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Property Owners > Archived Newsletters > August/Agosto 2007

Costa Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners on the Costa Maya, - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along the coast

***********************Newsletter: August/Agosto 16, 2007**************************


* Bus trip from Mahahual to the airport
* Do you need an FM3?
* Message board for Costa Maya Neighbors - topic FM3 and Hurricane Dean
* Last call, Home-owners associations: Rio Indio - Placer and Uvero - Pulticub
* New Terminal at the airport
* Articles of Interest in the news
* Beach/ocean front Houses for Rent - long term and vacation rentals
* Spotlight on your Neighbors

Hi Neighbors,
It was so nice last year not to have to report any Hurricanes headed this way, but now as I look at Dean I hope the storm stays historically consistent with past storms and veers north between Cancun and Cuba - missing everyone. However, as I watch it is headed again straight for Cozumel, forecast to be a category 4. We can only prepare, hope and pray that it also does not head to the US and create damage. I'll post Hurricane Dean reports for the Costa Maya on the Costa Maya Live Forum after this passes, but its something everyone should be keeping an eye on.

Historically, Mahahual is not a target for hurricanes but we do experience storm surge. Storms have a tendency to pass North of us. A few have hit Chetumal or gone north into the Sian Ka'an. Still, everyone remembers Hurricane Janet that in 1955 all but wiped out Xcalak and Chetumal. You can watch the hurricane forecasting at If you look at the left Navigational column and click on Satellite, you can view animate loops of the actual storm as it progresses. We get pretty obsessed here on the beach and spend a lot of time watching the reports!

Whitney, a neighbor who's house we just listed (see info on her Casita Dragonfly at the end of this newsletter), just sent me a link where you can input your coordinates and find out how close the storm will come based on the current trajectory. If you want to follow the discussions, the coordinates for Mahahual are approximately 18.7 N and 87.6 W. Note that this information is updated every three hours.

Thank heaven for satellite internet!


Many of you make the trip to Mahahual and find the expense of a car is more than your hotel or Airfare and it adds up. The bus, on the other hand is very cheap and painless. I have guests do it all the time. Here is a first hand report from the McChristy's who gave it a try!

"The bus trip was so easy and much easier for John. We transferred quickly from the <Playa del Carmen terminal> area to the one o'clock airport bus. Three minutes later and we would have had to wait. Certainly not unpleasant with the shopping and restaurants on the street. It dropped us off at terminal two and now we know we needed to go to terminal three. No problem since they have a shuttle every twenty minutes. Terminal three is amazing with a Starbucks, Johnny Rocket hamburgers, DH ice cream, and Jimmy Buffet restaurant and store. We ate at the restaurant downstairs, Berryhill, and it was excellent. . . .All in all, it was easy but we were so tired after sixteen hours. But again it was only one day of travel, where someone else did the driving."

NOTE: The ADO bus is the "express" bus with the least amount of stops. You can get the ADO in Mahahual, in Playa del Carmen and at the Airport. The MayaB bus which travels up and down 307 will stop anywhere but does not go to the airport and does not go to Mahahual. Still it leaves Playa del Carmen every hour and stops at Limones where you can transfer to an ADO or taxi to Mahahual. There are several ADO buses each day that go to and from Mahahual to Chetumal and Cancun. they all stop at Limones before heading north or south, so you can transfer there. It is easy to get a taxi at all locations.


The short answer is "no" you don't need an FM3. The topic of FM3s has risen it's head again with many people confused as to what to do and if they even need one at all. First, you do not need an FM3 to own property or even to build your house. Nor do you need to have an FM3 to take your corporation out of dormancy or to get a bank account. But you can't legally sign contracts or checks unless you are Mexican or if you have an FM3. You can give what's called a limited "power" to individuals to sign paperwork for you to do almost anything. Powers are limited to specific tasks. Usually you give it to your builder to build your house, your accountant to pay your taxes, your lawyer or a friend. If you purchased your property with a corporation and are not a citizen, you probably gave a "power" to someone to aid in the purchase of your property. This most likely might have been your lawyer. You are listed as primary shareholders of the corporation who's assets include your property, BUT your signature is not legal in Mexico. Anything you want to do can be done by giving limited "power" to people. When you are ready to sell your property, if you do not have an FM3, you will again have to give limited "power" to someone to facilitate the sale of your property.


