FAQs


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 
 AIR TRAVEL 
Where are the nearest airports?
  • There is an airport in Chetumal, 2 to 2 Ĺ hours from Xcalak. Flights are daily from Mexico City although currently they arrive late in the day. Check Aviasca and Aeromexicana for details. Most people fly into Cancun. There is also a private airport in Xcalak. Chartered flights originating from Cancun are available. Contact Hotel Tierra Maya for pricing.

 GETTING TO XCALAK WITHOUT RENTING A CAR 
Do I have to rent a car to get to XCALAK?
  • Most people find having a car gives them flexibility to tour around the area, explore ruins and get to and from the local dive center. However, you can make arrangements to have a chauffeur-driven car or van pick you up at the Cancun Airport and deliver you to Hotel Tierra Maya. The cost for up to 8 people is from $680 US to $800 US round trip depending on which company can accommodate. If you are traveling with a group or a large family, the price is not expensive. However, if you are only 2 people, the cost is still between $680 and $800 round trip.
  • There are buses that run regularly from Cancun or Playa del Carmen and from Chetumal that bring you to Limones. The Mayab or Caribe bus is an option. However, The first-class Ado busses are wonderful and comfortable. They are air-conditioned and play movies. They run from the Cancun and Playa del Carmen bus terminals directly to Mahahual. Then you can rent a taxi to deliver you to Xcalak. If you opt for the Mayab bus, Take one of these busses to Limones which is south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto and from Limones you can either transfer to the "chicken bus" (Caribe), or hire a taxi to XCALAK. But remember, if you arrive without transportation, your only transportation will be on one of our bicycles, when available. We do not provide transportation from the Hotel to the dive shop or to town.
  • We recommend checking out the bus schedules at http://www.ticketbus.com for more information and schedules. They also have a toll-free number when calling from the states.
  • The Caribe Bus leaves from Chetumal at 6:00 am and at 4:00 pm. and takes about 4 hours to arrive in XCALAK.
  • The Caribe Bus leaves XCALAK to Limones at 5:30 am and at 2:00 pm.
  • The Caribe Bus leaves Limones to XCALAK at 7:30 am and at 5:30 pm.
  • The Ado bus departs from Cancun three times per day to Mahahual, at 7:30 am, 9:30 pm, and 11:30 pm on most days. However, check their schedules before making your vacation plans. They also depart from Mahahual at 8:30 am returning to Cancun. The Cancun/Mahahual trip is a 6 hour trip.

  •  DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM THE CANCUN AIRPORT 
    From the Cancun Airport, you will travel south on the main highway 307. Wouldn't hurt to get a map at the airport. You will go through Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, and the little town of Limones. Just about 3 miles south of Limones, you will see a paved road to the left. There's a little convenience store on the corner on the left. And there are signs that indicate that Mahahual and Xcalak are to the left. Turn left and continue on this road for about 45 minutes or 60 kilometers. You will see another small paved road to the right, and there's a lot of smallish homemade signs on the corner where you turn right (you can only turn right). However, there's a gas station just beyond the turnoff before you make the right hand turn to Xcalak. It would be a good idea to gas up at this gas station before continuing on to Xcalak because there is no gas in Xcalak. Once you gas up, go back to the turnoff and take that turn where all the signs are to Xcalak, about 30 kilometers. When you get to the "T" turn left. Continue on. When you come into town, you will be at the soccer field. Go around the soccer field, staying to your left and just go straight down to the beach and take a left. Stay on the beach road for about 2 miles north (you will meander around a little as the road takes a little jog, but just look for the hotel signs and follow them). Just keep going north on the beach road. There are signs to all the hotels along the way, including signs for Tierra Maya. We have a large sign at our hotel on the right when you reach our parking lot. Happy travels. Kim


     CAR RENTAL 
    Whereís the best place to rent a car?
    • Inside the Cancun airport, there are booths with all the national agencies ready to rent. However, it is cheaper to arrange from your home, either through the Internet or by phone. Weíve used CAA (in Canada) or AAA (US) if you have these services. If you arrive without pre-arrangements, check the rates in the agency offices just outside the terminal as they are usually are cheaper than the agency booths inside the terminal.
    • In Chetumal, Continental agency is located in the Holiday Inn lobby (on Heroes). Premier Travel , 83 Juarez, also rents cars and vans. Enjoy Rent A Car, 84 Veracruz, is another choice. Rental prices in Chetumal are quite high ($60US per day).

     ROAD CONDITIONS 
    Are the roads as bad as they say?
    • Some guide books and car rental companies are not up to date on our roads. All roads from Cancun highway #307 and the Mahahual/Xcalak highway are well maintained and in the case of the Mahahual highway, brand new. The XCALAK cut-off road at the Military CheckPoint on into XCALAK is also paved all the way to XCALAK. There are a few nasty potholes but in good shape overall. The jungle does seem to encroach on the road somewhat; however, a road crew has been cutting back the road growth to make for a less monotonous drive. The two-mile beach road from XCALAK pueblo to Hotel Tierra Maya is fairly good as beach roads go. There are a few potholes, but, hey, itís a beach road.

     DINNER OPTIONS 
    Are there local restaurants for dinner?
    • When you are staying at Hotel Tierra Maya, you are already at the best place for your meals, The Mayan Grill. Hotel Tierra Maya also has a full bar. The Mayan Grill is open to the general public, as well. A Continental Breakfast is included in your room rate. Hotel Tierra Maya serves breakfast, lunch and dinner beginning at 6:30am until 9pm.

     FISHING 
    How can we arrange a fishing excursion?
    • Visit our "Things to Do" link on our website for trolling or spin fishing trips. All-inclusive fly fishing packages are available for almost everyone. Check out our fly fishing link on our main page for details.

