Xcalak, Costa Maya, and the Yucatan
Xcalak and The Yucatan
Casa de Sueños is located in Xcalak, in the Costa maya region of southern Quintana Roo, just 7 miles by water from the Central American country of Belize. Xcalak has the look and feel of Mexico and Belize all rolled into one; so close to the border that English is spoken fluently by many, but Spanish is still the predominant language. This is a great place for those who are seeking the remote, less refined areas of the Caribbean Coast, with all its natural beauty above and below the waterline.
There are several dining options available in town and along the beach road, including our favorite, the Leaky Palapa. We make reservations via marine VHF. Simply let us know when you would like to dine in any of our fine local eateries. Groceries, beer, and liquor should be purchased in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum before coming down, but can also be purchased in town or off the supply trucks. We recommend contacting us for a list of provisions to pick up on your way down, and then filling in what you need off the trucks. They are very well stocked, but some items are unavailable or in short supply. We are happy to provide you with any specific information, including what to bring and what to buy while here.
There is not much in the way of nightlife, however there is a nice town center where there are several top notch eating establishments, a few cantinas and seaside bars, along with small stores for groceries and other essentials. Xcalak is off the beaten path, far from the hustle and bustle of the resort strips to the north.
There are many Mayan ruins in the southern part of Quintana Roo. Some of these are Kohunlich, Tzibanche, Xpujil, Rio Bec, Becán, Chiccana, El Ramonai, Oxpemul, Maruchín, Chacchoben and Calakmul to name a few. Lake Bacalar, Bahia Chetumal, and San Pedro Island, Belize are all short day trips that offer something to do besides relax on the beach and sip a cool drink.
We also recommend the following website for all pertinent and detailed information about Xcalak, Costa Maya, and the entire Yucatan region:
Fishing, Snorkeling, and Diving
Xcalak is a world class destination for sports above and below the water. The natural reef and surrounding coral heads make for excellent deep water dives, and the snorkeling inside the main reef is second to none, with extensive areas in 4-8 feet of water accessible from the shore!
El Chinchorro bank lies just 18 miles offshore, a large atoll containing many wrecks and a huge area to explore. We can book dives for you through several area operations, please ask your host for further information or to book a dive boat.
Casa de Suenos provides snorkeling gear at no charge. There are also several dive centers where you can rent scuba gear.
The entire Xcalak area is within a natural preserve, so wildlife and ocean life abound. Guests must purchase park bracelets, located in the town of Xcalak just as you enter adjacent to the soccer field. We sometimes have bracelets at Casa de Suenos for purchase when we can, please inquire ahead as to current availability.
There are many types of tropical birds, ospreys, jaguars, howler monkeys, and many others for amazing photo opportunities, and the local dive centers and fishing guides all run different excursions into the lagoons and Bahia de Chetumal.
There are numerous shots to be had at world class Permit, Bonefish, and jacks right from the beach, with no need to spend everyday on a boat, you can maximize your fishing time on a limited budget, simply purchase park bracelets usually available right at Casa de Suenos or in town.
We can arrange trips ahead of time with the very best guides in Xcalak.
Half day $175.00
Full Day $300.00
Coming from Cancun or Cozumel take the highway 307 South through the Rivera Maya, past Tulum, the Zona Maya, and into the Costa Maya region. This highway is in excellent condition and is currently being extended to a four lane road.
If you are coming from Cancun, you should fill up your tank in the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto or at the new pemex on the mahahual access road, and if you are coming from Chetumal fill up your tank in Chetumal or at the new Pemex at the Chaccoben/Merida turnoff. You can buy gas in Xcalak or off the supply trucks most of the time, but it will be more expensive and is not always guaranteed.
Be sure to check and see if you have a proper tire change kit, including all jack parts and couplers from your rental company. For safety of the villagers the highway contains topes (speed bumps on steroids) near the villages and are usually marked with signs 100-200 m before the tope. If you happened to hit a tope at full speed you can be sure the car will sustain damage, or worse injuries, so drive with caution and pay attention to the signs. There will be Mayan villagers trying to sell fruit or crafts while you try to take the topes as well.
A short distance after you pass through Los Limones, take a left off of Highway 307 at the (overhead) sign to Mahahual (Majahual). Continue on this road till KM51, where you will spot the right hand turn onto the Xcalak road. This road is in great shape also, till you make it to the town of Xcalak itself, where it becomes the beach road north which is a bit rougher. In Xcalak the roads are unpaved. When entering Xcalak, the road curves to the left around the soccer field. Take the 2nd left and continue down this road. You are now in the center of Xcalak. From here you can drive to Casa de Suenos, which is north on the beach road approximately 9 KM from the foot of the bridge leading north out of town.
From Chetumal take HWY 307 North to just before Los Limones, taking the right exit onto the Mahahual road, and then following the directions from KM51 to Xcalak as above. You will want to fill up your vehicle at the Pemex located 500 meters past the turn-off to Xcalak.
This journey from the Cancun airport to Xcalak is approximately 350km, and around 4-5 hours depending on traffic. It is a nice drive through the jungle, with a few interesting stops along the way, including Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The highway has been modernized from Tulum all the way to Chetumal, so the trip up to the beach road is quite nice.
The bus service in Mexico is quite good as well, ADO is easy to navigate, comfortable, and cheap. A rental car is not necessary, but recommended as there are many interesting places to visit and see within easy driving proximity to Casa de Suenos.