October: Upcoming events…

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#Holbox…Comer amar y Contemplar : Muestra gastronómica 

17th to 19th October, 2013  http://www.holboxgastronomia.com/es/index.html

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8th Anniversary of Diablito Cha Cha Cha in Playa del Carmen / 16th October 2013 With Jonathon MusicDesigners y DISQUE DJ  http://diablitochachacha.com/

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 #OtoñoCultural @ Cozumel Programa OCT 19 – 27, 2013

http://www.islacozumel.com.mx/acerca/eventos.cfm?show=84

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Dread Mar I @ Sr Frogs #PlayaDelCarmen October 20th, 2013 Reggae Latino

https://www.facebook.com/senorfrogsplaya?directed_target_id=0

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The Riviera Maya’s 11th annual Marine #TurtleFestival

17th to 20th  October, 2013 in Tulum, Akumal and Xcacel

http://www.festivaltortugamarinatulum.com/

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October 19th, 2013 OperaMaya Chamber Series presents “Clasic Fussion” with metropolitan opera singers:

Tenor Randolph Locke and…
Carol Sparrow Mezzo Soprano in its production…. “Popera”

https://www.facebook.com/events/636367386384368/

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27th October,  2013 @ Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
CATEGORIES: 5K: Open to anyone, 10K: Young Adults 15-17 years, Adults 18-39 years, Masters 40-49, Veterans 50+ years.
21K: Adults 18-39 years, Masters 40-49, Veteran 50+ years.
http://www.mrm2013.com/corre_causa.html

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Miguel Campbell @ Canibal Royal October 20th, 2013 – Playa del Carmen

https://www.facebook.com/canibalroyal

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Xcaret Park brings you the celebration of the Day of the Dead or Hanal Pixán in its 8th edition of the Festival of Life and Death Traditions.

http://festivaldevidaymuerte.com/

Cacao

 

cacao collage

I have a cousin who is addicted to chocolate, instead of having a cup of coffee each morning, she has a piece of chocolate, chocolate is her coffee, it´s what helps her wake up in the morning. Although chocolate contains caffeine, a very small amount compared to coffee, psychologically she needs at least a piece of chocolate a day to function. I on the other hand use chocolate as comfort food, bad days, sad days, sick days, will have me eating a bar of chocolate, after all who can resist the creamy sensations of it melting in your mouth, it also makes me smile.  I love chocolate. It turns out that the Mayas loved chocolate also, which only helps confirm my theory that the Riviera Maya is the best place to live.

Chocolate comes from the Cacao bean, which originated somewhere in the Americas, what is now central Mexico, down through Central America.  The word Cacao originated from the Maya word Ka’kau’ and they believed that it was discovered by the gods in a mountain. Maya mythology says that the god Hunahpu gave cacao to the Maya after humans were created, from the maize plant, by the goddess Ixmucane. Each April the Mayas celebrated a festival to honor their cacao god Ek Chuah, in which they would sacrifice a dog with cacao colored markings. In fact The Associated Press just recently reported that archaeologists “found traces of a 2,500 year-old-chocolate on a plate in the Yucatan Peninsula,…”

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/2-500-year-old-chocolate-may-have-been-used-by-mayas-as-condiment-1.902123#ixzz23e4dNJKW 

Historically experts believed that Cacao was used as a drink, such as the Aztec “xocoatl” made by crushing the beans and mixing them with liquids, but they have recently discovered that it was also used as a condiment. Years later, cacao is still used as a condiment, mole, a delicious sauce made with cacao and hot peppers, is a typical mouth-watering example of how my ancestors took advantage of the cacao bean.

It wasn´t until the Spanish came to Mexico that cacao became chocolate by adding sugar to it. Chocolate became very fashionable in Europe by the 17th century, only enjoyed by the rich until the late 1700’s when the invention of the steam engine finally made mass production possible.  It’s said that Casanova was a big fan of chocolate, given that it was rumored to be a good aphrodisiac, although that rumor still stands today.

 

Browsing through Facebook the other day, and I found a post that read “Save the Earth. It´s the only planet with chocolate.” Although I don´t need chocolate to convince me to take care of our planet, it still made me think that chocolate is in fact a very delicious treat, I have yet to meet anyone who dislikes chocolate. The Mayas were great inventors, scientists and architects, and apparently cooks, if not for their odd use of cacao, our world today might not have the advantage of enjoying mouthwatering chocolate. So please, I ask, Save the Earth. It´s the only planet with chocolate…that we know of!

Greetings from the tropical waters of the Riviera Maya!

