¡Hola Amigos! (Always Akumal Newsletter) - September, 1998
We hope that all of you had a great summer, and now you can look forward to planning your winter vacations! Dave and I recently returned from another wonderful trip to Akumal, and are excited about the new things that are happening in the area. To those of you who are planning a return trip, or if you are still looking forward to visiting --we’d like to inform you that your next vacation should be better than ever! Read on…..
First, if you plan to fly charter—there’s a new terminal in service about 2 blocks from the main terminal in Cancun that is very nice and better organized. Many of the charters are flying in there now. We found our transition from plane to customs and to baggage to be quite smooth, and with a lot less confusion than before. For long waits on return flights, there are plenty of new restrooms, and a fairly decent sit-down restaurant. And you can hear the speaker system when your flight is announced (a definite improvement)!
Many of you know that the highway down the Tulum Coast has been under major construction and the cause of many delays. We are pleased to announce that it is nearly finished, and will be completed by the time most of you make the trip! Part of this highway is now four lane and the other part a very wide two lane. Other than a little construction at Xcaret’s entrance, it's smooth sailing now from the airport to Akumal. If you choose not to keep up with the tour buses and the taxi drivers, there’s plenty of room for everyone to get around you. And, thanks to the reflective markers installed in the highway, driving “home” at night is a lot easier!
There are also two new mega-resorts under construction along the Tulum Coast. We’re not sure of the names of these, but are told that they will be all-inclusive. We still have mixed feelings about the all-inclusives, because we find that sampling the delicious local cuisine is one of the best parts of the trip. Some like to do it so that they don’t have to worry about exchanging money—but the peso was almost 10 to 1 three weeks ago, (even a math idiot like me could figure it out!). We also saw a lot of guests from the all-inclusive hotels coming to our beach; they paid for a tour to go snorkeling at Akumal. Having been there… done that, we enjoy our personal freedom of coming and going when we please. Rent a car, stay in a condo or villa with your own living room and guaranteed ocean view, pay less and enjoy your vacation!! It’s easy.
Speaking of snorkeling at Akumal, I snorkeled in Akumal Bay this time and saw a very large sea turtle! I had not yet seen a turtle at Akumal, even though it is a protected area for turtles. We also watched a release of turtle hatchlings from the beach—so cute! (Poor things, it’s a big ocean out there!) Be sure and get a little education about the turtle preservation society by stopping at the Ecological Center near the dive shop.
As you drive along the road from Akumal Bay to Half Moon Bay to the Penthouse Condo, stop for a drink at nearly everyone’s favorite hot-spot La Buena Vida. The newest addition above the bar is the skeleton of a very frightening prehistoric creature, surely discovered by the locals while excavating some of the Mayan Ruins in the area (not!). (Oh, and don’t forget your “Eat Me” t-shirt.)
We are most pleased
to announce the new improvements to the property La Iguana and La Sirena
where the Penthouse Condo is located. The one that I’m really excited
about is -- a new swimming pool! This is the largest pool in Akumal
and welcome to all the guests on the premises. Anyone staying at
the Penthouse Condo has always been able to enjoy the stunning ocean view,
the beach at Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay, the beautiful ‘waveless’ lagoon
nearby for snorkeling, the diving and the snorkeling at the reef right
in front of the building, and now—the large new swimming pool in the garden
area! (What more could you want?) Well, there’s also a new
restaurant opening—we took a tour. The kitchen is ‘state of the art’
and the cuisine will be Mediterranean, with some American dishes also.
There will be air-conditioning inside, and seating on the rooftop area
for some light entertainment and views of the sunset. The new pool
and restaurant are surrounded by four new villas, built in a mission style.
The manager’s office will be right on the premises, so that you can get
assistance whenever you need it.
As for the Penthouse condo itself, we’ve added some new improvements for you! There’s new bedspreads on the king beds (to better match the decor), newly recovered dining chairs, and three new beautiful rattan and leather barstools down by the wetbar. Our builder has provided, for our guests, new wooden shelves (to place toiletries on) in all the bathrooms, and sturdy wood and leather luggage racks in all the bedrooms. Dave added a new toaster, blender and coffemaker for the season. I left some games, playing cards, jigsaw puzzle and a row of paperback books for your reading enjoyment. All to make our new and former guests more comfortable during their stay.
We are happy to provide our guests any information about the area before they visit, so that they can plan ahead the things they’d like to do. Our friends Joe and Melody spent their honeymoon at the condo in August, and really enjoyed visiting the cenotes in the area. These are inland swimming and diving areas that are tucked away in the jungle, and we’ve been told that they are very refreshing and scenic. We haven’t explored them yet, but have been told about a beautiful one on the road to Coba, and one that Joe and Melody visited that was part of a cave. Perhaps we can tell you more about them in our next newsletter!
We did take a day trip to the island of Isla Mujeres—we had visited many years ago and had the opportunity to go again with some friends from South Carolina. We thought that we were booking a day tour on the ferry with a group of people to the island—turned out that our ‘ferry’ was a dinghy and our ‘tour guides’ were two young local gentlemen (who spoke very little English)! It actually turned out to be the best tour of all—we saw Isla Mujeres by boat and loved the beautiful waters. Our guides took us to the North Beach, which has the best swimming, and the downtown area for shopping. (Unfortunately Isla Mujeres is not the quaint, sleepy place it used to be.) Then we went to a beach and restaurant area along the coast, where one of our guides informed us that lunch would be ready in 45 minutes and that he was going to be the cook! While we waited for lunch we relaxed at the beach and visited the nearby shark pen—where Dave and I held a nurse shark in our arms! These sharks are very docile during the day, as they are nocturnal. I was surprised at how rough their skin feels, and that he (she?) didn’t whip me with its large tail. The ‘keepers’ only ask for donations to feed the sharks with (anyone who is left behind after dusk will do).
As for lunch, we were served rice, pasta, and a huge plate of fresh grilled mackerel—(where was the butter? –tasted like lobster). It was delicious!
Then our guides took us to a snorkeling area—El Garafon. Some of you may have read about it or have visited it. It was the second time we had been there, and we still don’t like it. The current is strong, the ocean is deep, and you can see a lot more sealife and coral beds snorkeling in the shallow bay in front of our condo. My advice is, if you actually liked snorkeling at El Garafon, then please come and try Akumal’s waters.
That about does it for the week in review of our last visit to Akumal!! For those of you who can stay longer than a week: Consider a trip to the ruins at Chichen Itza and then on to Merida, the beautiful colonial city on the other side of the Yucatan peninsula. (This will be a ‘must’ during our next extended stay.) For the adventurous, you can also book a trip to Cuba or to the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala at the Cancun airport. We hope you’ll enjoy staying at Akumal most of all, however; its still our favorite place to be on earth. Let us know if we can help you out in any way to make your next vacation a great one!
Colette and Dave, Always Akumal, Inc.
¡Hola Amigos! Volume 1998-01 - Copyright 1998 by Always Akumal, Inc.
by Colette Schulte - all rights reserved
U.S. telephone: 612-757-8121 fax: 612-757-4336 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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