Reflections on 2012 from Costa Maya and Mahahual, Mexico

costamayamahahual:

This is a post I did after my first year in Mahahual. I wrote this before I started the blog http://www.costamayalife.com. It was written on the blog I started when I was living and working in Belize. It is basically looking back at my first year in Mahahual, and my first impressions and experiences here. I found this in my archives, and thought I would share today. For any of you wondering, it tells the story of how I ended up in Mahahual. I came across this when I was searching through my archives, and realized nothing much has changed in my impressions of Mahahual since I first arrived here. I also have some photos I will share later.

Originally posted on Life at Mahahual, Mexico on the Costa Maya:

Looking back and reflecting on 2012, I have come to realize that 2012 was one of the most interesting and challenging years of my life. I started the year in Caldaritas, Mexico, went to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico to look for work and I ended up in Mahahual, Mexico instead. While I was living in Caldaritas, I met a guy named Dory Hernadez at the casino in the Plaza de Americas in Chetumal, and he told me there was a lot of opportunities for someone like me in Mahahual. I had not heard much about Mahahual except from Mike Shuler, an American who I was living with in Caldaritas, and he kept telling me that his friend from Texas, Roger, and gone to Mahahual and loved it. After staying in Playa Del Carmen for 2 weeks in late January, and looking for work, I decided that Playa was a little…

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” The Lost World of Quintana Roo”

costamayamahahual:

I am reblogging this post today, because if you have ever thought of living, or are now living, or even considering coming to Mahahual and Quintana Roo, this book is a must read. I noticed this morning that Nancy at the Tropicante book store has a copy of this book. This book is very hard to find, and it describes the coast of Quintana Roo in the 1950s before roads and civikization arrived. I have told everybody I know about this book, and if you can find it, read it. I have read it twice, and I can relate, I may have to read it again.

Originally posted on Costa Maya Mahahual:

"The Lost World of Quintana Roo" out of print today. “The Lost World of Quintana Roo” out of print today.

If you have ever wanted to visit the Mexican Caribbean, or even considering retiring or living in Quintana Roo, this book is a must read. This book tells of a young Frenchmen’s journey and quest down the Mexican Caribbean from Cozumel to Belize in 1958. The book is not published anymore, and a friend gave me his old copy to read, and it was fascinating.

At the ripe old age of 21, back in 1957, Michel Peissel gave up his Wall Street activities & went off alone to the Mexican jungles of the Quintana Roo territory where he discovered several Mayan cities lost for over 400 years. This seething jungle was the site of one of the highest civilizations ever achieved by humanity. The Mayan Indians have ruled the jungle there for 3700 years. Those Mayas still living in the…

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12 SIGNS YOU’RE TRAVELING LIKE AN A**HOLE IN MEXICO

Nothing much is going on in Mahahual today, we have a cruise ship tomorrow and that is about it. Since things are slow I thought I would share an article from http://www.matadornetwork.com I came across recently.

I have met a lot of people like the ones described in this article I am sharing today. A lot of people who visit Mexico for the first time do so, by arriving on a cruise ship. I have been asked every question you can think of by people off of cruise ships about Mexico.

I had one woman and her family get off a cruise ship once and ask me if there was a Red Lobster in Mahahual, they were wanting to eat some seafood. So here are some things to read and consider before traveling to Mexico, they just might help you out.

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1. You ask people if they speak “Mexican.”
Don’t think we need to explain this one.

2. Or, you assume that by knowing Spanish, everyone will understand you.
Wrong again. Six percent of Mexico’s population — around six million citizens — speak indigenous languages, the second largest group in the Americas (only Peru has more). More than a million speak Nahuatl, while others speak many of the over 60 other indigenous language groups found in the country. All are equally recognized by the government; there is no “official” status of Spanish in the country. In 2003, the General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples made all of Mexico’s indigenous languages “national languages”, meaning they now have the same validity as Spanish in the country.

3. You expect burritos, nachos, and giant quesadillas for dinner.
None of these Tex-Mex delicacies are actually part of local Mexican cuisine. If you really want to try Mexican food, ask for ensalada de nopales, taquitos de lengua, or mole. And if you ask for quesadillas, don’t expect a gargantuan flour tortilla stuffed with an assortment of meat, vegetables, and cheese. Expect an appetizer-sized corn tortilla with queso fresco and maybe one more ingredient, lightly grilled.

