Eco Tourism in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a massive wildland area of 5,200+ square kilometers, including part of the coral reef formations of the Caribbean Sea, east of the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto and just south of Tulum. The reserve also contains 23 known Mayan archaeological sites, including Muyil, and has attained the world famous status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, one year after being established.

A number of regional and international entities have carried out more than 200 conservation projects within eight protected natural areas that include the reefs of Banco Chinchorro, Xcalak, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Cancun, and the islands of Cozumel and Contoy with the participation of scientists, technicians, students, fishermen, farmers, rural promotors and administrators from the region.

Today, several organizations work together in the area to develop a more responsible tourism industry that preserves the biodiversity of the whole reserve, taking advantage of the fact that the Yucatan Peninsula region, in general, is among the most successful travel destinations in the world, boasting around 11 million tourists and cruise ship passengers yearly. This intense activity brings economic stability and prosperity, but also a growing impact on the environment.

For this reason, local businesses have a desire to protect the biosphere’s ecology while still taking advantage of zone’s potential for Eco-tourism. Local organization Amigos de Sian Ka’an has been taking on this task for the last few years. No less than 17 companies are working with tour operators from the region to promote a kind of tourism that’s authentic, with a high social benefit and a low environmental impact.

If you’re interested in eco tours to visit the biosphere from Tulum, the two most common access points to the reserve are Punta Allen and Muyil, which provide two completely different experiences and contains two very different ecosystems. The Punta Allen route is great if you want to see ocean lagoons, beaches, dolphins, turtles, fish, etc. The rates for one-day trips on this ocean side of Sian Ka’an start at around USD 120.

The Muyil route is great to see the jungle, the Mayan ruins, wetlands, freshwater lagoons, mangrove forests, and to float down Mayan-carved canals. One day trips to this side of the reserve cost around USD 110 and have less logistic impediments. For adventurous travelers, there’s even the option to do it as a DIY trip for as little as half the price.

Mexico is the Top Destination for Romantic Travelers

According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, one in four couples around the World chooses Mexico as their destination for romantic getaways and weddings, with Riviera Maya at the top of the charts.

According to “Riviera Maya News”, 600,000 weddings are performed in Mexico each year, with a whopping 70% of them taking place on the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.

The beautiful beaches, cosmopolitan cities and colonial towns in the area awaken passion in foreigners and locals alike.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, “Although there are no precise indicators of the increase in the influx of visitors for the concept of romance tourism, some destinations have metrics, including San Miguel de Allende, which reported a growth of 25 percent both in number of visitors and in economics registering 750 weddings in 2017.”

New Frequent Flyer Program for Pets in Mexico Airports

Because more travelers are visiting Mexico with pets each year, the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) implemented the Frequent Pet Traveler (Mascota Viajero Frecuente) program in major airports around the country, in cities like Cancún, Guadalajara, Queretaro, Toluca, Mazatlan, and Zihuatanejo.

The program aims to make things easier and faster for frequent travelers who need to carry their pets. All the pets need is a special application from SECTUR, a health certificate, up-to-date deworming treatments, and having been vaccinated for rabies for at least 6 months before the travel.

After registering in the program, owners are provided with an official check-in document called Registro de Ingreso, issued by the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA), which contains the general data of traveler and pet, vaccination and deworming record, and a health certificate that is updated every time the pet enters the country.

To receive the document that certifies the entry of pets into the country, travelers need to present a health certificate, valid for 15 days after being issued by an official veterinarian, on letterhead with the doctor’s medical certificate, along with origin and destination data and date of the last rabies vaccine. Upon entering the country the pet should be in a conveyor or container, clean, without bed or toys, and with a leash or a collar.

In this way, frequent travelers to Mexico who can prove their pets are vaccinated and without worms won’t need to repeatedly fill forms every time they enter the country with their pets since their data will be available on the program’s database. The travel certificate for the pet is sent to the owner via email.

The registration for the Mascota Viajero Frecuente program can be done with no cost in the Agricultural Health Inspection Offices (OISA) of AICM T1, AICM T2 at Mexico City, or visiting SENASICA’s central offices in Cancun, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Toluca, Mazatlán or Zihuatanejo. For more information, contact 59051000 ext. 53611, 54326 y 51020 or (0155) 43130154, 43130155 or 43130152.

