To continue our on-again, off-again look back at the time we spent in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico in late 2015, this post takes us back to the charming fishing village of Celestún on Mexico's Gulf Coast. This is the last new spot we visited before heading back to Florida in January of 2016 and buying our motorhome, Pearl.
The big draw of Celestún for the traveler is to see the flocks of hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of gorgeous pink flamingos in the Celestún Biosphere Reserve. Even though we didn't pick the very best time of year to go (i.e., when the flamingo population in this area peaks, in late January), we were excited to see as many flamingos as we could and to check out what appeared to be a quaint and quiet village, as a welcome break from busy Playa del Carmen, where we were living.
We had spent the previous couple of nights in Mérida and caught a second-class (but still nice) bus to Celestún in the morning. These buses run all day long, every hour or so. Although the drive takes only about an hour in a car, with the bus stopping here and there along the way, the ride ends up being about two hours. We were hungry when we arrived in the village so immediately headed to one of the several gulf-side seafood restaurants, Restaurante Los Pampanos, for some sustenance.
Thus fortified, we set off on foot to the guest house where we'd spend the next few nights. Just over a kilometer outside the village proper, the walk along a sandy road was a big change from the bustling concrete of Playa.
At last, we arrived at Celeste Vida and got settled in. What a lovely place! We had our own apartment downstairs, La Maravilla, while the owners lived upstairs. There were two other smaller apartments (Casita Brisa & Casita Flora) downstairs as well, but our unit was the largest and most comfortable, and the only one with a TV. While not fancy, it was comfortable and private and decorated with Mexican flair.
Since we'd done plenty of walking already, we spent the rest of that first day getting settled in and relaxing on the beach right behind the guest house,
The back yard of Celeste Vida is private and well-groomed yet lush, a real treat.
Here's the back of Celeste Vida as seen from the beach. It just disappears behind the tropical foliage.
This is as far as I got into the water. It was December so a bit nippy!
A storm out at sea passed us by but looked dramatic and urged us inside.
A couple of interesting sights from our time on the beach: a Horseshoe Crab shell and a fortress wall constructed of concrete and thousands of conch shells around the house next door to Celeste Vida. Not sure what the owners are protecting, but their tall fence and wall make a strong statement.
Since we didn't have a car, we strolled back into town for dinner. We ate at the same spot where we had lunch, Los Pampanos, and enjoyed more simple but delicious fresh seafood along with our sunset over the Gulf waters. Barry always enjoys his fish a la diabla, and I had the crab (jaiba), which was lip-smacking good!
Stay tuned for more from Celestún, including photos from the village and, of course, the flamingo tour!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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