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San Felipe/Rio Lagartos Report

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#1 Carey



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Posted 14 February 2010 - 01:54 PM

I'm posting this for my local artist/naturalist friend Juen Hutchinson who is pulling the ineptoid card re her computer abilities.

Hi Carey,

I just wanted to thank you again for helping me find a hotel in Rio Lagartos. The Hotel San Felipe was great. The owners, Jesus and Graciella were most accommodating. They even called in the cooks early so we could feast on fresh lobster (200 pesos) and shrimp(120 pesos). The kitchen didn't open until 7 but they had food in front of us at 6. Graciella made guacamole with some avocados I had carried in on your advice about the scarcity of food, so that held us over until the platters of seafood arrived in front of us. The platters were generous, so much so that they put the leftover seafood in the frig and saved it for our eggs in the morning. They couldn't do enough for us.

Jesus recommended a tour group in Rio Lagartos and called them so I could make the arrangements. $700 pesos for 5 of us for a 3 hour tour. The guide spoke ecotour English and was very professional. His name was Gabriel and he worked for Ismael Navarro at Isla Contoy restaurant. When we drove over to Rio the afternoon before (to check it out for the next morning) all kinds of guys were trying to sell us tours but Gabriel's dad met us at the outskirts of town the next morning at the appointed time. He had my name and how many people and all so we weren't swayed to go with a cheaper company. Ismael has invested in training his guides and it showed, our guide was excellent and we saw about 300 flamingos and other birds I had never seen before.

You were right about the scarcity of food and lodging there. It was bleak and we were really glad we had brought a stock in with us. The big hotel I had stayed at in Rio 20 years ago was closed and the town was dirty and all those guys were stopping us and trying to sell us tours. San Felipe was clean and had the cutest wooden Caribe style houses. Jesus kept checking with us to make sure we were happy and explained the hotel was a family operation. Indeed, his son had just started a fly fishing business at the hotel and there were people there from the states that were fishing.

The rooms were $570 but they had a gulf view and 3 beds each. The box springs were "Mexican style" but the rooms were clean and they obviously took great pride in their family business. Jesus and Graciella didn't speak much English but the waitstaff did and the son did. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! Thanks again and feel free to share this info with anyone interested in going up there. Gabriel said May is the best month to see the flamingos as they are nesting then. Juen
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