Life on the Malecon Update July 2015

This past month, July, has been like a whirlwind for me.  It started out with me in Merida, and then for the last two weeks I have been back in Mahahual.  Even though I have only been back in Mahahual for two weeks it feels like a month, so much has happened.

First of all, this month, July 2015, the Costa Maya Life blog is going to have over 10,000 readers for the month.  That is pretty remarkable for this time of year.  The blog  already surpassed last years readers in June.  The readership of this blog has more than tripled in the last 3 or 4 months.  Because of all of this popularity I have been able to attract advertisers and sponsors here in the Mahahual area.  I am setting up the ads, and seeing clients now.  The ads for the businesses will be on the sidebar and the reader will be able to go direct to the advertisers website.

I am now living on the new south part of the malecon, the part that has just been completed.  It is a lot more quiet here than where I stayed before in the center of town on the malecon.  I am staying at the Hammock House, right next to the Cabanas de Doctor.  It is a kind of hostel, and it is right on the beach.  I have been living lately with a couple of Mexican students who are here working during summer vacation.  There was also a sculptor from Mexico City who stayed with us a couple of days.  I am staying here for a while because of summer vacation, every place in Mahahual is full at the moment with Mexican tourists.

Hammock House, where I am staying.

Hammock House, where I am staying.

I am staying on second floor.

I am staying on second floor.

View from my balcony.

View from my balcony.

Beach in front of my house.

Beach in front of my house.

They are always cleaning it up, but it keeps coming.

They are always cleaning it up, but it keeps coming.

This has been a big year here in Mahahual so far with Mexican summer vacation tourists.  I have met some from Veracruz, Tabasco, Monterrey, and of course Mexico City.  There are a lot of cheap flights into the Chetumal from all over Mexico, and some tourists are taking advantage of that, and coming to Mahahual for the first time.  In fact, I was standing in front of the Bacalar police station Tuesday,(that is a whole another story and blog for later), and a guy from Veracruz asked me if I knew anything about Mahahual, because I had a Costa Maya T-shirt on.  He spoke perfect English, and he and his family were in Bacalar sightseeing, and wanted to go to Mahahual the next day.  I gave him a couple of choices of places to stay.  I saw them the next day on the malecon, and they had rented some cabanas at Blue Key for a couple of nights.

It is a little different down here on the south end of town than living above the Tropicante.  There are more boutique hotels and dive shops down this way, and not as many stores and places to eat as downtown Mahahual.  There is not as much foot traffic, but there are still a lot of tourists walking around or riding bikes.  I noticed yesterday the cruise ship tourists rode by a lot in ATVs, dunebuggys, and golf carts.  They really did job with the extension of the malecon, and the paved road and sidewalks will improve business on this end of town.  There are benches and signs and a lot of improvements over past old dirt road.

Start of south end extension.

Start of south end extension.

South malecon.

South malecon.

Nice view of south end of town.

Nice view of south end of town.

South malecon extension.

South malecon extension.

View from my chair on the malecon.

View from my chair on the malecon.

image

South end of malecon at night.

South end of malecon at night.

So every morning after I write my blog and answer emails and things, I take a walk up the malecon to have lunch and do business.  So I hang out on the malecon and do my thing, and then walk home, not a bad commute I think.

I kind of feel sorry for some of the tourists here for the first time.  The seaweed is really bad now, worse than I have ever seen in six years I have been down here.  The town is doing all it can to get it off the beaches, but over night it is back.  It really was starting to smell, so yesterday the governor of Quintana Roo was here, and he did an inspection or something, and as I came home last night at about 9pm on the malecon, there were still dump trucks and bulldozers cleaning the beaches of all the seaweed. But the seaweed is a problem this year throughout the Caribbean, not just here in Mahahual.

