All these years and I still struggle with getting customers a mile and half, from the cruise ship port, to my restaurant’s downtown location. How hard can it be?? We have
cheap taxis and transport shuttles, so really, how hard can it possibly be? Well, in Mahahual Mexico, even that can be difficult. So much so, I’ve decided to write a detailed
blog on that process and hopefully, help cruise visitors spend less time being confused, and led all over hell and a half-acre in the process, and more time at their downtown beach destination.
First off, there are only three ways you can get into town; walk, taxi or use a port operated shuttle. The walk is for the most part an enjoyable one, and can be done in about 45
minutes. I say for the most part, because there is a 200 yard stretch that you have to walk along a boring shoulder of the road, but the rest is actually a nice walk and there is
a blog I did several years ago that talks in detail about that if you click here. You can’t walk into town, or back, along the beach. There is no entry into the port from the beach, so don’t try. The port is a federal point of entry and it must have controlled entry only. That can only be done from the one main exit on the opposite side of the port as the ocean.
The taxis are one way to get from the port and into the town. They are fast, cheap ($2 US per person) and safe. One of the problems with using taxis is they are not
allowed to pick up passengers at the port. To use a taxi to get into town, tourist must exit the port and walk along a city sidewalk about 100 yards to an official taxi stand.
The other problem is they tell our guests lies to try to get you to allow them to take you to a place that pays them. They always ask if you have a reservation, and if you do not, they will say you can’t get in, but guess what? They know another great place. We leave space for walk-ups, so never believe a taxi driver.
From the Gate Toward Taxi Stand From Taxis Stand Back to Port
The port shuttles are convenient and originate from inside the port. They take more time, but the open air ride is nice, and you see Nuevo Mahahual, the residential/commercial part of town, just outside the port on the way. It makes a few stops, depends on the driver how many it seems, but just stay on until you see the basketball dome on the opposite side of the road as the ocean. See the photo below. That dome is on Calle Sierra and is the street you walk on to the ocean and malecon walk. Turn left on the malecon and we are the second business on the beach. A taxi should also drop you at this same intersection, so look for this same landmarks when you get out of the taxi.
For The Tropicante, Look For The Orange Building Across From The Soccer Field and The Basketball Dome In The Back Of The Photo Above. The Shuttle Will Drop You Somewhere Close???
Take The Shuttle Trams and Follow The Map
Always note the number of the transport, taxi or tram, and report any bad behavior to the port upon your return. This is especially true if you are harassed by pushy “jaladores”, the land sharks that jump on you with their menus and slick lines before your foot hits the pavement from the transport. They are harmless but very annoying. A smile and a simple “no gracias” as you keep walking is all it usually takes to get rid of them. Also, be aware,the first stop is mainly port owned businesses, and they tell all that you must get off there to access the beach, which is of course not true. If you ask for my place, they will tell you everything from we have been closed or you need a reservation to get in, to I was kicked out of the country for beating up Santa Claus and kicking puppies. Many even tell people I’m full, but own their place too, so come in and all is the same. Trust me, I don’t own another place and not all beach clubs are the same! Read more about paid jaladores here.
Finding us is easy, but sometimes the locals make it hard. Take the taxis from outside if the trams are backed up and just be aware, they might try to drop you elsewhere or tell you who knows what. Don’t worry, just laugh and tell them to take you to the Tropicante and they will. If you tram, just ignore the jaladors and stay on until you see the basketball dome. Don’t worry, the town is small, so you’ll find us in 5 minutes no matter where you get dropped.