 30 people for each pairing. With 450 people per day, a total of 900 people can indulge in this food festival.

Restaurants hosting the pairings:
Playa del Carmen: Almirante Pech, Ágora - UT, Asiana (Hotel The Royal Playa), Axiote, Bovinos, Byblos, Catch Thompson Playa del Carmen, C-Grill Thompson Playa del Carmen, Di Vino, Frida Kahlo, Imprevist, La Casa del Agua, Madre Tierra, Koba Casa Club, Off the Vine, El Envero, Plank, Salciccium Class, Sushi-itto and Yaxche

Tulum: Ana y José, Cilantro's by Hotel Coral, Hip Hotel, Ziggy Beach and El Tabano

Puerto Morelos: La Triada

  • Harvest Night, the closing night event at El Pueblito Mayakoba: April 15th (from 9:00pm to 2:00am)

An evening of Mexican feasting! Indulge in tastings from Mexican wineries, mouthwatering cuisine, artisanal chocolate, traditional Mexican candies, and even artisanal cheeses from the states of Queretaro, Chiapas, Puebla and Mexico State. The fiesta will also include dancing, live music and grape-stomping. All this will take place at El Pueblito at Mayakoba resort, an authentic Mexican pueblo created for memorable events. Of course there will be lots and lots of wine to drink, so the price of admission to this event includes transportation to and from Mayakoba. (Drink responsibly!) Attendees must be at least 18 years old.

Tickets to Harvest Night can be purchased April 13 & 14 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at The Royal Playa del Carmen for $900 pesos. Click here for details.




Visit www.festvinomex.com to find out about prices of the wine pairing nights, conferences and closing events. 



andrea-ruiz-perron Andrea Ruiz Perron was born and raised in Montreal by a Mexican mother and a French Canadian father.  She studied cinema and photography in Argentina and Montreal, and has now been living in Playa del Carmen for a total of 6 years. Both her Mexican and Canadian roots are an important influence on her identity and how she perceives the world through her photography and writing as the content creator for BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors www.buyplaya.com



That’s right! The famous Dog Whisperer will be hosting an event here in Playa del Carmen in the heart of the Riviera Maya April 23 and 24 in order to benefit local animal shelters.

Cesar Millan will be at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort for two days of events designed to spread awareness about dog adoption. And best of all, event tickets aren’t just available for Sandos hotel guests… they’re open to Riviera Maya locals, as well!

Cesar Millan Sandos Caracol 

Here’s the full itinerary for Cesar Millan Live from Sandos Caracol:

  • Meet & Greet Cocktail Party

Saturday, April 23 at 5:00 pm

Price: $75 USD

2-hour cocktail party with open bar and vegan hors d’oeuvres where you’ll have the chance to take a picture with Cesar Millan or get his autograph. Includes parking at the hotel.

  • VIP Dinner with the presence of Cesar Millan

Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 pm

Price: $250 USD

An outdoor VIP dinner with a surprise show! In addition, this ticket also includes: a day pass to Sandos Caracol on April 23 starting at 9:00 am, access to the Meet & Greet Cocktail Party at 5:00 pm, access to the Cesar Millan conference on April 24 at 3:00 pm, and parking at Sandos Caracol.

  • Conference with Cesar Millan

Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 pm

This conference is included for all Sandos Caracol hotel guests or with your VIP Dinner ticket. The conference will be held in English at the hotel theater. There will also be a market to support animal shelters, and several local Riviera Maya shelters will be there to help you start the dog adoption process.

The total sum from all ticket sales to the Meet & Greet and VIP Dinner will be given to local Riviera Maya animal rescue associations.

Cesar Millan event 

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort is located in the Grand Coral area on the northern edge of Playa del Carmen, making it easy for Playa locals to reach the event by car or taxi.

To buy your tickets, click here to visit the Cesar Millan Live from Sandos Caracol website.

Most of us who have been living in Playa del Carmen have been in that situation where you’re planning a last-minute late night get together with friends… and all of the Oxxos have stopped selling beers! Alcohol sales hours change depending on the day of the week, and the city’s dry laws can be unpredictable, not to mention the fact that each convenience store has its own set of hours. For this very reason, we decided to write up our very own little guide to buying alcohol in Playa del Carmen. We hope you find it useful!

Buying alcohol in Playa del Carmen 

Note: This guide applies only to buying alcohol from stores in the Playa del Carmen area. You’ll find different laws when traveling to nearby areas like Cancun, Akumal or Tulum.

Alcohol sale hours: Playa del Carmen stores are only allowed to sell alcohol during certain times of the day. On Sundays, for example, stores are not permitted to sell alcohol after 5pm. Monday through Thursday have later hours, while weekends have the latest possible hours for alcohol sales. That being said, if you’re looking for late-night drinks, you can always head to one of Playa del Carmen’s bars or nightclubs for some beers or cocktails.

