We have a sunny - windy morning in Playa del carmen, the temperature is 23ÂºC (73.4ÂºF) and it feels like 24ÂºC (75.2ÂºF). For the rest of the day we expect a partially sunny weather with a passing shower and a high of 27ÂºC (80.6ÂºF) which will feel like 29ÂºC (84.2ÂºF).
At night, temperature will drop back to 23ÂºC (73.4ÂºF) but the wind factor will make it feel like 22ÂºC (71.6ÂºC) which is still a fresh but nice temperature to hang out with a glass of wine and enjoy the landscape. Isn’t it the perfect ending for an adventurous day?
Christmas for Mexicans, in traditional homes and rural areas, is a religious holiday.
It is a celebration of the Nativity. This means the birthday of Our Lord Jesus. In order to prepare for the day of symbolic commemoration, we have the “Posadas”. These celebrations are a “Novena” or nine days before the 24 which is the “Noche Buena” or “Holy Night”.
These Posadas are an enactment of looking for lodging of St. Joseph and Virgin Mary, called The Pilgrims going to Bethlehem for the Census according to the Scriptures. In Spanish we called them: “Los Peregrinos, San José y la Virgen María”. Each family in a neighborhood, will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their home, starting on the 16th of December and finishing on the 24th on Noche Buena.
Every home will have a Nativity scene. The hosts of the home are the innkeepers, and the neighborhood children and adults are Los Peregrinos, who have to request lodging through singing a simple chant. All carry small lit candles in their hands and four teenagers of about the same height are chosen to carry Los Peregrinos, which are two small statues of St. Joseph leading a donkey, which Virgen Mary is riding sidesaddle. The head of the procession will have a candle inside of a paper lamp shade that looks like an accordion but open at the top and it is called a “Farolito” or little lantern.
The Peregrinos will ask for lodging in three different houses but only the third one will allow them in. That will be the house that is supposed to have the Posada for that evening. Once the innkeepers let them in, the group of guests comes into the home and kneels around the Nativity scene to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is a traditional Catholic prayer, which consists of the following prayers: 50 Hail Mary, 5 Our Father , 5 Glory and the Litany, which is a series of Praises for the Virgin Mary, plus singing traditional songs like Holy Night in Spanish of course!
After all the prayer is done, then it comes the party for the children. There will be a Piñata, (pronounce Pignata, for it has an ñ instead of an n), filled with peanuts in the shell, oranges, tangerines, sugar canes, and seldom wrapped hard candy. Of course, there will be other types of chants the children will sing while the child in turn is trying to break the Piñata with a stick while he/she will be blindfolded.
Although the Piñata was originally from Italy, it has become a Mexican tradition for celebrations where there are children involved. The Piñata was made out of a clay pot and decorated with crepe paper in different colors. Today’s piñatas are made out of cardboard and paper mache techniques and decorated with crepe paper. This change was made to prevent the children from cutting their hands when going for the fruit and candy when the Piñata was broken and the clay piece would become a hazard. They have all kinds of designs besides the traditional star.
For the adults there is always “Ponche con Piquete”(sting), which is a hot beverage or “Punch” made out of seasonal fruits and cinnamon sticks, with a shot of alcoholic spririt. A good substitute here in Ohio is hot apple cider with fruits, without the “spirits”.
On Noche Buena, December 24, everybody goes to Misa de Noche Buena which is at midnight. After the Mass, everyone goes to their respective homes to have dinner with family and any friend who does not have a family is always welcome to be part of a family celebration, and most important of all to place the Baby Jesus in the manger in the Nativity scene.
The presents are not received on Christmas, for Christmas is a celebration of Life of Our Savior.
The New Year’s Eve, there is a Misa de Gallo, (Rooster’s Mass) that takes place at midnight also. Some families go to church earlies to give thanks for all the blessings received during the year.
The children’s celebration of receiving presents is not until January 6th, “el día de Reyes”, the day of the Kings, or the Wise Men Day. It is the Magi who brought the presents to the Baby Jesus, thus, they bring the toys to the boys and girls who have been good. The children place their shoes by the window, so the Magi place the present in the shoe. It the present is bigger than the shoe, it will be placed next to it. Many children, get a new pair of shoes for a present.
El dia de Reyes is celebrated with a “Merienda” consisting of hot chocolate and “The Rosca de Reyes”. “La Merienda is the meal that takes. place any time between 5 P.M. and 7 P.M. it is not a heavy meal but the equivalent of “High Tea”.
The Rosca de Reyes is a big oval wreath made out of egg bread (like an egg bagel, but huge) with dry fruit decorations and sprinkled sugar on top, but inside, there is a little ceramic doll which represents the Baby Jesus. The person who gets the piece of bread with the Baby, must be the Godparent of the Baby Jesus in the celebration of the Candelaria, on February 2nd..
“El dia de la Candelaria” is the day of the Candle or Light, known as the Day of Purification. That day, the Nativity scene is put away with a party given by the person who got the Baby Jesus in his/her piece of bread during the Rosca de Reyes celebration. He or she will be responsible for making a “Ropon” or christening gown for Baby Jesus. Generally, they have a Dinner with Tamales (Tamales are corn bread filled with meats in a sauce or raisins wrapped in corn husks).
