Playa del Carmen, Mexico's virtual guidebook written by locals
 

Go Back   www.Playa.info > Trip Reports > Trip Reports: Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-25-2015   #1 (permalink)
way into it
 
AKLydia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 244
Mahahual with the family

We arrived in Playa at our hotel PlayaInn unit 2 at about 2:30 PM and used the lockbox code provided to get the keys and get cooled off. The temperature felt like it was 100+, and being Alaskans, the humidity is always an adjustment. The management company Latido de Mexico was very easy to work with and gave great directions and instructions!
Walter II (or Lil Walt he hates this nickname) my little swimmer immediately attacked the pool

The condo was way larger than I anticipated and I took lots of pics of the woodwork as we are having mahogany put into our houses in Mahahual.

We spent one sweaty miserable day trying to get a seat at Mamitas, and Kool which are only 2 blocks away from the condo. We actually failed and the kids were so hot and thirsty we returned to our condo. The next day we returned ready to pay the 450 peso deposit on each chair that we drank and ate through. I am almost positive we got ripped off as our waiter at Kool would only show us the list of what we had without prices despite repeated requests for a bill. We were already missing Mahahual as we prefer less people on our beaches.

We caught the little ADO bus to Mahahual that we bought tickets for the morning before. Tickets were I believe 310 peso's and half for the kids! Thank goodness we got them when we did as the bus was totally packed. It's almost always the same driver and they always park off to the right when facing the buses in the ADO station. I never saw the bus but recognized the driver. Sure enough there the bus was hidden between the other ADO's.

The drive took 3:30 minutes. It's long but i always bring a book, and the kids watch a couple movies. The bus is now dropping you off in downtown Mahahual one street off the beach by the taxi's. We grabbed a taxi to our casita by the cruise port for 20 peso's.

We arrived at the house, dropped our bags, turned on the a/c and immediately headed for NoHoch Kay pronounced No Hawk Ky for lunch. This is one of our top places to eat and Jaime the owner we consider a good friend. My son and I were wanting the Aracherra but they were sold out and the groceries for the day were not yet there. We ended up having a shrimp ceviche, blackened grouper, and 5 shrimp taco's. In my opinion this place has the best fried shrimp taco's you will have in the entire area including Playa del Carmen. He will also make them unbreaded, make octopus tacos with wine and garlic butter (my daughters favorite), and steak or chicken tacos. I missed all of the food pics!

While at Nohoch Kay we discovered a small kitten maybe 4-5 weeks old it as super skinny and Jaime gave us some shrimp to feed him. Somehow we ended up taking him home. I am hoping I can somehow get our caretaker to feed the poor little guy. He is tentatively named Tom but I'm pushing for Taco!
We went home, unpacked and grabbed the bikes for dinner, and to cruise the new malecon which is maybe half of a mile longer than when we were here in January is very nice, but the new section is open to vehicles and people/bikes. I saw more runners on the Malecon than I have ever seen before.

We ended up at Ibiza Sunset for dinner probably due to my craving for the Crusted Pepper Tuna it's served with some sort of curry mashed potatoes, and was delicious plus just 165 peso's.



Major surgery ensued when my son discovered a fruit fly in his virgin barely any sugar margarita with salt. My kids are sour lovers and these are a big treat to them. o

Day 2, we decided to take one of our paddleboards out, they have never been used and were recently purchased in Cancun at Kokodogz, the kids and I were very excited. These paddleboards also have an attachable sail that I am not ready to brave.... yet!

We headed for Nacional Beach club. I know I've expressed this before but we love Nacional. The owner Evan, and his wife Ana are great people, and they do a lot for the local community and kids. Our waiter Bicente has been there for years and in my opinion this speaks well for both him and Evan!

There is a new mural on the road side of Nacional that is very pretty!

My brother actually proposed to his girlfriend at Nacional last trip in the water, and they have these super cute cabanas right on the malecon. I think they have a great place to spend anniversaries now


We played and drank on the beach, and on the paddleboards, I love the miami vice which I believe is half pina colada and half strawberry daquiri!


