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New Year’s Day (Año Nuevo) Celebrations in Mexico

Following the late-night celebrations that often take place on New Year’s Eve (nochevieja) in Mexico, New Year’s Day is typically a time of rest and relaxation…. Okay, and maybe eating a bunch of leftovers (recalentado) while take time for a tiny bit of recuperation from the night before.

“Traditional foods include bacalao, a salted dried codfish re-hydrated and prepared in a stew with fresh chiles and green olives; tamales, natural corn-paste flavored using sweet or savory ingredients, wrapped in corn leaves and steamed; and bañuelos, light and crisp Mexican wafers,” writes “Some people also celebrate the New Year by breaking open a piñata.”

An even older tradition involves a wealthy community member throwing silver ounces or today’s legal tender, from a high balcony in town or rooftop to children who gather below to collect the coins for spending in the New Year.

“Popular Oceanside resorts like Acapulco, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya fill up for New Year,” writes

In Mexico, Feliz Año Nuevo (which translates to mean – you guessed it – “Happy New Year") is the preferred greeting and typically is the first expression shared among friends, family and acquaintances when they meet again after January 1.

Since New Year’s Day is an official public holiday in Mexico, you can expect all banks, schools, government offices and many other businesses to be closed. If you have to reply upon public transportation over the New Year holiday, be sure to call ahead and check with public transit authorities about timetable or route changes.

Want to know more about what life is really like in Mexico?

Contact the real estate experts at Investment Properties Mexico! We are one of Mexico’s largest independent real estate brokerage firms and have already also sold millions of dollars in stunning properties. In 2015 we are poised to make history with the current volume of our real estate sales, yet we are always committed to offering personalized, friendly service to each and every one of our clients. Contact us today and learn more about buying property safely and living in Mexico!

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TripAdvisor Names Tulum Top Destination for 2016

Tulum is located in the state of Quintana Roo, about an hour and a half from the Cancun International Airport, overlooking Mexico’s Caribbean Sea. Tulum is definitely the most popular booming tourist destination in the world, and is renowned for its wide variety of spectacular Mayan ruins, in land that is always bathed in the warm Caribbean ocean breeze. This, among many other wonders in and around Tulum in Mexico’s Riviera Maya are what propelled Tulum to the top of TripAdvisor’s most recent list of the world’s hottest destinations.

“Tulum is at the top of TripAdvisor’s list of destinations on the rise for 2016, with searches jumping 74 percent compared with 2014,” writes Travel Weekly. “Tulum is one of the most photographed archaeological sites on the Riviera Maya and the only [pyramid] overlooking the ocean.”

The "ranking" Tulum received from TripAdvisor highlights the very best places in the world, which are an emerging trend among travelers. According to the list, Cartagena, Colombia is listed as second, and Porto, Portugal comes in at third place.

Click here to read more about why Tulum Is A Major Tourist attraction!

According to TripAdvisor, Tulum is known worldwide for its spectacular beaches, Mayan ruins and legendary Caribbean breezes. Of course, there are also the cenotes, which are underground rivers where you can swim, snorkel and scuba under breathtaking ceilings covered with stalactites.

The TripAdvisor list also distinguishes the best destinations, beaches, amusement parks, hotels and restaurants, based on the opinion of millions of users throughout the travel community. TripAdvisor gathers information from various websites operating in more than 45 countries and is even listed on Nasdaq.

“The area surrounding Tulum has been known for its boutique palapa and cabana hotels, as well as its relaxed change of pace compared with the high-energy scene in Cancun,” writes Travel Weekly. “The coastline around Tulum is relatively undeveloped and serves as a great base from which to explore the region, or as a place to stay put and do nothing.”

Getting to Tulum is super easy – simply fly into the Cancun International Airport and take a bus, rent a car, or hire a driver to make the trip an hour and a half south along a brand new highway.

Want to know more about life in Tulum, Mexico?

Contact the experts at Investment Properties Mexico today! We are not only one of the largest independent real estate brokerages in all of Mexico, but we have sold millions of dollars in fabulous real estate and have helped countless clients around the world understand why purchasing Mexico real estate can be a great investment move. This year we are poised to make history with the current volume of our property sales, but we are always committed to offering personalized, friendly service to all of our clients. Contact us and learn more about living in Mexico today!

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Dining in Baja Mexico Wine Country

Situated approximately 90 minutes south of San Diego, Mexico’s emerging Baja wine country encompasses the Valle de Guadalupe area of Ensenada, offering visitors access to boutique hotels, more than 100 wine producers and a number of exceptional restaurants.

Two dining options in particular stand out from the crowd and were recently featured on Namely Finca Altozano, which features an open-air dining room and kitchen framed by sheets of corrugated aluminum siding, and Corazón de Tierra, which is part of the 70-acre La Villa del Valle boutique hotel and winery.

“The Valle and its stark, fertile beauty have become beacons for culinary pioneers designing their own culture around the terruño (roughly the Spanish language equivalent of terroir),” writes Bill Addison for “Creature comforts can be found, but the place doesn’t yet feel commercialized or completely tamed.”

While most of the main routes are paved, many of the side roads are still dirt and row after row of vineyards extend into the distance to the distant mountains. The weather here is nice all year, so the open air dining at Finca Altozano might appear a bit rustic at first glance, but don’t let that fool you! This local favorite is home to a smattering of wooden tables on a covered patio and features a variety of delectable meats sizzling over an open flame on the asador rotisserie grill. Tijuana native Chef Javier Plascencia, who also runs a small yet thriving restaurant in Bonita closer to San Diego, operates Finca – a place that permits his truest expression as a culinary artist.

“Most of the restaurant’s vegetables come from out back; meats and seafood arrive daily from local farmers and purveyors,” writes Addison. “The flavors are recognizably Mexican but stripped down.”

Popular items include lamb and suckling pig slow cooked in a caja china roasting box, the campfire-scented quail with mushrooms and pancetta, as well as the Pismo clam smoked in an oak barrel and accented with fennel, Serrano chile, herb butter and queso fresco. Of course, the tacos made from whole-wheat tortillas are also fabulous, while the grilled octopus in a marinade of soy, citrus, ginger and peanuts is reportedly to die for.

By contrast, Ensenada native Diego Hernández-Baquedano’s Corazón de Tierra features menu items crafted from its very own winery, beehives, vegetable garden, olive trees, free-range chickens and other animals, as well as fruits from its own citrus orchards. Found on the La Villa de Valle property, the restaurant serves guests at the property’s boutique hotel, as well as visitors and locals.

“Corazón’s dining room feels casual – mixed woods, comfortable chairs covered in bright prints woven by the region’s indigenous communities – but the kitchen’s steel gleam and cooks’ intent demeanors relay Hernández-Baquedano’s lofty ambitions,” writes Addison. “His mentors include Enrique Olvera of Pujol in Mexico City and showstopper Cosme in New York.”

