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Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Costa Maya Newsletters > Costa Maya 2011 Newsletter Feb.

You can now read up to the minute Mahahual happenings at and Facebook

******************* Costa Maya Newsletter *******************
Looking Forward to 2011

Costa Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners and those interested in Mahahual / Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along Quintana Roo South

Hi Costa Maya Neighbors - Belated Happy 2011!

With every good intention of sending a Happy Holidays newsletter in 2010, I started many newsletters only to find that Christmas 2010 was just too busy followed by an equally busy January and internet problems. This was the case in all of Mahahual with few rooms available and everyone struggling with the internet reliability and speed. Now that even the traditional January lull is over and I didn't take the opportunity to send a newsletter, I still want to wish all of you a happy new year. Mahahual welcomed a new huge ship this holiday season - Royal Caribbean's Allure of the seas. Another monster, The Allure can deliver 6360 people, 4 pools, Casino, 16 decks high, and a central park, it is part of the Oasis line of ships. The 1st problem with ships like that is that the Allure of the Seas is the attraction and only a few people venture out into Mahahual, the second problem is that the minute the cruise ship comes into town the internet grinds to a halt.

Marcia with Baracuda

Mahahual, however won't see too many more of Royal Caribbean's mega ships. Starting in February, they will replace Costa Maya with their own ports of call such as Labadee - Royal Caribbean's private bay in Haiti. The rumor is that Cruise ship docking fees are are so expensive that cruise lines are creating their own less expensive solutions. It won't be the end of the Costa Maya port, but it will mean changes. Meanwhile, Mahahual has picked up extra ships from Belize which is temporarily closed due to "contract issues" with the boat companies who are tendering the passengers to the shore. Love FM - a Belizean radio station stated that the problem was that some of the boats were unsafe, but another report said that the issue was the raise in fees for tendering the passengers to shore. Regardless of the reason - it is further cause for cruise ship lines to create their own ports of call.

I've definitely seen an increase in bottles floating up on the beach since the advent of the mega Royal Caribbean's ships - but I don't think their departure will mean fewer bottles on the beach, because they will still be traveling within sight of the Costa Maya Shore. In the end, the best thing for Mahahual is to attract tourists that stay longer and help develop the area. They can't do it without consistent internet connection. My fingers are crossed that by the time this reaches your inbox - we may have a new service. I'll make sure and let you know!

Your Costa Maya Neighbor - Marcia Bales, writing this from Placer - 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 (although won't happen until the internet is back up and working)


mahahual and Costa maya news

Upcoming Mahahual events - Mark your calendar

  • Carnival Mar 17th, 18th
  • Semana Santa (not really a full week) April 21, 22, 23, 24
  • Governor's cup / Copa Governador (Fishing tournament) May 6, 7 and 8th
  • Dorado de Plata (Fishing tournament) June 3, 4 and 5th
  • Copa Mahahual / Mahahual Fishing tournament sponsored by Tequila beach June 24, 25, 26th
  • Jatsa' ja - 19, 29, 21 of August

Senior Frog Tries to Open Swim up bar in Mahahual

I reported in the last newsletter that Senior Frog was opening just outside the pier. In January, within days, a new Senior Frog went up just North of Tequila Beach and Quinto Sol Hotel racing to get done and take advantage of high season. I asked Tequila beach if they were worried about the competition and they were anything but. Daniel Rosa, who has worked there many years told me he was excited about it because it will bring people to that area of the beach. Everyone is expecting an increase in business.

Senior Frog construction
Senior Frog's swim up bar looks over the Malecon.

HOWEVER. . . the rush to build was brought to a sudden stop when Profepa put two Closurado signs up - one on the new Senior Frog building and also on Quinto Sol hotel and restaurant (shown above - it is the two story unpainted building.) I don't know the details, but one of our employees asked Profepa representatives who said they were closed for lack of permits. We're sure this will get worked out and construction will commence..

Marilyn's Mahahualaneas news

Women’s Institute – There is a plan in infancy to open a house for women where single mom’s could learn a trade, there could be opportunities for continuing education for those who dropped out of school and possibly a store room with used clothing that could be available and discounted for needy people, also other programs to aid in retraining and making women self-sufficient.

Beach Road work...  Maria said that they will continue working on the beach road to repair the washed away section.  This went into a lengthy conversation as to how could we get regular repair work done?  Could someone be responsible for collecting funds so that they are available as the work is required?  Would the businessmen’s association be an appropriate place to monitor such funds and repair work?  It was also mentioned that the road north of town also has to be included in this program.  Marilyn related that the funding of road repair comes from the Municipality of Othon P. Blanco and that we should be soliciting them for continuous roadwork in Mahahual

.   Bingo on the Malecon

Bingo/Carnival....  The Mahahualaneas are hosting BINGO to raise funds for the Carnival ( March 17th). 