4. You take pictures in a church during a service.
Worship isn’t a tourist attraction. Save the pictures for when the mass is over.

5. You assume that marijuana will be completely acceptable by everyone.
Average percentage of the American population that uses marijuana? 13.7%. In Mexico? 1.2%. Contrary to media imagery and stereotypes, Mexican culture actually does not socially tolerate marijuana as much as we’d think. The culture often stigmatizes marihuanos and associates them with the deadly drug trade in the country.

7. You ask around for the putería.
Mexican whorehouses have essentially become a Mexican tourism institution. But as thousands of Americans cross the border looking for cheap sex, keep in mind that sex-tourism can encourage the rampant child-trafficking already occurring in the area. Some reports estimate that 250,000 children between the ages of 10 and 16 have been the victims of “sexual tourism” in destinations like Guadalajara, Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Tijuana.

8. You stay at an all-inclusive resort.
Though most resorts and hotels in Cancun and along the Mayan Riveria were built to generate income for local business, in actuality, most of the development has benefited foreigners. According to research by the activist group Tourism Concern, in most all-inclusive package tours, about 80% of the travelers’ expenditures go to airline companies, hotels, and other international investors instead of local businesses and workers. This means that though thousands of Mexicans work in the tourism industry, only a tiny fraction of tourist dollars actually benefit the people of Mexico or help boost the local economy.

9. You accumulate more trash than the locals.
In Puerto Vallarta, it is estimated that tourism accounts for approximately half of the total waste stream. One study found that tourists alone produce around 350 tons of garbage a day.

10. You arrive by cruise ship.
Same problems. Some estimate that cruise ships in the Caribbean produce more than 70,000 tons of waste each year. And since guests spend more of their time and money on board, little money actually goes toward the local economy.

11. You haggle too much.
Sometimes, insisting to haggle actually helps the local community. For example, oftentimes, taxi drivers will stop picking up locals, even during emergencies, because they know they can score a higher fare with tourists too afraid to bargain. Demanding a fare price sends the message that taxis should be equally serving everyone.

However, when buying items and services not affecting locals — things strictly touristic in nature like souvenirs, photos, tours, etc. — realize that the local community has to make a living off the lowered price you argued for, and think twice about whether saving a few dollars is actually worth it.

12. You get stoked about Ancient Mayan ruins and archaeological sites…and yet don’t learn anything about the current condition of Mayan culture today.
In a recent article by the Indian Country Today Media Network, Marcelo Jimenez, then head of Quintana Roo’s Popular Culture Office, summarized the issue he had with many tourists to his region:

“Nobody wants to talk about the living Mayans, just the dead ones.”

Mayans, as well as other indigenous groups in the areas, face several challenges
as minorities in the country: exploitation from employers, increased rates of poverty and illiteracy, less access to healthcare and basic education, prejudice and mistreatment by the justice system.

Tours run by Mayan people — like Community Tours Sian Ka’an — help bring income to local communities, while also teaching tourists about both the modern and ancient history of Mayan culture. That way, tourists recognize how the ancient beauty of Mexico’s archaeological sites is deeply connected to the current issues affecting the country. As Nobel Peace Prize winner and indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchú stated: “We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected.”

from http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/12-signs-youre-traveling-like-ahole-mexico/

How Safe is Mexico?

I get this question all the time, and it is the number one search term on this blog. There is not a day that goes by, without someone asking this question, or someone searching on the internet for this. I have written numerous articles and shared other studies in the past, but I came across this today, and thought I would share.

I got this from http://www.howsafeismexico.com, a website which is a traveler’s guide to Mexico and deals with safety over sensationlism, and the USA media bias towards Mexico.

Mexico is safer than many cities in the U.S.

More than 150,000 Americans safely visit Mexico every day. And while the media sensationalizes stories of violence in Mexico, Mexico is safer than many major U.S. cities. Travelers feel relatively safe visiting popular U.S. cities like Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington D.C, or Atlanta. Visitors from around the world enjoy these vibrant cities in relative, reasonable safety. Yet each of these cities is statistically less safe than Mexico.

