Why visit Xcalak Yucatan Mexico?(pronounced ish’-ka-lack)
Snorkel the second largest reef system in the world, scuba, fish, birdwatch, relax in front of the Caribbean on the Southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Enjoy steady ocean breezes and average year round temperatures of 82 degrees. Listen to rustle of coconut palms. Visit Kohunlich Mayan ruins, approximately 30 miles west of Chetumal. Tour the quaint fishing village of Xcalak. Take a day trip to San Pedro, Belize. Plan vacation along the Mayan Riviera and Costa de Maya, including Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Drink rum and cold cerveza, eat three meals a day and arrange for scuba diving, fishing, bird watching, sea kayaking and other excursions at nearby Costa de Cocos resort. Visit with our friends and neighbors for other ideas. Relax in this remote and quiet area at the very southern most tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Travel to Xcalak:
A) Fly to Cancun, then;
* rent car, drive 5 hours South to Xcalak, or,
* fly to Chetumal, take taxi 2 hours to Xcalak
* use the public bus system
B) Fly to San Pedro, Belize, then take a 90 minute boat ride to Xcalak
Before you travel:
A) Ask your physician if shots are recommended.
B) Arrange for a passport, now required by Mexico and the airlines which fly there.
C) Pack sunscreen, mask, fin & snorkel, swim suit and casual clothes (hat for sun protection). Fishing and Scuba gear. Binoculars for birdwatching. Spanish/English dictionary. Cash for food & gas (traveler’s checks may be hard to cash and credit cards are not always accepted by the restaurants and resorts in Xcalak).
The easiest way to travel is fly to Cancun, stay a night (we like the Hotel Ojo de Agua in Puerto Morelos, 15 minutes South of the Cancun airport) or choose from numerous hotels on the Mayan Riviera. Rent a car. Have a good breakfast and plan some shopping then head South during daylight hours.
Tulum is growing and South of Tulum we love the Mayan town of Felipe Carillo Puerto for gas and lunch. Pemex takes only pesos for gas and be sure to carry a calculator. Watch so that the attendant zeros out before filling you up. Llena (pronounced yena is Spanish for full). Continue South, watch for speed bumps, they are to protect the locals who walk and bike most places.
After Limones, turn left towards Majahual and Xcalak. There may be a military checkpoint as you get closer to the turnoff to Xcalak. If you don’t speak Spanish, remember to say “English only, we are going to Xcalak, from the United States”. Go past the turnoff South to Xcalak, heading due East, straight towards Majahual to fill up on gas one more time, even if you still have half a tank, this is the closest Pemex to our town. Then turn around and turn left, heading South again, watch for potholes and wildlife. If sunset or dark, go slow, you are probably tired. Turn left at the T heading East to the ocean; turn left again and the road turns to rough beach for the last few kilometers. There are only 2 roads through Xcalak and they merge before the bridge over the river. Heading North along the Caribbean, you will pass Costa de Cocos Resort, then Tierra Maya Resort, then Casa Carolina Resort, our house is just North and you will recognize the giant red ball with a gruper painted on it. Turn carefully into our driveway and park and be greeted by our caretakers Jose and Ruth and their children and barking guard dog.
Groceries: we usually stock up in Tulum before heading South; You will be able to buy loads of fresh fruits, vegetables, cold beer, sodas, bread and other basics. There are also trucks that deliver gas and food to Xcalak; just ask Ruth or Jose to identify the days of those deliveries or for other advice. Practice your Spanish with them, be patient as they understand English but are generally shy about speaking it. David “The Spaniard” Huix at Xcalak Realty is bilingual and willing to help with communication if needed. He also offers a telephone for hire service, internet services, and provides the internet to our home. Travel with your computer if you would like to use our convenient WIFI services.
Our friends Dave & Illana Randall at Costa de Cocos serve 3 meals per day and they are a wealth of information and other services including scuba, fishing, other excursions. If you want to eat at the Leaky Palapa, be sure to reserve for dinner Thursday – Sunday.
XTC is another option for scuba diving, and the only local dive shop that takes trips to Chinchorro Banks, an amazing atoll a 90 minute boat ride to the North East of Xcalak.
Wednesdays are a typical gathering day for many North Americans at Toby’s for dinner. We also like the shell jewellery that local women make and sell there. Another group of 5 women make beautiful jewellry and lamps from conch, which they sell some evenings at the Artesanios in the National Park building south of the town.
Visit our friend David the Spaniard at Xcalak Realty in downtown Xcalak. David the Spaniard, the father of our God son Santiago, his older brother Jordie, their younger brother Joaquin and their mom and grandmother, all run the little store where we hang out when we want to be part of the authentic village life. David is one of a small handful of people who is truly bilingual, educated in Belize so he speaks both Spanish and English fluently.
We offer bicycles and kayaks at our home for 2 people; rust is an issue fo everyone on the coast, so you will have to ask about renting other toys.
Our kitchen is equipped with fridge, freezer, oven and four burner stove, coffee maker, blender. What more do you need? Takebasket type coffee filters and other paper products, we have soap, dishes, fresh water in 5 gallon dispensers, so you will need small bottles to refill for daily excursions. Contact us with other questions. Enjoy our Caribbean home!
Map to Xcalak from Cancun, Mexico