Banco Chinchorro, Snails and Coral World (Quintana Roo)

I came across this great article in http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx and thought I would share.  I translated from Spanish to English.  Banco Chinchoorro is a great scuba and snorkeling destination, and trips are booked out of Mahahual and Xcalak daily.  This article does a great job of describing all the beauty of the underwater coral and reef world in Banco Chinchorro.

Thanks for reading, Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

Por: Salatiel Barragán

Banco Chinchorro, snails and coral world.

Banco Chinchorro, snails and coral world.

In the middle of the ocean waters of the Mexican Caribbean highlights a unique reef system, on which have been narrated stories and fabulous legends from colonial times to the present day: the Banco Chinchorro, place wrapped in mystery and located just over 30 km south of the state nearly uninhabited Quintana Roo, between the fishing villages of Mahuahual and Xcalak coast.
This isolated ecosystem is considered a coral atoll, and its name derives from the resemblance to a semicircular Caribbean network used for finfish fisheries in coastal waters. It has an area of ​​almost 800 km2, consisting of a sandy outcrop 46 km long and 15 wide. At its eastern perimeter presents an endless barrier reef with sections of white streaks where the waters break, and on the west they are discontinuous and fail to emerge to the surface. The waters off the reef lagoon, connected to the open sea, with an average depth of 5 m, but the most interesting place is the presence of land, which although low allows visitors to stay in any of the four islands in distributed center and the north and south ends.

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Key Center is the largest of these islands and, as its name suggests, occupies the central portion; much of its 5 km2 are composed of muddy soils and floodplain areas, but on the southeastern tip is a narrow sandy beach is used by groups of fishermen who have built rustic wooden houses to use as temporary camp.

Near this beach stand just over a dozen wood and cardboard constructions, known as stilts by the sea located within the floodplain or substrate, one or two feet above the water level. The vegetation here is dominated by the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), although there is on the southeast coast coconut, and some creeping plants and shrubs of the continent.

The lagoon “The Rabios” (so named because from November to May, in the branches of mangrove nest percent frigate or frigates) is located inside the fall and is connected to the sea by canals and estrechoskriksnaturales created by the flow of or continuous flow water crocodile. When storms or hurricanes hit the region, anglers use this site to shelter and protect their vessels until it passes the atmospheric disturbance.This fall has functioned as the central point of arrival for tourists coming to film, photograph and dive among the coral remains of sunken ships and centuries. On the other hand, is home to frigate birds, herons, cormorants, gulls, terns, pelicans, ospreys, birds, blue crabs and hermit, gray iguanas, lizards and the ever-present and annoying mosquitoes. There are also animals that once were harvested as a single resource and are now scarce as Gators swamp and hawksbill sea turtles, white and loggerhead that long just come to spawn in the little substrate is left of this nice place warm humid climate and average temperature of 26.5 ° C.

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At the northern end there are two small islets known as Cayo Norte; there are two lighthouses, one built earlier in the century and a more recent inactive and it is running to meet half century. To the south, near the end limit of the reef, stands Cayo Lobos, which is the smallest area housed in small palapas and temporary use of a few fishermen. The low land this fall remains exposed directly to the Caribbean currents that have caused changes in your fitness over the course of time, as evidenced by an old lighthouse now housed within the sea.

As watchmen on the horizon the dark silhouettes of huge cargo ships stranded on the barrier reef are outlined, and in the background have been located 18 galleons as silent witnesses of the danger that water locked. These old ships are Spanish and English in their majority powers throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries monopolized the navigation on this route between America and Europe. The solitude of these wrecks is interrupted only by gulls and terns that have taken over the rusted hulls to rest and often nest among his remains.

As corals are very slow growing but will gradually cover all parts of the vessels to identify potential remain mostly covered by limestone or coral skeleton, especially corals. Elkhorn (Acropora palmata), Star (Porites asteroids), Lettuce (Agaricia agaricites), Mountain (Montastrea annularis), Brain (Diploria strigosa) and Fire Coral (Millepora comlenata), known in the Caribbean Community underwater species.

