Border Crossing to Xcalak Mexico on a skiff

Trip Start Feb 07, 2012
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Trip End Apr 24, 2012


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Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Saturday, March 31, 2012

After an uneventful flight, with a layover in El Salvador, we decided to turn up the adventure knob to "super fun" mode by figuring out how to get to Xcalak (pronounced "Ish-Ka-Lak") Mexico from San Pedro Belize.

Paul meandered up and down a couple of docks, chatting with some local boat owners, trying to find some sweet soul to take us on our journey.  Roberto and Ronnie, two nice young men, were up for the task.

Next, we had to navigate the Belizean immigration system.  Apparently, not very many people find it necessary to travel by sea to Xcalak.  After several hours of visits to the immigration office, going back to the dock to get some paper work filled out (and paying several so called "fees"), and back to the immigration office, we were given the thumbs up.

We headed out at 6:30 in the morning in a 18 foot skiff, with our captain and friend.  I tried to quiet the voices in my head that reminded me more than once that traveling off the beaten path in Mexican coastal waters along the Belizean border might not be the smartest thing to do with the boys.  I made a quick "call" above and asked for protection, with a day full of magic..... and that is exactly what we got.

We had the waters to ourselves and enjoyed watching the colors on the water change as the sun continued its climb in the morning sky.  There is something about meandering through mangroves in the early morning light, at a speed too fast to get feasted on by mosquitoes, that stamps an everlasting image in my mental rolodex.

Turns out, our captain loves Xcalak and has a few friends there.  One who served as our "taxi driver", think adorable old man who was eating his breakfast in a beat up old plastic chair in front of his house.  He was born and raised in Xcalak, now a town of about 90.  

He was willing to take us up to our property for an hour and a half.  We own a small piece of sand on the beach here in Xcalak with some friends from Colorado and haven't been to Xcalak for 5 years.

The boys, one who was riding in the back of the "taxi" with the spare tire, toolbox, cooler, and trash, looked around wide eyed as we made our way up the narrow beach sand road through the jungles of Xcalak.  At one point, Hunter said, "Seriously, Mom, do we really own property here?"

We were so happy to arrive to find Gregorio and Jane at home.  They have built a beautiful house 2 lots down from ours.  Gregorio told us the snorkeling was just as good as we remembered, and he had recently seen a shark while snorkeling.... 

We made our way through the turtle grass that grows along the shore for the first 20 feet of the water. Sawyer looked at me with frustration as he tried to meander through the stuff. We promised him that the snorkeling would be worth the two minutes of turtle grass.

We spent the next hour snorkeling in an underwater paradise. Everywhere we turned, we saw more and more coral with lots of colorful fish playing around.  We weaved in and out of the coral city with the only sounds the occassional exclamation of glee from Sawyer or Hunter.

When we got out of the water, I heard a very happy Hunter say, "that was the best snorkel of my life" and Sawyer ask, "when are we coming back here?"   You don't get any higher ratings than that!

We finished our time in Xcalak by buying a round of beer for our crew and taxi driver at Xcalak Caribe, a quaint little seaside restaurant.

Next up - Sailing the waters of Belize......



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Comments

Dave barry on

Glad to see our land is still ours?
This is better than any movie i have ever watched

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