Xcalak and nearby, possibly Belize?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 22, 2012 7:29 AM Last Post By: 55vineyard
Nov 21, 2012 8:00 AM
Going to Xcalak this Easter mostly for flyfishing, but I also want to spend some time doing other stuff while I'm in the area. I see there's some snorkeling in Xcalak, but not too much else. I do have a car, any places not too far away worth seeing? Anyone recommend a drive to Belize from here (and can I drive to Belize with a mexican car?)?
Definitely not looking for partyplaces, more like nature and less tourists..
Nov 21, 2012 8:48 AM
1I've spent a little over two weeks pleasantly in Xcalak. That was over the Christmas holidays during both 2009 and 2010. In 2009, a campground (later vandalized and abandoned) operated at Xcalak. I was drawn there by the opportunity to do coral reef snorkeling right from shore, while keeping my costs down by tenting. My arrivals and departures from Xcalak were accomplished by bus.
"Not much else", accurately describes Xcalak, I think, except for the extraordinary gourmet restaurant there, "The Leaky Palapa".
There is no bridge or or road connecting the Xcalak Peninsula to nearby Belize. But, sometimes Xcalak's dive/snorkeling tour operators transport tourists to Belize.
Back on the mainland, off the Xcalak Peninsula, there are some interesting locations. Those include the Mayan "Talking Cross" shrine in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the Spanish fortress at Lake Bacalar, Cenote Azul near Bacalar, Chetumal's new zoo, and Chetumal's fine Mayan Culture museum. And, west of Chetumal there are some restored Mayan ceremonial sites, including off-the-beaten path Calakmul.
Enjoy fishing and snorkeling.
Nov 21, 2012 11:28 AM
2Thanks a lot!
Regarding Belize, I was thinking about driving all the way around actually, through Chetamal. Is Chetamal worth a visit? Also, heard something about wildlife and possibly jungle, is there anything like that in the area?
Nov 21, 2012 12:45 PM
3I've not yet visited Calakmul. But, I've read reports from people who have been there, reporting interesting wildlife sightings both at the ruins and along its lengthy entrance road that passes through that large forest reserve. It's the "real deal", jungle-wise.
Of course, the jaguars at Calakmul rarely show themselves to visitors. To see jaguars that have been rescued from abusive environments,that now live in large, very natural enclosures, visit Chetumal's "Biouniverszoo".
Here is a repeat of a posting of mine from another thread, from last April, about that environmental education center.:
"While hurrying from Mexico to Belize and Tikal you will pass through the Mexican city of Chetumal. For some travelers it is just a place to change buses. But Chetumal now has at least two great attractions: the best interpretive museum anywhere concerning ancient Mayan culture (Museo de la Cultura Maya, worth 1 to 1 1/2 hours) and a brand new zoo which, when complete, will be world class.
Renamed "Biouniverzoo" that large zoo/ecological education center is now perhaps half constructed. Opened in November, 2010, it presents local/regonal animals and plants in an attractive, interesting, natural manner. Funded extensively by Chetumal's municipal government, Biouniverzoo may eventually (if it doesn't already) eclipse the private "Belize Zoo" in scope. All Chetumal zoo visitors are given tours. The one that I took last December was in Spanish but I was told that they also have English speaking guides. I would allow 2 1/2 to three hours to visit Biouniverzoo."
Nov 21, 2012 8:42 PM
4If it's your own car, you can drive to Belize -- make sure you have all relevant documents.
If it's a rental, only a few Mexican car rental companies allow their vehicles into Belize. Do you need their names?
In either case, you must have insurance in Belize -- it can be purchased at the border. And fill the tank in Mexico -- gasoline in Belize is about BZ$11.00 (US$5.50) per gallon.
The cayes are a popular destination in Belize, but you'd have to find somewhere safe to park your car.
Nov 22, 2012 7:29 AM
5The ruins of Chacchoben are pretty close to Xcalak, also Kohunlich on Hwy 186 between Bacalar ad Chetumal is not too far.
You can take a boat trip to Bird Island and snorkel on the way back. XTC Dive Shop will take folks to
Ambergris Caye for the day, costs $250 plus tip, see if you can find some folks to share the costs.
Second eating at Leaky Palapa. Some of the best food I have eaten in all of Mexico.
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