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Costa de Cocos in 60 Seconds

The Fishing

We love this place. The waters around Costa de Cocos, including Chetumal Bay, feel relatively untouched compared to other destinations in Mexico. It’s rare to actually see another Panga. The fishing diversity is fantastic, with bonefish, permit and tarpon all in good numbers. Remote, quiet and fishy, there’s a lot to like for both beginners and experienced anglers.

The Lodge

Rather than a lodge, guests at Costa de Cocos stay in one of 16 private cabanas. They are simple and rustic, but very comfortable. Kind of your own private little beach hut (which we find really fun). The overall vibe is very laidback.

The Staff

Everyone here is extremely friendly and accommodating—from the maid staff to the restaurant staff. The guides are very experienced and pride themselves on exploring new water on a regular basis. They know how to read the tides and find the fish. We like that they’re a little more passionate than most Mexican guides.

Valid passport. No Visa required.

Up to 8 anglers per week

Xcalak, Mexico. 250 miles south of Cancun.

Fly to Merida, Mexico. Transfer to lodge by van.

Juvenile tarpon (and occasional snook).


What does it cost?

2020-2021 Rates

7 Nights/6 Days Fishing = $3,495.00
6 Nights/5 Days Fishing = $3,120.00
5 Nights/4 Days Fishing = $2,760.00
4 Nights/3 Days Fishing = $2,290.00
3 Nights/2 Days Fishing = $1,820.00

7 Nights/6 Days Fishing = $4,505.00
6 Nights/5 Days Fishing = $3,920.00
5 Nights/4 Days Fishing = $3,450.00
4 Nights/3 Days Fishing = $2,840.00
3 Nights/2 Days Fishing = $2,230.00

Tidehead services are always free. Always. Our prices are the same prices as booking directly with the lodge. You never pay more.

All rates are priced on a 7 night/6 day lodging & fishing package. Shorter stays are available.

All prices listed are per person. Other combinations may be available. Please contact us for details.



If you look at it on a map, the first thing you’ll notice about Xcalak is just how remote it is. As such, you can sum up the surrounding area in one word: Unspoiled. Despite the fact that the guides have mapped nearly 30 productive flats and lagoons, you get the feeling that there are many, many more yet to be discovered.

The unspoiled flats around Costa de Cocos go on for days and offer exceptional fly fishing diversity.


We really like the guide staff here. As we said before, they know how to work the tides (you’d be surprised how many guides we see who don’t) and capitalize on the incredible diversity of this fishery.

Perhaps it’s due to the remote location, or because many of these guys have pioneered fishing in this area, but you get the feeling that they are more invested in the fishery than most places. They often explore or fish on their days off, which exemplifies their commitment to guiding as profession. Most speak decent English, or at least enough “fishing English.”

As is the case throughout Mexico, the guides run 23-foot traditional Pangas with modern outboards. Sometimes, they don’t look like much, but these boats are incredibly capable across the wide variety of waters you’ll encounter.




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Bonefish in Mexico are usually pretty eager to take both traditional shrimp-imitating patterns as well as some of the newer ties, like EP’s Ascension Bay Mantis. Both work. If you tie, it’s hard to go wrong with rubber legs and tan bodies. It’s always a good idea to have a variety of eye weights from bead chain (shallow water) to lead eyes (deeper water).

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Year-round, peak season is February-May.

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The waters of Mexico hold large numbers of permit from big, cruising singles to schools of smaller fish. Mexico is the perfect place to hook into your first permit or to continue adding to your personal score card. Crab patterns are the name of the game, so having a good variety is essential for success.

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Generally, tarpon flies for Mexico don’t need to be extremely large. 3-4 inches is plenty. The best flies incorporate materials that create subtle movement. A selection of various colors is important. Tarpon are much more opportunistic than selective feeders. So presentation reigns supreme.

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Populations of snook can be found in most locations around Mexico, some of them very large. They are often found in many of the same areas where you might be targeting bonefish & juvenile tarpon. But most of the guides have special areas where they know snook lurk. Red and white fly patterns are, by far, the number choice for snook.

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Costa de Cocos

There are 16 private cabanas, each featuring traditional exterior stonework, tropical woods, thatched palapa-style roofs, ceiling fans and louvered windows. Each has a private bath with hot water. There’s no air conditioning, which can turn some people off, but we find that the ocean breeze is all you need to stay nice and cool at night.

Aside from those amenities described above, Costa de Cocos also offers:

  • Wi-Fi (available only around the restaurant perimeter)
  • Kayaks, Paddle Boards
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Fishing tackle
  • Laundry
  • Volleyball court
  • Horseshoes

We love the private cabanas and fresh cooking at Costa de Cocos. The restaurant is always a fun and lively place.

Food and Drink

The restaurant at Costa de Cocos is open to the public. So it’s not uncommon to see locals and fellow tourists dining together. The menu features everything from Americanized comfort food to fresh seafood dishes with a Caribbean flair. The bar is well stocked, but Costa de Cocos owners, David and Ilana Randall, also brew their own local beer and moonshine. The beer is called “Tarpon Tail” and is served on tap at the bar. The moonshine is called “Mula Blanca.” It’s strong but smooth!



The most common approach to visiting Costa De Cocos is flying to Cancun International Airport. From there, a van transfer (which is part of your package) takes roughly 5-1/2 hours. The drive is on paved roads through an extremely safe part of the Yucatan.

Alternatively, you can choose to fly to Chetumal. The ground transfer takes only 2 hours, but requires additional connecting flights.


It is best to arrange flights that arrive into Cancun or Chetumal in the morning or early afternoon (before 12:00) to allow for ground transportation time. Likewise, departing flights should be scheduled for the late afternoon.


A valid passport is required to enter Mexico. Immigration and customs forms are given out on your flight prior to arrival.

It takes some extra time to get to Costa de Cocos, but we know a bartender who has a margarita with your name on it.

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