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Pampering after your morning workout

For those of you who like an early work out, tennis game or swim to start the day, you’ll love the new recovery station on the pool deck. Open from 7 to 9:30 a.m., it is stocked with fresh fruit, water, juice and granola bars to boost your energy as you rest after your exercise.

And after you have drunk your juice and munched on an apple or banana, why not check into the Spa for a relaxing massage to ease those tired muscles?

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Dining by starlight with someone special

Pamper Mom on her special day with a family dinner on the beach or on the terrace. Order the mouthwatering beach dinner menu with a bottle of bubbly or ask the Sommelier to recommend wines from the award-winning El Faro wine list and be sure to end your meal with a selection of desserts with chocolate and fruit.

As an alternative, you could ask the Chef to prepare a meal of his own inspiration for you to enjoy in your residence.

Additional charges apply for private catering.

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The arrival of our special summer visitors, the sea turtles

It’s that time of year again. May is the start of sea turtle nesting season in the Mexican Caribbean and at Grand Residences we are gearing up to welcome these ancient creatures as they emerge from the waves to lay their eggs.

Our security guards will be patrolling the beach during the summer nights on the look out for the female green and loggerhead turtles that come ashore to dig their nests.

Forty-five to 60 days later, the tiny baby turtles will chip their way out of the nests. They’ll face many dangers on their journey to adulthood, many falling prey to birds, fish, plastic pollution or becoming entrapped in industrial fishing nets. However, some will make it and in 12 to 15 years time they will return to the beaches they were born on to lay their own eggs.

Follow the Turtle Season Rules

If you are due to visit Grand Residences or Royal Resorts during the summer, join us in protecting these beautiful creatures.

  • Alert the security staff
  • Be very quiet and keep still
  • Watch the turtles from a distance of ten meters
  • Do not attempt to touch the turtle or crowd her
  • Do not shine a torch or use the light on your mobile phone
  • Please, no flash photography
  • No smoking
  • Follow the instructions given by security staff at all times
  • Help us to keep our beaches and sea clean. Discarded straws, plastic bags, beer packaging, fishing lines and other garbage floating in the water are lethal to turtles and other marine life
  • When snorkeling or diving watch turtles from a distance, do not swim towards them and do not attempt to touch them
  • Wear a t-shirt when snorkeling as protection from the sun instead of applying sun block. Sun products pollute the water and are harmful to marine life
  • Turtles are protected by Mexican law and it is illegal to disturb, persecute and hunt them and consume their meat or eggs.

Mexican environmental agency regulations keep human contact with the turtle hatchlings to a minimum and the participation of hotel guests in turtle releases is no longer permitted.

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Are you interested in serving on the Advisory Council?

The Advisory Council is comprised of five Owners that represent the Grand Residences Community. They meet at least once a year with representatives from DRM and the Resort Operating Company to review and make recommendations on Resort Operations at Grand Residences for the following year, policies, procedures and issues of interest to Owners.
Any Owner that would like to be a part of the Grand Residences Advisory Council is cordially invited to send in their application before July 31, 2019.
The current members of the Grand Residences Advisory Council will review all the applications received and will vote for a new member in a private election during the 2019 Advisory Council Meeting on October 24.

Advisory Council responsibilities

The duties of the Advisory Council consist of the review of financial statements for the current year’s operations at Grand Residences, all reports presented by Management relating to the maintenance and operation of the resort, the projected budgets for the operation of the following year and proposed Club Service Fees to be paid per interval based upon the reviewed budget for the resort. They also study maintenance and fixed assets programs, proposals for new services and amenities, cost-efficiency operating projects and guest satisfaction survey results among others.
In their capacity as representatives, Advisory Council members raise concerns voiced by Owners in relation to the operation of the resort and follow up on their queries with DRM and the Resort Management Company at the meeting and during the year.

Making your Application

If you love your resort home and are interested in standing as a candidate for the Advisory Council for Grand Residences by Royal Resorts®, click here to read the eligibility requirements. If you would like to be considered for this important role, fill out the application form.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to stand for the Advisory Council, you must be over the age of 25 and be a Grand Residences Owner. You must be in good standing with all your obligations. You must own one or more Fractions at Grand Residences, the equivalent of five or more weeks in the Grand Residences Fractional Program, and at least one of the said fractions must have been purchased directly from DRM (resales and title changes are not accepted for this purpose). You must agree to abide by the Advisory Council Regulations.
It is important that you read the Advisory Council Rules in full as they include more information on the eligibility requirements for candidates and the restrictions that could render an application invalid.

Sending your application

Send your application form by email and attach a copy of your résumé and a cover letter stating why you would like to stand for the Grand Residences Advisory Council. Your résumé should include details of current and past employment, your educational background, community work and other relevant career information.
Applications must be received by July 31 to be considered for this year. Interested Owners should send their questions or application form and résumé to:

Gina Lopez
Tel: (954) 485-5400 Ext. 2503
Email: glopez@royalresorts.com

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You can count on your Concierges

What would you like to do on your next vacation? You may already have some ideas for trips that you would like to plan to your favorite beaches, a family day out, an eco tour or a catamaran cruise. The Concierges can help you arrange all your sightseeing adventures and help you put together an itinerary if you would like to explore the Yucatan, calling in at Mayan archaeological sites, colonial towns and rural villages.

If you are interested in diving, bird watching, horseback riding and fishing or you like nothing more than getting out on the fairway for a game of golf, your Concierge is at your service with information and reservations.

The Concierge team can even help you plan a special surprise for a birthday or anniversary.

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Every picture tells a story

Follow us on Instagram @grandresidences to see the latest pictures of paradise. This month we are going on a beach hopping tour through the Mexican Caribbean and along the Yucatan coast. From the palm-lined beaches of the Riviera Maya to Isla Mujeres; fishing boats rocking gently at their moorings right here in Puerto Morelos to the glory of a Holbox sunset and the pink flash of flamingos feeding in the Rio Lagartos wetlands, here are some of the spectacular sights along the shoreline.

If you have a picture of Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos or a special place in the Yucatan or a vacation story that you would like to share with us, we would love to hear from you. Send your pictures to memories@royalresorts.com. A selection of the photos we receive will be published in this newsletter.

 

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Spread the Word about Grand Residences

If you enjoy telling your friends, relatives and associates about Grand Residences and showing them photos of your home in paradise, why not help spread the word by participating in the Grand Residences Referral Program?

We want your referrals to discover the Grand Residences luxury vacation experience for themselves and we are willing to offer them, on your behalf, a special stay in a luxurious Junior Suite at Grand Residences at a greatly discounted rate, so that they can do just that.

To take advantage of this special offer the only requirement is that during their stay, your referred guests must attend a personalized resort preview of our Private Residence Club. We will show them our new vision of luxury living and what it would be like to have a beautiful home in paradise. If your referrals choose to become owners, you will receive 2% of the net purchase price of their Fraction in Royal Resorts Rewards that you can apply towards your annual Club Service fees, use to pay your club bill on your next vacation or make a donation to Royal Resorts Foundation charitable causes.

Start thinking about the people you know and that you think would be interested in the Grand Residences lifestyle. We would love to hear from you and look forward to showing your friends your beautiful resort home.

If you would like to make a referral, click here or call +52 (998) 881-0100 ext. 65846.

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Summer is whale shark season in the Mexican Caribbean

A huge shadow on the water, dappled blue-grey skin and the flick of an immense tail, the whale sharks are here. In May the gentle giants of the sea make their way to the Mexican Caribbean. Reports start to come in from yachtsmen who spot them and whale shark watchers prepare for their own amazing natural encounter with the largest fish in the sea.

What draws whale sharks here? The answer is food. Whale sharks migrate thousands of miles through the oceans, moving between feeding grounds during the year. From mid-May to mid-September they gather in large numbers in the Mexican Caribbean to feed on the plankton that blooms in the sizzling summer temperatures. Marine biologists working in the area have also discovered that they are partial to the eggs of a fish called the bonito or little tunny.

The whale shark feeding grounds lie to the east of Contoy and Isla Mujeres and in the Gulf of Mexico near Holbox and Cabo Catoche and are part of a marine biosphere reserve. There may be hundreds of whale sharks skimming the ocean surface to filter feed on the plankton in what scientists believe is the largest gathering in the world.

The sight of a whale shark as it placidly swims by your boat is an incredible experience but it gets even better. Accompanied by an expert guide you can also swim alongside them as they feed, an emotional once-in-a-lifetime experience.

On the boat journey out to the whale shark area, there’s the added thrill of spotting wild dolphins and sea turtles. Huge manta rays also gather to eat plankton alongside the whale sharks and sometimes breach the water surface in spectacular flight.

Book your summer whale shark trip

Guided small group eco trips to the whale shark feeding grounds are available during the summer, starting in June. Ask your Concierge to help you book this incredible ocean-going adventure and remember to wear a rashguard, sunblock is not allowed for the protection of the animals and the sea.

