Isla Mujeras, Tulum or Cancun, Playa del Carmen?

Old Dec 11th, 2002, 01:17 PM
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Isla Mujeras, Tulum or Cancun, Playa del Carmen?

We'd like to spend about 5 days as a stopover in Mexico to relax and most importantly swim and hang out at the beach. Which area would be the best? How do you get to Tulum? We'd like a place not too expensive or too many people but quiet, comfortable, and charming....hopefully that is all possible! Thanks! Serena
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 01:34 PM
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Just returned from Playa Del Carmen. Tulum is further south. Travel wise Playa would be closest and no ferry to use like to Isla Mujeres. I don't think you could go wrong with any three of your choices. We stayed at Gran Porto Real which is within walking distance of Playa Del Carmen. Got an excellent price for all-inclusive but that was prior to a price hike starting Dec. 15. Draw straws I guess, they're all great.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 01:43 PM
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We just returned from Playa Del Carmen a couple of weeks ago and we loved it! We stayed at Iberostar Quetzal and the resort was incrediable. We would go back in a second.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 04:24 PM
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Hi Serena, been going to Playa for 14 years, so if I can be of any help, feel free to contact me at my address above. Playa is good because it is central to everything with fast, comfortable and affordable transportation. Are you wanting an all-inclusive or non and when are planning this trip-that will be make a big difference in what you pay for a room.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 07:01 PM
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Having been at all three places I would give Norte Beach on IM the top place for beaching. Visit for more info.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 07:21 AM
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If you would like to get off the beaten path, check out our beach front villa on a private 1/2 acre private property in the Tankah area. This is located 3 miles north of the famous ruins of Tulum, within driving distance to Chichen Itza, Coba and other archaeological sites. Also many beautiful cenotes in the area.
for pictures and info visit:
or email [email protected] for more info

Other helpful web sites to visit:

Weather Base (past weather history, temps, rainfall, etc.)

Hidden Worlds snorkel & dive tours of cenotes

Aktun Chen

Maps of Riviera Maya Can-do Maps

Check out this web site for tours lead by the Friends of Sian Ka'an group. It is a non-profit organization and tour guides are usually biologists. Very informative tours lead by a very worthwhile organization.
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

photo of tankah's cenote'
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 07:42 AM
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Hi Serena,
Akumal wuld be a good choice also.
Look at:
(Large website with a vast array of towns and accommodations in the Mayan Riviera area.)
We've gone thru them 2 times and were very pleased...
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 10:38 AM
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Carole, advertising is not permitted on this board.
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 11:26 AM
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Tulum is about 45 minutes south of PDC, an easy bus trip. You can get from the bus station down to beach road (where all the cabana places are) for about 30 pesos. Though it's not for everyone, I love the laid back, quiet and rustic setting of the cabana hotels. I especially like Cabanas Copal. I had a cabana right on the beach last summer for about $18 per night. Great Staff, beautiful, secluded beach within walking distance of several restaurants.
Try Tell them Ken sent you.
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 03:25 PM
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Ken posts everywhere about Cabanas Copal. He obviously gets a discount for web promotion.

There are many nicer spots along the Tulum beach. There have been a lot of horror reports about this place.

You can do much better. Tulum is great though. See my post to Amy above for some ideas about where to stay.

Old Dec 13th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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I forgot to mention that on another message board, someone reported that a good portion of Norte Beach on Isla Mujeres was washed away in the hurricane.

It will rebuild but it will take awhile, I'm sure.
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Sheri said:
<<Message: Ken posts everywhere about Cabanas Copal. He obviously gets a discount for web promotion.>>

Don't I wish! Lot's of people read, and post, on many boards. It's nice to see you are reading all of my posts!

<<There are many nicer spots along the Tulum beach. >>

Nicer? Absolutely! They are also much more expensive. The original poster was looking for something inexpensive on a great beach.

<<There have been a lot of horror reports about this place.<<

There have been some negative reports from people who were obviously not prepared for the rustic cabana experience. None of these places pretend to be the Ritz. People should do research before they travel, then they won't be surprised that a $20 cabana on the beach is not exactly like a $200 a night luxury hotel.

Why do you find fault with someone who has had a pleasurable experience and wants to share it with others? I don't dump on other establishments because I have no experiences with them. I had some problems with my first trip to Copal and reported them in trip reports on several boards. The owners handled my problem quickly and professionally. This made me want to go back and give them another chance. I had a great time on my second trip and look forward to my third. I just tell it like I have seen it. If Copal was not a great place, I wouldn't be giving it positive reviews even if I did get a discount.
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 09:03 AM
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I second the vote for Isla Mujeres. It is only a 20 minute ferry from Cancun. It is wonderfully laid-back. Probably the cheapest option. I have also been to Tulum and PDC but much prefer Isla Mujeres.
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 11:36 AM
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just felt I have to say that if I'd chosen to spend 5 days of a Mexican vacation on Isla Mujeres, I think I'd have been disappointed. I found it pretty seedy and was glad to only spend an afternoon there and return to my vacation in Cancun...
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 11:59 AM
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Isla Mujeres 'seedy'? Not! I Don't know why anyone would say that...unless of course they prefer the concrete jungle that is Cancun. Isla is absolutely beautiful, laid back and very inexpensive. The beach is more shallow near the west end of Playa Norte,due to Isadore, but around the corner, it's very wide.
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 12:25 PM
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In Ann's defense, we went over from Cancun for a day trip to IM, and were underwhelmed.
The part we went to I would also describe as "seedy."
However, I have since learned that the area we went to was in no way indicative of the island, and many tourists end up there because the cab drivers take people who don't know their way around to this place and dump them off because it's a long drive (and good cab fare.)
I can't wait to go back to IM and see the "real" island. I've heard a lot of really good things about it, and plan to split 1/2 on IM and 1/2 in Akumal (which we love) next year.
I'm only sorry I missed out on its charms the first time around
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