Adventure and kiting in the Yucatan, Mexico.
With its miles and miles of perfect beach and almost guaranteed afternoon wind blowing along the coast, the Yucatan offers the perfect base for a kiting holiday with a difference. Spend your mornings exploring fantastic Mayan ruins or cave diving in amazing cenotes, then in the afternoon head to the beach and kite for hours in the warm warm water of the Gulf whilst the sun sets beautifully on the horizon.
Kiting is a growing phenomenon in this part of the world and there are two distinct areas where its growth is strongest.
Firstly there is the well known Caribbean coast from Cancun to Tulum. This area is very commercialised where large hotel chains and well known eateries abound. Here there are many kite surfing schools and accommodation ranging from around $50USD per night upwards. My advice is to avoid the choas and craziness of Cancun and Playa del Carmen and head to the laid back, bare foot vibe of |Tulum. Here you will find beach fronted cabana style accomodation, cool bars with swings and delicious places to scoff fish tacos, post kiting.
On this coast the waves can be big and the costs are higher than the more laid back Gulf Coast. Its worth spending at least a couple of days here. This coast is amazingly beautiful and the colour of the water is the most perfect turquoise. Diving on this coast is exceptional, with clear water and excellent reefs. For the ultimate challenge, experienced divers can try cave diving in the cenotes. I have snorkelled the cenotes with a small group and a great guide, Noay, I can say it was one of the most incredible things I have experienced in Mexico. Snorkeling through stalactites and stalagmites with the sun filtering through the mangroves aboves was awesome. On this coast I stayed at Zamas Hotel in Tulum at $100 per night for a cabana it was great value as 3 people can share.
Car hire is inexpensive in the Yucatan and I would recommend a car to fully enjoy the trip. The roads are well maintained (as a rule) and safe. Fuel is cheap, very cheap!
If you dont want to drive, buses in Mexico are excellent, very cheap and can be incredibly luxurious, try the ADO Platino for a first class journey.
Leaving behind the Caribbean Coast travel across the peninsular to the Gulf Coast. Here life is very much more laid back. Kiting on this coast is more spontaneous, less commercialised and unstructured. The waves are smaller, the wind is guaranteed and the water is bath warm. Local kiters finish work in the city of Merida and head to the beach for hours of kiting before the sun sets around 7.30pm.
The wind picks up around 1pm here, blowing typically, east to west across the water. The waves pick up but are not as large or fierce as the Caribbean coast. Conditions are pretty much perfect for most of the year. Just be aware that in the winter months the area can be subject to Nortes (strong north winds), that bring rain and gale force wind for a day or two. During July and August the afternoon winds are less strong and can disappear. On this coast you will get Dolphins swimming past, Flamingos flying overhead and if you are lucky, Turtles, they come to this coast to lay their eggs in June.
Non kiting activities on this coast are excellent. Mayan ruins and Haciendas are everywhere. Merida, the 3rd largest city in Mexico, is just half and hour from the coast. Here you will find great bars, live music, incredible architecture all set in the safest city in all of Mexico.
Casa Rosa, set directly on the beach and run by a British couple is the perfect place to stay on this coast. Casa Rosa has 3 fully equipped apartments, a small pool and a cool courtyard garden ideal for beer and BBQS after kiting. The best thing about staying here is its location, right on the beach! You can literally walk from your apartment into the water and surf off! There is a great restaurant ,wth a 2 minute walk which is fast gaining a reputation as THE kiting hang out as you can surf in and out of the bar, the food is great and cheap and the beer is ice cold! La Playa Restaurant serves delicious seafood and the Casa Rosa Special is amazing!!! Casa Rosa apartments are a bargain at just $250USD per week they can sleep up to 4. The owners welcome large groups and would offer a good rate for all three apartments making this a really great base for a group holiday.
Flights from UK start from as little as £250rtn using charter flights such as Thomson or Thomas Cook.
The Yucatan is a friendly, sunny, wonderful place to visit and the kiting is fantastic, if you are planing a visit check out the links below.
- Beachfronted accommodation run by Brits Tony and Karen. Gulf coast, close to Progreso.
- wonderful beachfronted cabanas on the Caribbean coast at Tulum