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It's our favorite time of year here in Playa del Carmen! Halloween and Day of the Dead are creeping up on us, and the entire Riviera Maya is gearing up with endless costume parties and cultural events. Whether you're in Playa del Carmen, Akumal or beyond, you're sure to find colorful nighttime events for all ages to celebrate these two eerie and fascinating holidays. From traditional Mayan Day of the Dead celebrations to crazy bar crawls, it's going to be a pretty amazing weekend.

 

The year's biggest event will be the Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret park. This 4-night Day of the Dead celebration runs every evening from October 30 - November 2, offering endless cultural activities, tons of stuff for kids, a Mexican cemetary and beautiful shows. A must-see if you're living in the Riviera Maya! You can find the full itinerary on the Festival of Life and Death website. Quintana Roo state residents get a great price: $199 pesos for adults and $99 pesos for kids.

 

Our friends at Luna Blue hotel are hosting  a Halloween pool party, complete with a costume contest! The "aquatic frolicking pleasures" mentioned in their flyer sure sound tempting, and make sure to try their famous margaritas. More info on their Facebook event page.

 

Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort is hosting a 2-day Day of the Dead event November 1 - 2 for guests staying at Sandos Caracol and Sandos Playacar. Guests can enjoy beautiful altars, a Catrina parade, plenty of kids' activities and lots of Mexican cuisine. Click here for the full itinerary.

 

On Friday, October 31, experience Day of the Dead with a local Mayan community. Alltournative is hosting a night of culture, altars and cuisine, not to mention a chaman ceremony inside a cenote cave.

 

This new Playa del Carmen event looks like tons of fun! The bar crawl starts Saturday, November 1 at 7:45 pm and ends at the Coco Maya Beach Club. Make sure to dress up as a zombie or Catrina skeleton. For more info, check out the Zombie Bar Crawl event page on Facebook.

 

The Palm at Playa is hosting a Sunday night pool party to end Day of the Dead weekend with a bang! Enjoy views, cocktails and live DJs in this hot location. For more info, check out the Facebook event page.

 

Experience Halloween on the beach at one of Playa's most famous nightclubs! Coco Maya's Halloween party will feature live music, a costume contest and shows throughout the night.

 

Before its adults party mentioned above, Coco Maya beach club will also have an earlier Halloween event FOR KIDS on Thursday, October 30. Kids will love the costume contest, show and prizes at this late afternoon event.

 

The iconic Playa del Carmen bar, La Ranita, will feature live music on Halloween night by group Se Rentan Baños, and don't forget to compete in the annual costume contest!

 

Yes, even the little town of Puerto Morelos is celebrating Halloween 2014! Bara Bara will have a costume contest on Saturday, November 1.

 

Everyone's favorite Akumal beach bar is once again hosting its annual Halloween party! Come prepared for a costume contest and plenty of fun on the sand.

 

This laid-back Playa del Carmen bar will have a night of live theatrical performances for Day of the Dead.

 

In addition to its usual live shows on the beach, Fusion will also have a Day of the Dead / Halloween party on October 31 with fun events and specialty cocktails.

 

 Put on your sexiest and/or funkiest Halloween costume for Diablito Cha Cha Cha's costume contest on the 31st!

Day of the Dead Party at Wah Wah

Join JJ and Kim and the whole Wah Wah on Saturday, November 1st for our 3rd Annual Day Of The Dead Party. Dress up in your best version of Catrina and Sposo for a chance to win $1000 pesos! First elimination round will take place at 7:45 pm, please be here before then to enter! The Nasty Bastards Band will be here to get the party going at 7 pm.
2 X 1 Apps and Dips and 25 peso Draft Beer ! Wah more you want?

On October 31, Sr. Dan's Margarita and Sports Bar will be offering all-you-can-drink beers, lime margaritas and special Halloween shots for 250 pesos from 8-10pm for everyone in costume! Afterwards, join in on the bar crawl with group discounts.

Halloween at Hostel 3B 

 

Halloween at Zenzi 

 

 

 

Proof that Holbox is so much more than just lobster pizza!

