When is the best time to visit?
This may depend on you. The Winter and Spring months are the most frequented by visitors because the weather is simply idyllic, however the rental rated are higher during this period. If you are looking to save money and come and visit during the slower months, visit us anytime after Easter, the prices are significantly lower and town is much quieter.
What is there to do in the Riviera Maya?
The Riviera Maya is one of the best destinations of the world because of everything it has to offer and there is something for everyone. If you are looking for peace and relaxation there are beaches in Tulum or south from with untouched sand and nobody will disturb you. If you want to keep active there are a very long list of tours for diving, zip lining in the jungle, visiting the Mayan ruins or Playing Golf.
Furthermore, Playa del Carmen and its Famous 5th avenue offer all type of shopping as well as world-class restaurants, bars and nightclubs for all tastes and budgets. We have been living here for over 10 years and are have not tired.
We will be happy to assist you in planning everything you need for the perfect vacation.
Hours of service
• Shops: Shopping hours start at around 10 or 11 am, and continue through to between 8 and 10 pm. Big shops are open 7 days a week; smaller places may close on Sundays, except tourist spots at high season. Christmas & Easter public holidays are observed; on other public holidays you’ll find most things open in cities and bigger towns and tourist spots. Smaller towns will have more limited opening hours, and in hotter, non-tourist regions may close between 2 and 4pm; check locally.
• Banks: Banks in Mexico are beginning to get their act together from a commercial view-point. Branches are now open from 9 am to 4 pm in many cities and big towns, and some even open Saturday mornings. HSBC now opens from 8am to 8pm six days a week.
• Offices: Commercial Office hours tend to run in line with those of the US and the UK: 9am – 6pm.
• Churches: Some churches are permanently open; others are locked up if there is no service going on, especially those hosting valuable art or artifacts. If you visit a church, be mindful of those inside who may be taking part in a church service.
• Archaeology Parks: Archaeology parks are open to the public from 8am to 5pm, and all except those in the most frequented tourist areas (e.g. Chichen Itza in Yucatan) are closed on Mondays.
• Some museums and all major archaeology parks will charge a small fee if want to take a handheld video recorder into the museum or site with you; some make a charge for cameras, although this is rare. Some will not allow flash photography, especially on ancient stonework and murals as it affects the longevity of the work. You’ll see notices written in Spanish and English that will advise you at each location.
• permit. If you want to use a tripod you will need to apply for special permission from INAH (the government department that manages archaeological sites and some museums) and there will be a significant fee and plenty of paperwork involved. If you are outside Mexico, contact your local Mexican Consulate for information and details. Sites and museums which don’t allow tripods offer a “package hold” facility for people carrying tripods, where they can be left until you leave the site or museum. Use of tripods elsewhere (public spaces, beaches, towns, etc.) is permitted.
• Military and Navy Installations: It’s best not to photograph the army or any military installations to avoid any misunderstandings.
• Churches: Taking pictures inside a church when there is a service going on is considered disrespectful, so you should refrain from doing it. Taking pictures inside a church at other times is acceptable in Mexico.
Drinking Alcohol in Mexico/ Legal Drinking Age in Mexico
• The legal minimum drinking age in Mexico is 18; three years before the USA’s legal drinking age, which is why a lot of older American teenagers ‘fly south’ to Mexico for a weekend or longer.
• Drinking on the Street in Mexico: Technically, it is illegal to drink on the street in Mexico, but some people do, especially in tourist areas.
• Drinking and Driving in Mexico: Drinking and driving is a serious crime in Mexico. If you drink, take a cab: taxis are very affordable in Mexico, there is absolutely no need to take your car if you are drinking.
• Drinking and driving is still more common in Mexico than it is in places like the USA and Canada and so, if you’re driving at night, or if you are a pedestrian near a tourist area with lots of bars, be extra vigilant of cars and traffic, especially in the early hours of the morning, when drunk drivers may be about. Mexico’s police are stepping up their campaign against drunk-drivers with stiff penalties (including the prospect of prison sentences) for offenders.
Tipping in Mexico
Tipping in Mexico like in the United States is expected and appreciated in return for good service.
• When you are traveling in Mexico, always keep some loose change in your pocket because you never know when you’re going to need some of it for a tip. Although tips are frequent in Mexico, the amounts are relatively small, and they really can make a difference to the person whom you are rewarding.
• At restaurants depending on the service and class of the establishment 10% to 15% is good.
• Hotel Maids – Many people leave a tip for the Maid, about US$5 equivalent per night’s stay, depending on the class of establishment.
• Car Valets – If you drive to a bar or restaurant and have your car parked by the establishment’s valet service, you should tip the attendant around US$1 equivalent in pesos when you leave, unless the valet has a pre-advertised rate (probably higher than this) in which case, pay that rate and no more.
• Taxis – If you take a cab from the street, it’s appreciated if you round up the meter charge to nearest 5 or 10 pesos depending on the comfort and speed of your journey; however, taxis hired from taxi ranks at hotels or official taxi ranks should be paid the advertised rate (or the rate you agree in advance) and no more.
• Bars and Cantinas – Tables at these are often attended (you don’t need to go to the bar to order food or drink) – and a tip of 10% of the value of your spending that evening is normal.
• Spas – For personal services at Resort Spas, 10-15% of the value of the service (e.g. a Massage) is normal.
When you’re traveling in Mexico, you must take care when drinking water, or fresh beverages that may have tap water added to them. All main hotels and good restaurants use purified water throughout.
Mexico’s electricity system is the same as that of the USA: 120 V; 60 Hz.