Villas of the Month
Villa Primos Taj-kumal Villa Solymar Casa Caleta Casablanca
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 e-mail us at Enjoy!

We hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day. Though February is short, the days are starting to get a little longer, especially for those living in areas in the North. It is also time for school vacations and trips to warmer climates. We have lots of events in February to remind people about.

Judy with Pelican in Akumal

Judy Withington, long time Akumalian and friend to all she met, known most for her bright smile and charismatic personality, entered into eternal rest on February 15, 2011. She will be missed by many but heaven shines brighter with her presence. Fitting for Judy, all of nature came to welcome her to the next stage. According to her daughter who said "Amazingly, once Mom took a turn for the worse, she also spent the past week surrounded by her other 'friends'. We hadn't seen much wildlife at her home in quite some time. The universe conspired to welcome her home and suddenly we were all surrounded by swans, ducks, squirrels, a fox, chipmunks and other small birds. They all came to welcome her back to nature! From the squirrels who scurried around and peeked into her bedroom slider to the swans who stood guard outside her kitchen window all day and night, they all came to be with her. She was surrounded by a tremendous amount of love from all walks of life."

What's New

Things just got happier in Akumal. For the month of February Lol-Ha has added an additional Happy Hour. Join them at the Beach Bar from 5:30–6:30 as always, and then wander over to the new deck at the Lol-Ha Restaurant for Happy Hour from 6:30-7:30.

Traffic safety is, as always, a cause of concern for those living along the North Akumal road. Myrna Bush, owner of Taj-Kumal, has written a piece about her love/hate relationship with topes. Read more ...

After a long struggle in the courts, and with the uncertainty that the history of Mexican courts predominantly have, 15 foreign nationals (American, Canadian, German/Spanish and a South American, among them) have finally seen "light at the end of the tunnel." They have won their first court case to recover their deposit and also get compensated for damages and non-performance of contract on part of a developer. Read more ...

Want to make a little extra money? Sac-Be is looking for people to sell advertising on commission. Most of the work will be done through the Internet or when you are out about your life, enjoying the area. Contact us to learn more ...

Great new Lolha menu item at Hotel Akumal Caribe, now including free breakfast and Internet access.

Costa Maya
Hotel Laguna Bacalar

Hotel Laguna Bacalar Review - by Lydia Linton Pontius
South of the Riviera Maya and inland from the Costa Maya is a huge lake known for its seven colors of blue. This lake, with a series of small rivers and smaller lakes, connects to Chetumal Bay, which borders Belize. It is a gorgeous lake, and if you have never been there it is well worth the trip. There are a number of stores, shops and restaurants to visit as well as an old Spanish fort. Just south of the lake, and near the Hotel Laguna Bacalar, is Cenote Azul ...

Mahahual carnival

Carnival in Mahahual - by Barb Eller
You have never been to a carnival until you have been to a Mahahual Carnival. Last year was the first time I actually took part in one and what a blast it was!

Following the Sac Be
Cenote Azul

Puerta Calakmul - by Lydia Linton Pontius
Heading south from Laguna Bacalar, we pass by Cenote Azul; I make a note to stop there next time. But this trip we are on our way to the state of Campeche and I am anxious to get on the road. We are going to Calakmul, about a three-hour drive. Another note to self: Next time it might be wise to fill up the tank and stop at the ATM in Bacalar, or swing through Chetumal, before heading off to places unknown...

Diablo in San Felipe

San Felipe - by Michelle Michaels
If you’re looking to get away from the masses of floppy hats and Hawaiian shirts and want to escape that overwhelming smell of sunscreen that wafts off the large groups of tourists at places like Xcaret and Xplore, then a trip to San Felipe is what you need. Anything but a “Spring Break” destination, San Felipe is far enough away from the desperate vendors of Playa del Carmen yelling, “Bonita! Come in!” as they try to sell you a sarong...

Mayapan ruins

A Two-Day Getaway: Travels in the Mayan Interior - by MARI PINTKOWSKI
After serving breakfast to our B&B guests, who would soon be departing, Lou took them on a tour of the property to see all the plants, water features and progress on the cenote we were digging while I reviewed our maps and tour guides. When Lou returned, I showed him a possible route. I imagined he would think it was way too ambitious for a two-day journey, but on the contrary; we were on the road within an hour heading west toward Merida.

Of Special Interest
diving in cenotes

Dive Tip: There are several cenotes which non-divers can snorkel. I like Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos for snorkeling. To dive a cenote, you need to be at least Open Water certified and have good buoyancy. On a dive vacation, plan to dive in the ocean first. This way you can fine-tune your buoyancy before you dive in the enclosed spaces of the cenotes. It is important not to hurt the rock formations or stir up the bottom of a cenote. It is an overhead environment and there is added risk, which is why a maximum of 4 divers can go with a full cave-certified guide, who should be wearing double tanks and other specialty gear. Cenotes - Natural Wonders by Natalie Novak.

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

Team Work in Real Estate - by Enrique (Henry) Saldana
And now you may request a CMA from your Riviera Maya Realtors. YES, now there is a real MLS (Multiple Listing Service) System just like in the ones you have seen in the USA and Canada, which you may request your realtor to use to show you property for sale in the area. You may even access most of the active listings in the area for yourself.


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.


Casa Libelula - A budget-minded casita is perfect for those who want to spend more time in paradise or simply to come more frequently. The casita is purposely uncluttered to keep your mind and spirit free to enjoy your stay in Tulúm.

