Mahahual on HGTV!

For those of you who don’t know and want to get a better look at our little town, or for those who have been here and want a little reminder of the jewel that is Mahahual, our town was featured on and episode of HGTV’s Mexico Life! recently.


The lovely young couple, Brandon and Nia Lee, are a couple of expat locals who fell in love with Mahahual, bought a house, remodeled and now rent two different beautiful spaces on the property to vacationers, the main part of the house for families, and the villa for couples. They take a lot of pride in their property and have really created a unique and special place to stay. The remodel was only about halfway done when the show came through so to really see the place you can check out their airbnb links here…



Check out the episode and if you are looking for a place to stay on your next Mahahual vacation, give them a shout! They would be happy to have you!1524247158048

How to get from Cancun to Costa Maya Mahahual Update 2018

Once your plane touches down in sunny Cancun on your way to Mahahual, your trip is only about halfway over. That isn’t to say that the rest of the voyage is arduous however. The ADO bus is more comfortable than most planes I have ever been on really. The only problem is that there aren’t as many departures as you would like. But I guess that is what keeps our little Mahahual a great secret. You only arrive here if you deserve it!

Once you land, go through customs and exit the airport you have two options: you can take a taxi to the main ADO terminal in Cancun and take the bus from there, or you can take the ADO bus that runs every half hour from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and wait for the bus to Mahahual there.

In the main Cancun station the bus runs to Mahahual at an eye scratching 6:45 am, and 4:45pm. The ticket per person is usually around 20 dollars which is a great deal for a 5 and a half hour trip. In Playa del Carmen the bus will scoop you up at the tourist terminal at the beach at 8am and and 5:55pm. From there the trip is only 4.5 hours.

The buses are comfortable with big reclining chairs, AC, TV and bathrooms. It also stops in Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto if you get hungry and need a snack. It is really the best bet unless you are in a huge hurry and just want to get here. You can weave together trips through local combis and the Mayab bus line but you really only end up saving an hour or two at the most that you would have spent waiting for the later ADO bus.

So there is the update for 2018. If anything changes I will post it promptly!

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Is it Safe to Eat Barracuda?

Barracuda is an oft caught fish in Costa Maya and can be really exciting due to their size and ferocity when they hit your line. They are also a really neat looking fish. But if you are like me, the fight that ensues when reeling in a creature from the deep blue is only a small portion of the excitement. I get REALLY excited when the fish that surfaces is not only big but something that I can feed to my friends and neighbors as I soak in the ooo’s and ahhh’s and tell the tall tale of how I landed the beasty leviathan.

Barracuda is a tough one and it seems that, like many things in life, there is no definitive and clear black and white answer to the question of whether or not they are safe to eat.  They are a predator fish and like most predators that are near the top of the food chain, they have a higher mercury content in their bodies than the fish they feed on. This alone puts then on the “consume less often” list along with Tuna, Swordfish, Grouper and Mackerel.

But they also can be infected with a toxin called ciguatera. Ciguatera is contracted from reef fish that consume it from contaminated coral, algae and seaweed and pass it up the food chain through biomagnification, the same process that the tops dogs get the mercury concentrations. Ciguatoxin is odorless and tasteless and cannot be cooked out of food with high heat. The symptoms of toxicity in humans include gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and neurological effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, muscle aches, numbness of the extremities, vertigo and hallucinations. The symptoms can last from weeks to years in some cases.

So with these two spooky possibilities lurking out there how do we know which of the fish are fine to eat and which will have us seeing little green men? Like we said earlier the world isn’t black and white so not all fish are going to be affected and you don’t want to miss out on a potentially tasty meal right? You would think someone would have come up with a good scientific test to see if your barracuda was poisonous but alas, all we have are good old folk tests like these to rely on…

One test is to cut off a piece of the flesh and lay it by an ant hill. If the ants eat it, it is fine to eat.

Another is to do the same with your cat. If your cat eats the flesh it should also be fine.

Another is to place a silver coin under the scales of the fish, an fish that is not good to eat would turn the coin black.

Some say not to eat a barracuda that is over 10 pounds because the bigger the fish, the older it is and the more other fish it has eaten.

And finally, some say not to eat barracuda during months that don’t have and “r” in the name. Basically May-August. Locals say this is the season where the barracuda dine on a particular seaweed to cleans their system and makes them more toxic to us.

So we may not have the most exact answer to the barracuda question but these folk tests have passed the test of time. I wouldn’t bet my mortgage on any one of them but I think that using them all together as a guide leaves you on the good side of safe. I have eaten barracuda and it is a lovely tasting fish. I would certainly hate for anyone else to lose out on it out of fear. Besides, what’s life without a little risk?