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Costa Maya Newsletter > Costa Maya-Mahahual Newsletter

******** Costa Maya-Mahahual Newsletter-August 2013 *******

Costa Maya Newsletter: of interest to visitors and property owners and anyone looking to learn more about the Costa Maya, Mahahual / Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along Quintana Roo's Southern Coast

Editorial- Fond remembrances

Hi Costa Maya Neighbors

When you live in an area for a long time, you see people coming and going. Some come to Mahahual and find it isn't for them. Others are like yo-yo's coming and going with the seasons and we grab them with pleasure each year when they return. Many plan to stay permanently but because they can't make a go of it, leave for good. But for the majority, Mahahual's memory keeps drawing them back over and over again.

Marcia with Baracuda

It doesn't take long for a person to be woven into the Caribbean fabric of Mahahual, a town so new, that everyone knows each other and we all mourn when someone makes a permanent departure..

Such a person was Douglas Campbell-Smith, better known as Crocodile Douglas. A fixture in Mahahual for over 16 years, he could always be seen frequenting the bars and restaurants, but in addition, he made his living as a handyman, building fences, doing odd jobs that no one else could do and helping virtually everyone up and down the beach. He worked rom Xcalak to Uvero and knew everyone. Douglas died recently after a year long illness. He was 58 and his untimely death left a great void on the entire coast. He will be severely missed by all in Mahahual. Services were Saturday Aug. 10. His son was able to come from South Africa to attend the services and ashes were scattered in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean..

Crocodile Douglas

Xcalak too had its share of beloved people passing on. Luis Bon, who built several houses in Xcalak passed away about the same time. Please read the Polly's Xcalak News for pictures and information on Luis.

As we come upon the worst part of Hurricane season, all life seems very fragile, including our own. It is still possible to see all the many things that died as a result of Hurricane Dean, although nature has exploded and is taking over. I pray for Mahahual, the pueblo and for all the good people that struggle to make their living here. May we make it this year without a storm and may those who love the town keep coming back. If you remember, almost a year ago today, Hurricane Ernesto came on shore and although it did little damage, it spawned tornadoes that took down the phone tower. To this day, Mahahual still only has a temporary phone service. All this just reminds you how nature is in charge of our fates. May all of you be blessed with health, happiness and that nature will smile kindly on all of us.

Please check out the review and pictures of Jats'a Ja' 2013. Lots of new things were on the schedule this year. When you do return to Mahahual, find time to celebrate.

Your Costa Maya Neighbor,

Marcia Bales. . .writing this from Placer and Mayan Beach Garden Inn - 20 km north of Mahahual.

Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

Sign up for up-to-date info at Costa Maya-Mahahual Live Blog with updates and current events


mahahual and Costa maya news

Calendar of events in Mahahual

  • Jatsa'-ja 2013 - 16, 17 and 18 of AUG. (details below)
  • 19 of AUG - local schools start
  • Spay and neuter clinic October. 6 & 7, organized by Diamonds International

Jats'a Ja' 2013 Festivities and Schedule

Although Jats'a Ja has come and gone, I thought you might enjoy knowing the type of events and seeing pictures of the activities that occurred so that you can plan to attend next year. Jats'a Ja is the celebration of Mahahual's rise from Hurricane Dean. Yearly it has been scheduled during the 3rd weekend of August, to coincide with the date of Dean. The theme this year is highly geared towards Ecology and included an all day workshop on recycling, permaculture, meditation and Yoga. Children's activities included recycling workshops, sand castles, volleyball tournament and new this year, a bicycle decorating and parade. Also new this year, but I think it will become a regular is "Adventure Games"

16 de August, Friday

8:00 AM Safari de Pez Leon (Lion Fish tournament)

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM entries accepted for Recycling Contest "Trash to Treasure". More below.

6:30 PM Opening ceremonies

7:00 Nautical procession

8:30 Mayan Ceremony and blessing of the sea

10:00 Bonfire and Ritual Music in front of National Beach Club

11:00 Disco at Tequila Beach

17 of August, Saturday

8:00 AM Futbol (soccer) teams sign up at Solomar Restaurant (most of the day)

8:30 AM Recycled art and Yoga workshops at National Beach Club (most of the day with scheduled workshops starting at 11:00 and extending to 8:00 PM)

9:00-11:00 AM Mahahual Adventure Games, 3 person teams obstacle course. Starts at the fisherman's pier

11:00 AM- 7:00 PM Beach Volleyball Tournament at Playa de Bachilleres

All day - Photography Contest at Big Papas and Recycling Art Contest at Yaya Beach

2:00 - 4:00 PM Gastronomica at Plaza Martillo

6:00 PM Bicycle decorating contest and parade

10:00 PM live music and dancing at Plaza Martillo

Jatsa'-Ja poster

18 of August, Sunday

8:00 AM - Super Sprint ( swim, bicycle) teams and individual

8:00 AM Futbol finals

8:00 AM Sand Sculptures - National Beach club

All day: Photography Contest, Recycling art contest

5:00 PM : Closing Ceremonies, winners announced

Recycled dresses
Two extremely different recycled art dresses

Nautical Procession
Nautical procession at dusk

Adventure Games
NEW event - Adventure games
Adventure Games for Kids
Adventure games for kids
Adventure games repeling off Matan Ka'an
Repelling off the rooftop of Matan Ka'an Hotel as part of the Adventure Games
Recycled Art Dance
Opening Ceremonies included a dance in recycled art costumes.

Gastronomica 2013 where the Italian restaurants went all out and put on a great display.

Children's Recycled Art workshop
Children's Recycled art workshop at National Beach club.

Water park to be built in Mahahual

CANCUN, Q. Roo. - Isaac Hamui Abadi announced a tourist park like Xcaret will be built this year. He announced that the complex will be built on an area of ​​16 hectares, where there will be water activities like canoeing with a touch Maya.

The project will be an ecological park that encourages visitors from the ships to stay a little longer at port. No name for the park has been announced, but it will be similar to Xcaret in the Riviera Maya, with water activities and contact with nature. In 2006 Hamui presented a similar project which was rejected due to the environmental impact to the Costa Maya. This smaller and more ecological park should be ready in 2013 or early 2014.

More local car rental options

Mexican Car Rental Group
Mexico Car Rental Group.
You can reach them by phone in the US or Canada Toll Free 1 800 81 36 371. What that means is now you can travel here by bus (actually. . .bus to Limones and taxi to Mahahual) and rent a car only on the days you want to. The rates are decent and you can reserve in advance.
Continental Car Rental

Continental Rent a Car
Continental Rent a Car is located in the Holiday Inn, but they have a web site where you can rent directly. Their web site is in both English and Spanish and has the ability to book with your credit card. We have had Mexican customers say they would deliver a car here to Mahahual, but I am not sure how they accomplished that. They do say that they will deliver the car to the Chetumal Airport if you fly into Chetumal.

Europcar Rental Car

Europcar has an independent office in Chetumal. Located not far from Sam's club, this is a great option for renting a car in Chetumal, picking up in Cancun and dropping off in Chetumal.

ADO Continues direct to Cancun airport

The ADO bus returned to Mahahual on Dec. 12th. The Bus leaves the airport at 3:45 and arrives around 9:15 PM in Mahahual at Quinto Sol (next to Tequila Beach Club) after stopping in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Carrillo Puerto. You can reserve in advance at Mini Super Bere's in the Casitas. Returning to Cancun, it leaves at 8:15 AM from Quinto Sol (next to Tequila beach) and arrives around 1:30 at the airport.

The route stops in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Felipe Carrillo Puerto. You can buy advanced tickets at Mini Super Bere's up to a week in advance.

The ADO bus does NOT go to Chetumal. The Riviera bus goes to Chetumal at 6:30 and 8:00 AM in the morning.

Fernando's 100% Agave is back in business!

Those of you who mourned the passing of 100% Agave have something to celebrate. Fernando missed his customers so much, that he has opened a Tequila bar on the 2nd story of Yaya Beach. Those of you who don't know where Yaya Beach is - it is located on the Malecon at the north end of the Football field. This is not a restaurant, but a Tequila and Mezcal bar. So if you would like to go out to a nice place for drinks, this is it.
100% Agave

Fernando is experimenting with which days he will be open, but right now, he says he will be open on Weekends and Cruise ship days.

His little liquor shop on Huachanango will remain open as well, closed on Mondays.


Bar at Fernando's

Six year anniversary of Hurricane Dean

Aug. 20th marked the anniversary of Hurricane Dean. What a difference 6 years made. If you don't believe it, here are a couple of just after Dean and then shots of Mayan Beach Garden as it stands now.

Destroyed Cabana

Mayan Beach Garden in 2013

Mayan Beach Garden from Beach

Mayan Beach Garden - News from MBG

Martin has his first baby (and its a girl)

Those of you who have visited us here at MBG will remember Martin who has been working for us for 7 years. We've watched the dramas of his life, but this time, we are proud to announce a wonderful addition to his family (and now ours).

