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Loco Gringo Mexico

LocoGringo Mexico gives you local insights, vacation tips and stories from people who live and work in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Our host Kay Walten, will introduce you to people in Mexico who tell of their journey to the Yucatan, their local scoop on the people, the Mexico and Mayan culture, places not to miss on your next vacation, food and more. LocoGringo gives you travel info that you won’t find in a travel guidebook. Discover Mexico for your next vacation on a more intimate level than a typical tourist. As an expat, Kay has been working in vacation and tourism in Mexico since 1992. She is also co-founder of the vacation rental site LocoGringo.com.
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 30, 2017

My guest on the podcast today is a self-proclaimed citizen of the world. She runs an oasis of the arts, Le Lotus Rouge,  in Playa del Carmen. Natasha Alban was born in Germany to parents who didn’t want her to study the arts.

In 2010, Natasha became an international teacher trainer of the arts of the five continents. She fell in love with Mexico and searched the Pacific Coast for a place to settle. But since she was already familiar with the Mayan culture of Quintana Roo and she wanted to live by the water, she chose the energetic Playa del Carmen to start her art program.

Her continually evolving Le Lotus Rouge allows students to immerse themselves in, and produce, freeform art based on art from other countries. Natasha says when people want to separate citizens it is art which unites us.

She enjoys observing visitors from different places in the world spontaneously make music together, eat meals together and communicate through art.

“Arts reflect the soul of the culture. Arts commit us to understand what people are thinking and feeling in other parts of the world. Arts allow you to go into other dimensions. Arts appeal to our 5 senses and to our emotional intelligence.” — Natasha Alban

If you are visiting Playa del Carmen, be sure to visit the fairy tale land which is Le Lotus Rouge.

 

Natasha  Recommends Visiting:

Chiapas

Centro Cultura Playa del Carmen

Parque La Ceiba

Centro Cultura Marino Caracol

Murals of Playa del Carmen

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo Directory

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Le Lotus Rouge

natachaalban@yahoo.fr

May 23, 2017

My guest on the podcast today, Amber Pierce, writes the very popular Puerto Morelos Blog, plus she raises her children and works as a certified real estate agent in the area. When Amber first visited Puerto Morelos she appreciated the “Mexican-ness” of the place, as compared to cities like Cancun.

Amber says she accidentally became a property manager, after many snowbirds and friends asked her to take care of monthly bills and to help them find someone to watch over their homes. She knew a lot about the area, and when people started coming to her to see what properties were available in Mexico, she decided to become a real estate agent and opened an office. Then in 2006, when a certification became available, Amber became federally certified to sell real estate.

Amber’s children are bilingual, and have gone to top-notch private schools which are affordable. She says they wouldn’t have had the same opportunities in the U.S., and feels there are absolutely no drawbacks to raising children in Puerto Morelos.

 

3 Tips for Travelers Visiting Puerto Morelos

1. Snorkel or dive the reef — The area is designated as a Marine Sanctuary and has National Park status.

2. Visit every taco stand you see.

3. Go to the cenotes.

Outside of Puerto Morelos, Amber Recommends Visiting:

Chiapas — An ecotourism destination.

Copper Canyon — It’s bigger than the Grand Canyon.

Uruapan — Visit during Easter week for the Mexican Folk Art Festival.

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents, and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo Directory

Loco Gringo on Facebook

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Puerto Morelos Marine Park 

Mayan Riviera Properties

Puerto Morelos Blog

Amber@MayanRivieraProperties.com

Ruta de Cenotes

Uruapan Folk Art Festival

May 16, 2017

My guest on the podcast today is originally from Normandy, France.  Gilles Denis has been traveling to the Riviera Maya for 20 years, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he made the decision to pick up his family and move to where the sun was, Playa del Carmen. His children now speak Spanish as their first language.

 

Gilles says he loves Playa del Carmen because it still has a village-type ambiance. Everyone seems to know each other. He says if someone were to give him the opportunity, and money, to do it all over again or to live somewhere else, he would still choose Playa in the Riviera Maya.

 

After owning an ice cream shop and a dive center, Gilles decided he was not the management type, and developed individualized tours for visitors to the Riviera Maya.  He enjoys providing unique experiences to dive sites, cenotes, archeological sites, snorkeling, and just about anything else a visitor can dream up. Gilles loves his work, because he gets to do something different every day. He says the hardest part of his job is proving he is working.

 

Gilles doesn’t get to travel through Mexico as often as he likes. His vacations are reserved for visiting family in France. He says after only 10 days in France, he starts craving Mexican foods. His favorites are Relleno Negro and Pollo Pibil and Poc Chuc.

 

3 Tips for an Authentic Riviera Maya Experience

1. Get out of the hotel.

2. Speak with the locals.

3. Rent a car and see the country.

 

Gilles Recommends Visiting:

Rio Sagrado — near the Coba Ruins — You can still get close to the pyramid.

Chiapas — for a drastically different landscape.

Mexico City — A great city to tour.

Taqueria Honorio — Playa del Carmen — A great local place to get some eats!

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo Directory

Loco Gringo on Facebook

From Sea to Cenotes, by Kay Walten

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Playa Private Tours

May 9, 2017

My guest on the podcast today grew up as a traveler. When she was a young girl, her father told her traveling was the best investment she could make, and her money was best spent on summer excursions. Maria Azanza made the decision to travel from Guadalajara to the Riviera Maya, and has lived here for the past 11 years. She shares with us her favorite places in Mexico, why she stays in the Riviera Maya, and where she goes when she wants to get lost for a few days.

 

Maria and her boyfriend, now husband, heard about the beauty of the Caribbean and Playa del Carmen. They wanted to see it for themselves, so they set out to make a new life in the area. Shortly after arriving, Maria got a job in a bikini shop to pay the bills, and followed her dreams to become a writer, working for the Caribbean News magazine. After a year on staff at the magazine, Maria started renting real estate through the Core company.

 

Maria’s advice to visitors to the Riviera Maya region is to get out of the touristic places, and visit the other side. She says it’s amazing, and your travel dollars will go a lot further.

 

Maria Recommends Visiting:

Bacalar — For the jungle and the sacred cenotes.

La Ruta de Cenotes — Puerto Morelos — Over 20 different cenotes to explore.

Oaxaca — La Costa Alegre — A beautiful town on the Pacific side of Mexico.

Copper Canyon — Chihuahua — A must see while in Mexico.

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo Directory

Loco Gringo on Facebook

From Sea to Cenotes, by Kay Walten

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Wizard Riviera Maya

Wizard Riviera Maya on Facebook

@AzanzaMaria on Twitter

Carmen Brewing Co.

May 2, 2017

Born and raised in Akumal, my guest, Gerardo Orozco has been working at his family’s diving business for over 12 years. He has seen the growth of the Riviera Maya from the ground up. Gerardo says the area grew so fast, people were not able to make the necessary adjustments to preserve the environment and plan for future development.

 

As the operations manager for the Akumal Dive Center, Gerardo contacted the ecological center in Akumal and works with universities such as University of Texas, UNAM and Politechnico Cancun, to preserve the natural beauty of his hometown. He says many people complain about the issues, but never take action to repair the environment, and he wants to change all that.

 

Gerardo says many visitors come with a list of marine life they would like to see, but they are often afraid to dive. Many people think diving is a hard activity, but Gerardo and team take the stress out it. We change people’s lives when they see the magical world of the reef. Diving is relaxing, if you follow the rules and respect everything.

 

Gerardo loves all of Mexico. When he was a semi-professional basketball player, he was able to see much of the large country. His favorites are the different types of tequila and the fresh pescado (fish).

Geraldo’s Secret Places:

Oaxaca — The food and the culture are very different from the Riviera Maya.

Merida — The people are amazing.

Chiapas — Discover something new in the jungle.

Puntarena — South of Punta Allen, it’s like Akumal 25 years ago.

El Julio — A quaint fishing village and a sought-after kite surfing spot.

Rio Lagartos — Los Coloradas is a peach-colored, salt lagoon.

Thank you to Buy Playa for sponsoring this episode. They are buyer’s agents and only sell titled properties. They are truly experts in their field!

Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

Loco Gringo

Loco Gringo Directory

Loco Gringo on Facebook

From Sea to Cenotes, by Kay Walten

Concierge@locogringo.com

Email Kay: Askkay@locogringo.com

@locogringocom on Twitter

@locogringo_mexico on Instagram

Akumal Dive Center 

dive@akumaldivecenter.com 

Hotel Caribe Akumal 

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