For those of you who are unfamiliar with what Sargasso is, it is basically seaweed that has washed ashore. The seaweed is caused by climate change and different wind patterns. The warmer the water, the more the seaweed spreads around the Caribbean. Continue reading
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.
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.”
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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
10 reasons to choose the Riviera Maya:
How do you plan to spend your retirement? Is moving South an option? Have you considered relocating to a warmer region for this new phase of your life?
If you’re not sure where to settle, you may want to consider the Riviera Maya as your #1 destination choice. Offering the perfect combination of entertainment, quality of life and profitable investment, there are many reasons why this paradise makes the perfect retirement home:
The ultimate dream location for outdoor enthusiasts, the Riviera Maya offers multiple beach and aquatic activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, diving, swimming, fishing and sailing. The area also provides opportunities to explore natural and historical treasures including Mayan ruins, cenotes and eco-parks. And let’s not forget all the great bars, restaurants, boutiques, and golf courses! Without a doubt, the Riviera Maya gives you plenty to do for many many years!
The Good Life:
2. With more than 300 sunny days annually, a healthy diet of local fresh tropical food, a laid back lifestyle and beautiful surroundings, your quality of life will greatly improve. Your retirement may just be some of the best years of your life!
3. Mexico has all the familiar comforts and commodities you have back home. You’ll find all the major brand name stores such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Mexico also has excellent health services for a fraction of the price. Now that should really ease your mind!
4. The average cost of living in Mexico is 60% of that in the U.S. and Canada. As a result, you’ll enjoy a much higher standard of living!
5. In addition, property taxes are almost nonexistent compared to the 3% that you have in the US and Canada. That means no bad surprises at the end of the year!
6. You may be thinking that Mexico and the Riviera Maya sound wonderful but that it’s just too far from your home and family. Well, no worries because the Riviera Maya is extremely well connected to the US and Canada with over 50 non-stop flights daily. That, combined with one of the best airport and highway transportation systems in the world makes every traveling experience smooth and trouble-free. The distance won’t feel quite so far from your loved ones.
7. Mexico’s economy is booming and currently one of the strongest in Latin America. Surpassing China for quality and price, Mexico is now the world’s top producer of manufactured goods.
8. Mexico’s tourism is booming and it’s even more the case in the Riviera Maya. Of the millions of tourists who travel to Mexico annually, 70% choose the Riviera Maya as their final destination. As a result, Real Estate sales and the demand for property continue to grow.
9. Thanks to its great weather, beautiful beaches, incredible hotels, world-class golf courses, and ecological and archaeological treasures, tourism and investment in the Riviera Maya keep increasing. It currently is the fastest growing region on the planet. You’ll find great infrastructure, amenities, creature comforts and as a result, a thriving Real Estate market. You can expect on average a 25% equity gain on a pre-construction condo purchases upon project completion. In short, you just can’t lose when you invest in property in the Riviera Maya.
10. Due to the booming tourism, there’s a 100% occupancy rate in the Riviera Maya during the busy season. Demand often exceeds availability. So if you plan to rent your property, you don’t have to worry about finding enough renters. The average investor can expect to see an 8% ROI annually from rental income alone.
So you want to purchase property in Mexico. You’re excited by the idea of finding the perfect bungalow in Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya but you’re also nervous. Will buying property in Mexico really be a smart investment?
You can rest assured that it will be. According to Forbes Magazine, it’s safe to invest in Mexico. With an economy that Forbes global economic specialist Sara Zervos describes as, “mostly predictable and rarely volatile”, its movement remains closely tied to that of the United States. Simply put, when the U.S. economy does well, Mexico’s follows suit. When The U.S. economy turns south, so does Mexico’s.
You can credit two main factors the Mexican economy’s overall steady and positive growth. First and foremost are it’s strong ties to the United States. NAFTA has been a big financial boon for Mexico, with many manufacturing jobs moving south of the border. The country has benefitted even more from the technology transfer in recent years and has increased the skills of its workforce to keep up. According to Zervos, Mexican policymakers have also succeeded in, “implementing conservative fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy” further contributing to Mexico’s healthy economy. As a result, the country has survived a number of global crisis as well as changes in presidential leadership.
Because of these two factors, Mexico has experienced 2-4% annual growth over the last 10 years, excluding the Great Financial Crisis. Their stock market has also fared well since 2012 “growing around 22% in local currency terms”, mirroring the growth of the U.S. stock market rather than other South American countries, such as Brazil or Chile.
So with this positive economic growth combined with an all time record low inflation, Mexico appears to be one of the safest countries in Latin America to invest in, particularly in the real estate market. And the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. Even with the unpredictable U.S. election in November and the Mexican presidential election coming in 2018, Zervos predicts, “economic indicators are expected to remain broadly unchanged, and unlikely to present any significant deviations in current trends.”
As you can see, if there ever was a good time to capitalize on your dream to own a home in Mexico, it’s now. And we here at Living Riviera Maya Real Estate can help. We’ll walk you through the process so you can rest assured your purchase is secure. Don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions.
Judi Shaw | 1 604 628 7247 Direct | +521 984 116 3251 Mexico Cell or email us
The last two years have been good ones for tourism in Mexico as the industry has experienced record growth. According to the Tourism Board of Mexico, in the first quarter of 2016 alone, tourism in Mexico has seen an increase of 9.9 percent. This rate is currently higher than any other place in the world.
