A Great Little Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Mahahual

For a town its size Mahahual has a pretty large variety of places to stay for travelers. And with the explosion of vacation travel accommodation aps like airbnb, homeaway, and booking there has been a subsequent wave of locals looking to cash in on the latest trend by converting a room in their home into a room for rent. This is a good thing because it allows some of the would-be have-not’s to cash in on the local business boom but it can be risky for travelers who end up spending their vacation in a less-than-ideal situation that looked good in pictures.

But and few quality small places have cropped up out of the fertile field and established themselves as cozy little nooks with the friendly familiar vibe that comes with inns and B&Bs. One of them is Casa Sueno Caribeno.

Casa Sueno Caribeno (which translates to Casa Caribbean Dream, for all you gringos out there) is a small bed and breakfast with a rustic touch of the Caribbean and Mexico all rolled into one. From the moment you pass through the front gate and are greeted by the palm tree, bermuda grass, bougainvillas and coral touches, you really feel the vacation mode descend over you like a comfortable blanket.

The rooms are stylishly decorated with vibrant Caribbean colors and unique details that are specific to the theme of each room. The Coralina Room, The Palmera Room, and the Caracol Suite are filled with thoughtful touches of coral, palm trees, and conch shells that whisk you stress away as soon as you cross the threshold.

155052955276015505282075011550529215727

The garden is a great place to relax and enjoy your complimentary breakfast, read a book, and just sit quiet and listen to the breeze and tropical birds as they sing to each other in the tree canopy.

1550528532568

But if you are feeling adventurous you can hop on one of the complimentary bikes and go explore the town and the beaches. And why wouldn’t you? They also have complimentary snorkel gear for you to use for the day.

1555434196563

To really help you melt into your vacation there is also a spa with a wonderful variety of treatments. I have previously written about it on the blog and you can read the article here. All guests receive a 25% discount on spa services as an additional benefit!

The owners also have a great vision for the future and will be adding a rooftop soaking pool with an area for exercise and scheduling private yoga classes this year. They are a young couple from Colombia and the USA who have worked in the wellness and natural health industry for years and are working to make Casa Sueno Caribeno a true wellness retreat.

So if you are planning a vacation to the Costa Maya and are looking for a place to stay with a real “just visiting friends” vibe where you can really relax and restore yourself, Casa Sueno Caribeno is waiting for you. See you soon!

Chetumal Airport to Expand

When I have friends contemplating coming to visit us in our lovely little beach town the inevitable question that arises is “how long does it take to get there?”. To which I respond honestly yet anxiously, “4-5 hours once you get to Cancun”. Then I watch the excitement of a possible Caribbean adventure melt away from their previously glowing eyes.

The time it takes to get to our isolated little part of the world is the main reason that we aren’t inundated every other weekend with friends from Florida or North Carolina, looking to do a 3-4 day weekend trip to come see their favorite couple. Depending on who you are and where you are coming from the idea of renting a car and driving in a strange country or sitting on a bus for 5 hours will take the air out of the tires of your travel plans.

I have the argument all of the time that the roads and buses aren’t what people believe they are thanks to crappy Hollywood depictions of gringos packed in between sweaty and grim-faced locals, careening down a dirt road on a chicken bus, but I rarely sway the opinions of the less adventurous. What would really be wrong with a chicken bus anyway? It makes for a great story!

But recently we got some good news that the international airport in Chetumal will recieve 147 million pesos (rougly 7.5 million dollars) to expand it operations. That puts our little town much more in reach being that Chetumal is a short 2 hours away. Locals are well acquainted with it because we make a run once a week to stock up on things that you can’t get around here. It is our feeder city.

Previously, Chetumal airport really only connected to Mexico City but the new mayor of Quintana Roo has been pulling strings to get more routes open and has been successful in opening a route to Guadalajara. The new announcement came after the success of recent remodels to with which the airport saw an increase of 2.1% of passengers and over 300% of shipped goods passing through its gates.

There are no details about which routes will open and when. As with everything here I wouldn’t hold my breath thinking that the routes will be open immediately. But with time the details will reveal themselves and I will keep you updated.