The Mexican peso was the best performing currency in Latin America in 2017

The Mexican peso closed 2017, a year of plenty of political, commercial and fiscal turbulence, with a small gain of 5.15 percent in appreciation against the US dollar, which makes it the best performing currency of Latin America for that year.

After loosing around 60 percent of its value during the four previous years, in 2017 the Mexican currency experienced several highs and lows marked by turmoil. The first quarter closed 9.44 percent up, and the last was 7.69 percent down.

Among the main factors driving the price of the peso were the policies implemented by Trump’s government at a commercial, fiscal, and even migratory level, which many times were aimed directly at Mexico and made many investors wary. Experts point out that the process of renegotiation of NAFTA was a key point of stress during the second half of the year. This was compounded with the effect of the ongoing normalization process carried out by the Federal Reserve (Fed) on its monetary policy which affected the exchange market.

However, the peso firmly stood its ground, with a rise of up to 20 percent against the dollar since Trump took office, and then coming back from a 13.7 percent fall at the end of the year.

Riviera Maya awarded Best Destination in Mexico by Travel Weekly Awards

Riviera Maya keeps winning the hearts of millions of travel enthusiasts around the world in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards 2017!

For 15 years, the popular travel magazine Travel Weekly presents awards in 77 categories to distinguish the best actors and destinations of the global tourism industry, which includes hotels and resorts, tour operators, airlines, cruise lines, and more.

There was little surprise when the Riviera Maya was once again named Best in Destinations, recognizing it as the first choice for travelers visiting Mexico for the 14th consecutive year. The gala for the event was held at the Conrad New York on Dec 14th and was attended by the director of the Tourism Promotion Trust of Cozumel and Riviera Maya, Darío Flota Ocampo, to receive the award.

Other Mexican participants were Funjet Vacations and Apple Vacations, who each won Best in Tour Operators (one for Mexico and one for the Caribbean, respectively) and Playa Resorts/Hyatt won Best Hotel Chain, among winners from all around the globe.

Riviera Maya Gets Jazzy Again

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is celebrated by both locals and visitors alike, who gather in Mamitas Beach in late November every year since 2003 to enjoy great jazz players like George Benson, Tower of Power, Sergio Mendez, Spyro Gira, Herbie Hancock, Celso Pina, Earth, Wind, and Fire and many more. The event marks the beginning of the high season in Playa del Carmen, producing a spike in business for three days.

The coming one is special. On its 15th anniversary, the festival will open with a tribute to former producer Fernando Toussaint, who past away on February 25th of this year. As he had proposed, this anniversary will bring together many stars from former editions along with the new participants.

If you decide to go, just follow 28th St. to the beach and follow the music! If you really like it, you should get there early to save a place, and maybe bring some blankets, beach chairs, snacks and drinks too, since alcohol is tolerated. But remember this is a free event lasting 4 to 5 hours, and it will get crowded (the average attendance is well above 10,000 people each night). After that, only the early birds will remain seated. Of course, if you’re absolutely into it, you could try to get into the much less crowded VIP area.

Lineup

November 30

  • Señor Vitalis Plays Aguamala Groove and Funk band featuring Bernardo Ron on guitar, Luis Ernesto Lopez on bass, and Zoar Miranda on drums.
  • A special tribute to Fernando Toussaint led by Cecilia Toussaint and special guests.
  • Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, a Latin Grammy Award-winning musical duo from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

December 1

  • Mexican-Cuban singer and songwriter Steffie Beltt,
  • Co-headlining guitar legends John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring “The Meeting of the Spirits” with the 4th Dimension Band and special surprise guests.

December 2

  • Memo Ruíz Bolero Jazz Big Band.
  • American jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney.
  • Grammy Award-winning piano and banjo duo Chick Corea & Béla Fleck.
  • American jazz vocalist and ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin.

The festival continues to grow bigger every year, so why not watch it next year from the balcony of your new downtown Playa del Carmen condo?

