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  • Getting to Xcalak and Casa Paraiso
    Fly into Cancun (CUN), rent a car and drive south for 5 hrs to Xcalak or fly fromMexico City to Chetumal (CTM) and rent a car for a 2.5hr drive north/east to Casa Paraiso. It is also possible to take the ADO bus to Mahahual from CUN and Chetumal and take the Caribe bus or taxi to Xcalak. If you're driving south, there is a Cuota (bypass) around Felipe Carrillo Puerto that is around 30 pesos. We highly recommend you take it, it will save you time. Just south of the town of Limones, take the road to the east towards Mahahual. If you are driving north from Chetumal and Bacalar take the road to the east to Mahahual. You can get gas at the Pemex just passed the turn to Xcalak going towards Mahahual. Just before the turn to Xcalak at Km 50.8, there is a tope. It is not marked very well and it is a bad one. Come to a complete stop to cross. Just past the tope, turn right to Xcalak or go a little further for the Penex gas station. There may be a military check point at any point along the way. Just be courteous and they will let you pass. If they want to check the car. Turn off the motor and get out. They might ask you to open the trunk. Follow the road to Xcalak for 60 km to the end. Lots of potholes and blind turns. Drive with caution and not after dark. Turn left at T to drive into Xcalak. The paved road ends just outside the southern end of town. Turn left at the end of the paved road then right around the soccer field to the first intersection. That is main street, continue through the intersection to the beach road and go left. Follow the beach road past the Pier and light house. The Marine Base will be on your left. Turn left at the white building, (that is the port captain's office Capitania de Puerto). There is a pole on the left of the road with a Casa Paraiso sign. Turn left then right to stay on the north Beach road. You will cross over a bridge, keep going and Casa Paraiso/Reef House is conveniently located approximately 1.2 miles (2.1 km) north of Xcalak from the North Beach Road bridge.
  • Money
    You will need cash for almost everything in Xcalak (except a couple restaurants), and you cannot get cash in Xcalak as there are no banks or ATM’s. There are 2 ATM’s in Mahahual 45 mins away. One is at the Costa Maya Hotel near the Cruise Ship port. To be safe, you should plan on getting all the pesos you expect to use on your way down from Cancun or Merida if you’re coming from the north, or Chetumal or Bacalar if you’re coming from the south or west. It is best to get Pesos at your bank before arrival in Mexico. If you prefer you may use your debit card for the ATM at the banks or grocery stores like Chedraui (I recommend the one in Tulum, easy exit and entrance off of 307). It is always best to use Pesos to buy anything in Mexico because vendors will give you a lower conversion rate…. sometimes 1 to 2 points less than the daily rate if you don't.
  • Credit Card
    You probably won’t find many places south of Tulum where you can use a credit card. A couple local restaurants will take credit cards if their CC machines are working. If you would like to pay your reservation in full before arrival, please contact us and we can make arrangements though PayPal. No refunds after arrival. We will provide a credit for future stay, if neccessary.
  • Dining
    The closest restaurant is just a stroll up or down the beach road. For delicious, authentic local home cooking, have breakfast, lunch or dinner at Captain Caribe & Silvia's, XTC dive center has steak, pork, chicken and burgers. Casa de Coco's is know for it's Friday night pizza. Tiki Teal (Saturday night only) and the Sun Rise restaurant (Sol & Arena) are our newest additions to our area. Shop for grocery's on your way to Casa Paraiso, and prepare meals in your own kitchenette. You can add to your supply of provisions by shopping at the local little stores and from the fruit and veggie trucks that come right to our door twice a week. You can enjoy making your own meals with fresh local ingredients. You won’t get a better view while you prepare and dine, than the one from your room!
  • What to bring
    Although you can buy some things in the stores in Xcalak, you should not make the assumption that you will be able to buy some specific thing. Bring a hat, sunscreen (reef friendly if possible) and INSECT REPELENT! We do have a mosquito fogger and we have mosquito coils in all the rooms. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask, we do what we can. Remember we are located where the jungle meets the ocean! You should also plan to bring with you anything you're inclined to use in the way of pharmaceuticals, like aspirin, cold remedies, antihistamine, upset stomach medicine, etc. There is a medical clinic in Mahahual where they treat emergencies and you can get COVID tested. Remember that you will need cash for virtually everything you may want to do in Xcalak, and that you can’t get any here.
