Casa Mango, in Macario Gomez--a tiny village conveniently located between Tulum and Coba, 20 kilometers/15 minutes from either site--is truly a unique and wonderful place to stay! It's easy to find. Macario Gomez is well marked with signs. Casa Mango is just a few blocks from the main road. If you were driving on the main road--coming from Tulum--you'd turn left at the small police station (smile and wave to the officer--he'll smile and wave at you) then drive 300 meters into the jungle. At a bend in the road you'd see a large two-story mango colored home--that's Casa Mango--and a sign will confirm it.
The property consists of several very spacious thatched roof bungalows, some "tree houses"--bungalows elevated to allow guests to enjoy the treetops--an outdoor restaurant area, and the main house. All the building are well-kept, quite new, and the "resort" itself is still a work in progress as its owners--Adone and Angelica--are expanding their business as is possible. We stayed in Cavana Zoe, named for Adone and Angelica's lovely little daughter.
Our Cavana had a large porch with a rectangular table, four straight-back chairs, a good-quality hammock, and a small reclining seat. All around the cavana was lush landscaping, colorful and beautiful. We enjoyed having a banana plant growing just outside our front door!
The inside of the cavana had a king size bed, bunk beds and an additional twin bed. Everything was very clean. Mattresses were comfortable. Linens were very nice. Towels plush. A large area rug on the floor. There were screens on the windows. As Adone suggested, we did not leave our door wide open and thus we had no problems with insects. Angelica is a talented professional artist and her influence was evident everywhere! The interior decorating was neat--a tree without leaves, a tangled vine light fixture, hand painted walls--all very nice. So many fun personal touches! The tables and chairs in the restaurant area are also decorated--look for the painted butterfly with its wings folded around a chair.
On arrival we were warmly greeted, offered a welcome drink, shown our bungalow/cavana, given a tour of the property, introduced to the donkey and ducklings, given maps, and suggestions for our stay. Adone was careful to provide information and answer our questions. He willingly spent a great deal of time with us, and even took us to see the interior of the newest tree house--the interior was beautiful.
We opted to eat dinner that night at Casa Mango. Although the menu had many choices, Angelica had made fresh gnocchi that day--gnocchi was the "daily special"--and we decided to go for it. My husband had gnocchi with lobster sauce, my daughter had gnocchi with shrimp, and I had gnocchi with a vegan basil and garlic sauce. Fabulous! I can easily say that it was the best gnocchi we'd ever had--and absolutely our best meal on the Yucatan Peninsula! Though we were full of pasta, we indulged in dessert and shared an incredibly delicious crepe.
Breakfast was also very good. Mango juice, tropical fruits and a variety of breads, butter, jam, and honey were included in the price of the room. My daughter and my husband (for an additional fee) added a chaya and cheese omelet. We learned that the chaya, fresh picked from the garden after the omelets were ordered, is a Mayan "superfood" similar to spinach.
Adone recommended a Mexican restaurant in Tulum which he said was really good--La Malquerida--we went, and it was good, from what we saw, likely the best Mexican restaurant in Tulum, however, we believe the food at Casa Mango was even better! Adone also suggested we go to Punta Laguna Reserve and hire a guide to help us see the spider monkeys in the treetops--another winning idea, we had a lot of fun at Punta Laguna and saw a lot of monkeys.
In all we were only at the Family Cavana in the Jungle for 2 nights. It would have been nice to have been able to stay longer. The area has a lot to offer and Adone, Angelica, and Zoe treated us as family. They are good, kind, and gracious hosts.
When Adone discovered that we liked the tiny chile peppers, he found more of them in the garden. When my husband's waterproof smart phone needed a drying out, Adone was quick to provide raw rice, a natural desiccant, and the phone survived. I requested the recipe for the scrumptious carrot cake we had at breakfast (unlike any U.S. carrot cake) and Adone willingly brought out the Italian Cookbook. When I lost the recipe on way home, Angelica emailed me a replacement. That carrot cake recipe may become our favorite souvenir!
We had a rental car, but Adone mentioned that some guests arrive by taxi--it costs $10. to come from Tulum, but then only $2.00 per person to go back and forth. In addition to the taxi, Adone and Angelica take their daughter to preschool in Tulum and will allow guests without cars to "carpool" with them if a ride is needed.
Casa Mango is a special place. If you are looking for something unique, out of the hustle and bustle of the city, away from the crowds, but minutes from the ruins of Coba and Tulum, the beaches, cenotes, and nature preserves, a place with comfortable beds, really, really good food, and great hosts, consider Casa Mango. We are glad we did!
Note: This was our first trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. We went primarily to see the ruins of Chichen Itza, Coba, and Tulum, but also enjoyed a cenote, the Caribbean Sea, the cathedral at Valladolid, and the nature reserve of Punta Laguna. We don't speak Spanish.
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