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Moving from Canada to Mexico

A Few Items to Consider Moving From Canada to Playa del Carmen, Mexico or Moving to Tulum or all Riviera Maya

Today’s world of connectivity allows easier access to jobs and various opportunities on a global scale. As a result, there is a greater movement of people across borders to live or retire in Playa del Carmen, or invest in Tulum or buy in Riviera Maya, Mexico. These exciting moves are accompanied by obligations to make a successful move. To ensure a smooth transition with very few bumps along the way, we suggest taking the following steps:

Moving To Your New Destination

Contact us at Living Riviera Maya Real Estate for your move to the area.
We specialize in helping you successfully invest in real estate in Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.

1 604 628 7247 ; info@LivingRivieraMaya.com

Many of our associates of Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico, including me, as owner/broker have expatriated completely from Canada to Mexico. We can share our experiences with you so you relocate from Canada to Playa del Carmen, to avoid any unwanted surprises. Our specialty is orienting and educating you in the real estate market of Playa del Carmen and all Riviera Maya, so you find the right property, at the right price, in the right area, that fits all your requirements.

There is so much to consider when moving to Mexico to Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya and buying property. Me and my team at Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico take our role seriously. We have been successfully advising investors of Riviera Maya Real estate since 2003. Our orientation during your buying process includes info such as the locations of schools, hospitals, health service providers, public services, fun things to do, and lifestyle wishes and wants.

When making a real estate investment in Playa del Carmen and moving to Riviera Maya we make sure you have all the best legal advice.

Before you Move

We highly suggest making a checklist:
-Create a detailed packing list of what needs to go and what can stay or be given away/donated.
-Arrange packers, movers, storage, research moving companies. If you plan to import large pieces, you will need a customs broker. Most successful buyers who move here choose not to import.
-Take a course in Spanish either in your hometown or here in Riviera Maya. Knowledge of a few basic words and expressions can go a long way.
-We will introduce you to the right bank to set up new bank accounts so you can transfer funds as required.
-Join any social media expat sites and join clubs. They have already made the move and they could provide you with some great tips.
-Make sure your passports are valid for at least 6 months after you exit Canada. Have several copies ready for when you arrive to distribute as needed.
– Visa for stays longer than 120 days are required for Mexico. You can begin your application for a temporary resident visa at the Mexican consulate closest to your hometown. Once it’s approved, you will complete the process here in Inmigracion in Playa del Carmen. We have a team of people to guide you through the immigration process when you arrive in Playa del Carmen.
-Bring citizenship documents, police checks, birth certificates, etc.

Leaving Canada – The Canadian Tax System

First, the good news stated simply. Mexico does have a tax treaty with Canada, which helps Canadians avoid double taxation and help prevent tax evasion. However, a move to Mexico or buying property in Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya does not necessarily mean that you automatically are considered a non-resident for tax purposes.

Depending on your ties to Canada, the number of days you spent there, and other factors, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may consider you a: Factual Resident, Deemed Resident, Non-Resident or Deemed Non-Resident.

If you are a non-resident or plan to become one, then properly exiting the Canadian Tax System is crucial. Playa del Carmen Real Estate does not offer tax advice for Canadians. However, we can refer you to a Canadian company that specializes in this. Trowbridge Specialists can simplify the process for you.

Call us at Playa del Carmen real estate Mexico and we will hook you up with their information. 1 604 628 7247

If you do not take the proper steps there is a potential for double taxation on your worldwide income, application of incorrect tax rates and penalties, and/or interest accruing. In order to terminate your Canadian Residence in the tax system, you will need to file a departure tax return indicating your date of departure. We recommend you speak to your tax advisor or we can refer you to one.

This date of departure varies if you have a spouse or dependents or if you are becoming a deemed resident of a new country. Furthermore, on your departure tax you may need to include a deemed disposition – if leaving the country, the CRA treats any property you own as if it was sold at the current fair market value when you become a non-resident. Depending if there is a capital gain or capital loss, taxes may be applicable or a loss could be claimed on your return.

While you may have physically left Canadian soil, there are usually ties to Canada that remain, such as real property, bank accounts, RRSP’s, etc. These ties may provide reasoning for the CRA to penalize you if not properly addressed.