Lately, these traditions have been modified. For example, the Posadas are now nine parties that are celebrated in differentes friends homes before Christmas. Also, with the North American Free Treaty Agreement, known as NAFTA, Christmas is now celebrated the American style, with Santa Claus, the meals and presentes, mostly among the afluent people. Others take trips to sky resorts in the United States or Europe, or travel to turistic places within Mexico.
All the education institutions are on vacation during the holidays, they do not get back to school until after January 6th. Also, the government offices and the other institutions connected with the government close during those two weeks
The Rama (which in Spanish means “La Rama”) is a tradition from Tlacotalpan, Veracruz and it is as many other traditions around the world, a representation of nature renovation after the cold season. The Rama is traditionally acompanied by a song which has its origins in the mexican gulf coast in a musical form known as “Huapango”. The main intention is to receive “aguinaldo” which can be money or candy for children.
Sun and clouds with a passing shower, a High of 25ºC (77ºF) and a very good chance to barracuda sighting in Turtle Bay! Which, by the way, has one of the most beautiful beaches around… Do you want to Swim with turtles in their natural environment surrounded by magnificent marine life and live one of the most beautiful adventures in your life? Book your adventure now! :D
Riviera Maya, also known as the Mayan Riviera, is a tourism district following the coastal Highway 307 which parallels the Caribbean coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located on the eastern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. This district historically started at the city of Playa del Carmen and ended at the village of Tulum, although the towns of Puerto Morelos situated to the north and between Playa del Carmen and Cancun as well as the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto situated 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the south of Tulum are both currently being promoted as part of the Riviera Maya tourist corridor.
The Riviera Maya was originally called the Cancun - Tulum corridor, but in 1999 it was renamed as the Riviera Maya with the aid of Lic. Miguel Ramón Martín Azueta who at the time was the mayor of the municipality of Solidaridad. The municipality of Solidaridad includes the whole of the official Riviera Maya from Playa del Carmen in the north and south to Tulum and extending to some 40 km inland with the border with the state of Yucatan.
The Riviera Maya is famous for its large scale all-inclusive resorts and a historical tourism base of smaller boutique hotels as well as the many fine-dining restaurants available along the highway 307 and on or near the beaches. Luxury travel entities have been instrumental in increasing luxury villa rentals and yacht charters in the area however these only represent a small fraction of the total tourism accommodation available.
Government development plans include establishing a number of medium sized cities of ~200 000 inhabitants within the Riviera Maya with initial planning spanning 20 years. Target areas for urbanization include the towns and villages of: Puerto Morelos (technically outside the Riviera Maya), Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Chemuyil, and Tulum.
[caption id=”attachment_1441” align=”alignleft” width=”150” caption=”Green turtles like this one are common inhabitants of MBRS (Mesoamerican Bareer Reef System) the second largest bareer reef in the whole world”][/caption]
A major attraction throughout the Riviera Maya are coastal and reef aquatic activities dependent on the coastal water and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (also known as the Belize Barrier Reef) which begins near Cancun and continues along the whole length of the Riviera Maya continuing southward to Guatemala. This barrier reef system is the second longest in the world.
Activities at the most visited locations include Jet Skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming in cenotes, swimming with dolphins, zip-lining, horse riding, sailing, and guided jungle tours. Archeology is also a big tourist draw in the area, including the popular archeological sites operated by the Instituto Nacional de Archeological such as Tulum on the coast, and Chichen Itza and Coba located some distance inland. There are also some self-named “ecoparks” which also include some smaller archeological ruins as part of their attractions, but these theme parks operated by private business consortia attract much larger crowds due to the diversity and range of activities provided, such as swimming with captive dolphins.
The mean annual temperature is 24–25 °C (75–77 °F). The climate is dominated by a rainy season from May through November, and within the dry season there is a period dominated by northerly winds, called El Norte, which usually occurs in the months of January and February. The maximum mean annual precipitation throughout the Yucatan Peninsula occurs along the coast of the Riviera Maya with 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) of rainfall with a general decline to the NW with only 400 millimetres (1.3 ft) per year or less on the opposite side of the Peninsula. While the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan experiences a large number of tropical storms and hurricanes, the storm tracks and therefore landfalls of these are divergent to both the north (Cancun) and the south (south of Tulum and down to Belize) striking generally outside the Riviera Maya. Groundwater and therefore cenote water temperatures are 25 °C (77 °F) year round. Coastal waters range from 26 °C (79 °F) in January to 29 °C (84 °F) in August.
The Riviera Maya is completely within the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The terrain is flat and covered by low tropical jungle. The geology is high purity carbonates down to a depth of 0.5 - 1.5 km below the surface. Mean annual rainfall is 1.5 m per year and the efficient infiltration results in the complete absence of any surface rivers. As is common in karst, underground river network have formed by dissolution, and these have been explored and mapped by cave diving through sinkhole collapses locally called cenotes. The whole of the Yucatan Peninsula is underlain by a density stratified coastal aquifer system with a lens shaped fresh water body floating on top of intruding saline water.