DATE: Feb. 24th at
LOCATION: Tropicana Restaurant on the Malecon.
TIME: 5:00 - 8:00 

Car washes are still available beside Local Ricky’s Restaurant... Chava will be happy to clean your car (inside and out) while you are shopping or having lunch.

Opening soon - Castaways Bookstore is setting up in the block where Aroma's is located

Bus Schedule change again

There is now a 9:00 AM ADO bus leaving Mahahual for Cancun. There is not longer a 7:30 ADO bus going to Chetumal. The new time is 6:30. During the day, there are several Caribe buses and Combi's (vans) going to Chetumal. All busses stop in Limones, the combi's only stop there if someone needs to get off in Limones.

Immigration news -

Good news - the Chetumal Immigration office has two people at the front desk that speak English - a huge benefit to trying to do this yourself.

Do it yourself

Many of you have found out that you can't get your FM3 in the US any more. All Visas have to be obtained from Mexico. The good news it that now you can pretty much do it all yourself (Spanish or a translator is required.) After you apply on-line, you must take copies of several documents into immigration including copies of your passport, and some other documents that are listed on-line.

FM3 by proxy

The problem with getting an FM3 in Mexico is that many people don't have 2-3 weeks to wait around for their FM3 and if there are problems, you certainly don't have time to wait around for weeks. However, you can apply in advance on-line and then bring in the documents. You can also appoint someone as a proxy to take care of some of the business of applying for an FM3. However, you will at some point have to visit Immigration in person to give your thumbprint and signature. I have not experienced the visa by proxy, but I've seen several websites offering this service in other parts of Mexico. I'd like to know if anyone here has experienced getting a visa by proxy and would like to inform others about their experience.

Mayan Beach Garden - More info about "the wrack!"

Last month I announced the Wrack Bar at Mayan Beach Garden. This month I want to share a little bit more info. As many of you know, the wrack is the line of seaweed and debris that gathers on the shore. Both good and bad can be found along the wrack - but we hope it will make you think about Mayan Beach Garden's new Bar every time you see it. Bill Ellis and Tricia Nelson will be running the bar. They are inviting you to visit and try out Trish's great Margaritas and her specialty, "the Crack at the Wrack,".

The Wrack bar is open until 10:00 PM.



The Wrack Bar

Costa Maya Villas take off

Costa Maya Villas have turned from beautiful to WOW, and when you come to Costa Maya, you will have to visit. My office is nearing completion (well sort of) - still need internet connection there to do business, but every time I go I see major improvements.

Below are some new pictures taken of the entire building and of the penthouse rooftop units. Only three units remain.

Costa Maya Villas
Rooftop Costa Maya villas
Rooftop view of el Faro Costa Maya

For more information contact or Marcia at

Our Lady of Guadalupe -
Submitted by guest writer Whitney Chaled, owner of Casita Dragonfly - located 11 km South of Mahahual. You can rent Casita Dragonfly via Mayan Beach Garden Reservations.

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: I have to apologize for this tardy submission - but if you have ever been lost in Mexico or driven in during the week before Dec. 12 - you can relate.

Casita Dragonfly
Rent Casita Dragonfly

"Our original plan was to leave Casita Dragonfly at 2pm for Merida--have something to eat--walk around listen to some street musicians  get some sleep and I'd catch a 7am plane back to the states. Then, not surprisingly our 2pm departure on Saturday turned into a 7:30 pm departure because that's how it works when we are in Mexico. Almost as soon as we hit the cafetel, far far in the distance there was a glaring light so bright we could not tell if it was coming, going or not moving at all.

After what seemed to be 15 minutes we passed a huge truck with the Virgin of Guadalupe painting  attached  to the front of it, accompanied by flashing lights on the car in front of it—a police escort  and between them , a man running with a torch held high.  So, this must be the Lady of Guadalupe procession, we've heard about, which disrupts traffic but is a beautiful event commemorating the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to a Mexican man in the 1500's. We thought it was very cool that it was going to Mahahual . (notice I say It, singular--oh ignorance is bliss) 

After we had passed it the procession on the cafetal, quite happy to have seen it. Gerrit, for whatever reason asked me "Which  Chacchoben road should we take?"  Now, it's a well known fact that I  have no sense of direction, but I thought since Merida was north west, we should take the most northern road. It ends up it was not the best choice-- we knew it almost right off the bat. When we hit Chaccoben the town and saw about 20-30 people walking in the street I had an idea of what we were getting into. Another procession.  We questioned each other--”should we pass them? Is that rude? Will they move? Is it worse that we are behind them with our headlights on? Are we being “ugly Americans”"  Remember, this conversation is taking place at about 2 miles per hour. The crowd parted and we passed only to hit a dead end. A complete and total dead end. In horror we realized we were going to have to turn around and face those people again.  Ugh.  I could have crawled under the seat.