In this remote place the main activity is fishing, carried out by persons associated in cooperatives and free permittees that empelan whaling boats fiberglass bullet from 23 to 25 feet, with outboard motors from 40 to 60 HP and focus most of their efforts on capturing the two resources with higher commercial value: the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) and the queen conch (strombus gigas), although species of scale advantage as chak-chi, the mere the abedejo, barracuda, snapper, snapper, shark and smaller scale extract precious black coral (Antipathes grandis). Regarding the snail, is harvested by free diving mask and fins, and stored in a mother ship. The quota set to protect this species is 2.5 tons per month. Similarly each fisherman takes three to 5 kg of lobster daily, supporting only a metal hook and sometimes using compressor or scuba tank.

I remember some years ago when I first visited the Chinchorro, was impressed when in less than two hours a fisherman pulled nearly 200 snail shell pink and orange near the western boundary of Cayo Centro. In this area have been extracted snails each season more than any other region of the country, and whether to complete a kilo of product need six to eight, depending on their size, can realize why the species is in danger .. The method used to catch snails swimming is gripped by a string of four to 6 m long, attached to the back of the boat that moves at low speed, while the fisherman looking in the background. Upon detecting an appropriate place this low for a long minute, then climb at least three copies. I must confess that I tried to do the same, but when he began to walk the boat felt the rope almost tore my arms and I could never find a partially hidden staircase between the sandy bottom and underwater vegetation in this gentle sway moved by currents

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The reef lagoon extends for tens of kilometers west of the Bank and is extremely productive. Under the water first identify what are sponges, sea fans and whips, and isolated colonies of hard corals and a huge variety of colorful reef fish like angel, chak-chi, the surgeon, butterfly, squirrel, sergeant minnows or tiny that hundreds are hidden under the rock from where voids and create a lively silver stain impossible to play because the stretching hand away quickly.

Seamen who fish here come mostly from Mahuahual and Xcalak, villages along the southern coast of the state. Xcalak is a fishing village that has little more than 300 inhabitants and is located at the far end of our own country, just 12 km from the border with Belize. Mahahual is a recent settlement with fewer people, and both are separated by 55 km of white road surrounded by slender palm trees and beautiful coastal scenery. Part of the attraction of these villages is that they are the closest sea bridge with Chinchorro, and they can get a speedboat and make the crossing in about 2 hours, depending on the engine power and prevailing environmental conditions at sea .

Chinchorro is a distant paradise still has abundant fishery resources and diverse marine life to marvel, and the possibility of hidden secrets kept by the sea and time to discover. However, we must keep in mind and remember that the overexploitation of resources can deplete the productivity of this place, which so far is one of the last places where the coral reefs and the memories of the past remain intact.
If you intend to Banco Chinchorro

To reach Mahuahual and Xcalak, take federal highway 307 Chetumal-Cancun to the population of Coffee, and from there follow a dirt road toward the east and toward the coast.

The city of Chetumal has all amenities and is located 150 km from Mahuahual, Cancun and about 300 km.

Doing Business in Belize vs. Mexico

I had planned today to write a post about Belize vs. Mahahual Part 5, comparing health care in both countries. But some events came up this weekend I wanted to share before I forgot.

I go to a Chinese restaurant around the corner from where I am staying a lot here in Playa del Carmen. The place is owned by a nice family originally from mainland China. I think they are from Shanghai. The food is very good at this place, and it is very popular among tourists and people who live in Playa del Carmen.

Entrance to Shanghai.

Entrance to Shanghai.

Menu

Menu

The woman who runs and owns the place is named Fanny Wang, and her family moved here from Corozal, Belize several years ago. They had a Chinese restaurant near the market in Corozal across from the bus station. They moved from China to Belize to start a new lfe, and they chose Belize because they had heard a lot of good things about it. A lot of Chinese, mostly Taiwanese, have moved to Belize and have practically bought up the whole country. Almost all the stores and businesses in Belize are Chinese owned and operated now.

Fanny Wang

Fanny Wang

I have talked to her several times in the past about Corozal, Belize, and the fact that we both lived there at the same time. So the other day during lunch, we struck up a conversation about comparing life in Mexico to Belize. I told her I was writing a blog comparing life in Belize to that of Mahahual and Costa Maya, Mexico.

I asked her which was better having a Chinese restaurant in Corozal, Belize or Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Well that set her off, and she started to tell me everything I wanted to know comparing the two.

She really had nothing good to say about her life in Corozal and running a business. She told me that after they opened their place in Corozal, she realized she had made a big mistake. They had a son in Corozal Community College at the time, and she told me she told her husband, as soon as the son graduated they were leaving Belize.