As much as we love the island's iconic lobster pizza (and really, who doesn't love it?), it's always exciting to see the restaurants of Holbox come out and show their visitors the variety of cuisine to be had in this secluded beach destination.

The Muestra Internacional de Gastronomia Holbox (Holbox International Cuisine Expo) 2014 is now in its third year after drawing in plenty of visitors in 2012 and 2013. This event offers visitors to the island an amazing time filled with Caribbean cuisine and plenty of live music in a stunning yet laid-back atmosphere. This year's guest of honor will be the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, home to spectacular and historic cities with an amazing culinary profile, bringing in chefs from Guanajuato cities like San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato city and Leon.

Muestra Internacional de Gastronomia Holbox 

In addition to Guanajuato cuisine, the Muestra Internacional de Gastronomia Holbox 2014 will of course feature the presence of local Holbox restaurants like El Rincon de Dennise, El Sabor de las Nubes, Buenavista, Esencia at Casa Sandra, Viva Zapata,  El Mangle de Villas Flamingo, El Chapulin, Mandarina at Casa de las Tortugas, Villa Mar and Las Panchas.

But of course, many people just attend the festival for is live music. This year, the Muestra Internacional de Gastronomia Holbox 2014 will bring in artists like Carlos Cuevas, Coque Muñiz, Orquestra Sabor y Sno, local band Iguana Sound, Nicho Hinojosa, Alejandra Millan and DJ Joseph Mucke. To end the event, guests can look forward to a concert by popular group Sonora Dinamita!

The Muestra Internacional de Gastronomia Holbox will take place Wednesday, October 15 through Saturday, October 18, 2014, so goa head and start planning your long weekend on the spectacular island of Holbox!

The OHL Classic at Mayakoba will be aired for the first time on famed sports channel ESPN this year, as confirmed by the event's organizers. This event is the only PGA Tour tournament in Mexico, and its 2014 edition will take place from November 10 through 16 at the upscale Mayakoba resort complex in the Riviera Maya.

OHL Classic Mayakoba PGA Tour 

Image source: ohlclassic.com

"It's like going to see Real Madrid - Barcelona. This is the top level of golf in the world, with 132 of the world's best golfers, airing in over 200 countries," stated tournament director Joe Mazzeo, who also mentioned that ESPN and the Golf Channel Latin America will be airing the event live, with nightly recaps.

Reaching over 6 million dollars, the tournament's 2014 prize money is sponsored by BMW, Banorte, Cuauhtemoc, Omega, Pepsi and more, and promoted by the Council of Tourism Promotion (Consejo de Promocion Turistica, or CPT) and the Quintana Roo state government. The winner will take home 1.1 million dollars and 500 FedEx Cup points. This purse is larger than the average for a PGA Tour event.

Event organizers hope to attract around 15,000 people throughout the week. "We're a more intimate event in comparison with the events that bring in nearly 100,000 people a day, like in Phoenix," said Mazzeo.

The estimated number of spectators is on the rise since the tournament confirmed that Mexican Carlos Ortiz from Guadalajara, Mexico will be participating as a member of the PGA Tour, after receiving his membership card to participate in the official season this past August 25.

El Cameleon Golf Course in the Riviera Maya is a master work by Greg Norman. This beautiful course stretches across three distinct landscapes: tropical jungle, dense mangrove and sandy oceanfront beaches.

OHL Classic Mayakoba PGA Tour 

Image source: ohlclassic.com

Mazzeo emphasized that golf is for everyone. For this reason, the Golf Para Todos (Golf for Everyone) program was created seven years ago. This program opens one day a month so that anyone can play the sport with instructors, no matter their age, skill level or socioeconomic status. Every month, Cameleon Golf Course welcomes between 500 and 600 people in just one day with the Golf Para Todos program.

Read the original article in Spanish here.

Dolphin captivity is turning into a hot topic here in the Riviera Maya. Recent documentaries like The Cove and Blackfish have shed much-needed light on a global scale about how cetaceans like dolphins and orcas (killer whales) are placed in captivity and the treatment they receive.

