Mayazul Lodge, Mexico
Exclusivity meets the permit challenge
This elegant retreat in Ascension Bay, whose waters are protected by the Sian Ka’an Reserve, is in the heart of Mexico’s permit alley. Set on the water’s edge this small lodge offers single rooms single guides and a laser focus on getting anglers as many shots at permit as possible.
One of the most prolific fisheries in the Caribbean
Nestled in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a vast international wildlife park that spans some 1.3 million acres, Ascension Bay has been protected from commercial fishing and development. This has allowed the local wildlife both above and below the water to prosper. With miles of coastline, shallow flats and lagoon systems, the fishing opportunities here are endless. The season is long, with eight months of prime weather, and the mangrove-lined shores with a backdrop of lush green rainforest offer the perfect habitat for all the famous flats species. The waters here offer some of the best permit fishing in the world and the guides at Mayazul Lodge regard fishing for these enigmatic fish not only as a job but as a passion. Many spend their days off scouting for new locations and as a team they make sure their guests have the best opportunity to be a successful permit angler.
Alongside permit, there are healthy populations of bonefish, tarpon and snook here as well. Snook typically hold up on the coastline under branches or mangroves waiting for unsuspecting prey to swim past. The population is protected and features some of the most significant specimens you’ll encounter anywhere in the world. There is a huge nursery of juvenile tarpon in Ascension Bay. Often referred to as ‘baby tarpon’ these fish still average between 10 and 30lb, with fish over 50lb caught each year. Migratory tarpon appear in the summer with sizes that average 70lb but which can reach 130lb or more. The bonefish population is very healthy and 20 to 30 fish in a day is a regular occurrence.
Generally, anglers will depart from the beach at around 8am, returning between 4 and 4.30pm. The comfortable, traditional pangas are beached right near the lodge so there are no bumpy roads to negotiate and no wasted time trailering. Anglers fish with two experienced guides per boat because seeing more permit allows more shots at permit. The lodge can also provide excellent fishing equipment with appropriate permit leaders and flies.
Intimate and eclectic lodge right on the ocean
Mayazul is intimate, eclectic and elegant, and so near the ocean that guests will sleep soothed by the sound of rustling palms and waves. It is outside the bustle and traffic of nearby Punta Allen, but close enough to utilise any services needed. The lodge itself is a beautiful structure of stained wood, finished with comfortable sofa-filled rooms, thoughtful amenities and four en-suite double rooms with queen sized beds and air conditioning. In addition to the dining an dining and living areas, there’s a bar and fly tying area, and plenty of outdoor porches overlooking the sea. Beautifully prepared a la carte menus will delight anglers, with dishes concentrating on magnificent seafood, and cocktails to celebrate a fish released or help in forgetting the one that got away. Lunches each day are custom-order picnics with cold drinks, and these are taken on the boats in coolers. A fully stocked fly shop, daily maid service, laundry service, satellite TV, WiFi and phone complete the facilities.
Remote yet easily accessible
Mayazul Lodge is located on the Yucatán Península, approximately 56km south of Tulum in the sleepy fishing village of Punta Allen. Cancún International Airport (CUN) is the entry point and anglers need to arrive between 11am and 2pm, to ensure a smooth arrival at the lodge. From Cancún the drive is approximately two hours to Sian Ka’an Reserve, from where it’s a ride by panga to Punta Allen. The boat ride down the inner lagoon will take approximately one hour allowing guests to see a good deal of the flora and fauna found in the unspoiled Yucatán as well as prime permit habitat. Upon arrival in Punta Allen it is a five minute drive to the lodge.