Villas of the Month
Casa Magna Villa Corazon de la Tortuga villa de los Suenos villa Luminosa villa la via
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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 email us at Enjoy!

Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo. May 2010 be full of happiness, love and good cheer.

mayan calendar
According to the Mayan 13 Year Count Down:
Year 11. Beginning December 21, 2009
Mayan Astrology Count - 9 EB - A year of great solar influence. A year to empower free will and expand wisdom. A relaxed, courteous and careful year. A year to empower the formulation of new ideas. We may be overly sensitive, touchy and easily hurt this year, but will also be ambitious and hard-working. Work on issues of inner anger versus the desire for peace, as well as self-interest versus self-sacrifice. Learn to empower feelings and foster purifying and healing actions.

Kiche Count - 13 KAT (cat) Modern/Yucatec translation - Kan (seed) - A year to uncover that which is hidden. KAT is represented by a net and makes this a year to collect information. Can be quite a difficult year filled with what we might consider punishments or tests, but also can be filled with effortless abundance. Watch out for arising demanding, hoarding natures. KAT is a good protector as it focuses on survival issues and will also activate a desire to improve ourselves with education, purifying our bodies, and working to improve our spiritual life. New inspiring ideas will emerge this year. We will set high goals and will work and achieve these goals with passion. A high-strung year that may be hard on the nervous system.

What's New

Who bought their tickets to Elton John at Chichén-Itzá? We would love to hear from you and get a full report after the concert. 

For those of you who have not had a chance to see photos of Natalie and Ivan's wedding, here are just a few.

The Isthmus, a just-released book about a little-known area of Mexico. Far from the beaten track, The Isthmus has a blend of history and culture unique in Mexico. The author, Bruce Stores, is a retired expat living in Oaxaca. Read a summary of this book.

There are now two new sections for just reviews in - Restaurant Reviews and Lodging Reviews.

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.

La Buena Vida

La Buena Vida
Whether you are in Akumal for a short day visit or an extended vacation, you will want to check out this eclectic bar and restaurant. Located on Half Moon Bay in Akumal it offers a wide variety of feel and flavors that are sure to please everyone.

Marquez in Valladolid

El Mesón del Marqués Hotel and Restaurant
Staying here is not only like taking a step back in time but it is like exploring a museum. I can't help but wonder what it must have been like in the early years of Valladolid.

Vista del Mar

Vista del Mar in Akumal
The condo is located directly on the beach in Half Moon Bay. At Vista del Mar you have your choice of small, efficient hotel rooms or 2- and 3-bedroom condos. All of them are located directly on the beach.

Dive Tip of the Month
10 year old's first dive

Tip - No matter what age you are, there are some health questions you need to answer before learning to dive. If you have any concerns, check with your doctor at your next check-up and, if you are cleared to go, have your doctor write you a note saying that your doctor finds no reason why you should not be able to dive. It is better to have this note and not need it, then to not have it and spend a few hours in Paradise getting a check-up. For further information read YOUNG AT HEART UNDERWATER

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

Of Special Interest
monkey in tree near Tulum

Monkeys in the Wild, just one hour from Tulum - by Mari Pintkowski - Everyone loves monkeys, especially when you are lucky enough to get a peek at them frolicking in the wild. There is just such a place, El Santuario de los monos arañas, in Punta Laguna just thirty minutes from our little B&B in Macario Gomez, La Selva Mariposa.

Harlequin Bass off the Yucatan coast

Underseascapes - Tropical Fish - by Steve Dramstad, aka "XcalakSteve" - Thought I would start out January with just a few shots of some fairly common but beautiful fish found down here.

Bahia Principe golf course

Tee Time at Gran Bahía Príncipe Golf Resort - by Jen at Chan Chemuyil - We departed our residence in Chan Chemuyil and our foursome drove just 2 miles north to check in for our 9:04 tee time at the brand new Gran Bahía Príncipe Golf Resort. It was December 17, 2009 and the first nine holes of the course had been open for just two days.

Xamach beach

Musings on the Boca Paila - by Howie Xamach - The road is always the same really. The travelers just have a different opinion of it than people who live here. There are long stretches of deep holes that appear to be the size of Crater Lake after a rain, mixed with short spots when I can hit 25 km/h ...

painting by Richard Mazzola

The Mask: inspired by the work of Richard Mazzola at Ak-Nah Galería - by Lydia Linton Pontius - The mask appeared magical. On some level it seemed to speak to me in an almost mesmerizing way as I gazed into it, on the door of Ak-Nah Galería in Akumal. This is a wooden mask that Richard Mazzola purchased from a local artist at Chichén-Itzá.

old doll with Mayan kids

Los Muñecos Viejos (The Old Dolls) - by Mari Pintkowski - While you were bringing in the new year with a champagne toast, a bit of confetti and a kiss between loved ones, my Mayan neighbors were burning the muñecos (dolls) they had created with clothing discards, a bit of stuffing, a ball or pumpkin for a head and some empty beer or tequila bottles.


