February, apparently every ground hog
saw his shadow and decided not only to stay underground, he decided he was never
coming up again. Most areas of the US and Canada have had horrible, sustained
winters...and they are not necessarily over yet. Europe too was hit with record
cold. We encourage you to plan your own Spring Break.
Perhaps your college days are long past, but you
still deserve some time off.
choice of reasons. It's been cold, it's been really cold or it's been #$&$@*
pretty reasonable and accommodation plentiful in Puerto Morelos.
We've got lots of room in April, and prices drop substantially in May to
as low as $399/week. We can
help you find a place to stay on our
rentals web page.
If you can't
make it, please tell a friend about Puerto Morelos (and send them this
newsletter and our website). PoMo could use a few more friends!
Stop Accepting US Cash
In a move
that will likely be followed by other Mexican retailers, Wal-Mart has placed
signs up in their stores saying they will stop accepting US cash as of June
10. The Mexican government has passed a pile of new laws recently which
limit deposits of US cash to banks. This means that businesses have no way to
deposit large amounts of American money. Right now many stores limit you to $100
US per transaction. This is all supposed to combat money laundering.
businesses in Mexico I believe will continue to accept small amounts of
US cash as a convenience to our customers. Alma Libre Bookstore certainly will,
but it is another good reason to spend pesos in Mexico. Your best bet is to use
the HSBC bank machine on the square where you will get a good exchange rate and
a lower transaction fee.
12 ways that Vacation Rentals are better than all-inclusive hotels
Recently we had the opportunity to spend a few hours at a local all-inclusive
hotel. This is the way most visitors vacation in our area...until they discover
vacation rentals. While there are many plusses to an "All-In" vacation, we can
find many ways that a local rental makes for a better vacation.
- Most of the big hotels in our area have at least 400 rooms. Moon Palace has
almost 2500! You are not going to get a lot of "alone time" outside your room.
With a vacation rental, you may be in a small complex or a private home with
your own kitchen, living room and terrace. Much more privacy!
Accoutrements - Most vacation rentals come with everything you need to enjoy
your vacation. You need only to bring your clothes and a toothbrush! Most come
with kitchen and serving utensils, blenders, full size fridges, entertainment
systems and sports equipment. Most places are nicely decorated and much more
comfortable than a generic hotel room.
Flexibility - With a vacation rental, your time is your own. Go to dinner
when you feel like it...or make dinner in your place. Your choice and no need
to stand in a long line to make a reservation at the "good restaurant". Dine
wherever and on whatever you choose. No need to wait for "Wednesday night Fiesta
Night" for some Mexican food! Also, our restaurants make your meal for you. Not
for a mile long steam-tray buffet.
- On your own you can eat where you like, when you like. Puerto Morelos boasts
at least 40 restaurants to choose from, most are very inexpensive and never
require reservations or lining up.
- Much more space in a vacation rental than a hotel room. You can rent a studio,
1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and on up. Some places boast their own pool or large
terraces or balconies. Much better than a cramped hotel room.
- Vacation rentals are usually much, much cheaper than an "all-in" vacation. At
one local hotel, they offer the "all inclusive" option for $100 per person/per
night. In Puerto Morelos you could have breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, enough
liquor to cause your liver to howl in protest and taxi fares before spending
half that much. You have control over your budget. You can save big by cooking
some of your meals at your casa and try some of the local specialties like fish
& seafood. Try mixing your own margaritas or enjoy a cool drink in your own
- Most hotels seem to want you to have a good time whether you want to or not!
Their idea of a good time usually involves thumping, unidentifiable dance music
and some dude on a mic trying to get everyone to play bingo or some silly pool
game. Didn't you want to relax? Easy to do in your vacation rental!
Frustrations - Even being at one of the big hotels for a few hours can make
you a little crazy. The "towel game" where people place towels on choice chairs
around the pool at 5:00am and then don't show up to use them until 11. People
cutting into line ahead of you, talking loud and practicing questionable hygiene
practices at the buffet. Who needs it! At a private rental, you are in
control...unless you bring your annoying brother-in-law. (Maybe get him his own
rental across town.)
Location - Most of the big hotels are very isolated. This encourages patrons
to stay on the property and never see any "real" Mexico. When you stay at a
vacation rental, you can be right in town, living life more like a local than a
tourist. When the mood strikes, a short stroll leads you to restaurants, shops
or the best beach. Some of these hotels are so huge, that even when you are in
your room, you could be as far as two kilometres from the beach!