Ate some of my favorites, shrimp quesadillas, and the club sandwich which has bacon and chicken breast plus handmade fries



Found some baked goods and candy being hawked on the beach for dessert
My son picked some type of handmade lollipop and my daughter a meringue




My daughter does competitive or all star cheer so she's always stunting with her daddy in the water



And lastly as we headed home, we admired the brand new sports dome with some sort of plastic bottle sculptures, and basketball hoops this is a great addition for the town


We did our nightly bike ride back to Nohoch Kay for tacos for dinner, and ice cream at La Dolce Vita but no pictures as none of us remembered a camera or phone!

One day in kitten is now behaving like it's on crack! It did spend the entire first day eating and sleeping, this pic stressed me out so I cleaned the mirror.
__________________



Last edited by AKLydia; 11-25-2015 at 06:32 PM.. Reason: bad photo link plus additions
AKLydia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015   #2 (permalink)
way into it
 
AKLydia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 244
Day 3
Today turned into a beach day at Nohoch Kay. This trip we had a whole Nohoch style red snapper for lunch. It was way too much but delicious, the snappers and hogfish are two of my favorite fish.
You will see a slight theme in my trip reports where everyone insists on going to one of our 3 favorite locations on the beach each one for a different reason. Occasionally I insist on mixing it up some and trying a new place or one that made us mad and we vowed to not return to. Nohoch Kay has delicious low priced food and a fun beach that has tide pools when the tide is low.

We go here quite often for lunch and dinner, my favorites include the shrimp ceviche, the fried shrimp tacos and the aracherra! Also the lobster here is very well priced and seasoned with garlic and butter it’s amazing. Often rather than cooking it ourselves we purchase it at Nohoch Kay.



We stopped by the silver reef on the malecon which is the one jewelry store that our friends recommend buying from if you want actual silver. They have some pretty opals as well. We will be returning as the owner is cleaning all his stock and said it will be out Thursday!

I let the kids ride their bikes from Nohoch Kay to the beachfront gelato place called La Dolce Vita Giselle took a pic for me. They get the small cup of ice cream for 30 peso’s each and leave a 10 peso per person tip. It’s very thrilling for them to be independent.

The boys took out the fly poles to try their luck at catching lunch but were unsuccessful.

We talked to the people at Nohoch Kay about contacting Nick Denbow at the Western Caribbean Fly Fishing School for some tips. I’ve been trying to connect with Nick for a few trips now but often he is guiding in the US, or out of town. This time luck was finally with us and we set a meet up at Pizza Papi. I had the lobster pizza here (amazing) and the husband had a pepperoni pizza with my son. Pizza Papi is not on the beach however in my opinion one should not miss out on at least one meal here! The owner is Italian and makes a thin crust pizza that is delicious in a large pizza oven. ! I think it was 140 peso’s for the lobster pizza and 80 or 90 for the pepperoni which left all four of us stuffed.

