We just returned from our two-week vacation to Mexico. We had a great time and did not have any problems, other than sticker shock at the prices. After arriving at the Cancun International Airport we made our way through Mexican immigration and customs. Mexican customs is like a lottery. You push a button and if you get a green light, you go through. If you get a red light, your bags are searched. Fortunately, we got a green light and were not delayed. We had reserved a private shuttle van through USA Transfers to drive us the 120 km to our beach cabana in Tulum. This seemed like the easiest way to get there and the price was not too bad at $79 for the three of us. The CHEAPEST way would have been to take the transit bus downtown to the ADO bus station and then take a taxi from downtown Tulum to our cabana. Although this may have saved us a few pesos, it would have taken a lot longer and after having to get up at 3am to make our flight, this did not seem like a good way to start our first day of our vacation.
After our van dropped us off at the front door of Cabanas Copal, we checked in and were led to our… simple… accommodations. When I booked the reservation online for this hotel I knew it would be basic. It was advertised as having no electricity, optional clothing beach, and mosquito netting. The cabana had a thatch roof, cobblestone floor, and a shower designed by the Marquis de Sade, but had a phenomenal view of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea . From the reviews, the “clothing optional beach” sounded like it was in a certain area. Nope! It was wherever the nudies wanted to “hang” out. We have no problems with nudity, but it is still a shock coming from prude America to a beach that has naked people all over the place. The funny thing was that our 5 year old daughter did not even notice. She was too busy playing in the soft white sand and warm waters. After getting back to the cabana we experienced “the worst shower ever.” The shower was a tiled deep bowl that had a rounded and slippery bottom. The water trickled out of the showerhead and was lukewarm at best. The shower also had large windows with small curtains. While taking a shower, you had no choice but to bear it all to the world on the other side. Good thing it was a nudist beach…
The hotel has a rule about no food in the cabanas. We thought that our granola and Cliff bars would be safe since they were unopened and sealed inside large plastic zip lock bags. I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of a critter tearing into things. I hoped that it was outside and went back to sleep safely behind our mosquito netting. The next morning we found that the zip lock bags had holes chewed through them and a half eaten Cliff bar was on the floor. I guess they were correct about no food in the cabanas.
We went to the hotel’s restaurant and had an overpriced breakfast. Our plan for this day was to go see the Mayan Ruins of Coba. So after breakfast we waved down a taxi and haggled a price for them to take us the one hour drive to Coba, wait for us to tour the ruins, and then return us to our hotel. We were hoping to be able to take a bus out to the ruins to save money, but the buses rarely head out that way and are often full on the way back. Since we were only planning on spending two nights in Tulum we had to make the most of our time. So, after agreeing on 600 pesos (about $50 USD) we were off to see Coba.