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Xcalak #362208
12/20/09 06:32 PM
12/20/09 06:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 203
North Carolina, USA
belizelaw Offline OP
belizelaw  Offline OP
After a couple years of asking questions on this board, trying unsuccessfully to arrange trips from San Pedro, and doing research, I finally made it to Xcalak last week.

I have to say that, though my time there was brief, it was great! Great vibe, very laid back, makes me wonder if that's what A.C. was like 30 years back or more.

You don't go there for the nightclubs, bars or restaurants (aren't many of any of that). But if you like the simpler things (nature, the water, water activities) it's a great place to go.

We went and rented cabanas at Costa del Cocos, solar and wind-powered, and at night all we could see was the sky and hear were the waves. In the morning I went swimming off the pier out toward the reef, and never once did a motor boat pass me by. It was a very chill and laid-back experience.

The hotel/resort had numerous boats, diving, snorkeling and fishing equipment, as well as kayaks. The hotel lined up one of its employees to take us on a five-hour boat trip last Saturday. We boated down the river and Mayan cut separating Ambergris Caye from the Yucatan, snorkeled along coral heads, the reef and cenotes. Our hotel packed us lunch, water, soft drinks and beers in a cooler. Total cost? $50 pp for me and my friend.

Getting there, while not hard, isn't quick. We flew into Cancun, and Xcalak was five hours south. We might have been able to make it in one day, but to be safe spent the first night in Tulum.

There didn't appear to be much in the town proper, and most of the hotels and expat houses were north of town, off the grid, using a combination of wind, solar and generator energy.

If you're someone who likes the quieter type of vacation on Ambergris Caye, you might want to give it a try!

Re: Xcalak [Re: belizelaw] #362265
12/21/09 10:39 AM
12/21/09 10:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
iluvbelize  Offline
Great trip report. I plan to make it to Xcalak someday soon. I love the off the grid scene and natural lifestyle. Your trip sounds awesome!

Re: Xcalak [Re: iluvbelize] #362267
12/21/09 11:04 AM
12/21/09 11:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 431
MisterB266 Offline
MisterB266  Offline
Thanks for the trip report.

Was it one bus all the way, or did you have to change anywhere?
Express or regular bus?

Did you know there are buses from Chetumal?

Re: Xcalak [Re: MisterB266] #362289
12/21/09 02:37 PM
12/21/09 02:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 203
North Carolina, USA
belizelaw Offline OP
belizelaw  Offline OP
Thanks from both of you. As for the trip report, I've got it in full at (well, I'm actually in the process of writing it and have put in the first two days).

I did not take a bus at all. We rented a car and drove. Rental wasn't so bad, and it gave us a lot more freedom. I'm pretty sure that if you took a bus you'd have to change up at least once. I was very surprised to see a bunch of tourists (Mexican tourists, no less) get off a bus at the pier in Xcalak, but I can tell you that I don't think the buses were very regular (I'd be surprised if there was one daily). You'd probably need to get a bus to Tulum, then you might have to change on to a different one to get to Mahahual, before getting one to take you to Xcalak. But unlike Ambergris Caye, there's only so much you could do by walking around, and I don't know if there are any taxis in Xcalak. You really couldn't just be dropped in the middle of town and walk around looking for a place to stay. Although there are one or two, many of the nicer ones are out of town and may be separated by a km or two each.

I'd suggest if you're coming through Mexico you're best off by driving--either straight from Cancun, or taking a bus to Tulum and then picking up a rental from there. The roads were wide and felt safe, prices not too bad, and we liked the freedom to drive around.

Re: Xcalak [Re: belizelaw] #362295
12/21/09 04:11 PM
12/21/09 04:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 705
krehfish Offline
krehfish  Offline
Doesn't Costa del Cocos offer a van shuttle from Cancun. Some of the other resorts do, but require an early arrival on CUN or an overnite.

Flyfishing my way through mid-life crisis.
Re: Xcalak [Re: krehfish] #362314
12/21/09 06:34 PM
12/21/09 06:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 203
North Carolina, USA
belizelaw Offline OP
belizelaw  Offline OP
I suspect they do. A group of fishermen were shuttled out by van the next morning. They had to leave around 6:00 a.m. in the morning. We didn't make plans where to stay until we arrived in Xcalak either, so we didn't even consider things like that. Just drove around until we found somewhere we wanted to stay.

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