Trip to Xcalak Yucatan

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Tom Arroll, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    I just got back a couple of days ago from a trip to the Yucatan with my family. We flew into Cancun and headed south to Xcalak on the border of Yucatan and Belize. We were plagued by an El Norte with high winds most of the trip but not as bad as the last time we were there 5 years ago. I hired a gide Victor who has a good reputation for a couple of days of fishing. The 1st day was partly cloudy with 10-20 knot wind and we fished Chetumal Bay near Punta Chelem. We did some fishing from the boat but the wind made it difficult to drift so most of the day was wading. I landed around 10 bonefish and lost about as many due to breakoffs and thrown hooks. Although the wind was a bit tough and the on and off clouds were a pain for sighting fish I had a great day. We sighted a couple of groups of permit but they were moving too fast to get a shot. I went out the next day with Victor as well. The sky was clear but the wind picked up so we decided to fish some of the back lagoons which were more protected from the wind. The 1st couple of lagoons were muddy bottomed and tough to wade with only a couple of Barracudas and no bones. We finally found a lagoon with quite a few bonefish. Although we were in a more protected area the wind was still a big pain especialy since all the fish seemed to be up wind of me. I caught half a dozen or so Bonefish but missed some nice big ones due to wind and deeper water. We finished the day by the river that runs between Xcalak and Belize and caught a small jack.
    The wind and clouds moved in the next few days so we took a side trip to Palenque in Chiapas to check out some ruins and national parks. There were more military check points than normal and tons of Federales on the way and at Palenque which we later found out was probably due to the kidnapping and assassination of a high level General who was leading an anti-drug force in Cancun. We checked out the Mayan ruins and some national parks with interesting waterfalls and mineralized river/cascades. We headed back to the Costa Maya and spent a couple more days in Mahuhual which is 45 min up the coast from Xcalak. The clouds cleared but the wind was howling at 25-40 knots so I flew my stunt kite and drank on the beach rather than try to fish. I did not fish as much as I wanted due to the wind and did not hook into my first Permit but is was still a great trip. I can’t wait to get back down again soon!


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  2. I want to fucking go there man hope you had fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Looks like Victor Castro. I fished with his son, Andres, a couple of years ago. What a great time - there is nothing like fishing the flats in my opinion!!
    I will be going again soon. Its a different kind of fishing but some of the flats down there are like fishing in an aquarium. We saw schools of bones that had dozens and dozens of fish. Did you drive from Cancun or get shuttled? We drove and although it was a long-assed drive - it was awesome. Thanks for reporting!
  4. Similar experience as the good Dr. above. My wife and I were down ther e5 years ago. Had the flats all to ourselves. Lots of schooling bones. The wind was a little rough, but many bones to hand. great little place if you are looking for something other than the mainstream.
  5. Hey Magil,

    Yes it was Victor Castro, great guide and a nice guy. I was only able to see 1/2 the fish he spotted so it was money well spent. One of his sons whos name I forgot was guiding but I am not sure it was Andreas. Despite the wind I saw tons of fish but no realy big schools, perhaps it is a seasonal or weather situation as I have heard about big schools of bones from several people.

    We rented a car to drive to Xcalak. We stopped the 1st evening north of Tulum to break the trip up a bit. On the way back we drove from Mahuhual to the Cancun airport in about 4 1/2 hours. This drive is nothing compared to driving from Xcalak to Palenque Chiapas (8-9 hours)! Wont do that trip again anytime soon.

    I can't wait to get back to the Yucatan but Dec, Jan and Feb are out for me due to the possiblity of big wind.

  6. Looks like a great place to visit and fish.
    I too love fishing the flats.
  7. I will be there in a month! Fishing with Victor for three days after a 4d meeting/party time in Cancun. Driving down from Cancun. I see the drive is about 5-6h. Is that right?

    Any flies you like that are out of the ordinary?
  8. The drive is a GOOD 6-7 hours. The roads are good - all paved - but there are some very cool, small towns you drive through which will slow you down. The narrow road to Ixcalak from the main highway seems to go on for ever. You will have fun though. Those guys are really tuned into the bones. Get a pair of flats boots of some sort - they will save your feet.

    EAT at the local places in Ixcalak
  9. The only thing I'll add about the drive- do not make the drive at night. There's a lot of lonely highway.

    I second the eat at the local places - I've had some of the best meals in my life at the Leaky Palapa. You need to make reservations at least a few days in advance, but you won't be disappointed. The bananna crepes are crazy good. Definitely hit chicken night on wednesdays at the camp ground- BBQ'd chicken, potato salad and a 40 of corona for $7.
  10. Hi,

    On the way back it took us 4 1/2 hours from Mahuhual to the Cancun airport, add 1 for the drive from Mahuhual to Xcalak and you get 5 1/2 hours. This is the best case cenario as there was no traffic and it was daylight. Like most roads in Mexico driving at night is sketchy at best as there are no end of cows, dogs and people on the pitch black roads with no sidewalk or breakdown lanes. There is some construction along the way so this can add some serious time. Flies that worked well were Crazy Charlies and Gotchas in tan/pink pearl bodies as well as Chili Peppers. I also did well with smaller tan Crab patterns (velcro body). I second the Leaky Palapa recomendation, some of the best food I have had in a long time. We also had a great time at Weds Chicken night, the camp manager's daughter temporarily adopted my 2 1/2 year old son while we ate chicken and drank rum and cokes and beers. Have a great time and say hi to Victor for me.

  11. Leaky Palapa - cool place - I hope it survived the last hurricane.
    The place across the street and towards town is money if it's still there.
  12. thanks guys. We drive down Saturday (have the whole day). Fish Su, M,Tu and drive back early Wed. My flight is around 2:30p so we will leave Xcaclak early, around 5am

    Taking 6,7,8,10wts. Hope to be set for flies. Did you guys do any tarpon fishing? What flies did you use in teh lagoons?
  13. One guy who was staying where I was caught a really nice tarpon - probably 50 #. We didn't see any - but I think it's a deal where you actually go looking for them specifically - instead of the bones, permit, etc. We had shots at permit and some barracuda that looked about 4 feet long. Very cool.
    I don't know what fly the tarpon ate!
    Let us know how you do please!
  14. Hi,

    I did not fish Tarpon this trip but did a bit when I was down 4+ years ago. I fished the lagoon just outside of town, saw fish feeding but did not hook up. This time of year it will be mostly baby Tarpon. There are many lagoons to fish aroung Xcalak, Mahuhual and further north. Check out google earth and you can see them. My guide Victor said that the best tarpon fishing is actualy off shore but he said that Fishing is not allowed. I am not sure if where he meant was Chinchuro Banks but he did say it is a major diving area. If fishing lagoons I imagine the standard hackled tarpon flies like Cockroaches and other colors black, yellow, red ect would suffice.

  15. thanks.

    I will post a report.
  16. Had a good trip. Windy as all hell! No permit. Fair number of bones. A few that pushed 3.5lbs, but nothing big.

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