The formation of caves (speleogenesis) within this coastal carbonate aquifer is principally associated with carbonate dissolution at the fresh-saline water contact within the aquifer. By 2008, the Quintana Roo Speleological Society (QRSS) reported more than 700 kilometres (430 mi) of flooded cave passages within the limits of the Riviera Maya including the two longest underwater cave systems in the world of Sac Actun and Ox Bel Ha. These groundwater resources, accessed via the thousands of cenotes throughout the landscape, once supported the Maya civilizations and today remain the only natural sources of potable water in the area.
The Caribbean coastline is a series of crescent shaped white sand beaches interrupted every 1 – 10 km by rocky headlands and inlets, called caletas, through which groundwater discharges into the coastal water. Large sections of the extensive mangrove swamps that lie behind the beaches and headlands are included in the areas scheduled for tourism development.
Most tourists to the Riviera Maya arrive through Cancún International Airport, approximately 50 km (31 mi) north of Playa del Carmen.
There are several companies offering a great diversity of excursions and activities along Riviera Maya, some of the most solicited are the ones including Snorkeling in a reef, swimming in Cenotes, Zip lining, rapelling etcétera. There are some other options like horseback riding circuits, atv vehicles. Also there are some interesting events during the year like the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival and the FECUCA (Cancun Cultural Festival).
Both if you are looking for adventure and new experiences or you just want to relax and enjoy the beautiful turqoise color of the ocean and have a beverage while warming in the sun… Riviera Maya is the perfect place for you.
This picture was taken at Isla Contoy on 2009 fall. For us in the caribbean, fall is the season where we got early sunsets and chance to do magnificent pictures like this one. The model’s name is Erika and this was the first of many shots from that day, luckily the first one was the right one and this will last forever in our memories.
Isla Contoy is a national park, inhabited almost only by marine birds (frigatebirds, cormorans and pelicans). Also: the rarest egret in north america is common in contoy, the reddish egret or Egretta rufescens. There’s no fresh water on the island, meaning there’s no mammals on the surface, giving the birds a perfect location for breeding and resting. There’s also some reptiles on the island like Crocodiles and Iguanas. Contoy is also an important place for lobster fisheries and it’s second national place, only behind Punta Allen in the south of Quintana Roo.
Contoy is an important place for the birds because in addition to the nesting colonies of frigatebirds, cormorans and pelicans there’s also visitors like preybirds (falcons, eagles), flamingos, etcetera.
It’s the perfect place for an adventure and fall it’s the perfect time for an inland adventure. What about you, feeling adventurous? Book your adventure now!
Happy #MexMonday!!! Ready for some astonishing mexican nature? Check this video from Mayan Adventure tour and a huge sardines school in Yal-Ku lagoon!!!
Feeling adventurous? Book your adventure now!
Sun is back to Riviera Maya, it’s been a couple rainy days before but yesterday night the sky opened up and a beautiful starry night was happening above us. Today, the sun is shining with all of his power and giving us chance to take a deep into a pool… what about a natural one? Check out this amazing 360º view of cenote Pakal Nah
This is one of the places we visit during our Mayan Adventure Snorkeling tour, in addition to a magnificent ocean inlet plenty of marine life and a closed cenote. The lunch and beverages are included and also the personalized attention from our qualified bilingual guides. Mayan Adventure tour is suitable for all ages, kids under 5 can go free*, and children from 5 to 12 pay half price…
Feeling adventurous? Book your adventure now!!!
*4 year old children and younger can attend free under the constant supervision of an adult from the group.
Considerable cloudiness with a shower and high of 84ºF (29ºC) today in Playa del Carmen. Some minor thunderstorms are possible to occur tonight while the temperature will stay around 80ºF, 27ºC so it’s a good day for going out and walk in Quinta Avenida.
It seems like tomorrow is gonna be almost just like today, so please take your time and enjoy this wonderful Rina-Free weather in Riviera Maya and Cancun, Mexico. Right now is getting a little windy but it’s fresh wind so we are grateful for it.
We’d like to remind you: constructions workers present in the 10th avenue from 1st south street to 12th north, they are remodeling the 10th ave, so if you are walking or driving around Playa del Carmen, is important to take alternative ways in downtown. Also: if you are coming down from Cancun or going over there for visit, there are construction workers too at Bonfil making the new bridge which will improve traffic speed at this place. Please drive carefully.
Feeling adventurous? it’s a good day for snorkeling though ;), Turtle bay is enjoying this NW wind and oceant at this place is flat like a table this day, so it’s a great opportunity to take your fins, mask and snorkel and live the Snorkel Xtreme tour and swim with turtles in their natural environment.
Meanwhile, whether you are here in Riviera Maya or planning to visit us: enjoy this beautiful image taken from @webcamsdemexico this morning in Playacar Palace Resort.
Happy Rina-Free Weekend!