There is no set menu here. Instead, guests are served a set, seven-course progression that changes every day. Incredibly, just $68 will get you both lunch and dinner, while wine pairings can be added for just $30-$45. Popular menu items have included smoked yellowtail on a masa and flour tortilla cracker with avocado puree, south-of-the-border oysters Rockefeller, creamy fennel bulbs and a potato puree with charcoal oil.

Want to know more about Baja Mexico?

Contact Investment Properties Mexico and speak with one of our top real estate experts today! As one of Mexico’s largest independent real estate brokerage firms, we have already sold millions of dollars in fabulous properties. This year we are poised to make history again thanks to the growing volume of our real estate sales, but we are always committed to providing personalized, friendly service to each and every one of our clients. Contact us and learn more about buying property safely in Mexico today!

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Moorhouse Management Advisors - Construction Management consultant

Moorhouse Management Advisors - Construction Management consultant | playa del carmen real estate |
How to Strategically Grow Your Construction Company

Our standard measure of business success in the United States is topline growth- exceeding sales year-over-year by a certain percentage. However- unless it is planned and executed well, and unless the timing aligns almost perfectly with opportunities present in the firm’s markets-

Construction Company Managment Tips

Topline (revenue) growth in a construction company alone is seldom a profitable strategy.

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Top 10 Reasons to Consider Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Puerto Morelos, Mexico | playa del carmen real estate |
Top 10 reasons to consider Puerto Morelos, Mexico
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Retiring in Cancun, the City Dreams Are Made Of

In today’s world of economic uncertainty, astronomical healthcare costs and rising prices basically everywhere, retirees often find themselves facing dire straits that are a far cry from the “golden years” they envisioned while still part of the workforce. Instead of trying to claw their way back and continue working only to risk never enjoying the retirement they’ve earned, many retirees are learning to think outside the box and are considering a retirement abroad instead.

“Retiring in Mexico may be a good choice for those looking to enjoy new experiences and cultures, access to affordable healthcare, a change of scenery and a lower cost of living,” writes Investopedia. “A comfortable life in Mexico can be remarkably affordable.”

If becoming an expat sounds appealing, start by doing plenty of research about your top destinations. Cancun is an excellent choice because its residents enjoy easy access to the U.S. and major airports around the world thanks to the local international airport, as well as every amenity one could imagine, excellent low-cost healthcare and an active, engaging lifestyle right on the Mexican Caribbean Sea.

“Before we started researching, I didn’t believe the life we are living now could be within reach for regular folks like us,” writes expat, retiree and Cancun resident Diane Murray for International Living. “We are on a fixed income, and don’t have a massive nest egg to carry us through our retirement years. What I found out, however, is that a retired couple can live quite nicely, on the beach right here in Cancun!”

Today, the Murrays own a nice two-bedroom, two-bath fully furnished beachfront condo with a large roof deck that boasts expansive views of the Caribbean Sea and a large natural lagoon with lush tropical landscaping. Now, their days are spent walking the beach, floating in the warm turquoise water and exploring the region’s many unique offerings, with trips to the various ancient Mayan ruins in the nearby area, hours spent swimming in the many local cenotes (stunning freshwater pools that emerge from the Yucatan’s limestone bedrock) or enjoying some of the Riviera Maya’s many water sports, including snorkeling, kayaking, boat tours and deep sea fishing.

In addition, Miami is just a two hour flight from the Cancun International Airport and the cost of living here can be as low as $2,500* per month for a couple who is wiling to live modestly. Home to some of the world’s best places to retire, top destinations in Mexico also offer a wide variety of excellent real estate and beachfront properties that offer an unbeatable array of amenities and easy access to all that Cancun and the adjacent Riviera Maya have to offer.

“Being retired in Cancun has been a dream come true,” Murray shared. “We finally have the time to enjoy everything around us. Who needs a gym membership when the beach is just steps from our door?”

*Keep in mind that this figure does not include the cost of moving your household to Mexico, or any travel costs. The true cost of retirement will vary depending upon your situation, lifestyle, choices, etc.

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Diving, Biking, Eating & Drinking in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Although it is located just 30 minutes south of Cancun, Puerto Morelos might as well be part of a different world; both are resort towns and both offer a wide array of activities for all ages to enjoy along Mexico’s only Caribbean Coast, but Cancun is bustling with activity 24/7, while Puerto Morelos still feels more like a sleepy fishing village than a major tourist destination.

Visitors and expats come to Puerto Morelos for the excellent Caribbean views, authentic Mexican fare, historic town square and laid-back historic atmosphere, as well as the easy access the town provides to the Great Mesoamerican Reef (also known as the Great Maya Reef), which is the second largest barrier reef in the world and lies just offshore.

Not surprisingly, the Caribbean Sea surrounding Puerto Morelos is excellent for snorkeling and diving, thanks to the reef and also because of the shipwreck that lies near the white sandy beaches. Like a lost piece of history, the mine sweeper C-56 Cadete Juan Escutia lies 90 feet from the surface in its permanent resting place just a few minutes’ boat ride from shore. The 150-foot naval ship was once used by the United States and was purchased by the Mexican government in 1996 to serve as an artificial reef. Today, the wreckage serves as a popular dive site and hosts a wide variety of sea life, including eagle rays, stingrays, Moray eels and barracudas.

If land roving is more your thing, Puerto Morelos is the ideal town for biking around, offering a number of sites to explore and breathtaking views of the Mexican Caribbean at every turn. Popular stops include the now infamous leaning lighthouse, which has become something of an icon in Puerto Morelos, as well as a number of enormous and incredibly detailed harbor-side sand sculptures by local artist Jose Gonzalez, that depict such recognizable scenes as the Last Supper, Michaelangelo’s Pieta and Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. Of course, sand castles are also a favorite subject for Gonzalez, along with such diverse images as a baseball glove and ball, giant feet and Day of the Dead symbolic imagery.

Wrap up your bike tour with a quick stop at the pier to check out the pelicans busy gobbling up the leftovers from the day’s catch, then stop to grab a snack and enjoy the breeze before heading to the town square. Here you will find plenty of local shops selling souvenirs and clothing – all while giving out free shots of tequila! Before calling it a day, be sure to check out the Alma Libre Bookstore, a charming independent shop that offers local guides and an eclectic selection of books. They also publish a popular online newsletter that features inside information about what’s happening in and around Puerto Morelos.

Click here to discover 5 Exceptional Day Trips in Puerto Morelos!

After all that biking, snorkeling and/or diving, you are sure to have worked up a pretty healthy appetite. Fortunately, Puerto Morelos is also a fantastic place to get your eat and drink on after a hard day of play. Despite its small town, sleepy demeanor, there are still plenty of fun places to grab dinner and a cocktail – here are a few to sample!

The aptly named Heaven Beach Bar & Restaurant at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is right on the water and super casual, but still boasts an impressive drink menu with more than 25 tequilas, 15 whiskeys, a fantastic cucumber martini and bellinis made with Moet & Chandon, to name only a few. Of course, there are plenty of beers to choose from as well, and from 2 to 3 p.m. daily the bar offers a two-for-one special. Happily, the food is also pretty good and far exceeds normal bar fare.

