I’ve already mentioned our trip to El Cuyo, but I wanted to talk more about what brought us to this remote village and our unforgettable experience while there. The whole trip started when our friend Maddie called us out of the blue and informed us she will be moving to El Cuyo for the next 3 months to be with her boyfriend while he set up a kite boarding school with his pro kite boarding friends. Since Sam and I are always up for a new adventure we booked our flights to Mexico 20 minutes after getting off the phone with her. Less than a week later we flew to Tulum and after a few indulgent days there we embarked on our road trip through the Yucatán state in Mexico to go visit our friend.
I have been preconditioned for years to believe that most parts of Mexico are unsafe and that driving through Mexico is not a good idea. None of these fears held up. There was not a moment where I felt unsafe while traveling through the Yucatán. Once we arrived at the tiny fishermen’s village of El Cuyo we were smitten. The ocean was crystal clear, the local people were kind, and the village was full of brightly hued homes, stores and restaurants. But when we pulled up to our airbnb we knew right away something was off. We went in and kept our smiles going as we explored the uninhabitable shack. It was so overpriced I cringe knowing other people had actually paid this price. We knew the place was going to be bare bones, we did not expect it to be full of questionable deep red stains, mold covering every surface and prison style bathrooms. It looked nothing like the pictures. It was a fail on all accounts. Once we got to talking to some of the locals, they quickly informed us the place was known to be a scam. The amount of mold alone was enough to convince us we could not possible stay there (there were many other things that were very wrong but I’ll let your imagination go wild). We ended up sleeping in the car until the next morning when the whole village pulled together to find us a real place to stay. By 8:00am, we had a comfortable place that cost less than breakfast for 1 in Los Angeles. It was our first taste of the type of kindness that would define our stay in El Cuyo.
Once we got settled in, the rest of our time in El Cuyo was spent eating the fresh local cuisine prepared by hardworking yet cheerful local women, swimming with 8 foot manta rays, and trying to get close to the wild flamingos that populate the surrounding lagoons. Every day was wonderful, but nothing can beat the last day when we woke up to a crystal blue ocean that looked like a pool. There was not even a hint of a wave and absolutely no one on the beach but us. That last day will forever remain as one of my favorite memories. We spent almost the entire day frolicking in the ocean, paddle boarding, tanning, swimming with the manta rays while avoiding the deadly sting rays, taking Tequila shots on the beach, and all the while indulging in home cooked dishes from our local friends. It was one of those days that you never wanted to end.
We did not know what we were getting into when we decided to road trip to El Cuyo. What we found was something only a handful of people have/will ever experience. This is a place for those of you with a heart for adventure. There were no luxuries there. There was only an authentic experience of a small village filled with happy, kind people, and a crystal blue ocean that never seemed to end.
If you don’t go off the beaten path, you’ll never know what you’re missing.
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