So that is all for today, I have a lot more coming up, my trip to the Ejido village, more news about Mahahual and some developments, and much more later this week.  And I want to thank all of the loyal readers of this blog for making this month the most read month ever, and I hope you keep reading.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

Retiring on the Mexican Caribbean

Originally posted on Costa Maya Mahahual:

Mexican Caribbean. Mahahual Mexican Caribbean. Mahahual

I know there are a lot of people out there from the USA and Canada, and maybe even Europe for that matter, who have always dreamed of retiring on the Caribbean Sea after their work days and raising children are over. My generation, the so called “baby boomers”, are retiring in droves now, and a lot of the attention and interest they have is retiring outside of the USA.
Most of these retirees are looking for their own kind of paradise. Because of my job I am in a lot of ExPat groups and I subscribe to a lot of newsletters and websites that are concerned with retiring outside of the USA. One of these, “International Living”, I get newsletters almost everyday claiming what great places Ecuador and Belize are for retiring and the advantages of living there. I hardly ever see or read about the Mexican…

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The History of the Mariachi Music

Here is an article I came across about the history of the mariachi, interesting history lesson.  We have them on the beach every day in Mahahual.

Mariachi
by Catherine Pawelek – Jul 24, 2015

Let yourself be swayed through the history and culture of this celebratory and traditional ensemble…

The sights and sounds of the Mariachi brings history and culture to life / Photo: Wikipedia

The sights and sounds of the Mariachi brings history and culture to life / Photo: Wikipedia

What do accordions, trumpets, guitars and violins have in common? The mariachi of course! Modern day mariachi music uses most or all of these instruments. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, this indigenous music was played with rattles, drums, flutes and conch-shell horns as part of religious celebrations. The Spanish replaced the native instruments with the previously mentioned instruments, changing the delivery but not the sound.
mariachi-W-675x450
You can walk down Quinta Avenida at almost any time of the day or night and find a group of mariachi playing all the often-heard favorites from “Guadalajara” and “La Cucaracha” to “Cielito Lindo” and “La Bamba”.

The more authentic kind of mariachi music includes classics like Lola Beltrán’s “Cucurrucucu Paloma” and “Tres Días” to Linda Ronstadt’s “Canciones de Mi Padre” and “Más Canciones” with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, recognized as the oldest and most famous mariachi ensemble, founded by Gaspar Vargas in the late 1890’s in Jalisco.

The exact derivation of the word mariachi is unknown although there are many theories. One theory is that it stemmed from the French word mariage (“marriage”) dating back to France’s intervention in Mexico in the 1860s and related to the music’s appearance at weddings. However, documents show this word existed before French involvement in Mexico. Other theories suggest the word comes from the indigenous name of a tree called tila or cirimo (its blossoms provide us with soothing linden tea). Another says that it came from an image locally called Maria H, pronounced “María A-che”.

No matter what the origin, this music, when played well, with soul and heart, perfectly reflects Herbie Hancock’s saying “Music happens to be an art form that transcends language.” It can also transport you to another time and place. So as you walk down the street and hear a mariachi band, even if you aren’t familiar with the words, you will know its rhythm and history.

Source:http://theplayatimes.com/2015/07/24/mariachi/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Snorkeling in Mahahual is Great!

costamayamahahual:

I have had a lot of people in Merida, Playa del Carmen, and on this blog, ask me how is the snorkeling in Mahahual. I was thinking of doing a snorkel story today, but I realized I had already written one. Also I am kind of dragging today.
I spent all day yesterday in Bacalar and David Gustavo Ejido village. I got to see the Ejido farm land and meet with the village elders and discuss plans for developng the area into farm land. It was a long and exhausting day, but a very productive day, and I learned a lot. I will do a story on the trip and village in the next couple of days, but first I have a ton of photos to download. So today I am cheating and sharing an article from last year, but it does talk about snorkeling.
Snorkeling is on my mind today because I have some female friends I met in Merida coming down to stay with me this weekend, and I am taking them snorkeling, it is ther first time here. The seaweed is still bad, but it should not effect snorkeling out around the reef. Trust me if there is one thing you should do in Mahahual if you are here, is to go snorkeling.

Originally posted on Costa Maya Mahahual:

I had to get this post in while it is still fresh in my mind. I am spoiled, compared to Mahahual, snorkeling in Playa del Carmen or anywhere else I have been on the Mexican Caribbean and Belize does not hold a candle to Mahahul. I went snorkeling today with some guys from Austria on the beach here in Playa del Carmen.