We took the time to visit some of the most visited stores for alcohol sales in Playa del Carmen, including the main supermarkets, a few wineries, and of course the most central Oxxo convenience store locations in town, and got the alcohol sales times for each. Here’s our list:

Playa del Carmen Oxxo on the beach 

Oxxo (Shangri-La beach entrance on 38th Street)

  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 9pm
  • Sunday: 9am – 1pm

Oxxo (10th Ave and 36th Street)

  • Monday: 9am – 9pm
  • Tuesday: 9am – midnight
  • Friday and Saturday: 9am – 1am
  • Sunday: 9am – 5pm

Oxxo (5th Avenue near the Cozumel ferry)

  • Monday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 5pm

La Europea (Quinta Alegria)

  • Monday – Saturday: 11am – 10pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 5pm

El Campeon (5th Ave and 38th Street)

  • Monday – Thursday: 8am – midnight
  • Friday and Saturday: 8am – 1am
  • Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Off the Vine Wine & Liquor Store (1st Ave between 26th and 28th Street)

  • Monday – Saturday: 10am – 11pm
  • Closed Sundays

Winery & Plus (10th Avenue and 28th Street)

  • Monday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm
  • Closed Sundays

Mega Comercial (30th Avenue and Constituyentes)

  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 9pm
  • Sunday: 9am – 5pm

Cava del Duero (Constituyentes and the highway)

  • Monday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 2pm

City Club (Centro Maya)

  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 10pm
  • Sunday: 9am – 5pm


  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 9pm
  • Sunday: 9am – 2pm

Sam’s Club (on the highway across from Centro Maya)

  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 10pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Chedraui (on the highway near Benito Juarez)

  • Monday – Saturday: 9am – 11pm
  • Sunday: 9am – 5pm

 La Europea Playa del Carmen

Ley Seca / Dry Law: On election days, Playa del Carmen stores (and sometimes bars and nightclubs as well) have to adhere to what’s called “Ley Seca” (Dry Law) where for 24 – 48 hours during the election period, alcohol sales are strictly prohibited. The Ley Seca hours are determined on a case-by-case basis by each state, and Playa del Carmen tends to be less strict about alcohol sales in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs during this time due to the high level of tourists (but stores will always be closed to alcohol sales during Ley Seca). You will want to check news articles in the days leading up to elections for the latest Ley Seca regulations.

Drinking age: The minimum drinking age in Playa del Carmen is 18 years.

Drinking alcohol in the street: Drinking alcohol in public streets is not allowed in the state of Quintana Roo. Yes, this means that walking along 5th Avenue with a beer in your hand is against the law. Oftentimes the local police will be lenient about this law in tourist-heavy areas, but we still recommend not drinking any beer or other drinks outside bars, restaurants, or homes in order to save yourself some potential trouble.

As you can see, there are very few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to alcohol sales in Playa del Carmen. In our opinion, your best bet is to buy in advance to make sure you don’t get stuck with no beers at your late-night party.

Once upon a time, a small beach town in what most of us call paradise began to grow and grow. That beach town became a new start for many and a booming opportunity for many others who saw that Playa del Carmen had the potential to become one of the most beautiful, thriving and enchanting cities in the world. After Chicago, Toronto, London, Miami, Cabo San Lucas and Seattle, Thompson Hotels have decided to set foot in our paradise after they discovered that "je ne sais quoi" in Playa del Carmen.

Thompson boasts two locations in Playa, each with its own unique experience:

  • Thompson Playa del Carmen is located on 5th Avenue, ideal for those who want to be in the midst of the buzz and vibrancy of the Downtown area
  • Thompson Beach House sits on the beach at the corner of 8th Street, the perfect spot for beach lovers searching for that ocean breeze, stunning views and feet in the sand

While Thompson Hotels also encourages guests to experience Playa del Carmen's local restaurants and bars as they are not "all inclusive hotels", they also host 3 of the finest restaurants in the city, all signed by world famous Mexican Chef Pedro Abascal.


C-Grill, Thompson Beach House (8th Street and the beach)


This restaurant is located on the spectacular downtown white sand beach of Playa del Carmen. Imagine having dinner and a cocktail with your loved one, your group of friends or your family while looking at the turquoise crystal water of the Caribbean Sea and feeling this perfect ocean breeze. After dinner, why not end the perfect evening by walking straight from your table to a walk on the beach... This, ladies and gentlemen, is C-Grill.





Chef Pedro Abascal created a fresh Mediterranean-inspired menu and has chosen the most responsible local farmers, fisherman and suppliers in the area. The menu focuses on wood oven-fired seafood and vegetables.

