misconceptions of mexico

I am in a Facebook group “Blogging Mexico”.  It is a group of bloggers who write about Mexico.  I came across this article today, and read it, and I thought a lot of you would find this article interesting.  It is another blogger’s take on Mexico.

misconceptions of mexico

misconceptions of mexico

mexico can’t seem to stay out of the spotlight. if it’s not drug violence, an apocalyptic hurricane, or fear of kidnappings, then it’s zika. the media loves to make mexico into a wild, wild west type of destination beneath the mysterious border. and yet, for americans, when we need a sun & sand destination, mexico always appears to be the most convenient go-to, so long as we stay on the resort grounds and never venture off into the unknown.

yes, while Mexico has its share of problems, for the most part its issues have been entirely sensationalized and glazed over with a dramatic filter that sells a sexy story. if you’re into drug tourism or venturing into bad neighborhoods late at night by yourself, you’ll probably find some trouble in mexico. you’ll probably find some trouble in new york city, as well. if you’re a tourist who wants to learn, discover, and travel, you will find everything you are looking for in mexico. we reached out to some mexico specialists who helped dispel the misconceptions we have of our neighbor south of the border.

1. you will get zika in mexico

as of april, there have been 239 cases of zika in mexico, the majority existing in the states of chiapas and oaxaca. the population of mexico is 122.3 million (as of 2013). this means that the percentage of people in mexico who have acquired zika is hovering around 0%. likewise, as of 2015, 25.8 million tourists visited mexico. the chances of acquiring zika in mexico are incredibly slim.

2. you will get kidnapped in mexico

again, unless you are poking around in areas known for drug gang violence, this should not be a concern to you as a tourist. traveling smart is just good advice for any destination in the world. if you’re looking for trouble, you will find it. in mexico, the majority of kidnappings that have happened have been in border cities like juarez, tijuana, and tampico. every time a u.s state department warning comes out issuing a travel alert for mexico, it’s always in the same volatile areas. the majority of the country, including the major resort destinations, are never on that list.

“kidnapping was more common in mexico city 10 years ago, but like the overall security and safety situation in mexico city, there were major advances made during the calderon administration with cleaning up the city and making it safer,” says zachary rabinor, ceo of Journey Mexico.

3. mexico is unsafe

“mexico has had its share of bad press over the last five to eight years,” continues rabinor. “however, it would be inaccurate and unfair to label mexico as unsafe. mexico is a huge country and each state, city, region, and town should be looked at before drawing any conclusions. the u.s. state department has worked with the mexican government to drill down into the specific destinations in order to tell a more detailed and accurate story. most of the misconceptions about mexico’s security have been caused by sensationalist an soften slanted press, which focuses on conflicts between organized crime groups largely around the northern border with the u.s. these incidents, while serious, are not directed at visitors and tourists.”

simply put: If there was gang violence in new york, would you tell your clients to steer clear of miami?

4. you will get food poisoning in mexico

everyone has heard the joke about montezuma’s revenge. tell anyone you’ve eaten street food in mexico and they look at you as if you’re a ticking time bomb. but are these reactions justified?

not really.

yes, it’s a good idea to stay away from tap water in mexico. even the locals try to play by that rule. but the majority of hotels and resorts have water purification systems installed at their properties meaning you can shower and brush your teeth worry-free. “you’re as likely to get food poisoning in mexico as you are in any developing country you travel to. while gastrointestinal malaise is often blamed on foreign bacteria or unclean food preparation, equally important is to stay hydrated, moderate food and alcohol intake, and avoid extreme and unprotected exposure to sun,” says rabinor.

another useful tip: when eating street food in mexico, look for the stalls that use disposable plates or wrap their plates in plastic. it’s not the food that will get you sick in mexico – it’s the water. so places that don’t allow their food to touch plates that have been washed in local water are completely fine. if you don’t try the street food in mexico, you’re missing a part of the experience. Personally i have traveled to mexico more than 30 times, the majority in the last three years, and not once have i ever been sick.

5. mexico is all about sun and sand

the mexico tourism board has done a wonderful job in recent years of spotlighting destinations in mexico that are not on its coastline. mexico does have the beach scene down. it does sun-and-sand very, very well.bBut to go to mexico and think that that is all the country offers is glossing over the majority of the country, as 75 percent of mexico’s altitude is above 7,500 feet. that’s very far from the shore.

mexico has 38 unesco world heritage sites, ranked number 1 in the americas and number 6 worldwide. it’s also steeped in ancient civilizations, including aztecs, maya, zapotec, olmec, and many more. beyond that there is world class culture, nature, and adventure travel experiences.