Here in the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, dolphin swims are one of the most popular tours available for travelers visiting this region of Mexico, in addition to swims with other marine animals like sea lions and manatees. A variety of local companies have numerous dolphin swim locations throughout the area, whether it's at a resort, at a park or on its own. While these companies offer well-tended facilities and adequate medical treatment to provide Riviera Maya dolphins with a healthy lifestyle, a dolphin's life in captivity can never compare with life in their natural habitat. As much as they might try, dolphin tour facilities cannot offer the freedom, space, social environment, diet and exercise that these fascinating creatures need to live a happy and fulfilling life.

dolphins in captivity Riviera Maya 

Riviera Maya citizens will come together this Saturday, September 13 in Playa del Carmen to protest dolphin captivity in Mexico. If you'd like to join in for this worthy environmental cause, meet at the Portal Maya statue in Playa del Carmen (on the beach by Parque Fundadores, near the Cozumel ferry) at 3pm.

Dolphin protest Playa del Carmen 

The Riviera Maya is one of the world's top travel locations, and it's up to us to set the example for destinations all over the globe by spreading the word about the dangers and injustices of dolphin captivity.

The Riviera Maya city of Playa del Carmen has already made a huge difference in animal rights by eliminating permit renewals for wildlife exploitation on 5th Avenue. It's time for the community to come together once again and fight for the rights of our dolphin friends.

For more information on Saturday's protest, visit their event page on Facebook.

Add a little culture to your Playa del Carmen weekend!

On Saturday, August 30, the Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra ("Orquestra de Cámara Playa del Carmen") is hosting the third concert in their current concert series, featuring beautiful music written by J. S. Bach. The concert will be at the Casa de la Cultura at 7pm, with a cost of only $150 pesos.

Bach concert Playa del Carmen 

Proceeds from this concert series will benefit the Equine Therapy Center of Playa del Carmen, or "CEIA". The CEIA helps kids, youth and adults with disabilities by offering a variety of therapies in order to improve their quality of life, including musical therapy, water therapy and equine therapy.

BuyPlaya Real Estate is a proud sponsor of this amazing concert series! Come out for a night of music to support the Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra and the Equine Therapy Center.

Click through for more information on the Equine Therapy Center and this concert series.

Attention all Riviera Maya triathletes!

It's time to lace up your running shoes, put on your swim cap and grab your bike because the most well-known Riviera Maya triathlon is back for 2014. The Triatlón Xel Ha 2014 will take place in November (Olympic category on Saturday November 15, and Children, Women Beginners and Sprint categories on Sunday November 16) at the breathtaking Xel Ha park.

 

The Triatlón Xel Ha will once again include several events for a variety of skill levels, from first-timers to seasoned athletes:

  • Women Beginners: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run (SOLD OUT)
  • Children's Triathlon:
    • 9 - 11 years: 150m swim, 4km bike, 1km run
    • 12 - 13 years: 300m swim, 8km bike, 1.5km run
    • 14 - 15 years: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run
  • Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
  • Olympic: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
  • Elite and Elite Sub 23: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run

You can still sign up for the Triatlón Xel Ha through the website (www.triatlonxelha.com) until August 29, 2014. Since spaces for this popular Riviera Maya triathlon are limited, you must first sign up in a raffle-style drawing to win a spot; participants will be announced on August 30.

You can get a guaranteed spot in the Triatlón Xel Ha by signing up for the Red Cross Benefit Dinner on November 16 with a donation of $5,000 pesos that also includes a free all inclusive pass to the park.

This Riviera Maya triathlon is also helping the environment! Triatlón Xel Ha 2014 will adhere to a variety of green, environmentally friendly practices like:

  • Use of chemical-free sunblock
  • Bike camera collection so they can be reused
  • Donation of used swim caps to schools
  • Cleaning and beautifying the triathlon route, even outside of the park grounds
  • Each person's triathlon sign-up fee will include a donation to "Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México" (Mexico Flora, Fauna and Culture)

 

 

So go ahead and sign up for a chance to participate in a green triathlon in one of the Riviera Maya's most beautiful locations! Even the kids can join in.