Beach in Playa del Carmen, nice but lots of waves. Beach in Playa del Carmen, nice but lots of waves.

Me, giving up, nothing to see. Me, giving up, nothing to see.

Austrian guys in surf, they gave up quick to. Austrian guys in surf, they gave up quick to.

It all started this morning when two Canadians from across the hall here, mentioned they were going to Akumal on a snorkeling trip today, and were leaving soon. I mentioned to the guys if you want to get in some good snorkeling, hop the the shuttle with them to Akumal. They said they would rather snorkel here in Playa del Carmen, if that…

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Sea Turtles of Mahahual

Here is a video featuring some sea turtles around the Mahahual area. The video is titled Turtle Steps, and was done by Buceando Mahahual here in Mahahual. For more information about scuba diving with the turtles here, check out the link on this blog, or go to their website http://www.buceandomahahual.com.

Tortuga en Escalones
Buceando Mahahual

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Private Island near Tulum $6,000,000 USD

Cayo Culebra

Cayo Culebra

Yes, now if you have the money you can own your own private island, Cayo Culebra. The island is 10 km from Punta Allen and 35 km from Tulum. It is located in the Rivera Maya, and is in the municipality of Felipe de Carrillo Puerto, and the state of Quintana Roo. It is also in the Bahia de la Ascension Zone, and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

The island consists of 36 hectares, and is in an ecologically protected zone. It is a perfect location for tourism or even an eco-resort. It has beaches, wildlife and fauna, and is also a perfect spot to place a marina. It has the capacity for from 29-100 hotel rooms, depending on the developer. Perfect island for commercial and tourism development.

The price of the island is $6,000,000 USD, and has a commercial valuation of $54,000,000 USD. There is a sole owner, and it has a clear deed and title. It also has an exclusive agent, and appointments to see island have to be planned.

private island 2 private island 3 private island 4 private island 5 private island 6

Cayo Culebra Island
The auction price is $ 6 million USD
It has a valuation of $ 54 million USD.
Sole owner, It has deed.

So if you want to be like a big Hollywood celebrity, (say like Leonardo DiCaprio), and own your own private island in the Caribbean, now is your chance.  For only $6,000,000 you can buy a big piece of paradise.

So if you don’t have 6 million to spend on an island, but you are still wanting to own your own personal piece of paradise on the Mexican Caribbean, we have some houses in New Mahahual that might fit your budget.

We currently have three 2br houses for sale that will not last long.  There is a 2br house listed for $36,000 USD, and two more that are selling for $42,000 USD.  These are the standard 2br casitas that are very popular with expats here.  All three houses have two bedrooms, kitchen, bath, garden, and all have access to water, electricity, cable, internet, and all other services.

All of these houses are basically ready to be remodeled and adapted to your lifestyle or standards.  I have seen several of these made up real nice, in fact Stewart Minns, a blog reader, has one that he remodeled that I like to show people.  All of these houses are a 5 minute walk to the beach and the malecon, and are in a good safe neighborhood.  Here are some photos of these 2br houses for you to look at.

house and casitas 033 house and casitas 031 house and casitas 030 house and casitas 027 house and casitas 022 house and casitas 021 house and casitas 020 house and casitas 032So if you have $6,000,000 for a private island, or $50,000 for a small house in paradise, there is something for you here in Mahahual and Costa Maya. There is plenty of beach property available now also. So if you are interested in property here contact Costa Maya Real Estate at http://www.mahahual-propiedades.com, or send me an email at s.rogers.920@hotmail.com and I can hook you up with who you need to talk to.

 

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

 

Scuba Diving in Costa Maya and Mahahual

I have been meaning to do an in-depth article about scuba diving here in Mahahual for quite a while.  I don’t scuba, I do a lot of snorkeling, so I am not real familiar with all the good choices to scuba here.  I plan on learning to scuba soon, I just keep putting it off, or something, like Merida always comes up.