Watered-Down Drinks - I hear this criticism all the time. Yes, your liquor
is included in your price, but what is it? Most places do not serve "top shelf"
liquor. In fact, I don't know if it is any shelf at all. The labels are
unrecognizable and we suspect that the hotel's bulk buying means they pay
pennies for a tanker-truck of this stuff. Order and receive what you want in our
many restaurants and bars, or mix your own in your fully equipped kitchen.
Shopping - Buying anything at the local hotel gift shop only assures one
thing...that you are paying too much. Buy from a local artisan in our town!
Pressure - Many hotels are always trying to sell you something. Timeshare,
vacation clubs, overpriced tours. At a vacation rental, there's no up-sell and
you'll pay much less for your tours, snorkel, dive or fishing trips by booking
Spotted on the walk to work recently, the latest fad in PoMo
A crew came into town recently and added these swanky beach signs to
our streets...taking no notice of the local traffic laws. There are
two of these sign clusters in town that encourage you to go to the beach, the
wrong way down a one-way road.
Spend a little
time with us in the bookstore and you will quickly realize what we do all day,
We don't mind of course, we're proud of our town and like to steer people in the
right direction. If you buy enough books, we'll answer your questions all day.
Here are some of
the ones we get asked most often:
Leaning Light During Hurricane Wilma, we were worried it would straighten up!
Is there a
a desperate visitor, all other questions seem unimportant compared to this one.
There is a public bathroom on the dock and Computips beside OXXO advertises
theirs for 5 pesos. Aside from that we suggest patronizing one of the town's many
cafes, bars or restaurants and using theirs.
to the lighthouse? Did that just happen?Our
famous lighthouse got its lean from Hurricane Beulah back in 1967. Legend has it
that officials attempted to remove the old leaner after the storm but the
stubborn lighthouse would not budge, so they just left it alone. It has now
become our symbol. Since '67, the lighthouse has survived at least two major
hurricanes, but it leans no more or less than it did 44 years ago. (We were
actually kind of worried it would straighten up and make all our postcards
Always smile at the nice man with the big gun.
the army guys? Is there a revolution going on?Wherever
there is a port in Mexico, you will find a military presence. Since we are a
port (it's even in our name) we have the military. They may look kind of
intimidating when you see them walking the beach in full uniform with guns
nearly as big as they are, but have a peek into their barracks sometime. When
they are walking around in their t-shirts and hanging their freshly hand-washed
socks out to dry, they don't seem so scary. Smile and say "Buenos Dias" and they
will do the same back to you.
the checkpoint on the highway? Is there a revolution going on?The
army and police love to set out pylons and block traffic. You'll find army
roadblocks at any state border and other locations. Police have a checkpoint
just south of the airport, going in Playa del Carmen and other places. Usually
the roadblocks are to catch drug smugglers, sometimes they are investigating a
recent crime, sometimes they are there because there are dignitaries in town and
sometimes I think they are just there 'cause it's fun. Usually you will just get
waved through these things. Sometimes they may ask simple questions like "where
are you going?" and "where are you coming from?". Sometimes they will want to
search your vehicle. Again, these guys can appear intimidating because they are
well armed. Stay cool, cooperate with them and smile. They will smile back. We
go through dozens of these on our long trips north and south and have never had
Announcement Guy Motto: If you can’t be clear…be loud.
the little car with the loudspeaker driving through town? Is there a revolution
going on?The little car with the
loud, loudspeaker on its roof is part of the town. He's paid a fee to drive
around with town news and advertising from local businesses. We find him very
hard to understand. At first we blamed our poor Spanish, then we realized our
Mexican friends couldn't understand him either. Lately we notice his speakers
have been getting larger, so he's louder, but just as hard to understand. Other
loudspeaker vehicles drive through town too. Some are making announcements, and
some are selling fresh produce, shrimp, or even mattresses. Other trucks play a
little jingle (usually the gas guy) or music (usually the bakery guy). If you
see a guy walking around town playing a shrill flute...get your knives out...he
will sharpen them. If you see one of us walking around shouting "libros, libros..."
you know it's a quiet day at the bookstore.
