Villas of the Month
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!

Happy New Year! 2009 is the Year of:

International Year of Astronomy
Copus Year of Science
Year of the Gorilla
International Year of Natural Fibers

According to the Chinese it is the Year of the Ox. The Ox, or the Buffalo sign, symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work.

Akumal turns 50! And Merida turns 467 years young - it was founded in 1542.

Akumal Profiles
Laura as a child

Akumal is turning 50 in 2009 and will be celebrating its birthday by providing interviews, stories and photos from people who have been living or visiting for many years. If you would like to share your story or photos please contact us.

Here are a couple of local newspaper articles about the anniversary. A chance to practice your Spanish: Festejo 50 Años Akumal(PDF) and Esculturas de Arena (PDF).

Laura and son Ryan Meet Laura Bush Wolfe

Laura is a mother, a business person, a philanthropist, an animal lover. She owns Hotel Akumal Caribe, Lol-Ha Restaurant and Super Chomak. She is board chair person of Centro Ecologico Akumal and founder of the Pablo Bush Romero Scholarship Fund. And, perhaps most important to readers, Laura is a staunch supporter of all things that would better Akumal and the surrounding Riviera Maya.

Laura and son Ryan

Dani Knod and Jamie Cost welcomed their daughter, Eden Skye, into the world on December 30, 2008 at 10:06 pm. She is the newest addition to the Akumal community.

Riviera Maya News

Thanks Akumalian for keeping us all aware of the news regarding the highway construction...

Bridge construction in Akumal

Akumal Overpass
Work on the vehicular overpass continues to disrupt the traffic flow in and out of Akumal, and it looks like will be months before this project comes to a conclusion.  They are ‘digging’ on the Akumal Central side of MX307, but on the pueblo side they are constructing the ramp.

Puerto Aventuras Highway Overpass
MX307 at Puerto Aventuras is also getting major construction done.  However, this is much different than in Akumal and Chemuyil.  Here the new overpass is going to part of MX307 vs being a perpendicular overpass, and it seems like it stretches a very long way. This is creating MAJOR traffic delays, as the north and south bound sides of MX307 have been narrowed down to one lane!! The pattern seems to create a long traffic buildup on the south bound side in the morning, and then in the evening “rush hour”, the traffic backs up on the north bound side; on Monday, it was backed up all the way to Barcelo.  It was reported that a trip from Akumal to Playa del Carmen took more than 3 hours (6pm to 9pm) when attempted at that time of the day, mostly due to this construction.

Highway Re-surfacing
The south bound lane of MX307 is being resurfaced with black asphalt in various spots.  A large section is on the stretch around Calica, and it extends for quite a ways.  Other spots are being done, and the surface around the Akumal stretch is being prepared for re-surfacing.  The new surface makes the drive much quieter, and apparently much safer; they are even putting in the white lines.

Fish of the Month

Sac-Be is grateful to Yibrán Aragon for sharing these wonderful fish images.

Dive Tip of the Month

Tip - Why do an 80 foot, 30 minute dive, when you can start at the same depth and multi-level up, extending your bottom time to up to an hour. Our whole dive was beautiful, but we found the two sharks, and the moray eel in our the last half hour of exploration. If we had only done the traditional 80 feet, 30 minutes profile, we would have missed out on the best parts of the dive!
Compliments of Dive with Natalie and Ivan

Also read... Dive with Natalie and Ivan and Jen
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of taking my friend Jen from Turtle Bay Cafe diving with me. We have been friends for years, and last week she finally took the time to join me and I am so glad she did. Ivan and I had her equipment ready as she pulled up at 8:45 and by 9:00 we were descending to the reef... Read More

Of Special Interest

ReInventing Our Lives - Mari Pintkowski - adapted from her book "Embarking on the Mariposa Trail"
We both loved the work we did; I was an early childhood education teacher and consultant, and Lou was a contractor and home-maintenance specialist. We felt the skills we developed during our lifetime would help us when we reinvented our lives. We had researched buying property and retiring outside of the US from many different angles for some years, anticipating the day when we would be free from our jobs...

travel group in Riviera Maya

Group Travel Part 5 - The best thing about Group Travel is you aren't doing it alone, and you can create your own group and decide who and what type of trip it will be, OR you can find one that is in the works and join in without the hassle of doing any of the work. The Mayan Riviera and the states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan are ideal spots for numerous versatile tours.

travel group in Riviera Maya

Heart of the Turtles Not Just a Home - An interview with Sue Beth Van Dongen, the owner of Corazon De La Tortuga in Tankah 3 paraiso, by Rhett Schober.


