Villas of the Month
Casa Magna Villa Corazon de la Tortuga villa de los Suenos villa Luminosa villa la via
Sponsored by Akumal-Villas

Up & Down the Coast

Welcome to the monthly newsletter from, your source for news, maps and travel information for the Riviera Maya and Costa Maya. If you have a news item, an event you'd like to promote, an article of interest or a comment to make please email us at Enjoy!

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Holidays and a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

We are just two issues shy of two years worth of Newsletters. We have found over the last 22 months that most information from our contributors, supporters, businesses and causes come into us the first of the month. We have decided to push our release date back a little, to the middle of the month. That way we don't leave out any information, so if it seems like our newsletter is a little later in getting to you that is why. Please make a note that if you have an event happening during the first of the month – be sure to get the details to us the month prior to the event, or sooner.

Our World
satellite debris in beach in Costa Maya

Where in the world does all the garbage on the beaches come from? In this case it came from outerspace! An old ariane space satellite that fell back to earth. This photo is compliments of Howie at Xamach Dos. We would like to encourage more people to take some time and help clean up the beaches and send us photos of some of the more unusual pieces you find. Thanks Howie Xamach for sharing this! Read our review of Xamach Dos.

Paul Sanchez-Navarro of CEA tells us: “Here we are, rounding out another year with great excitement as we plan for 2010. In spite of the tumultuous economy of 2009, we are proud to say we have been able to continue our drive to protect Akumal and the surrounding region. Our Marine and Coastal, Sea Turtle, and Water Programs have made many important achievements this year.” Click here to see what those achievements and plans for next year are.

What's New

Lucy's Too Restaurant and Bar, in the Pueblo Akumal, is now open Tuesday to Saturday with Lunch 12 to 5; Happy Hour 5 to 6; Dinner 6 to 10; and Bar 10 to 11. Lucy Too menu

MexicARTE now has a new store in Tulum at La Placita Tulum. It's grand opening was Dec 11. Congratulations! They have such amazing art from all over Mexico created by local artists. Please check it out!

GynnAK new restaurant opened December 7th in Half Moon Bay in Flamingo #8 on the Mangrove side. We wish Gynna all the best. She is a fabulous private chef and now you can enjoy her food anytime.

Congratulations to Natalie and Ivan who got married December 5th in Akumal. Both Natalie and Ivan are contributing writers for

Hotel Akumal Caribe

Hotel Akumal Caribe Sponsor – Special
For a limited time Akumal's signature resort is offering a very special deal! Starting in December receive a 30% discount on hotel rooms booked for September and October 2010. Visit our specials page for details of this very significant offer.

Profiles & Highlights
Cami and Richard Mazzola

Meet Richard and Cami Mazzola
article by Lydia Pontius

They own the Ak Nah Galeria in Akumal (House of the Turtle). If you think you don't know them and don't think you are familiar with Richard's work you will be surprised by the fact that many of the murals in and around Akumal are his.

Eco Paraíso

A Sneak Peek at Eco Paraíso
Three of us headed to Celestún, on the gulf coast, for two nights at Eco Paraíso. It was a special adventure since we had the resort almost entirely to ourselves.

Tuna at John Gray's Place

John Gray's Place
Tucked away on a pretty little pedestrian street, Calle de Cordazon, just off of 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen is a gem of a bar and restaurant.

Dive Tip of the Month
manta ray off Akumal

Tip - If you are lucky enough to see one of these rays, move slowly. Quick movements can be felt by rays and this often scares them away. Also give the the animal space. Though most rays do have stingers, they take a lot of time to grow back and the animal will only use them if it feels trapped or in danger, so do not crowd around them. If you have a group with you, approach slowly from one side, leaving the animal an easy exit so it never feels threatened.

Make every dive count when you Dive with Natalie and Ivan.

