Frequently Asked Questions
AIR TRAVEL: Where are the nearest airports?
There is an airport in Chetumal, 1 ½ hours from Mahahual. Flights are daily from
Mexico City. Check Aviasca and Aeromexicana
for details. Most people fly into Cancun.
GETTING TO MAHAHUAL WITHOUT RENTING A CAR: Do I have to rent a car to get to Mahahual?
Most people find having a car gives them flexibility to tour around the area and go into town for dinner. You can hire a cab at the airport for approximately $250US.
We can also arrange transportation for you from the airport for
approximately 220US. There are buses regularly from Cancun or Playa del Carmen that bring you south towards Chetumal. Take this bus to Limones which is south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto and from Limones,
hire a cab ($25) to bring you right to our door. There is a first class bus service with ADO
www.ado.com.mx from Cancun,
Playa del Carmen and Tulum
bus stations right to Mahahual. Let us know if you want the schedule. or visit
CAR RENTAL: Where's 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 internet or phone. We've used CAA (in Canada) or AAA (US) if you have these services. If you arrive without prearrangements, check the rates in the agency offices just outside the terminal as they usually are cheaper than the agency booths inside the terminal.
Take a look at all the rental companies in Cancun for comparing rates. If
you can, add to your VISA a temporary insurance for rental cars so this will
reduce your rate. Your credit card may have that included. If you cannot
prove you have insurance, you will have to take what the company requires
which can be staggering. Get proof from your credit card company before
coming. America and Continental are very reasonable but also look at Dollar, National and other Mexican companies as well as the
standard well known ones.
We do not recommend Hertz or Alamo
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 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 coastal road from Mahahual,
which we are on, is a little bumpy.
OPTIONS FOR LUNCH AND DINNER: Are there local restaurants for
dinner? Right around the corner from us are two great restaurants/bars. Just a 5 minute walk. They are open for dinner. We suggest you use one of our coolers for lunch snacks which you can purchase in town. Balamku can provide light lunches if you prefer to stay on site during the day. There are many good restaurants in Mahahaul
to choose from for both lunch and dinner and the local bus passes our door at 3
pm for town if you don't have a car.
SCUBA DIVING: How do we arrange scuba diving?
Coastal diving is great here and there are many fine dive shops in Mahahual. Ask us for referrals. For Chinchorro
Reef, there are a few boats which have the special license required to visit
this area. Chinchorro diving is very weather dependent and arrangements should be made when you arrive. Coastal diving is less weather dependent and we can help make arrangements in advance.
FISHING: How can we arrange a fishing excursion? There are
Mexicans who fish in the sea almost every day and would be pleased to take you
along. The price starts at $65 US per person. Fly fishing is now
available here in the lagoons around our area or packages in Xcalak.
KAYAKING: How many kayaks do you have?
As you may have read, we provide kayaks for our guests at no charge. We have 10 kayaks to use. Most people use the kayaks to get to the reef for snorkeling.
SNORKELING GEAR: Do you have snorkeling gear and life jackets?
We have snorkeling equipment for a $5 per day charge. We have a few life jackets.
MONEY: Will you accept credit cards? Is it safe to bring cash?
Local restaurants, stores, and excursions only take cash in pesos or US
dollars. There are ATM's on your way here in Tulum, and also here in
Mahahual. We cannot accept American Express Traveller's Cheques or any cards so please be prepared to pay in cash here at Balamku.
If you would like, we will keep your cash in a safe place although your room, if locked, is very safe.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING OR NOT BRING?: The stores in Mahahual
provide the basics - some food items, beer, and very little choice in wine
or liquor. So bring your drinks from Tulum or Playa del Carmen or plan a trip to Chetumal.
Bring a flashlight, sunscreen and insect repellant (just in case).
As all our energy is provided by a solar and wind system, we would ask you NOT to bring high wattage items like large hair blowers or personal coffee machines. Anything over 900 watts will greatly strain our solar system.
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 Mahahual with doctors and nurses on staff. The nearest hospital is in Chetumal.
No shots required.