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Sell me on Mahahual!

Level Contributor
62 posts
16 reviews
Sell me on Mahahual!

My husband and I have enjoyed going to Isla Mujeres since 2005. We have also stayed in Cozumel as well as Playa Del Carmen a few times since 2005. We want to come to Mahahual in September 2016. I have been visiting this forum as well as researching other sites on the internet. I am becoming concerned as to how we are going to like Mahahual. There doesn't seem to be a lot of traffic on this site or any of the other sites I have found.

We love to dive the reefs. We enjoy a laid back vibe. Don't need night clubs, "Americanized" food, or lots of people.

Sell me on Mahahual. Tell me it is perfect for us! PLEASE! I want to go so bad. Who has spent a week there?

Jalisco, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Rincon de Guayabitos
Level Contributor
5,495 posts
16 reviews
1. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

Mahahual is a beautiful section of Caribbean coast with a barrier reef so there is a large area for snorkeling/ swimming, there is a nice malecon with restaurants , gift shops and small hotels....It is about 60KM off the main highway and on most days of the week is quiet and beautiful...

Then there are a couple days a week when the cruze ship comes to port and it turns into a hell hole with massage tables every 5 feet apart on the beach, aggressive vendors and drunks off the ships running all over the place ruining the tranquility ......I am sure you could search the net for the schedule of cruze ships in port....and avoid those days...........

maine
Level Contributor
916 posts
20 reviews
2. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

All depends on what you want to do and where you would stay. Hotel? Casa Rental? If you can give some more info that would help. What else are you interested in doing besides diving? Price point? Car rental? Off grid? On Grid?

Steamboat Springs...
Level Contributor
3,199 posts
37 reviews
3. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

I am definitely a lover of this area. Especially if you stay on the beach outside of town.

As far as town goes.... we have chosen not to stay right in Mahahual. We have rented homes approx 14 k south in a more secluded beach area. This area has some rental homes (VRBO) on the beach, many more both.... north and south of Mahahual proper and the cruise ship zone. Not sure if this is in your budget. We have always shared a home with another couple, usually making the rate quite reasonable. By choosing a place away from the town, gives you your own beach and that laid back vibe. You can visit town in 15-20 mins for dinner or shopping. You can check out the cruise ship sched so that you aren't in town on those days or... at least after the ship leaves.

I can honestly say I really like this area a lot. I will probably go back again this spring. The house we stayed in had great snorkeling right off the beach and like I said an easy ride to town when we felt the urge. Xcalak is about an hours ride south and Bacalar maybe an hour +20 min. Both worth visiting. I've done numerous stays in Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum, Holbox, Xcalak and just south of Mahahual. The latter is my choice these days.

Edited: 19 May 2016, 21:25
Level Contributor
62 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

We definitely want to scuba dive while there. Other than that we just like to relax and enjoy the beach. We definitely need air conditioning. Don't need alot of amenities at hotel....just a clean place to sleep and shower. A pool would be nice but not necessary. We love to interact with the locals and enjoy their culture. We aren't shy about eating food from food carts or small local places...we are not much for the touristy things.

We don't plan on renting a car. We enjoy walking around so we would like to be in town. I think we could plan dive days on cruise ship days and miss most of that crowd.

We are planning on flying in to Cancun. Debating the way we will get to Mahahual. Would love to get there the same day we arrive, but don't think it is possible. Has anyone done a private transfer from Cancun? What was the price? We don't really have a budget we are looking to stay in....so we may entertain a private transfer there.

Thanks for the responses. I was surprised to see 3! This seems to be a very quiet forum. Maybe you do that on purpose, so it doesn't turn into the touristy Cozumel and Isla Mujeres ;)

maine
Level Contributor
916 posts
20 reviews
5. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

You didn't say how long you wanted to stay... I personally would not be happy in town without a car for more than a couple of days. The town is very small and there is not a lot of exploring to do. You can walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. Plus, it turns into a zoo when the cruise ships are in. If you stay in town you will not be able to avoid the sheeple. They take over, and are pretty much impossible to escape. They even made their way 12k south to PA where powderglut and I stay. Rented dune buggies screaming down the beach road... Yes, Howie. An invasion! Sad to say, but true. We actually arranged our dive for when the ships were NOT in because we didn't want to rub elbows out on the water.

The beach right in town is not as good as the areas to the north and south. Shallow with lots of turtle grass. Plus, you will be driven out when the cruise ships are in. They get over run. Go 10k north or south and you get spectacular, deserted sandy beaches and spectacular walk in snorkeling.

As for the AC, the town of Mahahual is on the grid so you can get that there but you will not find it outside of town as everywhere else is off the grid.

As for getting there, it's about 4 1/2 hours from Cancun with no stops and obeying the speed limit. We always rent a car. Not sure about transfers from CUN. Someone else may have info on the bus situation. That could get tricky depending on when your flight comes in. We spend a night in Tulum on both ends of the trip. Less stress about what time at night we get there and on the other end, about getting to the airport without a glitch.

We love exploring the area, especially the ruins. Last month, we had a fantastic day at Lake Bacalar and then on to the ruins at Kohunlich. Spent over an hour with a troop of about 10 howlers who put on quite a show...we were the only ones there so it was real a treat.

We love this area. We keep coming back. But, to be honest, I cannot say I love the town of Mahahual. It's funky and fun, but to us, the attraction is the solitude of the spectacular beaches to the south.

Level Contributor
62 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

Thanks missmarleygirl. That is alot of info to digest.

We will be flying in on September 16 and fly out on the 25 - so 9 days possibly.

Good point on diving on off days.

We may have to give thought to renting a car. Can you rent one in Mahahual? We are a little nervous about driving from Cancun. Has anyone had any negative issues with driving from Cancun? Our flight gets in mid morning so we would be able to drive during daylight hours. Any policia issues?

Really don't know about staying north or south if air conditioning is not available....it is usually HOT and HUMID in September.

We don't need a lot of action...we generally just walk around at night and enjoy watching the locals, hanging out at the town square, basketball courts, ball fields, etc....enjoy a few drinks and good food.

Anyone stay in the town of Mahahual that can add to this?

So happy with the responses so far.....

California
Level Contributor
112 posts
254 reviews
7. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

I would agree that Xcalak might be a better choice if you want tranquility. I've been there twice in the last 28 years. Dont expect many restaurant or hotel choices, although. Also you may want to spend time at Lake Bacalar which is unbelievably beautiful, especially in areas north of the town of Bacalar. Although its seen its better days, Rancho Encantado is a magical place right on the water.

maine
Level Contributor
916 posts
20 reviews
8. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

We love Rancho Encantado. Our favorite spot to spend a day on the lake. Magical is a good word for it.

No issues driving... just don't do it after dark and obey speed limits. If you decide to rent, read up on the topic. We've never once had an issue driving anywhere in Mexico in eight years, but we obey posted speed limits religiously.

I am not aware of any places to rent a car in Mahahual. but does not mean there aren't any. Mahahual is a funny place. No banks, no post offices... One year we couldn't get any cash - anywhere. Period. All the ATM's were out or broken. We had give our debit card and pin to the caretakers of the house we were renting so they could get cash for us in Chetumal!

Steamboat Springs...
Level Contributor
3,199 posts
37 reviews
9. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

Here is a lot of info for the area. Maybe you can set up transportation with Steve Uhl. This his blog. He is also the owner of the Tropicante. https:/…

If I were staying in town I'd stay at the furthest south end, then just walk the Malecon for food and drink.. Or checkout some of the further accommodations to see if they are on the grid. That is the only way you will get AC. The grid only runs so far north or south.

I suppose you could do this without a car. I like being able to run over to Bacalar or Xcalak on my own terms. The drive down is really pretty easy. I hear...There is a set of motorcycle cops that have preyed on some folks in Carillo Puerto. Always..... on the way back to Cancun. I've heard 3 people mention it over a year ago. I've never seen them. I always stay a nite in Tulum on the way down to stock up house at big supermarket. There are plenty of small markets in Mahahual though.

I'm with missmarleygirl, I'd rather not be in town when a cruise ship comes in. But.. I do like the town to visit for dinner or the occasional Malecon walk and shop the small markets.. But.... I've never been in town when a cruise ship is in.

Level Contributor
62 posts
16 reviews
10. Re: Sell me on Mahahual!

powderglut thanks for the blog link. I looked at this blog a long time ago but forgot about it. I see there is a few more ADO buses daily now. That is great. This blog provided so much helpful info...it may have sold me on Mahahual!

I am a runner and love to go for morning runs so I think staying in town would be better for that. I also love to collect sea glass...any luck with that in Mahahual? On the blog, there is a reference to "sea beans" being found in the south remote beaches so I thought that might be fun to add to my collection.

Anyone have a dive shop recommendation?

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