USCities9

Mexico and politically charged Media Bias.

In the debate on immigration reform in the US, the facts on safety in Mexico have become a casualty of politics. To change public opinion and policy, politicians sometimes throw fuel on the fire. If you make up an exciting story about “severed heads in the desert”, it gets a lot of attention and people believe it. The governor of Arizona admitted this story was baseless, but only after months of damage was successfully inflicted to the image of Mexico. The homicide rates above are facts from the FBI, not political fabrications.

Media Favoritism versus Facts.

New Orleans is beloved and its renaissance is showcased in the news. The FBI reports the murder rate of New Orleans is declining, but it is nearly 4 times higher than all of Mexico and over 5 times higher than Mexico City. New Orleans is still an amazing place to visit and the Media is right to champion this inspirational city. But Mexico is at least as remarkable and there is a clear difference in how each of these storied destinations is portrayed in contemporary news.

Every city and country has places that are safe and dangerous. Mexico is no exception. The areas that are dangerous should be avoided. And those that are safe should be enjoyed and celebrated.
MultiNature1

Mexico is safer than many vacation destinations.

While the media often portrays Mexico as the most dangerous place on earth, it is statistically quite safe. According to NationMaster.com which uses U.N.-based data, Mexico doesn’t even make the list of the 36 nations with the highest murder rates. Mild-mannered nations like Sweden and Switzerland top Mexico for murders on NationMaster.com. The assault rate in the U.S. is nearly 5 times greater than that of Mexico in the independent Prominix report adjusted for under-reported crime.

MurderRatesCountriesMexico5

Even when we add on independent estimates for unreported homicides, Mexico ranks 21st behind many popular vacation destinations. Places we think of as idyllic Caribbean retreats have double, triple, even quadruple the murder rates of Mexico. Mexico’s famous vacation areas are even safer than the averaged statistics, and even safer still for tourists.

Which Mexican States and Regions are safe?

The U.S. State Department’s warning recognizes that Mexico’s tourism areas do not experience the safety issues seen along the Texas border. In fact, 27 States and the Mexico City Federal District have no advisories or limited advisories outside of their tourism areas. Travel to only 4 States is advised postponed or avoided.

Safe Mexican States with no travel advisories:

Baja California Sur
Campeche
Chiapas
Estado de Mexico
Guanajuato
Hidalgo
Mexico City DF
Oaxaca
Puebla
Queretaro
Quintana Roo
Tabasco
Tlaxcala
Yucatan

mexicomap10

Mexican States where some caution is advised:
These are States where vactationing is enjoyable, but travel outside of the touristic areas may place you at higher risk. Cartel violence does not target tourists or touristic areas, but it can be present in other parts of these States so some caution is advised.

Aguascalientes Avoid the Zacatecas border.
Baja California
Colima Avoid the Michoacán border.
Guerrero Keep to Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Ixtapa.
Jalisco Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta are warm, welcoming areas. Avoid the Michoacán and Zacatecas borders.
Michoacán Keep to Morelia &; Lázaro Cardenas.
Morelos
Nayarit Limited advisory*.
Nuevo Leon Keep to the area of Monterrey.
San Luis Potosi Keep to San Luis Potosi city.
Sinaloa Keep to tourism areas of Mazatlan.
Sonora Keep to the area of Puerto Peñasco.
Veracruz
Zacatecas Keep to Zacatecas city.

* The entire southern region of Nayarit has no advisories as shown in the map above. This region extends well beyond the famous Riviera Nayarit resort areas on Banderas Bay. Some caution is advised in the region to the north of the historic capital, Tepic.

Which States should be avoided by travelers with safety concerns?

The U.S. State Department recommends against travel to 3 states along the Texas border and the state of Durango because of cartel violence. Visitors should exercise extreme caution. While the entire nation of Mexico is showcased as dangerous. These are the States where cartel violence has been focused.

Chihuahua
Coahuila
Durango
Tamaulipas

It is irresponsible to suggest that every inch of any country or state is completely safe or unsafe. So it is important to note that the violence in the 4 states above seldom targets tourists, making it statistically less likely that tourists will become victims. Yet, the crime rate in those areas is significantly above the national average. Those wishing to avoid the 4 states identified by the U.S. State Department have 28 other states to explore that are statistically safer and at least as beautiful. Travel safely.