She went on to describe to me all the horrors of running a business in Belize. She told me that every morning they opened their business, there would be drunks laying in front of their business, passed out from the night before. Also she complained to me about how the police would come by and order beers and drink them, and never paid for anything. In Belize she said people in the local government were always coming by trying to shake her down for money or free food. Also she said every day, people would always come around begging for food or money.

They also had problems buying the necessary food and produce they needed for their business. She described to me how once a week she would cross the border into Chetumal and buy things like meat, and other things she could not find in Belize. She told me she got good at smuggling stuff back across the border from Mexico. She even had a special compartment in her van where she put meats and stuff to hide from border guards. She also described to me how she would drop off Chinese food to the Belizean border guards, so they would let her pass when she came back across, and not search her van. She informed me she could not have stayed in business if she had to rely on getting food and produce from Belize. (I know a lot of women from Corozal, that go to Chetumal once a week to buy household goods and food that they cannot get in Belize. Also consumer goods and food are a lot less expensive in Chetumal compared to Belize.)

Well as soon as their son graduated from high school, they closed up their business in Corozal, packed everything up they owned, and headed straight for Playa del Carmen. They had met several people from the USA in Corozal, that told them if they had a chance they should open up a Chinese food restaurant in Playa del Carmen, because Playa del Carmen was growing.

Well to make a long story short, they love it here in Playa del Carmen and Mexico, and could not be happier. They do a good business here with tourists and locals, and without the hassles and problems they had in Belize. Living in Mexico is the best thing they could have done, she said. She has a daughter in school here, that speaks Chinese, Spanish, and English. She also pointed out the schools here in Mexico are much more superior than those in Belize.

Buffet at Shanghai.

Buffet at Shanghai.

Iphone from Xcalak Dec 2013 to Playa May 2014 291

This is just one woman’s experience with living and working in Belize I thought I would share, I am sure there are other people who could share some of these same problems and experiences also if they had a chance.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Americans living in Mexico praise ‘Seguro Popular’ Universal Health Care

 

My doctor at CostaMed in Mahahual.  Dr. Karla Velasco, speaks English well, and not bad on the eyes either.

My doctor at CostaMed in Mahahual. Dr. Karla Velasco, speaks English well, and not bad on the eyes either.

There is a lot of problems and controversy in the USA at the moment over Obamacare and health insurance. A lot of citizens of the USA now are without health insurance. In fact, I had an uncle and a good friend of mine die because they did not health insurance and could not afford to go to the doctor. That happens a lot in the USA now.

Health care in the USA is not affordable to the average citizen now, and the number one cause of people going bankrupt in the USA is medical bills. Not so here in Mexico.

Health care in Mexico is still very affordable, and quite good. In most urban areas, and Mahahual for that matter all the doctors speak English. In fact to graduate from medical schools in Mexico now, doctors have to be able to understand and speak English. Merida in Yucatan has some of the best hospitals in the world, and is a hot spot for medical tourism.

Medical tourism is people from the USA or other countries coming here to Mexico to get medical or dental work, at a fraction of the cost as say the USA. Everything from major surgery to complete dental work is a fraction of the cost of the USA, and the average is around 30% what it would cost in the USA. I met a woman last night who is in Playa del Carmen getting some major dental work here, and it is only costing her $1,500 USD, compared to over $7,000 USA in the USA. She informed me, even including her airfare and hotel room, she is still saving over $4,000 by having her work down here. I also know a woman who had a triple hernia operation in Chetumal, and it only cost her $1,400 USD, compared to the over $45,000 it would have cost her in the USA.

In Mahahual we have CostaMed clinic near the port, and all the doctors there speak English, and are well trained. CostaMed also takes a lot of USA health insurance, as well as other countries. I have gone to CostaMed on several occasions and they have always taken good care of me.

I will be in the near future writing a post about healthcare in Mexico compared to Belize, and I will go into more prices and benefits of Mexican health care. I am enclosing an article below I got from the Yucatan Times, that is about Mexico’s own kind of Obamacare, it seems to be working, and a lot of ExPats from the USA are signing up and taking advantage of it.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Published On: Mon, Jul 14th, 2014
http://www.yucatantimes.com

Universal Health Care is currently at the center of a heated debate in the United States, but in the neighboring nation of Mexico, it’s a reality.

Yes, now Mexico offers coverage to millions of uninsured people, and even some Americans living in Mexico have taken advantage of this new insurance programme.

10 years ago, half of Mexico 110 million people had no medical insurance whatsoever, because in Mexico like in the U.S., most coverage was linked to employment, but now they have universal health care, thanks to the “Seguro Popular”.

An American couple living in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, the town with the largest concentration of Expats in this country, wanted the insurance in case of an emergency, so they enrolled.

A few days later both of them were involved in situations that required medical attention, they found themselves in the Emergency Room of the General Hospital in San Miguel, twice in a matter of days. They got X-Rays, and then a bilingual doctor explained them that there were no broken bones, etc., and at the end, they were simply amazed to find out there was no cost.

Premiums are charged on a sliding scale, home ownership is one if the deciding factors, anyone can sign up for the government funded programme, most people that make little or nothing, children are fully covered.

Though access has expanded, the quality of medical care in Mexico may vary from state to state, and it’s not as good in poor rural areas. But at least, in this region of Central Mexico (San Miguel Allende), people seemed very pleased with the service.

At this point, you might be asking yourself: What do an American has to do to take advantage of the “Seguro Popular”, first of all, let’s make it clear that you do not have to be a Mexican citizen, you just need to prove that you reside legally in this country.

The question is: If Universal Health Care is becoming a reality in a country like Mexico, why does it remain controversial in the United States?

There are also a lot of free clinics in Mexico, where doctors and dentists go to villages like Mahahual and provide free health care to the people and children who cannot afford to go to a big city.  Here are some photos below of a recent free clinic here.

There are also a lot of free clinics in Mexico, where doctors and dentists go to villages like Mahahual and provide free health care to the people and children who cannot afford to go to a big city. Here are some photos below of a recent free clinic here.

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People You Meet on the Mexican Caribbean

 

Mahahual lighthouse.

Mahahual lighthouse.

Since I have been in Mahahual and Mexico, I have met a lot of interesting people. I have met a lot of different folks from all over the world here in Mexico. There is something about the Mexican Caribbean that draws different and unique people from about every country in the world, and North America.

In Mahahual we have residents from Canada, USA, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Spain, and of course Mexico. A lot of divers from all over the world come to Mahahual and Xcalak to dive in the barrier reef. Some people like the Italian guys from Papi’s Pizza, show up to scuba in Mahahual and end up staying and opening businesses.

A lot of retirees from the USA and Canada are “Snow Birds”( people who live down here during the winter months when is too cold up north), and return back to USA or Canada for the summer. During the summer months, like now, we get a lot of European backpackers coming through Mahahual as they travel through Mexico and Central America.

In fact, in May I had two guys from Austria stop by here in Playa del Carmen, where I am staying, and stayed with us. They were “couch surfing”and stayed up on the roof here for a week, before they moved on to Tulum and Mahahual. These two young guys in their early 20s, decided to quit their jobs and sell what they could, and find themselves in Mexico and Central America. They plan on traveling through Mexico and Central America, ( The last time I heard from them they were in Panama) and staying in hostels and working along the way.
I did my usual thing and got a map out for them and showed them places to go and see. I also told them about Mahahual and Xcalak, ( of course they had never heard of either place before) and maybe they should stop by there on their way south. One of the guys started a blog on WordPress and I kind of helped him get started.

Phillip and Flo, 2 guys from Austria leaving for Tulum after staying here for week.

Phillip and Flo, 2 guys from Austria leaving for Tulum after staying here for week.

These guys stayed with us for a week, and I got to learn a lot about Austrian culture, and even had a couple of Austrian meals. I enjoy meeting and interacting with people from different countries and cultures, you can learn a lot. These guys left for Tulum after a week, and then they stayed at Tulum for a couple days. They then decided to go to Mahahual like I had suggested to them. Well they ended up in Limones early in the morning on their travels, and the next bus to Mahahual would not be by until 6pm that night. There happened to be a guy with a pickup truck on his way to Xcalak, and they decided to ride with him into Xcalak, that I told them they would like. They told me they wanted to sleep on the beach a couple of nights and cut down some cocoanuts, like they have read and heard about, and rough it. I told them Xcalak was the perfect place for that, so they hopped in this guys truck for the ride into Xcalak.

