In its native range, the Mayan cichlid is a popular food fish

Contact us for more information about personalized spear fishing charters at Mayan Beach Garden
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The Mayan Cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus, whose common Spanish name is mojarra del sureste, is a species in the , known collectively as tilapias and mojarras de agua dulce in Mexico. This fish is also known as the Mexican Mojarra in the United States and as the mojarra castarrica in Mexico. Globally, there are thirty-nine species in the genus Cichlasoma, five of which are found in the freshwater systems of Mexico.
Snowy egrets feed on the Mayan cichlid – courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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This is one of the best excursions I've ever been on. The ruins are a short drive from the pier. Tour guides Jose and Miguel were kept us entertained and shared the history of the site to pass the time.

Once at the ruins, Miguel gave us a more complete talk about the ruins. We were able to climb to the top of the pyramid. Really got some great exercise.

There a stunning cenote (a sinkhole filled with water) filled with little fish eager to feed on the skin on your feet. It felt fabulous. Even on a chilly day, the water felt great. I even took the plunge and went swimming. What an amazing feeling to swim in a Mayan cenote. (Warning: take water shoes because the rocks are rough on your feet.)

After we left the ruins, we headed to Progreso to enjoy the beach. The vendors descended on us but left us alone when we said, "No, gracias."

The restaurant was great and kept bringing free margaritas. They even gave me a couple to take to the ship.

We ask Jose about a shop in town. He personally took us there and got us a great deal. Wow.

I'd really like to do this excursion again. Thanks Jose and Miguel. The good news: Mayans and oscars don’t appear to have that negative an impact on native fisheries.
Photo provided by FlickrLillvik's first taste of Mayan cooking came with, quite literally, a painted fish.
Photo provided by FlickrThe apple snail is a prey item of the Mayan cichlid. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Photo provided by Flickr
Habitat: Mayans are illegally/ accidentally established nonnative fish. First recorded in Florida Bay in 1983, they are abundant in south Florida as far north as Lake Okeechobee. Native to Central and South America, they have adapted to Florida canals, rivers, lakes and marshes and tolerate a wide range of salinities.A hardy and fish that can tolerate and breed in full conditions. The Mayan cichlid is also referred to as the Mexican Mojarra and is occasionally offered for sale in the UK, or can be obtained through specialist cichlid dealers.Mayan Beach Garden often uses Pesca Mahahual as a fly fishing resourse for our guests who want to fish the entire time they are here or maybe only a couple of days.The Mayan Cichlids have oval compressed bodies that are similar in shape to elongated bluegills. They have a yellow to olive-brown body with five to seven distinct vertical green-black bars and a prominent black ocellus surrounded by a blue ring at the base of their caudal fin. The colors are more intense in breeding fish and fish caught in the wild. They have minimal sexual dimorphism (males are slightly larger than females) and dichromatism (males and females have similar colors). They have small eyes located high on their head and a small slightly protrusible terminal mouth with three rows of teeth on both their upper and lower jaws. The anal fin has 6 or 7 spines with 6 to 10 rays; the caudal fin is rounded; the dorsal fin has 15 to 17 spines and 10 to 12 rays; and the pelvic fins are posterior to the pectoral fins. They have 9 to 11 flat short gill rakers and are covered with scales.Pesca Mahahaul limits itself to no more than six guests at any time. Their goal is to provide the highest quality fishing experience possible with accommodations and service that is personal and exceptional. You will be staying at Mayan Beach Garden situated on some of the most beautiful coast line in all of Mexico. Guests repeatedly tell us their stay was one of the best vacation experiences of a lifetime.In Mexican waters the Mayan Cichlid is found within all of the freshwater drainage systems of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico including the Yucatan peninsula. Non-indigenous populations of Mayan Cichlids were first report in southern Florida in 1983 where they are now well-established and spreading rapidly northward. These introductions are believed to have originated via aquarium releases or fish farm escapes. As they are voracious predators they have the potential of becoming one of the most damaging introduced cichlids in the United States.