 

Camila Pittman

Moskito Riviera Maya

info@moskitopm.com

http://www.moskitoplayadelcarmen.com

http://www.realestateplayadelcarmen.com.mx

Playa del Carmen Grocery Stores

collage supermercados

Grocery stores are unique to each country, and Mexico, although just across the border from the U.S., is no exception. When I take friends, who are visiting, to the grocery store, they make comments about seemingly odd things, which have become normal to me. For instance ham, we do not have packaged ham, instead you go to the cold cuts area and tell a lady what type of ham you would like and how much. If you do not know any of the brands you can ask to taste different kinds until you like one, it is also important to remember that our measurements are in kilograms or grams.

Milk is another anomaly, our milk is found in Tetra Pak’s, a sort of carton case covered inside with aluminum, which does not have to be refrigerated until opened. This is because of the culture, not all Mexican families can afford a refrigerator, and the milk lasts for months unless it is opened.

Meats, chicken and seafood are displayed in refrigerated packs, however I recommend asking the person behind the counter to cut fresh pieces of meats and chicken for you, you can also ask them to cut it to your specific needs. 

There are many grocery stores in Playa del Carmen, however only four main ones are used by visitors and most locals: Walmart, Mega Comercial Mexicana, Soriana and Chedraui. 

Mega Comercial Mexicana is a great place for ripe, fresh fruits and vegetables, although they do not have many American imported foods, it is a clean, good quality supermarket.

Soriana and Chedraui have a lot of American imported foods, such as cereals, chips and pasta helpers, yet the fruits and vegetables are lacking in quality and tend to be days old.

Walmart sometimes has good fruits and vegetable and sometimes not, the same applies with imported foods. It’s a gamble each time you go and it’s always full of people, resembling more a street market than a grocery store.

Dac is an organic supermarket where you will find the best fruits and vegetables of the season available at a higher cost, however if you are a vegetarian or prefer high quality fruits and vegetables this is the place I recommend you go. 

Next time you are in a supermarket remember to take your time and look around first, given that not all products are the same as in other countries, also if you can’t find something or don’t know what brand to buy don’t be afraid to ask, I have helped many visitors in my 4 years, and I’m always happy to do so.

Greetings from the tropical waters of the Riviera Maya!

Camila Pittman

Moskito Riviera Maya

info@moskitopm.com

http://www.moskitoplayadelcarmen.com

http://www.realestateplayadelcarmen.com.mx

Fitness in Playa!!

yoga-on-the-beach

Exercise is not my cup of tea. However about twice a year I vow to work out and actually stick to it, which I do, for about three months, until I conveniently forget to go to the gym everyday for 3 months. I now understand that just going to the gym doesn´t work for me, in my head 20 minutes of slow walking on the treadmill is more than enough exercise for the week, not to mention the walking back and forth from my house to the gym, therefore I hire trainers.  I’ve also taken tennis classes, yoga, spinning and zumba.

At the moment I am training with Aussie Rob, as he is known in the training world, a huge, young Australian who has a steady client list, and is highly in demand. He is as personalized as a personal trainer can be. The first day I met with him, I explained the results I wished to get from the torture I would put myself through, as I said exercise is truly not my thing. He listened and made notes, and that same night he sent me a meal plan, as well as a training plan.

Since he is independent from all the gyms, we train anywhere I want, the beach, my back yard, the Mario Villanueva Stadium, any outdoor space is an option, apparently the point is for you to feel comfortable. My first day with Aussie Rob was pure torture, I was right, death by training, maybe he wasn’t for me, however after he actually saw how bad in shape I really was, he began to use it to his advantage.

I have always enjoyed contact sports, in my younger years I trained with a boxer and realized that I actually had a lot of fun, this Aussie Rob found out within the first hour of our training session, when I finally got to kick him and punch at him I began to relax and have fun, I even smiled! It helps to have a personal trainer that is actually concerned about your wants and needs, I have come across many that just don’t listen and treat you more like a person they have to put up with an hour.

Although private training is not the only effective way to stay in shape. Thanks to the concious health people that live in Playa there are so many options ranging from free, to expensive.

Most Yoga studios offer their first class for free, because there are many types of yoga and many studios , the point is to find the right fit for you.

The Palapa in the Mario Villanueva stadium offer free classes, ranging from yoga to world drumming dances.

You can also find great special at gyms, the two main gyms being Evolve and The Gym, also a wide variety of classes are offered with your membership. Both gyms offer spinning, yoga, zumba, core, abds and buns, bootcamp, to name a few.

Tennis is another great way to work out, and there are many instructors in Playa as well as free courts, there is even a tennis school in Playacar for people of all ages and levels.