Evidently this guy was a diver in Xcalak, that gave them a ride, and he drove them to Xcalak after they stopped in Mahahual for awhile. Well to make a long story short, they fell in love with Xcalak and Mahahual at once and ended up staying in Xcalak with a bunch of divers for a week or so. They sent me a message and pictures showing the fun they had in Xcalak, and as a matter of fact they ended up meeting another group of Europeans in Xcalak and traveled with them to Bacalar and later to Belize.

Xcalak remote beach.

Xcalak remote beach.

They told me they met a lot of very friendly people in Mahahual and Xcalak, both Mexican and European. They also got to sleep on the beach and gather cocoanuts like they had planned. I meet a lot of Europeans that want to sleep on the beach here, I think it is because of Europe being crowded, and to them it is a dream come true.

That is what I like about living on the Mexican Caribbean and Mahahual. You are always meeting new and different people all the time.
It is a kind of different breed of person that likes the Mexican Caribbean. This brings a kind of diverse structure of life here. People you meet here tend to be more open minded and like adventure. Because sometimes every day down here can be an adventure, which I and many other people enjoy.

The North Americans ( I mean USA and Canada ExPats), that I meet here are also different and unique from most other North Americans. There is guy staying with me now from Austin, Texas. He has a mobile computer business, with a van, and he drove down through Mexico here to start a new life. ( He even brought his 4 dogs) The Mexican Caribbean is a perfect place if you want a new life. Nobody here really cares what you did up north, or across the pond in Europe, they just accept you at face value. I like a lot of other ExPats here have started a new life and are happy.

I constantly meet people looking to maybe live or retire here on the Mexican Caribbean from all over the world. There is something about the lifestyle here, along with the beautiful nature, that draws people to the Mexican Caribbean. This makes for an unique and diverse environment to live in, and makes for an interesting lifestyle.

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So if you like meeting different and unique and diverse people everyday, you may what to consider Costa Maya and Mahahual on the Mexican Caribbean to live or retire.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Things to do in Costa Maya and Mahahual, Mexico

Mahahual ligbhthouse and crusie ship pier in background.

Mahahual ligbhthouse and crusie ship pier in background.

The small fishing village of Mahahual will be the perfect place to enjoy your dream vacation, with no worries and away from the busy life in the big cities. This small fishing village has the only cruise pier to the south of the state of Quintana Roo, because it is a strategic point from which you will be able to take a strategic tour along the coast, where adventures abound. Start the day surfing the lagoon which is born from the breakwater formed by the reef. Plunge into its turquoise waters, dive and discover unimaginable beauty.

Those who love the ocean and adventure will find themselves 20 minutes away from the coast by sea in an underwater paradise, Banco Chinchorro, the largest coral atoll in the country. In its inner lagoon emerge mangrove covered keys that provide refuge to a large variety of flora and fauna. You will be able to swim around them and admire from fish and turtles, to dolphins and sharks, among the remains of shipwrecks from all time periods.

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Punta Herrero is a place of extraordinary natural wealth. Within an hour of Mahahual, touring jungle and sand paths, you will arrive at the place that is part of the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an, a world heritage site. On your way back, stop at Ubero, beach club, where you will eat delicious food. But if you like to dive, visit Xcalak, the last spot in the country. This d place was settled in the late nineteenth century by federal troops looking for an access from the Caribbean Ocean at the end of the War of Castes. Discover a small railway and remains of steam engines, faithful witnesses of that colonization. With specialized guides, go diving in the National Reef Park and visit La Poza or the caverns, you will be amazed! From Xcalak, by boat or kayak, you will reach La Aguada, an area full of mangroves where beautiful migratory birds nest.

Xcalak is one of the few and last pristine beaches on the Mexican Caribbean, located just 37 miles from Mahahual. The great diversity of flora and fauna found in this area, along with the marine environment, make Xcalak a tourist destination with truly unforgettable landscapes; also considered as a paradise for nature lovers, and those who enjoy diving, fishing and snorkeling.

Xcalak, Vic's place, road trip April 8 20013 034 Pelicans in Xcalak. Xcalak, Vic's place, road trip April 8 20013 060

Stop at the observation tower in Pajaros Island, where over 401 species of birds come together! But if what you want is a jungle experience, you must go to Uchben Kah, an ecotourism park, former storage facility used by the Mayans to take out tint stick wood which the English pirates exchanged for weapons, and which was later used to deliver fine wood and gum to be taken to Chetumal by way of the lagoon of Bacalar, the estuary of Chac and the Hondo River until it reached Chetumal, which now has been turned into an eco tourism park where you will be able to participate in countless activities.

The Costa Maya area was one of the most powerful regions in the Mayan world. The remains from that period confirm that their cities were large and had sophisticated ceremonial centers and big residential areas for the ruling classes;   featuring extensive infrastructure work and artificial systems for the collection of water.  To follow their steps through this area, you must visit Kohunlich, Dzibanche and Kinichna, three archaeological sites very close to each other, which will offer you a representative sample of the greatness of the Classic Maya in this region of Mexico.

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Kohunlich is located 39 miles to the west of the city of Chetumal and is characterized not only for its aesthetic value, but also for the natural beauty framing it.  Tour the Temple of the Masks, the most famous structure in the area and perhaps the most emblematic structure in the state of Quintana Roo, due to its structure decorated with eight figures sculpted in stucco or plaster, considered one of the missing samples of Mayan iconography.

It can be said that Kohunlich is the most famous and best studied archaeological site in the south of the state; furthermore, its spaciousness has allowed for the preservation of a very complete ecosystem, thereby becoming a haven for a large variety of birds, reptiles and mammals.

Three miles separate Kohunlich from Dzibanche, an archaeological settlement with large architectural complexes. During your visit you will discover that this is one of the largest and most important sites in the south of the state of Quintana Roo. Like most settlements, it is believed that by the eleventh century, this city was abandoned and the buildings you now are able to visit correspond to the center of this ancient Mayan city.

Tour Temple II or the Temple of the Cormorants, one of the most important constructions in the area. Look at the large quadrangular base on which an exceptionally high and narrow temple stands; the Temple of the Captives, and a pyramid in the Teotihuacan architectural style will be an experience that will captivate your senses.

Finally, visit Kinichna, an archaeological site located 1.5 miles to the north of Dizibanche. This area was named in honor of the Irishman Thomas Gann, an amateur archaeologist and explorer of the ruins of the Mayan culture, based on a plaster representation of the sun “Kin”, literally meaning “House of the Sun”.  Marvel at its monumental three-level, completely symmetrical Acropolis, consisting of a series of low buildings surrounding a square, which, it is believed, were used as platforms for smaller temples.

Without any doubt, this tour will lead to a unique experience where you will gradually uncover and discover the footprints of the Mayan past in this region.

Founded by sailors, Chetumal is a city divided between the ocean and the jungle, where the colors contrast and combine with the Caribbean exuberance. The city is much more than a pretty landscape: it is a tourist resort where you will be able to participate in almost every activity you can imagine, from nature walks, water sports, swimming, snorkeling, sports fishing and diving; to enjoying its delicious cuisine and admiring a city full of history and folklore.

Chetumal is located right at the end of the coast of the Mexican Caribbean, in the beautiful state of Quintana Roo. This corner of the Yucatan Peninsula is called the “cradle of the mingling of races” because it was here where the Mayan princess Zazil Ha married the Spanish shipwrecked sailor with whom she bred the first generation of mixed blood Mexicans.

Statue of Spainish sailor who was shipwrecked and ended up living amongst the Mayans, Father of the first Meztizos.

Statue of Spainish sailor who was shipwrecked and ended up living amongst the Mayans, Father of the first Meztizos.

From afar you will be able to see its boulevard, the longest in all of the Yucatan Peninsula, tour it on foot or on a bike and enjoy its cool breeze, scenery and beautiful sunsets. Enjoy the warmth of its climate and cool off with a “machacado”, an original Caribbean drink made with shaved ice and mango, guava, pineapple, tamarind, banana, papaya, mamey, guanaba, watermelon or cantaloupe pulp.

With Guatemala and Belize at its borders, Chetumal is also a symbolic entrance to Central America and an important bulwark of protected areas. The Bay of Chetumal, which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, is one of the 21 protected areas in the state, vitally important because it is a habitat for many species of birds, and marine fauna and mammals, especially the manatee, for which reason, in 1996, the bay was named the Manatee Sanctuary.

Take a walk along the bay and admire its blue and green hues of the Mexican Caribbean, while touring the 19 sculptures making up the Chactemal Sculpture Corridor with works by important Mexican artists. You can also visit its wide range of museums such as the Cultural Center of Fine Arts, the Rafael E. Melgar Cultural Polyforum, the Museum of Mayan Culture, the Museum of the City and the Government Palace.

