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The famed Carnaval of Playa del Carmen began last night at Plaza 28 de Julio with the crowning of this year’s kings and queens in age groups for kids and señors, with over 5,000 people attending the event. The remaining days of this colorful festival will offer excitement for locals as well as tourists visiting Playa del Carmen. Below is an itinerary highlighting the most important events of the 2016 Playa del Carmen Carnaval, going on through Tuesday, February 9. Events will take place at the city’s main square, Plaza 28 de Julio, and the parades have been moved to 10th Avenue.

 

 

 

Friday, February 5

6:30pm Costume contest for kids and teens

7:30pm Crowning of the Carnaval kings and queens

8:30pm Contests for dance and entertainment groups

10:30pm Grupo Precaucion performs live

 

Saturday, February 6

6:00pm First Carnaval parade (starting at Parque Fundadores and going down 10th Avenue)

7:30pm A night of live music, shows and bands at Plaza 28 de Julio

 

 

 

Sunday, February 7

6:00pm Second Carnaval parade (starting at Parque Fundadores and going down 10th Avenue)

7:30pm A night of live music, shows, bands and contests at Plaza 28 de Julio

 

Monday, February 8

6:00pm Third Carnaval parade (starting at Parque Fundadores and going down 10th Avenue)

7:30pm A night of live music, shows and bands at Plaza 28 de Julio

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 9

6:00pm Closing parade (starting at Parque Fundadores and going down 10th Avenue)

7:30pm A night of shows performed by local groups followed by awards for different categories

12:00am The burning of “Juan Carnaval”

 

Carnaval offers a wonderful way for expats and tourists alike to experience local culture and music created by the people themselves, so if you're living in Playa del Carmen, you won't want to miss it. Get out there and enjoy it!

 

To see the full itinerary in Spanish and the original photos, click here to visit the article on the SoyPlayense website.

It’s that time of year again!

Here in Playa del Carmen, we set aside our soccer jerseys for just one day while we cheer on the football team of our choice on Super Bowl Sunday. This year, Super Bowl Sunday falls on February 7, so it’s already time to start planning where in Playa del Carmen you’re going to watch the big game as the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. Most places recommend making a reservation in advance because they can fill up quickly on Super Bowl Sunday. Kickoff is at 6:30pm Playa time!

 

Wah Wah Beach Bar

2nd Street and the beach

Wah Wah is always one of the top spots for watching any big gamehere in Playa del Carmen. Set under a huge palapa on the beach, Wah Wah will show the game on a wall-sized jumbotron screen with superior sound. They are offering a Super Bowl Buffet for only $250, and they recommend arriving early to get a good seat. For all the info, follow Wah wah’s Super Bowl 50 event page on Facebook.

 

 

Tequila Barrel

5th Avenue between 10th and 12th Streets

Perfect for those who want to bet on the Super Bowl! The famous Tequila Barrel on 5th Avenue has sports betting as well as Super Bowl Sunday specials: free shot for ladies who dance on the tequila barrel, and 15% discount for locals.

 

 

La Vagabunda Fiesta

Avenida 28 de julio and the highway

This restaurant and event space has a pool and a playground area, the perfect way to keep your kids entertained while you watch the Super Bowl. Starting at 5:00pm, they’ll have several deals going on like a jar of beer for only $105 pesos, 2-for-the-price-of-1 Bacardi and Paloma drinks, and some burgers and hot dogs.

 

 

Legends Sports Bar

16th Street between 10th and 15th Avenues

Legends will be showing the NBC broadcast right here in Playa. The fun starts at 5:30pm, so go ahead and make your reservation at the number on the flyer.

 

 

Zenzi Beach Club

10th Street and the beach

Watch Super Bowl 50 with a screen on the beach! What better way to experience the game in Playa del Carmen than a viewing right by the Caribbean Sea?

 

 

Indigo Beach Club

14th Street and the beach

Watch the Super Bowl in classic USA style: with wings and beers! For $230 pesos a person, you get 3 beers plus chicken wings or a burger. Yum!

 

 

Señor Dan's Margarita and Sports Bar

Right by the ferry terminal

This little bar will have the American broadcast so you get to see all the famous Super Bowl commercials. It's small size makes it the perfect spot to enjoy the game in a house-party style atmosphere with 4 LED TVs, so there's not a bad seat in the house. Enjoy $60 peso fireball shots and amazing margaritas! They also have Super Bowl t-shirts for sale in advance. For all the info, follow Sr. Dan's Super Bowl event page on Facebook.

 

Los Olvidados Cantina Bar Kitsch

6th Street between 5th and 10th Avenues

Watch Super Bowl 50 on the big screen and take advantage of the promos going on at this Playa del Carmen cantina bar: special prices on beer, ceviche, wings and bottles! To get all the details on the promos, follow the Los Olvidados Super Bowl event page on Facebook.

 

 

Vasso Live Bar

12th Street

For every touchdown, this Playa bar will have 5 minutes of 2-for-the-price-of-1 drinks!  This sleek venue is a mix of bar and nightclub, perfect for a fun night out. For more info, follow the Vasso Playa Super Bowl event page on Facebook.

 

 

La Choperia

5th Avenue and 28th Street

Watch the Super Bowl right on 5th Avenue! This laid-back bar fills up quickly, even on regular nights, so make sure to reserve your table in advance for Super Bowl Sunday. To keep up with their promos and info, follow the La Choperia Super Bowl event page on Facebook

 

 

Lol-Ha Akumal

Beachfront on Akumal Bay

Enjoy the big game and give to a great cause! This year's Super Bowl celebration at Lol-Ha restaurant will benefit the Akumal Community Center. Watch the game on big screens, enjoy the ocean view, place some bets and buy a t-shirt for the cause. For all the info on this Akumal community fundraiser and reservations, follow the Lol-Ha Super Bowl event page on Facebook.

