El Cuyo was a last stop on our Mexico trip. After Riviera Maya and exploring the Yucatan we wanted a remote quiet place to do almost nothing. A small fishermen village at the end of the road seemed just the right kind of place. The same evening we arrived, we realised just how quiet and remote El Cuyo was. Kids were playing on the main square and policemen were just casually sitting in front of their station. We were thinking, what could they possible have to do police here?
The morning greeted us with what we wished for – palm trees, beach and sun. We stayed at Beachfront Robinson Crusoes Casa Maya Lodge right by the ocean. The water is not as blue as in the Riviera Maya side, this is after all the Gulf of Mexico and there is no reef to protect the beach. So don’t expect crystal turquoise water. It’s a great spot to kite surf and fish though. Isla Holbox is not that far away and also Rio Lagartos, famous for its pink water and flamingos. We, on the other hand, just wanted to rest, do our long overdue blogging and enjoy the last days in Mexico.
The first day we were forced to abandon any attempts of being productive as there was no electricity. We walked along our palm tree sand road to ‘town’ to find coffee, electricity and food. We only managed to find food. Down the main road we spotted a sign pointing to a restaurant. When we finally found got there it didn’t look very appealing – it was empty, quiet and slightly shabby. I had to find the owners in the house at the back and they gave us a verbal menu. Not expecting much – but forced by hunger – we told them to bring whatever. Man were we surprised – food was mouthwatering! First came the fried fish with lime, onions and tortillas, and after that fresh prawn ceviche. It was fresh and absolutely delicious. For the next few days restaurant Mundo Marino became our local lunch spot.
The village is veeeery mellow and we counted in total ten tourists including us. All the houses here (and in general around Yucatan) are quite colourful with altars and hammocks hanging around. With the exception of some litter and electricity cables spoiling the sky, El Cuyo is a lovely place. The biggest attraction is the lagoon and the estuary with flamingos on entering the town.
It gets dark quite early this time of the year (early November) so by 18h it feels like it’s 22h. Usually for dinner we would go to a typical luncheria for some basic and cheap Mexican food. For example, a dinner of paunchos and caldo de pollo (chicken & lime soup) cost 70 pesos = 4 USD.
Please note there is no gas stations or ATMs here. We filled the gas tank and drew money in Tizimín before arriving to EC and we struggled to spend our pesos. Other places we travelled to such as Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun or Merida were all way pricier than El Cuyo. A few interesting things to point out:
a) Coffee was just impossible to come by in El Cuyo a so we concluded it is a caffeine-free town.
b) We haven’t seen anyone smoking cigarettes from the locals in EC, and on the rest of our Mexico trip we maybe saw a few only. Not that we smoke.
c) It’s very curious that in such an abundance of coconuts Mexicans don’t seem to use them in their cuisine, like for example in Tanzania or Thailand. Even to buy coconuts to drink seemed a mission. But, within a day in El Cuyo Thane became a pro in picking and chopping coconuts so we had our fresh supply.
d) Most of the shops and restaurants in EC close early so one goes to bed very early (by 21h).
Sleeping early means waking up early too just in time to get fresh fruit from the Mayan women in town. They come around 7am and sell bit of veggies and fruit literally ‘under the shark’ – there is a plastic shark mascot on one of the houses on the Main Street in El Cuyo.
When we realised it was time to go back to cold Europe, we started thinking how to miss our flight, rent or buy one little house here in EC ( many houses for sale) and open a coffee and bakery shop because all these days we haven’t had any. So, if you ever feel like having a holiday from your holiday, whilst being on holiday, El Cuyo is the place to go to.
Adios Mexico, you were great to us!