“while not often recognized for our adventure travel options, we also possess some of the most exciting active travel opportunities in the world,” says rabinor. “most notably snorkeling and sea kayaking in baja, hiking, trekking and mountain biking in the copper canyon, mountaineering and climbing the towering, glaciated, snow capped volcanos of popcatepetl, iztaccihuatl, and Mexico’s highest mountain, pico de orizaba at 18,491 feet above sea level. there is also white water rafting and kayaking in chiapas and beracruz, and surfing in the baja peninsula, sinaloa, nayarit, jalisco, colima, michoacan, guerrero, and oaxaca, all recognized worldwide as world-class adventures.”

jewell ramos, a leisure travel consultant with Worldview Travel, says that she has been to mexico more than 200 times without incident, says she loves to introduce clients to what she calls, the “real mexico.” These cultural areas include guadalajara and leon, merida in the yucatan, chiapas, and campeche.


Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Considerations for Moving to Mexico from the USA

Costa Maya Mahahual

I have to do a lot of research for this blog, so I read a lot of websites and publications about living and retiring in Mexico.  I came across this article the other day from mexlaw.ca, and I found it very informative.  It goes into a lot of things people from the USA should consider before making a decision to move to Mexico.

happiness in mexico

A Few things for Americans to Consider When Moving to Mexico

Do not come from the USA and expect life to be the same as it is at home.

Life is different in Mexico, we enjoy a slower pace and it takes time to adjust. Patience is the key, you must be open and ready to experience a new culture and relaxed lifestyle.

When considering a move to Mexico, take time on the ground to figure out  where you will live. Whether you are purchasing a home…

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Pregnancy myths

A woman can’t beat egg whites stiff (until peaks form) when she is pregnant.

If a pregnant woman stares at an eclipse in the sky, her baby will have a cleft lip.

If she suffers many “agruras” (heartburn), her child will have A LOT of hair.

If a pregnant woman’s craving is not satisfied, the future child will have a birthmark on their face.

If a woman sees ugly things, that ugliness shall be passed on to her baby. (I guess my mother saw many horror films before having me).

Food Myths

If anyone annoys the person who is making tamales, those tamales will not be cooked unless the cook does a little dance around them.

When cooking, make a cross of salt on the food, on a plate, or on the floor. This will prevent people from getting sick because of your food.

After eating, if you don’t cover your face and feel cold air, se te enchuecará la boca
(your mouth will get twisted). My grandmother swears this happened to two of her children and that she had to use ice to put their mouths back in place.

If you get angry after eating an avocado it will give you stomach ache.

A cucumber should be cut first by the edges and then carved with one of those pieces, otherwise it will taste bitter. Every time I cut a cucumber I think that it is just a myth and it doesn’t make sense and I intend to ignore it… But I must confess that in the end I always give up.

Abuela myths

Sticking a pair of knives in the ground prevents or stops rain storms. Other people believe that it works better to bury a dozen eggs.

Eating bread when you are scared will stop you being frightened. Now you have the perfect excuse when you visit your nutritionist, “I didn’t break my diet on purpose, I had a month full of frightening situations”.

Drinking Myths

If you are drinking spirits and air hits your face, you get drunk much faster.

Eating “garnachitas” before a party helps you stay sober for much longer.

Mezcal doesn’t cause hangovers.

To cure a hangover, drink more alcohol! It works even better if it’s a cold beer. I don’t know if you’ve tried this but I have and it works.

Diseases myths

You get eye sties because you have watched obscene things. If my grandmother read this she might know why I wear dark sunglasses during family meals.

Drink tequila with lime helps stop the flu. And trust me, if it doesn’t stop the flu, at least you forget that you are sick.

Other popular myths

If you crave something and you don’t eat it, you will get a pimple on your tongue.

A bracelet of “ojo de venado” or a red ribbon around the belly of a pregnant woman repels “mal de ojo”.

When the “afilador” (person who sharpens knives) passes outside your house, shake your “enaguas” to attract money.

You shouldn’t take a bath before going to a funeral. It is not clear why, but my aunts do not miss an opportunity to remind me at every wake.