Post Office?I love answering
this one. There isn't one. Next! Okay, we don't have a post office, but you can
still mail your Puerto Morelos postcards (available at Alma Libre
Bookstore...everyone else has Cancun ones) in Puerto Morelos. First, get
yourself the proper stamp at Casa Martin Supermarket and then post it in the
mailbox located on the wall between El Pirata restaurant and the gift shop on
the corner. I have no idea when they pick up. If you are going to Cancun or
Playa del Carmen or Cancun, post them there, it speeds up the process. MexPost
mailboxes are there big and red.
How do I
catch a bus to Playa or Cancun:This
one is easy. You need to get to the highway by cab or collectivo bus. There are
two bus stations, one on either side of the highway. The far bus station (in
Farmacia Paris) is for
routes south like Playa or Tulum. The close one is for Cancun. The bus is a big
luxury liner operated by ADO. The bus comes every ten minutes and costs just 20
pesos. They even show a movie on the bus. Don't get too absorbed in it though,
it's only a thirty minute trip. (The have WiFi now too!)
Meet Me in the
Do not miss a visit to the reef. He's waiting for you!(photo
Can I ride
the Collectivo? Where does it go?If
you've got five pesos, you can ride the collectivo. Mexico runs on collectivos.
They are the buses or vans you see whipping around town. If you catch it heading
north or west, it will eventually take you to the Colonia and get you close to
the ADO bus stations. On occasion it goes out to El Cid and sometimes to points
north. The routes are a bit of a mystery to me. Ask the driver if you are in
doubt, or take a nice tour of the town. Eventually you'll get where you want to
go. The driver can make change for you if you don't have the exact dough...but
don't be paying with anything larger than a 50 peso bill or you'll ruin his day.
Can I rent a
bike?It used to be difficult to
ride a bike in PoMo, but with the reasonably paved roads, the world has improved
for two-wheelers. Ride nicely and watch for the speeding cabs and buses. Don't
ride on the highway unless your nerves are far better than mine. Watch for speed
bumps and potholes. There are several places to rent bikes from. The travel
agency around the corner from us has them and restaurant La Choza del Chaman has
How do I get
to the reef to snorkel?Our reef
is amazing. It's our pride and joy and we protect it like our child. Therefore,
you can't go out to the Reef without a guide. You must also wear a life vest.
These precautions protect you and the Reef. Our over-protectiveness means the
Reef is very healthy and you will see a good variety of sea life. We can't
recommend a trip out to the Reef enough (picture jumping into an aquarium.) You
can go with one of the dive shops in town, or to go in a hurry, go out with the
next boat going out from the dock. The price will be around $230 pesos plus a
$20 peso park admission fee. (The admission fee goes directly to Reef
protection) They will take you to two different locations for about two hours.
The guides are trained and certified. Go and say "Hola" to the fish for me.
our most asked questions. There are hundreds of others. Our website
almalibrebooks.com can answer many of them. Click the "Puerto Morelos" tab for
lots of practical, accurate and up to date info.
Bookstore Hours - We're open 7 days a week and
We're not quite open 24 hours, but we are 7 days a
week with the same hours. 10:00am to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 9:00pm every day. Even
Sunday! Please note that we are closed daily between 3 & 6. Even we need a siesta!
finally found a supplier who can do the impossible, get books to us reliably
in Puerto Morelos.
We can now order most any title and receive it at the bookstore in about a
at a surprisingly low cost.
We are ordering
new books for the store about once a month and we can bring in books for you
too! Depending on the number of books you order, shipping and duty will be
between $3 and $5 US per book. This is much quicker and cheaper than any other
source we have found, including Amazon.
Our next order will be in early March. To order, just contact us to make sure
we are able to get the book. We require a deposit on all orders. Easy!
Final special order of the season will March 28.
The taxistas have done a nice
service for the town. They have posted all their rates on a great big sign
beside the taxi stand in the square. This is a great move and should help to
eliminate any misunderstandings. Check the sign, confirm the rate with the
driver and there will be no surprises. Here are some highlights (fares from
20 pesos - The highway, Villas Morelos, Amar Inn, PlayaSol, Casa de los
Viajeros, Villa Shanti
40 pesos - Ceiba, Rancho Sak-Ol
45 pesos - UNAM
50 pesos - Jungle Market/Spa, Villas Morelos II, Crococun, Botanical Garden
130 pesos - Playa Secreto
150 pesos - Central Vallarta
300 pesos - Airport
600 pesos - Xel-Ha
2000 pesos - Merida/Chetumal
We've changed our pricing system on used books at
Alma Libre Bookstore. Instead of penciling in the price on the first page of the
book, we've switched to a "dot system". Each used book will have a brightly
coloured dot on the spine. The dot represents the price of the book, we have
price guides all over the store. The dot system allows us to keep up with the
fluctuating peso. We used the opportunity to lower our prices on hundreds of
books all over the store. Check us out!
