Loco Gringo Mexico

LocoGringo Mexico gives you local insights, vacation tips and stories from people who live and work in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Our host Kay Walten, will introduce you to people in Mexico who tell of their journey to the Yucatan, their local scoop on the people, the Mexico and Mayan culture, places not to miss on your next vacation, food and more. LocoGringo gives you travel info that you won’t find in a travel guidebook. Discover Mexico for your next vacation on a more intimate level than a typical tourist. As an expat, Kay has been working in vacation and tourism in Mexico since 1992. She is also co-founder of the vacation rental site
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Now displaying: July, 2016
Jul 26, 2016

Today, it is my pleasure to speak with Kendall Inman. Originally from California, she currently lives in Playa del Carmen and in Dallas, Texas. While living in California, she frequently took trips to Mexico with her Grandmother to get lobster tacos along the water.

She discovered the Riviera Maya when a friend told her about Akumal, in 1998. She says it was so magical she knew she wanted to build a house and a life there. And even though she was nursing a new baby, if  there was a problem with the building process, she would grab her Spanish/English dictionary, get up on the roof and teach the workers how to build whatever they needed help with.

Kendall turned to yoga to mentally deal with an unplanned divorce, and she sold the house she had built. She knew she didn’t want to leave the area so she bought a condo in Playa del Carmen. She now brings groups to Mexico and hosts yoga retreats, which she says keep her steady and peaceful.

Kendall has been all over the world and enjoyed many different coastlines, but none she says are as beautiful as the Riviera Maya. She says “here you can be in the heart of everything, yet still get off the beaten path.” She loves Mexican culture and the non-GMO/fresh tasting food, and is planning to start a business making fresh chutneys for the local markets. 


Kendall’s Secret Spots

  1. La Cueva del Pescador in Akumal - Where the cocktails are real.
  2. Mexico City has great museums.
  3. Sian Ka'an through a secret entrance in Muyil.
  4. Jardin del Eden cenote. 
  5. Le Zebra in Tulum - For Salsa dancing on the beach. 


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Kendall Inman

BRIC Hotel 

Jul 19, 2016

Today it is my pleasure to speak with Dave Randall of Costa de Cocos Resort. Costa de Cocos is the only full service fly fishing and scuba diving resort in Xcalak, Quintana Roo. Dave, who is originally from Minnesota, has been in the Costa Maya area for 33 years.

He started his journey before there was electricity in the area and still doesn’t have cell phone coverage at his home. He remembers using wind and propane generators to build his first few hotel rooms. Hotel rooms which may never have been built if heavy doses of rum had not been involved in a late night chat with friends. Dave has since built a resort like no other, including a restaurant and his own brewery and distillery of which there are only two in the entire state of Quintana Roo.

Dave’s dream of building a business in the middle of the jungle has given him great pleasure and to this day his home along the second largest barrier reef in the world is his favorite place to be. His low-key, 12 boat operation produces Grand Slams for fly fishermen during the prime season of May, June and July and two-for-one specials during October through December. Dave says that even in the low season the area produces fish daily.

Why Does He Do It?

After 33 years in business, Dave says one of the reasons he keeps going is his staff of 28 people. There are now generations of local families who have made their living from tourism and hospitality. In addition, there are the life-long friendships he has made along the way. He says there are travelers who visit annually and have been for years.

Dave’s Secret Spots

  1. Rancho Encantado in Bacalar - for lunch
  2. Taco Loco in Chetumal - for blue crab meat tacos
  3. San Pedro - Belize - for American made hardware and tools

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Costa de Cocos

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Fly Fishing Mexico Book

Jul 12, 2016

In today’s episode, I am talking with Paul Sanchez Navarro, a Mexican/American, Cultured, Southern boy who was raised in New Orleans and Texas and now lives in Turtle Town (aka Akumal) and has for the past 12 years.


Why Did Paul Come to Akumal & What is He Working On?