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:

Tankah & Soliman Bay

Corazon de la Tortuga - Elegant ocated directly on the beach where hundreds of turtles (Loggerheads, Greens and Hawksbill) nest annually. This spectacular and unique location combines both breathtaking beauty and the natural wonders of an intriguing environment unlike any other along the Riviera Maya.

January 2009  

Community News


Challenge Grant - Long time library supporters, Debby and Bruce Oakley, have put up a $2000 U.S. challenge grant to help raise much needed funds for Hekab Be. For every dollar donated to Hekab Be between January 1- February 28, 2009, the Oakleys will match dollar-for-dollar up to $2000. If we are successful in meeting this generous offer, we will have over two and half month’s worth of operating expense funds, putting us in good stead for a prosperous New Year!

Update: Nancy Poor's Necklaces
Check out "Nancy's Necks": necklaces that are for sale at (a) Turtle Bay for the benefit of the beach dogs and local dogs and cats, and (b) next door at Ixchel Boutique for the benefit of the library.  The necklaces have generated over $1,000 for the library!

What is Montessori Preschool? Part 6 - The world is made up of color, size, dimension, shape, sound, touch, taste and smell. The child lives in a world of senses. In order to reach developmental goals in the area of creativity, children need to be able to classify and describe their sensorial experiences. Through sight, touch, sound, taste and smell, the Montessori Sensorial materials enable the child to classify, clarify, and understand the world around him.


Congratulations Playa Caribe and Pablo Diaz, the manager at Playa Caribe, for being the first condo complex to successfully complete CEA’s Akumal Eco-Certification. CEA's criteria consist of four categories: beach management, to protect nesting sea turtles and hatchlings; wastewater management, to protect the aquifer and reef ecosystems; recycling and energy, to reduce the ecological footprint; and environmental education, to increase visitor awareness of specific best practices while in Akumal. Playa Caribe is located on Half Moon Bay in Akumal.

Meanwhile, Hotel Akumal Caribe and Lol-Ha are working hard to become an Eco-Friendly Resort.

Global Conference on Global Warming - July 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. The primary themes of the conference are global warming and climate change, not only in engineering and science but also in all other disciplines.

2008 Turtle Season - According to Armando, coordinator of CEA's Turtle Protection Program this is the latest that nests have been hatching since he has worked in the field.

Q & A with CEA

Question: We live on the Costa Maya, south of Mahahual, and enjoy your newsletter. Occasionally a group of rental quads will drive full speed along the beach in front of our house. Are there any federal laws regarding this activity? There is some turtle nesting in the area, but we have seen none recently - Pat Hadfield

Read Paul's answer and other Q & As

Playa del Carmen

Peanut Shelter - This from Andy and Jen: "As we come to the close of 2008, we look forward to an even better, stronger 2009. Since January 1st of this year we have adopted over 120 dogs and pups to new, loving homes. At present we have 71 dogs in our care, so the work goes on!...Laura has found homes for a huge amount of small, vulnerable kittens and her very successful feral cat spay and neuter program continues to grow. Many thanks to Kelly for her valuable help with this and of course the wonderful vets who give up their time to provide this service at no cost."

Calendar of Events

Merida's Annual Birthday celebration - Jan 3rd - 23rd – 20 days of celebration and its all FREE. over 1,500 artists, musicians, actors, acting companies, choirs, orchestras, bands, dance troops, ... performing in over 200 events.

4th Annual CEA Festival - Recycle, Renew, Restore - Feb 25 and 26, 2009.

2009 Mayakoba Golf Classic - Feb 25- Mar 1. Mexico's only PGA Tour event.

Akumal's 50th Anniversary Celebration - May 29 – June 7. Akumal will celebrate it's 50th. Check back regularly for updates and news.

Grandparents Camp - June 6 - 12. Grab your grandchildren fresh out of school and lets head to Akumal.

Women In Wellness a fun and fitness walk on the wellness side - Oct. 24 - Nov.4. You may also use this opportunity to become a Certified Water Fitness Instructor or get Continuing Educational Credits. We will offer a variety of fun activities including Water activities, fashion shows, yoga, dancing, shopping, side trips and more. Spots are still open.

New Advertiser
Spa Movil Tulum
Spa Movil Tulum - A team of professionals dedicated to healing and well-being utilizing therapies such as different types of massage, steam baths “Temascal”, yoga classes and Mayan ceremonies to unite couples.We offer our services to hotels, private homes or spas in the Riviera Maya.

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