Day Trips from Xcalak - Exotic Bacalar Edition
Written by Rob Mukai on Jun. 07, 2019
This is a good day trip if you are looking for something completely different. If you need a break from fishing or diving, a trip to Bacalar should definitely be on your radar. This can also be tacked on to a Dzibanche/Kohunlich trip as well, but it does make for a long day. However, if you really want to do it up, plan to go to Bacalar on a Monday or Tuesday when Jey opens the pop-up restaurant Spice of India. Usually dinner is a little later, so you can go early and go on a sailing excursion with Sebastian. Jey and Sebastian met in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and now are in Bacalar, Mexico. (That's a separate story all together. Maybe for another day :)
Spice of India
Spice of India is the brainchild of Jey Mazumder, a biotech medical researcher by training. After moving to Bacalar and not finding much in the way of employment using her postgrad education, she decided to start cooking Indian food. The pop-up restaurant is in their back yard. Indian food is definitely something that was missing in south Quintana Roo. There are a few "ok" Indian Restaurants up north in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but Spice of India is a step above. I first ran into Jey when she was catering an Indian Dinner at a friend's place in Mahahual. Since then, I have had Jey come to Acocote Eco Inn to cater 4 or 5 times. We usually fill the palapa with Xcalakeños as well as guests of the Inn. The food is delicious with marvelous complexity in spices and flavors. We've had everything from butter chicken, pork vindaloo, biryani, shrimp curry, saag paneer, onion bhaji, and samosas along with fresh made na'an. It is all very good.
The Pop-up usually has a Prix Fixe menu and they do require reservations as they can usually only seat about 16 or so people per night. Contact Jey via Facebook. Jey will also occasionally do Thai and Chinese as well. Please confirm pricing for your dinner, but it is normally in the in the $350-450 MXN pesos range.
Sailing with Sebastian
So before you head to dinner, you can go for an afternoon sail with Sebastian Koch, on his 25 ft sailboat Tranky. Sebastian is a Swiss educated German who speaks French, German, as well as English and has a postgrad education in hospitality management. He managed the only 5 star hotel in Kinshasa, DRC where he met Jey. He has been sailing his entire life and grew up in a family that spent a lot of time on the water, sailing the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean. He has an international sailing captain's license as well. Sebastian will take you for an afternoon sail on the 50 KM long Laguna Bacalar, the lagoon of 7 colors. with stops to jump in the water for a refreshing swim. He will also throw together some guacamole as well. Sailing is so relaxing, running on the beautiful lake with no engine noise and just the sound of the breeze. A beautiful way to spend an afternoon.
A four hour tour starts at around $600 MXN pesos per person up to a private full day tour for $4,500 MXN (please confirm pricing with Sebastian either through Facebook or Cell/Whatsapp +52-1-558-393-1185. He sails out of the Kokay Sailing dock).
You will be returning after dark with this day-trip so just make sure to take it slow and easy on the drive back. Highly recommended daytrip.