Cross fit is also very popular in the Riviera Maya, a core strength and conditioning program which started in police academies and tactical operations teams. This intense workout is sure to get you in shape in the least time, however it is reccomended that you are somewhat in shape before going to a class.

If non of these options are for you, than you can always take advantage of the two free sports centers, one is the Mario Villanueva Stadium and the other is La Unidad Deportiva on Juarez, right before av.115. Both offer free basketball and tennis courts as well as a running track and a soccer field.

With all these options available it’s hard to come up with a good excuse to not workout, but if you need any, let me know!

Greetings from the tropical waters of the Riviera Maya!

Some Yoga Studios:

Yoga By The Way: http://www.yogabytheway.com/

Yoga By The Sea: http://www.morethanyoga.com/

Ananda, Yoga desde el Corazon: http://www.anandayoga.com.mx/

Jardin Shangri-La: http://www.jardindeshangrila.com/

Bikram Yoga Riviera Maya: http://www.bikramyogarivieramaya.com/03_the_experience.html

Yoga private lessons danimanzuryoga@gmail.com

Gyms:

Evolve: https://www.facebook.com/evolveplaya/info

The Gym: http://www.thegymplaya.com/ingles/index1.html

Tennis:

Tennis Academy:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PLAY-TENNIS-ACADEMY-Playa-del-Carmen/196648827032404

Cross Fit:

Evolve: https://www.facebook.com/evolveplaya

Ricky FFit Alvarez, cross fit trainer: https://www.facebook.com/ffit.mx

Camila Pittman

Moskito Riviera Maya

info@moskitopm.com

http://www.moskitoplayadelcarmen.com

http://www.realestateplayadelcarmen.com.mx

Summer Time

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Summer in the Riviera Maya tends to be more relaxed with fewer tourists most of us locals tend to reclaim Playa del Carmen as our own. However what most visitors don’t know is that summer is one of the best times of the year to visit the Riviera Maya. A friend of mine voiced his concern the other day, “but what about the hurricanes? To which I can only answer, what hurricanes? In the last 42 years since Cancun and the Riviera Maya were established (1970), there have only been 3 hurricanes that have made landfall: Gilbert in September 1988, Roxanne in October 1993 and Wilma in October 2005. Of course we have had many tropical storm/depressions and hurricane warnings, but in the past few years there have been more hurricanes to make landfall in the state of Florida than in the Riviera Maya. Generally if you visit the Rivera Maya during hurricane season you will not encounter any difficulties, the weather will be fine, and although it may rain a little more, meaning that there is a quick drencher once or twice a day, normally in the late afternoon, and the rest of the time the sun will be shining. Not visiting the Riviera Maya during the summer because you’re scared of a hurricane hitting is like not going to Japan because you’re scared of a tsunami, it happens, just not that often. Another concern I have heard voiced is the heat, again I ask, what heat? I remember that last July the North-Eastern United States was suffering through one of the hottest heat waves on record, according to the Washington Post, Washington DC reached a total 119 degrees Fahrenheit on July 22, 2011, and in Playa, you might ask yourself? Well here the average high during summer is 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with the heat index accounted for, not to mention the proximity of the Caribbean ocean, which is steps away, creating a nice cooling breeze. As much as I love the Smithsonian Museum, I would much rather be enjoying a cool breeze while soaking up the sun than melting on the street with a sweaty bottle of water.

What most people don’t understand, my friends included, is that summer time in the Riviera Maya means more beach space, vacation rentals for a bit cheaper, cheaper day- tours and less people in eco-parks. Better deals are to be had and more fun, it’s experiencing the Riviera Maya de local way. With whale shark season falling during summer months as well as turtle nesting season, there are more activities to enjoy as well. I invite you to come experience the Riviera Maya this summer, and I am almost certain you will not be disappointed.

Greeting from the tropical waters of the Caribbean!

Camila Pittman

Moskito Riviera Maya

info@moskitopm.com

http://www.moskitoplayadelcarmen.com

http://www.realestateplayadelcarmen.com.mx

Yal Ku… an special place to visit

Yalku-Collage

Living in the Riviera Maya sometimes makes me forget the amazing places and beaches that are found here. There is nothing better than having friends come visit given that I always appoint myself official tour guide, and take them to the many places I enjoy visiting. Amongst the many day tours there is always one place that I always go to, hidden between houses, and trees there lays a massive fish tank. This might sound odd and although it’s not a fish tank per say, it’s the best way I can describe it.

Yal Ku is a small estuary, or as its known in Spanish caleta, at the end of Akumal. An exit point for various cenotes, fresh water flows out into the seawater creating a calm and safe environment for many types of fish. Upon entering the estuary you are immediately greeted by a school of sergeant-colonel these small black and yellow fish swim around you as if you where part of their group.