 

 

La Drinkeria by Henry Miller

Arco Vial

Watch the American broadcast on an 8-square-meter screen!  A beautiful 2-story bar with cool style.

 

 

Thompson Hotel

Calle Corazón plaza on 5th Avenue

A rooftop tailgate party on 5th Avenue! Boasting Playa's biggest HD LED screen and the American broadcast of the Super Bowl, this beautiful new hotel just might be the coolest spot to see the game. They're also featuring live DJs before and after the game, as well as a tail-gate style buffet at $550 pesos per person. For more details, follow the Thompson Hotel Super Bowl event page on Facebook

 

 

The Public Place

Plaza Paseo Coba 210

2 big screens, 3-for-the-price-of-1 on certain liquors, "the biggest wings in Playa", beer, and live music after the game!

 

 

Chacabar Tulum

Aldea Zama, Tulum

One of Tulum's newest restaurants with a great bar and amazing cuisine! The tailgate starts at 4pm with slow-cooked BBQ and chicken wings. They will also be firing up their converted VW beetle wood-burning pizza oven for the special occasion! The first 50 fans will get two free squares on the football pot for prizes every quarter. Drink specials include the Bronco Buster and Pain-ther Killer! 

 


 

Last week, the BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors team had the opportunity to attend the press conference for this year’s upcoming Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival.

 

Hosted at Cancun luxury resort Secrets The Vine (known for its incredible cuisine!) in the Cancun Hotel Zone, the conference took place inside the elegant Red Vine Piano Lounge. There, Secrets treated us to impressive coffee break service with mouthwatering mini breakfast items so we could indulge a bit before the press conference began.

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

The press conference itself was headed up by a panel made up of David Amar, founder of the festival, as well as representatives from the different host venues.

 Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

The 2016 edition of the Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival marks the event’s 5th anniversary, so big things can be expected. The festival will kick off with a welcome cocktail party at Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort on the evening of April 27, followed by four days of impressive wine and food events with guest chefs and sommeliers. Tickets are now available for a wide variety of wonderful culinary events, such as wine tastings, mezcal tastings, the annual Star Chefs Dinner, the popular Gourmet Tasting Village with stands where guests can sample endless products and cuisine, a tribute dinner to Chef Alejandro Ruiz, and a tribute dinner to Chef Albert Adria.

 Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival

Host venues for the events of the 2016 Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival include a variety of beautiful resorts in the Cancun Hotel Zone, each known for its spectacular cuisine and restaurants:

  • Secrets The Vine
  • Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort
  • Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
  • Live Aqua Cancun
  • Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach

Thanks to this amazing festival as well as the many amazing new culinary resorts that have opened their doors in the past decade, the Cancun Riviera Maya area has transformed from simple beach destination to a destination known for its cuisine as well as its coastline. Mexican Chef Federico Lopez, founding chef of the Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, said it best with this statement:

The destination, Riviera Maya as well as Cancun, has become a gastronomical destination, more so than it already was, but now let’s just say that some very, very interesting cuisine is happing in the region. At the same time, chefs are already seeing the destination as an innovative point of reference… not just because of the festival, but for vacations as well. The festival has the responsibility to keep up the quality it is already providing, and keep creating more cuisine. We have great hotels, great restaurants and great tourist attractions… Mexican cuisine is very on trend right now, and the gateway is this tourist destination.

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 

Tickets for the 2016 Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival (April 29 - May 1) are already available to purchase online! From now until February 29, the pre-sale tickets will be at their lowest possible price, so now is the time to buy. Visit WineAndFoodFest.com to purchase your festival tickets and get all the details on each event.

Cancun Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival 


 

Photos by Andrea Ruiz Perron of BuyPlaya 

 

 

  

Laura Winfree

 

Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at http://gringationcancun.com and http://www.facebook.com/gringationcancun. Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!

 

 

A new project created in Playa del Carmen now allows you to purchase organic fruits and vegetables straight from the farm! Playa locals have begun to organize “Farmers at Your Door”, bringing organic, chemical-free produce from the state of Chiapas.

 

Our state of Quintana Roo is filled with its own kind of breathtaking natural beauty, but the limestone and soil are not great for agriculture, and many kinds of fruits and vegetables simply don’t grow well here, making it difficult to purchase produce straight from the source. The state of Chiapas, however, has rich soil and ideal conditions for farming; it’s relatively close location to Quintana Roo makes it a wonderful alternative for buying organic food in Playa del Carmen.

 

Farmland in Chiapas. Source: Flickr user Richard Weil

Karla Mongradon Perez, a biologist specializing in Organic Agriculture and Permaculture, says, “The idea is to bring these fruits and vegetables by paying in advance to small suppliers. This production will support 400 families who can’t always sell in Chiapas or end up selling at a very cheap price to abusive intermediaries.”

She also says that the lands where this produce is being cultivated has been farmed for over 500 years; these are isolated communities that don’t allow the use of pesticides or altered seeds. The water in these communities is not contaminated, and it adds over 50 natural minerals.

Right now,the Farmers at Your Door initiative has 10 participants and can bring up to 50 orders at a time. New orders will be brought in approximately every 2 weeks.

 

Farmland in Chiapas. Source: Flickr user BareKnuckleYellow

How can you order your organic produce?

First, you need to follow Farmers at Your Door on Facebook. Every 2 weeks, they will publish the list of available items and the deadline for payment, as well as the date when the produce will arrive at your door.

