Quintana Roo – Mahahual

I’m flying to Chicago for a visit before Christmas, leaving the Land Cruiser parked in Cancun for 10 days. I have seen a couple of mentions that Mexico has just recently linked their customs info with their immigration system and that it could be a problem leaving the country, even temporarily, with a vehicle imported under my passport number. Since Quintana Roo is a vehicle free state like Baja (no temporary import permit required) I decide to stop by the Mexico-Belize border outside Chetumal and cancel the TIP before heading up the peninsula to Cancun. It takes a minute to convince the lady at the immigration booth that I don’t actually want to leave Mexico, just go past her booth to the banjercito to cancel the permit then turn back into Mexico. No problem cancelling the permit, but they are very thorough. The banjercito lady comes out and takes several pictures of the Land Cruiser, 2 different pictures of VINs, picture and scan of the windshield sticker, then pulls off the sticker. I should get my $300 deposit refunded to my credit card in a few days. Then back through customs for a brief search. Even though I have only gone about 100 yards past the customs station they still want to check everything.

A couple hours north of Chetumal is the beach town of Mahahual. It used to be just a little fishing village until they put in a cruise ship port north of town, so now it’s more developed and full of tourists on ship days. I arrived on a Sunday with no ships so it was pretty quiet. There is a huge sidewalk running the length of the beach with hotels, bars, restaurants and shops on one side, beach on the other.


It’s a little hot but not bad with the beach, plenty of shade from palm trees and palapas. The water is perfect for swimming, clear and warm with lots of coral reefs right offshore. I jump in with my WalMart snorkel gear and see tons of fish, coral, and a decent sized octopus.


I stay at the Blue Kay Cabana resort. It is mostly little cabanas as the name would suggest, but they have a small camping area in the center. It’s right on the beach so access to the beach chairs, palapas, etc is included (each hotel or restaurant seems to own its little stretch of the beach.)



Next day around 10:30 taxis start pulling up and dropping off cruise ship tourists for the day. It’s a little crowded around lunch time but they all clear out by 3 or 4.


I had intended to make my way up to Cancun over 5 days but it’s so relaxing here on the beach I end up staying in Mahahual for 5 days.




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