As you slowly make your way through Yal Ku you’ll realize that the water’s temperature will change suddenly, from warm to cold, this is because the water from the ocean is warm and the water flowing out of the cenotes is cold, thus creating a thermocline effect as you swim.

While snorkelling around you’ll begin to hear a crunching sound, turning left and right in hopes of locating this unexpected sound, you’ll see two huge parrot fish munching on the rocks at the bottom, red, yellow, blue, with big pursed lips, you could float for hours just watching these marvellous fish. If you don’t own snorkel equipment, there are plenty for rent at the entrance. 

Yal Ku is a protected estuary, and its clear and clean water shows for it. Located at the end of a lush jungle, which is decorated with statues and orchids, small paths lead towards the many platforms for easy access into the water. One of the best features of Yal Ku is that even during rough sea-days Yal Ku is protected from the ocean and remains calm, this makes it perfect for families with kids or for adventurers who want a snorkel day even when the ocean is not in the mood to comply. The water itself is not so deep, ranging from 9 to 15 feet, making it the perfect place for not so experienced swimmers as well as for children. Because of the cenotes surrounding this estuary the underwater landscape has a lot to offer as well, scattered with underwater caves and small valleys it’s great fun to swim through this rocky landscape alongside blue tangs.

Yal Ku is a must see when in the Riviera Maya, and is easily accessible by car or taxi when staying at a Vacation Rental or hotel. As many times as I’ve gone it never ceases to amaze me.

Greetings  from the tropical waters of the Riviera Maya!

Camila Pittman

 

 

Moskito Riviera Maya

info@moskitopm.com

http://www.moskitoplayadelcarmen.com

http://www.realestateplayadelcarmen.com.mx

Playa del Carmen Beach Clubs

 Club_De_Playa_playa_Del_carmen_moskito

Canibal Royal is a small yet very popular beach club where mostly locals go to, although there are a lot of international visitors. The main building is shaped like a ship of sorts, the first floor has a bar and sitting/lounging area, the second floor offers tables for people that just want to stop by to have lunch, while the roof-top has loungers and a nice sized Jacuzzi. The beach itself is very scenic, given that there are a few small fishing boats anchored in front, however it is still very nice to swim. This is more of a family place, although there is also a DJ, the loungers and beds are spread out in such a way that families can enjoy quality time together, while those who want to drink and dance have the freedom and space to do so. The food here is superb, offering anything from tacos and ceviches to brick oven pizzas!

You have finally found the perfect Vacation Rental in Playa del Carmen, the weather forecasts sunny blue skies, and warm weather, and you can’t wait to enjoy the crystalline waters of the Caribbean, but once in town you are at lost as to which beach club to go to. Many tourists I meet tend to go to the first one they see, or one they have read about, however that club doesn’t always suit their needs, with so many beach clubs around I can assure you that there is one that will be perfect for what you are looking for. Keep in mind that most beach clubs have a minimum consumption, depending on what type of lounger you want.

Mamita’s started it all, this beach club was the first and most famous in Playa, and although it is still a great place to go it can get a little crowded during high season. Don’t underestimate it, it is still very popular and if what you are looking for is a big beach party surrounded by beautiful, bikini-clad women and for the most part handsome men, you are at the right place. There is always a great DJ spinning great beats and nice comfortable beds to lay in while you are not having a drink and mingling with the crowd. Mamita’s offers restaurant and bottle service, as well as a pool, however it is a little out of the way.

Kool beach is right across from Mamita’s, this happening place is best known for the yearly BPM event. Kool caters to a more international crowd, especially during high season, and the DJ is positioned right next to the pool, so you will never miss a beat.  This is the place to go for die-hard electronic music lovers. Kool offers restaurant and bottle service.

For a more relaxed environment head to Zenzi, this small beach club offers huge cushions instead of loungers on the beach as well as an indoor restaurant. Zenzi offers great music and is normally visited by Canadians and Americans, as well as scuba divers. Once the sun goes down the bar begins to fill up and live music begins to play. Zenzi also offers a Monday night movie on the beach, as well as a Sunday barbeque.

I can’t say for certain that these are the 4 top beach clubs Playa has to offer, however these are the places I recommend my friends and family to go to and they have always enjoyed them, as I hope you will too!

Greetings from the tropical waters of the Riviera Maya!

 

Camila Pittman

 

For more information please contact:

Moskito Riviera Maya

info@moskitopm.com

http://www.moskitoplayadelcarmen.com

http://www.realestateplayadelcarmen.com.mx