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Want to try Mexican wines? Ask the Sommelier

It’s been a good year for Mexican wines. Several of its leading wine producers from the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California and Parras, Coahuila, triumphed at the prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles wine festival in Aigle, Switzerland. They came home with 39 medals, important industry accolades for wineries such as El Cielo and Casa Madero. Mexican wine is winning more and more acclaim and the number of wineries is on the rise. If you would like to sample some during your vacation, ask our Sommelier to recommend pairings for your menu choices.

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Fresh from the bakery

All the bread served in our restaurants is now baked on site in a new oven in the bakery, ensuring maximum freshness and taste.

 

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Have a Spa summer

Start the day with a relaxing massage on the beach or your terrace and indulge with a luxury facial or body wrap.

If you do overdo it in the sun remember that the Spa has the perfect soothing after-sun remedy to bring relief to irritated red skin.

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Every picture tells a story

This month we are celebrating our seascapes, whether that is the palette of turquoise, blue and aquamarine you see when you hop on a boat or below the surface when you witness the rainbow colors of life on the coral reef.

Be sure to follow Grand Residences on Instagram @grandresidences to see more pictures from your home in paradise.

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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Island Hopping

Set sail this summer and visit Quintana Roo’s island treasures: Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Contoy and Holbox. They are all breathtakingly beautiful and have their own distinctive Caribbean charms.

Isla Mujeres

A 20-minute ferry ride across the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the bay from Cancun takes you to Isla Mujeres, “Isle of Women” in Spanish. Isla was so named by the Spanish explorer Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba who first spotted it in 1517 and the statues of women on the rocky southern headland. Like its larger cousin, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres was said to be a sacred place for the ancient Maya and a site of worship for Ixchel, the goddess of the moon and fertility.

Spend the day at picture-perfect Playa Norte, an idyllic palm-lined stretch of sand that often features in listings of the world’s best beaches. Snack on fresh seafood, shop for souvenirs and hire a golf cart or bike to explore the island. The views from Punta Sur are spectacular.

As an alternative, board a yacht or catamaran for a trip around the island, dropping anchor en route near coral reefs in the bay to go snorkeling. If you are a diver, you might want to book a dive trip, the coral reefs around Isla Mujeres are beautiful. Experienced divers might want to go to the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks,a remote spot in deeper waters to the east of the island. This cave was made famous by Mexican diver and filmmaker Ramon Bravo and Jacques Cousteau. Another unforgettable experience in the summer is to book a whale shark watching trip from Isla Mujeres. Your captain and crew will sail you to the whale shark feeding grounds where with an eco guide you will be able to swim and snorkel alongside these gentle giants as they sup on plankton and fish roe.

However you spend your day on Isla, you’ll want to return to Playa Norte or one of the wooden waterfront beach bars to watch the Caribbean sunset.

Contoy

If you are a nature lover, an eco trip to Contoy offers the perfect combination of Caribbean sailing, a day on the beach and wildlife watching. A two-and-a-half-hour boat trip to the north of Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Contoy is a desert island and bird sanctuary.

Birds are everywhere: cormorants perch on the wooden pier, frigate birds and gulls circle overhead on the lookout to snatch fish from smaller birds, dainty terns swoop low over the waves, herons stalk the shallows and the mangroves echo with the raucous cries of nesting pelicans, brown boobies and egrets.

Flamingos and roseate spoonbills can often be spotted and during the winter months the island is a refuge for ducks, plovers, sandpipers and other shore birds that migrate south to escape the cold of northern latitudes.

During your voyage to Contoy, you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays or even whale sharks in the summer months. Some boats stop for snorkeling at Ixlache Reef near the southern tip of the island or for a spot of fishing en route.

Cozumel

Sail to an island steeped in history and girdled by some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world, Cozumel. Ferries to Cozumel, Mexico’s largest inhabited island operate from Playa del Carmen to San Miguel during the day.

Spend the day exploring Cozumel’s coral kingdom. The reefs along the west coast and southern headland, including Palancar, Santa Rosa, Maracaibo, Colombia and Punta Sur are world-famous in scuba circles but the island offers plenty of spectacular snorkeling spots too. Start with snorkeling in Chankanaab Park and book trips to other shallow water reefs. Another attraction is El Cielo, a stretch of seabed off the north coast of the island that is inhabited by thousands of starfish.

In addition to its spectacular reefs, Cozumel offers lovely beaches, the wetlands and lagoons of Punta Sur Park and archaeological sites such as San Gervasio in the jungle. If you want to learn more about the island’s history, visit the Museum in San Miguel for a fascinating introduction to tales of Mayan goddesses and merchants and the arrival of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez in 1519.

Holbox

The fourth in the Mexican Caribbean island quartet is peaceful Holbox, a place to leave your cares behind and renew your bond with nature. Hours spent rocking gently in a hammock or walking along the shoreline; fishing and birding trips, glorious sunsets, fresh seafood and the chance to see whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles in the summer are its charms. Located off the Gulf coast of Quintana Roo, it is a half-hour ferry ride from the port of Chiquila.

Plan your island hopping adventures

Your concierge can help you plan your island hopping adventures in the Mexican Caribbean, charter luxury yachts and book whale shark trips.

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Visit the Puerto Morelos Botanical Garden

Puerto Morelos Botanical Garden, also called the Yaaxche-Alfredo Barrera Marin Botanical Garden, celebrates its 37th anniversary this June and if you have never visited it, why not pencil in a visit on your next trip. With trails winding through 65 hectares of jungle and wetlands, it is the second largest botanical garden in Mexico and a haven for wildlife.

Learn about trees and plants native to the Yucatán Peninsula such as the ceiba, sacred tree of the Maya, caoba or mahogany and chicozapote. In a jungle clearing there is an exhibit about chicle, the white, latex-like resin tapped or harvested from the chicozapote tree that is the original raw ingredient for chewing gum. Walk through the herb garden, which is full of medicinal plants used by the Maya since ancient times. Jungle trails lead you to wooden observation towers offering panoramic views across the jungle and wetlands to the sea.

A visit to the Botanical Garden is a must for nature lovers. It is home to spider monkeys, coatimundi, deer, agouti, iguana, shimmering blue morph butterflies and a variety of birds. During a walk through the park, you will certainly hear the distinctive rattle call of chachalacas and you may spot Yucatan and green jays parrots, trogons, turquoise-browed motmots, pygmy owls, orioles, woodpeckers and hummingbirds.

The Botanical Garden is located just south of Puerto Morelos on Highway 307. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Take a camera, binoculars and use eco-friendly insect repellent to ward off biting insects.

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Seaweed Update

You may be wondering about seaweed and whether it is washing ashore on the beaches in the Riviera Maya. We are already seeing some sargassum landings this season, as we did in 2018. However, it is important to note that landings occur from time to time and that not all beaches are affected.
The authorities are monitoring satellite imagery to forecast when patches of seaweed may approach the coast. The Federal government has designated the Navy to coordinate the beach cleaning campaign.

What is Sargassum?

It is natural for seaweed to wash up on the beach from season to season, after storms and in the summer heat. However, in recent years we have been seeing larger quantities of two species of seaweed known as Gulfweed or Sargassum (Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans) coming ashore in the Riviera Maya, Cancun and other parts of the Mexican Caribbean. Similar landings occur in the Caribbean islands, West Africa and along the Gulf coast of the United States, including Florida.

The word Sargassum comes from the Portuguese word sargaço, which means “little grapes,” a reference to the air-filled bladders that enables this species of seaweed to float on the surface and move with the currents. Unlike other algae that are rooted in the seabed or attached to rocks or corals, pelagic or free floating sargassum or sargasso can grow and reproduce as it drifts through the water.

Pelagic Sargassum is historically associated with the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean where vast patches of it are a habitat for marine life such as microscopic plants, shrimp, crabs, sea horses, baby fish and turtles.

Sometimes ocean currents transport lines or patches of this seaweed to areas beyond the Sargasso Sea. However, biologists believe that the sargasso that is affecting the Caribbean region and the coast of Quintana Roo has a different source, thousands of kilometers to the south. The seaweed is now flourishing in a second area off the coast of Brazil in the tropical Atlantic. Mats of it drift on ocean currents and are dispersed throughout the Caribbean.

Why has there been so much of it in recent years?

The causes of the seaweed proliferation or blooms have been attributed to climate change, which is triggering rising sea temperatures, and the presence of excessive nutrients in the water. Organic matter, fertilizers and other chemicals in runoff from the Amazon River and its many tributaries (and from coastal areas of other countries the seaweed passes on its journey north) provide the elements for the seaweed to thrive on.

What is being done to clean the beaches?

In the Mexican Caribbean, a campaign has begun to collect seaweed when it lands on public beaches. Brigades are working in Xcalak and Mahahual, Playa del Carmen and other areas. The Mexican government has designated the Mexican Navy to coordinate beach cleaning initiatives this year. The Quintana Roo State government divided the coast into nine sectors in which many hotels and resorts will have their own cleaning programs and will also work together with the authorities and there are volunteer beach cleaning initiatives too. In addition to beach cleaning brigades, floating barriers may be installed along certain stretches of coastline susceptible to sargassum landings in order to deflect it and reduce the amount coming ashore. Specially equipped boats will also collect the seaweed while at sea.
When seaweed accumulates in the shallows it begins to decompose, giving the water a brown tint and pungent odor. As it breaks down, it reduces the amount of oxygen in the water and blocks the sunlight that sea grass and coral reefs need for growth. This can weaken coral communities, making them more vulnerable to disease, and harm fish and other marine life.

Puerto Morelos

In Puerto Morelos, the local authorities, hotels, conservationists and biologists from the UNAM (National University of Mexico) research station joined forces and have emitted the Puerto Morelos Protocol on the best ways to collect seaweed and dispose of it.
Hotels to the north of town are studying the possibility of installing floating barriers and boats to clean up the seaweed before it reaches the coast.
Brigades of workers will remove seaweed that has already washed up and it will be transferred to a single landfill site, which must be covered with a geo-membrane to prevent salt and organic seepage contaminating the water table as the seaweed dries out.
Possible uses for the seaweed collected are also being studied. If properly processed, it can be used as a fertilizer, in the food, pharmaceutical, textile or construction industry or for biofuel. Some local companies are experimenting with making paper, cardboard and containers from seaweed. One Puerto Morelos ecologist has even built and donated houses for low-income families made with bricks containing compressed seaweed.

Grand Residences by Royal Resorts

At Grand Residences by Royal Resorts to the south of Puerto Morelos, a mechanized beach sweeper operates six hours a day if needed. The resort’s team of gardeners is also on call to offer additional support should it become necessary.

Turtle nesting season

It is turtle nesting season and the rules limit the use of heavy machinery on dry sand to prevent it from compacting or causing irreversible damage to turtle nests and eggs. Tractors can only be used on the shoreline where the waves break and during the morning, not in the evening.
All along the coast, turtle patrols are keeping an eye on adult turtles coming ashore to nest on beaches at times when there are seaweed landings. They will also watch over the hatchlings as they are born later in the season to ensure that they do not become entangled in it.

Seaweed fast facts

• Seaweed washes up on the beach naturally
• Seaweed is an important habitat for marine life
• The presence of seaweed does not mean that the beach is polluted
• You can still swim in the sea but with care. Avoid large patches of seaweed
• Showering after swimming is recommended
• Rinse out your swimsuit after use
• Seaweed will not sting you. However, microscopic creatures or insects may be trapped in the weed and can occasionally irritate the skin, hence the recommendation to rinse off after sea bathing

We hope that this information is useful. Further updates may be published during the summer on the blog at www.grandresidencesbyroyalresorts.com

[Sources: Puerto Morelos Protocol]
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Cancun flight news

Due to growing demand for the Mexican Caribbean in Europe, Lufthansa has announced that its thrice-weekly Frankfurt-Cancun flights will now available all year round instead of just in the winter season. From December, Air France will offer a daily flight from Paris to Cancun and will boost the number of seats by 30 percent.

In the United States, Delta Airlines will be adding a third daily flight from New York to Cancun, starting in January 2020 and Aeromexico is now flying from Minneapolis.

Mexican airline Interjet will soon be flying to Lima, Peru and Medellin in Colombia, and Aeromexico is inaugurating flights from Quito in Ecuador and Cali in Colombia.

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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.

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.

Whale Shark Festival Isla Mujeres, July 19-22

165th Anniversary of the Foundation of Holbox, Holbox, July 22

Folk ballet and live music in the main square, July 22 at 7 p.m.

Procession de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Isla Mujeres, August 2

A procession of boats to honor the statue of the Virgin.

Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Izamal, August 15, Izamal

Masses, processions, traditional dances and music in Izamal, a historic town in the Yucatan famous for its colonial convent and surrounding buildings all painted in bright yellow with a white trim. Izamal shares the distinction of being one of the Yucatan’s twin Pueblos Magicos or “Magical” Towns with Valladolid, a name given to smaller Mexican communities that are rich in history and traditions or are the site of natural wonders.

169th Anniversary of the Settlement of Isla Mujeres, August 17

Isla Mujeres celebrates its anniversary in August, 169 years since the first settlers in the modern era founded the village of Dolores. Isla Fest events include processions, dance performances, live music and more.

Cruz de la Bahía, Isla Mujeres, August 17

Islanders take to their boats in a pilgrimage to honor the submerged cross in the bay between Isla Mujeres and Cancun

Mexican Independence, September 15 &16

Mexico celebrates the anniversary of its Independence from Spain with delicious food, music and colorful festivities the night of September 15 and processions on September 16.

Fiesta del Cristo de Las Ampollas, September 27, Merida

The patron saint of Merida is honored with masses, pilgrimages, processions and traditional dances.

Festival de Vida y Muerte, Xcaret Park, October 30 – November 2

Hosted by Xcaret Park, the Festival of Life and Death Traditions showcases one of Mexico’s richest and most colorful customs, the Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos, which takes place on November 1 and 2.

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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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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.