Paul has worked in Mexico City and Switzerland on environmental policy with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). And, when The Ecological Center in Akumal (CEA) invited him to come and restructure the organization as the Director, he was intrigued because he was interested both in getting out of an office environment and because he loves the mix of the coastal eco-system here in the Riviera Maya. He says the mix of mangroves, wetlands, coral reefs, bays, and cenotes make the area naturally incredible.

He now works for the Mexican Organization of Environmental Conservation (MOEC) on public policy and creating an educational framework to help citizens participate in the sustainability process.


Is There A Passion for ‘Pride of Place’?

Paul says “yes and no”. The two local communities (Mexican and Expat) understand the value of the environment but are not sure what steps to take to conserve it. There is not a steady waste management infrastructure program in place from the government. However, it is inspiring to see a group of young people coming together who are interested in taking care of their community.


What Can Visitors Do to Make Sure They Are Protecting the Environment?

The best thing visitors can do to help the environment in the Riviera Maya is to get involved in climate talks in their home country to help reduce the carbon footprint there. Visitors to the Riviera Maya can be conscious of how they are treating the water. For example, using biodegradable sunscreen is IMPORTANT! And, of course, using locally owned businesses.

Treating animals with respect is another important point. Do not sit on turtles and do not take photos with wild animals on the street. Many of the animals on the street are obtained illegally and then are drugged to keep them docile all day and night. 


What Are the Rules of Fishing in Akumal?

A fishing license is required to fish and visitors should be 250 meters away from where people swim. Akumal has been decreed a “no fish zone”. There is no spear fishing with scuba diving. It’s important for visitors to research the country’s fishing rules before planning their trip. The best option for fishing is to use a guide and do some high seas fishing and practice catch and release.


4 Things Travelers Can Do to Have Fun While Leaving a Minimal Environmental Impact When Visiting the Riviera Maya

  1. Rent a kayak and tour Sian Ka’an 
  2. Tour Coba on a bicycle
  3. Zip line in the jungle
  4. Swimming in the cenotes (using biodegradable sunscreen or a swim shirt)


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Jul 5, 2016

Today it is my pleasure to speak with the vibrant and beautiful Sol Tamargo. Sol is an artist with a camera and has a passion for nature and color. She also participates in our local Superwomen's Club, a group of women supporting each other in business and in life. Sol spent her younger years in Cancun then moved with her family to Guadalajara. When life got to be a dull gray, Sol decided to move back to the coast to bring some much needed-color into her life. She says moving to Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, in 2001, made her feel like she was coming home.


A Snapshot in Time

Sol’s uncle gave her a camera and she started to learn about photography. One night while sleeping, Sol had a dream that she was on the beach taking photos of brides. The next day when she awoke she knew she was going to be a photographer and she went after her dream with everything she could muster. She made a scrapbook with samples of her work and set forth hunting out someone to give her an opportunity. She started out shooting destination weddings for local hotels but due to her huge talent brides-to-be now seek her out.

She has shot wedding related photography in Hong Kong and Thailand, in addition to the multiple beautiful locations in the Riviera Maya. When wedding photography starts to feel repetitive she turns to nature to spice things up. She goes underwater to shoot with sharks and manta rays. 


Sol’s Favorite Places in Mexico

  1. San Miguel - El Quita Penas (Forget Your Sorrows) - Bar offers a silky smooth singing, sombrero wearing, mustache sporting Mexican, who just happens to be the owner and will put on an amazing show for you.
  2. Cabo Pulmo National Park on the Baja Peninsula - A marine park where visitors can see over 100,000 fish.
  3. Panaderia at 101 and 25th - Bakery with sweet potato filled pastries. 
  4. El Gran Taco de Playa - They have 200 different flavors of delicious, healthy food to stuff in your tacos.
  5. Playa Punta Esmeralda - Sol’s favorite swimming place. It’s a cenote that mixes with the ocean to create a natural jacuzzi.


Use these Resources to Continue Your Journey:

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Del Sol Photography

@soltamargo on Instagram

@soltamargo on Twitter

@DondeAndaSol on Periscope