Meep Up at Wah Wah 

Thursday, July 24 come to Wah Wah Beach Bar in Playa del Carmen, meet other singles 30+ and enjoy an evening of live music, some fun games to break the ice and get to know other people there.

Draft beer 2 for 35 pesos, other promotions on food, just 80 pesos entrance, includes a raffle, and prizes too! You may meet the love of your life, but if you don´t, you´ll make some new friends, and have lots of fun.

Wah Wah is located on the beach just south of Calle 2. The Meet Up starts at 8:00pm

Win great prizes for an even better cause!

This Saturday, June 14, the Hotel Aventura Mexicana in Playa del Carmen will be hosting a fun-filled Casino Night to raise money for SOS El Arca dog shelter.

Playa del Carmen casino night 

The hotel's rooftop terrace will feature the event's casino area, with roulette, black jack and poker. With your chips, you can win a variety of pretty impressive Playa del Carmen prizes:

  • 1 day pass at Hotel Gran Caribe Real
  • 5 double passes to Xcaret park (does not include food and beverage)
  • 2 double courtesies at Coco Bongo
  • 2 double courtesies at Blue Parrot
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Byblos restaurant
  • 1 dinner for 2 at La Cueva del Chango Restaurant
  • 1 courtesy of 500 pesos at Cannibal Royal
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Pizzeria Bella Italia
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Comedor Victoria
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Manne's Beer Garten
  • 1 dinner for 2 in Pata Negra
  • Dinner for 2 at Casa del Agua
  • Courtesy atThe Little Tea Pot
  • 1 pair of graduated eye-glass in Optica Vision Express
  • 1 sofa-bed from Liverpool
  • 5 women dresses Italian Couture
  • 5 pictures from Happy Hippie
  • 1 manicure and pedicure in Salon Style Me

There will even be a raffle to win free stays at beautiful Mexico hotels:

  • 1-week stay at any SFK Preferred Resort in Mexico
  • 1-night all inclusive stay at Secrets Maroma
  • 3-night stay at Luna Blue Hotel

Once you've gambled your heart out, head down to the Kava Kasa lounge for a night of dinner, shows and dancing! The evening's itinerary looks pretty great:

  • 7pm - 8pm: Live music by rock group PORTAL
  • 8pm - 8:30pm: Stand-up comedy by Rosalee Wollman
  • 8:30pm - 9:30pm: Coco Bongo show
  • 9:30pm - 10pm: RAFFLE! And some words about SOS El Arca
  • 10pm - midnight: Music from the 70s, 80s and 90s with GRECO from Dirty Martini Bar

Time: 7pm - midnight

Place: Hotel Aventura Mexicana and Kava Kasa (Calle 22 between 5th and 10th Avenue)

Price: $300 pesos pre-sale or $350 pesos at the door (includes welcome drink, buffet dinner by Byblos restaurant, and 50 chips to play at the casino)

The money raised from this event will go to SOS El Arca dog shelter to help them start a low-cost veterinary clinic. So have fun, enjoy some gambling and contribute to a noble cause this Saturday night!

This is for all you Cancun and Riviera Maya foodies looking for the next big event!

The organizers of the popular Cancun - Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival have new tricks up their sleeve.

Cancun Riviera Maya Restaurant Week 

This month, they're planning the new Cancun - Riviera Maya Star Restaurant Week from June 20 - 29, 2014. Participants can choose from a number of top restaurants in Cancun and Playa del Carmen for a tasting dinner with the venue's very best dishes! The dinner costs $40 USD, and for $60 USD total you can include wine pairings with your meal.

Cancun Riviera Maya restaurant week 

For reservations and more info on the event, stop by the Cancun - Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival Facebook page.