The agency has stated that of all Mexican beach destinations, Cancun is the most popular with 1.38 million tourists already this year. The Riviera Maya comes in second with 1.3 visitors.
And it’s no surprise that this booming industry is responsible for much of the country’s annual GDP. Figures released by the Ministry of Tourism back in 2014 credit 8.7 percent of Mexico’s GDP to tourism, employing 3.6 million people directly. Now the fourth biggest source of foreign revenue, the Minister of Tourism predicts that tourism will jump to third place by 2018.
Even with the growing number of condos, hotels and resorts that keep popping up around the country, hotel occupancy rates have also hit record highs so far this year. As reported by the Mexico News Daily, from January to March hotel occupancy rates in Mexico’s 70 principal tourist destinations reached an average of 59.42 percent. This figure beat the previous record set last year of 57.8 percent. In 2015, Cancun set its own record of 82 percent hotel occupancy rate for the year.
So what can we credit this incredible boom for the tourism industry currently taking place in Mexico?
A few factors really. Cost, safety and ease of travel all make Mexico an attractive destination for many tourists, particularly from North America. More Canadian travelers are also heading down to Cancun and Playa del Carmen than ever before. The Secretariat of Communication and Transportation reported an increase of 20 percent of Canadians to the Cancun International Airport so far this year. That amounts to 315,000 Canadian tourists from January to April. Compare that to the 254,000 who visited Mexico in the first quarter of 2014, just two years ago.
And then you have the bonus of the current rate of exchange. In 2016, the peso dropped considerably against the US dollar. This tropical paradise has never been more affordable to North American travelers.
The unparalleled rise of the tourism industry has provided a number of tangible benefits for the country, especially in the Mexican Caribbean area. More and more vacation rentals have become available in both Cancun and Playa del Carmen. You also see improved infrastructure as a result of this escalation in tourism as well as the construction of more condos, hotels and resorts in the region.
The area just keeps growing and for now, there is no end in sight. According to Market Watch:
“In 2007, the Guinness Book of World Records named Playa del Carmen the fastest-growing city in Latin America. Now in 2015, Playa is continuing on that trend.”
So what are you waiting for? Come see for yourself all this country has to offer. And if you’re interested in purchasing your own property in the Riviera Maya, we at Living Riviera Maya can help. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff can walk you through the process of buying making it stress-free and more enjoyable than you ever imagined.
When buying property in the Riviera Maya, you’ll need to take several considerations into account. One of the most important decisions you’ll want to make is whether to purchase an already existing property or a unit in a pre-construction project. While the risk involved may scare many buyers off, buying pre-construction is worth considering if you want to save a good amount of money.
Below you’ll find some reasons why pre-construction projects make for great investments.
- Pricing: The earlier you buy in the pre-construction project, the higher your gains. The prices for pre-construction are usually lower than those for an existing condo. In the preliminary stages developers are eager to advertise how many units have been sold since it makes for good publicity and attracts more buyers. Because of this, they often start selling units for an even lower rate early on. As an added bonus, the seller might give you a free upgrade to your unit to thank you for your bold move, e.g. a condo with an extra bedroom, a free Jacuzzi…
- Automatic Appreciation: As more units get sold, the discounts become less and less available, eventually disappearing altogether, giving an automatic appreciation to the value of your property. For example, the unit you bought for $200,000 very early on will be worth $250,000 at the end of the project. And this gain doesn’t factor in any subsequent rise in market value. Think of the substantial profit you’ll make if you decide to sell it one day in the future!
- Financing options: One of the big advantages of buying pre-construction is the ability to customize a financing plan. Once you have chosen your condo, you will have to put down a deposit- but the amount won’t need to be as large as a typical mortgage down payment. You will then pay the remainder according to construction progress (no interest is charged on these amounts). You can even transfer over to long-term financing, either through the developer or through a bank. This option will have to be discussed early on in the negotiation, however.
- No renovation costs: Buying early into a development offers more choices and will save you more money. When you purchase a pre-existing property, any changes you make to suit your taste will result in added costs. But not with pre-construction! The color of the walls, the lighting fixtures, the countertop materials won’t cost you one cent more, resulting in direct savings to you!!!
In the Riviera Maya, particularly the Playa del Carmen area, there are so many pre-construction projects that finding one that best suits your needs and budget is easy. Whether you choose a gated Community, villa, condo, development near a commercial center or golf course… you don’t have to compromise. So just pick your project, invest and start making a profit!
LRM’s pick: To help you find the best pre-construction project for you, the Living Riviera Maya’s team has pulled together a short list of remarkable properties.
- ZULIM by GMB: Great prices in an up and coming neighborhood. They offer eco-friendly architecture, from studios to 2 bedrooms units.
- MIRANDA by SIMCA: A solid developer offering great design concepts. You can get beach views and on 38th St., the best area of Playa del Carmen!
- MAREA 34: Downtown living, very close to Playa’s best beaches. One and two bedrooms condos. Reliable developer. Only 22 units!
- HACIENDA ESCONDIDA: Very spacious condos in a gated community. This development will include a park with a freshwater cenote, green spaces, pedestrian areas, benches as well as an area for kids.
- THE GALLERY: A concept art residential project in Playa del Carmen with avant-garde architecture and unique design. Each space will be brought to life by a different national and international artist. Only 4 blocks to the beaches!