The first list is already available on Facebook (click here to see the January list) with a payment deadline of January 24. A minimum order of $600 pesos is required. This first delivery will be made on Sunday, January 31 starting at 5am.

You can order your organic fruits and vegetables via the Farmers at Your Door Facebook page or via the WhatsApp messaging app at (984)135-8598.

 

Source: Novedades Quintana Roo

 

 

  

Laura Winfree

 

Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at http://gringationcancun.com and http://www.facebook.com/gringationcancun. Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!

 

 

Once you’ve made the move and are living in Playa del Carmen, you’re going to want to get out and discover what lies beyond this big beach town. But what’s the best way to get around? ADO buses are cheap and comfortable, but they are limited to bigger towns and cities like Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Cancun and Merida. Hiring a taxi to take you around for day sounds convenient, but it can easily cost you upwards of $1000 pesos, not including a tip. (Trust me, I checked.)

For Playa locals dependent on public transportation, the answer can be found among the streets of Downtown Playa del Carmen, just a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of 5th Avenue: colectivo vans.

Right on 2nd Street between 15th and 20th Avenues, you’ll find colectivo vans lined up to take people from Playa del Carmen as far as Tulum, and everywhere in between.

 

How do they work? Colectivo vans leave every few minutes, as soon as all the seats fill up. The one-hour trip all the way to Downtown Tulum costs only $40 pesos per person, but you can also have the van drop you off anywhere you like along the main Riviera Maya highway.

Locals often use this form of transportation to take them to work at the big Riviera Maya resorts when they are running late, but it’s also a quick, easy and cheap way to reach some of the area’s best beaches and natural attractions. You can easily get to Xcaret or any of the resort entrances along the highway.

Some beautiful cenotes are also located along the colectivo route: ask the driver to drop you off at Cenote Azul or Cenote Jardin de Eden! To get a van back into town, just flag one down from the highway.

 

Colectivo vans also drop you off at the pedestrian bridge to Akumal Bay, and there is even a small parking lot right by the highway bridge with vans waiting to leave Akumal and take you back to Playa del Carmen.

The vans also give you an easy way to get to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, dropping you off just on the other side of the highway before heading into Downtown and offering vans leaving straight from the highway entrance. If you go all the way into Downtown, you’re just a 5-minute taxi ride away from Tulum’s stunning beaches.

 

 

If you’re going anywhere between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, colectivo vans will take you there quickly for $40 pesos or less. So what’s the downside? There are a few:

  • Colectivo vans often have no seat belts, something to keep in mind especially when traveling with babies and children.
  • The vans only drop you off on the main highway, which might mean a 5 – 10 minute walk to the beach.
  • There is no room in the van for large suitcases.
  • You will end up listening to whatever music the driver has selected… possibly a DJ remix of I Will Survive or a loop of Backstreet Boys greatest hits. (Ask me how I know.)
  • Be very careful when standing or walking by the highway! If you need to hail a colectivo van from off the highway to get back to Playa del Carmen, try to find a spot where the van can easily pull over. If you need to cross the highway on foot, use the pedestrian bridges whenever possible (like the ones at Puerto Aventuras and Akumal). The Riviera Maya highway is not very friendly to pedestrians.

For Playa del Carmen locals in search of an inexpensive day trip, the colectivo vans are often the perfect answer. Whether you’re living in Playa or just visiting, this simple form of public transportation can take you to some of the region’s most stunning beaches and attractions.

 

 

  

Laura Winfree

 

Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at http://gringationcancun.com and http://www.facebook.com/gringationcancun. Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!

 

 

The stunningly beautiful Xcaret park is a must-visit for anyone vacationing or living in the Riviera Maya. Located just five minutes south of Playa del Carmen, this immense attraction overflows with unbelievable activities for kids and adults alike. At Xcaret, you can swim through an underground river, visit a colorful Mexican cemetery, swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters of pristine inlets, see wings of all colors at the butterfly pavilion, and so many other adventures.

Xcaret park 

It doesn’t seem right to call this cultural and natural attraction a “theme park”, but that’s precisely what it is. In fact, this year Xcaret was recognized as the “Best Theme Park, International” by the 2016 Travvy Awards!

The Travvy Awards are presented each year by travAllianceMedia to honor the best of the best products and services in the worldwide travel industry. Travel agents choose the finalists in each category, then the editorial team determines the final two winners of each category. This year, winners were announced at the 2016 Travvy Awards Gala in New York City.

2016 Travvy Awards 

Both awards were accepted by Rodrigo Moravelasco Loera, Business Development Manager of Experiencias Xcaret. 

Xcaret 2016 Travvy Awards 

Not only did Xcaret win for Best Theme Park, International – the park was also awarded as the Best Water Park Overall! Of course Xcaret doesn’t look like a traditional water park; instead, it offers much more by giving its guests the opportunity to explore the fascinating natural waters of the Yucatan Peninsula in ways they will never forget.

Xcaret underground river

Throughout 2016, Xcaret will be celebrating its 25th year. They say, “This achievement is highly satisfying because it reflects the consistency of its efforts to be the destination’s most important attraction for all the market segments that visit every year.”

If you have yet to visit Xcaret, make sure you don’t miss it the next time you’re in the Riviera Maya. There’s no better spot to experience the natural beauty and fascinating culture of Mexico all in one place.

 

 

  

Laura Winfree

 

Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at http://gringationcancun.com and http://www.facebook.com/gringationcancun. Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!

