Still a Small Beach Town in Riviera Maya

Jeanine Kitchel

Amazing as it may seem, the Riviera Maya, that white sand stretch of endless beaches  in Quintana Roo, still has one beach town that has defied the odds and retained a spectrum of that “je ne sais quois”  factor we all hope for in our search for Margaritaville.  It’s small with great beaches, a little town square or zocalo, walkways in front of the beach with benches and palapas for idling, and a handful of nearby restaurants of almost every persuasion for snacks and dining. Where is this little gem?

Why Puerto Morelos, of course. Just 30 miles south of Cancun and about 20 miles north of ever popular (and overrun) Playa del Carmen. Even Cancun locals have discovered Puerto Morelos in the past couple years, and Sundays are very popular so come early to reserve your spot on the beach, and stay late and enjoy antojitos or dinner in one of the town favorites – Pelicanos, Hola Asia, Posada Amor Restaurant- all on or very near the square.

The town has become a magnet for foreign travelers in large part because it has a town center, grocery store,  a variety of restaurants, ATM machine, and is self contained without the feel of big city Cancun or the glitzy hotel zone.  Many foreigners own beach villas here which are rented out,  some for sale – as is Casa Maya, just north of town and listed on Sotheby’s at www.sirrivieramaya.com (#196) or google Casa Maya Puerto Morelos – and others listed for rent or sale on  informative websites such as MayanRivieraProperties.com and MexicanVacationVillas.com.

Small hotels are plentiful, with still reasonable rates, and now there are a handful of all-inclusives, too. But the small town feel is what brings people back year after year. It’s the type of place where you get to know the waiters at the local restaurants.

Located at the edge of the low jungle, on the other side of the highway, there’s a Sunday Mayan Market run by former Floridian Sandra Dayton who initiated this project 15 years ago when she helped Mayan women in Puerto Morelos buy two sewing machines so they could earn money by sewing clothing to sell. The market has blossomed and now includes food, Mayan massage, and a variety of handicrafts.  Dayton is a character andher knowledge of the jungle is incredible. If she still offers a jungle tour, sign up for it, because it is well worth every peso. Contact Dayton at starseed@prodigy.net.mx.

Puerto Morelos still has the feel. Try it, you may like it.

The San Miguel de Allende Historical Museum Gets a Facelift

By John Mitchell

Sagging American and Canadian retirees aren’t the only ones getting facelifts in San Miguel de Allende these days. The Museo Historico de San Miguel de Allende has been remodeled by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) as part of Mexico’s Independence Bicentennial celebrations.
Continue reading The San Miguel de Allende Historical Museum Gets a Facelift

RIVIERA NAYARIT TO HOST THE NEXTEL BICENTENNIAL EDITION OF THE MEXICO CUP REGATTA

2010 Mexico Cup RegattaCity, MX; December 18th, 2009- Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism, the Navy, the State of Nayarit, the Mexico Tourism Board, Fonatur, (Mexico’s National Trust for the Promotion of Tourism) and the Mexican Sailing Association will head the official “Bicentennial Edition” of the Mexico Cup Regatta.

This world class event will take place in Riviera Nayarit on February 27th to March 13th 2010, as part of Mexico’s Bicentennial Independence celebrations and centennial of the Mexican Revolution. This elite event will continue to position Mexico as the best destination for sail and sport fishing, while at the same time, promote the country’s tourism attractions on a national and international level.

This magnificent event will bring together a variety of sectors within Mexico including the participation of government and private initiatives. The Mexico Cup Regatta will set international standards for sailing competitions, generating important benefits for the country’s tourism promotion and will also have an important impact within the international nautical community.

As a result, the organizers and Sailing Associations involved have set forth more than 1,500 national and international athletes and support personnel to help make this event a success and position it as one of the most competitive events within the sailing spectrum, similar to those such as America’s Cup, Copa del Rey, Volvo Ocean Race and the Rolex Cup Racing.

Participating in the official event presentation were, Ralph Nelles, President of the Mexican Sailing Federation, Oscar Fitch, CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board, Miguel Gomez, General Director of FONATUR, Bernardo de la Garza, General Director of the National Commission  of Physical Culture and Sports; Jose Manuel Villalpando,  Executive Programs Coordinator for the Bicentennial Independence and Centennial Mexican Revolution festivities Organizing Commission and Ernesto  Amtmann, President of the Mexico Cup Regatta  Organizing Committee.

Carlos Ortega, Communications Director for Nextel Mexico said, “Over the past eleven years, since its initial start in Mexico, Nextel has positioned itself as a leader and supporter of a wide variety of sports. And on this monumental occasion, we are once again very proud to present such an amazing event that we are confident will be well received in both the sporting and tourism industries. ” Said Ortega.

