Tulum, Mexico Travel Advice Needed
March 14, 2006 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Where can we camp near Tulum, Mexico? Suggestions of places to eat, swim, snorkel, hike, and meet other travelers also welcome.

Some friends and I are headed to Mexico next week. We're headed straight for Tulum (Cancun scares the bejeezus out of me!). We've got the first few nights booked at a cabana, but after that we'd like to camp and travel a bit more in that general area. We'll have a rental car. We want to swim in a cenote, snorkel, maybe scuba, eat lots of delicious and cheap local food, and relax on the beach. I've read through all of the other Mexico threads on AskMe so I know that some folks have been to the Tulum area-- what are your recommendations? What secret spots should we be sure to seek out? What should we avoid? Also, if anyone has camped, can you pitch your tent in a secluded section of the beach, or is it better to seek out designated campsites? Thanks in advance for the advice.
posted by bonheur to Travel & Transportation around Tulum, Mexico (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Papaya Playa used to let people throw up a hammack, a tent, or sleep for cheap in some teepees they had. They were undergoing some renovations and self improvement the last time I was there - you might want to drop by and see if it's still the case. Have a great trip.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:52 PM on March 14, 2006

Call this guy, Eduardo. (I lost his card but just found his website. I know it looks way unfinished, but that's just how things go in Mexico.) He took me and my girlfriend on a 9 hour long tour where we snorkeled in two cenotes and a lagoon. He took us to his house to get us some environmentally friendly t-shirts for the restricted lagoon we went to. He let us use his bathroom. He split beer with us 50-50 all day. He took us to a guy in his village who sold us a whole grilled chicken, rice and beans for $5.00, feeding four. We met his girlfriend, and she was a sweetheart. When we first ran into him, we were unsure if we were going to get scammed as the price seemed to good to be true ($40). It turned out to be the best adventure my girlfriend and I ever shared. I paid him way more than he asked for and it was so worth it. He grew up in the area, though I think he is originally from Spain, but he should be able to help you. He's very friendly, if scattered, but he's a blast. I hope he's still there for you.
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:10 PM on March 14, 2006

Oh, I don't think you can pitch a tent on the beach, by the way, but I'm not sure. We camped at a place called Kai-Luum, a luxury campsite, about 5 miles from Playa Del Carmen. I saw the military patrolling the beach each morning, and didn't see any campers when we hiked into Playa one day along the beach. Kai-Luum is gone now, their land got bought up by a resort developer.
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:13 PM on March 14, 2006

If, heading south, you hang a left at the main crossroads on the highway that's 'Tulum' on the map, the narrow, speed-bumped road will take you to the beach, where there are quite a few low-end but lovely places to stay, including camp, if you wish. There's a thatched hut one that I stayed at with some friends after a dance party we put together, but I can't for the life of me remember the name, as I was more than a little altered at the time. Something to do with cats?

I dunno.

I wouldn't really recommend sleeping rough. There are a lot of shady characters wandering around down there -- hell, I used to be one.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:05 AM on March 15, 2006

i recommend not camping for the above mentioned reasons and instead stay in a very cheap place like this. you get a sand floor for 20 dollars a night.. thats like camping right?
posted by trishthedish at 10:02 AM on March 17, 2006

Coincidentally, a few weeks ago I went camping in Mexico. All over the Yucatan, and we stayed a few nights near Tulum. The campground we used was called Xpu-ha Bonanza. It was gorgeous. We camped right on the beach.

I don't have any contact info though. I will say that sand is not as comfortable as you might think to sleep on.
posted by smackfu at 7:39 AM on April 5, 2006

And the cave snorkeling is pretty fabulous, if a bit pricey.
posted by smackfu at 7:41 AM on April 5, 2006

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