|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 access is to fly to Cancun. (Chetumal is an option if connecting thru Mexico City).
From there you can rent a car and travel the modern highways to Playa Sonrisa in under 5 hours.
(Shuttle-taxi service is ~$350 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 driving in unfamiliar places in daylight.
See Map link below to orient yourself with the area & see detailed driving dirctions below.
Short version: exit airport & turn right, then left, right, left, left
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 the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
We recommend taking the new "cuota" (toll road) that is a bypass around FCP.
The toll is only $25 pesos (~$1.30 US) but avoids the traffic, and traffic cops.
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 to Bacalar or 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 distance - 3 km - to the only paved road east to the coast.
You may encounter a military checkpoint* near this junction or the next - don't be alarmed - unless you
are smuggling kilos or guns, in which case please email us at earliest convenience & cancel your reservation.
Just tell them you are going to Xcalak for "vacacione" (vah-cah-cee-oh-nay). They may politely ask you to step out
of the car for a "revision" (inspection) and may wish to open the trunk, a suitcase, or especially the beer cooler
(ever hopeful for donations - just politely say no) but most tourists just get waived through.
*This checkpoint has not been in operation for a few years now, but don't be alarmed if a temporary operation is underway.
** Unlike the TSA in the USA there are never body searches or pat-downs - cash & valuables in your pockets are perfectly safe.
Continue east 55 km (34 miles) on the new Mahahual road. Approx. 4 kilometers before you reach
the coast is a right turn to Xcalak - the ONLY turn onto a paved road that you encounter.
Approximately 250 meters past the turn is a PEMEX gas station - open 24 hrs / 7 days a week.
We recommend you top off your tank before proceding to Xcalak.
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 the road tee's at the soccer field- go north (left)
to the end of the soccer field & continue north thru town, meander around the small playground park
and past the lighthouse, and continue over the bridge to the only "beach road" going north.
(The bridge is 1 block away from the waterfront, jog left at the Capitania del Puerto office).
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
|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.