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:


Casa Secreto and Casitas Tranquilidad - A "tucked away" kind of place that's stylish, comfortable, and affordable. Yal Ku Laguna is 1/2 block away from the Tranquilidad properties.

Soliman Bay

Villa Dolce Vita - A true beachfront bed & breakfast with a pool on beautiful, tranquil Soliman Bay. The 2 guest rooms for rent are in a building that is right on the beach and separate from the main house.


Facebook Question of the Month: What is one word that describes the Maya Riviera to you?
Bill Johnson says, "Magic" and Marti Johnston and Irene Kott Ritz agree. Here's a link to the rest of the story.

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

January 2010 - #24  

Community News

kids playing at library in Akumal, Mexico

Hekab Be Biblioteca - As we enter a new year, we'd like to take the time to acknowledge and show our appreciation for all the many different ways that our library supporters and friends help out. From the small to the large, whether people bring us special items for the kids, make a donation of cash or used clothing, or share an afternoon, week or month of their time volunteering with us, all these acts of generosity are what makes Hekab Be work! Without your thoughtfulness, your kind-heartedness, and your warmth of spirit, we would not be able to continue functioning.

Montessori student breakfast in Akumal

Akumal's Montessori Celebrates Close of Year - by Eleanor Zucker - Students and teachers from Otoch Paal Montessori celebrated their 4th annual Desayuno Elegante (elegant or formal breakfast) at Bahía Príncipe Tulum on December 15, 2009. Bahía Príncipe graciously provided transportation to and from the school, as well as hosted the Montessori children and staff for an elaborate breakfast in one of their formal dining rooms.

student at new Montessori in Tulum

Xaman Ek Montessori in Tulum - On December 18, 2009, the Xaman Ek Montessori School held its inauguration in Tulum. The school's educational philosophy is based in Montessori teaching, which is committed to guiding children through the first years of life. The school currently serves children ages 18 months through 4 years old.

Pet of the Month

Our pet this month came to us from Lucy James, owner of Lucy's Kitchen and Lucy's Too, and long-time animal lover and protector. Box-Ni, Mayan for Black Nose, is about 4 months old and sits, is affectionate and responsive, and has no bad habits at all, according to Lucy. She gets along with everyone and loves to play! She is from a litter in the pueblo and was left to forage for food at about 8 or 10 weeks old. She was wandering into the busy main road when Lucy rescued her. She needs a good home, vaccinations and to be fixed—a small price to pay for a great dog.

Updates on Causes
Peanut Pet Shelter fundraising bracelet

Peanut Pet Shelter I am pleased to share this news on a very personal level. Show your support for Peanut Pet Shelter by wearing a Peanut Pet Shelter Supporter's Bracelet. Just tie it on and leave it on! Made of cotton yarn over a sturdy flexible base, each one is individually handmade in Playa del Carmen.

VIDAS free spay and neuter clinics are scheduled for 2010. January 8–17 will be their first of the year in Bacalar. They will return to Playa in the summer and Cozumel November 3-7. To learn more about this great organization and their clinics, visit their new and improved web site

pet tag from coco's

Coco's Cat Rescue announces its new Pet ID Tag program. Effective immediately, every kitten they re-home will be given a SAFETY snap release collar along with an ID tag bearing Coco's phone number, logo and a unique pet ID number.

Calendar of Events

Once-a-week Salsa Lessons at Lol Ha in Akumal.

Thursdays Music with dinner at Lol Ha.

By request for groups of 4 or more, Gynna Sainz, the Sexy Snake, is offering Belly Dancing Lessons for 100 pesos per class. This is a great way to get some exercise and have lots of fun. Also, find out how Gynna got into Belly Dancing.

January-March, Sustainable Living Workshops in Playa del Carmen.

Feb 17 and 18, Fifth Annual CEA Festival in Akumal - There will be a lot of great activities, as well as their annual Silent Auction and Gala Event. Stay tuned!

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.

April 3, Elton John concert at Chichén-Itzá.

Summer, Turtle Trip is in the works with Just Imagine Vacations and Centro Ecologico Akumal. It is a great group trip for all ages and will include snorkeling tours, turtle talks, turtle walks and more. Contact for more information.

October/November, Women In Wellness 2nd Annual Retreat is in the works. To participate, contact Just Imagine Vacations.

November 21, Second Annual Taste of Playa is scheduled. Mark your calendar; it is going to be delicious.

REMINDER: If you have any events coming up in 2010 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.

New Contributor
Howie Xamach

Howie Xamach has joined us as a contributing writing from Xamach Dos in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere. We are excited to welcome him aboard and look forward to his humor and news from within the biosphere.

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