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Dolphin captivity is turning into a hot topic here in the Riviera Maya. Recent documentaries like The Cove and Blackfish have shed much-needed light on a global scale about how cetaceans like dolphins and orcas (killer whales) are placed in captivity and the treatment they receive.

Here in the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, dolphin swims are one of the most popular tours available for travelers visiting this region of Mexico, in addition to swims with other marine animals like sea lions and manatees. A variety of local companies have numerous dolphin swim locations throughout the area, whether it's at a resort, at a park or on its own. While these companies offer well-tended facilities and adequate medical treatment to provide Riviera Maya dolphins with a healthy lifestyle, a dolphin's life in captivity can never compare with life in their natural habitat. As much as they might try, dolphin tour facilities cannot offer the freedom, space, social environment, diet and exercise that these fascinating creatures need to live a happy and fulfilling life.

dolphins in captivity Riviera Maya 

Riviera Maya citizens will come together this Saturday, September 13 in Playa del Carmen to protest dolphin captivity in Mexico. If you'd like to join in for this worthy environmental cause, meet at the Portal Maya statue in Playa del Carmen (on the beach by Parque Fundadores, near the Cozumel ferry) at 3pm.

Dolphin protest Playa del Carmen 

The Riviera Maya is one of the world's top travel locations, and it's up to us to set the example for destinations all over the globe by spreading the word about the dangers and injustices of dolphin captivity.

The Riviera Maya city of Playa del Carmen has already made a huge difference in animal rights by eliminating permit renewals for wildlife exploitation on 5th Avenue. It's time for the community to come together once again and fight for the rights of our dolphin friends.

For more information on Saturday's protest, visit their event page on Facebook.

Add a little culture to your Playa del Carmen weekend!

On Saturday, August 30, the Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra ("Orquestra de Cámara Playa del Carmen") is hosting the third concert in their current concert series, featuring beautiful music written by J. S. Bach. The concert will be at the Casa de la Cultura at 7pm, with a cost of only $150 pesos.

Bach concert Playa del Carmen 

Proceeds from this concert series will benefit the Equine Therapy Center of Playa del Carmen, or "CEIA". The CEIA helps kids, youth and adults with disabilities by offering a variety of therapies in order to improve their quality of life, including musical therapy, water therapy and equine therapy.

BuyPlaya Real Estate is a proud sponsor of this amazing concert series! Come out for a night of music to support the Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra and the Equine Therapy Center.

Click through for more information on the Equine Therapy Center and this concert series.

Attention all Riviera Maya triathletes!

It's time to lace up your running shoes, put on your swim cap and grab your bike because the most well-known Riviera Maya triathlon is back for 2014. The Triatlón Xel Ha 2014 will take place in November (Olympic category on Saturday November 15, and Children, Women Beginners and Sprint categories on Sunday November 16) at the breathtaking Xel Ha park.


The Triatlón Xel Ha will once again include several events for a variety of skill levels, from first-timers to seasoned athletes:

  • Women Beginners: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run (SOLD OUT)
  • Children's Triathlon:
    • 9 - 11 years: 150m swim, 4km bike, 1km run
    • 12 - 13 years: 300m swim, 8km bike, 1.5km run
    • 14 - 15 years: 400m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run
  • Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
  • Olympic: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
  • Elite and Elite Sub 23: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run

You can still sign up for the Triatlón Xel Ha through the website (www.triatlonxelha.com) until August 29, 2014. Since spaces for this popular Riviera Maya triathlon are limited, you must first sign up in a raffle-style drawing to win a spot; participants will be announced on August 30.

You can get a guaranteed spot in the Triatlón Xel Ha by signing up for the Red Cross Benefit Dinner on November 16 with a donation of $5,000 pesos that also includes a free all inclusive pass to the park.

This Riviera Maya triathlon is also helping the environment! Triatlón Xel Ha 2014 will adhere to a variety of green, environmentally friendly practices like:

  • Use of chemical-free sunblock
  • Bike camera collection so they can be reused
  • Donation of used swim caps to schools
  • Cleaning and beautifying the triathlon route, even outside of the park grounds
  • Each person's triathlon sign-up fee will include a donation to "Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México" (Mexico Flora, Fauna and Culture)



So go ahead and sign up for a chance to participate in a green triathlon in one of the Riviera Maya's most beautiful locations! Even the kids can join in.

Meep Up at Wah Wah 

Thursday, July 24 come to Wah Wah Beach Bar in Playa del Carmen, meet other singles 30+ and enjoy an evening of live music, some fun games to break the ice and get to know other people there.

Draft beer 2 for 35 pesos, other promotions on food, just 80 pesos entrance, includes a raffle, and prizes too! You may meet the love of your life, but if you don´t, you´ll make some new friends, and have lots of fun.

Wah Wah is located on the beach just south of Calle 2. The Meet Up starts at 8:00pm

Win great prizes for an even better cause!

This Saturday, June 14, the Hotel Aventura Mexicana in Playa del Carmen will be hosting a fun-filled Casino Night to raise money for SOS El Arca dog shelter.

Playa del Carmen casino night 

The hotel's rooftop terrace will feature the event's casino area, with roulette, black jack and poker. With your chips, you can win a variety of pretty impressive Playa del Carmen prizes:

  • 1 day pass at Hotel Gran Caribe Real
  • 5 double passes to Xcaret park (does not include food and beverage)
  • 2 double courtesies at Coco Bongo
  • 2 double courtesies at Blue Parrot
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Byblos restaurant
  • 1 dinner for 2 at La Cueva del Chango Restaurant
  • 1 courtesy of 500 pesos at Cannibal Royal
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Pizzeria Bella Italia
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Comedor Victoria
  • 1 dinner for 2 at Manne's Beer Garten
  • 1 dinner for 2 in Pata Negra
  • Dinner for 2 at Casa del Agua
  • Courtesy atThe Little Tea Pot
  • 1 pair of graduated eye-glass in Optica Vision Express
  • 1 sofa-bed from Liverpool
  • 5 women dresses Italian Couture
  • 5 pictures from Happy Hippie
  • 1 manicure and pedicure in Salon Style Me

There will even be a raffle to win free stays at beautiful Mexico hotels:

  • 1-week stay at any SFK Preferred Resort in Mexico
  • 1-night all inclusive stay at Secrets Maroma
  • 3-night stay at Luna Blue Hotel

Once you've gambled your heart out, head down to the Kava Kasa lounge for a night of dinner, shows and dancing! The evening's itinerary looks pretty great:

  • 7pm - 8pm: Live music by rock group PORTAL
  • 8pm - 8:30pm: Stand-up comedy by Rosalee Wollman
  • 8:30pm - 9:30pm: Coco Bongo show
  • 9:30pm - 10pm: RAFFLE! And some words about SOS El Arca
  • 10pm - midnight: Music from the 70s, 80s and 90s with GRECO from Dirty Martini Bar

Time: 7pm - midnight

Place: Hotel Aventura Mexicana and Kava Kasa (Calle 22 between 5th and 10th Avenue)

Price: $300 pesos pre-sale or $350 pesos at the door (includes welcome drink, buffet dinner by Byblos restaurant, and 50 chips to play at the casino)

The money raised from this event will go to SOS El Arca dog shelter to help them start a low-cost veterinary clinic. So have fun, enjoy some gambling and contribute to a noble cause this Saturday night!

This is for all you Cancun and Riviera Maya foodies looking for the next big event!

The organizers of the popular Cancun - Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival have new tricks up their sleeve.

Cancun Riviera Maya Restaurant Week 

This month, they're planning the new Cancun - Riviera Maya Star Restaurant Week from June 20 - 29, 2014. Participants can choose from a number of top restaurants in Cancun and Playa del Carmen for a tasting dinner with the venue's very best dishes! The dinner costs $40 USD, and for $60 USD total you can include wine pairings with your meal.

Cancun Riviera Maya restaurant week 

For reservations and more info on the event, stop by the Cancun - Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival Facebook page.

Restaurants participating in the Cancun - Riviera Maya Star Restaurant Week 2014 include:

Playa del Carmen:

  • La Casa del Agua
  • Las Ventanas
  • El Muelle

Grand Velas Resort:               

  • Piaf
  • Frida
  • Cocina de Autor


  • Casa Rolandi
  • La Joya
  • Le Basilic
  • Fantino
  • Benazuza
  • The Club Grill
  • Chef Cristian Morales


  • El Cozumeleño Beach Resort


  • La Lunita

Saturday, May 31 at The Brian Buckley Band will present an intimate concert to Playa del Carmen audiences. The show will be performed at Wah Wah Beach Bar (On the beach between Calles 2 & 4) beginning at 9:00pm.

This Los Angeles based 4-piece is a conglomeration of various musical tastes. A pretzel twist of rock, folk and experimental influences---they emote directly to the heart--having executed both with record labels and independently. Working with an array of well known producers, such as Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa and Billy Idol) and Mark Howard (U2 and Bob Dylan). The BBB has broken the top ten in Europe on iTunes and their new record 'Hysterical Blindness' (produced by Chris Teft Hughes) is out now and licensed to film and television alike.

Come check out their talent for yourself at Wah Wah! 

Brian Buckley Band


Culture and music for a great local cause in Playa del Carmen!

The Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra is about to begin a season of six concerts, joining together to support the Equine Therapy Center of Playa del Carmen, or "CEIA". The CEIA helps kids, youth and adults with disabilities by offering a variety of therapies in order to improve their quality of life, including musical therapy, water therapy and equine therapy.

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

The Equine Therapy Center of Playa del Carmen works with children and adults with many different types of disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, motor coordination impairment, down syndrome and hydrocephalus.

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

What is equine therapy?

"Equine therapy is a uniquely comprehensive physical and psychological activity that is used therapeutically as an alternative rehabilitation treatment for patients with different types of disabilities. The horse is the therapeutic tool, acting as a stimulus for the patient. The horse's movement, allows the individual, while mounted, to receive a physical stimulus throughout the body, starting from the rhythmic impulse transmission to the pelvic girdle and moving through to the spinal cord neurons. The horse's body temperature, which is higher than the human body (38 ° C), acts as a natural heat tool, helping the patient to relax their muscles, while sensory stimuli help regulate the circulatory system. The horse's gait closely approximates that of a human. Therapeutic riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner that improves muscle strength, balance, and flexibility."

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

Playa del Carmen Equine Therapy Center 

The first Playa del Carmen Chamber Orchestra event of the season in support of this amazing local cause will be held on Saturday, May 17 at Casa de la Cultura in Playa del Carmen, beginning at 7pm. This Baroque concert will feature classical favorites like Vivaldi, Bach and more.

BuyPlaya Real Estate is thrilled to be a sponsor for this event! Join us for an evening of beautiful music to support incredible therapy treatments for members of the community.

For additional information, stop by the concert's Facebook event page.

Chef Jetzabel Rojas of La Marea Restaurant at Viceroy Riviera Maya is pleased to share her kitchen with Chef Rodolfo Castellanos of Origen Restaurant in Oaxaca to offer the ultimate in Alta Mexicana Cuisine with ingredients and specialties of Oaxaca - this time opening their doors to resort guests and visitors in honor of Mother's Day.

Mother;s Day Dinner at Viceroy Riviera Maya 

This culinary experience with Chef Castellanos with take place Saturday May 10th from 7:00pm - 10:30om at the Viceroy Riviera Maya Resort. Arrendees with have the opportunity to enjoy a special menu created by Chef Rodolfo Castellanos and resort Executive Chef Jetzabel Rojas who have each gifted their unique touch to this menu to make it an unforgettable culinary delight in the history of Mexican gastronomy.



Tomatoes and "Miltomate" Compote, Poached quail egg



Roasted Creamy Beet with Ramonetti Cheese, Mango laminated, Pasilla Chilli Pepper and Anise Vinaigrette with "Piloncillo"



Blossom Squash, "Chilacayota" Squash, "Chochoyotas", Corn on the Cob



"Cerdo Pelon" Confit with Almond Mole, Rice with "Chepiles", Veggies "Encurtidos"

Charred Crusted Venison Filet, Ash of "Chilhuacle" Chili Pepper with Baby Vegetables



Seared Duck Breast with Pumpking "Epazote" Sauce Sautéed Zucchini with Yellow and Green Squash

Roasted Red Snapper with Mint-Butter, Carrot Mouseline and Steam Swiss Chard



"Mamey" Mousse Sphere filled with Vanilla with

Amaranth Biscuite, "Chiapaneco" Chocolate Textures


Reservation Required. $80USD Per Person. From 19:00pm to 22:30pm

Prices are Quoted in US Dollars & 16% tax and 15% Service Charge Not Included

This menu of gourmet cuisine is a fusion of two techniques - Chef Jetzabel is always changing the perception we have of Mexican food to preserve the ancient traditions while incorporating innovative techniques and ideas. Chef Castellanos, currently one of the leaders of contemporary Oaxacan cuisine with his restaurant Origen - which was nominated "Best New Restaurant in Mexico 2012" for the Gourmet Awards of the magazine Travel + Leisure Mexico - is recognized for treating Oaxacan ingredients and products with cutting edge techniques and influences of cuisines from other countries. As a result, he is making authentic, fresh and innovative cuisine while respecting the ancient tradition of his roots.

Mother's Day Dinner at Viceroy Riviera Maya 

The price for the six-course tasting menu of Chef Jetzabel Rojas and Chef Rodolfo Castellanos, including a wine pairing, will be $1,258 pesos per person. For more information and reservations: Phone: 984-877-3000 or email: Butlerservice@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.



The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival has quickly turned into one of the Riviera Maya's largest and most popular events for locals and tourists alike. Offering FREE jazz concerts on the beach, this outdoor music festival in Playa del Carmen draws in thousands of spectators every year.


Now you can start planning your fall 2014 vacation and book your hotel dates around the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival because the dates and lineup are already set!

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival will be November 27 - 29, 2014, featuring the following artists:

Thursday, November 27

Colin Hunter
Pato Machete
Jorge Vercilo

Friday, November 28

Hiram Gómez
Pat Metheny Unity Group (Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams)

Saturday, November 29

Kenny Garrett
Virgil Donati
Chick Corea & The Vigil



To get inspired, here are our pics from last year's shows and our Riviera Maya Jazz Festival 2013 review.

We'll see you under the stars in November!

Spend your Monday night with live music on the beach.

We're sad to say that Monday, April 28 is Natalie and Donny's last show of the season at the famous Lol-Ha restaurant and bar in Akumal. The performance starts at 6:30 pm.

Akumal live music in the Riviera Maya 

To reserve your table for this special event, send an e-mail to lolha@hotelakumalcaribe.com. If you get there by 6:30, you'll also get to experience the beautiful colors of sunset in Akumal.

Lol Ha is a popular restaurant and bar set right on the beach on Akumal Bay. Enjoy an open-air atmosphere under a giant palapa with the Riviera Maya's best ocean views!

We hope to see Natalie and Donny back at Lol-Ha soon!

Our friends at Zumba Fitness del Caribe Mexicano are organizing yet another great event to get you moving!

"Zumba Jammer" Cinthia Valencia from Oklahoma, USA will be leading a Zumba Master Class on March 29 at Salón Raíces in Playa del Carmen. This event offers newcomers a great way to experience Zumba workouts in a fun, party-style atmosphere.

The Master Class will also feature the Raíces musical group playing latin rhythms like salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, bachata and fusion to keep the party going!

Zumba fitness class Playa del Carmen 

Time: Saturday, March 29 at 7pm

Place: Salón Raíces, Playa del Carmen (Avenida Juárez between 60 and 70)

Pricing: $110 pesos at the door, or $90 in advance (send WhatsApp message to (984)146-1549)

Zumba Fitness del Caribe Mexicano Facebook page

The 3rd annual Akumal Comedy Festival is on it's way! April 29 - May 3, 2014. AKUMAL - PLAYA DEL CARMEN - TULUM.

With a fantastic lineup of almost 20 professional stand up comedians to entertain you, including Paul Hooper, Tim Harmston, Mary Mack, and Chris Garcia, the Akumal Comedy Festival is helping to raise money for the Cruz Roja Mexicana.

This is a not-for-profit festival, and all proceeds go directly to the Red Cross chapters in Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Tickets on sale now through the website www.akumalcomedyfestival.co.

Akumal Comedy Festival 2014 



Pasión Playa A.C. proudly presents José El Soñador (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”) April 8th 9th and 10th in the Foro Abierto de Xcaret!

José El Soñador is the most performed musical of all time. The stage show has now been seen by an estimated 26 million people, and it continues to enthrall audiences around the world. Don't miss out on this incredible production that the whole family will enjoy!

With a live orchestra and over 30 cast members on stage, proudly 100% Playense.

April 8th 9th and 10th in the Foro Abierto de Xcaret at 7pm. Tickets are available in advance and the evenings of the performances. Don't miss it!!!

Jose el Sonador Xcaret 


Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Playa del Carmen at Luna Blue's Pool Party and Music Fest!

St Patricks Day Playa del Carmen 

The party at Luna Blue Hotel and Bar will kick off at noon with a great playlist of favorite Irish tunes (Van Morrison, The Pogues, The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Chieftains, Christy Moore, the Dubliners and many more). Throughout the day and evening you can hear the best in Irish music.

Also starting at noon there will be traditional corned beef sandwiches on rye bread baked by the Grumpy Bakers of Playa served poolside. Sandwiches will be available throughout the day (or as long as supply lasts! Better come early.)

The bar also opens at noon and will be serving all your favorite Luna Blue cocktails along with such Irish beverages as Guinness, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Leprechaun Shots, Black Velvets and Margaritas (Hey...they're green aren't they?)

The pool will be open for party guests throughout the day and evening...and we are continuing the Luna Blue St Patrick's Day tradition: ladies in green bikinis get a free drink.

At around 3pm (and continuing until 11 pm) there will be live music. Everyone's favorite Playa del Carmen performer Mike Grabow will be singing and inviting some of the best local musicians to join in.

And there are more fun contests, giveaways, and surprises planned at the original, biggest, best and greenest St. Patrick's Day Bash in all of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

The Luna Blue Hotel & Bar...a last little piece of the old Playa del Carmen...and the old Ireland. 

Luna Blue Hotel & Bar is located on Calle 26 between 5th and 10th.

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