The latest video piece from BRIC Vacation Rentals

Great arial footage of some of the most popular vacation destinations in Playa del Carmen. This video features the ocean front properties of The Elements and El Faro as well as the family friendly resort of Paseo Del Sol in Playacar

Thanks to our friend Evan and his DJI Phantom 2 with all the camera gadgets, along with his extreme talent, to put together this great feature presentation for BRIC!

Boga Yoga Tulum

I've always found yoga to be a fairly difficult exercise, but must say that I quite enjoy it and if the next day has anything to say about it, my body does as well! Stand Up Paddle-boarding is another activity that I have tried on occasion and it to, like yoga, seems to work my body (and mind), like no other activity I've done before. Now....put these two separate activities together and you have now entered a whole new dimension of exercise, peace and serenity.

The Siian Kaan just South of Tulum...our Yoga destination!

The Siian Kaan just South of Tulum...our Yoga destination!

Now welcome in Nancy Kyd of Boga Yoga Tulum - www.supyogatulum.com 

Her mission is quite simple and after my experience yesterday, I would HIGHLY recommend this day excursion to anyone!  

Our mission is to provide Yoga enthusiasts an experience to keep growing in their practice and to go to the next level. We welcome beginners and Paddle Board lovers of all ages. Just Add Agua! Our certified team of SUP Yoga Instructors and SUP guides, take you on a journey on a beautiful LAGOON cenote. Classes take place in TULUM, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Combining these two practices of SUP'ing and YOGA into one unique and beautiful experience.... is an absolute thrill.

Our crew consisted of our good friend Kendal Inman from Living Yoga Dallas, her son Jake and friend Dario. Along with myself, Kristin Roehmer from BRIC Vacation Rentals and our 6 year-old son we headed down to Tulum with our partner in crime and Nancy's brother, Damir "Chimo" Djoric. Kendal is a yogi herself, but this was her first experience of SUP yoga and the rest of the crew were all beginners. Basically a couple of teenagers, hard working, super moms, a 6 year old and a couple of guys who would rather be playing golf right now (or so we thought).

Myself, I was quite exhausted from sitting on the dock and teaching the local boys from the neighborhood bad words in English as they enlightened me on their local Mayan culture. After enjoying this spectacular location and an awesome yoga workout, the cold beer and fish tacos were calling!!!!! On our way to the beaches of Tulum to Papaya Playa!

Trust me! When visiting us here in the Riviera Maya, this is a "Must Do Excursion"! Contact us and we would be happy to assist you in booking your day with Nancy and her crew at Boga Yoga Tulum.

Playacar Golf Club - The Insiders View!

Today I have the pleasure of joining Sergio from BRIC Vacation Rentals and his brother Frank for an early morning tee time at The Playacar Golf Club in Playa del Carmen. The 3 of are set to tee off promptly at 7:30 AM on this Saturday morning. So, we've played this course quite a bit, being that we all live within just a minutes commute to the golf course, and thought we would give you the "players" insight on playing golf at the Playacar Golf Club!

So if you are not familiar with the plethora of golf available here in the Riviera Maya, trust me there is plenty to choose from. Just within 20 minutes of Playa del Carmen, you'll find a handful of great courses; among them Mayakoba El Cameleon (Greg Norma), Grand Coral (Nick Price), Iberostar (Pete "you've got to be kidding me" Dye), as well as Bahia Principe and the Grand Mayan. Today we are playing one of the more challenging courses, especially if you are not familiar with the course. This 18-hole course was designed by Robert Van Hagge and measures 7,136 in length. But what you really need to know is that course is "tight" and a premium is placed on being accurate off of the tee. Anything left or right of the fairway and you can be prepared to add some penalty strokes to the scorecard! And if that was not enough, the greens are the size of postage stamps and if you want any chance of scoring well, then Fairways and Greens in Regulation are KEY!

Hole # 1 Playacar Golf Club - 381 Yard Par 4 - Handicap 8

Hole # 1 Playacar Golf Club - 381 Yard Par 4 - Handicap 8

The first hole you face will be one of the easiest holes you will see all day. Less than 400 yards with just a slight fade to the right; the fairway is generous and the green is actually (relatively) large! If you're having trouble out of the gate on this hole, I would suggest heading back to the clubhouse to restock on Golf Balls! The 3 of us on this played it well, recording 2 pars and one Bogey.

Just as your feeling like Tiger Woods after completing the first hole and think just for a moment, that this may be the day that you break your best score - welcome to Hole 2! 600 yard, double dog-leg with a green surrounded by water! Good luck with this one. Us "local" are more than ecstatic to walk off of the green with the same ball we teed off with! Today we recorded one bogey and 2 triples!

Hole 2 - 600 Yard Par 5

Hole 2 - 600 Yard Par 5

So after the first 2 holes you probably have no idea what to expect; besides the fact that you have already shanked 3 of the 6 balls in your golf bag deep into the jungles of Mexico! Well, now is your chance at a nice Par 3, that will play anywhere from 150 to 190 yards in length. The bunker area is about 10 x the size of the green you are supposed to land the ball on, so take good care of your tee shot here, because if you land in any of the bunker areas...Good Luck, you will not get it up and down and prepare yourself for anything from Bogey to Triple!

Hole 3 PGC

Hopefully by now one of the Beverage Carts has paid you a visit, because you could probably use a special something something about right now; after all, you're probably 6 over par already and you haven't played but 3 holes! The best news you may get here, is that holes 4 - 7 are probably the easiest on the entire course and if your looking to score here at Playacar you need to do it here, because it doesn't get easier! On the next 4 holes you probably don't even need a driver off of the tee, but pay attention to your landing zone and distances. If you set yourself up right, you'll have nothing more than a wedge shot to the green and you can finally score some birdies and pars!

Hole 7 - 349 Yard Par 4

Hole 7 - 349 Yard Par 4

As you near the end of the front 9 holes in Playacar, you have a nice little Par 3, hole 8, that plays about 200 yards and is the number 18 handicap on the golf course. Just get the ball on the green! No excuse to not Par this hole and if your tee shot is accurate you'll have a chance at Birdie (enjoy it because it could be your last)!

Lets assume you've had a pretty good round so far through the first 8 holes. By now you may have had a couple of visits from the Beverage Cart and you feel your swing is coming to you! If you have not had any beverages to this point, you may want to wait for Leanore or Victor to pass by, because you'll need it! Holes 9, 10 and 11 are a brut! Us locals like to call this "Oh Sh*t Corner" and if you're playing with out-of-towners, this is where you take their money!

Hole #9 on the scorecard does not look too hard; only a 390 yard par 4, but....the wind can be brutal! You need an accurate and LONG tee shot to give yourself the best chance of hitting the green. Assuming you've found the fairway, calculate your distance and take at least 1 extra club on the shot! If you've missed the fairway or are blocked by the any of the trees, don't be a hero here, take your lumps and lay up to give yourself a chance! Bogey here is awesome!

Hole 9 - 390 Yard Par 4

Hole 9 - 390 Yard Par 4

As we make the turn to the back 9 of Playacar Golf Club we're feeling "somewhat" good with a couple of 41's on the scorecard. But, having played this golf course one too many times, we know that the real test comes on the back 9! Playing over 600 yards longer than the front 9, there are no easy holes on this side.

Hole #10 is actually not that difficult when standing on the tee box! A 428 par 4 that requires a little fade for us right-handers. It's the second shot here than can cost you strokes as the green is almost invisible! You're probably left with a mid-iron shot that you need to land within 5 paces of your distance; if your short you're in the bunker and long will result in yet another penalty stroke.

Now that you are completely demoralized after playing the last 2 holes, you'll approach the Par 5, 12th, which plays 621 from the back tees. The tee shot is actually the easiest shot on the hole; just straight away and long! I left the tee shot a little right, but with the help of the overhanging tree was left with a second shot. Sergio, Mr.-300Yard Driving-Crossfit exercising-Big Truck Driving-Focus of a Man, pipes one down the middle! Luckily, only 300 yards and leaves it 1 yard short of the end of the fairway bunker! Brother Frank, who is celebrating his 1-year wedding anniversary today is not so lucky. He's been fighting a big Hook all day; and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that he is out playing golf and drinking early morning cocktails with his buddies while his wife is at home on their 1 year wedding anniversary taking care of their beautiful daughter. What happened to breakfast in bed Frankie? Happy Anniversary!

Hole 12 - 621 Yard Par 5

Hole 12 - 621 Yard Par 5

You have now made it through "Oh Sh*t Corner"....have another cocktail, relax and enjoy the rest of your round!

Hole 12 is a straight away par 4, measuring 442 from the tips and plays into the wind. Just when you thought you were in the clear! No worries; a good tee shot and you'll have a nice shot into the green!

Hole 13 is the Iguana Par 3. It plays 220+ from the tips, so for an average guy like me I need to pull out the fairway wood to have even the slightest chance of hitting the green. No mater what tee box you are playing from, chances are you will find yourself in the bunker, short! Don't get nervous by the 3 dozen Iguana's that are staring you down; after all they are not carnivores! You should be more worried about the Tehonis that are invading your golf cart and eating your morning peanuts while you are contemplating your next miracle shot out of the bunker!

Hole 14 is a straight away Par 4 that measures an even 400 from the back tees and is registered as the #17 handicap on the course. Not exactly sure what is so easy about this hole? You'll need a long tee shot here (as well as down the middle), to have a chance at attacking the flag! The second shot is a bear as this green is tough; long and narrow with no place to miss. Left or long and you can add another penalty stroke to the card and anything right is going to be a difficult up & down....good luck. Thankfully, Leanore just arrived with a replenished beverage cart!

Playacar Golf Club 2014-12.jpg

The par 5 15th is going to be a good opportunity to write down a good score. The hole is long at 598 from the tips and not reachable (for us simpletons), but 3 good shots and you can find the green and have a good opportunity at Par or better! 

Now comes Number 16! There are many of times that I have played here that we have discussed just passing this hole and taking a bogey on the scorecard; but that would be too generous. A Par 4 that plays 468 yards tee to green, uphill and lots of wind. There is not a chance that we can reach this hole in regulation. Actually we just want a couple of solid swings here to have even a minuscule chance of putting for a bogie! Seriously! Good Luck!

Hole 17

You've got the last two holes of the day coming up! Number 17 is a great par three that measures 194 from the back, down to 154 from the white tees! Don't be fooled and beware of the wind! Even if you think it's calm outside, you'll want to take an additional club on this shot. The wind always blows above the tree line and I'd rather be a little long (which is safe), as opposed to short, which puts you in a dreadful bunker. Trust me, take an extra club and swing away!

Finally...the beautiful Number 18!

Hole #18 - Par 5 530 Yards

Hole #18 - Par 5 530 Yards

My favorite hole on the Golf Course. By now, you've completed a fairly good round and a solid finish on 18 will top it off! Or in reality, you've probably played 20 shots above your handicap, but it's this type of hole that will keep you coming back tomorrow!

Although the wind is always coming at you, this Par 5 hole is reachable with 2 good shots! Then again, the water lining both sides of the fairway, coupled with  the strong winds, could cause you to score yet another Bogie ++ hole! It's the 18th hole and chances are your not on the verge of scoring your best round ever, so hit the big stick of the tee box and go ahead and pull out the fairway wood on the second. A Birdie or Eagle here will make this your favorite hole!

Thank you to Sergio and Frank for the great round of golf today! Looking forward to seeing you next weekend; assuming Frank's wife lets him out of the house again :)) Happy Anniversary. 

Our ventures to West Bay Village in Roatan Honduras

Ironically our first post to this website about Playa del Carmen Mexico is actually about beautiful Roatan Honduras. Fittingly so, as our international travels, adventures and Real Estate and Vacation Rentals all began here in beautiful Roatan, Honduras and the quaint village of West Bay, where along with our partners and life long friends, we purchased a 3 bedroom home just steps away from the beach!  Being here, we miss our friends Tony & Beth and the rest of the Donkey Kong Krew. 15 Years later we still remain as the original owners and use a talented group of Property Managers to look after our Island home. If you want to stay in Honduras, no better group of people than Brad & Ruth at Island House

Beach in front of West Bay Village

Beach in front of West Bay Village

Our first Family-Only vacation in 8 years! We are here for 12 days to enjoy, relax and rediscover the island that we first fell in love with over 15 years! Must say, the first 3 days were about us uneventful as can be! We spent every day sitting on our beach, overlooking the ocean to the West, chit-chatting with some of our awesome neighbors and drinking one too many Salva Vida beers...but how can you resist.

On day 3, we finally found the energy to venture out and on the request of our 5 year old son, we took one of the local water taxis a couple of miles up the island to "Downtown" West End! $3 USD per person and anyone of the local water taxis sitting in the water will take you to West End. We chose Captain "Martin"; he's been sitting there in the water for days and thought he could use a little business. El Capitan is one of the nicest guys you'll meet and takes it easy across the water. Besides, he is very knowledgable about the area and does not hesitate to explain the local gossip. Moreover, we agreed to a "Day 4" fishing trip in his boat! Up at 6 AM tomorrow to see what we can catch! Here's what we found on our way and in West End....a few beers with the locals and then some.