Heirloom Tomatoes (feta cheese, cucumbers, kalamata olives, red onions, garlic chips, lemon vinaigrette)

Mezze (hummus, tzatziki, babaganush, cucumber, pita bread)

Salmon Carpaccio from Chile (dill, greek yogurt, mixed greens, honey mustard vinaigrette)

Shrimp and artichoke in tomato sauce

Catch of the Day (Served with sauces: tamarindo, spicy chimichurri, lemon butter with capers, tropical relish, spicy oil)

Wagyu NY Strip (Served with roasted garlic)

Side dishes (Fire-roasted whole beet with greek yogurt. Grilled asparagus with feta and balsamic vinegar. Tabouleh: couscous, peppers, red onions, parsley, cucumber, mint, lime and olive oil. Potatoes Brava: baby potatoes, scallions, bacon, spicy aioli, parmesan and truffle oil.)

Tapioca in a jar (coconut milk, raspberry jam, coconut crumble, citrus gelatin)

From a fabulous lunch or dinner on the beach, to a cozy cocktail with your toes in the sand, C-Grill is an outstanding local culinary experience experience you don't wanna miss. A perfect way to connect with the the beach life of Playa del Carmen.



Catch, Thompson Downtown Playa del Carmen (Corner of 5th Avenue and 12th Street)

A rooftop view you could only dream of: Breathtaking 360 degree views from sea to city, sunset and drinks, live music, DJs, special events... but most of all, delightful cuisine designed to blend with Mexican Caribbean flavor: seafood, raw bar, rolls, cold and hot menu, grilled section and even a kids menu! The menu was created with sharing in mind: a "streaming, sharable style of dining", so you can experience every bit of it with your friends and family, and try something different with every visit.


Sitting on the 5th floor of the Thompson Playa del Carmen, gazing at the stunning panorama and experiencing a culinary adventure through an audacious menu will make you realize just how much Playa del Carmen's culinary scene has stepped up its game.






Catch's fresh and delectable menu was inspired by their New York restaurant and adapted to our beach town. This is why every meal blends a sense of refinement, ocean flavors, colors and exquisite scents.

Tartar Trio (salmon, hamachi, tuna, American caviar, wasabi, crème fraîche)

Truffle Sashimi (tuna, hamachi, chili oil, ponzu, American caviar, shaved black truffle)

Grilled Octopus (crispy potatoes, sofrito, garlic aioli)

Picaña (charred spring onions, chimichurri, roasted potatoes, kabayaki sauce)

Wagyu on a Rock (yuzu soy, garlic oil, sea salt, sesame)

"Hit Me" Chocolate Cake (liquid "Klondike", roasted white chocolate, ice cream, brownie and devil's food)



After dining, or if you're just wondering where to spend a night of dancing under the stars, looking over the city lights with a touch of ocean breeze, live Djs and a wide selection of cocktails, wine and champagne...  Catch might be just right for a night of entertainment in paradise. Visit their website to find out more about their menu, events throughout the week and weekends.


Cinco, Thompson Downtown Playa del Carmen (12th Street between 5th and 10th Avenue)

Just across from Catch on the same unbelievable rooftop of the Thompson Playa del Carmen, Cinco welcomes a breakfast and lunch crowd. This eatery is only open during the daytime so you can appreciate a clear and perfect view of the turquoise Caribbean Sea from above. Chef Pedro Abascal created a special morning-a-day menu during the week, as well as a fabulous brunch menu for the weekends.





Lunch or brunch at the upscale Cinco is idyllic, or you can just go to spend the day. The special weekend menu has been carefully crafted with high end ingredients in order to make your brunch a flavorful and outstanding experience. 

Eggs Benedict

Smoked salmon (from Chile) served on a French baguette and scrambled eggs

Oysters served on chamgane

Wagyu cheeseburger with french fries

Cinco's brunch features an impressive option... Bottomless mimosas for $25 USD!! A perfect addition to an already fantastic weekend set-up.



Be as passionate or as healthy as you wish when choosing from Chef Pedro Abascal's extensive menu, featuring everything from artisan Mexican bread basket, classic chilaquiles or crab enchiladas, to local fish tacos, lobster tostadas and delightful smoothies.


The three restaurants of the Thompson Hotel in Playa del Carmen are a great and smart way to have an upscale local culinary experience with fresh ingredients from local suppliers. This experience, topped with entertainment, movie nights (Thompson Beach House), dancing, cocktails and breathtaking views, take Playa del Carmen's restaurant scene to a whole new level!

BuyPlaya Food Blogs are a great way to discover what is out there in Playa del Carmen. Whether you're just here on vacation or permanently living here in paradise, follow us to discover the city's hidden gems, trendy hotspots, traditional cuisine and can't miss restaurants. Our photos will show you just what you're missing out on so you can plan your next meal in Playa.


Special thanks to Thompson Playa del Carmen and Margot Tovar for welcoming BuyPlaya foodies for such an amazing experience.




Andrea Ruiz Perron was born and raised in Montreal by a Mexican mother and a French Canadian father.  She studied cinema and photography in Argentina and Montreal, and has now been living in Playa del Carmen for a total of 6 years. Both her Mexican and Canadian roots are an important influence on her identity and how she perceives the world through her photography and writing as the content creator for BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors www.buyplaya.com


Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/andreita_ruiz/


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