Restaurants participating in the Cancun - Riviera Maya Star Restaurant Week 2014 include:

Playa del Carmen:

  • La Casa del Agua
  • Las Ventanas
  • El Muelle

Grand Velas Resort:               

  • Piaf
  • Frida
  • Cocina de Autor

Cancun:

  • Casa Rolandi
  • La Joya
  • Le Basilic
  • Fantino
  • Benazuza
  • The Club Grill
  • Chef Cristian Morales

Cozumel:

  • El Cozumeleño Beach Resort

Akumal:

  • La Lunita

Saturday, May 31 at The Brian Buckley Band will present an intimate concert to Playa del Carmen audiences. The show will be performed at Wah Wah Beach Bar (On the beach between Calles 2 & 4) beginning at 9:00pm.

This Los Angeles based 4-piece is a conglomeration of various musical tastes. A pretzel twist of rock, folk and experimental influences---they emote directly to the heart--having executed both with record labels and independently. Working with an array of well known producers, such as Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa and Billy Idol) and Mark Howard (U2 and Bob Dylan). The BBB has broken the top ten in Europe on iTunes and their new record 'Hysterical Blindness' (produced by Chris Teft Hughes) is out now and licensed to film and television alike.

Come check out their talent for yourself at Wah Wah! 

Brian Buckley Band

 

Culture and music for a great local cause in Playa del Carmen!

The Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra is about to begin a season of six concerts, joining together to support the Equine Therapy Center of Playa del Carmen, or "CEIA". The CEIA helps kids, youth and adults with disabilities by offering a variety of therapies in order to improve their quality of life, including musical therapy, water therapy and equine therapy.

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

The Equine Therapy Center of Playa del Carmen works with children and adults with many different types of disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, motor coordination impairment, down syndrome and hydrocephalus.

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

What is equine therapy?

"Equine therapy is a uniquely comprehensive physical and psychological activity that is used therapeutically as an alternative rehabilitation treatment for patients with different types of disabilities. The horse is the therapeutic tool, acting as a stimulus for the patient. The horse's movement, allows the individual, while mounted, to receive a physical stimulus throughout the body, starting from the rhythmic impulse transmission to the pelvic girdle and moving through to the spinal cord neurons. The horse's body temperature, which is higher than the human body (38 ° C), acts as a natural heat tool, helping the patient to relax their muscles, while sensory stimuli help regulate the circulatory system. The horse's gait closely approximates that of a human. Therapeutic riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner that improves muscle strength, balance, and flexibility."

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

The first Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra event of the season in support of this amazing local cause will be held on Saturday, May 17 at Casa de la Cultura in Playa del Carmen, beginning at 7pm. This Baroque concert will feature classical favorites like Vivaldi, Bach and more.

BuyPlaya Real Estate is thrilled to be a sponsor for this event! Join us for an evening of beautiful music to support incredible therapy treatments for members of the community.

For additional information, stop by the concert's Facebook event page.

Chef Jetzabel Rojas of La Marea Restaurant at Viceroy Riviera Maya is pleased to share her kitchen with Chef Rodolfo Castellanos of Origen Restaurant in Oaxaca to offer the ultimate in Alta Mexicana Cuisine with ingredients and specialties of Oaxaca - this time opening their doors to resort guests and visitors in honor of Mother's Day.

Mother;s Day Dinner at Viceroy Riviera Maya 

This culinary experience with Chef Castellanos with take place Saturday May 10th from 7:00pm - 10:30om at the Viceroy Riviera Maya Resort. Arrendees with have the opportunity to enjoy a special menu created by Chef Rodolfo Castellanos and resort Executive Chef Jetzabel Rojas who have each gifted their unique touch to this menu to make it an unforgettable culinary delight in the history of Mexican gastronomy.