Like any fishing...they never quite turn out how you expect! The morning came quick and fast and after a quick cup of coffee we went out to meet Captain Martin at the dock. It was an incredibly beautiful morning and water could not have been more still!

The tip of West End with the sunrise coming over from the East.

The tip of West End with the sunrise coming over from the East.

As it turns out our 2-hour, early morning fishing trip became a fantastic sight seeing trip! No Fish! I think it was so tranquil out this morning, that the fish decided to sleep in as well.

We spent the most of morning cruising around the LightHouse point, which is the Western most part of the Island, just a couple of hundred meter from our home at West Bay Village. I had planned on posting photos of large Grouper and Tuna, but instead, enjoy the photos of the most Western part of Roatan!

Beautiful Saturday...windy and rainy! Love these days, where you don't feel guilty about sleeping in and sitting inside. Attempted a brief walk down the beach today, but the lingering showers and high winds quickly made us turn around. Honestly, nothing better than sitting on the couch watching a movie, discussing the latest Ninja accessories with your son and playing a family round of UNO (with your 5 year old that cheats). This is what a bad day on Roatan looks like:

Sunday's on Roatan are always great and today was no exception! Slept in until 6:30 AM, breakfast at home with the family at 7 AM and then the first Salva Vida of the day, promptly at 8AM!

The lingering storm for the previous couple of days has seemed to finally move out. The ocean is still a bit rougher than we are used to, but makes for a great day of playing in the waves. Sunday's are also known as local day here, as in most Caribbean cities. After the morning church services, locals and their extended families can be seen up and down the beach eating lunch and drinking Coca Cola. Enjoying their own Paradise along with all of us tourist. My son was quick to find a fellow wave jumper, a 7 year old boy from up the road in the main city of Roatan, Coxen Hole! A morning of playing on the beach and then the afternoon snooze on the hammock before the afternoon festivities continue.

After our nap, its more time on the beach and a late afternoon snack at our neighbors property of Infinity Bay. A little Reggae music and of course some more Salva Vida's along with the inevitable Banana Donut. 3 tasty morsels for just $5; how can you resist.   

Another typical day on West End! Lots of sunshine and calm waters. Today is Monday and there are no cruise ships in port, so the beach is tranquil and the waters are absent of tourist with their snorkels and their Budweiser. These are the days we take advantage of the day and really do nothing but play with Mother Nature. We did make an effort and took a later afternoon walk about 100 meters down to the end of the beach, where the everything abruptly ends and a huge coral formation projects out of the water. This is know as the beginning of the Iron Coast and although we did not spot any on this day, the crazy rock formation is usually filled with black Iguana. 

Go Baby Go! That was the theme for the day. But like so many adventures on the island 

things don’t always go as planned!

We planned on a full day trip around the entire Island with several snorkeling stops and final touchdown at Pigeon Cay, which is a small uninhabited island on the South side. There the snorkeling and swimming was promised to be amazing; not to mention lobster lunch and champagne served on tables in the water. We booked our trip with Ray from Bay Island Adventures and although the price was not particularly cheap, he is super nice guy and runs a seamless and professional operation here on the island.

Two big Go-Fast boats, 20 guests, Rum Punch and a cooler full of Salva Vida! Does not get much better than that. Unfortunately our first mishap happened about 90 minutes in our trip with a blown engine that allowed us some extra time at Palmetto Bay; which is where several years ago they filmed the reality TV Show “Temptation Island” Because of the time delay, many guests had to be shuttled home via taxi vans and only a brave few of us continued on in the smaller boat, hoping to make it to Pigeon Cay.

Unfortunately once again, another unforeseen circumstance. After a an hour boat ride we decided to make an unscheduled pit stop for some snorkeling and to refill our rum punch. It was then, that one of our fellow travelers bonked her head on the outside of the boat while snorkeling too close. We all agreed that the nasty cut above her eye would require stitches, so off we went, returning back to make a stop at the closest medical center at Anthony’s Key Resort. 2 hours and 5 stitches later it was already 3 in the afternoon and everyone on board was sunburned, drunk and hungry. And taking into consideration the new facial tattoo of our friend from Calgary, we thought it best to return back home to West Bay.

Ray and his staff were fantastic! They offered us all to repeat the trip again Friday!

So if you are ever interested in visiting this beautiful island, please let us know. We are happy to give you our input on all of the things you can do, including our favorite..."Absolutely Nothing".  Remember you can always stay at our little oasis at Monkey La La or any of the other villas in West Bay Village by contacting us or our  Super Managers, Brad & Ruth at Island House  Roatan