Chetumal is a cultural center with various Mayan archaeological sites which make up a route which includes Kohunlich, Dzibancha and Kinichna, a representative sample of the cultural heritage of that civilization. Kohunlich has great architectural natural beauty, where you will be able to admire the Temple of the Masks, its most famous structure and the most emblematic of Quintana Roo, as it is considered as one of the best finished structures in the Mayan iconography. The area also preserves an ecosystem, which makes it easy to see a significant number of birds, reptiles and mammals.

If you visit Chetumal, don’t miss the opportunity of visiting the Payo Obispo village, a place of rustic charm, sandy streets and wooden houses, where you will find a museum housing a scale model of the old village. Finished up to the last detail, the work shows houses, carts, planters and even banana trees, other types of trees, and even people. Be sure not to miss it!

Chetumal’s cuisine has all the benefits of the generous Mexican Caribbean. Try its delicious dishes such as the so called “Sea and Jungle”, prepared with venison, octopus, tepezcuintle (paca agouti), armadillo and breaded shrimp, or treat yourself to shrimp stuffed with cheese, or a lobster cooked in white wine, garlic and butter.

Whether for its food, its customs, its history or its beauty, come to visit Chetumal and you will enjoy an unforgettable experience that will surely get you to come back.

As planned from time immemorial, the edge of the beautiful lagoon of seven colors, in Costa Maya, Quintana Roo, the Magic Town of Bacalar is located. Nature lovers, fans of adventure, history and culture will find the perfect balance here,  as a result of its great offering of activities and experiences.  Sail over the waters of its lagoon in a kayak, sailboat or aquatic motorcycle while you admire the beautiful scenery the area has to offer, surrounded by lush trees in various shades of green. Listen to the song of the birds which have made their home in this place, and allow yourself to be surrounded by the magic you will feel when you watch how the horizon and the sky blend with the water in different shades of blue.

Bacalar

2 Houses for Sale under $50,000 in Mahahual, Mexico

If you are considering moving or retiring to Mahahual in the future, now is your chance. At present Costa Maya Real Estate has two nice two bedroom homes for sale in New Mahahual. Both houses are in the New Mahahual neighborhood near the cruise ship port. Both homes are a five minute walk from the beach and malecon. These houses have just come the market, and if the history of New Mahahual repeats itself, these two properties will not last long.

Work is soon to start on the construction of the new water park, and with its completetion will attract more and more people to the Mahahual area. Because of this and other tourist and urban infrastructure, Mahahual housing market and needs will go up.

Both these homes have just come on the market and should not last long.

I am going to include information for both properties on this post. If you want more information and photos of properties, go to http://www.mahahual-propiedades.com or hit the link on this blog.

fichaInmuebles (1)

Sale: $590,000 MN $47,200 USD
PROPERTY INFO
Sale
TYPE:Residential House
FEATURES:
CLAVE: CR131510011
NUM. BEDROOMS: 2.0
BATHS: 1.0
BUILT AREA: 65.00 m2
LAND AREA: 216.00 m2
WIDE MEASURE: 7.10 m
DEEP METERS: 30.00 m
LOCATION
Othón P. Blanco / Mahahual, Quintana Roo
NEIGHBORHOOD: Fraccionamiento Nuevo Mahahual
POSTAL CODE:77940
MORE INFORMATION
Built Levels:1
Spaces for Cars:1
Room Service:It has not
Phone Line:1
Land type:Plane
AMENITIES:Nearby Schools
Av. Paseo Del Puerto Local #3+52 +52(983) 83 45 999
http://www.mahahual-propiedades.com

fichaInmuebles

Sale: $600,000 MN $48,000 USD
PROPERTY INFO
Sale
TYPE:Residential House
FEATURES:
CLAVE: CR131510012
NUM. BEDROOMS: 2.0
BATHS: 1.0
BUILT AREA: 65.00 m2
LAND AREA: 216.00 m2
WIDE MEASURE: 7.10 m
DEEP METERS: 30.00 m
LOCATION
Othón P. Blanco / Mahahual, Quintana Roo
NEIGHBORHOOD: Fraccionamiento Nuevo Mahahual
POSTAL CODE:77940
MORE INFORMATION
Built Levels:1
Spaces for Cars:1
Phone Line:1
Land type:Plane
AMENITIES:Wooded Area,Surveillance,Nearby Schools

If you have any questions about these, or other properties go to our website above or hit the link on this blog. There are other homes on the market now also, but the two above would be perfect retirement or second homes.