 

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Travesia Sagrada Maya, Sacred Mayan Journey to Cozumel

With the first rays of the sun on May 17 in the bay at Xcaret, a fleet of Mayan canoes will set sail to a chorus of chants, drum beats and conch horns. They are embarking on a journey to the sacred island of Cozumel to worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the goddess of fertility. It is the Travesia Sagrada Maya, the Sacred Mayan Journey, the representation of an ancient Mayan pilgrimage.

   After six months of dawn training sessions, 380 oarsmen are ready to board their canoes for the Travesia Sagrada Maya. They will be following the sea route taken by ancient Mayan pilgrims who traveled from all over the Yucatan Peninsula to the sacred island of Cozumel (Kuzamil) to worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the goddess of fertility, childbirth and the moon and tides.

This is the thirteenth year of the Sacred Mayan Journey, which is the representation of a pre-Hispanic pilgrimage and rituals from the Late Post-Classic period of Mayan history (A.D. 1250-1519. The temples of the ancient Mayan port of Polé lie within Xcaret Park. Once a trade center, it was one of the departure points for pilgrimages to Cozumel.

The pilgrims make landfall on Cozumel at Chankanaab Park at around 1 p.m. and make their way to the shrine of Ixchel where they make offerings to the goddess.

The morning of May 18, they set sail again heading for the mainland with Polé in their sights. A cheer goes up from the shores of the bay when the first canoe of returning pilgrims is spotted and they are greeted with great joy.

The Travesia Sagrada Maya originated as an initiative from Grupo Xcaret to restore an ancient tradition and every detail has been carefully researched to make it as authentic as possible.

The oarsmen come from the Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Cancun, Yucatan and other parts of Mexico and they are joined by expats that have chosen to make their home here. This year, there are 36 foreign rowers from 14 countries, including France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, United States and Canada.

Some 250 dancers and musicians from Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, the Zona Maya in southern Quintana Roo and Xcaret reenact ancient rituals in Polé and Cozumel, portraying the goddess Ixchel, priests and priestesses, the ruler and his court, merchants and villagers.

If you would like to witness the Sacred Mayan Journey ask your Concierge about trips to Xcaret.

 

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Quintana Roo State Tourism Board Launches Guest Assist App

The Quintana Roo Tourism Board has launched a Guest Assist App as an information source to help visitors. It has a directory of emergency numbers, Consulates and embassies and useful advice and a link to a 24-hour Call Center with bilingual staff.

Guest Assist is available for download in Google Play and Apple Store and online at www.guestassist.mx

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Cancun to become a plastic-free zone

Cancun will soon become a plastic-free zone. In March the municipal government unanimously voted to ban the use of plastic bags, cutlery and straws and polystyrene glasses and containers in local businesses. Once the initiative is approved it will be published in the Official State Gazette and will become effective 90 days after that, giving local companies a chance to switch to eco-friendly alternatives.

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EVENTS IN CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA & YUCATAN

Here’s our regular round up of festivals and events in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Yucatan in the next few months.

Día de Santa Cruz & the Feria El Cedral, Cozumel, May 3

One of the most important traditional fiestas on the island of Cozumel, also the anniversary this year of the first mass on the island of Cozumel in 1519 and the arrival of Hernan Cortes

Don Andres Garcia Lavin Tournament, Puerto Morelos, May 3-5

Sport fishermen make their way to Puerto Morelos in early May for the town’s popular fishing tournament.
Other May tournaments take place on Isla Mujeres from May 17 to 19 and in Playa del Carmen from May 24 to 26

Isla Mujeres Sport Fishing Tournament, May 17 -19

Travesía Sagrada Maya 2019, Xcaret and Cozumel, May 17-18

The Sacred Mayan Crossing is the reenactment of an ancient pilgrimage. Oarsmen set sail from the port of Pole (now Xcaret) in wooden canoes bound for the island of Cozumel where they will worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon and fertility.

Riviera Maya Sport Fishing Tournament, Playa del Carmen, May 24 -26

Anniversary of the Foundation of Valladolid, May 28-29

The colonial town of Valladolid celebrates the anniversary of its founding in 1543 with masses, serenades, traditional dances and a candlelit procession to the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena.

Commemorating La Chispa in Valladolid, June 4

The population of Valladolid turns out on the night of June 4 to witness the representation of La Chispa, a rebellion against injustice in 1910 that was the first spark or chispa of the Mexican Revolution.
More than 800 actors take part in La Chispa. Dressed in authentic turn-of-the-century garb, they play the parts of the rebels, ruling aristocrats, and the police and soldiers sent to arrest them.

June Sport Fishing Tournaments

Cozumel, June 9
Dorado de Plata, Mahahual, June 7-9
Chuk Kay Tulum, June 14 – 15
Playa del Carmen, June 16
Copa Mahahual, June 21 – 23
La Dorada del Caribe Tournament for Women, Isla Mujeres, June 28-29

July Sport Fishing Tournaments

Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Playa del Carmen 2019, July 14
Punta Allen 2019 Fishing Tournament, Punta Allen, Sian Ka’an, July 19-21

Feria del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, July 7 – 16

Masses, processions, music, a fair and more to honor Playa del Carmen’s patron saint.

La Diosa del Mar Women’s International Fishing Tournament, Puerto Morelos, July 12 & 13

Catch and release international fishing tournament.

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Royal Resorts Rewards now valid for five years

We have some great news for Royal Resorts Rewards members. Your Rewards are now valid for five years instead of three, giving you even more time to use them.

Remember that you can earn and redeem Royal Resorts Rewards in a number of ways during your vacation and even when you are back home:

Earning Rewards

  • Earn Rewards at participating* Grand Residences and Royal Resorts restaurants and participating facilities such as the Spa and Gourmet Market
  • For eligible stays and products booked through the Grand Residences and Royal Resorts Reservation Center (call center and websites)
  • By purchasing Life Extension products or Skymed memberships
  • By participating in the Friends & Family referral program

* Purchases must be charged to your room to earn Rewards. When you check out let Front Desk staff know which account to credit with the Rewards earned on each key card during your stay.

Redeeming Rewards

  • Pay your annual Club Service Fee
  • Pay the resort bill on your next vacation
  • Make a donation to the Royal Resorts Foundation
  • Redeem Rewards by phone only to pay for eligible stays and products booked through the Grand Residences and Royal Resorts Reservation Center

Your Guests can now earn Rewards too

Remember that now your guests can sign up for Royal Resorts Rewards too and earn Rewards during their vacation.

Get started

If you haven’t activated your Royal Resorts account yet, you can do so by visiting RoyalResortsRewards.com Log in with your Owner email/ID and PIN; or click

Join Here if you are a guest. Accept the Terms and Conditions and you are good to go.

 

For Customer Service contact Interval Servicing (ISCO)
Toll Free from US and Canada 1-877-736-4552
Toll Free from Mexico 01-800-099-0486
All Other Countries +1 (954) 485-5400
rewardsprogram@royalresorts.com
RoyalResortsRewards.com

 

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Supper on the Terrace

We are sure that you and your family and friends will enjoy many a magical moment at El Faro Grill, Flor de Canela or Heaven Grill, ordering the tempting dishes prepared by Chef Borbolla and his team. However, sometimes you just want a relaxing evening in your residence in front of the TV or on the terrace eating a casual supper that you have rustled up in your own gourmet kitchen. If this is the case, the new Room Service order list of meat and seafood that you can cook yourself is the perfect option.

How about an Angus filet mignon or lobster tail grilled to perfection on your range? Cook the catch of the day: a selection of the finest and freshest locally sourced fish. Or plan your own Mexican taco party with arrachera skirt steak, chicken breast and sautéed shrimp with lashings of salsa and guacamole on the side.

The meat and seafood comes from the same suppliers that we use for the restaurants and is top quality. Owners have a preferential rate. Just call Room Service to order:

  • Angus Filet mignon 280g/10oz
  • Angus New York 280g/10oz
  • Angus Rib-Eye 280g/10oz
  • Sterling Silver arrachera skirt steak 280g/10oz
  • Shrimp U15 160g (order of 6)
  • Catch of the day
  • Lobster tail 200g/8oz
  • Chicken breast 180g

If you are not in the mood to cook, Room Service has wide variety of delicious dishes for you to choose from and the waiter delivering your order will set the table for you.

And for a special occasion, talk to your Concierge and arrange for the Chef to cook a meal for you so that you can enjoy candlelight dining on your terrace.

 

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Easter activities for the kids

Are you staying with us over Easter? If so, the Kids Club has plenty of fun activities for the little ones. They’ll include Easter egg and basket painting and fun with the Easter bunny, all in preparation for the afternoon Easter egg hunt and piñata party.

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Sunset sailing

It’s all aboard for the sunset catamaran cruise. This is the perfect way to unwind and meet fellow Grand Residences owners while enjoying spectacular views of the Caribbean and the Puerto Morelos shoreline.

Sip champagne and munch hors d’oeuvres as you take in the Mexican Caribbean sunset and watch the heavens turn from rose, gold and orange to mauve, azure and the deepest blue as the first stars begin to twinkle.

Ask the Concierge for details and the departure time (weather permitting, children under the age of 12 not permitted).

 

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Every picture tells a story

This month we have included some of our favorite animal species found in the jungles and wetlands around Puerto Morelos.

If you have a picture of Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos or a special place in the Yucatan or a vacation story that you would like to share with us, we would love to hear from you. Send your pictures to memories@royalresorts.com. A selection of the photos we receive will be published in this newsletter.

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On the Riviera Maya cenote trail, gateways to a hidden world

Have you ever gazed into the mysterious blue depths of a jungle cenote or sinkhole and plunged into the crystal-clear waters to escape the midday heat? If you haven’t, then why not go exploring on your next vacation? The limestone landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula is peppered with caves and natural wells in the forest called cenotes, which are gateways to a hidden world, a labyrinth of underground rivers. The ancient Maya venerated them as sacred places and they still have an air of mystery.

Join us on a journey to some of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful caves and cenotes.

For starters, what is a cenote?

The Yucatan Peninsula is a vast limestone shelf with no surface rivers. Rainwater seeps through fissures and fault lines in the rock and accumulates in aquifers and underground rivers, which are the only source of fresh water in the area.

The word “cenote” comes from the Mayan word d’zonot or ts’ono’ot which means “flooded cave,” “abyss” or “depths.” These sinkholes or natural wells are formed as rainwater reacts with the porous limestone to form carbonic acid, which dissolves, erodes and weakens the rock. Over millions of years, the fissures are enlarged and tunnels and caves are formed. Erosion is twofold, from rainwater on the surface and the underground rivers flowing through the rock. Eventually the rock becomes so unstable that huge slabs carve off and cave roofs collapse, leading to the creation of sinkholes.

Cenotes can be deep lakes or shallow pools and they may suddenly appear as a result of subsidence and a rock fall in a cave. There are several different types of sinkholes: open cenotes are those in which the ancient cave roof has collapsed completely. Partially open cenotes still have a section of the cave roof and there are still others that have a small opening in the roof through which sunlight and the roots of jungle trees filter in.

Sacred wells, gateway to the home of ancient gods

The number of these enigmatic wells scattered through the peninsula is unknown, in the state of Yucatan alone there are between 7,000 and 8,000 cenotes, many of which are associated with local legends. The Maya believed that cenotes were sacred places – they were the home of the rain god, Chaac, and the gateway to Xibalba, the Underworld. Even today, some communities believe that the aluxes or spirits haunt caves and cenotes and others tell of mythical creatures such as golden crocodiles.

Visiting cenotes is an unforgettable experience. Their cool, crystal-clear waters are inviting and quite a surprise after the steamy midday heat and as you swim or snorkel, look down into the depths and marvel at Mother Nature. You’ll see pillars and sculpted columns that look like the turrets and spires of a submerged city and in the distance the black holes of caves and tunnels leading into the unknown.

You’ll also catch a glimpse of some of the jungle creatures found around cenotes. Swallows, martins and butterflies dip for water; turquoise-browed motmots make their nests in the limestone rock and coatimundis, agoutis, spider monkeys and even deer may make an appearance.

Here’s a guide to some of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful cenotes.

Ruta de los Cenotes, Puerto Morelos area

Follow the Ruta de los Cenotes, the highway west from Puerto Morelos that leads through the jungle, bound for the village of Leona Vicario.

Wooden signs beside the road indicate turn offs for jungle trails leading to cenotes open to the public such as Las Mojarras where you can zip line, dive in from a tower or just enjoy the view.

The seven mouths that give the Siete Bocas cenote its name glow gently as the sunlight penetrates the turquoise depths. The strange rock formations in this cenote are incredible.

Next stop along the Ruta de los Cenotes is the mysterious pool of Boca de Puma. Located in a private jungle reserve, this cenote offers a variety of adventures ranging from snorkeling and zip lining to rock climbing, rappelling down a cliff wall and biking. There is also a chiclero camp where you can learn how the sap of the chicozapote tree was harvested in the area and used to make chewing gum.

A winding trail leads to Verde Lucero, an open cenote in a forest clearing where another rustic zip line provides hours of fun.

Xenotes Oasis Maya

The Xenotes Oasis Maya trip gives you the chance to explore four very different cenotes in one day, trying your hand at snorkeling, zip lining and kayak. The four cenotes are named in Maya after the four elements: K’áak or Fire, Há or Water, Lik’ or Wind and Lu’um or Earth. All are filled with crystal-clear water and strange rock formations, and each has its own charm.

Expert guides point out native flora and fauna as they escort you along jungle trails, explaining how cenotes are formed and their importance as sacred sites for the ancient Maya. They will also tell them about Mayan mythology, including the tale of the Aluxes, the guardian spirits of the forest and the milpa or cornfields.

Xenotes, Oasis Maya is for small groups of visitors and includes the use of snorkeling gear and a life jacket, lunch and transport.

Rio Secreto

Just south of Playa del Carmen, Rio Secreto is an incredible cave system with still clear pools that mirror columns, stalactites and stalagmites. Guided tours are available.

Cenotes in the Puerto Aventuras Area

A cluster of cenotes lies in the forest to the west of Highway 307 between Puerto Aventuras and Akumal. One mile south of Puerto Aventuras is the Kantun Chi eco-park with two caves and four cenotes (Kantun Chi, Sas Ka Leen Ha, Uchil Ha and Zacil Ha).

In a jungle clearing, Cenote Azul is another large cenote with several inlets for snorkeling. The water is so tempting that you may not be able to resist the urge to take a running jump!

Christened by divers, Taj Mahal is one of the most spectacular in the area; shafts of sunlight like an underwater laser show illuminate endless vistas stretching into the distance. Even more poetically named is Jardín del Edén or Garden of Eden, a large cenote rich in marine life and rimmed by exuberant vegetation that is ideal for an afternoon picnic.

Chi kin Ha is another popular shallow cenote in the area.

Nohoch Nah Chich

This incredible cenote is the mouth of one of the longest underground river systems in the world.

The Jungla Maya trip offered by Alltournative gives you the opportunity to participate in eight different activities in one day: swimming and snorkeling in Nohoch Nah Chiich and Yaxmuul cenotes, abseiling, zip lining, a 4×4 Unimog ride, biking and walking along forest trails and watching a Mayan priest perform a ritual venerating the ancient gods and nature itself.

Xotik-Ha

Opposite the exit for Xpu-Ha, this jungle park contains the Minotauro Cenote, a semi-open cenote with areas for swimming and snorkeling. There is also a rope bridge course and zip line fun.

Certified cave divers also explore the Minotauro system of cenotes and underground rivers on guided trips.

Aktun Chen

The Aktun Chen cave system lies in the jungle just south of Akumal. There are spotlights in one of the three galleries to show the turquoise waters of the cenote and the delicate beauty of the stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones sculpted by water and calcite over millions of years.

Aktun Chen park also has a zip lining circuit, nature trail and open cenotes for swimming.

Tulum area

The Tulum area is famous for having the world’s longest underground rivers discovered to date and they are still being explored. Divers and archaeologists have made amazing discoveries of Maya ceramics, fossils of prehistoric species and the bones of the earliest humans to settle the Yucatan Peninsula, 13,000 years ago.

For swimming and snorkeling, Zacil-Ha, Gran Cenote, Cenote Cristal, Cenote Aktun Ha or Carwash are popular spots and Dos Ojos Cenote Park.

Dos Ojos Cenote park is the site of two of the longest underground rivers in the world and some of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful cenotes or sinkholes. With a guide you’ll go snorkeling in several cenotes or sinkholes, try zip lining and enjoy a day in the jungle. The park is also the site of a Museum of Prehistory with exhibits of some of the artifacts and bones discovered by archaeologists and cave divers during explorations of area cenotes.

Yucatan’s cenote trail

Don’t stop with the Riviera Maya. Follow the cenote trail into Yucatan. There are a number of beautiful cenotes clustered in and around the colonial town of Valladolid such as Zaci, Dzitnup, Samula, Suytun and Hubiku. Ik-Kil is near Chichen Itza and there are more cenotes in the Cuzama and Tecoh areas.

Go caving with a visit to Balancanche near Chichen Itza and Loltun on the Puuc Route in southern Yucatan. Both contain offerings to the gods, evidence of ancient rituals performed by Mayan priests.

In southern Quintana Roo, Cenote Azul on the shores of Bacalar Lagoon is one of the deepest cenotes found to date.

Plan a cenote visit

Ask your Concierge for more recommendations and start planning your own cenote trail.