We found a cab driver not part of the procession and asked him please to tell us the correct way to Merida.
Just go down "this" road and make a right at "that" road and we'd be on our way.  Perfect!

No sooner than  we had made the turn, we saw more lights in the close distance. Uh oh--another procession. The road was 1 lane wide--maybe 1 and a half if you were in a small car which we were not.  The truck now directly in front of us was almost as wide as the road and filled with at least 20 kids and teens, standing in the back in the covered bed.  they would stop to set off fireworks and honk the horn of the car in a certain pattern about every 2 minutes. Every now and then the complete stop simply seemed to let everyone play musical cars.  This procession had no flashing lights or police escort or torches running ahead.  It was later we realized that they were most likely getting out of the truck and taking turns walking in front of the lead car.

Up to this point I was getting a bit irritated.  We were going to get to Merida around Midnight---and yes, the restaurants would be open, the lovers would be out walking hand in hand, the music would play, but we would have to sleep instead.

But something clicked when two cars pulled up behind us. Now we were not just tag alongs in the procession--we were a part of it. When would something like this ever happen again?  We drove slowly down the road through the field where we were greeted by  the moo of a  cow the sight of a  horse slightly spooked by one of the fire crackers and a half moon hanging in the dark night sky. We slowly drove as people from the simple houses, some with a string of lights, others highly decorated, came out to watch the procession of the Lady of Guadalupe.

It  must haven taken an hour before we could see the church, glowing with blue lights. The procession was making a right--"are we making a right?" Gerrit asked me?  Yes I said, we've come this far, lets make a right----we could hear the high voices of children with the chant of Ma-Ri-A  Ma-Ri-A as we got closer.  It was just lovely. We did not stop as we were dressed like tourists and did not want to crash their party in our flip flops but it was another one of those "only in mexico" experiences that we will never forget. It started out irritating, and then amusing, and ended up being something completely different.

I learned a lot that night--that there seems to be no limit to the people who will ride in the back of an open truck waiting for the honor of carrying the torch, on foot or by bike. That each procession--we saw at least 20--is different, some announced the virgin with very loud thumping music, some with the children's chant of "Maria" some crossed the state with a lone runner, some in groups of 30, sometimes there were 8 processions in a row. and on this night where it was 52 Fahrenheit in the middle of the state, they were bundled up in sweat pants and hooded jackets, and every one of them held that torch high.

 In the end—my projected arrival into Merida at midnight was a bit optimistic. We didn't get to Merida until 4:00 in the morning, and as we lay down for a 30 minute nap, random firecrackers were still being set off.  The Lady of Guadalupe was making her entrance somewhere and everywhere."

Fond Farewell

2011 marks the departure of several well known characters in the Costa Maya.

Neil and Ann Guerin have sold their house in Placer after a dramatic and rollercoster ride here on the Costa Maya. We will miss them and wish them the best. Health reasons require them to stay closer to home in New York. The Guerin's first home was completely destroyed after Hurricane Dean causing them to build a second time. They wish all their friends on the Costa Maya . . . . "Thank you, for missing us & we too will miss all of our close neighbors in Placer.  The best & the most beautiful place of all to live in CM...... "

Tom Biller and wife Yarima are leaving the Costa Maya as well. Tom has been a fixture on the Costa Maya for many years owning Tierra Maya Hotel and most recently checking on everyone's solar equipment and generators. Everyone who knows him will miss him and Yarima.

Professor Martin Died late 2010. He had suffered a heart attack in the fall and never got his strength back. His ashes were scattered on the beach during the Christmas holidays. He will be dearly missed. Many of us in Placer purchased our properties from him and he always stopped by with his smiling face. We wish his family sincere condolences.

I'm sure there are others who have come and gone that I'm not aware of. This isn't mean to slight anyone.

tulum airport news - tulum airport Express bypass

The following is a repeat from the last Newsletter and came from a newsletter sent out by Remax in Tulum:

The bypass project involves the construction of 26 kilometers (16 miles) of expressway which includes a branch to the future Riviera Maya International Airport, with a length of 5.5 kilometers (3.5 miles). The total cost will be 1.4 billion pesos ($120 million USD).

The bypass will begin just north of Tulum, bypassing the projected urban area, and running near the new airport, with an intersection with the Tulum Coba highway just past this point. South of Tulum, the bypass will rejoin with the existing highway where it begins to move away from the beachfront, going around the Sian Ka'an wildlife reserve and heading south to Chetumal and the Costa Maya area.

Unlike Playa del Carmen, in Tulum the existing highway actually becomes the town’s main road, where the main concentration of restaurants, services and tourist shops are located.

Not that you will want to wade through it, but A 700-page environmental Impact Survey (Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental -MIA) can be downloaded from the Environmental Agency of Mexico at:

Travel news and Tips

Playa del Carmen Overpass Nearing Completion.

If you have driven through Playa del Carmen in the last year, you couldn't miss the traffic and construction as a series of bridges by-passing the busiest sections of Playa del Carmen are being constructed. According to one of my guests, the Southernmost section of the overpasses is completed and he was able to drive on it. When I went in late December, it looked complete, but wasn't open. I don' t know the projected date, but they appear to be working around the clock. If you decide not to drive through Playa on your way to the Costa Maya, take the "Arco Vial" which is the loop around Playa. It passes by a new Super Walmart and ends down by Sam's club, City Club and Soriana's. If you need to pick up items on your way here, this might be an option.

Playa del Carment Bridge


Kathe's chetumal Tidbits

I've had several people ask about the INAPAM card - here is a repeat of this. I personally don't know anything about this card as I'm a couple of years from being old enough to take advantage of it.


Did you know that you can get an INAPAM card as a resident of Quintana Roo? Having this card entitles you to large (50%) discounts on certain things like theater tickets and bus tickets and free or hugely discounted admission to museums. There is even a discount at pharmacies.

To get it, here is a list of requirements:

1. You must be at least 60 years old.
2. Supposedly you need at least a residence visa but I know that you can get it with only a tourist visa because they only ask to see your passport.
3. Take in a photocopy of the passport
4. Take in two copies of a juvenile size photo...get them at various places in Chetumal where you see photos
5. They will ask for your address.

It is located on Venustiano Carranza west of the Clinica Carranza and on the south side of the street. On the front of the building it says DIF in big pink letters. Sometimes they ask you to come back in a couple of days or hours to get the card and sometimes they make it on the spot.

New Shopping Center in Chetumal

A new shopping center with another Chedraui as the anchor store is being built and is supposed to be open in April 2011. It is located off the north side of Insurgentes on Constituyentes (the north extension of Benito Juarez).

Cruise ship news

Royal Caribbean Building Cruise ship piers

Royal Caribbean, parent company to the giant ships the Oasis of the seas and the Allure of the seas has been building its own ports - Labadee Haiti has been open for over a year. Part of the reason is because docking fees have become extremely expensive. Will this affect the number of ships that dock at the Costa Maya? It is certain that some ports of calls will be eliminated in favor of Labadee, Haiti. Labadee is not unlike Costa Maya in that it didn't exist until it becamse a cruise ship destination. Royal Caribbean came under extreme criticism when it continued to dock in Haiti immediately after the earthquake.

Labadee, Haiti


I love you Xcalak

Very late posting from Polly (actually Polly was on time - I am late in sending, but the pictures of the christmas Carolers are too cute to resist posting.

The Kindergarten children did the rounds of Xcalak accompanied by their lovely teacher to sing carols for the hotels and then on another night for us in the pueblo. they looked adorable with their ed hats. Three carols, a group hug and off to the next house.


Xcalak caroloers

Quick show off, a dollar orchid. Tiny, perfect flowers that last for weeks


Taming a wild cat! Just bring her home a kitten, one that was being quite literally (with a broom) swept out of the drub store in Mahahual. charley, ye, charley because she has a little black smudge mustache under her nose, thought I had brought her home to a surrogate mother. After a couple of days, Mece just gave in and accepted the role.

Last but not least, a prosperous New year to you all . . .

Classified Adds


If you have something you want included in the classifieds, please send it to Limit text to 100 words and pictures no larger than 216 pixels wide. 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 being done as a community service.

2003 Honda Pilot--$11000 USD

Excellent car in very good condition. It has Mexican plates, 176K kilometers (109K miles) on the dial, 4WD, 3.5 liter V6, 5-speed automatic transmission, all maintenance done by Honda dealership and stamped in the owners manual, Michelin tires with lots of tread left, leather seating, power everything, three rows of seating (seats 8), OEM rubber floor mats over pristine original floor mats. Only issue is 2 small rust spots on the both rear door window frames and a small spot on the rear roof. Typical sea breeze rust spots. I am the second owner of this car and have only put 5K kilometers on it since I bought it back in June of this year. I know the original owner personally and she babied this car.  Only selling because I'm heading back to the states. I also have the original factura to sign over to the lucky buyer.   Asking $11000 USD.  You can contact me at or by phone at 984-141-6292

Looking for Articles

If anyone would like to submit articles to this newsletter that would be informational to others, please contact me at

Mayan Beach Garden Resort