Villas of the Month
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Up & Down the Coast

Welcome to the monthly newsletter from Sac-Be.com, 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 info@sac-be.com. Enjoy!



come on down

Turtles & Tourism - Turtles nesting are not the only thing slow in Akumal and the Maya Riviera (see CEA story opposite). Tourism is way down. Most places are reporting an 80% loss through cancellations because of the flu scare. If you love and care about this area the best thing you could do would be to book your next trip now. AND a little insider tip: if you are thinking about traveling to Akumal in particular in the next year or two – make your reservations now. Property taxes are dictated by the municipality and Akumal is now a part the Tulum Municipality. It was explained to us that their property taxes will be increasing, and more than likely those increases will have to be passed on to the guests. So don't wait, book now while there are incredible deals on your favorite place and excellent airline prices to match.

Announcing the Riviera Maya Photo Contest - email your photos to info@sac-be.com and the winner will be published in next month's newsletter. Judging will be totally subjective.
June's Theme: What says Summer to you? Summer officially begins on the 21st, so what one shot taken on the Riviera Maya sums up that special feeling?

Don't forget to keep in touch with sac-be.com in between newsletters by visiting our blog. And now you can even join us on facebook.

Akumal's 50th Anniversary Bash

Akumal Turns 50
Akumal's 50th was an incredibly wonderful 3 days of a multitude of events. There was something for everyone from diving, fishing, volleyball, museum exhibits, great food, intoxicating music, bazaar, dance troops, puppet shows, fashion shows, treasure hunts and sand sculpturing. The event kicked off with a wine and cheese reception along with many multi media presentations about life over the last 50 years. The Tun family, the first to live in Akumal, were recognized along with the Bush family, and many who came in the early years. There were documentaries, slide shows and even old home movies that all captured the essence of Akumal and took each and every one of us back to the very first moment we fell in love with the place and its people.

Sac-Be will publish a special edition of this newsletter, later this month, with stories and photos from Akumal's Celebration. You can also check back to see what we have added once our staff returns from assignment. In the meantime you can read updates on our blog and see some of our photos along with others on Hotel Akumal Caribe's website.

Akumal tournament winner
How Fish Stories get so BIG - Wendell, first of all, congratulations from all of us on winning the Fishing Tournament in Akumal on May 31. While in Akumal I heard the fish was a 150 kilo (300+ pound) marlin that Wendell fought for over 2 hours. By the time I got to Xamach Dos, I was sitting around a table and I heard from Josh, the property manager, about the 200+ kilo marlin that won in Akumal. I asked Josh where he had heard this story and he explained that he heard it in Tulum from the person who claimed to come in second, with his own 150 kilo marlin... and so the fishing tales go. We all figure if you travel to Punta Allen, Wendell will have won by catching a whale. The next fishing tournament is scheduled for Punta Allen.

Volunteer For the Green of It
beach trash

Sian Ka an aerial

We see a lot of inquiries asking where people can volunteer and of course we refer people to our Causes Section. But many of those are looking for longer commitments. If you are traveling to the Maya Riviera and want to see some of nature's most gorgeous beaches take an afternoon and head south of Tulum to Sian Kaan. There are places where you won't see a building or person for kilometers. What you will see and be amazed by is the amount of trash and plastics that wash up along these shores. Grab a garbage bag and spend an hour helping to make a difference. You will be amazed at how a soda bottle got here from Asia. This is not the work of local litterbugs but the result of a world wide problem.

After you spend your time making a difference, stop in at Xamach Dos and meet the wonderful staff and grab a cold refreshment. This spot is a little slice of paradise that you will be hearing more and more about. Located between Tulum and Punta Allen it is not to be missed.

Naturally
cushion starfish
Caribbean Cushion Starfish

If you snorkel anywhere in the Mexican Caribbean from Cozumel to Mahahual you have probably seen the Cushion Starfish or Oreaster reticulatus CLASS: Sea Stars, Asteroidea. Also called Cushioned Star, it is common in the sea grass. This sea star is easily viewed and identified because of its size, color, thickness (hence the "cushion" title) and proximity to shore.

Of Special Interest
old Akumal

My First Trip to Akumal - by Denise Roper - When I got certified the only other English speaking person in Akumal was Dave, the Brit who owned the dive shop and a bit by his assistant dive master and that was it. I know because I had a toothache and went to the tienda - which sold individual pills from a bottle - screaming dolor muelos which I learned from our housekeeper? Is she rich? No... (photo courtesy of Hotel Akumal Caribe)

Fireman on the job near Tulum

The Everyday Challenges of Living in the Yucatan - By Lou Pintkowski - It was the start of what I thought was going to be an easy day. We only had to prepare breakfast for four guests at La Selva Mariposa, and they had plans after their meal to leave in different directions to explore for the day. My only chores that had to be done that morning involved a leisurely drive to Tulum to take and pick-up laundry and a little money exchange...

Fireman on the job near Tulum

Rio Secreto - By Myrna Sparks - Located just south of Xcaret on Highway 307, Rio Secreto has 14 kms. of spectacular underground caverns filled with huge stalagtites and stalagmites, cenotes to explore on foot and by swimming, a 500 meter underground river and a 600 meter limestone pathway on the floor of the caverns!

Accommodations

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:

Chemuyil

Casa Rosa - $550 a week.SUMMER RATE STARTS MAY 1. This is for a full 7 Night week not 6 nights like many other ads! You can rent our 2 bedroom house that sleeps four, right across the road from the best beach on the Riviera Maya, Xcacel Beach.

