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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 e-mail us at Enjoy!

Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year. We wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season and new year. Please remember those people and animals less fortunate than you. Any little bit helps; to learn more about the great causes in the area, please visit our Causes section.

New for 2011, we are working on a new look for our Web site, one designed with you in mind. Please take a moment and send us an e-mail or visit us on facebook, and let us know what your favorite sections on Sac-Be are, what you like and want us to keep, and what you would love to see us add. We look forward to your feedback and input.

What's New

Gynn'AK, Akumal's Mexican fusion restaurant, is now open for lunch and dinner - Noon–8 PM. Visit them on Facebook.

Remember to learn more about what is happening and the comings and goings in Akumal, check out the latest issue of The Akumalian.

And now there is a new Akumal Crossword Puzzle to keep our minds sharp.

Taste of Playa

Taste of Playa was a huge success. The local restaurants, bars and food retailers represented this year offered truly world class dishes for food lovers from across the globe who came to enjoy the Caribbean sun and experience the best of traditional Mexican and international cuisine.

One of our most popular articles was Mari Pintkowski's Beach Clubs of Tulum from February 2009. Well, she has just sent us an updated Beach Clubs of Tulúm for 2011. Check it out. It has lots of great information and, if you have a little extra time, compare the two and see what has changed.

Hotel Akumal Caribe has a variety of rooms from Garden Bungalows to Oceanfront Hotel Rooms. Three of their Hotel Rooms are Vista View, which have two private balconies, both with ocean views, and a few extra amenities to make your stay in paradise just a little closer to heaven!

Lodging Reviews
Lydia at Balamku

Balamku Inn on the Beach - by Lydia Linton Pontius
There is an ahhh moment that happens after the long drive down a great paved road heading east from Limones, as you pass through sleepy Mahahual and head on to the Balamku Inn, and you feel tension melt away ...

Hotel Akumal Caribe

Hotel Akumal Caribe News
Lol-Ha has opened up a taco cart beside Cyber Beach Gelato and Café! Now you can experience Mexican street food on the beach and head over for dessert next door! Try our fresh variety of tacos, empanadas, grilled green onions, and our delicious salsas! All with homemade corn tortillas or flour tortillas! Eat right there, or take them to your favorite spot on the beach!

AND – starting in 2011, rooms at HAC will include free breakfast and Internet access.

Costa Maya
Mahahual, MX

Mahahual: City of Two Tales - by Lydia Linton Pontius
We arrived in Mahahual in the middle of the afternoon; all was quiet. It had been 10 years since my last visit and I was amazed at how much new development was there. Years ago there were two small restaurants on the beach in this tiny fishing village. Now there were lots of new buildings and more roads, but we didn't see a lot of people or much traffic. Parking was easy and no one was on the streets. It was still quiet and sleepy.

Of Special Interest
Night Dive

Barbara's Night Dive - by Barbara Eller
What a beautiful morning. The sunrise was filled with strips of pink and blue, with not a cloud in sight. The water is calm and clear, so flat you think it is glass and can walk on it—a wonderful way to start the day. But I want to tell you about the dive I did the night before ...

In Times of Change - by Enrique (Henry) Saldana
My ample experience of 23+ years in the mortgage and real estate business combined and of having experienced and seen big companies, overnight success realtors, and many real estate practitioners come and go in the industry, both now in Mexico and before in the USA, give me a wider view of the real estate industry direction in our area.

special honeymoon in  Mahahual

A Special Honeymoon Story from Balamku - by Carol at Balamku
Imagine a reservation from a honeymoon couple who specifically request not only a room, but a desire to help children in the local area! The couple from Toronto, Canada, wanted to make their wedding plans as much about helping others as possible. Alana and Blair contacted us at Balamku Inn on the Beach with this request.

