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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 New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo! We hope everyone had a great New Year's and that it continues to bring you good health, prosperity, love, laughter and great memories. Memories are what drive Sac-Be and we are looking forward to another wonderful year with the contributions and support of all of you. This year we will be redesigning our Web site, doing more with video, adding new writers and contributors, and branching out into more of the original Sac-be. Enjoy, and if you aren't already a supporter or contributor, make 2011 the year you become one!

We are a little late in getting this issue of the Newsletter out and we apologize for that. The publishers were on a much-needed vacation in San Francisco, and ran into some familiar faces from Akumal: Sherwood and Bob Anders, whom we would like to thank for being such great chauffeurs and for the private tour of Anchor Steam!; and Lucy James, who was able to meet us in Sonoma. She took time out of her busy life, between returning from Akumal and getting ready to start school. Lucy is studying the art and science of winemaking—we wish her good luck!

What's New

A fabulous new clothes line made in Akumal is available at Ixchel Boutique. Read more about this in Made in Akumal—a New Fashion Venture by Mary Henderson.

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

Kevin McKee, AKA Redbeard

Meet Kevin McKee, AKA Redbeard - by Lydia Linton Pontius
If you have been to Akumal in the last 20 years, there is a very good chance you have met, or certainly heard of, Redbeard, born Kevin McKee. In Akumal it is like six degrees of another Kevin—Bacon; it seems everyone can be linked to Kevin McKee in six links or fewer. To play the game, we will allow electronics or cars to be connectors ...

Rooms at Hotel Akumal Caribe now include free breakfast and Internet access.

Costa Maya
Casas Carolina, Xcalak, MX

Casa Carolina Review - Xcalak - by Lydia Linton Pontius
Xcalak is a place where time stands still. So little has changed that it is easy to catch up with the progress. And catching up is on a much more personal level here. It includes facts such as, young Toby grew up, left Xcalak to work and learn a trade, and returned to open his own restaurant. Driving on the beach road through Xcalak to Casa Carolina, I noticed a few new homes and was delighted that no large development has moved in. I sincerely hope it stays this way.

Toby's Restaurant, Xcalak, MX

Toby's Restaurant - by Lydia Linton Pontius
Fresh Fish and Good Home Cooking. Toby is a local who left Xcalak to gain his cooking and business experience, and returned to open his restaurant in his mother's home. He is one of the most ambitious and friendly owners/cooks you will meet. The food is excellent. When we went, he had no flan, so he special-ordered it from his mother and promised it for lunch the next day.

Dive Tip
Christmas Tree Worm

Dive Tip: If you want to see a Christmas tree worm withdraw, you can do so without causing any damage to the animal or the coral. Gently fan water towards the little Christmas trees without touching them or the coral, and they will pop out of sight. If you wait a while and stay still, they will slowly reappear. For more, read Experience a New World by Natalie Novak.

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

Of Special Interest
Rain Dive

Diving in the Rain - by Barbara Eller
What do divers do when it rains? They go diving, of course! Oh, come on now, we are already wet, so why not? Of course, I am not talking about a storm with lightning and thunder, just a nice light, gentle rain ...

I am constantly asked this question by clients wanting to obtain a mortgage to purchase property in Mexico, and my common response is, the bank does not require title insurance to close the deal, which is naturally a fact. However, to give a more appropriate answer to this question I did some research and came across the following document ...

Gynna Sainz

Gynn'AK Celebrates First Anniversary - by Gynna Sainz
I opened Gynn'AK on Dec. 7, 2009. This year I was working and realized that I had had my restaurant for exactly a year!! Later that day I was speaking with my brother, and I commented to him that it was my one-year anniversary. He congratulated me and then I saw the light! ...


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.

Playa del Carmen

Acanto Boutique Hotel - You'll find the finest in Playa del Carmen hotel accommodations at Acanto Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of the Playa del Carmen. Our boutique offerings include private and charming 1, 2 and 3-bedroom luxury condos just steps away from trendy Fifth Avenue and the lovely, white sandy beaches of Playa del Carmen.


Casa Elfrieda - This 2-bedroom, 1-bath, very affordable home is located in Chan Chemuyil, next to the small village of Chemuyil.

Paul Sanchez Navarro

Tips from CEA - This month Paul describes some of the craziest things he has seen in the bay, and how we can help.

Rhett Schober

Video from Akumal Villas, follow Rhett's adventures each month here. In this video, he takes us to Akumal Beach. Please note how tourists walk in flippers.

January 2011 - #36

Community News

Akumal child and Christmas candy

Update from the Hekab Be Library by Eleanor Zucker - Library news and more ... The week of January 10, a group of students from the University of Minnesota spent a couple hours a day helping out at the library. Every year students come to volunteer at Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA), and through the library's ongoing collaboration with CEA, the students found their way to HB last year where they helped us put up a tire swing.

CEA's priorities for 2011:

  • Create a Sea Turtle Refuge;
  • Improve marine ecosystem management in all of Akumal's bays
  • Protect the surrounding fragile jungle and mangrove
  • Install a new wastewater treatment plant for Akumal
  • Define sustainable development criteria for the region

Reefa was rescued from the Reef Hotel a few months back and is now six months old. She was born without eyelids and had a surgery to help her see. She is a great lap cat. Contact Coco's Cat Rescue to meet Reefa.

Costa Maya Living advertisement
Akumal child and Christmas candy

Vidas - ViDAS had a very successful clinic in Bacalar last week. The team included 12 veterinarians and 15 technicians and vet students. In a span of five days, a total of 356 animals were spayed/neutered/treated. We want to thank the Bacalar community, volunteers and donors for their continued support. We can't do this important work without you. We are so grateful for everyone who has helped us. Our next clinic will be held in Playa del Carmen in July. Please consider helping us continue our mission of improving the lifes of the animals of the Mayan Riviera.

Coco's logo

Coco's Cat Rescue - Coco’s has received funding for rental of a second Coco’s house and a second full-time vet! Our new vet’s name is Dr. Leticia Mora. The addition of Dr. Mora and having two houses close to each other will allow our clinic to expand, and provide more room for rescued kittens, many of which require initial segregation due to contagion issues. The funds have been provided by a small U.S. foundation that wishes to remain anonymous.

Cause for Concern About Causes - We highly recommend that all our readers take a moment before they give so generously to organizations and check, ask for documentation, be sure the group is keeping good records, has a business plan in place, can easily show the names of staff or board members, and is something you feel comfortable donating to.

Calendar of Events

February 24 - CEA Silent Auction at CEA's Information Center will start at 10 AM and will end with a wine and cheese cocktail party. There will be music and loads of fun. This one-day event will be the only time to bid in the Silent Auction.

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.

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.

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