FM3's have been the topic of discussion for a long time on the Costa Maya Forum. I think it is worth visiting again. FM3s are really visas to live for periods longer than 180 days, to work, to legally sign documents or to sign checks for a business bank account. They can be a headache as they have to be renewed every 6 months or annually. As mentioned above, you don't really need one. We went through several false starts when getting our FM3s, but now we find it is easy. I give my FM3 to my accountant and a couple of weeks later I have it back. But FM3s are very tricky. Now that everything is computerized, If your corporation is sponsoring your FM3, everything on your FM3 must match the information on your Corporation. This includes your title in the corporation, your address and your signature. When things don't match up, it adds time and bother every time you need to use it (for example when you leave or enter the country). If it is a retirement FM3, I have heard that you cannot have a corporation. I am not sure that is true because people seem to be able to get retirement FM3s. If you have had experience in this area, please log onto the Costa Maya Forum and voice your opinions. Also if anyone wants to discuss Hurricane Dean, this is a good place. I'll place reports of Dean on the Costa Maya Live Forum.


Pam Laurion, organizer of the Costa Maya North association would like any lingering neighbors to contact her regarding the Home owner's association. They are getting ready to file with the Notario and it is best to get all names on the association now. Later, it will require an extra fee to add new ones, so please contact Pam today! - She needs:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • occupation (of all corporation officers)
  • address


Last Call for the Home owner's association for El Placer: "Asociacion de Colonos El Placer-Rio Indio AC." We encourage everyone to get their names on the initial filing of the association. To be a part of the organization, we need the following information:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • occupation (of all corporation officers)
  • address

The cost of the corporation is $1100 which will be shared among all members of the association. Please send your information to Ted Garcia. We cannot proceed with electricity without this organization.


I've now had the pleasure to fly in and out of the new international terminal in Cancun, which opened on May 17. Its quite "Americanized" and I think faster to get through customs. Even better, check-in is faster since they have CT scanning equipment for your luggage and don't have to hand search. There is a shuttle that goes between the two terminals. They are now working on a new runway as well. I wondered again, what the status was for the Tulum airport so I did some internet searching and found ASUR's quarterly earnings conference for July 24th, 2007 and an announcement from the Transportation secretary, so this is probably as "official" as any news you can find about the airport. I can find nothing about Chetumal airport. I've copied a portion of the conference call that followed the quarterly announcement. It combines information about the new terminal with information about Tulum. AUSR is the first privatized airport group in Mexico and operator of Cancun Airport and eight others in the southeast of Mexico.

"The new terminal represented a $93 million investment and has allowed us to double the international passenger traffic capacity at Cancun Airport. That means adding capacity for an additional six million passengers per year.

The facility has covered area of more than 42,000 square meters, 84 check-in counters, and platform equipped with 11 gates. It also includes security equipment, including the first CT scanning system in Mexico for all check-in baggage. This new facility has been able help us to reduce the congestion in our terminal buildings and provide a better service level to our passengers.

As you have seen in the press release, commercial revenues increased significantly during the quarter. In fact, this new terminal building has ten new food and beverage commercial spaces and nine retail and other commercial spaces, including a duty-free shop, convenience stores, an exchange booth and several gift shops.

As it relates to the second airport in the Riviera Maya, last week the Mexican government announced a national infrastructure development plan. The plan includes a project for an international airport in the Riviera Maya region. This plan does not have an exact location, but using the map that was included in the document, this new airport should be located close to Tulum. The plan calls for a two-year development period beginning 2008 with a total estimated investment of $172 million. The plan also includes the possibility of relocating the existing Merida Airport." (NOTE: ASUR also runs the Merida Airport)

The Deputy Transport Minister of Mexico announced on August 9, 2007 that Mexico hopes to hold an open auction to build an airport in the Riviera Maya tourist region early next year and will name a winner around mid-year. This announcement was reported earlier this year, but I've found news to be incredibly redundant and repetitive here in Mexico. Plans for an airport at Riviera Maya, one of the fastest growing resort areas in Mexico, have stirred major interest in the country.