Day 4
We rode our bikes to the beach today in the heat. Our location in the Casitas is actually quite close to the beach and we don’t always need a vehicle unless we are transporting the paddleboards. I would estimate it takes us 5 minutes or less on the bikes to make it to the lighthouse.
The maleon is quite long and large stretches are unoccupied
Last trip I decided to stop a vendor outside our house to try Tepache. From what I understand it’s basically alcoholic pineapple juice. NOT my cup of tea (read DISGUSTING), this was a Sunday so no alcohol in it.
Our house in the casitas is actually typical for the area. They are set up like duplexes with an interconnecting wall, each one a two bedroom one bath unit. Buying both sides made sense for our family but we have yet to connect both sides. You can actually build up three stories in this area. This year we purchased another set of casitas that have not been updated. We have them long term rented at the moment. The casitas have a high occupancy rate in Mahahual. the casita next to ours has not been renovated.
We get a lot of our groceries inn the casitas here , and this Hermanos Martin Store has quite a bit of stuff too. Both are about a one minute walk.
All of Mahahual town has a reef fairly close in that makes the beaches here super safe (no waves or currents) and easy to swim. It also serves as a sort of fish nursery with baby rays, and seahorses etc. You don’t need to leave town to snorkel you can just put your gear on and head out. I’ve actually seen more fish and other things snorkeling here than many guided snorkeling trips in other locations including multiple islands in Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Akumal, and of course Playa.
There is a new fish “spa” with the carp that eat the dead skin off your feet on the Malecon in Mahahual and both kids have been begging to try it. They were quite thrilled and spoiled!
We ate and drank at Big Mama’s in town. Angela or “big mama” has Sopa de Camarones or shimp soup that I’m obsessed with its served with habanero peppers, onion and cilantro on the side. This time I made a big error and dumped all the habanero in, even though I fished it out the soup still was past my point of heat tolerance. I literally come to Big Mama’s due to my craving for this soup every trip. You wouldn’t think hot spicy soup would be yummy in the heat but it’s amazing.
The boys had steak fajitas,
I love the beach at Big Mama’s because it is similar to a zero entry pool, all sandy into the water it’s very very gradual and safe for even the smallest kids. The Sargassum is a problem in the area and while the local beach owners clean it up regularly there are many unoccupied beachfront lots that push more into everyone’s area. I’m a weird person who sits in the middle of the sargassum and looks for tiny sea creatures. I’ve found a different of fish etc type like the seaweed and they tend to blend perfectly in. Small and large brown crabs (agressive) and shrimplike creatures plus multiple fish that look like a piece of the seaweed. I saw the biggest sargassum crab ever this time. At least as big as my hand. The biggest flaw I see at this beach bar is the bathrooms which are pretty rustic. I’m willing to overlook that for the beach and food, others maybe not!
Giselle and I each purchased a pair of knock off ray bans from a vendor. He charged us 100 pesos per pair which is the lowest I’ve paid anywhere in all of our trips to mexico. Crazy considering the dollar is even stronger now.
One thing we have discovered we like is the marquesita stands. The locals get them with their choice of a mixture of cheese, chocolate, jam, and marshmallow cream in a sort of freshly made thin waffle. We like them so long as you don’t get the cheese mixed in, it was a traumatizing mistake for the kids!
Day 5
The boys went to the beach at 7 am with fly gear to meet up with Nick. They fished and had great luck. My son the 7 year old fishing fanatic caught 12 fish of 5 different species right in town in just a couple hours. Nick kindly wrote the fish types down for me they included Blue Runner Jacks, bonefish, yellowtail snapper, Lane snapper, and mutton snapper. I cannot express how good Nick was with my son, and how happy my son was after this excursion. If someone did come to Mahahual to go out with Nick I would recommend booking it way in advance, otherwise chances are high that you will be unsuccessful. He has bookings for next March I believe already. He’s pretty easy to find on youtube and facebook.
Nohoch Kay is where we generally go to book fishing trips. Last trip the guys and a couple girls all went out with Nacho from Nohoch deep sea fishing and caught a bunch of barracuda. It’s really a lot of fun, and a good fight.
We came home as our water heater won’t light and Nacho apparently is also an amazing repairman. He is supposed to stop by. We are looking forward to this weekend which is Jat-Sa Ja festival! Last year they had carnival type rides and food everywhere plus events. It’s still small town feel but busier.


Day 6, we woke early to our caretaker shocking our pool as the high temperatures are growing algae. I tried hard to stay home today but by 12 my husband was harassing me to go to the beach. He's a go go go type of traveler, and I relish the luxury of doing nothing. Some how we ended up at Nacional and had our regular food. I took out the fly pole and ended up catching on of the mutton grouper which was fun however I definitely damaged the fishes mouth when removing the hook. It had some nasty barbs to complicate the release which I stuck myself with. I got mildly intoxicated and was ready to head home after visiting with a bunch or americans around the pool. Giselle and I who are avid readers darted into Tropicante with Steve and picked up some used books. Most books are 30 peso's and it's a trade in two get one free type of deal. Super nice to have a local used book store! We went to a local joint called Padrino's in the casitas for a low priced dinner. My son is always begging to go here for the video game systems they let him play on. It is also a sport bar type of place so my husband is happy to hang out. [url=http://s3.photobucket.com/user/ak_lydia/media/Trip%20Report%20Mahahual%202015/2BA84E47-F4B1-45EF-939D-ED2906225AAC.jpg.html]

