Up until the 1990s one would have had a very difficult time getting to Xcalak via overland transportation. In 1998 the road linking Xcalak and Highway 307 was paved which dramatically cut down travel time. And the road into Xcalak is also paved – it used to also be dirt.
For travelers, by far the easiest and cheapest way to get to Xcalak from the rest of the Yucatan is with a rental car. From Cancun, Highway 307 is a very good highway (no potholes) with double lanes on both sides of the highway as far as just south of Playa Del Carmen.
A word of caution about the topes (speed bumps) or if you are from the UK, called sleeping policeman! Several of these are located in the small towns along Highway 307 South of Playa Del Carmen.
Some can be quite harmful to the underside of cars if one does not slow for them. Sometimes you may see signs for speed bumps but then the actual bumps will not be there. Or worse yet, I found several bumps that were the same color as the road and there weren’t any warning signs. The best advice I can give is to keep a careful eye on the road.
Street-side vendors often take advantage of slowing vehicles at the bumps and sell a variety of items including fruits, flowers, or small hand-made carvings.
And you will find that drivers sometime seem to be willing to take chances when passing other cars – and will leave very little distance between oncoming cars while doing so.
Several police checkpoints are located on the way to Xcalak from Cancun. Most of the time they will waive you through. Their primary concern is to locate vehicles ferrying drugs. I was stopped only once, I immediately stepped out of the car and opened the trunk for them to riffle through my bags. Satisfied I wasn’t carrying any drugs they motioned me to continue. These check points may look intimidating, however if you try speaking to the officers, usually they will relax and be more friendly to you. This makes for a much more pleasant encounter.
Chartered flights might be available to Xcalak from Cancun (there is a small airstrip just south of town). One such charter company is called AeroCosta based in Cancun. For the latest availability, call them at +52 998 884 0383.