 

SEARED "FOIE GRASS AU-TORCHON" FROM FANDANGO, OAXACA

Tomatoes and "Miltomate" Compote, Poached quail egg

OR

WATERCRESS SALAD


Roasted Creamy Beet with Ramonetti Cheese, Mango laminated, Pasilla Chilli Pepper and Anise Vinaigrette with "Piloncillo"

 

SQUASH SOUP


Blossom Squash, "Chilacayota" Squash, "Chochoyotas", Corn on the Cob

 

FAST & SLOW DUO

"Cerdo Pelon" Confit with Almond Mole, Rice with "Chepiles", Veggies "Encurtidos"

Charred Crusted Venison Filet, Ash of "Chilhuacle" Chili Pepper with Baby Vegetables

OR

WIND & SEA DUO

Seared Duck Breast with Pumpking "Epazote" Sauce Sautéed Zucchini with Yellow and Green Squash

Roasted Red Snapper with Mint-Butter, Carrot Mouseline and Steam Swiss Chard

 

DULCE FINALE


"Mamey" Mousse Sphere filled with Vanilla with

Amaranth Biscuite, "Chiapaneco" Chocolate Textures

 

Reservation Required. $80USD Per Person. From 19:00pm to 22:30pm


Prices are Quoted in US Dollars & 16% tax and 15% Service Charge Not Included


This menu of gourmet cuisine is a fusion of two techniques - Chef Jetzabel is always changing the perception we have of Mexican food to preserve the ancient traditions while incorporating innovative techniques and ideas. Chef Castellanos, currently one of the leaders of contemporary Oaxacan cuisine with his restaurant Origen - which was nominated "Best New Restaurant in Mexico 2012" for the Gourmet Awards of the magazine Travel + Leisure Mexico - is recognized for treating Oaxacan ingredients and products with cutting edge techniques and influences of cuisines from other countries. As a result, he is making authentic, fresh and innovative cuisine while respecting the ancient tradition of his roots.

Mother's Day Dinner at Viceroy Riviera Maya 


The price for the six-course tasting menu of Chef Jetzabel Rojas and Chef Rodolfo Castellanos, including a wine pairing, will be $1,258 pesos per person. For more information and reservations: Phone: 984-877-3000 or email: Butlerservice@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.

 

 

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival has quickly turned into one of the Riviera Maya's largest and most popular events for locals and tourists alike. Offering FREE jazz concerts on the beach, this outdoor music festival in Playa del Carmen draws in thousands of spectators every year.

 

Now you can start planning your fall 2014 vacation and book your hotel dates around the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival because the dates and lineup are already set!

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival will be November 27 - 29, 2014, featuring the following artists:

Thursday, November 27

Colin Hunter
Pato Machete
TAKE 6
Jorge Vercilo

Friday, November 28

Hiram Gómez
Pat Metheny Unity Group (Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams)

Saturday, November 29

Kenny Garrett
Virgil Donati
Chick Corea & The Vigil

 

 

To get inspired, here are our pics from last year's shows and our Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2013 review.

We'll see you under the stars in November!

Spend your Monday night with live music on the beach.

We're sad to say that Monday, April 28 is Natalie and Donny's last show of the season at the famous Lol-Ha restaurant and bar in Akumal. The performance starts at 6:30 pm.

Akumal live music in the Riviera Maya 

To reserve your table for this special event, send an e-mail to lolha@hotelakumalcaribe.com. If you get there by 6:30, you'll also get to experience the beautiful colors of sunset in Akumal.

Lol Ha is a popular restaurant and bar set right on the beach on Akumal Bay. Enjoy an open-air atmosphere under a giant palapa with the Riviera Maya's best ocean views!

We hope to see Natalie and Donny back at Lol-Ha soon!

Our friends at Zumba Fitness del Caribe Mexicano are organizing yet another great event to get you moving!

"Zumba Jammer" Cinthia Valencia from Oklahoma, USA will be leading a Zumba Master Class on March 29 at Salón Raíces in Playa del Carmen. This event offers newcomers a great way to experience Zumba workouts in a fun, party-style atmosphere.

The Master Class will also feature the Raíces musical group playing latin rhythms like salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, bachata and fusion to keep the party going!

Zumba fitness class Playa del Carmen 

Time: Saturday, March 29 at 7pm

Place: Salón Raíces, Playa del Carmen (Avenida Juárez between 60 and 70)

Pricing: $110 pesos at the door, or $90 in advance (send WhatsApp message to (984)146-1549)

Zumba Fitness del Caribe Mexicano Facebook page

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