So if the idea of 5 hours on the chicken bus has been your main obstacle to visiting our little beach town, pack your bags and have them ready because we will be waiting for you soon!

A Great Yoga Class in Mahahual

One of the most popular activities for health-minded travelers these days seems to be yoga. Whether you are a life-long yoga enthusiast or trying it for the first time on vacation it can be great way to unwind, get some light exercise, and replenish your anxiety-ridden spirit.

If you are looking, there are a few places to get your yoga fix here in Costa Maya. There are offerings from formal private classes from established inhabitants, beach front informal classes from wandering travelers, community, expensive, cheap, hatha, kundalini and everything in-between. But in this article I wanted to shine a spotlight on what I see as the best all-around yoga class in town for those who are doing their homework.

My wife has been a yoga lover for years and years and she has dragged me to classes all over the world. I am a bit of an all-around fitness fanatic and I love to mix it up and to me there is nothing worse than a yoga class that consists the same basic moves every class. It doesn’t challenge me or hold my attention and nothing puts me to sleep faster than moving through the same old sequence time and time again . My wife feels the same way, and we have had a number of disappointing experiences.

That is why when we heard tale of a great yoga class taking place every Tuesday and Thursday morning for a reasonable price that our friends were really enjoying we had to go check it out. I walked into the class for the first time skeptical due to my history with boring classes but I was soon moving through some poses I had never done, mixed with the more familiar sun salutations, warrior this and that and others. I thought to myself “what’s this?? Have I discovered the yoga needle in a hay stack?”. I left the class thoroughly pleased with my experience and Carolina, the instructor.

The next class was again a pleasant surprise as we moved through yet more poses and positions that I had never done and it was not just a carbon copy of the previous class. We were both super satisfied. From that class on we have both been totally hooked, barely missing a class, and are brought to life every Tuesday and Thursday morning by the big bright smile of Carolina as and she greets us at the door and gets our bodies moving.

The class is held at the Wayak Community Center in the neighborhood “Casitas” in a room that is built in the traditional Maya thatched-roof style. The morning air feels cool as the breeze blows through and the sweet smell of Nag Champa incense fills the room. Carolina’s soft and knowledgeable voice leads you through an hour of challenging yet relaxing poses and sets you up to have the perfect day afterward.

img-20190131-wa0006

If you are one of those yoga travelers or are just in town and looking for a new active experience at a reasonable price, I highly recommend you join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8am for your wake up yoga. You will leave will a big flexible smile on your face!

Cleaning Crew Making Big Strides in Casitas

In as little as 3 months our cleaning crew has started to make a major difference in the neighborhood “Casitas” here in Mahahual. Not only does it look cleaner due to our weekly efforts, but it is now staying cleaner and the group is growing every week.

Recently the port owners pitched in, thanks to a popular petition organized by members of the group and signed by many locals, and finally installed some trash receptacles along the main walkway down the middle of the neighborhood that used to be riddled with trash. Credit is due to the port because there was no fight and they gladly acquiesced. Naysayers and negative nancies said it wouldn’t help, claiming the bags would blow away or no one would ever empty them, but they have been in place for about 2 weeks and the area is pretty much free of trash and the receptacles are regularly emptied!

1548437734840154843768968015484376341571548437665605

The port even recently donated wheel barrows, shovels and rakes to the group…

50539537_2247006085351273_8339477289280471040_n50767686_2247006232017925_7749633719530422272_n

We have also had an increase in volunteers from local organizations like the tour company Aviomar and its employees joining in, and volunteers from Takata Experience lending a hand.

49210821_2230821280303087_139714465800126464_n

And most recently funds were raised to buy some trash cans for locals that don’t have them and distribute them at no cost…

 

We are making big strides and Mahahual is even more beautiful today than ever for it! If you are a visitor and lover of our little town you can help by joining us, any given Sunday around 10am, and pitching in a hand. Or by donating so more trash cans can be bought and distributed.

Donate here!

Thank you for any support and we hope to see you soon!

