Ancient Relics found in Tulum Underwater Cave

Earlier this year, the World’s longest underwater cave system was discovered in Tulum, Mexico. More recently, an archaeological mission to the site has revealed a stunning site frozen in time by the water and sediment.

Researchers from the Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM) exploration and preservation group presented ancient relics recovered from the site, including fossils of a type of ancient elephant, giant sloths and a shrine to a Mayan god. It’s believed that desperate animals ventured into the caves in search of water at times of severe drought, some of which then became trapped.

“It’s very unlikely that there is another site in the world with these characteristics. There is an impressive amount of archaeological artifacts inside, and the level of preservation is also impressive,” Guillermo de Anda, an underwater archaeologist, told a press conference earlier this year.

Two networks of underwater caves, known as the Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, totalling 350km (217 miles) in length were discovered in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. They were found to intersect at a natural pit or sinkhole, known as a cenote, in a jungle area of the coastal town of Tulum. It is hoped that the remains found within these networks will help scientists develop a picture of the cave’s history, which they believe dates back more than 2.5 million years to the Pleistocene era.

You can own property in this ancient Mayan land! Click here to see our homes for sale in Tulum.

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.

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

13 Culinary Delights of Yucatecan Cuisine

Typical Yucatecan dishes are made with an exquisite mixture of numerous native ingredients and flavors, as well as the elements brought by the Spanish during the time of the Colony, and later influences from the Caribbean, the Middle East, South America and Asia. For this reason, most dishes have its own fascinating story.

Yucatecan cuisine maintains its international reputation due to a unique collection of condiments and spices, such as pumpkin nuggets, oregano, purple onion, sour orange, sweet pepper, lime, annatto, xcatic chili, habanero chili, coriander and others, which when combined give a very distinctive flavor to the food of this region.

Here are some highly recommended dishes to try if you visit Yucatan:

Poc Chuc

Poc Chuc (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Poc Chuc (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Roasted pork, marinated with warm water and salt, served with chopped roasted onions and sauce called X’nipec (‘dog nose’), consisting of sour orange juice, tomato, onion, and cilantro.

Panuchos

Panuchos (source: Food Network)

Panuchos (source: Food Network)

Handmade corn tortilla, fried and stuffed with black beans, shredded turkey or chicken meat, lettuce, purple onion, and X’nipec sauce.

Brazo de Reina (Queen’s arm)

Brazo de Reina (source: youtube).

Brazo de Reina (source: youtube).

The queen’s arm, or dzotobichay as it’s called in the Mayan language, is a typical dish made of corn, tree spinach, eggs, pumpkin seeds and tomato. Its presentation is like a giant tamal, wrapped in banana leaf, bathed in a sauce made with tomato and Mexican tea, which is sliced to serve. It is very common during Lent and on the day of the dead.

Cochinita Pibil (Pibil pork)

Cochinita Pibil (source: SeriousEats)

Cochinita Pibil (source: SeriousEats)

Pork meat marinated in annatto, sour orange juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, wrapped in banana leaves and baked under the earth with hot stones.

Frijol con Puerco (Beans with pork)

Frijol con Puerco (source: CochinitaCountry)

Frijol con Puerco (source: CochinitaCountry)

Pork cooked in beans, served with rice, accompanied by chiltomate (peppers and tomato sauce) or chilmole (roasted pepper paste), radish, coriander and purple onion.

Relleno Negro (Black Stuffing)

Relleno Negro (source: TheLondonFoodie)

Relleno Negro (source: TheLondonFoodie)

Turkey meat cooked with a black paste of condiments of the region (chilmole), served in tacos or sandwiches.

Papadzules

Papadzules (source: Picssr)

Papadzules (source: Picssr)

Egg tacos wrapped in a paste of ground pumpkin seeds, tomato sauce, and onion.

Queso Relleno (Stuffed cheese)

Queso Relleno (souce: Flickr)

Queso Relleno (souce: Flickr)

Gouda cheese stuffed with minced meat with almonds, raisins, olives, capers, red pepper and various condiments, bathed in pebre (green chili sauce) and tomato sauce.

Pollo Mukbil (Mukbil chicken)

Pollo Mukbil (source: LarousseCocina)

Pollo Mukbil (source: LarousseCocina)

Chicken meat in a basket of corn paste (nixtamalized corn), wrapped in banana or henequen leaves. It is the traditional food of Hanal Pixan, the food offering of the Day of the Dead, on November 2nd.

Huevos motuleños (Eggs Motul style)

Huevos Motuleños (source: SimplyRecipes)

Huevos Motuleños (source: SimplyRecipes)

Two fried eggs on a toast covered with refried black beans, tomato sauce, chopped ham and cubes of panela cheese, served with slices of fried plantain.

Deer Tzic (Tzic de Venado)

Deer Tzic (source: ChaiByTheFjord)

Deer Tzic (source: ChaiByTheFjord)

Cooked and shredded deer meat with tomatoes, radishes, chopped coriander, and onion, with sour orange juice, seasoned with habanero chile and salt.

Sopa de lima (Lime soup)

Lime Soup (source: SeriousEats)

Lime Soup (source: SeriousEats)

A broth with a citric touch that comes from the lime, usually accompanied by chicken, tomato, red pepper, coriander, totopos and more ingredients that give it a sensational flavor.

Marquesitas

Marquesitas (source: EverythingPlayaDelCarmen)

Marquesitas (source: EverythingPlayaDelCarmen)

Let’s end on a sweet note! Crunchy sweet crepes made with ice cream cone batter (similar to a waffle cone) and filled with two or three savory add-ins of your choice: Nutella, milk caramel, sweet condensed milk, banana, strawberry and Edam cheese. If you have a sweet tooth, you might find it hard to stop eating these.