Head back to the pier and grab dinner and a drink at Pelicanos, a local staple that offers fresh (and strong!) margaritas that come with a complimentary order of chips, salsa and guacamole. The menu also offers a variety of traditional Mexican items that are fresh and delicious, featuring local seafood, fruit and vegetables.

If upscale dining is more like what you’re after, look no farther than the El Faro Grill, which is also located in Grand Residences Riviera Cancun and boasts an expansive terrace with breathtaking ocean views, along with some of the area’s finest cuisine served up by Chef Yann Cozic, who was named Hotel Chef of the Year by Caribbean Journal.

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Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico Explains Why Retiring in Mexico’s Riviera Maya Makes Every Day Feel Like a Holiday

Imagine sitting in a rustic beach bar that serves up the best margaritas you’ve ever had, with a balmy, breezy 85-degree daily temperature and shore birds diving intermittently into the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea to snatch a tiny fish from its depths. Nearby, two men are lounging in hammocks and playing their guitars, singing in beautiful Spanish harmony.

“In the Riviera Maya, this really can be your life,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “Sometimes when we walk along the shoreline, the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean are so stunning that it’s hard to believe the scene is real.”

If you speak to some of the retirees and expats living in the low-key communities that dot the shoreline, such as Puerto Aventuras, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Tulum and Puerto Morelos, you will discover that some of them fell in love with this corner of Mexico decades ago, when Cancun was but a glimmer of its current size and the other towns south throughout the region weren’t even on the radar yet. But even more likely, you’ll discover that many of them weren’t even considering a move to the Caribbean just a few years earlier, but after comparing popular offshore communities in Mexico with places like and Ecuador, it became obvious that Mexico’s Riviera Maya offered everything they could want and more.

“In most of the towns there are dozens of restaurants within easy walking distance of the residential areas,” stated Houghton. “And thanks to the new highway, traveling up and down the coast to explore the many hidden enclaves is easier than ever.”

Click here to learn even more reasons why Mexico Is Such a Popular Retirement Destination!

Of course, the powdery white sand beaches and jewel-hued turquoise Caribbean Sea are the Riviera Maya’s main attractions, but the area also offers easy access to every modern convenience you could imagine, including English-language theaters, large shopping malls and outlet stores, countless fabulous restaurants, world-class entertainment, affordable luxury and state of the art hospitals. In addition, Cancun is home to a large international airport, which makes traveling back and forth a snap. To put its location in perspective, it’s only a two-hour flight from Cancun to the Miami airport.

Want to know more about retiring in Mexico’s Riviera Maya? Post your questions in the comments section below and we’ll be happy to answer!

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Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico Talks About the Exclusive Aldea Zama Community of Tulum, Mexico

If you aren’t familiar yet with Tulum, you should be. Located just 80 miles south of Cancun in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, this Caribbean seaside gem is home to the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches and has become a favorite of the international jet set crowd, despite its affordability and super laid back, eco-friendly vibe. Here, the newly built master-plan community of Aldea Zama offers residents all the amenities of home and is located just steps from the turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean – what more could anyone want?

“The Aldea Zama community includes condos, villas and a robust commercial area that is already being compared to 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “The complex itself covers about 80 hectares, or 200 acres, and is ideally positioned between downtown Tulum and the Caribbean Sea.”

Click the following link and discover why Tulum’s Booming Property Market Is Mexico’s Best Kept Secret!

In addition, Aldea Zama fits the American Planning Association (APA) guidelines. This independent, nonprofit educational organization provides leadership worldwide in the development of modern and vital new communities and ensures the development uses high quality finishes, overall design, workmanship and amenities. For example, the APA’s list of characteristics that make for a great neighborhood includes a mix of residential, commercial and mixed-use properties, an abundance of biking and walking paths, in addition to modern roads and traffic infrastructure, as well as visually appealing design and architectural features that complement the natural surroundings.

Aldea Zama in Tulum has already incorporated all of these attributes and more, including the incorporation of beautiful grounds and common areas throughout the development, as well as a variety of organized community events. In addition, Aldea Zama has worked to preserve the beauty of the natural environment in every way possible, using eco-friendly and sustainable natural building materials that complement the surrounding landscape.

“Aldea Zama is actually home to a variety of different developments, each of which are unique and beautiful in their own ways,” shared Houghton. “Like the rest of Tulum, the development is very eco-friendly and was designed to provide a comfortable life with every amenity and service residents could ever need."

The concept for the neighborhood was originally developed to provide a casual, laid-back yet luxurious lifestyle, reflective of the atmosphere in downtown Tulum. Aldea Zama is already attracting international attention from expats looking for a place to live, invest, work, play, vacation and retire.

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11th Annual Restaurant Week Coming To Puerto Vallarta May 15-31

Puerto Vallarta’s annual reduced-price restaurant festival is coming back to the area, beginning Friday, May 15 and lasting through Sunday, May 31. According to Vallarta Lifestyles, a publishing group that established the festival in 2005, at least 35 restaurants will be participating in this year’s two-week event, including six locations that will be participating for the first time.

Restaurant Week takes place every year in Puerto Vallarta and the adjacent region known as the Riviera Nayarit, both of which are located along Mexico’s Pacific coast overlooking the scenic Bay of Banderas. Now in its 11th year, the event features a wide variety of participating restaurants that offer a special fixed-price, three-course menu, including an appetizer, main course and dessert.

“From New York to London, dining events in which participating restaurants offer a special, fixed-price menu during a week or two have become strong magnets for people wishing to visit such cities,” writes Vallarta Lifestyles. “Known in most places as simply Restaurant Week, these types of events encourage visitors and locals to experience restaurants’ exquisite offerings at reduced prices.”

Participants are presented with three different options to choose from for each course, with restaurants charging between $13 and $20 per person, tips and beverages not included. Vallarta Lifestyles publishes printed and online digital versions of the special menus for participating restaurants, which gives attendees the opportunity to scope out the long list of offerings before selecting where to dine.

“Since the prices are often discounted by up to 50 percent, dining out during Restaurant Week is not only more fun, but also much more affordable,” writes Vallarta Lifestyles. “Restaurant Wee enthusiasts frequently take the opportunity to schedule dining events with friends and loved ones, checking out new eateries together, and comparing notes with one another, adding a memorable social element to the experience of enjoying some of our destination’s finest establishments.”

Restaurant Week is designed to act as a sort of “calling card” for area restaurants, inviting visitors and locals alike to experience the culinary offerings of area establishments and encouraging diners to experience an exciting array of cuisine from new and different restaurants. Participating chefs view designing a successful “introductory” menu as a creative challenge, wherein providing an unforgettable experience serves as the main incentive for foodies to return to Puerto Vallarta year after year.

For 2015, Añejo Limón, Di Vino Dante, La Vaca Argentina, Las Adelitas, Pancho Villa Burger and Señor Frog’s are new participants in this much-anticipated culinary event, which draws foodies from the region and the world. A number of previous participants have also modified their menu concepts, so anyone who has experienced this event in the past should take a close look at this year’s delectable offerings. Click here for more information or to check out the full list of participating restaurants.

Inside Scoop From Investment Properties Mexico: While in town, check out our list of four places everyone should visit in downtown Puerto Vallarta!

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New Theatre Coming To Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Teatro de la Ciudad de Playa del Carmen (City Theatre of Playa del Carmen) is set to open in a few weeks, according to a recent article in The Playa Times. More than $650,000 has been invested in the project, which will provide a permanent home for the Symphony Orchestra of Quintana Roo, along with artists, poets, actors and many other members of the artistic community.

“With the growth of the city came a wave of artists who have chosen to settle in Playa, attracted by the city’s prime opportunities for developing their art,” writes The Playa Times. “Actors, musicians, poets and many others have raised the need for a proper space for their work.”

The new 4,383-square-meter theater in Playa del Carmen will be located in the Ejido, next to the big Walmart on the Arco Vial, on the corner of Cobá Street and Circuito Chincorro. It will have the capacity to hold up to 780 spectators and the building was designed with the acoustics and space needed for the orchestra in mind. It also includes includes a stage, projection booth, a number of dressing rooms, a rehearsal room and a spacious lobby with a cafeteria. Other features include a ticket booth, ample parking and lush tropical gardens.

Upon opening, a series of concerts will be announced for the season, similar to the schedule of the Camarata de Cancún, which operates in the theatre that is located in nearby Cancun’s infamous Hotel Zone.

“The theatre of Playa del Carmen will become an important cultural landmark and reference for Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula,” writes The Playa Times.

The Symphony Orchestra of Quintana Roo currently performs in venues throughout the Riviera Maya, Cancun and Isla Mujeres, presenting masterpieces from Mozart, Rossini, Williams and Morricone, to name only a few. The orchestra is the main group of classical music performers in the state of Quintana Roo, which is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and encompasses Mexico’s only Caribbean coast.

Inside Scoop From Investment Properties Mexico: Lovers of the arts should also definitely make plans to check out the new Cirque Du Soleil dinner theatre in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

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Mexico Will Be "Key Expansion Market" for Wind Investments

As Mexico moves to generate at least 35 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2024, the government plans to construct eight wind farms and invest upwards of $3.5 billion by 2018 to increase the nation’s wind capacity by 75 percent.

“Mexico is definitely emerging as one of the large markets for wind energy,” shared Marco Graziano, president of Vestas Mediterranean, which is one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. "Vestas sees Mexico as a main target after the country opened its energy and electricity industries to allow for private investment."

According to Bloomberg Business, Vestas plans to bid on contracts to develop new energy projects in Mexico and already operates seven wind projects throughout the country. In late January, Reuters reported that Mexico will see a total of $14 billion in new wind energy investment dollars as the nation’s wind energy capacity increases from around 2,551 Megawatts (MW) to at least 9,500 MW.

“We are looking at different options to decide where to bid in Mexico,”Graziano shared. “Wind is still having low penetration here so there is very good potential.”

Also of note, the Mexican government recently announced that it expects two new wind farms to be installed on the Yucatan Peninsula, in addition to a 70 MW project that was already approved last year. Foreign companies are reportedly working to obtain the necessary permits for the two new wind farms, which are scheduled to begin construction by the beginning of 2016, according to a statement last Monday by Jorge Carlos Berlin, the regional delegate of Mexico’s ministry of the environment. The new farms will be built in the areas around Temax, Baca and Sinanche.

Finally, General Motors (GM) announced that it will add wind power to its energy portfolio for the first time after a 34 MW wind farm in Palo Alto, which lies 325 miles northwest of Mexico City goes online during the second quarter of 2015. Around 75 percent of the energy produced by the wind farm will be used to power GM’s factory and plant in Toluca, which lies about one hour west of Mexico City. It will also supply some power for three other GM plants in a move that will increase the amount of energy the company derives from renewables to 12 percent, eliminating more than 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

“The company [also] expects to save about $2 million annually once the Palo Alto wind farm operates at full capacity,” GM revealed. “The project will also help GM meet its 2020 renewable energy goals four years early.”

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Highways & Ports In Mexico To Receive $3.4 Billion In New Investments

In early April Mexico’s transport and communications ministry (SCT) announced that authorities would invest around $3.2 billion in nine port projects in the Gulf states to increase capacity within the region to meet demand from the nation’s booming energy and mining industries.

“It’s necessary to prepare Mexican ports for the current reforms such as in energy,” stated Julio Martínez Hernández, who is president of the Mexican association of port infrastructure, or AMIP. “Port activity grows about 5 percent in commercial cargo and 15 percent in container loading [each year], so the investment is important.”

Ports receiving updates include Matamoros and Altamira, which are being prepared to meet increased demand from the energy industry, and the ports of Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos and Dos Bocas are all being prepared to meet increased demand from the petrochemical industry. Most notably, Altamira is slated to become the first port in Latin America with a deep harbor for oil platforms, while expansion works in Veracruz include a new port with breakwaters, specialized terminals and equipment, a navigation channel and a new storage area. Also in Veracruz at the nearby Tuxpan port, plans are underway to build new docks for containers and general cargo.

Finally, the Seybaplaya port in Campeche state in southern Mexico will add around 400 meters of new dock space to satisfy Pemex, Mexico’s state oil company, while the entire port of Ciudad del Carmen will be modernized and the Yucatan’s Progreso port will be updated and will receive a new logistics platform.

“Last week we reported on more than $14 billion in new infrastructure deals for Mexico,” states Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “That, along with this new investment we’re highlighting today, is part of Mexico’s national infrastructure program, which promises to invest at least $515 billion in this important sector by 2018.”

Earlier this week, North American pension fund manager and major institutional investment firm Caisse de dépôt et placement de Québec also announced it is teaming up with Empresas ICA, which is Mexico’s largest construction firm to build and own essential infrastructure assets, investing upwards of $267 million in a joint venture that will initially operate four Mexican toll roads.

Caisse will reportedly take a 49 percent stake in the transaction, which is expected to close during the second quarter of this year, and will also invest in other dedicated transportation projects in Mexico as a result of the venture.

“Empresas, a construction firm that builds and owns infrastructure assets including airports, toll roads, water systems and real estate, will see its ownership shrink to 51 percent but will use the proceeds of the Caisse investment to pay down debt,” writes The Globe and Mail. “The assets include a tunnel in Acapulco, the Mayab Toll Road, the Río Verde to Ciudad Valles Highway and the La Piedad bypass.”

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Solar Power in Mexico – The Next Big Thing in Sustainable Energy

As Mexico prepares to more than quadruple its renewable energy by 2030, rural Mexico is quickly becoming an international hotbed for solar power, with French power producer Neoen announcing plans to build a $60 million solar park in Mexico’s northeastern state of Nuevo Leon and companies like Illumexico working to transform the lives of everyday people, CNBC reported.

In addition, BuenaVista Renewables – a startup founded by some of the the San Antonio North American Development (NAD) Bank’s most experienced project directors.

“BuenaVista Renewables is constructing its first Mexico solar energy farm, with the lending help of NAD Bank,” reported the San Antonio Express News. “The project [broke ground this summer] and is called Los Santos I Solar Park, near Ahumada, Chichuahua, south of Ciudad Juárez.”

The project is reportedly a 13.6-megawatt alternating current solar farm and will become operational by next May. The 247-acre Los Santos I Solar Park already has two buyers for the electricity, including Universidad La Salle, a private education system operating throughout Mexico, as well as Leoni, a global producer of cables and cable systems, which operates factories in Chihuahua, Durango and Sonora.

As the first private solar farm built with foreign investment dollars that is selling electricity in Mexico, the Los Santos I Solar Park will reportedly produce enough electricity to power 5,838 households and is the first utility-scale solar project currently in Chihuahua and the second largest solar project in Mexico.

“There’s so much opportunity for growth in renewables in Mexico,” stated Juan Antonio Flores, NADBank associate director of public affairs. “Small and midsized companies have a lot to gain in that marketplace.”

The French Neoen 30-MW solar park is to be a photovoltaic (PV) facility that will encompass approximately 227 acres near the town of Galeana and is currently the largest of its kind in the state of Nuevo Leon. The project will open up at least 200 jobs.

According to Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) the nation’s installed solar power capacity was near 150 MW by the end of last year, but data from Bloomberg shows that Mexico had at least 348 MW of total renewable energy generation happening by the end of 2013.

In addition, companies like Illumexico – founded in 2009 – are working to transform the lives of everyday people throughout all of rural Mexico by providing safe, clean forms of energy, CNBC reported. The social enterprise says it develops lighting and electrification programs for homes, schools, community centers and health clinics using solar systems that are clean, bright and affordable.

“Illumexico say that the spend for their clean solar technology is equivalent to the money people would spend on diesel, candles and other sources of light that are polluting and damaging to health,” writes CNBC. “To date, Illumexico state that they have installed 3,500 systems and 100 kilowatts of solar capacity. This has helped to displace 1,720 tonnes of CO2.”

According to a new report, titled Renewable Energy Prospects: Mexico, prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), along with the help of Mexico’s Energy Secretariat (SENER), Mexico will save upwards of 1.6 billion simply by increasing the use of renewable energy – such as solar – by 2030.

“Mexico is key to ensuring a successful regional transition to renewable energy,” stated Director General Adnan Z. Amin of IRENA. “With the recent energy sector reform, Mexico is now on the path of rapid renewables growth, which can help secure a safer, healthier and more sustainable future.”

Investment Properties Mexico is always the best place to go for anything Mexico-related, especially real estate! Our professional team of real estate professionals is equipped to guide you in every aspect of finding the property of your dreams. Whether that exists on a secluded Caribbean beach or somewhere nestled farther inland, we can find the right home for you. Investment Properties Mexico is also a Buyer Agent Brokerage, which is very important and means we always represent you, the buyer, not the seller. For more information about how we can help you, contact us today!

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Mexico Anticipates New Tourism Record In 2015

Mexico achieved a new record by attracting 31,322,000 international tourists in 2015, according to the Mexican Federation of Tourism Associations (Fematur).

Jorge Hernandez, president of the Mexican Federation of Tourism Associations, said that tourists are estimated to spend in excess of more than 186 million dollars in various destinations throughout all of Mexico. Hernandez also revealed that these results will have an effect on the growth of Mexico tourism, projecting a major surplus of at least $ 116 million in the near future, which is 7.7 percent more compared to 2014 numbers.

Recall that last year, Mexico was able to attract 29.3 million international tourists and raked in $208, 016,000 additional dollars. Since Mexico attracted a greater flow of travelers in 2014, the country also returned to the list of the ten most popular international destinations for tourists.

As for domestic tourism, Hernandez said that by the end of this year some 179 million Mexicans will have visited somewhere in the country, of which nearly half chose to stay in a hotel room or rental of some sort.


The agency estimates that in 2016 the arrival of international tourists will climb up to 32.8 million passengers, raking in more than 18 billion dollars. While in the case of domestic tourism it is estimated that this area reaches 183 million travelers.

Regarding what to expect for tourism in Mexico during 2016, Hernandez indicated that Mexico has shown a major increase in the average tourist spending, compared to other destinations such as the United States. Another outstanding reality is that Mexico is home to some of the world’s very best all-inclusive properties, which continue to attract new legions of fans every year.

Want to know more about what life is really like in Mexico?

Contact the lifestyle and property experts at Investment Properties Mexico! We are not only one of the largest and trusted independent Mexico real estate brokerages in the entire country, but we have also sold millions of dollars in amazing properties nationwide. Every year we make history with the volume of our property sales, yet we are always committed to offer personalized, friendly service to our clients. Learn more about buying property safely in Mexico today!

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City Mayakoba Development Breaks Ground In Mexico’s Riviera Maya

The new City Mayakoba (also known by Spanish name Ciudad Mayakoba) development near Playa del Carmen in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya broke ground this week, according to the Riviera Maya News. The new metropolitan park will reportedly be built on more than 400 acres of pristine coastal property and will include residential homes, shopping areas, golf courses, sports and cultural facilities, schools and a hospital.

“Builders are anticipating the addition of 3,600 homes over the next five years,” writes the Riviera Maya News.

The park will also have plenty of space for recreation and outdoor activities for children as well as adults, along with a multipurpose palapa and a number of bike paths. The entire project is expected to take around five years to complete, with the first stage set for completion by March of 2016. The initial stage of development is also expected to create around 1,100 new jobs.

The development is funded by a combination of government and private money, with all plans for the project approved by Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The City Mayakoba development comes at an ideal time for the region, as a tourism boom in Playa del Carmen prompts a variety of lucrative real estate investment opportunities throughout the Riviera Maya.

“The $1 billion project will be a combination of residential and commercial space,” shared Agustín Sarasola, general manager of OHL Group, the Spanish engineering and construction firm that is behind the project. “The firm has projected the demand for housing along the Riviera Maya will reach around 23,000 units over the next five years.”

OHL also revealed the demand for residential and “residential plus” homes will increase by at least 7,000 units over the next five years.

All told, City Mayakoba will actually consist of two separate parts; one that includes a development model designed for the local population, and another that will be able to respond to the market for residential properties that are built around a common social hub. Three residential developments will also be included in the finished community, with plans for an economical section and middle class housing with easy access to a variety of different commercial facilities and amenities, including a golf course, social club and beach club.

“Mayakoba Country Club will be a high-end area constructed around an 18-hole golf course,” writes the Riviera Maya News.

Finally, the area dubbed “Senderos Mayakoba” will be an environmentally responsible residential project that offers homeowners an eco-chic lifestyle. All residents of the new City Mayakoba development will enjoy access to an urban park of more than 24 acres, with plenty of green space, nature trails and bike paths, as well as a variety of shopping, entertainment and education facilities for children of all age levels, as well as health services, art and cultural initiatives and sports facilities to provide residents with the very best quality of life.

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Mexico Is The Best Place To Retire Overseas

The list of reasons why Mexico is the best place in the world to retire abroad (or live at any age, for that matter) is long – from the endless miles of pristine beaches on both its Caribbean and Pacific coasts, to the warm tropical climate, rich cultural heritage, modern infrastructure and luxurious amenities – this emerging Latin American superpower is well-developed, safe and has more to offer than any comparable locale worldwide.

For example, Mexico’s English-speaking expat community – along with the ever-growing number of transplants from Europe – has already become quite well established in all of the popular retirement destinations, such as the Riviera Maya (home to Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum, Puerto Aventuras and Cancun), as well as Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Merida, which are all in coastal areas, along with places like San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala, which are inland.

“Most expats are from the U.S. and Canada,” writes U.S. News & World Report. “The community here has many artists, writers and musicians. Active residents also spend time bird watching, hiking and bass fishing.”

Which brings us to one of the things that attracts so many expats to Mexico in the first place: There are a wide variety of outdoor activities at your fingertips and most towns are very walkable. In fact, many people who live in towns like Playa del Carmen, Cabo or Tulum will find that there are plenty of things to do within easy walking distance of home. This includes countless cafes, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, markets and shops, as well as the beach, ocean and everything that comes with it. And if you’re anywhere from Merida to Cancun and south down through the Riviera Maya to Tulum, there are also more than a handful of ancient Mayan sites within easy reach.

“Expats engage in the community, but they don’t dominate the culture,” writes U.S. News & World Report.

Want to know more? Check out Why Retiring in Mexico’s Riviera Maya Makes Every Day Feel Like a Holiday, by Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico!

Spotlight on Puerto Vallarta

The Washington Post has also recognized Mexico’s expat appeal, revealing that Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast is still ranked as one of the world’s top places to retire overseas. The article cites the city’s well-established English-speaking population, safety, amenities and climate as some of the top reasons why so many retirees thrive here.

“The area is well-developed, giving retirees options for golfing, fishing and fine dining,” writes the Washington Post. “Puerto Vallarta is also a safe part of the country with a strong presence of bilingual police officers.”

Finally, Puerto Vallarta offers plenty of fantastic properties, a warm tropical climate all year, reliable transportation and affordable real estate, compared to other coastal cities worldwide of similar size and amenities. The city also has three state-of-the-art hospitals, with plenty of English-speaking doctors.

Click here to discover why Mexico is among the top five countries to provide the world’s best healthcare.

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Real Estate in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Mexico homes in puerto morelos. "Puerto Morelos real estate for sale" for only $59,900USD for full ownership Looking for Puerto Morelos real estate? You have come to the right place! this is a very unique opportunity that does not come along very oftern in the Mexican Caribbean. Any time you find a good value in a home near the beach and in a great location for under $100,000USD its a great find. Here we have a full block of homes all same exact floorplan about 700 square feet or 64 sq meters. The lots measure 6 meters by 24 meters deep. Each home has 2 bedrooms 1 bathroom, living room and dining area plus a small kitchen. These are perfect for investors of affordable vacation rental homes or for retirees who would like to spend their winters down in Puerto Morelos, Mexico on a fixed income. The cost of living is way less in Mexico so some retirees actually wind up moving to Puerto Morelos full time. Please check the site for details and more videos. For more good information about Puerto Morelos, Mexico check this site Looking for homes in the Puerto Morelos area? Buy a house for sale in Puerto Morelos, Mexico #puertomorelosrealestate #puertomoreloshomesforsale #puertomorelosrealestateforsale #puertomorelos
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Exploring Tulum’s Vibrant Street Art Scene

As the new jet-setter destination of the Caribbean, Tulum has emerged in recent years as a sort of “anti Cancun,” with its pristine white sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean Sea and world class establishments offering the best in modern, eco-chic luxury and gourmet fare, offering the best spot in the Riviera Maya for a unique and laid-back beach vacation. Last December, a new street art project joined the long list of offerings in this growing beach town and since then artists have been adding to the collection, with more than 30 buildings decorated to date.

“Inspired by the Wynwood Walls of Miami, a street art project has revitalized a neighborhood in Tulum, Mexico,” writes the New York Times. “Susan Bohlken, owner of the beachfront Zamas Hotel in Tulum, invited several muralists to the area to literally paint the town.”

Subjects include colorful serpents, mermaids, Madonnas and a whimsical array of creatures found in the Riviera Maya, including jaguars and tropical birds. The murals are painted by a diverse group of world-renowned artists who have shown their work in such far-flung locales as New York, London, Miami and Cosa Rica, to name only a few, including Jorge Tellaeche, named “one of the most important artists of the moment” by GQ magazine, and Maria “Toofly” Castilla, who recently finished a striking mural on the wall of the Sirena all-female hostel and art gallery. Other artists include Giorgio Casu, as well as urban street artists known as Spaik and Senkoe.

“People are getting a fresh perspective on Tulum, which is always what I wanted to do at Zamas; connect the local community via my staff to tourists because that makes it a more meaningful vacation,” Bohlken stated in an interview with the NYT.

Currently the Zamas Hotel offers Tulum Street Art Tours for $30 per person as part of a new initiative that is designed to introduce visitors and locals alike to the murals, which are still growing in number. The cycling tour can be conducted in English or Spanish by request and offers an up close and personal look at the emerging local art scene. Winding through the streets of downtown Tulum, the tour weaves in bits of information about the town’s ancient Mayan history, as well as its modern evolution, ending with (what else?) a round of margaritas at Zamas with a stunning beachfront view. Guests at Zamas also have access to maps in English and Spanish that make it easy to explore the street art on their own.

As one of Tulum’s best boutique beachfront hotels, Zamas is dedicated to supporting the local art movement, connecting its guests with members of the local community. According to Bohlken, the bright colors of the murals seen around town are reflective of the beauty and diversity that is present in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, offering a unique visual representation of the unique culture that is found in modern-day Tulum.

“The combination of Tulum’s cultural heritage as an ancient Mayan port, its geographical positioning between the sea and jungle, and a contemporary identity as a global destination, are running themes in many of the vibrant paintings,” writes award-winning design and travel publication Cool Hunting. “Visual narratives of Mayan culture and legends run blocks away from paintings shedding light on contemporary Mexico’s relationship with tourism.”

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Discover Why Mexico's Riviera Maya Is Attracting Huge Real Estate Investments with Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico

Located on Mexico’s famed Yucatan Peninsula overlooking the nation’s only Caribbean Coast, the Riviera Maya region is home to some of the world’s most stunning and surprisingly affordable beachfront real estate. Stretching for 80 miles south from Cancun to Tulum, the Riviera Maya is also home to Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras and the island of Cozumel.

“By 2018, Cancun alone is expected to have broken ground on nearly $100 million worth of new development projects, and if you add in the adjacent Riviera Maya, that number reaches well into the billions,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “The growing number of both residential and commercial real estate developments have placed the Riviera Maya among the top locations for investments in the entire country.”

Click here to view our special slideshow report, 5 Reasons Mexico is Ideal for Business Startups!

According to the Association of Real Estate Developers (ADI), real estate in Mexico is still going strong, and Cancun has been a magnet for new real estate projects since it became a planned vacation destination in the 1970s. Recent development projects are centered mainly on the building of new tourism offerings, industrial parks, residential office space and shopping centers, and a number of them are either already underway or preparing to break ground.

According to data released this spring by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SCHP), around 127 projects around the country began construction in late 2014, including a number of new shopping centers, offices and homes. In the Riviera Maya, new developments like Villas Las Palmas in Tulum’s Aldea Zamá community, as well as Villas Laguna in Puerto Aventuras, are bringing a whole new level of affordable, modern luxury and a “no worries, no hassles” style of ownership.

“Villas Las Palmas is the first truly luxury condominium development in Tulum and the first development to be designed to provide buyers with the option to collect a fantastic rental income,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “Villas Laguna offers the best value and luxury in Puerto Aventuras, including penthouses with large rooftop pools and ground floor units with private swim-up bars. All of our projects feature top quality finishes and high-end appliances.”

Finally, it’s important to note that Mexico’s Riviera Maya is home to a large (and growing!) community of expats. Although Americans still make up the largest percentage of buyers, followed closely by Canadians, an ever-increasing number of Europeans have also been snapping up real estate deals in the Mexican Caribbean, including buyers from Russia, France, Italy and Germany.

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Economists Predict New U.S.-Mexico Energy Industry Partnerships

In early May the University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA’s) Institute for Economic Development partnered up with the U.S. Department of Commerce to host a series of sessions designed to help businesses tap into Mexico’s newly reformed energy sector, which offers a wealth of new opportunities for companies in the U.S. and around the world.

“Speakers addressed such topics as the economic impact of shale oil and gas development in Texas, issues associated with legal and regulatory reform, as well as opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses,” writes the San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ). “Energy reform in Mexico presents opportunities for private companies all over the world, but particularly for those in Texas, as this is where shale oil-and-gas extraction techniques were first pioneered.”

In addition, the SABJ reports that San Antonio’s upcoming 4th Annual Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Conference, scheduled for May 27-29, will also focus heavily on the great promise brought about by energy reform in Mexico. In fact, the UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development will release a preliminary report at the event, laying out essential economic and legal aspects of oil and gas production in Mexico’s northern states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Vera Cruz.

“Opportunities for unconventional or shale oil-and-gas production in Mexico are in the earliest stages of development,” writes the SABJ. “Due to its close proximity to major shale field development in the Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin, Mexico is particularly well positioned to take advantage of unconventional extraction techniques.”

According to the article, Mexico is sitting on at least 545 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas reserves, along with trillions more of conventional reserves. In addition, estimates for unconventional oil reserves in Mexico have soared upwards of 13 billion barrels, and it currently appears that the majority of Mexico’s shale prospects are located in the north and northeastern sections of the country, where plans for new infrastructure are already in the works to make extraction go more smoothly.

What does all this mean for the future? For one thing, it means the importance of Mexico’s recent energy reforms can’t be overstated. Also, it’s important to note that Mexico’s reform agenda also includes electricity generation and distribution, along with telecommunications and tax reforms, which all together will transform the nation’s economy while creating a wealth of new opportunities for companies throughout the U.S. and Texas.

What does North American energy independence look like to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion.

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Sacred Mayan Journey 2015 Coming To Playa del Carmen May 22

30 boats and 350 oarsmen will embark from the shores just south of Playa del Carmen to celebrate the 9th Annual Sacred Mayan Journey, a ritual sea trek that dates back to 1250 A.D. The reenactment takes onlookers back in time to the height of the Mayan civilization of ancient Mexico, when participants began making the journey, which begins at 6 a.m. Friday, May 22 at nearby Xcaret, a nature park located just a few minutes south of downtown Playa that is dedicated to preserving the area’s many natural and cultural treasures.

From here, the helmsmen will guide rowers out into the Mexican Caribbean to the island of Cozumel, where they will arrive between 1 and 2 p.m. at Chankanaab Park. Upon arrival, participants and onlookers will receive the sacred message of Ixchel, the ancient Mayan goddess of the moon, tides and fertility:

In lak ‘ekh, Hala ken.

(I am another you, you are another me.)

The Mayans braved the ocean in their canoes and crossed to the island of Cozumel each year during this annual sea trek, which represented the beginning of a new era and cycle of abundance. Rituals often involved the use of corn, which the Maya saw as the sustenance of all humanity, and were intended to be symbolic of the dawning of civilized life and human wisdom. After a day and night of celebrations, participants will return to Xcaret, completing the entire round trip journey by mid-day Saturday, May 23

Click here to read a brief history of Cozumel Island, Mexico.

Rowers at this year’s event will include participants from Canada, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Mexico, all of whom have spent at least six months preparing for the arduous expedition, which lasts two entire days and involves dancing, music, rituals and traveling by sea in traditional Maya canoes. Spectators can watch from shore at the cove of Xcaret, or they can opt to follow the Sacred Mayan Journey by ferry as the rowers make their way to Cozumel.

“The evening of May 21 is [actually] when the most colorful part of the journey begins,” writes the Riviera Maya News. “Residents from local Mayan communities set up an authentic marketplace* at Xcaret. Those taking place in the ancient tradition wear authentic clothing, offering arts and crafts, handmade textiles and musical instruments [for sale. The marketplace is also filled with cultural food and drinks.

*Inside Scoop From Investment Properties Mexico: Remember to exchange some cash for coco seeds in order to make a purchase at the Xcaret marketplace, since this was the traditional Mayan currency.

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Discover the History of Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla in Mexico

Many revelers – especially in the U.S. and other parts of the world that have embraced Cinco de Mayo celebrations – mistakenly believe that this Mexican holiday is a type of “Independence Day.” In fact, Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) celebrates Mexico’s victory over France on May 5, 1862.

“Mexico had been invaded by Spain, France and Great Britain in late 1861, but within six months Spain and Britain had pulled out,” writes CNN. “With the U.S. Civil War raging north of the Mexican border, the French decided to take advantage of the chaos and invade Mexico.”

Although the French made serious inroads during April of 1862, by May a small Mexican army under the command of a general by the name of Ignacio Zaragoza had soundly defeated a larger French contingent at the town of Puebla, which lies about 85 miles east of Mexico City. As a result, the battle – along with the date itself – have been celebrated ever since for the story’s timeless “David vs. Goliath” or “underdog” appeal.

Today, celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Mexico provides an ideal time to honor the country’s unique culture and rich historical traditions. It is one of Mexico’s national holidays, with students getting the day off from school, but it is optional for banks and government offices to close, so be sure to plan ahead if you are going to be in Mexico on or around May 5th. Not surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico are most vibrant in and around Puebla, where the now-legendary battle took place. Here, the event is typically commemorated by a variety of parades, fireworks, street festivals and a full-blown battle re-enactment.

Unlike its northern neighbor, this is not one of Mexico’s major national holidays, with celebrations generally taking on a much more low-key vibe than in many locations throughout the U.S., where mass-marketing and promotions abound and celebrations often reach a fevered pitch. Often mistaken as Mexican Independence Day throughout the world, Cinco de Mayo is actually a source of inspiration and a symbol of courage and determination in the face of a major colonial European power. It quickly became a national symbol of Mexican pride, unity and patriotism, and today the occasion is still remembered and honored as an important historical achievement each year on the fifth of May.

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Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico Talks About Living in Playa del Carmen

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in one of the world’s most beautiful tropical destinations? Where sun, white sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins and the Caribbean Sea are all at your fingertips, in one of the safest, most luxurious – not to mention affordable – beachfront locales in the world? Where modern conveniences and world-class shopping meet a foodie’s paradise and the entertainment, infrastructure and medical care are second to none? If all of this sounds like exactly what you’re looking for in a vacation or retirement property, look no farther than Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Located about one hour south of Cancun and one hour north of Tulum, in the heart of Mexico’s famed Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen – or simply Playa, as the locals often call it – is a perfect blend of the big-city atmosphere of Cancun and the more low-key eco-chic vibe of Tulum.

“This unique mix is part of Playa’s appeal for those who are looking for a place that offers plenty of outdoor activities, an air of sophistication and a relaxed beachy atmosphere,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “The long list of modern services, infrastructure and amenities provides every luxury, while the easy access to all that is ancient about Mexico creates a unique contrast and dynamic that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.”

For example, you will find a modern highway between Cancun and Tulum, and along the outskirts of Playa there is a Home Depot, Sam’s Club and large shopping malls that are full of recognizable brands and products from the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond. In Playa del Carmen, you will also find a wide variety of specialty shops, gourmet foods, designer boutiques and more. High speed Internet, reliable electricity and high quality roads also make living in Playa del Carmen an easy transition for expats of all ages, while the Cancun International Airport makes it easy for expats to return home for visits, and also for family and friends to come to Playa and experience what life is like in the Mexican Caribbean.

“The heart of Playa del Carmen is the famous Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue,” writes International Living. “it’s a miles-long pedestrian avenue lined with shops, boutiques, bars, cafes and restaurants of every cuisine imaginable, from high-end to budget.”

The energy along Quinta Avenida is nothing short of amazing, and happy hours, group dinners and parties are a big part of the current of life in Playa del Carmen. The wide variety of nationalities represented among the locals here is indicative of Playa’s growing popularity among expats worldwide, with Americans and Canadians making up the largest group, followed by significant numbers of Argentinians, French and Italian immigrants.

Of course, not everyone who lives here stays all year long and many choose to adopt the “snowbird” lifestyle that is so popular among retirees in south Florida. The best thing about spending winters at your home in Playa and summers elsewhere, however, is that it is easy to rent out your home, villa or condo during the months you are away, which can help pay for the property and provide extra income for retirees and expats of all ages.

“In and around Playa, there are a large number of condos and residential developments right on the beach or very close by, with terraces and balconies that offer stunning water views,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “The area is brimming with resorts, spas, entertainment venues, beach clubs and more.”

Of course, at it’s very soul, Playa del Carmen is a Caribbean beach town at its very best. This growing city is centered around tourism and the area’s unique culture, hosting an ever-growing community of full and part-time expats and retirees from around the world who come to enjoy all that Playa and the surrounding Riviera Maya region have to offer.

Click here to learn why Yahoo! Travel says Mexico is one of the best places to be an expat!

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Real Estate In Mexico Still Going Strong

According to a recent real estate report on emerging markets by global property experts Lamudi, Mexico’s real estate sector is “the safest bet for investors,” which is a view that was echoed last year by global bank HSBC. In fact, the bank chose Mexico ahead of Brazil and Argentina as the new “investment hotspot” for Latin America, citing the nation’s value for the money and appealing exchange rates for investors.

“Business Monitor International also analyzed the Mexico real estate market earlier this year with impressive results,” shared Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “Mexico is a favorite destination among retirees and expats of all ages from the U.S., Canada and around the world, who are looking for exceptional luxury and value."

Most recently, Mexican real estate company, Gicsa, announced that it will go public this May and is currently preparing an IPO with the help of JP Morgan, according to a prospectus, in a move that is farther proof of the nation’s strong real estate sector. Gicsa builds and operates high-end residential developments, along with a growing number of exclusive shopping centers and office buildings in Mexico, and plans to sell stock both domestically and internationally. According to Reuters, funds raised from the initial offering will be used to finance 14 new projects and to pay down debt.

Of course, tourism remains one of the largest economic contributors to Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for more than 8 percent annually – a number that continues to rise. The good news is this creates an environment where hoteliers and residential property owners can easily rake in a substantial income by providing rental accommodations for tourists.

“There’s a good opportunity right now on the leisure side to look at future development as construction costs and land costs still try and catch up,” writes Travel Agent Central. “On the corporate side, there are still opportunities for all of the brands and the developers to develop select-service or focused-service properties.”

What this translates to is that Mexico’s lodging sector remains a very inviting environment for investors, especially considering the country’s growing industrial base, increasing foreign direct investment and recent political reforms. In addition, the advent of REIT-type structures in Mexico, which were first introduced in 2011, has given the entire market increased liquidity. This, combined with new real estate institutional private equity funds and additional financing opportunities from Mexican export-import banks, has contributed to the optimistic investment climate.

According to a recent report by the JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, the long-term outlook for Mexico’s lodging sector is also strong, and will benefit from growth in operating performance. In addition, 93 percent of new properties in the development pipeline are positioned as quality hotels, which will increase Mexico’s overall appeal as a world-class vacation and expat destination. In 2014, transaction volume among domestic and international buyers reached $500 million – a number that is expected to soar upwards of $530 million this year.

“Investor confidence in Mexico’s lodging sector is now underpinned by six consecutive years of improving hotel performance,” writes JLL. “Since 2009, the country has witnessed upward movement in occupancy, average daily rates and revenue per available room.”

It’s really quite simple – as the number of visitors continues to increase, along with expats and retirees coming to live in Mexico full time – so must the number of available condos, villas, private residences, hotels and resorts. Which also means the Mexico real estate industry is poised to remain profitable for investors large and small in the coming years, or as Travel Agent Central puts it, now is “a great time to open a hotel south of the border!”

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