 

 

When people dream about living in paradise, it also and often means a new start and a new way of living. However, most people don't realize how many details need to be considered in this process. Just like building a football team, building a team that will help ease a long and sometimes complicated process is crucial when you decide to start your own business or build your own house in paradise.

construction-site-playa-del-carmen 

Over the past 15 years, Playa del Carmen has significantly grown and our "little" town by the beach is becoming a place where people from around the globe wish to invest. Playa del Carmen is a young town of only 22 year old. The Civil Engineer Association of Solidaridad Municipality started 19 years ago here, in Playa del Carmen, and it practically grew up with our town, assuring citizens and foreign investors that it is a duly registered organization. There are 70 associate members of the Civil Engineer Association, and 32 of them are directors in charge of construction sites. Here is our BuyPlaya interview with the president of the Civil Engineer Association, Tomás Farfan Bravo:

construction-site-downtown-playa-del-carmen 

"An investor, someone that wishes to start a business, hotel or condominiums, needs to first verify the value of the land/lot, have the value of the construction that will be built, and of course be aware and have knowledge of all construction permits and requirements to carry out the project. Based on this information, a financial projection is done to determine what can be offered in their municipality. The best way to start is to be guided and advised by local professionals that have experience in this specific area, such as real estate advisors and us, the Civil Engineer Association.

buyplaya-real-estate-advisors

 

association-of-professional-civil-engineers 

"Within our association, we have our own construction companies and we are members of SEMIC and CANACO. We have, all under our roof, the professionals that can perform a cost evaluation (or cost study) for any kind of construction work. We also have site directors under our roof: they are the ones delivering the construction permits and all the required permits in order to finalize a construction work from A to Z. The experience of the professional real estate advisors combined with our association, give legal certainty to investors who come to buy in our municipality.

"The Site Directors are the ones authorized by the municipality to sign the construction license along with the city council and also to lead and finalize the construction work. On some occasions, they will be there during the construction. They need to make sure that all the permits are valid and have been authorized, such as environmental permits, health permits and all permits needed for construction. We, the Association, then come together with the designer/architect and the investor, and start the construction process."

contrsuction-cristo-rey 

"These last years, we have noticed considerable economic flow coming from real estate, construction, hotels, etc. Investors keep knocking at our door because they believe in our paradise and want to become a part of it. The promotional work we do makes investments consolidated. We also participate in the creation of urban development programs, local environmental programs and construction regulations respecting the areas of each. An important point to know and that investors are often not aware of, are the federal permits. When an investor wants to build a hotel or condominium building, he has to acquire an environmental impact statement with SEMARNAT. We suggest that this document is made with the help of experts and professionals as this document is the base for all the permits given.

"Investors also often ask us: How much can I build on my lot/land? The answer is in the value of the land and the commercial value of the project. We will see if it is a commercial or condominium building, how many condominiums, etc.

construction-cristo-rey 

"Another important point to know is the cost of all those permits: Federal permits, municipal permits, state permits and all the required permits. There is also the matter of hiring a registered construction company so the workers can benefit from seguro social (public health insurance) and be legally paid. 

"Our association offers multiple services all under one roof, along with expertise of our associates. It is important for us to give them a complete consultation and all the tools to make their dream come true."

jose-tomas-fafan-bravo-andrea-ruiz-perron 

It was a very interesting encounter for BuyPlaya as our agents face these kinds of situations daily with our clients. The Civil Engineer Association is an excellent source of information when it comes to building and investing; they work side by side with our city and have many years of local expertise added to a strong team of experts. Contact us at BuyPlaya anytime fore more information on how and where to start building your place in paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

andrea-ruiz-perrom 

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/

 

 

 

Celebrate the holiday season in true Cancun style!

Once again the Sunset Admiral Yacht Club and Marina is hosting its 4th annual Sunset Boat Parade this Sunday right on Cancun’s Nichupte Lagoon. Watch as some of the city’s most beautiful yachts get decked out in holiday lights and make their way along the coast of the Cancun Hotel Zone, the perfect way to celebrate in the Caribbean.

Sunset Boat Parade Cancun 

This magical event is open to the general public, and as always, it is completely free. You can view the boat parade from Jardin del Arte, a charming spot situated right on the lagoon at Kilometer 4.5 of the Hotel Zone, all while enjoying a festive atmosphere with stands with products for sale and promotional items, live shows and music, and a beautiful fireworks display.

Sunset Boat Parade Cancun 

The Sunset Boat Parade takes place this Sunday, December 20, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with the following itinerary:

5:00 pm Event opens to the general public

5:45 pm The boat parade passes by Jardin del Arte

6:45 pm The boat parade passes by Jardin del Arte for a second time on its return trip

6:50 pm Fireworks display

7:00 pm Musical show

9:00 pm End of event

The boats will set sail, so to speak, from the Sunset Admiral Yacht Club and Marina, then make their way under the Calinda bridge, then east along the ocean coastline until reaching Punta Cancun and returning back along the same route.

Sunset Boat Parade Cancun 

For more information on this one-of-a-kind Cancun event, including how to sign up your boat to participate, visit the Sunset Boat Parade website or follow the Sunset Marina on Facebook.

The hashtag for the Sunset Boat Parade is #SunsetBP Don’t forget to use it when sharing your pictures of the event on social media!

The year 2015 has been very, very good to us here in Playa del Carmen. We’ve experienced unbelievable cultural events, welcomed a new city theater, and had some amazing beach days (even with the sargasso). But now it’s time to bring 2015 to close and welcome everything that 2016 has to offer us… starting with a night of festivities throughout the city. Here is our list of New Year’s Eve 2016 events in Playa del Carmen and other parts of the Riviera Maya:

 

Mamita’s Beach Club

Playa’s most famous beach club is hosting their 2016 NYE party with live music on the beach from Les Vagabonds and Manufactured Superstars. There will also be a buffet dinner. To enquire about tickets, e-mail reservaciones@mamitasbeachclub.com or follow Mamita’s on Facebook for the latest updates.