First Level of the Tournament:

The Bicentennial Edition of the Mexican Cup will include five classes of vessel participation in each regatta: the Oceanic class, the J-24 class, the Windsurfing, the Kite-surfing and the Optimist, all guaranteed by the Mexican Sailing Federation and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), in addition to the respective Mexican Associations for each class.

The Regatta will take place in Bandera’s Bay, in front of the Riviera Nayarit coast; with distinct areas established by marked buoys that create different routes and distances that follow the guidelines for each class.

For the Oceanica class, there will be routes of up to 35 nautical miles with different destinations, one to the Marietas Islands and another to The Caletas, located in the south zone of the second largest bay in the world, Bandera’s Bay.

The Kite-surfing event, will take place in Bucerias, in front of the beach allowing the community to be included in this spectacular sport.

Schedule:

During the first week of the event, February 27th to March 6th, the Oceanica Class and the Kite-surfing Class will participate, while the Optimist Class will take place at the end of the week, finishing on Saturday the 6th with an award dinner being held for each class.

On Wednesday, March 10th, will be the initiation of activities for the J-24 Class, the participation of the Windsurfing Class will be incorporated, ending the event Saturday March 13th with the corresponding awards dinner for these classes.

In the past, Mexico has been host to similar events in the sailing industry. In 2007, Bandera’s Bay played host to the J-24 World Championship, with teams from Brazil, Argentina, United States, Canada and Portugal. In 2008, this destination hosted the Mexican Circuit of Oceanica’s Regattas MEXORC, where vessels from the United States, Mexico and Canada participated and it will also host the Pan American Games in 2011.

In addition to these events, the Mexico Cup Regatta will also have two other events; one will be the beach festival Mexico Cup with beach activities such as beach football tournaments and ladies beach volleyball tournaments that will include the participation of international teams.  For these events, a stadium will be placed on the beach with a capacity for 2,500 spectators.

The second event “2012 Challenge”, Tania Elias Calles will establish a Guinness World Record by sailing a Laser boat, which is a smaller sailboat, 300 nautical miles departing Los Cabos, B.C. Sur to Bahia de Banderas.

The Mexico Cup Regatta will be celebrated biannually on a permanent basis, without a doubt boosting the sailing industry and help generate a tourism platform that will allow Mexico to take advantage and maximize it’s coastlines while steering promotional efforts and diversified activities towards those less explored such as nautical sports.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard Appointed Chair of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change

COPENHAGEN /PRNewswire/ — Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has been appointed Chair of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change. Mr. Ebrard succeeds Barbel Dieckmann, former Mayor of Bonn, Germany.

The World Mayors Council on Climate Change is an alliance of municipal leaders committed to climate protection, biodiversity and sustainable development. There are currently more than 30 members of the Council, representing a vast network of local governments working to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

“While world leaders continue to debate climate solutions, with an uncertain outcome for agreement, the mayors of the world are taking bold action,” said Mayor Ebrard. “This week, numerous cities have demonstrated that we are already implementing innovative solutions, and committing significant resources of both intellectual and financial capital to address the critical problem of climate change.”

Mayor Ebrard continued, “The Council’s mission for the year ahead is to build on this foundation and provide enhanced support to municipal governments in their efforts to address climate change and related issues of global sustainability.”

With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities bear a large responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. The World Mayors Council on Climate Change, together with its partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, understand the need for action and cooperation in tackling this critical problem. The key objectives of the Council include political promotion of policies to help the world’s largest cities tackle climate change as well as fostering the international cooperation of municipal leaders on achieving relevant climate targets.

As a leader in climate action, Mexico City is investing more than $1 billion a year on environmental-related infrastructure and implementing sustainable environmental programs and practices. Mexico City’s Climate Action Plan, launched by Mayor Ebrard, aims to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 7 million tons between 2008 and 2012. The 15-year plan is designed to reduce transportation-related emissions; conserve public lands through major reforestation projects; encourage businesses to adopt sustainable environmental practices; invest in critical environmental infrastructure such as water management systems and recycling centers; and implement reforms regarding the disposal of solid waste.


FDA Expands Presence Outside U.S. With Opening of Mexico City Post

SILVER SPRING, Md., /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As part of its continuing effort to buttress food and medical product safety in this country by working with its regulatory partners overseas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the opening of its Mexico City post. This is the Agency’s third post in Latin America and its tenth international post in the past 13 months.

“The opening of this office represents an important step as we re-design our product safety strategy. We, like our partners in the Mexican Government, realize that prevention is the key. For example, more than a third of the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat come from Mexico as do a large amount of our medical devices. Having FDA experts located permanently there will be mutually beneficial to both our countries and respective citizens,” said U.S. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.

Staff assigned to the FDA’s Mexico City post will work with their counterparts in the Mexican government to harmonize regulations and guidance standards and to work on other collaborative initiatives. These collaborations will include, for example, information-sharing on the respective regulatory systems and joint workshops on the safety of food and medical products. Agencies in both governments also will make efforts to find opportunities for joint training on food-borne illnesses and the oversight of food traded internationally.
FDA staff also will offer collaboration on the use of the latest laboratory techniques, foster other collaborative initiatives to ensure the safety of food and medical products marketed in the two countries, and be a “portal” to the FDA for counterpart Mexican agencies and the U.S.-export industry in Mexico.

“FDA staff will work with industry in Mexico as well,” said Murray M. Lumpkin, M.D., U.S. FDA Deputy Commissioner for International Programs. “FDA experts in Mexico City will work closely with local industries that ship food and medical products to the United States to improve their understanding of U.S. safety and product quality expectations. Their activities will include providing technical advice and working with government agencies and the private sector to develop certification programs.”

To date, the FDA has opened 10 international posts, including posts in China, India, Europe, and Latin America, along with its USA-based staff. The other posts in the Latin America Office are located in Santiago, Chile, and at the FDA’s Latin America Office headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Greening of Chichen Itza

By John Mitchell

It appears that even the ancient Maya ruins at Chichen Itza are feeling the effects of global warming. The heating of the Earth’s atmosphere has reportedly changed the rain patterns and lengthened the dry season at Chichen Itza. Resulting droughts, along with lightning storms and hurricanes, have taken a heavy toll on the sprawling archaeological site’s trees and other natural vegetation. Continue reading The Greening of Chichen Itza

Business Traveler Magazine Names AeroMexico “Best Airline in Mexico” for 4th Consecutive Year

AeroMexico named “Best Airline in Mexico” for 4th year in a row. We strive to always be at your service.

 HOUSTON, TX–(December 14, 2009) – For the fourth consecutive year, AeroMexico, the global airline of Latin America, has been selected as the “Best Airline in Mexico” for 2009 by the readers of Business Traveler magazine.
 
“AeroMexico is proud to accept the ‘Best Airline in Mexico’ award for the fourth consecutive year, affirming our commitment to unparalleled customer service,” said Frank Galan, Vice President, U.S. Division, AeroMexico. “We strive to be ‘a tus ordenes’ (at your service) from the moment our guests book their flights all the way through baggage claim. It’s incredibly gratifying that Business Traveler’s discerning readers have given us their vote of confidence once again.”
 
AeroMexico has earned top honors in the “Best Airline in Mexico” category every year since the award began in 2006.
 
“As a premier airline, AeroMexico stands out because it excels at meeting the particular needs of business travelers to and from Mexico, and provides the highest levels of service, comfort and convenience,” said Eva Leonard, editor in chief at Business Traveler magazine. “We are thrilled to honor AeroMexico with this award for the fourth consecutive year, a true testament to their position as a market leader.”
 
Through this and other honors, AeroMexico has been recognized for its distinctive style of attentive, personalized in-flight service, which includes complimentary beverages, cocktails and complete meals. The airline has further distinguished itself with one of the world’s best on-time flight records, the highest safety and quality standards ratings, outstanding reliability and baggage handling performance, and exceptional value based on its competitive fares and superior service.
 
This year marks the 21st annual “Best in Business Travel” awards at Business Traveler, a magazine that reaches 500,000 frequent domestic and international travelers. More than 4,000 readers of its U.S. edition were surveyed and asked to choose their favorite airlines, hotels, airports and other business-travel service providers in 55 categories. The survey consisted of open-ended questions with no suggested company names or choices given.
 
To learn more about the “Best in Business Travel” awards, visit http://www.btusonline.com/, or for more information about AeroMexico, visit http://www.aeromexico.com/.

 
About AeroMexico

AeroMexico and its subsidiary, AeroMexico Connect, operate more than 600 daily flights through the airline’s hub in the new Terminal 2 at Mexico City’s International Airport to more than 40 destinations in Mexico, 17 U.S. cities in 12 states, two cities in Canada, and 10 other destinations including Tokyo, Paris and Buenos Aires in nine other countries worldwide.  U.S. cities served are Los Angeles, Ontario (Ca.), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, New York City, Orlando and Miami.  AeroMexico Vacations provides customized vacation travel packages throughout the airline’s service network.  The airline also offers connecting service to other international destinations through its SkyTeam global airline alliance with 10 other carriers.  AeroMexico has been recognized for its award-winning style of personalized in-flight service, one of the world’s best on-time flight records, the highest safety and quality standards ratings, outstanding reliability and baggage handling performance, and exceptional value based on its competitive fares and superior service.  Additional information is available at http://www.aeromexico.com/ or 1-800-237-6639.