So I am sharing an article today that I read recently, and it answers a lot of questons about diving here on the Mexican Caribbean.  I will doing an upcoming article on a dive shop here, Buceando Mahahual, in the near future.  I am talking to Moises Machado Sanchez now about it, and you can see the Buceando Mahahual logo on the sidebar, and you can hit that if you are interested in diving here.  Their website is http://www.buceandomahahual.com and it is in English and Spanish.

So I hope this article I am enclosing is helpful, it answered a lot of my questions.

diver 1

Questions About Diving Mahahual/Costa Maya?

I keep getting asked more questions about diving Mahahual, so I decided it was time to do a blog with all the answers to those basic dive questions all seem to have. We are a dive destination, with miles and miles of both, deep and shallow, still pristine and unspoiled reefs. Our world famous Banco Chinchorro, along with the neighboring Blue Hole of Belize, make up the crown jewels of diving in this hemisphere. Banco Chinchorro is about 12 miles off our shore line here in Mahahual, and worth the long ride if you are a hard core diver, and wanting to try the champagne of dives for this area. Between there and Mahahual are also many miles of great reefs and marine habitat. Lots of great dive shops too and I’ll even give a few of those as well. All you need to know about diving here in Mahahual, and were afraid to ask.

Banco Chinchorro

dive-tortuga

As I said, the the dive everyone talks about here is the Banco Chinchorro dive. This protected area is nothing short of spectacular, with at least 9 wrecks, walls and some of the most pristine, deep and shallow water diving you will find anywhere in the world. The only problem with diving Banco Chinchorro, is the 2 hour boat ride out and of course two hours back. Be aware, the boats in Mahahual are smaller wooden “panga” style boats, so the ride there is not in the most comfortable of rides. If the ocean is rough, the ride can be no fun at all. The ride back is usually about 15 minutes less, but if the ride out didn’t sit well with you, the ride back is really going to suck! But if you want to do what will be one of the most spectacular dive experiences you will ever do, this dive is a must. Pristine and as unspoiled of dive destination you will find anywhere in the somewhat easily gotten to diving world.

dive-crocodile

If you are visiting on a cruise ship, this trip is, most likely, not for you. The return trip can be late, and missing the ships departure is never an easy, or cheap, thing to fix. The only person who might do this trip off the cruise ship is someone who has Cozumel or Progresso as your next stop. Both of these ports are a simple bus ride to get to, should you miss the boat. It would require you bus the next day, but at least you can easily walk back onto the same ship and not have to deal with all the problems of flights and exit visas and such, that are always a problem if you miss your ship and need to fly back. This trip is best done if you are staying at a local hotel, and not from a cruise ship.

dive beach

If you do not want to do the long ride to Chinchorro, no problem. There is lots of good diving very close by. I frequently tell people, if Banco Chinchorro were the Playmate of the year, everything else here is like Miss May. How bad can that be? The Costa Maya area is a low environmental impact development area, with the goal being reef and mangrove preservation. What this means is that our development has been very gentle on the local reefs, with still very incredible marine habitat throughout the area. Shallow reefs in the heavily developed Riviera Maya to the north have been decimated, making it necessary to go to much deeper water to see the things we have here, at much shallower depths. There are great reefs between Mahahual and the Banco Chinchorro for those who are like me, and don’t do well in small boats for long rides.

Cruise Ship Visitors

dive group-divers

Diving is one of the most popular excursions for passengers visiting Mahahual/Costa Maya on one of the many cruise ships that port here. Lots of good shops and there are a couple ways you can do it. Most local dive shops have web sites and prefer you book your dive in advance. This helps them plan their business day and makes their job much easier. However, many do not want to pay deposits with companies they know nothing about, fearing that bad weather might prevent them from diving, and then unsure about their refund. For those, the best thing is to just get off the ship as fast as possible and you will almost always be able to join a group if you get into town early. Most dive shops like to get out with their guests about an hour and a half after the ship docks. On multiple ship days, they wait even longer, as docked ships are not allowed to disembark passengers while another ship is parking. The town is very small and the dive shops are very close to one another, so you can easily check with several before they leave out and one will have room. This is especially true for those wanting to dive two tanks that day. If you just want a single tank dive, you can often just walk up and get on one of the many boats going back out for a second tank dive. If your ship is an all day ship, your options are even greater. However, if you want a specific shop, it is best to reserve ahead, because some of the shops with good followings, can fill ahead.

Local Shops

So what shops should you look at? There are lots of good ones here and I’m not aware of any that are considered bad. I send people to places when asked and I only send them to places that I personally have never had a complaint about from a tourist. I know some good people, with pretty good operations, but if I’ve heard anything bad they have done, I do not recommend them. They might be good and perhaps had a bad day and that does not mean that they can’t provide a quality experience, but for my recommendation, especially about something like a dive service, I prefer stick with the ones that are batting 1000 with me.

diver 2

In terms of safety, most shops are about the same and follow procedures as required. However, some are better at general business professionalism and some know the area waters better than others. Dive operations are a lot like fishing services, they have their favorite spots and some even know places that others do not. Some prefer to dive with the same company several days in a row to get a better rate, which shops do for hotel guests staying several days. However, some like to dive with a different shop each day, hoping to find that shop’s secret spot that none of the others know. My guess is a company with a good history and good local divers that have been with that company for a while, can put you in a different spot all week, and about half of the spots will be places nobody else knows about. Many of the shops are staffed by seasonal divers that move around a lot, with just the dive master being a real local, and the rest of the staff seasonal help from someplace else. Doesn’t make them bad, but they might not know the local reefs nearly as good as someone who is from the area.

As I said, there are several good shops in town and I do not claim to know them all. I do know a few that I share every day and will tell you about those. One of the oldest operations in town is called Bucaneros http://www.divemahahual.com/english/ and they are time tested and do a good job. They have good equipment and the dive master has been with them forever. Dr Dive http://www.doctordive.com/ has been providing very high quality service and has only their own local dive staff that has been with them forever. A somewhat new place, they have been here for just a couple years, is Buceando Mahahual. http://www.buceandomahahual.com/index-en.html What they might lack in long time local knowledge, the dive-master is from Spain, they seem to make up for with high quality and personal service. This is a company that has been getting really good comments from the people I have sent them. Take a look at these and if you want a few more names, I can send you more. These are the three I recommend because they are the ones I hear all positive reports back on.

Yes, the local dive shops can certify you while you are here on vacation. Most even allow you to do your theory and study portion on the internet before you arrive, making the only thing you need to do here is the fun part, in the water. Most also offer shallow water, non-certified dives, called discovery dives, for those who have never dove and want to try a small sample of what it is like. Dive masters give you a quick lesson in basics and safety procedures, and then take you on a guided shallow dive at a depth that is safe for a no decompression return to the surface at any time. Try it and you’ll be hooked for life.

Cenote Diving

cenote 2 cenote-playa

Finally, since most who visit us in Costa Maya/Mahahual fly in through Cancun, guests also have the opportunity to do some unique diving in that area on the way down or the way back to the airport. Reef diving is not anything I would tell people to bother with up there. Ours is just much better here. But they do have something that we do not have to offer divers here; cenote dives. If you want to do some diving that is different, take a day on the trip and dive one of the local cenotes. Several have fully lighted and safe caverns that are so well developed, they do not require special cave certification to dive. These caves are full of incredible marine ambiance that you just will not see in the open ocean. There are not many places divers can find such unique and do-able dives as the cenote dives in the Riviera Maya, so if you want to add something a little different to your diving resume, take a day to do a cenote dive.

Okay, if I left it out, send me a note and I’ll find the answer. Be sure to check my other blog on how to dive Belize too as part of your dive trip. If you are coming to this part of the world to dive, you might as well do all the diving you can. So if you want to do the very best diving in this hemisphere, check us out here the Mexican Caribbean. Hurry too, we’re keeping your drinks cold!

Cheers!

source:https://ahhhmahahual.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/questions-about-diving-mahahualcosta-maya/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina