Sunday, August 18, 2013

Today's video of the day comes to us from Tripulu. It's a great introduction into the area and its many attractions, including beaches, towns, restaurants, nightlife and more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Discover the Yucatan Through Video

Television network Televisa has just released a video highlighting many of the most amazing attractions and images of the Yucatan area. All of these attractions are reachable during a visit to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya. Some of them are best enjoyed with an overnight stay, to avoid too much travel time on a single day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ATVs and Snorkels in the Riviera Maya

No visit to the Riviera Maya is complete without a tour through the beach-side jungle and a swim through a freshwater lagoon, called a "cenote." Check out this video of a group of travelers experiencing some of the Playa del Carmen area's most unique tours, including a ATV ride through the tropical forest and a dip in Media Luna Cenote.


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Video Tour of Playa del Carmen

Thinking about going to Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya, but not sure if it's the right vacation spot for you? Check out this video tour of Quinta Avenida, the famous Fifth Avenue of Playa del Carmen.

For a live view of your future vacation spot, check out these live webcams of Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

How the Locals Talk: Spanish of the Riviera Maya

When traveling to Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or the Riviera Maya, it's always nice to speak a little spanish -- and in particular, the kind of Spanish they speak around these parts. Below are some local references, names and other common phrases you may come across during your travels. If you want to fit in, try to use these words with your waiters, cab drivers and hotel employees. It's sure to earn you a smile.

Cenote: A rare geological feature of the Yucatán, acenote is a freshwater sinkhole formed when the limestone ground caves in and fills with water from underground rivers.

Colectivo: A sort of taxi-bus combination, a colectivo is a van or similar vehicle used for local transportation. It has semi-fixed routes and is cheaper than a taxi.

Costa Maya: The coastline south of the Riviera Maya (which officially ends at Tulum).

Federal: Used when referring to Highway 307, a federal highway.

Playa del Carmen beach

Ha: Mayan for “water.” You’ll see it used everywhere.

Mole: A chocolate-based sauce made with dozens of herbs and spices, used in traditional Mexican cooking.

Muelle: Spanish for “dock,” it’s commonly used when referring to the ferry landing, which is also called the “embarcadero.”

Nopales: Sliced cactus from the nopal tree, it’s used locally in breakfast juice and can be served grilled or sautéed with any meal of the day.

Palapa: Thatched palm used to make roofing in the Riviera Maya. The tight weave keeps out rain and has to be replaced every couple of years. The word is also used generically to refer to any structure that has a thatched-palm roof.

Pan dulce: Literally “sweet bread,” it’s used to describe a variety of delicious locally made breakfast pastries. For a quick start to your day, order a café con pan dulce.

Parada: Spanish for “bus stop.”

Playa: Meaning “beach” in Spanish, this is the short name used locally when referring to Playa del Carmen.

Playacar: A name created in 1992 to refer to the tourist development located just south of First Street and the ferry dock.

Propina: Spanish for “tip.” Make sure you check your bill to see if tip has already been added: propina incluida.

Quinta: Spanish for “fifth,” it’s the name used for Fifth Avenue, the main tourist strip in Playa del Carmen.

Riviera Maya: The name used to refer to the area from just south of Cancún to Tulum. The actual boundaries tend to change a little bit, depending on whom you talk to. The phrase was coined in the early 1990s and is sometimes said in English, “Mayan Riviera.”

Tacos al pastor: Pork tacos cooked on a vertical spit, seared with licking flames and served with pineapple slices.

Tiempo compartido: Spanish for “time share.” If a deal is too good to be true, like a Jeep rental for $20 a day, chances are it’s part of a tiempo compartido offer.

For more information and tips about traveling to the Riviera Maya, check out the newly released guidebook by Joshua Hinsdale.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ajua Maya Restaurant Celebrates 10 Years in Playa del Carmen

Ajua Maya Playa del CarmenAjua Maya Restaurant celebrated 10 years in Playa del Carmen with a traditional celebration mixing Mayan, Mestizo and Mexican cuisine and customs on on May 21, 2011.

Jorge and Brenda Alfaro acquired Ajua Restaurant (now Ajua Maya) in Playa del Carmen in 2001. The restaurant specializes in Mayan, Mestizo, Mexican and a touch of Virginian cuisine; and now, ten years later, the Alfaros enjoy working with many of the same staff and wonderful Ajua friends who return each and every year to share their success.

"Immediately after the acquisition of Ajua, we worked hard to provide our customers with the highest quality ingredients and preparations available on the Riviera Maya," said Brenda Alfaro, the Virginian partner.

"We feel blessed," said Jorge Alfaro, the Mexican-Mayan side of the couple. "Those who experience our creative and inclusive restaurant style, convey to us that we are one of the best, if not the best, restaurant experiences they have ever had in their life. What a compliment."

The Alfaros attribute their restaurant’s success to the extraordinary Mayan staff they have worked with for 10 years. Brenda explained that the Maya infuse Ajua Maya with their noble heritage, including their traditional community culture, which ensures harmony in daily life and in work, free of negativity and full of the joy of working together as a family and a village.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Whale sharks swarming near the Riviera Maya

Whale shark, by National GeographicThe Washington Post is running a great article about the whale sharks new Isla Mujeres. Though the region has long been known for its whale sharks, especially in the waters to the north of the island, this year seems to be different, with many more sharks present in waters much closer to the island.

Excerpt from the story:

It's like a fishbowl full of whale sharks," said Robert Hueter, director of the shark research center at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla. "We are witnessing a spectacle of nature down there that we don't fully understand."

Hueter, Mexican biologist Rafael de la Parra and a group of other marine scientists are trying to make sense of the big shark reunion, an event dubbed the "afuera." The word means "outside" in Spanish, and it was the name de la Parra initially used to describe to the phenomenon.

Read the whole story >>

Chablé Maroma: Discover the Riviera Maya's Most Exclusive Family-Friendly Hotel

The Chablé Maroma hotel in Playa Maroma has done what few hotels have even attempted to do -- successfully combine luxury with family-friend...