Soliman Bay

Casa Nah Uxibal - Sits on the white sands along the magnificent waters of beautiful Soliman Bay, just 10 minutes south of Akumal. Five unique units can accommodate anywhere from 1–14 people. The casitas are a great romantic getaway for couples and honeymooners.

New Contributors
Trish Bennett

Trish Bennett lives in Maryland with her husband, Chad, and their three dogs, Christine, Chiquita & Rita. She works for State Farm Insurance and has been traveling to Mexico for twelve years.

Michelle Michaels

Michelle Michaels moved to Akumal after graduating from Boston University in May 2010, where she majored in Philosophy and Political Science. A bit of a nomad, she's lived in various U.S. states as well as having a short childhood stint in Budapest, Hungary.

Paul Sanchez Navarro

Tips from CEA - We continue our series of tips and information from Paul Sánchez-Navarro, CEA's Director. We asked him to explain to us what sustainability is, and here is his answer.

Rhett Schober

Video from Akumal Villas, follow Rhett's adventures each month here. In this video, he takes us to dinner at Villa Caleta.

February 2011 - #37

Community News

Akumal child with drawing

Update from the Hekab Be Library by Eleanor Zucker - About once a year, HB staff go through our book collection and take out any titles of which we have multiple copies to distribute to other area schools and libraries. Most libraries and schools in the region have very limited book collections, so they look forward to these donations and are thrilled to be able to expand their book offerings to their patrons and students.

Akumal Yoga Update - Sasha Sundari has added two more classes to round out a great schedule. One is Yoga and Meditation on Wednesday evenings. Doña Yoga (Leticia) is building a nice group with her classes in español. Sasha and Michael Stewart have teamed up to become kirtan walas! Their name is Matrika, great mother. They will be playing and singing when Amma's delegate Swami Dayamrita Chaitanya is in Cancún Saturday, February 19 at 6 PM. This is the address: Plaza Zona Zentro 2do Nivel, Av. Kabah Esp. Holbox Sm13. There are some other possible February dates for them.

If you are on Facebook, Yoga en Akumal now has a page. This a great way to stay posted on what's going on, as well as our Web site.


Eve is two months old and up for adoption. Her mom was poisoned in Cozumel and she was bottle fed along with her brothers and sisters. Eve is now spayed, vaccinated and ready to be adopted.

Costa Maya Living advertisement
detained pooches

Helping Mexico's Dogs by Trish Bennett - How many times have you seen a stray dog wandering the streets in Mexico? Chances are, the encounters are endless. The dog situation in the Riviera Maya is very upsetting to many tourists and locals. There are hundreds of dogs wandering the streets without food, water, shelter, medical care or a family of their own. Ricardo Pimentel and his family are trying to change this situation.

Coco's logo

Coco's Cat Rescue - is accepting donations for their upcoming auction and fundraiser in March.

SPAY - Congratulations to SPAY for their Clinic in Tulúm this month.

Calendar of Events
salsa lessons

Every Thursday - Hekab Be Salsa Lessons, 6 PM

February 19 & 20 - Think Green Expo in Playa del Carmen - Think Green Eco Expo will explore the services and products available in Mexico to start or continue living an eco-friendly lifestyle. This year our main expo area will hold 25–35 exhibitors, as well as an additional Natural Restaurant and Health & Wellness Center with over 50 participants overall.

February 21 - The next scheduled meeting of the Akumal Council General Membership is on Monday, February 21, at 10 AM at CEA. This meeting will be preceded by a Community Workshop at 9:30.

February 23-27 - PGA golf tournament at Mayakoba

February 24 - CEA's Silent Auction at CEA's Information Center starts at 10 AM, continues through a wine and cheese cocktail party at 6:30 PM, and ends at 8:30 PM. Throughout the week CEA's staff will be holding lectures, workshops and activities.

February 27 - Don’t miss out on the Annual Red Carpet Event at Lol-Ha, to cast your vote, impersonate your favorite star, or just come have fun and help a good cause. The 83rd Academy Awards night, February 27, at Lol-Ha is guaranteed to be a good time.

March 3 - CEA Festival Gala Dinner at the CEA Center - There will be a Live Auction during the dinner entertainment. Contact CEA directly to make your reservations.

March 11 - Art Auction at Lol-Ha Beach Bar to benefit Hekab Be

March 20 - Ak Lu'um International School, Mexico's first ecological school, invites all Riviera Maya athletes and families to participate in the second annual BuyPlaya's 5K "Run for Ak Lu'um". Sponsored by Playa del Carmen's leading real estate company, BuyPlaya Real Estate Advisors, the race will take place on March 20 at 8 AM sharp.

May 20–22 - Green Expo in Tulúm will be celebrating its fourth 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.

Daily - Yoga en Akumal now has yoga 7 days a week. Stop by to check the schedule.

New Feedback

Here's what folks are saying ... this is why we do this!

I enjoyed this, Lydia; good job!!

If you would like to let someone know about this newsletter, enter your friend's e-mail address and click "E-mail Friend." For more than one friend, please separate each e-mail address with a comma (no spaces). The following message will be sent:

"This is a newsletter about the Riviera Maya and Costa Maya in Mexico I think you might enjoy."

Special Note: The e-mail addresses you provide are not saved and will not be used in any other way.

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 e-mail and type UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.