Our town and bookstore have been discovered by a
lot of visitors to TripAdvisor.com. We lurk at the site ourselves and try to
help visitors discover Puerto Morelos and correct some of the crazy misinformation
that often comes up on the site. If you like Alma Libre Bookstore, please
write a review for us on Trip Advisor. Any review will move us up in the
"Puerto Morelos Things To Do" list, and a positive review might help bring more
folks into the bookstore!
Many thanks to those of you that have already
wrote us glowing reviews. Thanks to you our stock has risen!
Jungle Market / Jungle Spa
Big things are happening in the Jungle again this
year. Sandra and the Jungle Spa women have been rubbing visitors the right way
all season long. They are coaxing all-inclusive visitors out of their plush
prisons to enjoy a taste of Mexico and life in the jungle.
The new palapa they have been saving money for all
year is now completed, so they can handle more guests in more comfort. The
palapa is in a peaceful spot surrounded by nature.
The famous Jungle Market is on again. There is a new show with lots of dancers and costumes.
Show begins at 11:30. The market features items that are specially made by local families. You can't
get these things anywhere else! Be sure to come to the market hungry, because
the food is always the highlight. New! You can take a special taxi to the
Jungle Market on Sunday at 10:00 am from the Hotel Posada Amor just south of
the square. There will be a collection of taxis to take you to the Jungle Market
at the special rate of 10 pesos per person.
Jungle Spa has been so popular, they have expanded the days that it is open and are
requesting that people make appointments either by telephone or email. This
will ensure you don't waste any time waiting for your treatment.
To make an appointment, contact Sandra at (998) 208 9148 or Cell 044 998
180-5424 or by email
Appointments are available Tuesday-Saturday and limited appointments may be
available on Sunday. The spa is closed on Monday.
Many treatments are available, from manicures and pedicures to a luxurious
aloe vera and banana leaf wrap and massage! (or a chocolate massage...does it
get any better??) For men, there is the "Mayan Macho" massage. You've never had
a massage like this! They even have special massages for young adults.
Spa prices are
much lower than you will find at your resort and proceeds go directly
to the Mayan families that work at the spa and Jungle Market.
It's easy to get out to the
jungle by car, taxi or collectivo. It's on Calle Dos (kie-yay dose) in the Zona
Urbana, which is right behind the Colonia.
Here's a map you can
print out. Taxi to the jungle from the town square is 50 pesos. A taxi from nearby
hotels is 150 pesos or $12 US each way.
Tell driver you want to go to: Jungle Spa - Sandra (important to mention her
name) Zona Urbana.
Remember, when you pamper yourself at the Jungle Spa or buy a unique gift
at the Mayan Market, you are directly supporting Mayan families! This is a very
worthwhile venture and we hope you will support it.
New anti-money laundering laws here in Mexico require exchange houses to record
your passport number to exchange US cash for pesos. You will need a copy of your
passport to exchange cash at any exchange place in Mexico.
Also large businesses like Walmart and Costco are unable to accept more than
$100 US in cash per transaction. Walmart has posted that they will no longer
accept US cash after June 10.
Just a reminder to visitors that there is no place to cash traveler's
cheques in Puerto Morelos. The easiest way to get pesos is at the HSBC ATM
(ABM) beside the supermarket on the square. If it is out of money, there is
another machine in the 7-11 by the gas station. There are also three ATMs in town that are not affiliated with
banks. Two are at the mall across the square from the bookstore and another is at OXXO.
Since these are not affiliated with a bank, the fees are much higher than
the HSBC machine.
If you wish to cash a traveler's cheque, you can do it at the airport or in Cancun
or Playa del Carmen. You will need your passport to cash a cheque.
The groups have grown very
quickly! Friends of Puerto Morelos just passed 860 members!