     SCUBA DIVING 
    How do we arrange scuba diving?
     KAYAKING 
    How many kayaks do you have?
    • As you may have read, we provide kayaks for our guests at no charge. We have 2 singles and 1 double.

     SNORKELING GEAR 
    Do you have snorkeling gear and life jackets?
    • We have snorkel equipment for sale in our office/gift shop at a reasonable price. We have an ample amount of new life vests.

     MONEY 
    Will you accept credit cards? Is it safe to bring cash? How much?
    • Hotel Tierra Maya accepts all major credit cards for deposits and prepayments of advance reservations only. Any balance remaining on your confirmation MUST BE paid in cash upon arrival at the hotel. Guests staying at the hotel without advance reservations will have the option of paying their room rates in cash only. Restaurant charges MUST be paid in cash. We prefer Mexican Pesos. Hotel Tierra Maya cannot honor travelerís cheques, nor can any other establishment in XCALAK, as far as we know.
    • Local restaurants, stores, and excursions only take cash in pesos or US dollars. You can use your credit card through PAYPAL at XTC Dive Center.
    • There are NO BANKS or ATMís in or near XCALAK. So, bring plenty of cash for your entire stay here, unless you are prepared to drive to Bacalar or Chetumal for more money at an ATM (which limits your withdrawal amount). There are ATMís on your way to XCALAK in Cancun, Tulum, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and then south, in Bacalar and Chetumal.
    • We have installed 3 self-programming safes in three of our downstairs rooms for your cash and valuables. We also have a small safe in the office.
    • The consistent mistake that most of our guests make is that they do not bring sufficient cash. Over and over again we are asked to accept credit cards for balances owed on rooms and on meals. The reason that this is so difficult for us is that WE have to pay everything in CASH, so we have to generate CASH to pay for all the food for the restaurant, all employee salaries and we pay in CASH for prepaid and preplanned fly fishing trips that our guests have prepaid through our Paypal payment site online.

     COASTAL THEFT 
    Do we have to be concerned about this?
    • With the growing number of workers traveling into and out of our neighboring town, Mahahual, we have experienced some theft here in XCALAK. Since our ownership in February of 2005, we have not been plagued with theft. However, we have had two thefts. We have installed good lighting around the Hotel, electric fence that is activated at night for protection of the bodega/storage areas, and non-abrasive, yet effective alarms on screened doors in the downstairs suites. And we have hired a full-time night watchman and his dogs to patrol the property from 10pm until sunrise.

     GENERAL 
    WHAT SHOULD I BRING OR NOT BRING?
    • The stores in XCALAK provide the basics - some food items, beer, and very little choice in wine or liquor. The Mayan Grill at Hotel Tierra Maya is a full Restaurant/Bar. You can also purchase food items, snacks, ham, fresh fruits, cheese and bread from the "almost daily" vegetable truck that makes Tierra Maya its regular stop.
    • Bring a flashlight, sunscreen and insect repellent (just in case).
    • As all our energy is provided by a solar system, we would ask you NOT to bring high wattage items like hair blowers, curling irons or personal coffee makers. They are a big "no-no."

     HEALTH ISSUES 
    Is there a hospital nearby? Do I need shots before coming to this area of Mexico?
    • There is a daytime medical clinic in XCALAK with a doctor who is usually at the clinic Monday through Friday. XCALAK also has a nurse who works and lives in XCALAK and can usually be found amiable to respond to emergencies in off-hours. The nearest hospital is in Chetumal.
    • Some guests have taken malaria pills/shots on the advice of their doctor. We have had very few cases of malaria here in XCALAK.

     MOSQUITOS 
    How bad are they?
    • When it rains and thereís no wind or the wind comes from the West (the jungle), we can have mosquitoes. We do have a mosquito machine that does an amazing job at attracting them and trapping them. We also have a healthy amount of bats and swallows that snack day and night on their favorite meal, the mosquito. Bringing a biodegradable or natural insect repellent of your choice would be advisable.
    • Hotel Tierra Maya also provides insect coil repellents that can be used on your patios or balconies. These items are available inside your accommodation.
    • We would not describe the mosquito population as bad, only under certain conditions. Actually, we find that living here as permanent residents, full-time, that the occasional presence of mosquitoes is not nearly as menacing as we thought it might be.

     BEACHES 
    What are they like?
    • We have white sand beaches, everywhere. The privately owned properties where there are people living clean their beaches regularly. Ours is cleaned each and every morning by our groundskeeper, Jose Maria, for your enjoyment. We have 50 meters of beach area, which translates to approximately 150 linear feet and we clean an additional 100 meters of beach area that is contiguous with our property.
    • The water is varying colors of vibrant agua-marine blue, dark blue and azure blue. We are part of a protected area that has been designated a National Park and is overseen by two Mexican agencies, Semernat and the Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas. In XCALAK, it is prohibited by law to dredge the precious turtle grass to create a sterile environment in which to swim. Beyond our dock, however, the water is naturally turtle grass-free. However, close to shore, we do have an ABUNDANCE of turtle grass, which is where everything is born. Without the turtle grass, we would not enjoy bountiful marine life in and around our coral heads and at the reef beyond.
    • To learn more about this precious National Park, you can go to http://www.conanp.gob.mx for more information.


    Contact Information:

    Kim & David Calkins
    Hotel Tierra Maya
    Quintana Roo, Xcalak, Mexcico
    Phone: 1-330-735-3072
    Fax: 1-866-374-8768
    Email Here for Reservation Info

    Hotel Tierra Maya
    Copyright © 2004. All rights reserved.



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