Information on this page is based on the advisory on the U.S. State Department website. It is a controversial site worth reviewing as part of a complete snapshot of the safety issues of one of the world’s most fascinating destinations.

Mexico has very low violent crime rates.

The U.S. Assault rate is 5 times higher than Mexico’s. Mexico’s violent crime rates for Assault, Kidnapping and Rape are substantially lower than Canada’s and yet the U.S. State Department issues no such warnings for Canada. The rate for Rape in the U.S. is more than double the rate in Mexico. The numbers in the charts below have been adjusted for unreported crime from the respected 2012 Prominix report and are the most accurate statistics available on this subject.

Unless you are involved in the drug trade, you are statistically safer in Mexico than anywhere else in North America. Even though the U.S. murder rate of 4 per 100,000 is lower than Mexico’s, tourists and visitors are statistically safer in Mexico and much less likely to be a victim of violent crime than in the U.S., Canada and many other countries regarded as safe.
ViolentCrime6

While the infamous cartel crimes in Mexico are disturbing, the rate of violent crimes in Mexico is still lower than the rates in many countries thought of as “safe.”

Mexico is safer than other popular destinations.

Mexico, one of the world’s great travel destinations, is often singled out for violent crime without telling the whole story. While there is sporadic violence along parts of the U.S. border, the majority of Mexico’s key tourism areas are not only safe, but safer than many other popular tourism areas.

The Yucatan is as safe as rural U.S. states.

The magnificent beaches and ancient ruins of the Mexican State of Yucatan are among the safest and most spectacular resort beaches in the world. Yucatan’s low homicide rate is lower than the rural U.S. States of Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and North Dakota, West Virginia and several others.
YucatanHomicideSM7

Mexico City is 4 times safer than Washington D.C.

The U.S. State Department in Washington issues warnings about Mexico, yet Washington D.C. is four times more deadly than Mexico City. Washington’s murder rate has been cut almost in half in the last 10 years, but it still averages 24 per 100,000 vs. only 8-9 per 100,000 in Mexico City. How do you suppose the U.S. State department would feel if the Mexican government posted travel warnings for the U.S. capital? Mexico City is a cultural treasure that is larger than New York, London or Paris. In fact, it is about the same size as London and Paris combined.

Understanding the size and scope of Mexico.

Mexico is the 14th largest country on the planet. Its famous beaches and cultural treasures are hundreds of miles away from isolated border violence. In fact, the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory recommends avoiding only 4 of the country’s 31 states. Take a 60-second crash course in Mexican geography and you’ll feel smarter and safer.

“Mexico’s violence not as widespread as it seems.”

After months of sensationalized stories about Mexico’s border violence, USA Today finally published a story about the media hype. While the story itself became an excuse to re-tell some of the sensational tales, it did set the record straight by comparing U.S. and Mexican homicide figures.

Politics & Profits drive sensational media.
Why is Mexico shown in a negative light? There is money to be made by sensationalizing violence. Drug cartels launch graphic attacks to secure and protect their turf. Media firms hype stories to sell more ads or magazines. And powerful politicians have an interest in slowing the growth of Latino voters in the U.S. Each group enhances perceptions with ulterior motives. The reality is simple: if you are in the drug trade looking for trouble, you can find it. If you are visiting Mexico’s touristic areas, you are safer than you are in many U.S. touristic areas.

You can read the whole article and get the facts for yourself at http://www.howsafeismexico.com

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

This Week’s Questions and Comments about Mahahual

Full moon rising on the Caribbean.

Full moon rising on the Caribbean.

Here are this week’s questions and comments I have recieved this past week. I am kind of behind because over the last two weeks I have had some kind of stomach virus or bug, and have been under the weather. I am finally back to normal today. I will answer some questions and then post some comments below.

I am starting to get a lot of questions about Mahahual, and especially about rental properties, so I will try to answer these the best I can.

“Blogger Dude, Stewart,
Have asked a couple times about the churches. Are there any?”

Mahahual is not like my home state of South Carolina, where there is a Baptist church on every street corner. There is a Catholic church in the village of Mahahual, and also a Lutheran Church of Christ in New Mahahual. There are also several other small prayer meetings and groups around here also. And we also have the “Jevhovah’s Witness” group walking around all the time in the casitas trying to convert people. The church in New Mahahual is run by a group out of Michigan I believe, and I know Hugh and Deb Blackburn from South Carolina are very active in that church, and their soup kitchen. There is also a small Catholic church up the coast road to Xcalak, it is the smallest church in Mexico, I believe. So to answer your question, there are not that many churches here, since there are only about 1,080 people. What I also like about Mahahual is, there is not a single Baptist in town.

“Is there a way to get TO Mahaual on the cruise ship and get off the ship and stay a month or so….then get on a ship to return, also???? It makes such sense.”

This is a good question, and I have met several people who got off a cruise ship here and decided to stay in Mexico for awhile. I met a guy last year who told me, he and his family got off a cruise ship, and had Mexican Immigration meet them at the port and give them their visas and documentation. They booked one way cruise to Costa Maya, then got off ship and were going to travel to Tulum, see some ruins, and travel around Mexico, and then after a couple of months fly back to the USA from Cancun. So yes it is possible, but you would have to check with the cruise ship lines to see what their policies are, but it is doable.

“We want a 3-4 month rental. Prefer on beach or “Malecon”. Two bedrooms. Will consider living among the native population. I speak, read, and write fluent Spanish. MUST HAVE internet.”

I am glad that you will consider “living among the native population”, here in Mahahual, because that is about all we have here, is native Mexicans. There are very few non natives here in Mahahual this time of year. There are several different options on the malecon, and it depends on the time of year and other factors on what is availiable.

“Good morning, We would be interested in seeing your list of long term rentals, we LOVE Mahahual, we lived in Playa for 3 years, been back in Canada for 18 months, have a desire to move back to mexico but not playa, way to crazy there, really enjoy your blog,”

First of all, I do not have a list per se, of rental properties. In fact I have nothing to do with rental properties. I write this blog for Costa Maya Real Estate, and we sell lots and houses. I have gotten so much response about rental properties lately off of this blog, that I asked around and found out what is availiable. A woman asked me about a month ago to help her find a rental house, and I did, and she never even showed up in Mahahual. I know everybody in town that has rental property, so when someone asks me for a specific property or something I let them know. But there is no list of rental properties in Mahahual, just a network of people.

“What is the least expensive way to rent a car with insurance. We are buying a condo in Mahahual so will be down quite often.”

I have no idea, there are not many rental car agencies in southern Quintana Roo. They all are in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. My question to you is, why rent a car? You don’t need a car in Mahahual, and in fact the less cars here the better. In Mahahual taxis are 20 pesos, public transportation is cheap, you can ride a bike or walk everywhere. My experience with people renting cars is they don’t need them in Mahahual, because the car sits while you pay for it. If you are one of those Americans who can’t walk five feet without getting winded or sweaty, then maybe you need a car, but most do not. Public transportation is cheap and great here, so a car is not a needed expense.

Below are 2 comments I got on a ” Photos of 2 Houses for $42,000″ article.

“We purchased a casita like this 3 years ago. They are small 600 sq ft and basic but do have what you need. We upgraded with a/c, nice overhead fixtures, more electrical receptacles and a covering over the front door. Yes I would love to expand the kitchen and would love to see what others have done. But the design is a solid starter.”

“HI STEWART!!!
THESE LOOK LIKE THE LITTLE HOUSES THAT USED TO BE IN PLAYA. MOST ARE GONE NOW, TORN DOWN SO CONDOS COULD BE BUILT. IN PLACES WHERE THEY REMAIN THEY HAVE BEEN BUILT UP AND ONTO AND ARE BIG HOUSES NOW. IT IS SO EASY TO EXPAND THEM IF ONE WANTS TO. JOEL’S IDEA WAS AN OUTSIDE STAIR GOING TO THE ROOF AND EXPANDING UP THERE. THERE IS SO MUCH THAT CAN BE DONE WITH THEM WITH A LITTLE IMAGINATION OR THEY ARE GREAT FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO STAY SMALL. PERFECT FOR RETIREES.”

This is a comment concerning on how to get to Mahahual post that I wrote.

“Thank you for the detailed and speedy answer! All excellent points. I am coming from LAX, so it may make a little more sense since I would not be backtracking, but I guess the trade off boils down to whether you want to spend the extra time transferring in MEX or on the highway from CUN. Price wise there isn’t too big a difference. I remember from many trips past that highway traffic could be an issue–at least between CUN and Tulum–not sure how it is these days.”

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

AGI’s New Airport to Tulum Shuttle Connects Mahahual to the Riviera Maya

costamayamahahual:

New way to get to Mahahual.

Originally posted on Tales From Mahahual:

Getting to Mahahual just got about 1/3 easier, at least! Getting one third of the way, to the Tulum pueblo, is now much easier thanks to AGI’s new airport shuttle service to Tulum. This service runs 3 times a day, seven days a week, with the final run on Friday and Saturday evenings, coming on to Mahahual as our regular airport shuttle. We still only get the two shuttles each week in Mahahual, but it gives our visitors another option to easily enjoy for an hour or two, or night or two, should they fly in before the weekend shuttle to Mahahual. Not to mention, gives Tulum a much needed direct airport service to the downtown area.

AGI w sign

Today, the only way to get to Tulum from the airport is either via an expensive taxi for the hour and 15 minute trip, a cumbersome bus trip through either Cancun or Playa…

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People Coming and Going in Mahahual

It is low season now here in Mahahual, but to be honest I have been quite busy lately. There have been several blog readers show up lately in Mahahual, and I have been entertaining and showing them around. Several of the people that I brought to Mahahual, or came to live here this past winter after reading my blog, have returned back to the USA or Canada.

Canadian Stewart went back to Novia Scotia last week, and Ron And Collen, also from Novia Scotia also went back to their home in Canada. Canada Stewart is a guy who showed uo here this winter after reading my blog. He told me he was reading my blog in Canada, and decided instead of buying another cord of wood for the winter, he decided to buy a plane ticket and come to Mahahual for the winter. He stayed for about 3 months here, and his blood pressure dropped from 152/98 to 110/70 while he was here. He would walk into town a couple of days a week from New Mahahual, and we would sit around and talk at the Tropicante and have lunch or a couple of beers. He became a part of the gang here. He said he will be back next winter, he is now trying to sell his house in Canada, so he can move here full time. Before he left he told me I was spot on in my description of Mahahual, the people, and the way of life here, that I write about on my blog.

Stewart Bradley, "Canadian Stewart" relaxing on the malecon.

Stewart Bradley, “Canadian Stewart” relaxing on the malecon.

"Canadian Stewart" buying 3 marquesitas to take back to the girls that took care of him during his stay here at his hotel.  They took good care of him and gave him noni juice and fresh fruit every morning.

“Canadian Stewart” buying 3 marquesitas to take back to the girls that took care of him during his stay here at his hotel. They took good care of him and gave him noni juice and fresh fruit every morning.

Ron and Colleen also left and went back to Canada. Ron and Colleen became a fixture at the port and here on the malecon during their stay here. I met them at the Tequilla Barrell in Playa del Carmen one day during lunch, and they overheard my conversation, and decided to come try out Mahahual. They also love it here, and are going to come back this winter. They went back to run their businesses in Canada during the summer, and I am sure they will return, as soon as it gets cold up there. Colleen especially loved the beaches, water, and the sun. Ron loved drinking beer and sitting around and talking at the beach or in the local bars. I saw them almost every day, and they fit in good with the local expats here.

Me with Ron and Colleen their last day here.

Me with Ron and Colleen their last day here.

Almost all the other “Snow Birds” have gone back now also. Micheal Owen, an Englishman who lives here during the winter, and the guys that play in the local “Gringo” band also have all returned north. There are several of us that stay here year round like me, but not many.

What I have noticed this year is, we are getting a lot of Americans and Canadians visiting then we have during the past years, at the start of low season. Usually this time of year all we get are European backpackers, but I am seeing a lot more traffic among Americans. In fact I have had several come to Mahahual and look me up, because they read the blog before coming to Mahahual.

Alan and Don, the bike rider.

Alan and Don, the bike rider.

Ron and Colleen.

Ron and Colleen.

Don Paxton, Alan Dickson, Ron Bint, and Colleen McKinley from right to left, my peeps.

Don Paxton, Alan Dickson, Ron Bint, and Colleen McKinley from right to left, my peeps.

A good example of this is last week I was sitting at my chair on the malecon, and a guy rides up on a bike. He asks me if I am Stewart the guy who writes the blog. I told him yes I was, he then informed me that he rode his bike down from Cancun to here to meet me. He is from Vancouver, Canada, and took a flight to Cancun from Canada, rode his bicycle from Cancun to Felippe de Carillio, then took the bus to Limones, and pedalled in from Limones to Mahahual. He said about 1300 kilometers. Now I have met a lot of people recently who arrived in Mahahual and came to meet me, but never one who rode in on a bike.

Don Paxton from Canada on his bike, loves to watch hockey.

Don Paxton from Canada on his bike, loves to watch hockey.

Well I got him a room in a hotel for a month in the casitas, and he is staying until June. He rides around town on his bike everyday, and comes and hangs out with us on the malecon. He is a big hockey fan, and is always trying to find someplace that has the game on TV so he can watch. I told him he picked the wrong country in which to try to watch a hockey game, they could care less about hockey here. He is retired and owns land in the Fiji Islands, but he is here in Mahahual instead, try and figure that one out. It is his first time here, and he only found out about Mahahual after reading my blog.

I wrote awhile back about Alan from New Mexico, who also showed up here after reading my blog. He also left last week and went to Isla Mujeres after being here for 9 days. He had been going to Isla Mujeres for the last 10 years, but spent some time here, and now I think he prefers Mahahual over Isla. I think he is considering retiring here in 3 or 4 years. He told me Mahahual was everything I have said and wrote about and more. He also hung out with us at the Tropicante and on the malecon. At one time sitting at a table there were 6 or 8 people, and the one thing they all had in common was they all were in Mahahual after reading my blog or meeting me someplace else, and never would even be in Mahahual if it were not for me.

The gang around the table.

The gang around the table.

It seems like as soon as Alan left town, John from Texas showed up to take his place. John has been staying in Playa del Carmen for the last 10 years, and heard about Mahahual, so he came down to check it out for himself. He said Playa del Carmen has gotten too big and commercial for him, and he is looking for someplace quiet and peaceful like Mahahual. He has been here for the 3 or 4 days, and he really enjoys it here.

I was talking with Texas John last night, and I told him I was writing a blog this morning, and would he for me, give me his first impressions in his own words about Mahahual. I told him I wanted him to desribe Mahahual for me, and I would put in this article today. He has traveled around the world and Mexico a lot, and I wanted his opinion, and I am sure others would like it too.

He told me Mahahual had an unique small town charm, it is off the beaten path, the reef offers a kind of buffer zone for the water, nice calm flat tranquil refreshing swimming area. He also said it is a great place to get out and about on a bike, he rode down the south coast road towards Xcalak, and saw the little church, and the pristine beaches. He also recommends the Tropicante for hanging out, good food, and nice happy hour prices. He loves sitting on the malecon at the Tropicante with us, and watching the world go by. He really enjoyed watching all the cruise ship tourists yesterday when we had a ship in town.

Texas John told me Mahahual reminds him of Playa del Carmen in the old days before it got commercial and full of tourists. He lives in Arkansas 4 months of the year now, and is thinking of staying in Mahahual 8 months out of the year in the future. I asked him how he first of Mahahual, and he told me he heard about Mahahual sitting in some bars in Playa del Carmen. So I guess all the time I spent on the social scene in Playa del Carmen is now paying off.

Well this is just a couple of good examples of the people who are coming and going to Mahahual and visiting for the first time. I think many more are going to be coming and visiting in the near future. Right now I have several people coming to visit this month, and at the moment I have requests to find some rental properties here for about 5 different people. In fact I have compiled quite a list of houses and apartments for rent this summer, because of all the requests I get. So if anyone else is interested let me know. Send me your email and I will get back to you.

Right now is a great time to visit Mahahual, it is not too hot, cool Caribbean breezes, and not crowded at all. There are even a couple of seats availiable at my table on the beach that are currently empty until next high season.

Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina