Beach camping & fishing in Quintana Roo, Mexico?
November 21, 2006 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Hubby and I are planning a last minute trip to Mexico. We're going to fly into Cancun and don't plan on renting a car since we're on a tight budget. We'd like to find a beach campground that's along the Caribbean Sea where we can stay away from crowds and just relax and maybe even do some shore fishing. Would be great it's within walking distance to a small local restaurant of sorts or even if it's just stalls. Does one exist? For the life of me, I have not been able to find any budget beach camping information online. I guess what makes it more difficult is that we'd like to be able to get there by bus and/or colectivo, if possible and it will be during the holidays! I knew I should have researched before booking but we got a good price and will be winter and we could use the sun! Anyone BTDT? :) p.s. I'm totally open to suggestions! TIA!!!
posted by Jujee to Travel & Transportation around CancĂșn, Mexico (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tulum is about an hour south of Cancun and you can get there easily by bus or collectivo. I don't know of any beach campgrounds, but the place is famous for beach cabanas, which are rustic thatched huts. There are some especially rustic ones on the beach closest to the Tulum ruins. I thinking you're looking at less than $20 a day, though I cuold be wrong. There's a pretty great bar/restaraunt there called Don Cafeto's.

The whole region is absolutely beautiful.
posted by chrchr at 10:50 PM on November 21, 2006

Tulum used to be hippie backpacker paradise, but not so much anymore. I'm headed there in January, and it's chock full of boutique hotels now. We're paying 50/night for our rustic palapa cabana with a shared bathroom and no electricity. All the hotels patrol their beaches for security (and to not let a peso slip by), so there's not going to be any beach camping there. The monster resorts are starting to go up, too, so it's not going to get any better.

You're going to have to go further out. Akumaal is moments away from being much like Tulum, but you might find something out that way. You might find some useful info at or the forums.

If you really want to get waaay out, you might look toward Mahahual, which did just get a cruise ship dock but its tourist area is about 2 square blocks, and other than that it's a fishing village with a few restaurants. It, too, will be full of boutique hotels and resorts in two years, but for now it's still so remote that they're not filling the few palapa huts they've got.

I wouldn't close my eyes on the beach at night within range of hotel or resort lights, after hearing the movements of the security guys when we stayed kind of out in the boonies outside Playa del Carmen. There's stuff going on out there that you don't want to get in the middle of. Plus, the sound and light carries like you wouldn't believe. Also, sand fleas, but I assume you know what you're getting into there.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:12 AM on November 22, 2006

You could try Mahahual. It's about 4 1/2 hours south of Cancun, by car. You can get there with buses/collectivos and any of the big travel guides will have info on the area. There's a place called the "Travel In" 6km south of town on the beach road that has camping and a good restaurant. We were in the area for a couple of weeks last year and there were also people camping along the beach (to the south) closer to town. Some stayed at one of the dive operations, and another group (with the Green Tortoise) was in the backyard of a local's place. I don't know if this is anything you could possibly book ahead though, you'd have to take your chances. There were quite a few backpacker types coming in and out of town.

Mahahual gets a cruise ship in a couple of times a week and turns into a bit of a nightmare. But once the ships are gone it is quite nice. There's good snorkeling/diving in the area and lots of restaurants from the cheap joints to mid-scale. There are also a fair amount of ruins within a reasonable distance (athough again, without a car they might be a challenge to reach). The beach road could be a pain too, without a car. There is a bus but it doesn't go that often.

We were there the first two weeks of January. Everything was pretty full the fist week, but emptying by the second.
posted by Cuke at 10:11 AM on November 22, 2006

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