A Casual Paradise for Couples
All You Need Is Your Sonrisa !
Caribbean Costa Maya, Xcalak, Mexico

I'm nervous about renting a car & driving in Mexico - is it safe?
If you are driving in Juarez or Mexico City, you should be nervous!  But the main roads and highways in
the
Yucatan Peninsula are very well constructed to modern standards, normally carry light traffic,
and the other drivers are generally courteous.  Keep an eye out for slow moving vehicles or bicycles,
and "topes" (speed bumps) but basically it's no different than driving in the States.  

As mentioned above it's a good idea to plan your arrival before dark -
NOT due to banditos,
just to make the drive less stressful- after all you are coming here to relax!  And what a great way
to explore "off the beaten path" areas away from the Americanized tourist zones
and experience authentic Mexican & Mayan culture.
Where in the World are you?
Playa Sonrisa is 230 miles south of Cancun - but a world apart!
We are about 7 kilometers (4.2 miles) north of the tiny fishing village
called
Xcalak (Shh-kah-lac) which is located on the peninsula that
separates the
Caribbean Sea from the Bay of Chetumal.
Xcalak
is about 8 km north of the channel separating Mexico
from the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

GPS Coordinates:  18* 20' N Latitude, 87* 49' W Longitude
How do we get there?
The best (most economical) access is to fly to Cancun.  From there you can rent a car
and travel the modern highways & new roads to
Playa Sonrisa in under 5 hours.
(Shuttle-taxi service is ~$300 US one way, see link below).  Depending on how late your flight
arrives it might be wise to plan an overnight in Playa del Carmen or Tulum to avoid driving at night
(
not due to banditos - this part of Mexico is safer than any big city in the USA),
it's just easier and more enjoyable to drive in unfamiliar places in daylight.

Commercial air service is also available
to Chetumal (2.5 hr drive) via Aviacsa Airline thru Mexico City.  
See Map link below to orient yourself with the area & see detailed driving dirctions below.
Driving Directions:
Short version: exit airport & turn right, then left, right, left, left

Detailed version:
As you exit the Cancun airport turn south on the modern divided Highway 307
towards Playa del Carmen & Tulum.  
This is the busy tourist corridor - you'll notice a decrease in traffic, and pace of life, upon leaving Tulum.  

Continue on Hwy 307 through "butterfly alley" towards
Chetumal, the Capital of Quintana Roo.  
100 km (62 miles) south of Tulum is
Felipe Carrillo Puerto.  Also located at the PEMEX gas station in
the center of town is an
HSBC Bank with an ATM machine, so it would be wise to
top off your wallet as well as your gas tank.  

Continue south on 307 about another hour, then 3 km past the village of
Limones is a well marked*
left turn (east) to Mahahual & Xcalak . You won't go all the way to Chetumal unless you miss this turn.
* The turnoff to Mahahual & Xcalak is currently well marked, but if your arrival is following a major hurricane
the road signs may be down, so note the distances & landmarks mentioned here.

You may encounter a military checkpoint near this junction or the next - don't be alarmed, unless
you are a gun smuggling narco, in which case please email us immediately to cancel your reservation.  
Just tell them you are going to Xcalak for "vacacione" (vah-cah-cee-oh-nay).  They may ask you
to step out of the car for a "revision" (inspection) and may wish to open the trunk, a suitcase, or
beer cooler (
ever hopeful for donations - just say no) but most tourists just get waived through.

Continue east 55 km (34 miles) on the new Mahahual road.  3 kilometers before you reach
the coast is a
right turn to Xcalak - the ONLY turn onto a paved road that you encounter.
If you see the
PEMEX gas station you passed this turn.
(Sometimes the military checkpoint is at this intersection, sometimes at the next, sometimes none).

There is now a PEMEX in Mahahual, (about 300 meters past this turn).
(Although they sometimes run out of gas and/or ATM cash, so top off in Tulum or Felipe Carillo Puerto)

Follow the paved "jungle road" south another 55 km (34 miles) to the tee in the road,
turn left and
proceed 2 km into Xcalak. As you enter the village
go north (left) when the road tee's at the soccer
field & continue to the waterfront.  Continue meandering north thru town, past the lighthouse and
over the bridge to the sandy "old beach road".  (The bridge is 1 block away from the waterfront,
jog left at the
Capitania del Puerto office to avoid the dead end at Marina Mike's).

Continue
7 kilometers north of the bridge to Playa Sonrisa - our little slice of  Secluded Tropical Paradise!

And YES - it is worth the trip!
Playa Sonrisa - Not Easy To Get To ... But Harder To Leave!
Tour the Costa Maya
Playa Sonrisa
"Smile Beach"
Is Playa Sonrisa as remote as it sounds?
Yes - and that's the allure of it.  If the hustle & bustle of high rise hotels, condos, mega resorts
and franchise restauraunts & discos & tee shirt shops & para-gliders & timeshare vendors &
crowds of tourists are your thing - we suggest a vacation in Cancun.  But if that sounds just like
the everyday
Rat Race that you need a break from, the peaceful tranquility & solitude at
Playa Sonrisa is just what the Doctor ordered.
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