 

 

Techno Music in the Jungles of Tulum

This year, Desert Hearts will host a night of techno music concerts called “Maya Hearts” in the jungle just south of Downtown Tulum, featuring artists like Atish, , Nu, Mathew Dekay, Bedouin and LUM. Desert Hearts goal is to “spread as much love and positive energy as humanly possible. Through music, art, and self-expression, we elevate to a higher collective consciousness to create the best possible vibe on our dance floors.” For directions, ticket information and the complete list of artists, visit the Maya Hearts event page on Facebook.

 

 

NYE Pairing Dinner at Off the Vine

Off the Vine is known for its wonderful dinners and wine tasting events here in Playa. For New Year’s Eve 2016, they’re preparing 3-course dinners for only $500 pesos per person, complete with an open bar and live music. Book your spot by calling (984)873-1206.

 

 

Indigo Beach Club

Indigo Beach Club always has something going on for every big day of the year. For NYE this year, they’re having a latin party with DJ and live music on the beach. Call (984)803-2222 for reservations.

 

 

Midnight Masquerade at Sea

Set sail from the Puerto Aventuras marina on this NYE yacht ride for adults only! Leaving at 9pm, this event will take you along the canals of Puerto Aventuras and the Riviera Maya coastline, with a midnight fireworks show on the beach. Tickets are $149 USD (or $129 if you book before December 15). For all the details on what to wear, what to expect, etc, visit the H2OH Cruises website.

 

 

Coincidance at Coco Maya Beach Club

Dance the night away on the beach with an extensive list of live DJs. Coincidance is a big 4-day event with music in the jungles and on the beaches of the Riviera Maya, and on December 31 it will be at Coco Maya Beach Club in the heart of Playa. For all the details on Coincidance and its other locations, visit Coincidance.org

 

 

Cuban Party at La Bodeguita del Medio

Ring in the new year with Cuban style at La Bodeguita del Medio on 5th Avenue. This popular bar and restaurant will have live music, dinner, and its famous mojitos.

 

 

DJ Tay James at Blue Parrot

Best known as Justin Bieber’s DJ and MC, DJ Tay James will be performing on the beach this New Year’s Eve at the Blue Parrot, joined by artists Omar Labastida, DJ Lil K, and Angel Baez. Get tickets at www.ElectroStub.com

 

 

Nas and Steve Aoki at Thompson Hotel

The new Thompson Hotel at Calle Corazon has become a big hit with its stunning rooftop area. Experience NYE hosted by rapper, songwriter and actor Nas on the 31 (or a live DJ concert by Steve Aoki on the 30th) with panoramic views of the city. For all the info and additional performances, visit the Thompson NYE 2016 event page on Facebook.

 

 

Canibal Royal Beach Club

This top beach club in Playa del Carmen will be hosting a NYE party with live music starting at 7pm! There is a cover charge, and extra charge to reserve a table or bottle service. To reserve your spot, contact info@canibalroyal.com or call (984)169-2807

 

 

Dinner at Plank 

The beautiful Plank restaurant has a wonderful New Year's Eve menu planned this year! Starting at $150 USD, feast on lobster, foie gras, chocolate mousse and much more. To reserve your table, e-mail reservations@plank.mx or call (984)803-0108

 

 

Sur Steakhouse

This iconic 5th Avenue restaurant is hosting its own New Year's event to ring in 2016. For information and reservations, e-mail mloaiza@grupoazotea.com or call (984)803-0597

 

 

Dinner at Imprevist Resto & Wine

Indulge in delicious cuisine at this trendy Playa restaurant, starting at $130 USD. Imprevist only has a few spaces left for its December 31 celebration. To book, contact Reservations@Imprevist.mx or call (984)168-7025

 

 

Wah Wah Beach Bar

A midnight balloon drop, live music and whatever you want to eat... with no cover charge! If you're dying to ring in the new year on the beaches of Playa, this is the place. For more information, visit the Wah Wah NYE event page on Facebook

 

 

Bar Ranita

One of the city's most iconic bars, Bar Ranita is hosting a night of live music with The Harharhar State of Flux, starting at 9pm. For up-to-date info, follow the NYE event page on Facebook

 

 

Zenzi Beach Club

Indulge in a delicious dinner and live music at this top Playa beach club! The New Year's Eve dinner and party at Zenzi costs $1700 pesos per person. Call (984)803-5738 for reservations.

 

 

Señor Frog's

Located right by the ferry dock, this party bar on the beach has a NYE party starting at 8pm. Open bar prices start at $900 pesos (plus tip), with dinner served until 11pm at an extra cost. For reservations, call (984)803-3498

 

 

Ula Gula Bar & Restaurant

To celebrate the new year on 5th Avenue, this chic open-air restaurant will be having dinner, drinks and dancing. Call (984)803-0597 for reservations.

 

 

Reina Roja Hotel

This avant garde hotel just off of 5th Avenue will be hosting New Year's Eve dinner from 6:30pm to 10:30pm, followed by their weekly Ladies Night at the Roof Garden Bar until 2am. Call (984)877-3800 ext 421 for reservations.

 

 

 

Club de Cerveza

One of the cheaper options! Known for its variety of artisanal beers from Mexico and abroad, Club de Cerveza is hosting a NYE dinner for only $485 pesos. Their celebration will take place from 5pm to 2am, but reservations will only be taken until 8pm. (After 8pm, it is first come, first served.) For more information, follow Club de Cerveza on Facebook.