Those of you who know Martin will see the resemblance.

martin's Baby Girl

SOLD my first flip flop mosaic!

I originally started making flip flop art to get reuse some of the trash on the beach. About a year ago I discovered the joy of recycling beach flip-flops that have washed up onto the beach. In July I sold this mosaic flip flop mosaic pictured below. I'm working on my 4th one now.

Mosaic Flip Flop art

And below is my newest Mosaic. Notice the lack of yellow. Please save your discarded yellow flip-flops for me and I will be forever grateful.

Flip Flop Mosaic

Costa Maya Villas - Private Units now available for rent.

Costa Maya Villa Condominiums are now available for rent through Mayan Beach Garden Reservations. These luxury condos have A/C, granite countertops and both the best view and one of the largest pools and hot tub in Mahahual. Every Condo has a great view of the caribbean and one of the deepest Turquoise views in all of the Costa Maya. See more pictures. . .

Costa Maya Villas

Five Year Moratorium on Caracol harvesting(repeat)

"Better a Ceviche later, than never. . . "

Caracol Rosada (Queen Conch) has been an endangered species for a while. The numbers here, however have dropped so low that now there is a 5 year moratorium in place to protect them. This has created a black market and "conch" runners have rushed to fill that market. As you pass the military checkpoint, you may find that you have quite a wait as they look through coolers in search of contraband caracol. Last week, for the first time I happily saw Chetumal fish vendors with the protect the Caracol sign in their shops - a big thumbs up!

Please help the species and avoid purchasing conch/ Caracol from vendors selling them on the beach. Also, if you find them on a menu, speak up. With everyone's help, the species will recover and we will again be able to enjoy Conch Ceviche.

The ban started November 21 2013 and and will end February 28, 2017, ie four years and three months in which time they will return to shorter closures, in 2018 beginning May 1 and ending on November 30.


news around Mexico, Quintana Roo and the yucatan peninsula

Paying Othon P. Blanco Property Taxes on Line (Repeat)

I have not tried this yet, since we paid our taxes this year before I knew about this link. Without actually having experienced it, it appears that all you need is your Catastral number. I can't try this again until next November when they accept property tax payments for the upcoming year, but this should allow you to pay your own Costa Maya Property taxes from the US. It is possible if you have not paid your 2013 taxes, that you can do so now using that link. If someone is successful - please let me know your experience and we can pass it along.

(I've since talked to someone who successfully was able to log on and see how much they owed in arrears, but they couldn't pay for some reason.)

Mexico Weighs Opening Up Wider to Foreign Property Buyers

Its been in the news for a while that there is a bill currently being debated in Mexico's Senate that would allow out-right owners ship of beachfront property. Currently the constitution disallows outright ownership of land along any of its borders by foreigners. If you want to own land, you must form a Mexican Corporation or purchase via a bank trust known as a Fide Comiso. If all you want to do is retire to a beach in Mexico, it would be much easier if you could just purchase land under your own name. An article in the New York Times discusses this issue with great clarity:

Possibility of lifting property ownership restriction in Mexico

What ever happened to the Tulum Airport?

Better known as the Riviera Maya Airport, the Tulum airport may be dying a slow death. The airport has been mentioned in news casts since 2006, but lately, the only things in the state seem to be the bridge from Chetumal to the Costa Maya and the high speed train from Merida to Cancun. The current president Pena Nieto is behind the project stating that it will bring train travel back to Mexico and bring more traffic to Chichen Itza, Izamal and other tourist zones. Will it ever connect Chetumal and Cancun? Its been mentioned, but we may not see it for years.

Map of high speed train

Keeping the Mayan Culture Alive

Mayan Soap opera

Mexico Releases its first Mayan speaking television "tele-novela"

Mayan Codec on the web

Advice on Hurricane Preparedness from the United States Consulate General, Merida, Mexico

Dated May 31, 2013 Hurricane Season

The U.S. Consulate General in Merida reminds U.S. citizens that hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.
Be Prepared

U.S. citizens planning to visit places that are vulnerable to hurricanes should be aware of the chance of storms and make a plan in case of emergency. Even inland areas far from the coast can experience destructive winds, tornadoes, and floods from tropical storms and hurricanes. In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the Consulate will monitor the storm and send email messages to U.S. citizens who have enrolled with us. The Department of State may also issue a Travel Alert or Travel Warning to apprise the public of the situation.