As a non-resident who owns a rental property that earns you income, you are obligated to report this income to the CRA. There is a non-resident withholding tax at a rate of 25% of the gross rental income.

However, the non-resident withholding tax can be significantly reduced. There are certain forms to be filed with CRA by your appointed agent. Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico will put you in touch with a specialist in Canada.

If you have RRSP’s, dividends, retirement compensation, continued social security benefits, royalties, are earning interest, or other types of income, make sure to advise these companies of your non-resident status as they may need to remit withholding taxes to the CRA on your behalf. As a non-resident earning this type of income, they should issue you an NR4 slip – this slip reports any withholdings and income to the CRA.

While the above are only a few noteworthy tips, always do your research and work with industry experts for investing in Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico for your transition to Riviera Maya.

Love your new life on the beach.
Do it the right way and don’t make mistakes.
Playa del Carmen Real Estate Mexico can help you navigate through all the steps.

1 604 628 7247 ; info@LivingRivieraMaya.com

www.LivingRivieraMaya.com

Riviera Maya Owned the Latin American World Travel Awards

The Mexican state of Quintana Roo received 25 awards and 40 nominations during a ceremony for the World Travel Awards of Latin America, held last month at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.

The World Travel Awards brand was established in 1993 and is recognized globally today as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. It is also highly valued for providing top-level networking opportunities for business people in the travel industry.

Several of the awards were handed to Marisol Vanegas Pérez and Darío Flota, respectively the Tourism Secretary of and the General Director of the Tourism Promotion Trust of Cozumel and the Riviera Maya. The gala also was attended by many executives from sponsor airlines Aeroméxico and Delta, as well as Travel Times, Media Partner, the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya itself, and many renowned tourism entrepreneurs and bureau directors.

Among the winning destinations for Mexico and Central America were the Riviera Maya (Best Beach Destination), Playa del Carmen (Most Relaxing Destination), The island of Cozumel (Best Cruise Port, Best Island Destination), Cancun (Best Destination for Meetings and Congresses, Best Tourist Destination), and Tulum (Best Destination).

In other categories, awards went to the Cancun International Airport, the International Convention Center, the Río Secreto Park, and six hotels including Hard Rock Cancun, Grand Hyatt Resort Playa del Carmen, UNICO 20 ° 87 ° Hotel Riviera Maya, Hacienda Tres Rios, Playa del Carmen Paradisus and Hard Rock Riviera Maya.

The Grand Final of the awards will be held on December 10th in Phu Quoc city, Vietnam, where many of the Latin American winners will compete for world titles. A full list of winners from the Latin America ceremony can be seen here:

www.worldtravelawards.com/winners/2017

As our area gains international recognition, this is a key moment to invest in Riviera Maya Real Estate.

CLICK HERE to see our listings.

Riviera Maya tops the charts

Travelers put the Riviera Maya area among the best places to be in Mexico.

The Riviera Maya continues to be among the best destinations, according to the popularity rankings generated by travelers on TripAdvisor.

Source: Aquaworld

Four of the top six most popular destinations in Mexico are in the Riviera Maya, in a list of 25 cities. The reviews are filled with praise of its beautiful white sand beaches, dazzling diving places filled with sea life, incredibly well-preserved archaeological sites, dynamic nightlife and lively cultural activities (not to mention the lush, year-round tropical climate of the Caribbean sea!)

Source: playadelcarmen.com

Like that is not good enough, the Traveler’s Choice Awards, which lists the 25 best-rated beaches in the world, puts Playa Norte in 7th place. This beautiful beach has also been named one of Mexico’s best beaches for two years in a row. It is located in Isla Mujeres, an island less than 10 miles off the coast of Cancún. Senior contributor IslaMujeres1 writes: “When I first saw photos of this beach, I thought they had to be touched up. […] Calm turquoise waters, beach clubs, pure white powdery sand, and much more. […] Water so blue, it makes the sky look pale”

Source: Bahia Divers

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit these incredible destinations on your next vacation!

Curious about investing in Riviera Maya real estate? View our listings here.