Rodriguez said the area now has as many hotel rooms as the Caribbean resort of Cancun. Airport operator ASUR, which runs the terminal at Cancun, has said it is interested in developing an airport in Riviera Maya, which is located in the same state of Quintana Roo and is expected to take passenger traffic away from Cancun. That would mean lost business for ASUR at Cancun, if the company did not win the auction to build the new airport, which will be located close to the area's main resort of Playa del Carmen. Rival Mexican airport operator GAP has also shown interest, and Mexican billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim has said his construction firm IDEAL could also bid for the project.

In his annual Marina Day speech June 1, Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced his five-year plan that includes building more cruise-ship piers, in order to create more jobs and better lives for Mexican citizens. Calderon named Zihuatanejo, along with Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Manzanillo, Guaymas and three more ports in Quintana Roo as locations for new cruise-ship piers. (MB - locations are not exact. One will be Puerto Morelos, one in Cancun, but I do not know the third)


MEXICO ANNOUNCES TRANSPORT IMPROVEMENTS – Mexico will construct three new airports serving beach resorts and build thousands of miles of new roads as part of a $37 billion transport facelift launched Wednesday. The five-year public-private infrastructure package, widely seen as badly needed as Mexico's ailing transport networks hold back economic growth, also includes upgrades for sea ports and Mexico's creaking railway network. Unveiling the ambitious plan, President Felipe Calderón said airports would be built at the growing tourist regions at the Sea of Cortes and Ensenada on the Pacific, and at the Riviera Maya, south of the Caribbean resort of Cancun. (SEE REPORT ABOVE)

Another 31 airports will be expanded, including those at Cancun and Toluca, an industrial city close to the capital, Calderón said.

Transport Minister Luis Tellez said the package envisaged investments of 287 billion pesos ($26 billion) in highways, the first major road building plan in more than 12 years. The infrastructure drive also includes expected investments of 49 billion pesos ($4.6 billion) in railways and 71 billion pesos ($6.6 billion) in ports over the next five years. The highway plan, with investment coming roughly half and half from the government and the private sector, envisages the construction and expansion of more than 10,900 miles (17,500 km) of roads, a quarter of them in rural areas. Ports earmarked for upgrades include terminals at Manzanillo, Veracruz and Puerto Morelos and the crude oil exporting port of Dos Bocas.

Firms that could benefit from the plans include construction company ICA and infrastructure firms IDEAL, both controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. Spokesmen for ICA and IDEAL declined to comment.

Airport operators GAP, ASUR and OMA could also be interested in building and operating the airports. ASUR has said it wants the Riviera Maya terminal.

The World Economic Forum ranks Mexico's infrastructure as less competitive than that of emerging powerhouses China and India, and even less than small countries such as El Salvador.

ELIZABETH ARDEN JUMPS ON THE COSTA MAYA BAND WAGON - sort of. Elizabeth Arden just came out with a new nail polish called "Costa Maya gold." There isn't any gold here that I know of other than the sunrises, but the nail polish has gold flecks in it. I'm pretty sure Elizabeth has never been here!


No new spotlight this month, but if you like to be spotlighted, please let me know. If you are new to the newsletter, you might want to check out:


We've added new homes on the Mayan Beach Garden website! These are privately owned beachfront homes. If you are at all thinking of building a home, its a good idea to stay in a house. It helps determine if you are going to build a simple "beach home" or a more traditional American style home. It also helps you get a sense of what it is like to live "off the grid." Please take note that mid December - end of March fill up fast, so you might want to get your name in and put a hold on a property, we only have a couple of vacancies left for Christmas on any properties.


Casita Dragonfly- Sleeps 6, this house is great for those of you who have property South of Mahahual and would like a reasonably priced beachfront house.


Casa Porto Vino: the Costa Maya's most luxurious property sits on 64 meters of private beach. Sleeps 8 - Air conditioned


Dr. Greg Zeman's -two bedroom, two bath, A/C & on-site care-taker.


The editor of this newsletter (me) makes no claims that the information here is completely true. I am not a news reporter, Spanish is not my native language, the newspapers are notorious for not verifying information and this is not my primary business, but rather a service to the neighborhood. If you find something untrue PLEASE let me know and I will print a disclaimer. I try to verify the information but even the newspaper prints up rumors, so I can only report what I read and hear.

Until Next month...

Regards from your Costa Maya Neighbor
Mayan Beach Garden, Boutique hotel on the Costa Maya



Updated: 03-Feb-2010

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