Hayhu Beach Club in Mahahual

Incase you’ve had your head in the sand for the past year and haven’t heard of one of the best new establishments in Mahahual, I want to tell you about Hayhu Beach Club. The pronunciation can be tricky so the first thing I need to do is clear that up so that we can be on the same page. Phonetically in English it would be pronounced “high-who” but being that we all have different linguistic skill sets I have heard “hey-who”, “hey-ho”, “he-hu” and everything in-between.

The meaning, despite the confusion, is really quite beautiful.  It means “to know how to love” in Guarani, the tongue of the natives in Paraguay, where the dynamic trio of owners originate from. And know how to love they clearly do.

37487906_2003644759668628_8921697579842928640_n32104801_1902103969822708_1597021466610630656_n

Hayhu was a labor of love for years before finally opening its doors to international beach-goers on December 17th of 2017. The owners searched Caribbean coasts far and wide looking for the perfect home for their future endeavor before finally finding Mahahual. Once they hit the Costa Maya for the first time they, like many of us, knew they had found the perfect place.

Hayhu boasts the perfect mix of beautiful Caribbean sea, soft white sand, delicious cocktails, quality foods and relaxed vibes to make your visit here exactly how you had pictured it in your mind. Far from the hustle and bustle of the malecon, with its friendly yet ambitious vendors, over-saturation of tables and loungers from restaurants, and over-priced meals, Hayhu is a place where you can truly relax and take a deep breath of the salty-sweet sea air.

29595402_1854428631256909_8058872084625727050_n

47369612_2206169599416142_7882495221412397056_n

Hayhu represents a departure from the antiquated vision of vacation from generations past, who preferred all-inclusive giant Vegas-style resorts that don’t blend at all with the local environment and culture. We all know what Cancun looks like don’t we? Hayhu represents a newer idea and blends seamlessly with the surrounding jungle environment, seemingly born naturally from it rather than built.

They are also big on being eco-friendly, using solar panels to power the operation for the most part and naturally filtering and processing the waste water generated instead of sending it down the tube. As nice as that sounds there is no quality being sacrificed for the environment. The music is good, the drinks are cold, and the food is delicious.

47684753_2218062054893563_9132037955282534400_n

The menu boasts everything from lobster to a delicious South American cut of beef called “picana” that will leave even Texans impressed. The cuisine is a step above what you can find in most places in town and makes for a great afternoon out. There is something for everybody. Take a look at the menu on their website here.

Hayhu is located about 20 minutes south of town by car or taxi but the drive is totally worth it. That’s how you get all of the peace and tranquility that can be absent from the cruise-shippy part of the malecon. And there are no shortages of things to do while you are there. Take your snorkel gear for a great diving experience on vibrant reefs just out front, grab one of their paddle boards or kayaks and explore further, try your hand at kite boarding with on-site instructions, or relax into a nice book and chill.

Hayhu is the type of place that we locals like to see spring up in our community. A quality place by quality people trying to give a quality experience. They certainly do know how to love and it is evident from the minute you set foot in Hayhu. But don’t just take my word for it. Read some of the many glowing reviews of the place in trip advisor here.

So the next time you are in Mahahual, don’t miss one of the new gems of our coastline. Check them out on facebook for more pics and info!

What Time is it in Costa Maya?

Seems like a simple question doesn’t it? But like many things around here, the seemingly simple can be more complicated than you think. But that is part of the charm!

With Costa Maya being a popular cruise destination and destination for backpackers and tourists from all over the world, being on time is very important to make sure that you don’t get left behind when your ship pulls away, your plane flies out, or your bus takes off. My wife and I once spent 3 weeks here thinking we were in sync with the time only to find out we had constantly been an hour late!

The reason for the confusion is that our state, Quintano Roo, has experimented with different times and time zones in the past. It participated in daylight savings time, in sync with eastern standard time in the U.S.A., until 2016.

Since then, Quintana Roo has decided to drop daylight savings time so during half of the year the clock is the same as the east coast of the US, and half of the year it is an hour behind. This puts us chiming right along with eastern standard time during the busiest tourist months of late fall, winter, and early spring.

If you are in doubt or confused, nobody will blame you! Have a look at the website, timeanddate.com for this area at this link to be absolutely sure: https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zone/mexico/cancun