Stay and Discover the Local Charm of Chemuyil and Xcacel

You now have the opportunity to stay right across the street from Hidden Beach of Xcacel, which was described in a previous Sac-Be article as "a cherished secret among us locals."Chan Chemuyil is a place where you can enjoy the quiet serenity of nature at itsfinest, but with local flavor and a true cultural Mexican feel. If you have decided that you would like to stay near all the amenities of the Riviera Maya at an affordable price, then you should look no further than Chan Chemuyil. Located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Chan Chemuyil provides adventure seekers close proximity to all of the following: snorkeling or scuba diving at Akumal (5 miles), Xel-Ha Natural Wonder Park (1.5 miles), the Mayan ruins and pueblo at Tulum (10 miles) and possibly soon the Gran Bahia Principe Golf Course (1 mile).

The community consists of single family homes nestled jungle-side and is a comfortable walk to Xcacel beach. There is a carved out beach path with a locked access gate to accommodate residents and guests traversing the private trail. Situated just beyond our little international community is the local town of Chemuyil, The Jungle Place and cenote Xunaan-Ha. Chemuyil means Heart of Tree and if you stay and explore this small town you will quickly realize it lives up to its namesake. Most of the population is comprised of employees of the Bahia Principe resort or Xel-Ha eco-park and they keep this economy going each and every day. It is a working class community where residents and business owners are friendly and recognize your face if you simply visit more than once.

If there had to be just one reason to stay in Chan Chemuyil, then it is idyllic Xcacel beach. Xcacel (pronounced ish-ka-cel) is a crescent shaped strand of pure white sand with aqua seas gently lapping the shoreline. Xcacel is the tropical paradise that most travelers only dream of when planning to find the perfect beach. Imagine on any given day, you might be the only person on the entire beach! Xcacel has received top honors by several publications as a premier beach in Mexico. As stated perfectly by Sac-Be, "Xcacel is one of the few beaches left that remains deliciously undeveloped!" Xcacel is particularly special because it is a marine turtle sanctuary where sea turtles come to hatch on the beach each year during nesting season. The Akumal CEA offers turtle walks where you can witness the nesting and hatching process firsthand from May through November. br>
When it comes to dining in Chemuyil, visitors are in for a treat! Pizzeria Leo's is an awesome local restaurant tucked into the city center of Chemuyil on Avenue Puma. The ingredients are fresh and the crust resembles pastry dough. We strongly recommend the "Pizzeria Leo's," which is topped with ham, pepperoni, spinach and peppers. Pizzeria Leo's is open each evening and they also offer delivery. Next door you will find another terrific dining option, Restaurant La Palapa. Valentin, the owner, makes a mean Don Julio 1800 blanco concoction and he just might win a contest for his margaritas someday! La Palapa makes a great lunch stop on the way to Xcacel Beach or The Jungle Place. We suggest trying the grouper or arrachera tacos. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As for attractions, you can delight in the peace of the community or get your adventure on! Xel-Ha is an eco-park that offers a vast array of water activities and it is located 1 mile south on the east side of 307. Visitors will have a blast snorkeling on the lazy river, jumping off the cliff of courage and challenging themselves on the rope lines. Take the trolley or mountain bikes to the top of the river and float through the mangrove before reaching the scenic bluffs where you can test your bravado. You will also see manatees, parrots, iguanas and Mayan ruins around the park. It currently costs $75 per person to enter the park and the price includes all you can eat and drink for the day, snorkel equipment and access to most activities. For an extra fee, Xel-Ha also offers snuba and a dolphin-swim program where patrons can dance and play with the friendly marine mammals.

The Jungle Place Monkey Preserve, Kuxi K in Mayan, is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your trip - if not the best thing you do! Heidi and Joel, who are both owners and caretakers, greet their guests and then sit together with you outside the monkey quarters in order for the spider monkeys to become acquainted with your voice and presence before your encounter. Once you are inside their treehouse, you can feed your new monkey friends raisins and they hop all over you, sit on your lap and shoulders, and one might even give you a new hairstyle! They love being around people since they are raised by humans. The resident spider monkeys are rescued and acquired in various ways and it costs about $2500 a month in fruit to feed these primates. Currently there are 13 spider monkeys that call the preserve home, including Luna, Maya, Michelle, Lady, Rebecca, Bojangles and Chuck, and the government of Mexico is not doing a whole lot to support the efforts of the preserve at this point. The Jungle Place also hosts university professors, students and primatologists who visit and conduct research to promote awareness and study behaviors. They are now able to distinguish many sounds the monkeys use to convey their needs and emotions. For example, when the monkeys feel comfortable with you, they purr loudly – similar to cats. The entrance fee is $30 per person and goes toward maintaining the habitat and feeding the monkeys. This donation is important to keeping their program going in the future. It is money well spent for such a personal, hands-on interaction. Heidi also gladly takes a ton of photos for you to capture this experience of a lifetime. The kids will talk about this attraction for years to come!

Chan Chemuyil> by Xcacel Beach is a charming place for a respite, almost too good to be true. Enjoy the privacy these economically priced single family casa rentals afford you. Located in the heart of the Riviera Maya near attractions and adventures, Chan Chemuyil is the perfect oasis for an authentic experience full of local flavor. Come discover Chemuyil!