If you pass by a river at night, you will “agarras un aire”, which means getting headaches, earache, and eye pains. If you have no other choice but to cross the river, it is recommended that you smoke a cigarette to repel “el aire”.


Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Are Restaurants in Mahahual Open in September?

I got this question from a blog reader coming here in September to do some diving in Mahahual.  I wrote a story about the “Dog days of summer in Mahahual”, and I got a good question concerning are restaurants being open this time of year.  I think I may have given the wrong impression to some readers that Mahahual is closed down this time of year, which is not so. Almost everything is open now, just not a lot of expats and tourists here this time of year.  There are some scattering of tourists here and there but not many now until October.  So here is the question I got the other day, and I will answer it.

“Stewart, August through September being the dog days in Mahahual, is it going to hard to find restaurants that will be open. My wife and I, and 2 friends, will be there for a week in the middle of September for some scuba diving. (Namely, bucket list of Banco Chinchorro). I have to admit we didn’t look too hard into much else besides a place to stay, and a dive operator. I’ll trade Hormel chili for advice. (If I can get it on the plane, or at Chedraui’s in Tulum, on our way there, hahaha.)”

“So Stewart, are there still plenty of restaurante’s open, even in low season?”

My answer to both questions is yes, there are plenty of restaurants open this time of year in Mahahual.  All the hotels that have restaurants are open, and are open all year round. On the malecon where most of the tourists are attracted there are plenty of nice restaurants that are open now, and I will name a few.  Some of the real nice places to eat on the malecon are 40 Cannons, Caballo Blanco, Quinto Sol, YaYa Beach Club, Nacional Beach Club, and Luna de Plata.  These restaurants are more pricey than the rest and cater strictly to the tourist crowd.

Some of the medium priced restaurants on the malecon are also open this time of year. Places like Nohoch Kay Beach Club, Fernando’s 100% Agave, Ibiza Sunset, Sulumar, Blue Kay, Big Mama’s, and El Captain Mono are always open, especially on the weekends.  These places usually also serve food on the beach, which is a great atmosphere to eat a meal.  These places are frequented by both locals and tourists.  There are more places I could list, but these places are the ones I am most familiar with.

There are also several nice places in New Mahahual, (Casitas), to eat, and are also open this time of year.  Papi Pizza is very popular and has a great atmosphere to eat pizza and Italian food.  Papi Pizza also from time to time has live music.  Padrino’s is open at night, and is Mahahual’s premier sports bar.  It is a great place to watch sports and have a drink or a meal.  The food is good, and is also air-conditioned, and has good crowds on the weekends year round.

I am not a rich Gringo, or eligible to collect Social security yet, so I am on a budget, so I tend to eat at some of the more local places, which are not as pricey.  I am a creature of habit, and I tend to eat at the same places, and eat the same things.  I pretty much have a routine down where I eat each week.  These places are open year round, and are more budget places to eat, and are off the malecon.  Here are some of the places that I frequent on a regular basis.  I try to budget 50 pesos a meal for lunch and dinner, so these are my favorites at the moment.

Good chicken meal, right off the malecon, in front of Primos.

Good chicken meal, right off the malecon, in front of Primos.

Every day chicken cooked on charcoal.

Every day chicken cooked on charcoal.

They have a full menu, besides chicken, I like the chicken.

They have a full menu, besides chicken, I like the chicken.


35 pesos, grilled chicken, rice, beans, slaw, and tortillas, one of the best bargains in town.

35 pesos, grilled chicken, rice, beans, slaw, and tortillas, one of the best bargains in town.

Also right off the malecon, I get a sandwich at Colonial Cafe, a couple of times a week.  My favorite is the egg, bacon, tomato, and cheese sandwich, 35 pesos, you can’t beat that, and it is a big sandwich. Also Colonial has a great breakfast, and a lot of expats and locals go there for coffee.

20160828_134808.jpg 20160828_134840.jpg 20160828_134744.jpg 20160828_134812.jpg

I also have another favorite place right off the malecon that I eat at three or four times a week.  I like their huaraches and empanadas.  Huaraches are 30 pesos, and is like a mexican pizza, complete meal.  Emapanadas are 7 pesos, along with other cheap menu items.  Nice friendly women run this place.

Right behind Crazy Lobster, genuine good Mexican food.

Right behind Crazy Lobster, genuine good Mexican food.

Huarches 30 pesos, I like mine with carne molida.

Huarches 30 pesos, I like mine with carne molida.