 

 


When BuyPlaya got the email invitation for a special tour in an authentic Mayan village with Ojos Mayas, the half-Mexican side of me immediately got excited and curious. The idea of spending an entire day of discovering, exploring and learning about the fascinating culture and history of the Mayas, was for me the perfect way to find out more about them, about a culture I have always been curious about.

Along with eight other people, we left Playa del Carmen in the early morning for a two hour drive (coffee and croissants were waiting for us in the bus when we arrived), heading to El Señor, an authentic Mayan Village located in the center of the Zona Maya ("Mayan Zone") of our state of Quintana Roo.

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Seth, Blogger Everything Playa del Carmen, and Morgane Gaupp

The community of El Señor was founded in 1910; the first settlers came from the community of Chan Señor, where they were no longer able to breed animals, so they left their village and decided to seek a new broad and fertile land to cultivate and live in better conditions.

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This amazing tour started with a visit to the traditional healer in the community to learn how to use herbs grown in the region and the importance of each of them. Being far from the main hospitals, Doña Teodocia Canché is the designated healer as well as the midwife for the women of the community. She will also be in charge to assign a name to every new born of El Señor.

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Doña Teodocia Canché, traditional healer

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Among the plants that we saw and learned about were:

- Lemongrass: making tea with lemongrass helps stomach aches.

- Oreganon: Squeezing a leaf can get a couple of drops to be used against earache.

- "Cowleg Flower" (Flor pata de vaca): Making tea mixed with other herbs can be used to help asthma.

- Huaco: Mixed with other herbs, it will cure a snakebite.

oregano
Lemongrass

One of my favorite moments of the day was to listen to the stories of Don Abbondio, the village elder. Nobody is certain of his exact age, he is believed to be approximately 97 years old. Being the oldest person of El Señor, Don Abbondio has become a figure of respect and council within the community.

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Don Abbondio's very first house, built around 90 years ago.

 

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It was previously prohibited to the elderly to reveal any information from their ancestors. After the insistence of Marcos Canché, our excellent tour guide and member of the community, Don Abbondio accepted to share some of his amazing stories. He specifically selected a few, but most of them remain untold.. I was fascinated by the stories he allowed us to hear, and also fascinated by the memory he had!

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Don Abbondio welcomed all of us into his home, full of history. He then began to tell us about a period known as Caste War, that basically tells the story of the battles that pitted the Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula against the Mexican Federals.

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We then had the honor of meeting another important member of the community of El Señor: Don Crescencio Pat, one of the village artisans, who taught us traditional methods and ancient techniques to make sisal with yarn, which has countless cords with many different uses, amoung them: hammocks.

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Don Crescencio Pat (henequen-threading artisan)

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The introduction to the meliponas was fascinating: A delicate stingless bee that produces a very natural and high-quality honey. They live in tree logs and get special care in the community of El Señor, and they're known as "xuunan-kab" in the Mayan language.

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After the bees, we then headed to a very special place in the middle of the jungle...

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We drove through the jungle in a caravan of "moto taxis"...

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...To finally arrive to a magnificent and gigantic lagoon, where our guide invited us to now let the learning part aside, and enjoy a nice swim in the peaceful "Laguna Azul" (Blue Lagoon).

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After a day full of history and nature, we got to sit down and enjoy a delicious homemade meal made of organic ingredients from the village.

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This amazing experience usually runs from 8am to 6pm. The tour must have a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 12 as this tour is meant to be more intimate out of respect for this lovely Mayan community.

ojos-mayas-tour-group 

Ojos Mayas is a "community tourism" initiative linking Mayan communities with travelers from around the world to provide an incredible opportunity to learn and share about contemporary Mayan culture: their ideologies, traditions and economic development in today's Mexico. Ojos Mayas is one of the first guides of community tourism to meet new eco-tourist destinations and support economic and social livelihood of the Mayan communities. They promote values of fair trade, equality and sustainable development.

To learn more about Ojos Mayas and the tour of El Señor, you can contact Angel or Jorge at ojosmayastc@gmail.com or visit the Ojos Mayas Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Last week, Casa Sofia was the host for the Press Conference of FIDanza's first annual edition, and once again BuyPlaya was there to report. FIDanza (The International Dance Festival) was created to promote performing arts in the Riviera Maya. It aims to provide a training platform for the artists, creating an audience and introducing projects carried out in the community. The Festival also opened its doors to national dance companies and performers, as well as international (guest country).

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Liliana Alarcon, Director of FIDanza expressed how important this Festival is to the Riviera Maya community, considering the art and culture "boom" that happened in 2014 in our tourist destination. Our community, increasingly growing every year, has reached a new level of cultural demand. After FITeatro, FIDanza offers a space and time to create and to express through the art of dance. There will be a total of three local companies, five national companies and an international guest.

The public will also be able to attend work shops and lectures in addition of course to performances that will be taking place at :

- The brand new City Theater

- Casa de la Cultura

- Blue Parrot (an outside performance)

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Liliana Alarcon, Director of Festival Internacional de Danza

 

Lilian Villanueva Chan, the Secretary of Culture, showed enthusiasm and excitement towards the launching of FIDanza. She mentioned the fact that Festivals like FITeatro and FIDanza have a great effect on other nearby towns, stating, "Even the new grandiose City Theater of Playa del Carmen, an amazing space for artists, is now in discussion with other cities in order to replicate the ambitious house of arts."

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Lilian Villanueva Chan, Secretary of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture

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The Director of Tourism of Solidaridad, Clementina del Tejo, also expressed her excitement and also her support on this new artistic spin: "The Riviera Maya has been on the map for many years as a tourist destination. In the past year, art and culture have taken a huge step forward in our community. More and more projects are presented to us, and the present government has been authorizing the strongest projects. We are trying to make things easier for the people that have great ideas and want to start their own art projects; if the project has a strong structure and is thoroughly presented, then there is a good chance that we will support them."

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Clementine Del Tejo, Solidaridad Director of Tourism

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Luis Ernesto López, Solidaridad Director of Culture

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FIDanza starts today, December 7th until December 13th. And best of all... all the shows are free!!! You can download your tickets online at: http://fidanza.eventbrite.es Select the show that you wish to attend, then click on the link on the right: REGISTER. You will receive a confirmation in your email that you will have to print and bring the day of the event. You can also go in person to the theater from 10am to 6pm to get your tickets. Check out the programming on www.FIDanza.com.mx

Reserve your spot and get ready to experience some of Playa del Carmen's fascinating art scene!

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

One of our favorite things about living in Playa del Carmen is how involved the community is! Locals and expats arrange wonderful charities for the region’s families in need, and visitors are always asking us how they can help out during their holiday season vacation.  This year, we’ve compiled a list of some of Playa del Carmen’s best charities so you can give back to the community through your donations.

  

Kicks4Kids

In the small villages surrounding Playa del Carmen, thousands of children are in desperate need of shoes so they can walk, run, bike and play, often on unpaved streets. Kicks4Kids founder and owner of BuyPlaya Real Estate Michele Kinnon says, “Since we started Kicks4Kids in 2013, we have been able to put new sneakers on the feet of over a thousand underprivileged children living in very distressed conditions.” Kicks4Kids accepts donations year-round, and distributes the shoes to children in need on Christmas and Three Kings Day.

On your next trip to Playa del Carmen, save some room in your suitcase to pack a few pairs of new tennis shoes for Kicks4Kids. The sizes most needed are children’s size 3 to adult size 7.

Bring them to any of the Kicks4Kids collection centers:

  • Wah Wah Beach Bar (Calle 2 and the beach)
  • Don Chendo restaurant (Avenida 30 between Calles 24 and 26)
  • BRIC Hotel (Calle 28 between Avenidas 5 and 10)
 

 

 

Club Rotaract

Have any clothing or toys you no longer need or use? Club Rotaract in Playa del Carmen is accepting donations of clothing and toys (in good condition!) for Christmas season gifts for the children in the village Nuevo Noh-Bec. They will be taking the gifts to the village on December 13, so now’s the time. Contact information in the image below:

 

  

 

Puerto Aventuras Christmas Toy Drive

Mexi KIDS Can and Latitude 20 restaurant are co-hosting a toy drive this month for the kids at the Puerto Aventuras Community Center, which has 600 kids from Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil. Drop off toys at Latitude 20 restaurant in Puerto Aventuras (about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen). For more details and pictures, follow the toy drive’s Facebook event page.

 

  

 

 

Hekab Be Library in Akumal

Hekab Be Library provides activities and learning programs for the children of Akumal, a beach town located half an hour south of Playa del Carmen. Every year, they host a Christmas Party for the kids where Santa brings them toys, and they’ve already published the toys they need for this year’s party. Click here to see their holiday wish list for 2015.

You can also participate in the “Sponsor a Gift” program. Purchase an ornament with a child’s name on it for $20USD or $200 pesos at the Turtle Bay Café and Bakery in Akumal, and your donation will go to that child’s Christmas gift.

 

 

 

KKiS: Keeping Kids in School

Typically KKiS is in most need of school supplies for the kids of Playa del Carmen, but this year they're asking for special help. Their big holiday season drive is attaining financial support for 15 high school students to continue their education. The cost for each student is $200 USD which will cover their school fees, books, uniforms, school supplies and transportation. Previous donors paid for the first semester but now they need generous angels to donate for the second semester which begins in mid-January. The students attend all four public high schools in Playa del Carmen; three of them are trade schools in which students are prepared for the workforce and one is a college preparatory.

KKIS provides each student with a Spanish speaking mentor with whom they meet at least once a month to seek help and share achievements.These volunteers are young adults from the Playa community who give their time to help ensure the future of promising high school students who need a helping hand. There is a "Donate" button on the website: www.kkisproject.org that will take you to PayPal to make a donation.

 

  

 

Whether you’re living in Playa del Carmen or visiting this December, get into the holiday spirit and spread some cheer to local families in need!

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival kicked off with incredible pre-concerts, including a full house on Sunday, November 22. The new Teatro de la Ciudad (City Theater) hosted 4 days of free concerts leading up to the famous festival, featuring well-known local and Mexican jazz-style bands to get the city excited for the huge upcoming event that will take place November 26 – 28 at Mamitas Beach. The festival is celebrating its 13th edition just over a decade after it was created, and it is now listed among the top 5 of its kind in the world.

 

These additional music events allowed the public to be officially introduced to the Playa del Carmen Big Band Jazz, a group made up of 20 musicians who opened on Sunday night. The groups TLS, Julio Espinoza Quartet and the National Jazz Orchestra followed. Famed saxophonist Diego Maroto, one of Mexico’s most renowned musicians, also made an appearance as a special guest.

On Monday, the Teatro de la Ciudad featured a concert with artists Mayita Campos, Footprints Jazz Quartet, The Two, and Rio Funk. On Tuesday, Tigres del Surf, The Mexican Broadcast, Gabriel Palatchi Trio, and Gabo Gonzalez y el Groove Capital made appearances. The pre-concerts came to a close on Wednesday with Cool Reten, Julio Baro Quartet, BBMamut and Francisco Lelo de Larrea.