Last edited by AKLydia; 11-24-2015 at 04:35 AM.. Reason: pic add
AKLydia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015   #3 (permalink)
way into it
 
AKLydia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 244
marquesitas at night for a snack .
Our backyard
The crazy cat/taco/tom
Walter on one of the swing chairs at Ibiza Sunset
The boys decided they wanted to go on a fishing trip with Nacho out in his boat (runs out of Nohoch Kay) There was a combination lobster/fishing offered so Walt and Lil Walt went, while Giselle and I love to fish the start time was a bit aggressive for us. My husband loved this as he learned to dive for lobster. Unfortunately Lil Walt got sick. He's been deep sea fishing and fishing many times but this day got him poor baby! He was very traumatized by throwing up!
We went out to eat at one of my favorite splurges Luna de Plata for our 9 year anniversary. This is a bit farther down the beach but is part of the new malecon. They make homemade pasta, and in my opinion the lobster ravioli are to die for. The steaks are very good as well probably the closest you get to american beef in the area. I still prefer Jaime's aracherra at Nohoch. Walt surprised me with some very pretty green opal and silver jewelry (from silver reef) which I am in love with. This is the smaller of the two sets
A sad little land crab that trapped itself.
A berry I found growing in the mangroves I really wanted to know what it was but no one knew
....

Last edited by AKLydia; 11-24-2015 at 04:13 AM..
AKLydia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015   #4 (permalink)
way into it
 
AKLydia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 244
Walter with his buddies at Padrino's playing video games after a long day at the beach

We ended up doing a day at the dolphin swim at the port. We were able to schedule this in town, and it was beyond reasonable. I know this is very controversial to some people however in my opinion my kids after spending some time with these dolphins are way more likely to be part of the movement for better conditions. They had an incredible time and were wowed by how intelligent the animals were.

To start we were very early so the kids sat and talked to the dolphins who were having a blast interacting with the kids The coolest thing happened, after awhile this dolphin swam down (really deep) picked up a hermit crab and kept trying to throw it at the kids. You could tell he was getting annoyed at them for not catching it you can see he was stretching so hard!
Dolphins were always cool to the kids but now they're over the moon about them We took a family pic and the kids got about an hour and a half in the water with the dolphins some of it just relaxing and the dolphins doing their own thing it was awesome.

Daddy with both kiddos

The boys and Giselle went out Tarpon fishing with Nick in the Mangroves that border much of the beach here. Giselle hooked a monster but it got tangled in some roots and before they could get it off it managed to get off the hook. Lil walt landed this and was super proud. We practice catch and release as this is a pretty big draw for tourists off the ships. There were lots of strikes and they learned to set the hook hard, much harder than the fish they catch here like King Salmon and halibut.


Pez Quadro the beach club here has swings on the beach too



A little italian restaurant had there beautiful lights , they also have Tuna and I believe that is a lobster tostada but it looks like shrimp in the picture

We had a lot of fun at La Dolce Vita and Lil Walt kept dreaming of getting 3 scoops of ice cream. Since it was super hot out and he looked like this every time he had ice cream!

We ended up packing up after this and heading back to playa del carmen. We had reservations for 6 days at Paradisus Esmeralda for a complete de-stress for everyone and an attempt at trying an all inclusive. We had initially reserved a room at hotel banana and were going to leave a day early as to not lose a day at the all inclusive but then we realized it was about 70$ more than the ADO to get a private taxi to Paradisus, and we got an extra day in Mahahual. It was a no brainer, and a good choice for us. Steve at Tropicante reserved the car for us, and it went off pretty seamlessly. He has a website called sandals and ski's that helps with some logistical problems one might encounter when visiting Mahahual.

