A side trip from Isla to Tankah Bay and Puerto Morales May 2004

My friend Denise who I had met two years earlier on Isla Mujeres and I decided that during this May trip to Isla we would go to the mainland for a few nights. I ordered a Can-Do Map and began researching where we would go. Denise and I spent a week on Isla then took our suitcases to a friend’s apartment to store for the time we were off island. Since we were only going to spend four nights somewhere else we just needed backpacks. We took the ferry to Puerto Juarez and then a taxi to the bus station. I had already looked at the bus schedule on line so we knew about when we needed to be there. I think our tickets on the first class bus cost somewhere around $6.00. We took the bus to Tulum and then got a taxi to go to Tankah Bay. There were three hotels that we wanted to check out. The first one had no AC and was on the ground floor making it unsafe to leave a window open to get air at night. The second hotel was very nice but more than we wanted to pay and one of us would have had to sleep on a sofa bed. So we went to the third hotel, Casa Cenote. It had a restaurant, AC and was right on the beach. The hotel owner was not there and the man who was watching the place could not bargain for the price of the room. We ended paying the requested rate and made sure we got one of the few rooms that had AC. The price of a room included a full breakfast. The restaurant had a fairly simple menu of burgers, chicken, fish, beer, and margaritas. On Sundays they serve an all you can eat Texas barbecue for $12. I noticed on a website that there is now a pool on the property. A pool would have been nice since there was limestone making it difficult to walk in or out of the water. There is supposed to great snorkeling in the area but the water was pretty murky from a few days of rain and there was a very strong current so we didn’t try to snorkel more than once.

Casa Cenote was a nice, quiet get away for two nights. The day we were leaving to head back north to find another place to stay the man watching the hotel was driving to Xpu-Ha to try to find a woman he met at Casa Cenote’s bar. He only had her first name and that she lived in Xpu-Ha. We asked him if we could hitch a ride to check out a couple of hotels there. The first one was very rundown and just didn’t have a good feel about it. The second hotel was very high priced for the few amenities it had. Next the man had to go to Akumal for something so we got a ride that far with him. We then got a taxi to go to Puerto Morales. The first hotel that we wanted to check out Hotel Casita del Mar was fine for a two night stay. It had internet access; breakfast included in the room rate and was right on the beach. The beach was nice but there was a lot of sea grass in the water. The first night we walked into el centro and had dinner at a Chinese restaurant. It was very good and was recommended by Perry of Perry and Laura (aka MapChick). On our walk back to the hotel we decided that we wanted to only stay one night in Puerto Morales and wanted to go home to Isla Mujeres the next day. The next morning we packed and got a taxi that we had planned on taking just to the highway to catch the bus. I decided I was treating and we took the taxi all the way back to the ferry. At the ferry dock I saw Nibardo the owner of Maria Leticia where we were staying on Isla. I hugged him and told him we missed him and were coming back a day earlier than planned. He said no problem that our rooms were waiting for us. We had another full week on Isla to wrap up our vacation and enjoyed every minute of it.

The beach in back of Casita del Mar. This hotel was damaged very badly from Hurricane Wilma and has not re-opened.

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