If you are on Facebook, please join our groups. We'll use them to keep you up
to date with town news between newsletters. Check out the group for new photos
of Puerto Morelos, taken by fellow visitors!
It’s not too late to make plans for this spring!We
still have some homes and condo rentals available for spring. It you have never
stayed in a private home or condo, you are in for a wonderful experience. You
have all the comforts of home on your vacation. All you have to do is bring your
clothes and toothbrush! Everything else is included from towels and linens to
hammocks and blenders.
Many ex-pats have built their dream homes here in PM and are
willing to rent it to you! Renting a place makes you feel more like a local and
offers the convenience of cooking for yourself and
much more privacy.
Regular Beach Readers know that we feature some of these
properties on our website. There are a gazillion property rental sites out
there, but our site is unique because these are properties we know, owned
and run by people we know and trust.We
like to think we take the guesswork and risk out of renting.
We're always adding new properties to the site and new
This giant suite can be rented as a one bedroom/one bath with a fold
out couch, or as a two bedroom two bath. Each bedroom has it's own outside door
to allow entry or exit without disturbing others.
It has a full kitchen with pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, plus appliances
like coffee maker, toaster and juicer. Dinking water is included as well as
cable TV and wireless internet. The suite features a huge terrace with
table and chairs and comfy hammocks. All this from $650 a week in season, $450
starting in May! Click here for more
information and pictures!
Huge, Bright, Breezy One Bedroom
A big one bedroom, two bath with a loft. The loft has a fold out couch and curtains
for privacy. The couch in the living room also folds out into a bed.
Off the bedroom and the living room is a HUGE balcony with table and chairs for
four and a comfy hammock.
Of course there is a full kitchen with pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, plus
appliances like coffee maker, toaster and juicer. Dinking water is included as
well as cable TV and wireless internet. $675 a week in season, $499
starting in May! Click here for more
information and pictures!
A stand-alone single family residence, on the ocean
fronting a small quiet cove. This is a recently built (2007) two story home
with 2200 square feet of living area and in addition, a
walled in private rooftop sundeck.
The house has 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, living, dining, kitchen, and laundry
room, an outside storage room, and a downstairs oceanfront sitting porch and
Included on the
property is a complete separate suite, that can be used as servants
quarters, or a guest house.
adjoining lot is also for sale, walled and ready to build on.
Free Gift From Alma
Libre Updated for
February & March
For those of you still stuck up North, bring a small piece of
Puerto Morelos to your home or office with our new Puerto Morelos Wallpaper.
Beautiful of course, and practical too with February & March calendars built
This month's wallpaper is a view of the beach just south of town.
We'll have new wallpaper at the end of the month.
We'll have new pictures available for download
every month! Wallpaper is also available on our website at
Restaurant News: A new restaurant has opened in the space formerly belonging
to La Suegra. Merkadito del Mar has mostly seafood on the menu and a
The people who made La Petita fish restaurant such a success have now moved
completely to La Playita, which is just north of their old location on
the same road, but now on the beach. New owners have taken over La Petita at
it's old location, even keeping the same menu. We never say anything bad about
places, but the early reviews of the "new" La Petita are mixed at best. If you want the
old "La Petita" experience, walk a little further down the road to La Playita.
They have live music on occasion.
The little fish place Cruzita on Niños Héroes across from the Ministerio Publico
has changed its name to La Quinta de Morelos. We haven't been yet, but
early reviews are good.
Independence Day: For a while now, Puerto Morelos has been trying to get
out of what it calls a "bad relationship". Right now, PoMo's town affairs are
mostly handled (or not handled) by the municipal government of Cancun. Puerto
Morelos would like to change that and become an "Alcaldia", which would give the
town control over their own tax dollars and allow the town to get more
much-needed services. It was all supposed to happen this week, culminating in a
big party yesterday in the town square. Unfortunately, Cancun is reluctant to
give us up, and the delegation did not receive the votes it needed to break
away. Rather than cancel the party, it went ahead with speeches denouncing the
decision and promises to continue the quest for independence. It all ended with
a big dance party with an excellent band. Viva PoMo! (Photos of the big event
later in this newsletter.)