A story by Natalie - I had heard that they were not here. I had heard that I would never see one here, but what I had heard was wrong. I have often heard local kids swimming in Akumal Bay call any tiny ray they see a Manta Ray, but a manta ray is something very different from other rays...Rest of the story...

Of Special Interest
Mahahual Beach

Turtle Baths, Silky Clay, and Sister Friendships - by Mari Pintkowski - My brother, four sisters and extended family were visiting our little boutique hotel, La Selva Mariposa, in the jungle near Tulum. I wanted to plan a memorable activity for my special ladies to culminate our reunion. I decided to take a walk next door and chat with my neighbor Maria Hurley. She prepares and packages a product called Mayan Clay, operates a spa on Tulum beach, and is a “goddess” in my eyes.

Manatee off the Yucatan coast

Underseascapes - Manatees - by Steve Dramstad, aka "XcalakSteve" - One of the things I love about diving is you never know what can happen on any dive. In over 20 years of diving I have still just barely scratched the surface of what’s out there.

Yucatan calf

Three Women on the Road: Akumal to Celestun and back - by Lydia Linton Pontius - We can't recommend strongly enough the need for you to jump in a car and just go explore the Yucatán. It is something I try to do every chance I get, whether traveling alone or heading out with loved ones and friends.

Yucatan calf

9th World Wilderness Congress - by Marti Johnston - Last month I had the privilege to attend the 9th World Wilderness Congress in Merida with the generous sponsorship of Akumal Villas and support from Mary Henderson, Ixchel Boutique, and the Lol Ha Friday Happy Hour gang, and some Jen (Turtle Bay) fairy dust! The reason I wished to attend was a focus on Mexico and water.


Sac-be offers free listing of properties along the Riviera Maya. If you would like to have your rental property listed please complete the form on our owner's page. Or, if you are interested in learning more about other advertising opportunities please contact us. The following vacation rental properties were recently listed:

None listed this month? Just a reminder that in these tough times you should take advantage of as many marketing opportunities as possible, and this is a FREE listing service. Come on Owners!


I love you Sac-Be! I relish every issue I get.
Julia at Casa Metamorfosis

Let your feelings, thoughts and photos be shared. Contact us or visit us on facebook.

Coming Soon

Coming next month will be reviews of Vista Del Mar and La Buena Vida in Akumal, a restaurant in Motul and Meson del Marquez in Valladolid - hotel and restaurant.

Remember if you have a story to share just send it to

December 2009 - #23  

Community News


Hekab Be Biblioteca - This year we are trying something new, we asked the kids to write down what they wished for, and we will do our best to get each child that gift. If you are interested in helping us make their wishes come true, please check our blog for the list of gifts requested by the kids.

teacher with student

What is Montessori Preschool #13 - by Eleanor Zucker - The Montessori guide is the child’s supporter in the most profound sense, by completely respecting the personality and existence of every child.

Playa del Carmen

It was brought to our attention by Dr. Bernardo, that there allegedly is an American Doctor, Dr. Richard Dye, practicing in Playa Del Carmen who is not licensed in Mexico and apparently his license was revoked in the US. Dr. Bernard's office sent these links to confirm the allegations. We thought it was important for the safety of our readers to pass this information on. More info

Updates on Causes
Akumal Toy Drive

Akumal Toy Drive - Please drop off your toys at TSA or Pueblito Market. Help bring a smile to lots of children's faces January 6th!!! Since January 2006 these wonderful volunteers have been bringing toys and gifts left by the Three Kings to local children.

CEA 5th Annual Festival is scheduled for February 17th and 18th. Make your reservations now to be there! If you would like to volunteer or contribute to the silent auction please contact

Peanut Pet Shelter... I am pleased to share this news on a very personal level. When I first visited Peanut Pet Shelter there were lots of great animals I had the opportunity to meet; however, one touched me in a very special way. His name was Tiger and I am so delighted that he has been adopted. You can read about Tiger and more stories on Peanut Pet Shelter's new blog.

