Archive for the ‘Playa del Carmen; Playacar’ Category

posted by colin on Oct 9

In May of 2011, President Felipe Calderon (president ofMexico) reassured travel executives attending a global tourism summit in Las Vegas that “Mexico is a safe place to visit”.

Despite Calderon’s comforting words, various news programsand magazine articles have left some of us asking whether or not we should go.

Mexico is a large country, and so any attempt to answer that question should probably focus on those places that are safest for travelers.  On April 22nd, the US Department of State issued a Travel Warning to inform US citizens aboutsecurity situation in Mexico.  In the Travel Warning, the Dept. of State specified that “resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico are generally do notsee the levels of drug related violence and crime reported in the border region
and in areas along major trafficking routes
”.

Anecdotally, I can report that my wife and I spent two weeksin and around Cancun in May.   We took taxis into town and buses to attractions outside of the populated areas and never had any problems or felt uneasy at all.   The locals were always friendly and very helpful.  Most are very proficient in English.  We are heading to Playa del Carmen in December without giving it a second doubt!

And what about our guests?  Are they concerned about venturing to Mexico?  We have had a few inquiries about this
topic.  Safety questions do arise once in a while.  To questions such as “how safe is it? and Is the media blowing it out of proportion?”  I insist that you should use common sense.  Be alert, stay in populated areas, don’t wear expensive jewelry away from the resort, late night activities away from your resort should be curtailed, be respectful of your surroundings.  The same advice that I would give if traveling to NYC, Washington DC or LosAngles.   Use your head,  contact KokoTravel for your next Mexico vacation and you’ll have a great time!!!

 

posted by colin on Feb 5

Grand Luxxe today announced the grand openings of two new resorts of its high-end luxury brand in the vacation destinations of Nuevo Vallarta and Riviera Maya.

Grand Luxxe continues its distinction of offering the most prestigious travel experience bar none.  Both locations debut an architectural philosophy that distinguishes Grand Luxxe from other brands, along with the commitment to the pinnacle of personalized service the brand has become famous for.

A world of privilege and opulence awaits the discriminating traveler which holds in high regard a resort catering to their every need; Grand Luxxe brings a travel experience unlike any other.

Sumptuous suites and villas provide between 2,300 and 3,000 square feet of room, among the largest in the resort industry. Twelve-foot ceilings and Italian design bathroom amenities exude an air of refined magnificence.

First opening in February of 2010, Grand Luxxe in Nuevo Vallarta set the bar for personalized luxury travel with private butlers for each floor. The new tower of 144 suites became a remarkable feat for the affluent vacation segment. Spectacular lakes dot the surroundings, beckoning visitors to take advantage of the various water activities. The vast expanse of the glimmering ocean and beaches of Nuevo Vallarta are an invitation to unwind.

The new Grand Luxxe resort in Riviera Maya is every bit as decadent as its sister property in Nuevo Vallarta and is located on Mexico’s most desired coastline. The low-slung resort harmoniously blends in with the surrounding tropics. Pristine white sand beaches and cabanas with glamorous, shimmering pools, privately tucked into the landscape greet guests.

Joining the ranks of the finest vacation properties in the world, Grand Luxxe blends stunning architecture with sleek, modern interior finishes. Rooms blend richly appointed details including marble flooring, fine accents, rich wood furnishings and luxurious upholstery. Bathrooms exude an air of luxury befitting a spa and offer guests a place to unwind in the free standing tubs. Guests can enjoy the scenery of the river and mountains along with the city and the distant horizon.

Modern amenities abound including private plunge pools in the balcony, private butler service for each floor, 50-inch flat panel televisions, Wi-Fi Internet access, in-room Jacuzzi and 24-hour room service, taxi and medical service. Grand Luxxe will pamper its visitors with full health spa and fitness centers, a unique Kid’s Club camp experience and a world-class Nicklaus-design 18-hole golf course that is a delight for pros and casual players alike.

“The Riviera Maya is known around the world as an area of incredible beauty and history,” says Arturo Hernandez, Grupo Vidanta Chief Architect. “We designed Grand Luxxe’s newest location to integrate the architectural development between the rich jungle environment and distinct local Mayan culture.

posted by Donna-Lee on Jul 17

Riviera Maya: Tulum, Mexico is 2010 Travellers Choice in the Top 10 Beach and Sun Destinations, Romance Destinations and Relaxation and Spa Destinations, in the Caribbean and Mexico.  This award winning area  is located on the breath-taking Caribbean coast of Mexico, a 50 minute drive South of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Tulum Mayan Ruins

Tulum is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya served as a major port for Cobá.  One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is a popular site for tourists.  Tulum’s greatest attraction is its location. It stands on a bluff facing the rising sun looking out on views of the Caribbean that are nothing less than spectacular. In Maya, Tulum means “Wall”, and the city was christened thus because it is a walled city; one of the very few the ancients ever built.  When visitors arrive at Tulum’s ancient pre-hispanic site they are able to see the buildings that in its time were the city’s main center (ceremonial and political), monumentally encircled by the Mayan world’s best known wall.  This site is impressive!  You may be able to feel the energy of an amazing civilization as you tour the area.

The most famous Mayan temple city, Chichen Itza  served as the political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. The Kukulkan Pyramid (El Castillo) itself was the last, and arguably the greatest, of all Mayan temples. The Maya believed that on the Equinoxes, their god Kukulkan came down from the heavens to speak directly to their priests. This natural phenomenon of light and shadow is a unique experience that attracts visitors from all parts of the world. Unquestionably, the ancient Maya created a wonder of the world in the great Pyramid of Kukulkan  In 2007, Chichen Itza’s KuKulkan Pyramid was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World after a worldwide vote.

This ancient Mayan region   offers relaxation and romance, adventure, historical, ecological and geographical interests as well as gorgeous Yucatan beaches.

Two very popular destinations for visitors  are Xcaret (pronounced sh-cah-ret) and,Xel-Ha (pronounced shell-ha) which are beautiful natural parks with inlets and cenotes for swimming and snorkelling, as well as swimming with dolphins in natural aquariums  for an unforgettable experience .

Xcaret Eco Park Cenote

Xcaret Cenote

Known as ”nature’s sacred paradise”, Xcaret is one of the world’s most famous eco-archaeological parks. Here, you will find archaeological ruins, a dolphin show, a display of horses and riders working together, a farm with tropical birds, butterflies, bat caves and a stunning beach. You can go also snorkeling in the famous caves and the well known underground river.

Xcaret Underground River

Xcaret Underground River

With its 53 activities to enjoy, Xcaret is an experience for all your senses. This ecological park was once one of the most important Mayan ports.

Xcaret Plus is a new experience that provides an array of services with one ticket. One major benefit is the preferential access to the exclusive Plus Area, created only for those visitors who purchase the Xcaret Plus ticket. There you’ll find all the facilities you need including towels, snorkel gear, life vests and lockers available at any time of the day. You will also have access to our lockable bags to store your things while you travel down the river. Your Plus Admission will allow you to enjoy the park attractions and the main advantages it has over the Basic admission is that you’ll also get a buffet lunch included with juice and coffee, as well as a 10% discount on all water activities! Without a doubt, this is your opportunity to spend a perfect day just having lots of fun.

The amazing Xcaret Show is the most renowned attraction in this park, featuring 300 artists on stage that will fascinate you with the best selection of music, regional dances and Mexican folklore. When the sun sets the sound of pre-Hispanic drums starts and a line of Mayan warriors and priests guard the way to the theater, this will let you know it is show time. Get ready to experience an extraordinary feast of color and learn about the different episodes of Mexico’s rich history, including a stunning recreation of the famous Ball Game.

Xel Ha is an eco-archaeological site that arose with the Maya Civilization settled on the eastern coastline of the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico.  Xel Ha is located in the Riviera Maya, south of Playa del Carmen.   The name is the combination of the roots xel that means ”spring” and ha’ that means ”water”. Xel Ha is the largest natural open sea aquarium in the world, which offers a myriad of land and water activities, ecological attractions, world-class restaurants, and countless more unimaginable experiences, a place to enjoy the biological parade of the Riviera Maya.

The Yucatan peninsula is renowned for water activities in the Caribbean sea as well as the natural freshwater pools called Cenotes, which are underwater caves and caverns to swim in, snorkel or scuba exploration. 

One of the most beautiful is the Gran Cenote,  just 4 km. from Tulum hotel zone on the road to Cobá, Its clear water allows swimmers and divers to see the underwater cave formations and the small fish that live there.

Cenote Calaveras is located about one km before the Gran Cenote, down an unmarked path into the jungle. Its three holes form the skull shape which gave the cenote its name. Visitors love to jump into the water from the ground above. 

Farther up on the highway to Cancún and Playa del Carmen is Cenote Dos Ojos, (about 10 minutes north of Akumal whose two holes make an excellent place to swim or dive. Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are both located south of Tulum, on the road to Carrillo Puerto and Chetumal, just five minutes from Tulum pueblo Admission prices include both cenotes.

Ancient Mayan ruins are scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. Tulum is the best preserved Mayan coastal site.  The Cobá ruins are located about 45 minutes from Tulum along a quiet highway through the jungle and are well worth visiting by either car or bus.

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, one of Mexico’s largest parks, covers more than 1 million acres of coastal jungle or about 20 percent of the state of Quintana Roo’s land. This virgin wilderness is home and sanctuary to innumerable species of tropical flora and fauna, of which, the jaguar found here is counted as one of the many protected species.

As eventful and exhilarating as the encounters with the native wildlife are, archaeologically, more than two dozen ancient Mayan sites have been discovered here in various states of ruin. Evidence of habitation dates back at least 2,000 years but most sites uncovered belong to the post-Classic Period, around 1200 AD.

This vast complex, Mexico’s donation to the world nature inventory administered by the UN, contains just about everything the area has to offer the nature buff. Services are meager and activity access is highly restricted. Punta Allen, a small fishing town 60 km. into the biosphere is the only settlement in this northern sector. There are a couple of modest accommodation facilities just before the entry.

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is located about 2 hours south of Cancun, just south of Tulum on the road to Punta Allen.

Tulum certainly is an impressive vacation spot in Mexico  for whatever you are looking for whether it be a romantic anniversary celebration, an adventure vacation, simply a beach destination , an archeological experience or just a fabulous family vacation.

There are several All Inclusive Palace Resorts in the Tulum area.  You can save substantially with our Palace Resorts Timeshare Rental.  We suggest the Adults Only Aventura Spa Palace or Aventura Cove Palace for family vacations with children.  Xpu Ha resort is perfect for couples or families interested in ecotourism as the resort has several animal displays and tours.~Playacar Palace is another small boutique hotel withing walking distance of the quaint market area of Playa del Carmen and the ferry dock to Cozumel.

posted by colin on Dec 28

Rivera Maya

Few places on earth cause as much amazement as the Riviera Maya. This is a 125-mile-Iong coastline that extends along the incredible turquoise blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean, on the eastern shores of the State of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula.

 

What makes the Riviera Maya so different from other coast­lines around the world? It has a large quantity of beaches with glistening white sand and mild surf. Near the shore, a low-ele­vation jungle, typical of the tropics, acts as a wall to the sea.

 

Practically impenetrable, it’s a habitat for a rich variety of flora and fauna and for geological formations. Here are the “cenotes”-deposits of capricious shapes and different sizes, produced by the subterranean rivers that emerged to the surface over the course of millions of years. Facing the Riviera Maya’s coast is the world’s second-largest coral reef, making it an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkeling.

 

The starting point of the Riviera Maya is Puerto Morelos. Just south is Playa Maroma, a 370-acre eco-park of tropical jungle, mangroves and cenotes, where travelers can enjoy biking, canoeing, kayaking, trekking and horseback riding. Playa del Carmen, the largest town in the Riviera Maya, offers the flavor of a small fishing village mixed with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Shopping, restaurants and nightlife center around Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida).

 

The resort area of Playacar is home to a number of upscale and all-inclusive resorts, more than 100 small archeological sites, the Xaman-Ha Aviary (home to more than 200 bird species)and Cavernas Sacbe, a rock cavern.

 

Xcaret is an eco-archaeological park offering a unique glimpse into the region’s natural surroundings and inter­active activities like snorkeling in under­ground rivers, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding and scuba diving. There’s also a natural aquarium, museum, botanical garden, Mayan village and unique folkloric shows at night.

 

The small bay and beach of Paamul, where turtles come to leave their eggs, offers visitors another of the region’s best spots for diving and snorkeling and is a great place for a picnic.

The upscale resort area of Puerto Aventuras offers the ideal location for visitors looking to relax in comfort and tranquility. Best known for the annual fish­ing tournament held here each May, this town centers around the Riviera Maya’s only full-service marina. The Cultural and Poly-Religious Center, the only one of its kind in the Riviera Maya, is also here. The 5 star Aventura Spa Palace is located adjecent to puerto Aventuras.

 

Continuing south, visitors will note Xpu-Ha, a large beautiful bay and beach with calm waters and great visibility, as well as Kantenah, another secluded beach area. Xpu-Ha is home to the Cenote Manatee, one of the largest cenotes in the region, and the Xpu-Ha Lagoon. Kantun Chi is a remarkable eco-park in the heart of the Riviera Maya that is excellent for snorkel­ing in freshwater cenotes and exploring the underground caverns. Its name means “yellow stone mouth” in Mayan.

 

Aktun­Chen features three caves filled with stalac­tite and stalagmite rocks, cenotes and an opportunity to see the Riviera Maya’s diverse wildlife.

 

The small town of Akumal, known as “the place of turtles,” is a favorite place of the endangered marine turtles, as well as for divers. It’s also well known for its eco­logical center, Ukana-I, which is used for both research and as a community center. Just north of Akumal is YaIku Lagoon, ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

 

The beaches of Soliman Bay and Tankah are favorites for both locals and tourists. Further south is Xel-Ha (“the place where water was born”), a l50-acre eco-archeological park. An incredible nat­ural aquarium where the ocean combines with the freshwater springs and under­ground rivers, Xel-Ha is ideal for tubing, snorkeling and swimming. Xel-Ha is also home to macaws and is surrounded by a thick jungle, caves and cenotes. Archeological sites containing altars dedi­cated to Yum Chac are located nearby.

 

The archeological site of Tulum (“walled city”) offers some of the most impressive Mayan ruins anywhere. Built on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this site contains more than 60 well-pre­served structures. Tulum also offers beauti­ful beaches and cenotes, including the well known Calavera, the Grand cenote and the Car Wash. Located inland, Coba is one of the most important archeological sites in the Riviera Maya. The main pyramid, Nohuch Mul, is 138 feet tall, the highest on the west side of the Peninsula.

 

To the extreme south of the Riviera Maya on a small peninsula is Sian Ka’ an Biosphere Reserve, which offers an oppor­tunity to explore mangroves, ancient Mayan canals and the almost untouched wilderness of the jungle. Only a limited part of the reserve, a large protected area of 1.5 million acres with more than 62 miles of the Great Maya Reef, is open to tourists. Located within the Reserve are Boca Paila and Punta Allen, a village with only 600 inhabitants whose livelihood is dependent on spiny lobster fishing.

 

The southernmost point in the Riviera Maya is the town of Felipe Puerto Carillo, considered a central point for all Mayan communities of the area. It provides a glimpse into the past, as the town has pre­served much of its ancient Mayan culture. Its numerous historic and archaeological sites include The Temple de la Cruz Parlante (Temple of the Talking Cross) and a cultural center from the last century.

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