Diving Dog Tours has grown again. They are now the official
dive/snorkel/fishing outfitter for La Ceiba Spa Resort. Owner Kathy has a fleet
available for all your fishing needs, everything from high-end yachts to
professional fishing boats to pangas. Parties of up to 8 fishers can be
accommodated. She also takes snorkelers out to the reef and now
divers, through their partnership with Aquanauts Dive Adventures. You can book
anything, fishing/snorkeling/diving/boat charters through the storefront at Ceiba del Mar, just off the beach at the north end of the hotel or at Aquanauts
office in the Hacienda Morelos Hotel.
Check out her fleet and new website.
A new medical centre is being built in the Colonia. The building,
beside the library is taking shape quickly. A sign on the site says the centre
will offer all standard care and 24 hour emergency service. This is great news
for the town. (photo by Daphne Armstrong)
We had a great time at the Mayakoba Golf Classic held in late February.
We mainly went to get a look at Mayakoba, a giant development with three hotels
including the enormous Fairmount Mayakoba. Having never been to a pro golf
tournament, I didn't know quite what to expect. Picture any major sporting
event, but class it up several notches. Everything is a little higher end.
Sponsors hand out gifts like laptop cases and Hagen Daz ice cream and we were
invited to try some expensive tequilas...but it was too early for that! We were
not allowed to take pictures, in fact they confiscated cameras and even cell
phones at the entrance. We were a little amused that all spectators were ordered
to be quiet and even not move when the golfers lined up their shots, lest we
distract them. We've never had to do that during a pro football game!
Yucatan Ferry: Tampa media is claiming that two groups are interested in
reviving ferry service between the Yucatan and Tampa. Service would begin next
year and would cost $300 or $350 per person round trip including cabin and
meals. No word on what they would charge to transport vehicles. They want to do
two round trips a week. No word on where they are landing in Mexico. The old
Yucatan Express ferry which ceased operations in 2003 landed at Progresso and
Puerto Morelos. They had trouble landing in PoMo because of the shallow reef and
eventually only landed in Progresso, thirty minutes north of Merida.
Read all about it here.
Mayan Holidaze, a music festival that came to a resort near Puerto
Morelos this year will be back next year...and it's already sold out. You can
add your name to a waiting list and hope for the best. This unusual music fest
features big bands and professional set ups and sound, but in a much more
intimate setting. Only a limited number of tickets are sold, meaning you can
focus on what is important; the music rather than dealing with large crowds. The
well-organized event also sets up a charity fund to provide a positive legacy to
the place they play. This year they donated computers and school supplies to the
local DIF for the kids in our area.
More info here.
Shakira the Columbian bombshell and shaker of hips will headline a major
concert in Cancun on June 15. She is expected to draw 25,000 people. Word is the
concert will be held at the enormous Moon Palace. Our sources say you must book
five nights at the hotel to qualify to buy tickets. A better deal is in Merida,
where the city is footing the bill for her to play for free on the Paseo Montejo
on July 16. Unfortunately the bookstore
will be closed for the season by then, but this all gives me an excuse to put a
picture of Shakira in the newsletter. Waka waka!
Play Ball! - Los boys of Summer are back! Los Tigres de Quintana Roo
will be playing again in Cancun. It's pretty good quality ball, the seats are
inexpensive and the food is fantastic. Seats start at just 20 pesos, the best
seats in the house are only around 100. They have a
website, click "calendario" to see their
Need a housesitter in the fall? - We'll close the bookstore again for the
season in early May and make our way back to Calgary and do some work again in
the "glamorous" world of television production this summer. We're undecided what
to do in the fall though, so we're offering our services up as housesitters.
We'll consider pretty much anywhere in North America. We have to be back in
Mexico by early November. We'll take care of houses, dogs, cats, birds...pretty
much anything but a child! Contact us if you are interested. We are trustworthy,
clean and respectful of other people's liquor cabinets.
Sacre Blues! - If you miss the Men in Blues at one of their many gigs
around town, you can buy their CD at Alma Libre Bookstore. It was recorded live
in Puerto Morelos. We also have Mark Mulligan CD's, and for a limited
time, we have cards for a free Mark Mulligan song download. Ask us!
Chef Dieter is busy baking bread for you this season. Look for his fresh Lye
Pastry products at the Supermarket Casa Martin. You can also try the Pretzel
Sandwich at the “NY- Kitchen Express” Deli at Bonampak at the Plaza Peninsula in
Check out his website
for more products. You can always get fresh bread at Mama's Bakery
too...as well as other delicious treats.
Ask a Realtor: Owning a property in Mexico is not difficult, but it is
likely a different process than in your home country. Amber at Mayan Riviera
Properties is hosting her "Ask a Realtor" workshops again this year, every
Tuesday at 5:00 PM. She has a short, informal presentation and then will answer
your questions at the Mayan Riviera Properties office on the east side of the
Bunch O' Booths: A lot of booths have sprung up around the square. Most of these booths are selling snorkel and fishing trips.
Some are selling tours. Some are selling time-share or vacation clubs. Make sure
you know the difference when you are talking to the person at these booths. If
the price of a tour or trip seems too good to be true, there may be strings attached. Check out our
Morelos Services page for good local businesses that will show you the sights
As we reported before,
Herald Cancun Edition is no more. Look for a copy of the USA Today
Cancun Edition at your hotel or convenience store. It's being put together
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This Just In!
Books & Products at Alma Libre
Read all about it!
We love to keep you up
to date with the town, but it's books that pay the bills. Have a look at some
titles at Alma Libre bookstore...
The Painted Fish and other Mayan Feasts
This book written by Sonja Lillvik, who founded the Cuzan Guest House in
Punta Allen is memoir of a life in the land of the Maya told with food!
This is a gorgeous book with more than 100 recipes (perfected in the Mayan
Riviera and tested up north) and lots of glossy pictures of food and fun.
We ran out of these a week ago, but we now have a few in stock. Hurry in!
The Maya - Michael Coe
Just Updated! A perennial bestseller in the bookstore, this
reader-friendly book is an excellent choice for those who want to learn
about the Maya. Written by Michael Coe, recognized the world over at THE
expert on the Maya, this book answers all your questions and then some.
The best part about this book is that it is constantly updated, this
volume is the eighth edition, and it just came out last month. The ink is
practically still wet!
We also have Coe's "Mexico from the Olmecs to the Aztecs" in the store
-A clear and intelligent
description of the development and organization of Maya civilization. --
-[Coe] has shown an outstanding ability in selecting and organizing his
material. A pleasure to read. -- Antiquity
A beautiful book showcasing the unique architectural style
of the Yucatan...or to put it in another way,
"A dazzling photographic journey, Casa Yucatan focuses on architectural
elements, water spaces, and open-air living in houses both colonial and
contemporary, including haciendas and coastal retreats. The Yucatan has
undergone a remarkable restoration renaissance of late: ancient pyramids
now share the dense jungle landscape with revived haciendas, and
colonial homes boasting high-beamed ceilings and cool tile floors
posture amidst elegant plazas and renovated nineteenth-century
Mexican Slang 101 -
This book is the phrase book for those who want to really
"talk the talk" and speak the way the locals speak. You'll find hip expressions
like the proper way to say "cool" or "bummer", right down to the nastiest
insults you can imagine. There is enough information in this book to be the life
of the party, or get beaten up. Be careful how you use this book! Locally
produced and available only at Alma Libre. Makes a great gift or gives you some training
that Berlitz just is not going to give you! This book has quickly become a
bestseller. Makes a great souvenir or gift.
A bargain at
The Old Man and the Sea -
There is no better place on earth to read this book than by the
sea at Puerto Morelos. We quickly learned that lesson and so we import this
classic from up north.
The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and
the Sea has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction.
It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless,
agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the
simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of
courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms
them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.
Puzzle books for the Beach - We have a great selection of puzzle
books, especially made for the beach. We have New York Times crosswords
especially made for a sunny day and a hammock. We also have a great
selection of Sudoku books for the sand and surf. We also always have a
deck of cards available at Alma Libre.
Latin Style -
We are very excited to have this new decorating book in our shop. It's big
and glossy and features lots of pictures to inspire you to bring Latin
style into your home. Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque is a Columbian born
interior designer with notable clients throughout the world. He has
designed everything from private residences to trendsetting restaurants.
This book also includes a Latin music CD!
"This is a charming
book full of color, and the quirky style of what the author calls "Latin
Style". This is much more than just a decorating book. The author chooses
pictures that give you a sense of what it would be like to experience
Latin style." - Amazon Reviewer
Secrets of the Talking Jaguar is the story of the author's physical
and spiritual journey from the south-western US to the highlands of
Central America. There he becomes apprenticed to a local shaman who
teaches Pretchel much about indigenous Mayan life and about life in
"This eloquent and expressive work.
. .is highly recommended."—Library Journal
"Told with great honesty, insight, and generosity, Prechtel’s chronicle
offers modern readers a privileged and rare glimpse into the complex and
spiritually rich life of a contemporary Mayan village."
—Rocky Mountain News
Spanish Language Learning Software- Now
available for the Mac! - Since moving to Mexico, Joanne and I
have struggled with our Spanish, especially those nasty verbs. Now our
friend Jacky has invented a fun way to learn your verbs. Her Amigos
Spanish program has full conjugation for 700 verbs and helps you learn
with tests and puzzles. The program is totally customizable, allowing you
to focus on the verbs you need to know. Plus it's fun, so you will stick
with it and learn those verbs. To expand your vocabulary, try Amigos
Spanish Puzzles a program featuring word games with English clues and
Spanish answers (or vice versa). The program comes loaded with 2500 words,
and you can even add your own words if you like! Both programs are
available on CD at Alma Libre Bookstore or download it at
SPECIAL OFFER for Alma Libre Bookstore Customers
Cenotes of the Riviera Maya
is the best book ever written about the cenotes in our area. Beautifully
photographed, it could easily be called a coffee table book, but it is
also has all the practical information you need to explore the cenotes
whether you are swimming or diving. Many have drooled over this book, but
the hefty (500 peso) price tag kept some people away. Now author Steve
Gerrard has authorized us to lower the price. At 300 pesos, this book
is an incredible bargain and it has been flying off our shelves.
If you drive in our area, you need a map! We have excellent and detailed
maps of the Yucatan, the country of Mexico, Cancun city, Merida as well as
Belize, Guatemala, Cuba and Central America. We also have souvenir-quality
maps you can hang on the wall.
Maps are usually difficult to find in Mexico, but only if you are looking
in the wrong place! Plot a course to the bookstore...if you get lost...ask
We've added a lot of new postcards to our collection, including more
underwater shots by "Dive
Diva." We have the largest selection of Puerto Morelos postcards, and they
are all exclusive to Alma Libre. We know because we make 'em! We also have blank
greeting cards to cover any occasion you may wish to celebrate while you are in
Gift Certificates! A nice gift idea for someone who lives here is an Alma Libre Gift
certificate. Available in any amount and can be used for new or used
merchandise. We can accept payments from up north via Paypal.
Carnival in Merida: Once again we made our annual trek to Merida for
their huge Carnival celebration. Two parades a night, dozens of music stages and
miles and miles of fair food opportunities.
Tacos al Pastor:
I love a parade as much as the next guy, but the secret attraction to Carnival
in Merida is the food. Look at the size of this meat pile! Layers and layers of
meat, slow cooked and sliced for you when it's ready.
Uayma: Near Valladolid you will find this amazing church,
decorated in a most unusual way. The town itself (pronounced WHY-mah) is
immaculate, peaceful, and the people are friendly. Well worth the trip!
Crucifix for Sale: Found this man selling religious items on the busy
streets of Merida.
PoMo Alcaldia: This gathering was
planned as the ceremony of Puerto Morelos breaking away from Cancun, but it
didn't happen. Instead speakers told the crowd about the necessity of
independence from the big city.
PoMo Alcaldia: After the meeting,
this big band got the crowd dancing into the night.
a reminder that we are open 7 days a week for the season. Our hours are
10:00am to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 9:00pm EVERY DAY of the week. (Including Sunday) We are
closed between 3:00pm and 6:00pm for siesta.
We take trades every day, so our
selection is constantly changing. If you are planning a trip down, why not bring
some recent bestsellers to trade and check out our store, or plan to buy all
your reading material at Alma Libre. We got you covered!
Beach Reads is the official newsletter of Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto
Morelos Mexico. It is mailed directly to your mailbox if you request it. Beach
Reads is published on a sporadic, seemingly random basis...but it is supposed
to be approximately monthly during the season at Puerto Morelos. The season is
November until after Easter. We do our best to publish it regularly...but we
are easily distracted...
To subscribe or make comments or suggestions or advertise your local event,
Retransmission & Redistribution of this newsletter without express written
consent is just fine by us! Send this newsletter to a friend! (or get them to
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buying a book at Alma Libre Bookstore.