 

 

Of course, now Playa del Carmen is gearing up for the big event! The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival officially begins on Thursday, November 26 with three nights of live jazz music on Mamitas Beach. The festival will feature artists like Phil Perry, Dirty Loops, Zappa Plays Zappa, Resorte, Torus, Allan Holdsworth, Gino Vanelli and more. Admission is free and the events start at 7pm.

 

For more information, follow the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival on Facebook or visit www.rivieramayajazzfestival.com

See you there!

This inviting spa started with one simple desire: to create a place for friends to relax, get pampered and enjoy spa services in a pleasant environment. Kristin Roehmer, decided to add an inviting day spa to their existing hotel boutique, Bric Hotel.  She noted a lack of full service spas with a pool, restaurant and amenities that was easily accessible to Playa del Carmen locals  and her vacation rental clients for a Day Spa to enjoy without entering a large All Inclusive Resort.

She wanted to create a place for clients to enjoy a first class spa treatment, sit by the pool, order a Cesar salad and just relax; at a reasonable cost. 

bric-spa 

Kristin and Marcus Roehmer moved to Playa del Carmen, from the United States, in 2005 for just one year to "get away from it all". 10 years later, they now have a Real Estate company as well as a Vacation Rental company (and property management) and a hotel.

Bric Hotel is a small 15 room boutique hotel in the heart of Playa del Carmen, with the "old Playa" feel. Bric has a total of 40 people working for all 3 companies and some of them have been there since the very beginning and just celebrated their 10 year anniversaries with Bric.

This very well trained staff will now welcome you to their new organic concept Spa, where you will be able to choose the perfect treatments to pamper yourself.

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From aromatherapy, to relaxing massage, meditation or pedicure, the array of services that the Bric Spa offers you will make you feel rejuvenated. 

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All of the products are plant based and mostly organic.

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As a final surprise for all Bric friends, clients and future clients, Kristin and Marcus prepared an intimate cocktail event to launch their new Spa.

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Kristin Roehmer, owner of Bric

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Many residents of Playa del Carmen were present to celebrate the opening. BuyPlaya was honored to be invited to the inauguration of the newest addition to the Bric family. The Spa at Bric is a perfect getaway for residents and tourists. As residents, we sometimes get caught up in the "craziness" of our fast growing beach town, and this new option is a wonderful way to achieve the balance the we are all looking for.

guests-spa-bric-opening-event 

Whether you are on vacation in the Riviera Maya or you are now lucky enough to be a full time resident; the fact is that no what matter your situation you will always need to take a moment for yourself. A moment where you become the most important person in your world...  you need to take care of and pamper that person.  Bric Spa also makes that easier with special pricing for locals, repeat clients and monthly memberships!

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Visit www.brichotel.com for more information on pricing and spa services, you can also contact Kristin by email at kristin@bricrental.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Anyone living in the Riviera Maya knows that you can never really see everything that Xcaret park has to offer… it’s huge! What’s a local to do?

 

Right now, Xcaret is offering special passes for locals so we can visit as many times as we like at an amazing price: only $1499 pesos for a full year of unlimited visits.

The Soy Xcaret (“I Am Xcaret”) card is available exclusively for residents of the state of Quintana Roo. That means anyone living in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Chetumal or anywhere else in the state can enjoy unlimited access to the park for an entire year. With this locals card, it’s now easier to join visiting friends and family at the park without spending over and over again. You could even visit the park just to hang out at the beach whenever you want without feeling like you have to visit every single attraction.

The price is $1499 pesos for adults (12 years and up) and $750 pesos for kids (5 – 11 years). Kids ages 4 years and under are free. To put that into perspective for you, the regular one-time admission price for locals is $792 pesos, so the card pays for itself with just 2 visits a year!

 

To qualify as a local to get the Soy Xcaret card, you need to have one of the following:

  • IFE card for Mexican nationals
  • Temporary or Permanent Residency card for foreigners

The card is valid for 1 year, starting on the date of your first visit. If you renew your card before the year is up, you get 25% off the next year!

The Soy Xcaret card includes:

  • Free admission to Xcaret park all year, with no seasonal restrictions
  • 20% discount on restaurants within the park
  • 15% discount on the nighttime show dinner
  • 25% discount at the park’s photo module
  • 15% discount at Xcaret stores
  • 50% discount on dolphin swims at Xcaret
  • 2-for-the-price-of-1 on the park’s “Optional Activities”
  • 10% discount on  park admission for up to 5 non-Quintana Roo friends
  • Pre-sale discounts and advance tickets for special Xcaret events
  • Free admission to the Festival of Life and Death and the Travesia Sagrada Maya
  • 10% discount at Oakley, Invicta and Watch My Watch stores

For Riviera Maya locals, the great price of the Soy Xcaret card offers us a whole year of affordable fun. Use it for unlimited beach/snorkeling days, taking visiting friends and family to see the park, family weekends, taking your kids to see the new aviary, Day of the Dead festivities… so many options!

 

 

 

 

You can buy your Soy Xcaret card at the following locations:

  • Online at SoyXcaret.com
  • Ticket counters at Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor and Xoximilco
  • Watch My Watch, Invicta and Oakley stores in Cancun and Playa del Carmen

For all the details on the Soy Xcaret card, visit SoyXcaret.com (page is in Spanish)

If you’re not a local but you’d like to be, BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors can help you purchase your home here in the Riviera Maya! When you live in this incredible region of Mexico, you have access to some pretty impressive discounts like Soy Xcaret. Visit BuyPlaya.com to see the wide range of condos, apartments and houses we have for sale.

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