A space dome in the Mexican Caribbean. Sayab is the fourth node on the planetarium network in Quintana Roo (which is the state the Riviera Maya is in, fwiw). It is the ultimate high technology facility on the first astronomic observatory network on the Yucatan Peninsula. The objective of this center is to support and promote the diffusion of technology among the population of Quintana Roo and Yucatan.
The name of “Sayab” means an endless source of water. The planetarium has state of the art equipment, a high definition digital projection room with a particular database and an astronomic event program developed by the NASA. It also has two didactic rooms, astronomical terrace with two telescopes, the Water Museum, and museography.
If you have ever wondered about how it is to navigate between stars and planets, to witness the growth of the polar caps, or to explore the depth of the reef barrier in the Caribbean, then the planetarium is the place where you will discover and live an authentic experience from the comfort of your seat. The planetarium calendar gives you a total of four programs: Ghosts of the Universe, The Last Reef, Worlds of Ice and a seasonal schedule. In this case, the December and January program is The Mystery of the Christmas Star. There are classes courses for teens and adults: Build your own space rocket, construct simple machines-with Lego pieces, Robotics with Lego, Genetics, and Heritage. All the classes are mainly practice focused and are oriented to develop creativity and new skills. But the most important thing is that you will learn that science is the way to explore new ideas and paths that you had never imagined.
If you thought that the planetarium programs and courses were enough to keep you interested about the marvels of the universe, then you have not tried the astronomic observatory. At the Sayab observatory, you can observe the different celestial bodies during the day in the regular schedule and at night, in the astronomical evenings. The observatory has two telescopes.
Both telescopes give you the option to observe the sun and the Milky Way at different positions during clear nights. They also have the opportunity to explore and provide a close view of the moon, during the full moon nights and even during its different stages. There are tours for both children and adults.
The main attraction at the planetarium at Playa del Carmen is the documentary called “Ghosts of the Universe.” It is a detailed journey across the Milky Way and a quick view of the Cosmos. Much of the show is about the findings of the famous scientist Carl Sagan. This program is a must, as it has some impressive special effects which make the experience even more realistic as they take you through the Big Bang and development of the cosmos.
“The Last Reef Program” is about the coral reef barrier located in the Caribbean region of Mexico and Central America. It is a story about the importance of this ecosystem, how it contributes to the natural balance of the area and why it’s preservation is essential. Learn about preserving endangered species such as Hammerhead sharks, Eagle rays, and sea turtles. Sayab also has resources on local environmental projects you where you can volunteer.
“Worlds of Ice” is a documentary that explains the formation process of Arctic polar caps and icebergs. It also explains how the ice layers over the continental plate originated thousands of years ago. The main ice layer is called “permafrost.” It also mentions a warning message about the dangers of climate change and the melting of polar caps and permafrost. This fascinating documentary will make you think over your daily habits.
Sayab also has a seasons show series. “The Mystery of the Christmas Star” is a documentary which narrates the religious legend about the star that guided the three kings to the birthplace of Jesus. The Christmas star is one of the most important traditions in Mexican Catholicism. The Christmas Star show is perfect for families.
If you find that your beach day has been rained out, or you want a break from the sunshine, the planetarium SAYAB is a great place to visit and be entertained while on exploring your universe.
Open 11:00 am to 19:00 pm. It has both tours in English and Spanish.