Last edited by AKLydia; 11-24-2015 at 06:02 PM..
AKLydia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2015   #5 (permalink)
añejo
 
SharonD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,769
Great start!
SharonD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2015   #6 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
Bret and Yvonne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Grand Lake, Ok
Posts: 423
Thanks for taking the time to write this, can't wait for more.
Bret and Yvonne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2015   #7 (permalink)
life=playa
 
LB4Playa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kamloops, B.C.
Posts: 822
Great a new trip report.
LB4Playa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2015   #8 (permalink)
reposado
 
jackjackattack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Edmond Oklahoma....Go Pokes!
Posts: 1,073
Great stuff! Makes us want to go there sometime soon!
jackjackattack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2015   #9 (permalink)
Canada Dry
 
Rissask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 56,332
thanks so much, great report, looking forward to more!

Last edited by Rissask; 07-28-2015 at 09:34 AM..
Rissask is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2015   #10 (permalink)
syl
añejo
 
syl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa ynez
Posts: 8,120
Love this.
syl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2015   #11 (permalink)
añejo
 
SharonD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,769
So glad I checked back in, this is an awesome TR. How is precious little Taco doing?
SharonD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2015   #12 (permalink)
way into it
 
AKLydia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonD View Post
So glad I checked back in, this is an awesome TR. How is precious little Taco doing?

Taco is doing great s/he is crazy, happy, and even snuggles with the kids at night. the veterinarian can't guarantee sex as she estimates 4-5 weeks old. We treated him for parasites and gave him a bath but he's too young for shots yet. Stressful searching for someone to foster him when we go home so in September my parents can take him home and he will be old enough to not need so much care. I think he's too young at this point to be kept outside which is all I've been able to find so far. We've been up to lots of activities, but I have a terrible time uploading pics to Photobucket here so it delays my writing. The internet is fast, but something went wrong with ours (read techie brother edited all the settings) and we don't speak Spanish to fix so waiting for a bilingual friend.

Last edited by AKLydia; 11-24-2015 at 03:48 AM..
AKLydia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2015   #13 (permalink)
¡No mames güey!
 
roni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mérida, Yucatán
Posts: 75,234
We have stayed at Nacional Beach Club and at a house a few kilometers north of Mahahual. In November we are spending a few nights in Xcalak and a few at Mayan Beach Garden
roni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2015   #14 (permalink)
way into it
 
AKLydia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 244
Mahahual with the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by roni View Post
We have stayed at Nacional Beach Club and at a house a few kilometers north of Mahahual. In November we are spending a few nights in Xcalak and a few at Mayan Beach Garden

For us Xcalak was too quiet. I can see it being amazing for diving. We also stayed a few years ago up north by Mayan beach garden. Beautiful house called Casa Maria. Right now that area is really overcome with sargassum we have a couple groups who are staying up north in town daily as they say it is really bad smelling. In town some clubs are on top of it and some aren't. It appears the government sent heavy equipment today to help them clean up. Nohoch and nacional are two of the clubs that are really on top of it.

Last edited by AKLydia; 11-24-2015 at 03:49 AM..
AKLydia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2015   #15 (permalink)
¡No mames güey!
 
roni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mérida, Yucatán
Posts: 75,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKLydia View Post
For us xcalak was too quiet. I can see it being amazing for diving. We also stayed a few years ago up north by Mayan beach garden. Beautiful house called casa Maria. Right now that area is really overcome with sargassum we have a couple groups who are staying up north in town daily as they say it is really bad smelling. In town some clubs are on top of it and some aren't. It appears the government sent heavy equipment today to help them clean up. Nohoch and nacional are two of the clubs that are really on top of it.
We'll see what it is like in November

Xcalak is quiet, but for three nights that is all right.

Love your trip report and your place in Mahahual!
roni is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:57 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.