Lydia Pontius in Calakmul

Safe Travels - by Lydia Linton Pontius
After 10 days in Akumal, my friend and co-worker Alex and I headed off on a week-long adventure. Yes, two women, in a rented car, headed south and inland. Let me assure you the only trouble I found was due to my own klutziness, and everyone who knows me, knows it is what happens anywhere I am ...


Sac-Be offers free listings for properties along the Riviera Maya and Costa 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.

Eco Tips

CEA's Paul Sánchez-Navarro shares snorkeling tips for seeing sea turtles in Akumal Bay.

December 2010 - #35

Community News

Akumal child and Christmas candy

Update from the Hekab Be Library by Eleanor Zucker - Library news and more ... If you are coming to Akumal before December 19 and would like to bring gifts for the kids, check our Christmas Wish List Blog for suggested items.

Centro Ecológico Akumal's Annual Festival is approaching!!! Please put these dates in your calendar: Silent Auction & Cocktails - 24 February and Live Auction & Gala Dinner - 3 March.

Playa del Carmen
family eco challenge

On Sunday, December 5, 2010, parents and children from all across the Riviera Maya and as far away as Mexico City gathered together at Ak Lu'um International School in Playa del Carmen, to participate in the 1st annual Family Eco-Challenge, a contest that invited families to design and build a unique toy or game that encourages play without doing harm to the environment.

Ristorante da Bruno

Ristorante da Bruno, the oldest Italian restaurant in Playa del Carmen, this past week opened their new Wine Bar & Martini Lounge. The restaurant is located in a prime spot in Playa—on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street—and they recently added a patio on 12th Street, turning it into a cozy little Wine Bar & Martini Lounge! The menu offers guests more than 50 signature martinis, and Italian wines by the glass from small, but well-known, production houses in Italy, shipped directly from the vintner. So they are in prime condition to savor with a menu of light bocadillos/appetizers.

Puerto Aventuras

A note from Christina Alexander of Anat Kah - "We have enjoyed the support of so many community members and friends over the past year, and we are grateful this holiday season for all of the goodwill that we have received.

 As you make your last minute charitable donations this December, consider supporting the children, families and community of Puerto Aventuras by giving to 
Anat Kah. 

All gifts received between now and the end of the year will be matched by a kind donor, so don't wait - give today."


Our Pet of the Month is from Peanut Pet Shelter. Frodo came to us a tiny underfed puppy. He was covered in mange and ticks but, after a couple of months of love and care, he bloomed into a gorgeous little guy. It was only days after he was put up for adoption that a family came along and fell for his cute face. We were all so happy that he had his forever home. Then about two months later, I arrived at the shelter gates to find a very distressed, skinny young dog apparently waiting to go in. It took a few minutes but I realized it was Frodo, and what a sad mess the little guy was in. Again he had mange and he looked like he had not eaten in days. Well, Frodo is still with us, now a full-grown and very handsome young guy. Please consider giving Frodo a second chance. All he needs is love!

Costa Maya Living advertisement

Here's a reminder that the new year is approaching fast, and a good way to support these great causes is to buy their calendars. CEA has their first calendar now available and you can purchase it by stopping by the CEA office.

Coco's Cat Rescue has calendars for sale, as well.

Coco's Cat Rescue needs help! Peanut Pet Shelter had to close its doors to cats and luckily Coco's was there to help. With more cats than ever, they need your help.

ViDAS is coming to Bacalar in January to do a Free Spay and Neuter Clinic. To learn more, check out

Calendar of Events

December 22 – Celebrate Gynn'AK's First Anniversary with great food and Belly Dancing by the Sexy Snake.

December 24 & 31 – Lol-Ha will host two wonderful holiday events: Christmas Eve Dinner and New Year's Eve.

March 19-21 - Green Expo in Tulúm will be celebrating its 4th year. Mark your calendars. It will be a great GREEN EXPO!

REMINDER: If you have any events coming up in 2011, please send us the information so we can get it posted on our Events Calendar.

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

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