Frequently Asked Questions
You will need cash for everything in Xcalak, and you cannot get any cash here as there is no bank and no cash machine. International transactions have become very difficult. People have been reporting that they were not able to get any cash in Mahahual. To be safe, you should plan on getting all the cash you expect to need before you leave Playa del Carmen if you’re coming from the north, or Chetumal if you’re coming from the south or west. Do not bother with Travelers Checks. Very few places in Xcalak accept them.
You probably won’t find many places south of Tulum where you can use a credit card. In places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, credit cards are readily accepted. However, you might want to contact your credit card carrier before you come and alert them the card may be used for transactions in Mexico. However, you will not be able to use a credit card or debit card in Xcalak.
The closest restaurant is just a short stroll down the beach. For delicious, authentic local home cooking, have lunch or dinner at Toby's Brisas del Mar in the Xcalak pueblo. Silvia's Loncheria, another home-based restaurant, is a unique local experience. If you’re lucky enough to be here when the Leaky Palapa is open (reservations almost always necessary), you may well enjoy one of the best meals you’ve ever had. Many of our returning guests plan their trips to Xcalak based on when The Leaky Palapa will be open. And remember, at Casa Paraiso you have your own kitchen in your room. You can always shop at the local stores and from the trucks that come right to our door and enjoy making your own meals with fresh local ingredients. You won’t get a better view while you eat 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 and insect repellent.
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 town where they treat emergencies.
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. But, appliances whose purpose is to produce heat use large amounts of energy, like hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons, electric rollers, clothes irons, electric coffeepots and toasters. The energy they require can cause the lights to go out or the refrigerators to stop working.
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 door at least twice a week. The quality of their merchandise is generally excellent. If you’re staying long enough, you can put in special orders and they’ll bring what you’ve requested on their next trip.
Other places to shop are outside Xcalak and can be accessed on the trip down or a short drive outside the town.
If you want a fishing guide, you need to reserve a guide in advance.
Some people have a great time walking the flats by themselves. It is common to catch bonefish right in front of Casa Paraiso, and a few people have even caught permit.
But, the most productive fishing will be done with a guide from a boat. At busy times of year, the guides all will have been booked and won’t likely be available.
We are glad to reserve guides for our guests. Please contact us to assist you in this process.
Fishing licenses are legally needed. However, you cannot buy the license here. Unless you have a Mexican bank account, you have to get it before you come.
Click here for an application or contact information. It is advisable to apply as far in advance as possible, to be sure of receiving your license when you need it.
The town of Xcalak does not have running water. There aren't any laundromats, and there isn't anyone who provides laundry service.
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 well 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 invite guests to do their personal laundry.
Most vacationers in Xcalak wear bathing suits most of the time and generate very little dirty 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.
Casa Paraiso has wireless Internet access for guests who have their own computers with them. Xcalak does not have any telephone service. The only telephone service we have is through VOIP. We use Skype, although there are others.
If you think you will need to make telephone calls while you are here, you might want to download Skype before you come. You will only be able to get Internet service if you have WiFi capability. If you are dependent on your telephone provider for Internet, it will not work here.
Casa Paraiso: 2015