Calica, Mexico

David Daugherty
The second port of call is Calica, which is Mexican for gravel pit. Now I will credit the cruise director for warning us that Calica was nothing to look at. Basically they dug out a cruise ship pier in the rocks and they are running some sort of industrial gravel / sand operation on the off days. The cruise ship really promotes the Tulum / Xel Ha Mayan ruins tour. We heard from a few people that went on the tour and really enjoyed it. Our hope was to do more snorkeling. We toyed with the idea of signing up for the excursion but it was cancelled again (a lot of snorkelers went home with seeing anything). We got a cab ($20 round trip pre paid) and asked to be dropped off at the beach in Playa del Carmen. The driver dropped us off in the middle of Avenue 5 (the main strip) and pointed to the beach. We were north of the ferry terminal, later we found out that Senor Frog’s was just south of the ferry terminal and may have been a better destination. After walking the beach for a while we gave in to a waiter at Hotel Colibri who offered us lounge chairs under a palapas and he basically took care of us for four hours. We had a nice lunch and several drinks and felt quite at home. There are beach clubs / hotels all up and down this strip of beach and you can probably get good service at many of them but our experience was so positive I wanted to get the name out there. We spent an hour shopping before returning to the boat. We really felt like we were in Mexico in Playa del Carmen. The guys out front of the stores were pushy, one cashier tried to rip of my wife making change, they want to give you pesos instead of dollars and you just don’t feel like you know what any of the products are worth. After looking a little while we felt like we were just seeing the same things over and over. If you’ve read this far here is where you get rewarded. Someone we met on the boat had lived in the area before and we met up with him on the way home. He spent the day at a marina / resort area, Puerto Aventuras and said the snorkeling a nd beach activities were awesome. If we ever go to this part of the coast again we will go there instead. I will say there seemed to be a lot of dive activity from the beaches at Playa del Carmen and there were snorkeling tours be we didn’t see one boat go out in 4 hours.

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