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Quinta Mai, an Enchanting Slice of Paradise on Lake Bacalar in Bacalar

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vacation rental description

Quinta Mai is an enchanting slice of tropical paradise on the eastern shore of beautiful Laguna Bacalar in the town of Bacalar.  Lake Bacalar is 30 miles long and up to 3 miles wide. It is perhaps the most perfect and pristine freshwater lake on the planet. Come  and visit this oasis of tropical beauty before the rest of the world discovers it. The locals call Laguna Bacalar "The Lake of the Seven Colors." You must see it to experience the vivid colors ranging from turquoise to green to cobalt blue. The colors exist because of the intensity of the tropical sun, the crystal clear water, the white sand bottom and the varied depth...going to over 200 feet in some parts. The Mayans call the freshwater "sweet water" and as dear old Jackie Gleason would say..."Mmmmmmm...and how sweet it is!!" 

I am Jim Baumgaertner and I grew up in Minnesota, "The Land of10,000 Lakes" and I now live in Wisconsin (we have over 13,000 lakes but we don't brag about them as much as we probably should.) So I am really into freshwater lakes....and let me tell you that Laguna Bacalar is better than anything I have ever seen anywhere...and that is why I had to check out the lake in January of 2005...and that is also why I snapped up Quinta Mai within ten minutes of seeing it for the first time. If you love Minnesota or Wisconsin lakes, you are really going to love Laguna Bacalar! (Warning to Minnesotans and Wisconsinites! The ice fishing season is very, very short, the Minnesota loons don't sing when they are vacationing in Bacalar,and the lutefisk is served with hot green salsa...however, with a few extra margaritas and a couple shots of kahlua, you will adapt and enjoy the many cultural differences.)

Imagine a tropical paradise with wild parrots flying overhead, fragrant orchids growing on the trees, jaguars, monkeys and tapirs frolicking in the surrounding jungle, giant fish in the deep cenotes, a picturesque lake shore lined with oval flat-topped boulders (called stromatolites...and quite unique! ), and absolutely clear freshwater that is warm enough to swim in year round. Within the grounds of Quinta Mai we have banana, lime, avocado, oranges, coconut, mango, and guanabana trees. Quinta Mai is really the Garden of Eden...or perhaps The Garden of Eatin'.


Quinta Mai is located on one of the very best sections of the lake shore because the lake in front of our property has a firm
white sand bottom, and there is no mud or weeds to deal with. One can swim right off our dock into five feet of water without
wading through knee high sediment. After swimming about 50 yards from the shoreline the bottom drops off at a 45 degree angle going from
five feet to perhaps two hundred feet. Some say a meteor slammed into the lake eons ago and created a deep blue hole in front of our
property. This blue hole is nearly identical to the nearby Cenote Azul, that is located less than a mile from our property. Make
sure you put a mask on and snorkel the clear warm will think that you are flying. I really love snorkeling and scuba diving
in the salt water ocean (I actually own two beachfront condos in Puerto Aventuras...check out my "Villa Del Mar C 105, Casa Kokai" in
another vacationrentalsdotcom listing), but there is something so very special about swimming through perfectly clean and absolutely
clear freshwater. The water is totally refreshing, invigorating and rejuvenating...I really think Ponce De Leon would have declared
Bacalar the real fountain of youth had he explored the Yucatan rather than Florida. 

Now let me tell you about my property. "Quinta Mai" means "a very special place for all people young at heart". The word "Mai" comes
from the first initials of the former owners' three children who grew up in this special happy habitat. There are two main buildings on the grounds of Quinta Mai. The casa itself, and also a small stone lakefront palapa roofed laguna casita. The casa has about 1300 square feet of enclosed space. It is covered on the west, south, and east sides by large palapa (thatched) roofing so as to provide shade for the terraces and to keep the sun
from beating directly on the cement block casa. The palapa is not the main is just for shading. The palapa covers about
another 1000 square feet of veranda on the three sides of the house. You will probably spend more time on the palapa covered
verandas or in the beach cabana than you will spend inside the house. On the verandas there are lounge chairs and several dining
tables. Within the casa there is a kitchen with microwave, a stove, refrigerator, and all the basic appliances. Next to the kitchen is
an outdoor covered laundry area with a washing machine with and an adjacent solar and wind powered dryer (a clothes line). In the living room area of the house there is a small mahogany and marble bar, a beautiful mahogany library area and then a TV lounge area. We have a DVD player, a small stereo and an Ipod receiver. We also have WiFi available on request for a small daily fee. Adjacent to the bar is a half bathroom. Half of the casa is bedroom area and this half is air conditioned with a new, efficient, remote controlled mini-split. The two bedrooms are actually within
one long room with part of the room (closest to the lake) separated from the rest of the room by a wooden lattice wall. This wooden lattice wall divides the long room into a small east facing bedroom (with a full sized bed), and a much larger room with a king sized bed. Adjacent to the King sized bed is a another full sized bed in a small mirrored cubicle that is separated by a curtain from the king sized bed. There is also a large bathroom with a toilet, shower and a two person jacuzzi. The wooden lattice wall and the curtain allows for flow through ventilation and partial (but not complete) privacy between the king sized bed and the two full sized (matrimonial) beds. The small bedroom does have its own separate entrance that opens to the lakeside veranda and sun deck. The stone cabana beach house, called the laguna casita, on the shore of the lake has a bar, a sink, a refrigerator, and a palapa covered area with room for two hammocks. It is a perfect place to relax, to gaze at the lake, to read a book or to sip a few cold margaritas. It is my wife's favorite "hangout" in the whole world. If you want a rejuvenating tropical vacation (for a very low price)
you can't do any better than Quinta Mai.