  • What not to bring
    Our solar powered electrical system is more than adequate to provide lights and keep the refrigerators running 24 hours a day. However, the use of appliances whose purpose is to produce heat use large amounts of energy, like hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons, clothes irons, electric coffeepots and toasters can cause the lights to go out or the refrigerators and ceiling fans to stop working during the night. We would need to crank the generator to get back online. We do have a microwave that we will be glad to let you use.
  • Shopping
    There are a few very small stores in Xcalak. They’re open mainly in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. Their stock is limited. Trucks selling produce and other food items come right to our driveway at least once a week. The quality of their merchandise is generally very good. It is best to shop at the Chedraui in Tulum. They take USD’s but they need to be unmolested and look brand new. They give change in Pesos and exchange at the daily conversion rate. Some of our guests bring a cooler as a piece of luggage and put their snorkeling gear, miscellaneous items, etc. in it. When you get your rental car, dump the stuff out, buy your food at Chedraui or Walmart with a bag of ice, and everything stays cold for the rest of the trip like water and other drinks. Then, pack the cooler when you leave for the airport.
  • Fishing Guides and Snorkeling and Sightseeing tours
    If you want to fish with a guide, you will need to reserve a guide well in advance. It is common to catch bonefish right in front of Casa Paraiso/Reef House, and a few people have even caught permit. But, the most productive fishing will be done with a guide from a boat. They will pick you up at the Casa Paraiso dock. At busy times of year, the guides all will have been booked months in advanced and won’t likely be available. If you need assistance with fishing, diving, snorkeling or sightseeing tours, please let us know and we will be glad to help with the reservations.
  • Fishing Licenses & Park Access Bracelets
    Fishing licenses are legally needed. However, you cannot buy the license here. Unless you have a Mexican bank account, so you need to get it before you come. For info on acquiring a license, just email us or search online. Park Access bracelets are available for a per day fee and are needed anytime you are kayaking, fishing, diving or snorkeling within the park.
  • Laundry
    The town of Xcalak has running water on a limited basis. There was a laundromat but it is now closed. Casa Paraiso provides purified water for drinking. We collect rain water for everything else. If there isn't enough rain, we supplement our supply with delivered water. If we are not wasteful, we have enough water for our guests' personal use. We provide clean sheets and towels, but we do not have enough water to have guests to do their personal laundry. You can wear very casual clothing every place in Xcalak, at any time. So you probably won't need to bring many clothes. While you can certainly wash out a thing or two in the sink or the shower, you should probably bring all the clean clothes you expect to need with you. Note: If you are staying with us for 10 days or more. We will be glad to do a load for a minimal fee and a tip for the housekeeper to wash, dry, and fold your laundry.
  • Internet Access
    Casa Paraiso has wireless internet access for our guests. There are times when we have power outages due to cloudy days which could cause internet connectivity issues. Xcalak does not have cell service. The only telephone service we have is through VOIP. We use Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger, although there are others. You can connect to a Belize cell tower standing on the top deck of the hotel and in parts of Xcalak. But, it is expensive if your cell service doesn’t include Belize in your calling plan.
  • Housekeeping
    Our guests sometimes ask us what should they tip (propina). Our response is basically this: If you are happy with the cleanliness, straightening, and organization of your room, the beach and property, 5% of your daily rate per day is the recommended tip. We divide the total upon our 3-4 staff members. If you want to give more to help some of the friendliest, happiest, hard-working people in the world, be as generous as your heart speaks to you.
  • Off Grid information
    The Costa Maya region has a very fragile ecosystem. Our lifestyle at Casa Paraiso is a bit different from yours, as we live “off grid”, so it is very important that we all conserve water and electricity. We also live in the jungle that happens to boarder the beautiful Caribbean Sea, and the Mesoamerican reef system. Xcalak is the gateway to the Banco Chinchorro, a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1996. We have airy efficiencies where constant sea breezes from the Caribbean Sea keeps things cool and pleasant without the closed windows of AC. Ceiling fans are there if needed, especially when the trade winds shift directions to a "no wind kind of day". This will also increase the mosquito population, humidity and on overcast days we may need to run the generator to prevent blackouts. We have made sure you have mosquito coils, extra fans, and flashlights available. We apologize in advance, but along with living in harmony with the jungle & the sea comes occasional issues from the environment.
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