What’s on in the Mexican Caribbean & the Yucatan, October-November 2014

Here’s a list of some of the events due to take place in October and November in the Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan.

Festival de la Tortuga Marina, Tulum, October 16-18
This annual festival honors our treasured summer visitors to Mexican Caribbean shores, the sea turtles, and the volunteers who work so hard to protect them. Festival events such as art exhibits, seminars, a sand sculpture competition, a Mexican kermes or fair, Mayan ceremony, games for children and a turtle release take place in Xcacel-Xcacelito turtle sanctuary, Tulum and Akumal.

Taste of Holbox, October 15 to 18
Foodies are gathered in the island of Holbox this month for the Taste of Holbox Festival. Island restaurants and guest chefs from Cozumel and Guanajuato work their magic on fresh seafood and regional ingredients to produce tempting culinary creations.

Xplor Bravest Race- La Isla, Cancun & Riviera Maya, October 19
Expected to draw 3,000 competitors this October, Xplor Bravest Race is an obstacle race featuring 30 different challenges in the jungle and underground designed to test the stamina, strength, physical and mental skills of the athletes.
Five outstanding competitors will be selected to take part in the 2015 series of La Isla, a reality show on Mexican TV channel TV Azteca.

International Festival of Maya Culture, Mérida, October 17-26
The 2014 International Festival of Maya Culture in Mérida showcases Mayan architecture in all its splendor, astronomy, traditional medicine and aspects of pre-Hispanic and modern-day life in Mayan communities. The program features the First Mayab Round Table, a series of seminars and workshops given by researchers from universities in the Maya World, art exhibitions, dance performances, concerts and theater, among others. Festival guests of honor are delegations representing the state of Campeche and the nations of Guatemala and Honduras.
More than 300 cultural events are planned and through an alliance with the famous Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, special performances featuring 25 groups of artists from Japan, France, Finland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Azerbaijan, several African states and different parts of Mexico will be presented.

Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead, November 1 & 2
Mexico observes one of its richest and most colorful traditions, Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead on November 1 and 2. This fiesta in honor of the souls of loved ones who are believed to return to earth for a short time to be with their families is so important that it earned a place in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. Look for altars decorated with flowers and bearing offerings of food and drink in Cancun Maya Museum, Parque Las Palapas downtown, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Valladolid, Merida and further afield in Mexico.

Festival of Life & Death, Xcaret Park, October 30-November 2
For the ninth year running, Xcaret is hosting the Festival of Life & Death, a celebration of Mexico’s rich Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead traditions. From October 30 to November 2, visitors will be able to see colorful and symbolic altars laden with flowers, fruit and other offerings, sample traditional cuisine associated with the occasion and witness a variety of artistic events, including concerts, theater and dance. This year Mayan communities from Quintana Roo and Yucatán are joined by a delegation of 250 artists, musicians, actors, dancers, craftsmen and chefs from Festival guest Michoacan, a state in western Mexico that is famous for its Day of the Dead customs.

OHL Classic at Mayakoba PGA Golf Tournament, November 10-16
PGA Tour golf returns to the Riviera Maya this November with the OHL Classic at El Camaleon Golf Club in Mayakoba. The list of the 132 competitors will be revealed after November 7 and is sure to contain some star names. Play takes place from November 13 to 16.

Festival of Caribbean Culture, November 12-18
Music, dance, movies, theater, art, seminars and workshops will take place in Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Chetumal as part of the 2014 Festival of Caribbean Culture. The Dominican Republic is this year’s guest country.

Xel-Há Triathlon, Xel-Há Park, November 15-16
This popular sporting event takes on a new dimension this year as the venue for the 2014 National Triathlon Championship for different age groups. On November 15 the Olympic contest will take place and the following day is reserved for the Sprint, Children and Women Beginners categories.

Toh Yucatan Bird Festival, November 21 – 23
Valladolid is hosting this year’s Yucatan Bird Festival bird watching marathon in November. The Mayan name of the marathon is Xoc Chi’ Ich’, which means bird count and the idea of the event is for small groups of bird watchers to spot as many species as they can in 29 hours (November 22-23). The marathon will take place in Rio Lagartos and the inauguration and closing ceremony in Valladolid.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, November 27, 28, 29
Playa Mamitas in Playa del Carmen is the venue for the 2014 Riviera Maya Jazz Festival. The international line up of bands features TAKE 6, Jorge Vercilo, Pat Metheny, Hiram Gómez, Kenny Garrett, Virgil Donati, Chick Corea, Pato Machete and Aguamala. Admission is free and concerts take place on November 27, 28 and 29.

Cozumel Scuba Fest, December 9-14
Mexico’s leading dive festival is set to attract divers from all over the world in a celebration of the beauty of the island’s reefs and the myriad marine creatures that inhabit the coral kingdom. There will be seminars, photo contest, conservation and food events and divers will have the opportunity to explore the new Jean Michel Cousteau Scuba Fest Route, which takes in nine of the island’s loveliest reefs over four days.

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