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HCM

Calica reef beach?

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We are going to Calica in about a week and a half on the Imagination. Heard you can go to calica reef beach on your own by taxi. Is there food and restrooms available? Is the snorkling good there? And is it a nice beach area as well? Any info. would be great. Trying to decide between this or going to a beach past the clubs in front of Shangri La Caribe hotel, heard that was nice too. Never been and want a nice beach experience and some snorkling for the men. TY

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My family of 5 was on the Inspiration in May, and we went on our own to the beach. When you get off at Calica you ask to go to Paamul. It is a short ride south of Calica. It was $10 by taxi. We had to take 2 taxis, because they have a limit of 4. It is a small RV/condo resort and it has a bar/restaurant, bathrooms, showers and a pool. There is a dive shop to rent snorkel equipment for $5 ( the owner looks like Hemingway!!). The beach is small but nice and the reef is a short way out. There were plenty of fish (bring some bread for feeding). It turns out this is the place that Carnival goes to for their beach break....and charges $35. We were there at least an hour before them and stayed after they left for a while longer.

When you are getting ready to leave ask the waiter/bartender to get you a cab, and in 10 minutes or so they come to get you. Instead of going back to the ship( like Carnivals trip), we went to Playa ($14 per cab), and shopped and hung out. Cabs back to the ship were plentiful ( $10 cab,$20 for a van for 5 or more) and had no problem getting back by 6pm.

I hope you have a good time!!!

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We'll be taking the same cruise next Spring. We were thinking of going to the beach at Xpu-Ha. We heard it's nice there too.

 

If you could, would you please post the Capers and Excursion info? Have a great trip!

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We made advance plans by email with the owner, letting know that we were arriving on the cruise ship. Here was my message to him:

 

We will be arriving on a cruise in April on the Carnival and heard that the beach at Paamul would be a good spot for our family to affordably snorkel. Do I understand correctly that you are located at that beach and we can rent snorkel gear from you? (We would rather not do the ship excursion as we'd rather not be rushed with the crowd.) Any advice would be great.

 

Here was his response to me:

 

Yes, we re the only dive center at Paamul beach an wed do rent snorkeling equipment. The only advice I would offer is to get off your ship ASAP, find a taxi and tell the driver you want to go to Paamul.

 

So, we followed his advice. When we arrived 45 minutes ahead of the cruise ship bus, the owner (the guy who wrote that email to me) said, "Oh, the cruise ship is in today and I don't have any equipment to rent you. You will have to wait 2-3 hours until they are all gone." When I referenced the email, he basically blew me off and said, "well, that might be what I told you, but I can't help you." It was actually obvious that he really doesn't like serving the cruise ship customers or the tour operator. We stayed there at the beach for almost 3 hours until the cruise ship customers (2 bus loads) came and left. Then he finally rented us equipment. And, now that I'm home, I realize he overcharged us for the equipment (web site says $6, he charged us $10)

 

So...this is a BEAUTIFUL beach. A decent, small, easy to swim to reef. But, either take your own gear, or go through the shore excursion company.

 

We made the most of it, but he totally tried my patience.

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The closest beach is probably at Xcaret which is very close, Paamul is also nice, several little beach restaurants with fresh seafood

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