VIDAS clinics scheduled for 2010 in Playa Del Carmen and Bacalar. Sherry Steven's is now a VIDAS Board Member – congratulations, she has been involved with helping animals since before VIDAS in the days of YARF. To learn more visit their new and improved website


Coco's Cat Rescue's Cookbook is on sale now! It's here! Coco's Cat Rescue's very own cookbook, with 123 scrumptious recipes lovingly submitted by Coco's supporters! Lots of pictures of adorable cats, dogs, one horse and even a coatimundi! Only $20 USD or $250 MXN! Buy 5 Get 1 Free!! That's $100 USD for 6 cookbooks! Makes a great Holiday gift or stocking stuffer! 100% of proceeds benefit the programs of Coco's Cat Rescue in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

On sale at the Luna Blue Hotel in Playa del Carmen beginning Tuesday, November 30th.

Anat Kah in Puerto Aventuras is planning three community activities this holiday season to bring relief, smiles and color to residents of Puerto Aventuras through the following activities:

  • Distribution of holiday food and gift packages to local families in particular need;
  • Construction and mural painting of the wall surrounding the Telesecundaria (middle school) in the Poblado; and
  • Donation of goodie-filled piñatas to all preschool and elementary school classrooms in the Poblado for Three Kings Day celebrations.

Non-perishable food, new clothing, toys and shoes, along with monetary donations, are needed to support these projects.  If you are interested in giving this holiday season please view this PDF for more information.

Calendar of Events

Once a week Salsa Lessons at LolHa in Akumal.

Sunday Mornings at 11AM at the Akumal, Arch Gynna Sainz, the Sexy Snake, is offering Belly Dancing Lessons for 100 pesos each class. This is a great way to get some exercise and have lots of fun. Also find out how Gynna got into Belly Dancing.

December 19th from 5-8pm, Come Help Celebrate the Christmas Posada at Otoch Paal. There will be dancing, singing, and regional food for sale.

December 22nd at 3:30pm, Hekab Be Biblioteca in Akumal will have its Christmas celebration. PLEASE JOIN US IF YOU ARE IN TOWN! There will be singing, an exposition of Christmas-themed art work by the children, and readings of the winning stories from our Christmas Story Contest. And of course, gifts will be given to the kids, and treats will be shared.

Hekab Be still needs about 30 Christmas gifts for the kids (and only a week until the party)-- please consider giving if you can, every little bit counts!

Holidays, Turtle Bay Cafe in Akumal will be offering their Christmas Eve dinner and breakfast take outs. They are closed Christmas day but open New Year's Eve breakfast, lunch and dinner and on New Year's breakfast and dinner only

New Years Eve, John Gray restaurant group is pleased to invite you to the new year`s eve culinary celebration at John Gray’s Place in Playa del Carmen. Renowned chef and restaurateur John Gray has created a contemporary bistro style degustation menu to celebrate the New Year

February 25-28, John Gray Restaurant Group will participate in Prestigious 2010 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine Magazine. The acclaimed Restaurateur will represent the World-Class Cuisine from the Mexican Caribbean. More info

April 2010 - International Sea Turtle Symposium will take place at Goa, India. CEA's Sea Turtle Program will present information on our conservation efforts to protect Akumal's turtles.

Make your own Special Event any night by having a Romantic Dinner for two on the beach at Lol Ha.

New Advertisers

Ak Nah Galeria - in Akumal, featuring the art of Richard Mazzola. Mention the Sac-be ad and get 10% discount on your purchase!

Eco Paraiso - in Celestun, at one of the most fascinating Mexican biological reserves, nestled on a 3 mile virgin beach, Hotel Eco Paraiso offers spacious attractively furnished bungalows, each overlooking the emerald green Gulf of Mexico.

Tell a friend about Home Page Subscribe to this newsletter

This newsletter is sent as a courtesy to our subscribers. is owned by Sac-Be International, Inc. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list please email and type UNSUBSCRIBE on the subject line.