Please check your passport and those of your family members to assure that they are still valid. As you may need to travel to the United States (or elsewhere) on short notice, it is important to have valid travel documents so that your trip is not unnecessarily delayed. If you plan to travel to the United States, please also ensure that any non-U.S. citizen family members also have valid Lawful Permanent Resident cards or U.S. visas or visit our web site at for more information on applying for a visa.

Your Checklist:
  • Prior to leaving the United States, register your travel plans on the State Department’s travel enrollment website at ·
  • Check with your tour operator, airline, or charter flight company (as appropriate) regarding travel services back to the United States in the event of a hurricane, and the possibility of early return if a storm is forecasted for your region.
  • Obtain a cell phone that works internationally so that you can stay in regular contact with family and friends and advise them of your whereabouts.
  • Research the region you are visiting and become familiar with local emergency procedures (
  • · Pack an emergency supply kit ( Keep extra bottled water and non-perishable food items on hand.
  • Keep an up-to-date list of local emergency phone numbers, as well as contact numbers for the nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Consular Agency.
  • Protect your vital travel documents from potential water damage by placing them in a waterproof container.
  • Obtain travel insurance prior to your trip to cover unexpected expenses in the event of an emergency (
  • Ensure your medical insurance covers costs associated with emergency situations (
  • Consider what arrangements you will make for your pets. Please note that the Mexican authorities and the U.S. government do not make accommodations for the care or transportation of pets during storm-related emergencies or evacuations
  • Leave a detailed itinerary and your local contact information with a friend or family member in the United States.
  • Make two photocopies of the biographic identification page of your passport, airline tickets, driver’s license, and any credit cards you plan to take. Leave one copy of each with family or friends at home, and pack the other copies separately from the originals. You may also wish to scan these documents and store them electronically, such as on a flash drive or in an email account. If using traveler’s checks, leave a copy of the serial numbers of your traveler’s checks with a friend or relative at home
  • Monitor local websites for storm-related information. For Yucatan state, Quintana Roo (which includes the popular tourist areas of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum), Campeche,
  • Please also visit the following U.S. government websites for more information:

How to Contact Consulate Merida and the Consular Agencies in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel: U.S. Consulate in Merida contact information is available here:

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Consulate General in Merida is located at Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., local time. The phone number is (999) 942-5700. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, please call the number above to be connected with the duty officer.


I love you Xcalak

XCALAK POLLY What's New in Xcalak

Help, overrun with dogs.

It seems that no matter where I go, I end up bringing another poor dog home. I just cannot leave them to suffer and die, I go charging in and take the poor thing home and medicate, feed and give a load of TLC and get it, them, better. Then comes the bit I need help with, a new, loving, kind owner. Please help if you possibly can, if I can find homes for my girls, I can rescue more. At the moment there is NO MORE ROOM.


Let me introduce you to Osa, she was thrown over my fence about a year ago. she had no hair, she had mange and bleeding sores. She also had ticks and fleas by the million. She is an absolute doll, she is obedient, she loves children, people and other dogs. She is such good fun to take for a walk, she loves the ocean, can swim like fish and loves to play fetch. She is a fun "Foo Foo dog" she loves laps and is content to stay with you constantly. She was with me for so long because when we took her to be spayed at the Mahahual clinic the vets said she was too sick to operate on. Took her home, gave her medicine and boy did she feel better, she promptly went out and got herself pregnant. She had two adorable puppies and now has been spayed.

How can you not love this? Precious little dogs
Big Ears  

Luis Bon 1952 - 2013

Luis came to Xcalak from San Pedro over forty years ago. He fell for a pretty Xcalakalia, Lilyana, and stayed. He told his family, Dad and sisters how he liked Xcalak and they also came and stayed. He worked with his father building Belizean, Caribbean style homes here in the pueblo. I went round and took photo's of a few of them, they are much admired.

He and Lilyana had children, four girls and a boy. His sisters also married Xcalakalios and had children, the extended family is quite large, and all mourn Luis's passing.

Luis was laid low with diabetes, he went into hospital in Chetumal and after an operation died there.

He was brought home and is now at rest in the cemetery here in xcalak with his father.

Luis Bon
We miss you Luis, your memory lives on with the homes you built.

Caribbean style house in Xcalak
Caribbean style house

Classified Adds

Classified adds have moved to this link Classified Ads. If you have something you want included in the classifieds, please send it to Limit text to 100 words and pictures no larger than 600 pixels wide, but preferably 432, so that text can go side by side the photos. Include a contact email or phone number. It is a good idea to use an email address that is not your primary address to limit Junk mail coming your way. There is no charge, this is a community service for sale by owners. New this month is a boat with motor.

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