Casa Buena Fortuna - You can rent our 2 bedroom house that sleeps four. The beach has crystal clear blue water, a sandy bottom and is also a turtle nesting sanctuary.The house is located 10 minutes from Tulum, 5 minutes from Akumal.

Soliman Bay & Tankah

Maya Jardin - This large villa can be your spectacular home away from home. Serene palms, tropical fish, coral and white sand set the stage for this romantic lifestyle. A few steps to the beach and you swim or snorkel in the blue waters of the world's second largest barrier reef.

Playa Belleza - This 2 bedroom, 2 bath air conditioned villa on tranquil Tankah Bay offers luxury accommodation and amenities in a very private setting. Step through the handmade louvred doors onto your large terrace overlooking the Caribbean.

Villa Orquidea - The newest villa in Tankah, Villa Orquidea is the perfect place to relax and enjoy modern accommodations on this fantastic beach. The 3 master suites in the main house all have wonderful views of the Caribbean and Tankah Bay.

Casa del Perro Feliz - Tucked into the curve of the bay, Casa del Perro Feliz is a favorite of many visitors to the Tankah area. Tastefully appointed, yet very comfortable, this 3 Bedroom, 3 1/2 bath beachfront villa, has a beautiful, natural setting.

Puerto Morelos Area

Isla de Vista - Looking for one of the last undiscovered areas on the Riviera Maya? Quiet, serene and peaceful, Playa del Secreto, the Secret Beach, is an enclave of less than 20 private homes and condos located halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

June 2009 - #17  

Community News

Akumal

Hekab Be Biblioteca Update - With summer vacation just around the corner, we are looking for donors who would be willing to sponsor a child to participate in our summer school program. All it takes is $30 US to send one child for the entire month of Summer School!

Read A Touching Story of how first time visitors to Akumal adopted the the library and made it a cause for many visitors.


montessori preschool kids in Akumal

What is Montessori Preschool? Part 11
by Eleanor Zucker - Within the Montessori tradition, there is little separation between the interior and exterior of the classroom environment. Nature becomes part of the interior environment through the children’s activities such as: daily care of plants, arranging flowers, and taking care of animals in the school.

Kent Samuelson of Lightcrafters in Austin, TX will be in residence at Nah-Hah in Akumal from June 5-12. Kent builds lights using specially selected erosion resistant materials for the Akumal environment. His company did those special lights for Nah-hah (see Villa Art in Akumal). If any villa owners wish to consult with Kent while he's in town let him know.

New Yoga in Akumal schedule.

Puerto Aventuras
anat kah logo

Name Change - The Puerto Aventuras community foundation is now known as Anat Kah! Anat Kah is a name suggested by Donald Hart, a Puerto Aventuras resident and archaeologist with 43 years of experience working in the Maya world. Anat means help or support in Yucatec Maya, and Kah means village. To learn more about this great organization read the May Newsletter (PDF). The website is coming soon.


Updates on Causes
sea turtle

CEA News - As we reported last month, turtle season has started. According to Armando, the coordinator of CEA's Turtle Protection Program there are 20 -30 nest in Akumal. He said this is a slower than usual start to the season.


sea turtle

There are no cases of H1N1 virus in Playa del Carmen, where the Peanut Pet Shelter is located but this has not stopped the International media from scaring everyone from travelling to this wonderful part of the world. This has prevented many of our supporters and tourists from coming to Playa del Carmen and bringing much needed donations/medications. Don't let the flu scare stop you from helping!

Coco Cat Rescue is busy as can be. If you're interested in adopting a kitten or donating time, money or medical supplies please read on. You'll also see some impossibly cute pictures.

Last minute note from Laura: A big thank you to everyone a lot of hard work was put into this fundraiser by all! We raised 35,565 pesos!

SPAY has announced its Playa cel Carmen Animal Spay and Neutering clinic for June 12, 13, 14, taking dogs and cats from 9-Noon at Centro Comunitario Ejido 95av. entre 14 y 16 (atras del centro a la mujer). They will also be having clinics in July in both Akumal and Chemuyil. They are currently raising money for a Tulum Clinic. The home owners of Solimon Bay have begun a feral cat program to trap, fix and release the cats in the area. The money is being raised from the home-owners. Good work, Solimon Bay. Jen Smith reported between 25,000 to 30,000 pesos in soft funds have been raised for the animals and at the Akumal's 50th Bazaar they raised $4,000 pesos just in the sale of Nancy Poor's necklaces.

Christina Alexander of Anat Kah (Community Foundation of the Riviera Maya) sent us this reprint from the Philanthropy Journal about Mexican Non-profits. Food for thought.

Calendar of Events

Happy Fathers Day – June 21st!

June 13 - Gino Vannelli Concert as part of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa del Carmen.

August 8 - 15 - Vidas spay and neuter clinic in Playa del Carmen.

August 9-15 - a group sponsored by the Minnesota Zoo will be visiting CEA.

October 16 - 18 - Festival de Tortugas Marinas Tulum - 7th Annual Sea Turtle Festival. Tourists and locals are welcome to participate in the release of baby turtles at Xcacel beach by moonlight, supporting the Sea Turtle Protection Program.

October 24 – November 4 Women In Wellness – Local's are welcome to join in the fun. Blanca Sanchez-Navarro, Chef Gynna, Boutique Ixchel, WaterART, International and more are joining Just Imagine Vacations, Inc to make this a great retreat.

November 9 - 15 - Cancun & Riviera Maya International Film Festival

November 9 - The Fuhrer Fiesta is planned for Akumal celebrating a 10th wedding anniversay.


New Advertisers

Ann and Chuck Irvine - Casa del Perro Feliz in Tankah.

Xamach Dos in Sian Ka'an.

Dreams for Mayan Children


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