Las Palmas Maya is the culmination of a dream that started many years ago on a trip to Costa Rica. My name is Cheryl, and my husband is Frank and we are the proprietors of Las Palmas Maya. Several years ago, we were at a point in our lives where we were questioning the logic of staying in careers that while lucrative, were much less than satisfying. The inevitable realization that we are only here for a short time and we better make the most of it, finally hit home. Once we reached the hard decision that we could let go of the lifestyle, the possibility of living outside of the United States became our focus. We began doing our homework and researching where in the world we might live that could offer a less expensive lifestyle, yet still afforded the conveniences of home… a place that offered year-round sunshine, friendly natives, and business opportunities. On the short list was Central America and Mexico.
We made exploratory trips to Costa Rica, Belize, and Roatan, but we kept returning to Mexico… in particular, the Yucatan. That Caribbean ocean seemed to have a hold on us and the people of the Yucatan drew us in more and more with each visit. Paamul, a small community just south of Playa del Carmen, is where we bought a get-away, while we still worked at paying off bills, cars, and houses.
The real-estate market crumble stalled our plans for a couple of years but we kept our eye on the prize. The downsizing started as we held garage sales and give-aways. In March of 2010, after tearful goodbyes to family and friends, with the dog and cat in tow, we made the 3500 mile drive from Palm Harbor, Florida to our new full-time home in Paamul, MX to begin the biggest adventure so far of our lives.
A couple of months of decompressing went by as we adapted to our new surroundings. As it turns out, even with our limited Spanish, we were able to get by in most situations and we are learning more and more every day. The warmth of the Mexican people cannot be overstated – with just a little effort at communication on our parts; we have been treated with nothing but kindness.
After about a year, we began to get restless. What would we do, now that we were here? After all, we were not ready to retire. Several ideas were considered, but nothing really grabbed our attention. Remember the dream that started in Costa Rica? On a visit to Tamarindo in 2000, on the Pacific Coast we stayed at a charming place on the beach. It was owned by a lovely and well traveled lady – we loved her place and we loved the contentment we saw on her face. “One day”, we told each other, “that is what we will do.”
With eyes and ears kept open, in March of 2011 we happened to learn of a small place for sale in Tulum, simply called “Ray’s Place”. We headed south about half an hour, met Ray and his brother Kenny and soon we had a deal. Frank and I would fulfill a longstanding dream of owning our own hotelita. Thus, Las Palmas Maya was born!
Prior to arrival in Mexico, I spent my entire life in the wonderful State of Florida. After careful consideration, I decided to take a leap of faith and join my friends on the incredible journey that has evolved into Las Palmas Maya. I sold everything that I thought was important (well…most of it!), quit my job, put my puppies on an airplane and joined the Las Palmas Maya family! Since April 2011, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my days enhancing this beautiful, salty piece of land and doing my part to make all of our guest’s vacations, the best they can possibly be. I fell in love with Tulum’s pristine beach and the culture of our little beach community – I’m confident you will too. Whether you need a room, bicycle, advice on a restaurant, suggestions on local attractions or events – I’m your guy. Stop by and say hello!