Quinta Mai is located on the prestigious Costera Boulevard in the southern portion
of the historical town of Bacalar. It is about one mile north of Cenote Azul and about a half mile south of the Hotel Laguna. It is perfectly located on a tiny peninsula directly between two deep blue holes (cenotes) on the very best part of the lake. Go to Google Earth and check out Laguna Bacalar. You will see several blue holes and we are located in the midst of the blue cenotes. There is no place elese in the world that is quite like Laguna Bacalar. It is an absolute gem and a certified world class lake and you will be amazed at the colors that you can see from our newly completed dock. Come to my little slice of paradise...Quinta Mai...on the east shore of beautiful Laguna Bacalar.
Jim Baumgaertner

Extra! Here is a letter from Frank H of Minneapolis who was at Quinta
Mai in early April of 2006:
Jim, our stay in Bacalar was one of the most serene and relaxing of
all of our trips to Mexico, the number of which I can no longer
count. My daughter learned to snorkel at your place. The lake was
breathtaking. The swimming you could not have been more right on
about...its like you are flying, and when you get out, you feel like
you just took a clean shower. The next best thing to the water was
not having all the tourists and the people catering and
selling to them. The town is real without all that other stuff, at
least for now. It will no doubt grow. We went to Chetumal and were
suprised at how nice it was. I thought it was going to be scary,
overcrowded and dirty. It was clean, easy to get around in, and if
your home sick, the mall is as good as any back home. It will
really be a nice place for gringos to retire. Frank H.
Here is Frank's report (4/17/06)to tripadvisorsdotcom:
I stayed at a wonderfull casa known as Quinta Mai in Bacalar. We
have been going to Playa Del Carmen for years and still love it!!
However, sometimes it can be too much. We found the most serene,
calm and tropical destination for your next Mexico trip. I hesitate
to reveal it, but Quinta Mai at Laguna Baclar was wonderful. The
fresh water swimming in a lake that looks just like the Caribbean is
one of the best experiences of my life, repeat, one of the very best
experiences of my life. Words do not describe what it is like to
swim in these waters. I shot over 500 photos of Laguna Bacalar!
Pictures, though sometimes revealing, fail to caputue the real life
magnificance of De Laguna De Seite Colores. Check it out! Frank H.
Minneapolis MN

Here is a letter fom Kathy K from Washington State, Feb 17, 2009:
We totally enjoyed our stay at Quinta Mai. The place was
great - we had so much room we didn't know what to do with ourselves.
The dock was wonderful and the water to die for! It was perfect enough that I
was willing and able to get up before 7:00am on vacation to go for a kayak ride
before the breezes started. Lake Bacalar is the most beautiful fresh water
I've ever seen!
Our stay was definitely the highlight of our vacation. We enjoyed the house, the
town, visiting the nearby ruins, Chetumal...everything. Olga was a big help -
she checked on us and was able to answer any questions we had.
We'd certainly recommend your place to others.
Thanks, Kathy K.

 Here is a letter from Mariana May 6, 2010

Subject: Quinta Mai is perfect!
Hi Jim,
My husband, my dogs and I spent the last 5 days at Quinta Mai in Bacalar. I just want to tell you that we had the best time ever, this was our perfect vacation. We live in the Riviera Maya and it is always hard to decide where to go on vacations (because we already live in paradise) but finally we found the answer: Quinta Mai. We felt like home since the beginning. The house is really comfortable and fully equiped, we found everything we need. Olga was very helpful and kind. It was GREAT that we could take our dogs with us and they were very very happy running, swimming, napping...
I´ll tell all my friends about this "enchanting slice of paradise"!! And for sure, we´ll come back soon!
Thank you for everything!

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Last modified on 01-23-2014 at 1:14 AM.

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James Baumgaertner 608-788-6465

house rental amenities

Private off street covered parking area with an eight foot security
wall protecting your car and providing privacy for the grounds.
Kitchen with bottled water, blender, toaster, microwave, toaster
oven, gas stove, large refrigerator, but no automatic diswasher.
Laundry room with washer and separatre centrfuge spinner.
Formal marble and mahogany bar in the casa and a second
informal bar in the palapa covered cabana on the shoreline.
Stereo,TV,CD,DVD. Paddle fans. WiFi internet available on request.
Bedrooms are air conditioned. One full sized bed in small
bedroom; a pillow topped king sized bed and an adjacent full
sized bed in the contiguous large master bedroom. Large bathroom
with a sink and makeup area, a shower stall, and a large two person
jacuzzi tub. Lots of dressers, shelving, and storage space. Palapa
covered verandas on the east and west side of the casa. Numerous
flowering plants and several fruit trees. Maid service.
Mexican Telcel cell phone rental ($3 per day) programmed with all the
local contacts may also be available...inquire ahead of time.

activities and attractions in Bacalar Yucatan

There is a lot to do in and around Bacalar. The town itself is
full of history that goes back over 400 years. Visit the massive
Bacalar fort that was built in 1715 to deter the blood-thirsty
pirates of the Caribbean.

Swim and have lunch at the beautiful Cenote Azul Restaurant...and if
you are a little a canon ball dive off the roof of the
restaurant and try to splash your neighbors. Explore newly
uncovered Mayan ruins. Go birdwatching and try to make a few parrots
talk or a Minnesota loon sing. Rent motor boats, sailboats or kayaks
and explore the lake. Go fishing in the lake or in the nearby
Caribbean. Visit the Mayan museum in the capital city of Chetumal
located about 30 minutes away. Drive to Mahahual and the Costa Maya
beaches. Cross the border into Belize (30 minutes away) and leave
North America behind you. Get a massage, faciial or pedicure from your own spa.
Swinga in a hammock and do nothing except breath
in the fresh air.

Enjoy yoga, sunbathing, biking, swimming, and hiking. Take a
rejuvenating hot sulphuric mud bath and then rinse
off in the cool clear water. Tube the crystal clear river between
the Bacalar lakes. Eat some papaya, fresh pineapple, a few tacos, a
big enchilada, and wash it all down with several cold cervezas
followed by a couple of sweet and salty margaritas...and then collapse
into your gently swaying hammock by the lake, and take a very long
siesta...and when you finally awaken (totally mellowed out without a
stressful nerve in your entire body!) be sure to give thanks
to the good Lord for creating such a perfect tropical paradise for
you to experience and fully enjoy.

vacation rental rates

Note: I generally provide discounts on weekly rental, rentals longer
than 10 days and long term monthly rentals. I also provide special
discounts for last minute rentals. If you like to do spur of the
moment trips,call or email me and if I have availability you may get
a super deal!
Regular daily rate is $125 in the winter and spring, $110 in the
summer and $90 in the fall. We prefer a three day minimum stay, but we can do less than three days for a slightly higher per night charge.
Weekly rates are seasonally adjusted and range from $550 to $850.
Holiday surcharges may apply. Call for monthly rates. *Prices are subject
to change. Special discounts for long term rentals! Inquire.

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James Baumgaertner 608-788-6465

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email owner

James Baumgaertner 608-788-6465

traveler reviews for this bacalar house rental

Quinta Mai, great alternative vacation

Review submitted: February 28, 2011   Date of arrival: February 18, 2011

This is a great beachfront house on Lake Bacalar, far off the beaten path, away from the crowds, hustle of the ocean resorts. In a small town of beach homes and resort hotels, a jewel of a location. Jim's place has a great dock and waterfront where I could spend days relaxing in the cool breezes over looking that stunning blue lake. Water is clear, clean freshwater. House has a palapa roof and hugh outdoor living spaces. property has fences around it for kids and pets, is beautifully gardened with tropical plants. I found 3 great restaurants in town. His local property managers are great and very responsive to your needs.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, pet-friendly, sight seeing

Owners response: Werecently put in a brand new kitchen, the couches are reupholstered and we have a new dining room tables. You will love our little slice of paradise on Laguna Bacalar.
James and Peggy Baumgaertner, owners of Quinta Mai

Helpful votes: 3 / 3


Quinta Mai, an amazing corner of the earth

Review submitted: May 8, 2010   Date of arrival: April 30, 2010

If your are looking for a place where you could relax, having fun, be in contact with the nature, admire a great view, share with your pets, have a relaxing jacuzzi bath, meet local people and disconnect yourself from everything, Quinta Mai is that place. Me, my husbund and my two dogs spent the best time ever. We really didn´t want to come back home (and we live at the Riviera Maya!!). It is so special that you easily feel like home since the very beginning. The owners and the administrator are very nice and kind. If you meet QM, you´ll want to come back for sure! we already miss it!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 6 / 6


Reviews are the subjective opinions of travelers and not of, Inc.

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James Baumgaertner 608-788-6465

Bacalar vacation rental

This vacation rental has been listed since 11/28/2005.

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