NEW MAHAHUAL

NEW MAHAHUAL

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Why is the Water around Mahahual and the Mexican Caribbean so Blue

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I get a lot of comments and questions concerning how blue and clear the waters are around Mahahual and Costa Maya. Mahahual’s waters have that special kind of blue, that you only see in the Caribbean. Being in the heart of the Mexican Caribbean, and away from urban areas, the waters around Mahahual are captivating. Also being on the barrier reef keeps the waters around Mahahual calm and clear most of the year, because of the fact there are not a lot of waves.

There are many reasons the water in the Mexican Caribbean and Mahahual are so blue, and in my research and reading I have come across several reasons why, and I will now break them down.

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The Clarity of the Caribbean and its Vivid Fish

Why are the waters of the Mexican Caribbean so clear and the fish so colorful? The answer is a combination of several factors including light absorption, depth, temperature, and microscopic phytoplankton. Warmer water has less oxygen then colder, the higher the water temperature the lower the amount of oxygen and hence the higher transparency of the water. Phytoplankton, plants like algae, require nitrogen and phosphorous as food and there’s not much in the warm waters of the Caribbean. Fewer floating microscopic life forms mean less muddled and crowded currents, and therefore much clearer water. In addition, since much of the Caribbean is quite shallow, little thermocline movement of waterborne nutrients for algae growth occurs between different temperature layers as it does in the Atlantic.

Light absorption also helps color the water. Sunlight, composed of electromagnetic radiation in colors from red to blue, is scattered by particles suspended and vibrating in the water. The shorter blue wavelengths scatter more effectively and are absorbed less rapidly than the longer red and orange wavelengths. Seawater appears blue for about 100 feet under the surface, and then becomes black with the absence of light. In essence, the sunlight performs a native dance with the warm and shallow water of the Caribbean to account for the blue hued sea. The blue tones bounce back to the surface making them more visible than the others. You can see the same effect in snow and ice that often appears bluish. By contrast the Red Sea is red because it contains algae that release reddish-brown pigments; the Yellow Sea is yellow because rivers fill it with blonde colored mud; and the Black Sea is black because it is essentially landlocked, resulting in little oxygen near the surface and a bottom filled with hydrogen sulfide.

The pristine Caribbean waters provide the perfect backdrop for the multi-hued fish gliding through it. Vivid colors on land might mean “I’m dangerous or bad-tasting” — yet most brightly colored reef fish are actually pretty tasty to us humans. Bright colors might help fish attract mates, but most fish, male to female, are equally colorful. Bright colors might camouflage and/or identify fish in the multi hued environment of the coral reefs. Different patterns might also limit inter-species aggression since fish usually don’t fight with their relatives. These and other less well-known theories are studied and researched, and as such are still just scientific conjecture. However, you also need to know, that fish don’t see as we do and they recognize colors that humans don’t. In fact, research has shown that this ability to perceive colors even differs between fish species. Most big predator fish are colorblind and can’t pick up on small movements, since they don’t care what color their prey is and don’t “eat small.” Nocturnal fish react to a different spectrum then diurnal, and it’s fascinating that fish see UV colors we can’t, so what we perceive is not what they focus on. In fact, some Caribbean species can emit UV signals like ocean fireflies that can turn a school of fish on a doubloon in reaction to an incoming predator. Numerous Caribbean fish also have UV markings that are beyond human perception, and so is it all an illusion?

Furthermore, the clarity of the fish’s waters has had a huge evolutionary influence. As a result, the fish in the Pacific and Atlantic are not nearly as resplendent as those flashes of color from the Caribbean. Dark matches dark, bright matches bright. The fish and the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic are muddier and darker. There you won’t see the bright reds, oranges, yellow and blues displayed by tropical fish. Instead, your catch is markedly brown, white and black. These fish also display simpler designs lacking the intricate dots, swirls, lines and shapes of the warm water varieties.

moon and beach 002

All these factors above explain all the reasons the water is so blue and pristine in the Mexican Caribbean and Mahahual. This provides for great scuba diving and snorkeling and other water activities year round. The water in Mahahual stays at around 80 degrees year round, so it is comfortable to snorkel or scuba almost all the time.

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If you have been to Mahahual on a cruise ship, or have visited, or vacationed in Mahahual, and have experienced the waters there, you know what I am talking about.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina