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Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

Madison, Mississippi
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107 posts
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Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements


Clinton, MS

posts: 58

reviews: 5

Persnickity Snorkeling Requirements

Sep 11, 2014, 1:06 PM

We are two women in the 50-60 range looking for the best possible snorkeling expereince. While I'm sure this question gets asked frequently, here are the specifics:

Easy reef access by kayak (or even swimming, if less than a hundred or so meters!

Accodations to include two bedroom, good ventilation, and 24 hour fan power

Aesthetically pleasing beach setting

Hot water would be nice, but knowing the area is off-grid, this is not a deal breaker

Food and restaurant access

Refrigeration for drinks and snacks

Villas and apartments considered, as well a hotels and B&Bs

We would also like to make a snorkeling trip to the Chinchorro Banks, but don't know if it's range and depths are worth it. Any suggestions on this?

We will have a car, so a trip to the "big city" of Mahahual would be in order. We would prefer not to stay in Mahahual proper, however, due to the cruiser traffic.

Sorry to be so persnickity, but details matter when it comes to planning! Thanks in advance for all advice!

Steamboat Springs...
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1. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

We rented this house. flipkey.com/xcalak-vacation-rentals/p195837/ It should fill your requirements

You can rent the upstairs or downstairs. Has kitchen in either. They have kayaks there for you to use. Definitely some decent nearby sites to snorkel with kayak access. Snorkeling off the dock is decent, but I would use XTC divers or some of the other local guides to take you by boat to the many great snorkeling sites inside the reef. 2 or 3 hr boat trips with guide are about $35US per, well worth it. Having a dock at the house means any trip you want to do by boat, they will pick you up right at the end of the dock.

You can walk from the house to either Tierra Maya or Costa de Cocos for dinner. I'd definitely take a car into town, from the house, if you want to eat at Toby's, Xcalak Carribe, or Leaky Palapa. Supply up the house with food in Tulum at either Chedraui or Super San Francisco. I bring a collapsable cooler for perishables for the long ride down. Just small stores in Xcalak. They do have a grocery truck that comes thru every 2 or 3 days. You'd be surprised how many different things they have. Still... do the main shop in Tulum.

Have not made it to Chinchorro yet, but hope to this spring from Mahahual. It is definitely worth a trip but not an easy boat ride. Again contact XTC divers. Mahahual is only a big city when a cruise ship comes in, otherwise pretty kicked back.

Have fun down there.

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2. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

Agree about Xclack & XTC & the restaurants listed - - - - there are several B&B type places north of town....Casa Carolina & Sin Duda are popular.....we've stayed at Sin Duda many times. There is sea grass on off the beaches in the Xcalak area, but this was not a problem. Sin Duda has good snorkeling within 100 yards from shore, and very good snorkeling further out. Two other points...... you cannot take the beach road all the way from Mahahual to Xclack (the bridge burned years ago), so you must take the tar road between the two. Having at least one dinner at the Leaky Palapa isn't just a good idea, it's a MUST DO! One great place!

One last option, would be to go north from Mahahual to the Mayan Garden. I can't speak to the snorkeling (although the owner is very informative & would let you know about it). It's a great place with it's own (very nice) restaurant.

Have a great trip!

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3. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

North of Mahahual also has some nice snorkel spots. Mayan Beach Garden is located 20 km north of Mahahual on a nice beach with very good snorkeling found by walking 15 minutes north on the beach. The area at Punta Placer is vast, you'll tire yourself out before you see it all. The reef extends to the shore at the point so Kayaks are not necessary. However, if you choose to take a kayak out, you can tie off at a buoy that is close to the reef.

Madison, Mississippi
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4. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

I appreciate all the replies and great info, especially this last post. We have debated the Mahahual/Xcalak location as many do, but much of it depend on the best and easiest snorkeling. We have not made a true inquiry at MBG but have pulled it into radar range. Does anyone know if they allow day trippers from the cruise ships to come on days they are in port? Marcia B., is the site you are describing directly in front of MBG?

Knowing how the beach roads can get (have traveled the road to Punta Allen several times), how difficult is this 20 km north to access by a generic rental car?

Thanks again to all....

Steamboat Springs...
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5. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

These are answers on the FAQ site at MBG. Marcia B may be limited to answers at MBG because she is the owner.

Do you get many tourists from the cruise ships that dock at the Costa Maya port?

Mayan Beach Garden is far enough away from Majahual that you can avoid the crowds that accompany the huge cruise ships. In fact, even though there are tours that go to Uvero (4 km. north of us), you will seldom see anyone because the buses don't go down the beach road at El Placer. Occasionally a few wander in and we try to be friendly, but courteously remind them this is a private beach for Mayan Beach Garden guests.

Do I need a 4-wheel drive to get around?

The roads are very good all the way to Mayan Beach Garden so you won't need a 4-wheel drive to get there. However, vehicles with high clearance are an asset. Everything is paved up to the beach road. We are only 3 km south the beach road from the Placer access, which has a few potholes, but unless it has been raining buckets is easy to traverse. We are 10 km N. from the Rio Indio beach access. If you are going into the Sian Ka'an you can get there with a regular car except during rainy season.

Here is the rest of that site. http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/FAQs.htm

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6. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

As I agree with all the previous posts, my pick for what you are describing is definitely Mayan Beach Garden. We have stayed there twice and the snorkelling as she describes is phenomenal and the stay is equally as good! The rooms are steps from the beach with fantastic patios and very spacious. Its a quiet piece of paradise within easy driving from Mahahual!

7. Re: Persnickety Snorkeling Requirements

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