Small out of the way place, cheap and good.

Small out-of-the-way place, cheap and good.  Best internet in town.

Chicken soup, caldo de pollo, at Primos, 30 pesos, good meal.

Chicken soup, caldo de pollo, at Primos, 30 pesos, good meal. Right off malecon

Near where I live taco stand that serves chroizo tacos and tortas.  Tacos 10 pesos each, and tortas 25 pesos.

Near where I live taco stand that serves chorizo tacos and tortas. Tacos 10 pesos each, and tortas 25 pesos.

On cruise ship days I usually eat at the Tropicante on the malecon.  My favorite item there is the cerviche.  I like mine with crackers.

On cruise ship days I usually eat at the Tropicante on the malecon. My favorite item there is the cerviche. I like mine with crackers.

So as you can see, there are a lot of restaurants open now in Mahahual.  I have just listed a few of the places I frequent now.  I also go to Nam Nam a lot, (best pizza by the slice in town), Solofish, (my favorite fish sandwich in town), and several other places during the week.  So rest assured anytime of the year you come to Mahahual, there will be plenty of restaurant choices for you to consider, from high-priced tourist places, to the cheap places I eat.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina


10 haggling tips and etiquette for the markets in Mexico

This article is a must read if you are coming to Mexico as a tourist, especially if you are on a cruise ship.  Every day from my perch on the malecon, I watch the cruise ship tourists and the vendors haggle back and forth every cruise ship day.   It is like a kind of art, the going back and forth.  So here are some tips from Mexico Trippa about how to haggle in the markets of Mexico.

10 haggling tips and etiquette for

the markets.

February 5, 2016By JohnnyTips


With haggling comes respect. If you pay their first offer, they will be laughing at you when you leave. It takes a bit of skill. Gringos = $$$

That’s not to say that you should be haggling them down every last penny on something that costs a dollar or two. Or be rude, or argue. Some of the things you will see can take days and even weeks to make. It’s about finding a fair price that both you and the vendor agree on.

There’s so many beautifully hand-made crafts from clothes, rugs, hammocks, paintings, plates, pottery and jewellery. And if you had enough room in your suitcase, you’d buy the lot.

Mexican Markets
Hand made blankets

Wandering around the markets can be some of the best experiences when visiting Mexico.

Have fun with it. Treat it as a game. Haggling isn’t an argument, it’s just a friendly discussion about a good price.

And remember, these hard working vendors are selling things to feed their family, its their livelihood. So although you don’t want to be ripped off, it has to be a win/win.

If you speak a little Spanish, you will be more likely to get a better deal. Have a look at the Quick Spanish guide for some useful phrases, and How to travel in Mexico for $30 a day.


Markets in Puerto Escondido


10 haggling tips

1. First of all, most of the markets in Mexico have a lot of the same stuff. So if you see something you like, walk around and ask a couple of stalls how much something is to get a rough price.

2. Always greet the owner with hello or a good morning/afternoon. Be polite.  The market crew are very friendly and love to have a chat and are happy to help with anything.

3. Take a look at something you like. And you now know roughly how much they’re going to charge. Ask how much. ‘Cuanto cuesta’.

4. Try and hide your excitement for what you want to buy (can be hard sometimes). Showing you are too eager will not help your chances to get a good deal.

5. Tell them politely that their price is too expensive. They will say it’s a good price and ask you how much you want to pay. NEVER say that the item is lousy and you wouldn’t pay that much for it. Often they are the people who made it and can be very offensive.

Mexican Markets - Skulls

6. Make your counter offer. Half to a third of the price of the offer you got. They will laugh and say that’s too low. This is when the fun begins.

7. Come back and forth until you reach an agreement that you are happy with. Sometimes this can take 5 minutes. If they think you are not really interested in buying it, they will keep lowering their price.

8. Don’t pay more than you are happy to part with. There are many other stalls that will sell similar things. So go and try your luck somewhere else.

9. If you can’t agree, walk away. Say thank you and good-bye. This may result in an ‘OK 200 pesos’ a new price, or the price you were willing to pay. This is always a good tactic.

10. Ask if its cheaper if you buy 2 or more. This will always get you cheaper price.


Follow these easy steps to save yourself a lot of money, have some wonderful souvenirs and know that you have given your money to people who really need it.

I hope you these tips help you out.

Happy haggling and happy travels!!


Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Costa de Cocos Resort, Xcalak, Mexico

Costa de Cocos Resort - Scuba Diving - Fly Fishing - Photo by Tracy Moore Photographers

If you are a fisherman, and you are looking for a unique and exciting experience, Costa de Cocos is for you.  Costa de Cocos is the premier fly fishing destination in southern Quintana Roo.

Fly Fishing with Costa de Cocos - Photo by Tracy Moore Photographers

Over the years they have found many unexplored bonefish, tarpon, and permit flats in Chetumal Bay, and the mangrove fringed lagoons. Twenty-nine productive flats and lagoons have been mapped, and the local guides continue to locate and explore new ones. Year-round they have Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit, or you may fish for Snook, Jacks, Tuna, Barracuda, Snapper, Grouper, Dorado, Marlin, Sailfish, and more.

Xcalak and Chetumal Bay are rated one of the best fishing destinations in the world. As any experienced angler knows, it’s not just about the fishing, it’s the location too. There’s a lot of beauty and tranquility in our remote area of the Caribbean. We know you’ll love fishing with Costa de Cocos.

Permit Caught at Costa de Cocos - Photo by Tracy Moore Photographers

All-Inclusive Fly Fishing Packages!

Our Fly Fishing Packages Include Everything except airfare. Relax in comfort while our Drivers bring you direct from Cancun Airport to Cocos. No rental car needed! Includes Private Cabana, daily Maid Service, all Meals, Transport, all taxes, and open Bar.

Costa de Cocos Resort - Dinning Room - Mangrove - Fly Fishing

Costa de Cocos Dining Room  - Photo by Tracy Moore Photographers Boat Ride through Mangrove Fly Fishing the Flats of Chetumal Bay

Charter flights are available from Cancun Airport to Xcalak.

Fishing at Costa de Cocos

  • All-Inclusive Fishing Packages
  • 1/2 Day Fly Fishing
  • Full Day Fly Fishing
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • Front Platform Pangas
  • Local Boat Guides
  • Rods & Tackle available

Dive Shop at Costa de Cocos

  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Diving Instruction
  • Equipment Rental
  • Bird Island Trips
  • San Pedro, Belize Trips
  • Ocean Kayaking
  • Scott with his 54 pound permit caught at Costa de Cocos Resort
  • Costa de Cocos is the only Full Service Fishing and Scuba Diving Resort in Xcalak, Mexico

Available Daily: 1/2 Day Fly Fishing for $175 or Full-Day Fly Fishing for $350.

In Mahahual for the Day – Try Our Day Packages

Or take one of our All-Inclusive Fly Fishing Trip Packages. Come and catch your ‘Grand Slam’.

Our All-Inclusive Fly Fishing Trip Package Rates
All package rates are in US Dollars, per person.

Trip Package

Double Room
 for 2 People Fly Fishing
Single Room
for 1 Person Fly Fishing
Double Room
Non-Fishing Companion
2 days / 3 nights $ 1,620.00 $ 2,030.00 $ 750.00
3 days / 4 nights $ 2,090.00 $ 2,640.00 $ 1,000.00
4 days / 5 nights $ 2,560.00 $ 3,250.00 $ 1,245.00
5 days / 6 nights $ 2,920.00 $ 3,720.00 $ 1,500.00
6 days / 7 nights $ 3,295.00 $ 4,305.00 $ 1,750.00

2016 Off Season Fly Fishing Package
Available June 1st through November 30th

One week, all inclusive for: $2,200.00
per person based on two per room/two per boat Saturday to Saturday trip
these prices are for the continental US.

Our Fly Fishing Packages Include Everything, except your airfare

– Round-Trip Ground Transportation from Cancun or Chetumal Airport.
– Full Days of Fly Fishing with experienced local Guides and our own Boats.
– Private Cabana with bathroom and shower, Daily Maid Service.
– All Meals, Open Bar, and all taxes, are included in our package rates.

Remember no one else in Xcalak includes all that we do, our packages are truly All-Inclusive,
Only Coco’s includes fishing license, park fees, and open bar.
(The only exception is; gratuities are appreciated, but we leave that to our guests discretion)

We recommend travel insurance

Catch and Release at Costa de Cocos - Photo by Tracy Moore Photographers

Charter Flights from Cancun to Xcalak are Available

We can arrange a charter flight from Cancun Airport to Xcalak, for 1 – 4 persons. You can add the convenience of a short flight direct to Xcalak to your Fly Fishing Package.

“The Mayan Riviera is home to lavish resorts and some of the finest flats fishing on the planet. Unexplored lagoons, saltwater crocodiles and ultra-skinney water cannot keep Trapper Rudd and Daniel Randall from deciphering the secrets of the Mayan lagoons and finding fish. The tropical resort of Costa de Cocos serves as base camp as these two go on a “fish fact-finding mission” in search of new water (and fish) by kayak.”

16 Cabanas, Restaurant and Full Bar…. Xcalak’s largest Resort, and with the best rates.

Costa de Cocos Cabanas, Shoreline, and Dock

Life Under the Coconut Palms at Costa de Cocos.

Set among coconut palms along a serene and secluded stretch of the Caribbean, our resort is located at the ‘end-of-the-road’ less traveled. The Yucatan Jungle, rich with wildlife, is our backyard. The Xcalak Reef National Marine Park, with all the exotic wonders of the Caribbean Sea, is our front yard. The resort itself has a rich Mayan cultural charm. When you are looking for the ultimate destination to scuba dive, fish, kayak, explore, or just relax in the Caribbean Tradewinds to the sound of surf breaking on the reef offshore, Costa de Cocos is your personal paradise.

Inside Costa de Cocos Cabanas

At Costa de Cocos your comfort is very important to us. Our private cabanas have traditional exterior stonework, exotic tropical woods, native thatch palapa roofs, ceiling fans, and louvered windows all around that capture the cooling Caribbean breeze. Each cabana has its own private bathroom & shower, fresh hot water, and daily maid service. Our fully stocked bar and cold cervezas are available anytime. Our large Breakfast Buffet is included with your room price.

The Restaurant is open everyday, offering many dishes with a tasty Caribbean influence, and of course Fresh Seafood. Our Restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and Xcalak Reef. After dinner visit with us, other guests, and perhaps even some of the locals at our charming bar.

Costa de Cocos Restaurant and Bar

Our Menu includes Fresh Ceviches and Fish Tacos, the ever popular Mango-Lobster Pizza, and Four Course Seafood Dinners, and is a hit with guests and locals alike.

Costa de Cocos Breakfast MenuCosta de Cocos Botanas MenuCosta de Cocos Lunch Menu Page 1Costa de Cocos Lunch Menu Page 2
Costa de Cocos Pizza MenuCosta de Cocos Dinner MenuArtisan BeerCosta de Cocos Adult Beverages

The second longest reef in the world is our front yard.

John's Nov. 2012 Scuba Photo
John’s Photos

The Xcalak Reef National Marine Park (Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak) is visible from our front yard and little more than a stone’s throw away. The reef diving is exceptional, a short 5 to 20 minute boat ride takes you to the several dive sites. With our Dive Masters you will experience walls, canyons, chimneys, “blue holes,” incredible views of coral, fans, sponges, turtles, eels, rays, and a variety of tropical fish. There is something to explore at every depth, whether a beginner or expert, everyone is amazed. Take your diving experience to another level with our on-site instruction; from a first scuba experience, add specialty courses, all the way up to Dive Master. At secluded Cocos, it’s the best way to learn to dive, with the beautiful Caribbean and personalized instruction.

School of large tarpon - Octopus - Queen Angelfish
Photographs by Steven Dramstad

– Exceptional snorkeling and scuba diving is a short swim off our dock, amid incredible coral heads.
– Our reef has over 48 species of hard & soft corals, sponges, and even the exotic black coral.
– Or our local guides can take you on snorkeling boat excursions to other areas of the Reef.

Whether Diving or Snorkeling, our full dive shop is equipped with rental gear for all your needs.

Costa de Cocos is in the small fishing village of Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Located 250 miles South Of Cancun. You can easily rent a car at the Airport, and follow these Directions.

Costa de CocosLeaving the Cancun Airport, you will be heading East and come to Highway 307; take the turn Right/South towards Playa del Carmen / Tulum. Highway 307  from Cancun to Playa del Carmen is a busy tourist area; traffic will decrease after Tulum.

 Continue South on Highway 307  to Tulum (if it is getting late in the day consider staying the night in Tulum).  100 km/62 miles south of Tulum is Felipe Carrillo Puerto, with 2  Pemex Gas Stations, 1 north of town, and 1 in the center of town that has an ATM.

Continue South on Hwy 307 about one hour. 3 km past the town of Limones is a well marked Left/East turn to Mahahual & Xcalak.

The turn off to Mahahual & Xcalak  is the first Left/East turn, 3 km past the town of Limones. You will approach a large T intersection with a small store. The road is fairly straight and in great shape. At 18 km there is a severe curve; please watch for this and slow down…then at 51 km there is a tope/speed bump in the road.

A little after the large speed bump is the turn off  for Xcalak. You will see a large Costa de Cocos sign. Turn Right/South…But if you need gas, the Pemex Gas Station in Mahahual is straight ahead 1/2 mile. You drive past the Xcalak turn-off and go straight ahead to buy gas, and then reverse back to the turn-off, and Turn Left/South to Xcalak. Follow the paved  ‘Jungle Road’ south 60 km/38 miles. At the end of the road, you are at aT and a Stop Sign. Go Left/East about 2 kilometers into Xcalak Village. As you enter the village drive slowly straight through to the ocean. Turn Left/North along the Beach Road, the ocean is on your right, continue north through town past the lighthouse and town pier. Turn LEFT at the two-story white building that is the Port Captain’s Office, painted in large letters on the building (if you miss that turn you’ll come to a dead end in about 2 blocks, and have to go back), then turn at the next street RIGHT. You will then go over the small town bridge. Cocos is less than 1/2 mile North of the bridge. You will see our large sign, turn right and park.

Google Map Showing Location of Costa de Cocos – Street Views Available

The trip will take approximately  5 hours from Cancun or 2½ hours from Chetumal.

STP Caribe Shuttle ServiceCocos Fishing Group with STP Caribe Shuttle Service
A Shuttle Service is Available For Groups Traveling Through Cancun Airport

Cut Your Drive Time in Half – Fly into Chetumal with Interjet
Cut Your Drive Time, Fly Into Chetumal with Interjet
Fly from Mexico City to Chetumal

Any questions you might have, please send us an email.

 If you are interested in some great fishing in a unique and out-of-the-way place, check out Costa de Cocos website, http://www.costadecocos.com or hit the link on this blog.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina




Mexico’s Time Zones

I get searches and questions all the time on this blog concerning what is the time zone in Mahahual and Quintana Roo.  There are also a lot of cruise ship tourists who get confused on what the time is here when they get off of a ship.  So here is all you need to know about the time zones in Mexico.

Mexico’s Time Zones

Clock Time - Watches

Mexico’s land territory, including the Baja peninsula, straddles an area between 23.6345° North, and 102.5528° West.  To give that some time-zone perspective, its longitudinal land mass covers a distance-equivalent starting on the Pacific coast in California USA, and ending near Pensacola, Florida—thus spanning some 1,700 miles.

Mexico used to have three time zones, until February 1, 2015 when a fourth time zone was introduced for the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, home to Mexico’s most popular vacation resorts including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

Mexico’s Four Time Zones

Baja California [North] (Zona Noroeste) – Which covers the northeastern reaches of the Baja peninsula, the state of Baja California and is aligned with US Pacific Time. Note that the state’s name is Baja California, not as it’s sometimes referred to as ‘Baja California Norte’.

Mexico’s Pacific Time Zone (Zona Pacifico) – This zone begins just north of Puerto Vallarta (Vallarta itself is not affected) and includes the states of Nayarit, Sinaloa, Sonora, and Chihuahua and is aligned with US Mountain Time.

Mexico’s Central Time Zone (Zona Centro) – This zone covers most of Mexico, including Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Merida and is aligned with US Central Time.

Mexico’s Southeastern Time Zone (Zona Sureste) – This is the fourth time zone specifically affecting the state of Quintana Roo. It’s aligned with US Central time in the spring and summer and does not move its clocks backward or forward each year.

Seasonal Time Changes

To complicate matters, not all Mexican states move their clocks each year, and those that do, don’t necessarily synchronize with dates that other Mexican zones change their clocks, nor the dates that the USA, Canada and Europe move theirs.

For example, Mexico’s relatively-new Southeastern time zone aligns with Mexico’s Central time zone in the spring and summer, but shifts to be one hour ahead when Mexico’s Central time zone moves its clocks back in the autumn (the Southeastern time zone doesn’t move its clocks).  And because the Northeastern time zone synchronizes on the date that US Pacific clock-times change, and not the date of the Mexican Central clock-time change, there can be further clock-time disparity for some weeks each year in the spring and autumn.


Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

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