Xcalak – Mexican Frontier

27 Oct

This week the Tortas headed out for a two-night visit to the Caribbean coast. We have been living in Bacalar, Mexico almost two months and not done any, “sight seeing” choosing to spend our time acclimating to our new home.

Xcalak is a frontier town wedged between Laguna Xcalak and the Caribbean, at the end of the line on the Mexico/Belize boarder.  It is small (300 habitants) and has a distinct frontier feel. People come here to snorkel, dive, fish, bird watch or just kick back. There is a nudist hotel, Playa Sonrisa (Smile Beach) with day passes available for those who hate those pesky tan lines.

Fourteen Cuban refugees managed to find their way here a number of years ago, and their escape boat sits on the beach paying testament to desperation.

Cuban Refugee Boat

Cuban Refugee Boat

In this jungle town you would not expect to find a restaurant the likes of The Leaky Palapa. It is world class dining and folks drive hours to eat here. We were lucky enough to spend an evening with the owners Marla and Linda. They exchanged Canadian winters for life on the beach in sunny Mexico. We enjoyed a lovely dinner sitting on the roof trading travel stories, laughing and learning about life off the grid.  Their reservations for New Year’s Eve are filling up fast. Better get your name on the list.

We stayed at the Flying Cloud Hotel, not very relaxing during off-season renovations. We did get a chance to check out the dive shop next door and will return in the spring to check “learning to dive” off our bucket list. The wild weather made for a night of intense storms and no electricity in the morning.

Stormy Skies

Beautiful Stormy Skies

Lisa did manage to get in some snorkeling while an ear infection kept me beached.

Lisa Snorkeling

Lisa Heading Out To Snorkel

The coastal road proved to be a challenging choice for our trip north toward home. I volunteered to check the depth of the washed out road.

How Deep Is It?

How Deep Is It?

A Slippery Step

A Slippery Step

After a good laugh, we continued our way to Mahahual for lunch and then home. We will definitely be back to enjoy the friendship and beautiful reef in this out-of-the way town that was worth the trip.

What Could Go Right

7 Responses to “Xcalak – Mexican Frontier”

  1. brucekelley October 27, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Fun post, Alex, thanks for inviting us along for the ride.


    • afish25 October 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      It was a ride indeed. One really needs a longer visit to check out any community. We’ll be back.


  2. Isa Markland October 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    I’ll have to keep this post in mind when we visit you!


  3. Terry October 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Sounds like an intriguing little community, and your trip was clearly a lot of fun. I laughed at the photo of you “testing the waters depths” from the seat of your pants! (HeHe) The stormy sky was awesome! I love storms out over the water. I would have been right there beside Lisa snorkeling, if I’d been there. Thanks for sharing this little side trip on your big adventure!


    • afish25 October 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      We all had a good laugh too Terry. Lisa did most of the snorting and hooting. Chanclas are not the best thing to go wading into high water.


  4. Ellen Heath October 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi Alex, thanks for yet another entertaining and interesting post, as well as the great pictures. This is the first time I’ve ever followed a blog, and I must say I truly look forward to it each week.


    • afish25 October 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Thanks Ellen, I’m honored. The feedback is appreciated. Some days it’s challenging with intermittent internet. I appreciate your support. anything in particular you’d like me to write about?


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