Many cenote parks have life jackets for you to wear when swimming and you must never venture outside the areas where swimming or snorkeling are permitted. Do not swim alone or go into tunnels. Always follow the instructions given by park staff.

If you are an experienced diver, cave diving courses are available if you would like to explore the flooded caves, cenotes and underground rivers of the Riviera Maya accompanied by an expert guide.

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New shopping mall to be built north of Puerto Morelos

Construction is underway on a new shopping mall north of Puerto Morelos not far from Cancun Airport. Grand Outlet Riviera Maya Mallentertainment will be the largest mall in the area and is expected to open in time for the winter season of 2020.

In addition to a selection of stores featuring some of the world’s leading brands, the plaza will have the concept of “mall entertainment” and will offer a variety of restaurants, an aquarium, an ice rink, go-kart track, manmade lakes for water sports, an auditorium with capacity for 7,500 people, a hot air balloon, and more.

Source: Novedades

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Cancun is 49 years old this April

Cancun is gearing up to celebrate its 49th anniversary on April 20 with a series of commemorative events organized by Pioneros de Cancun, the Cancun Pioneers Association.

Comprised of members of the founding families who moved here in the early 1970s to work in the construction of Mexico’s first master-planned tourist center, the group celebrates the occasion with masses, a procession, exhibitions, a picnic and a gala dinner.

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Amazing discoveries in Chichen Itza

Members of the Gran Acuifero Maya research expedition led by Mexican archaeologist Guillermo de Anda who are exploring the caves, cenotes and underground rivers of the Yucatan Peninsula recently made an amazing discovery in Chichen Itza.

They rediscovered a cave called Balamku (Cave of the Jaguar God in Maya) that was once a shrine used by Mayan priests over 1,000 years ago for rituals to honor the rain god. After crawling through a tunnel and worming their way through the tiniest of spaces, they found seven offerings of pottery, incense burners, grinding stones, jade and shells in chambers and galleries in the depths of the cave.

Located 2.7 kilometers to the east of the Pyramid of Kukulcan, Balamku had been discovered in 1966 by some local farmers and reported to archaeologist Victor Segovia who ordered the cave mouth to be sealed up again for reasons unknown.

Guillermo de Anda and Professor James Brady of California State University stated that the ceramics and other offerings constitute the largest discovery in the Chichen Itza area for decades and will help rewrite the history of Chichen Itza.

(Source: INAH)

 

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Cancun flight news

Vacation Express is adding a new weekly flight from Memphis to Cancun on Saturday, starting May 25 to July 27.

In other airline news, Air France is boosting the number of weekly flights on its Paris-Cancun route from five to seven. The airline’s recently codeshare with Virgin Atlantic, Delta and KLM is also likely to lead to more trans-Atlantic flight options for passengers later this year.

(Source: Caribbean Journal, Novedades)

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EVENTS IN CANCUN, RIVIERA MAYA & YUCATAN

Holbox Fishing Tournament, Holbox, April 12-13

Easter Week, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Merida, Valladolid and elsewhere in Mexico, April 15 – 21

Masses, processions and reenactments of the Crucifixion, masses, floral carpets in the streets and more on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.

49th Anniversary of the Founding of Cancun, Cancun April 20

Masses, processions, exhibitions and more in Downtown Cancun to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the founding of Cancun.

Copa Capitan Ferrat Fishing Tournament, Cancun, April 19 – 21

One of the most important fishing tournaments in the Mexican Caribbean.

Volando al Paraiso Hot Air Balloon Festival, Cancun, April 19-21

Pok Ta Pok Golf course in the Cancun Hotel Zone will be the site for this Hot Air Balloon Festival and there will also be kite flying, cuisine, music and more.

Fundadores 2019 International Riviera Maya Fishing Tournament, Playa del Carmen, April 26-28

This fishing tournament attracts fishermen from all over the state and the Caribbean. Competitors are asked to follow catch and release policy to help preserve fish stocks.

Challenge Cancun Triathlon, Cancun, April 28

1,500 top triathletes gather in Cancun for this international triathlon. The swimming course is in the bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres; the bike race circuit is from Casa Blanca Sports Club in Bonampak Ave to The Royal Sands in the Hotel Zone (two laps) and the running event will take place on Bonampak Ave.

Don Andres Garcia Lavin Tournament, Puerto Morelos, May 3-5

Sport fishermen make their way to Puerto Morelos in early May for the town’s popular fishing tournament.
Other May tournaments take place on Isla Mujeres from May 17 to 19 and in Playa del Carmen from May 24 to 26

Travesía Sagrada Maya 2019, Xcaret and Cozumel, May 17-18

The Sacred Mayan Crossing is the reenactment of an ancient pilgrimage. Oarsmen set sail from the port of Pole (now Xcaret) in wooden canoes bound for the island of Cozumel where they will worship at the shrine of Ixchel, the Maya goddess of the moon and fertility.

Riviera Maya Sport Fishing Tournament, Playa del Carmen, May 24 -26

Anniversary of the Foundation of Valladolid, May 28-29

The colonial town of Valladolid celebrates the anniversary of its founding in 1543 with masses, serenades, traditional dances and a candlelit procession to the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena.

Commemorating La Chispa in Valladolid, June 4

The population of Valladolid turns out on the night of June 4 to witness the representation of La Chispa, a rebellion against injustice in 1910 that was the first spark or chispa of the Mexican Revolution.
More than 800 actors take part in La Chispa. Dressed in authentic turn-of-the-century garb, they play the parts of the rebels, ruling aristocrats, and the police and soldiers sent to arrest them.

June Sport Fishing Tournaments

Cozumel, June 9
Dorado de Plata, Mahahual, June 7-9
Chuk Kay Tulum, June 14 – 15
Playa del Carmen, June 16
Copa Mahahual, June 21 – 23
La Dorada del Caribe Tournament for Women, Isla Mujeres, June 28-29

July Sport Fishing Tournaments

Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Playa del Carmen 2019, July 14
Punta Allen 2019 Fishing Tournament, Punta Allen, Sian Ka’an, July 19-21

Feria del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, July 7 – 16

Masses, processions, music, a fair and more to honor Playa del Carmen’s patron saint.

La Diosa del Mar Women’s International Fishing Tournament, Puerto Morelos, July 12 & 13

Catch and release international fishing tournament.

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TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 honors for Grand Residences and Royal Resorts

We are pleased to announce that members of the TripAdvisor travel community have rated Grand Residences and Royal Resorts among the Top Hotels in Mexico again by including them in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 listings.

For the fifth year running, Grand Residences has picked up several Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 accolades given to the best of the best in Mexico.

  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico
    Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 20
  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Mexico
    Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 15
  • TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families
    Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is No. 7

Royal Resorts also in the Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families

In addition to Grand Residences, The Royal Haciendas and The Royal Cancun are also listed in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2019 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico for Families. The Royal Haciendas is rated No. 14 and The Royal Cancun No. 19.

You can help spread the word about Grand Residences and the staff that have made your day extra special by posting a review of your vacation experience on TripAdvisor. Visit www.tripadvisor.com or use the link in the online guest satisfaction survey you receive after your stay. Your feedback is very important to us.

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Meet your new Chef

Chef Rafael Borbolla has joined the Grand Residences team as the new Executive Chef.

Originally from Mexico City, Chef Borbolla studied Culinary Arts in the Colegio Superior de Hoteleria y de Turismo Cesar Ritz and at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Turismo, both in Mexico City. He also took specialist diploma courses in Mexican and Italian cuisine at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana.

Chef Borbolla trained with the acclaimed French chef Olivier Lombard and collaborated in the opening of Le Cirque restaurant in Polanco before his love of the sea took him to Puerto Vallarta to work for Westin.

After four years, he moved to Los Cabos to join Royal Solaris and 18 months later to Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, before returning to Baja California Sur and Dreams Los Cabos.

His first job as Executive Chef was at Le Bistro, a gourmet restaurant in Puerto Vallarta and he then returned to Riviera Nayarit as Executive Sous Chef at the Grand Velas Resort where he was responsible for maintaining AAA Five Diamond and The Leading Hotels of the World® quality standards in the resort’s restaurants.

After many years on the Pacific coast, his sights turned to the Mexican Caribbean and he joined Secrets Maroma Beach as Executive Sous Chef before moving to Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita & Impression as Executive Chef.

Chef Borbolla also taught gastronomy at the Technological University in Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit and at the Instituto Franco-Mexicano de Artes Culinarias in Puerto Vallarta. He has participated in a number of Food Festivals in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya, the 2012 World Economic Forum and the Tianguis Turistico Travel Fair co-hosted by Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

He describes the fresh seafood from the Pacific coast of Mexico and European preparation techniques as having a great influence on his cuisine.

We are sure that you will want to join us in welcoming Chef Borbolla to Grand Residences and look forward to sampling his dishes.

We will be catching up with Chef Borbolla in a future edition of this newsletter