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Non-touristy beach area (eco-tourism)

Old Dec 12th, 2001, 09:04 PM
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Non-touristy beach area (eco-tourism)

We have never been to Mexico mainly because we are not intertested in American style resorts at all and that is what seems mostly to be promoted. However, we know there are lots of other interesting things and places. We are quite adventuresome and prefer not to travel on the well-touristed paths and in fact have had no problems when we have traveled to some of the more remote corners of Eastern Europe on our own. So where would be a good place to visit where there is more to do than to just sit by the pool? We like the outdoors and what would probably be referred to as eco-tourism. But, we do not want to go to an expensive place that caters solely to eco-tourism. Also, my husband is an avid fly-fisherman and wants to be able to spend some time pursuing that interest. We are also interested in authentic Mexican culture and history. We prefer to stay in quaint lodgings whenever possible and are not at all interested in large glitzy resorts. And, we are on a budget so we can't go anywhere that is so remote that the airfares are prohibitive and the lodgings are just for the wealthy. We would be okay with renting a car if that would make things easier. Suggestions?
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 04:22 AM
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akumal/ half moon bay is the last natural nesting ground for the green sea turtle. 1 hr from cancun.

the "sion" (sp?) nature preserve ("the place where sky was born" maya folklore)is a bird/ wildlife sactuary. xel-ha ("the place where water was born") has world renouned snorkeling & was created FOR fishing. crococoon is a preserve for crocs, snakes, tarantulas & such. (not 4 me, but...) whatever you want in wildlife is here!

playa del carmen's more touristy, yet scaled down from cancun's party-madness.
la islas cozumel & mujeres can be pretty expensive. take the ferrys. beautiful to just hang out. can be inexpensive if you plan it right. all the cruise ships stop here.

this whole route-region is known as the riviera maya. the 2nd largest barrier reef is just off the coast. tranquil, serene, the pace is much slower & peaceful than cancun. lodging ranges from $30 palapas to $2,500. resorts. check around for rates.

take the bus from downtown cancun. a regular route goes cancun/tulum several times daily. another route goes cancun/ chichen itza daily. much better rates than the tours. be sure to check return times ahead.

a good place to stay, just outside chichen itza, is the pyramid hotel w/ reasonable rates (in 1998)

merida is a sweet colonial town. again, the downtown cancun bus will get you there in 2-3 hours.

also check out "tours, ruins..." etc. on the message board, here. scroll down & open message #6 for suggestions for other cool, authentic mexican experiences & bonus shopping. peace
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 04:31 AM
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driving in mexico is crazy! if you're experienced in mad-maxx style driving, definately, go for it. if not, take the bus from downtown cancun to practically anywhere! the 1st class bus has toilet, a/c & tv movies en route. add 2-3 hrs for 2nd class transport w/ none of the above. better rate- leaves cancun hourly(stops in every peublo along the way)
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 04:48 AM
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Driving is not difficult along the coast of the Yucatan. We've done it several times and never really had a problem. Roads are straight and flat there. (The previous poster is right about the rest of Mexico - we never rent cars anywhere else.)
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 07:29 PM
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Merida was great. Very removed from the Cancun Hotel Zone.
Very historic and beautiful. When we went about 4 yrs ago, did not run into one other American (but a good number of Germans and Italians).
The bus ride from Cancun is very easy
but go "first class" which only costs $5 more, but has about 1/10th as many stops along the way, as well as a/c and movies.
Old Dec 15th, 2001, 02:07 PM
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Sounds like you would like:

Old Dec 16th, 2001, 04:10 AM
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Zipolite is another kewl non touristy place near Hualtulco
Old Jan 11th, 2002, 12:57 PM
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Akumal is a great place to snorkel at Yalku lagoon. BUT the sea turtles are not always there nesting. We were lucky that their nesting time was when we were there in June. I've stayed at some of the villas there, too much for the money. If you stay in Akumal try the all inclusives, like Club Akumal Caribe or Club Oasis Akumal. The restaurant Lol Ha is pretty good, but there are cover charges on some nights that they have dancers on. They won't tell you of these cover charges till the end of the meal! There was a great place to eat breakfast called Turtle something, I can not remember the whole name. Always check your restaurant and hotel bill before paying, there always seemed to be a problem with them over charging us. Take lots of 35/45 sunblock, insect repellent with deet, your "own" snorkeling gear, a flashlight, medicines like imodine/and any prescription medicines, maybe an anibotic (just in case, you won't like their emergency room/hospital) and lots of money, no take travelers checks instead!!! Hope you have a nice vacation.
Old Jan 11th, 2002, 03:42 PM
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Julie, you should look into the Sian Kian biosphere in the Yucantan about 40 miles from Tulum. There are many interesting places to chose from along here. A suggestion would be to look into going to Punta Allen. Punta Allen is a small fishing village, with some of the best fly-fishing in the world. Other attractions would be bird watching, snorkeling and diving(the dive masters from Cozumel come here to get away and for some great diving). I might look into the Let It Be Inn. There is a taxi (mini van)that leaves Tulum everyday for Punta Allen, but it would be better to rent a car. If you would like more inforamtion, feel free to e-mail me with questions. Monica
Old Jan 12th, 2002, 06:15 AM
Robbie Felix
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I love Mexico, but live in Costa Rica because I like it better. We don't have but a few of the "compound tourism" spots. Most hotels and resorts here are owned by indivduals rather than giant corporations and we have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Quaint, charming, scenic, etc. Probably costs the same as Mexico but a more "exotic adventure"!
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 10:08 AM
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Julie--Try Holbox Island--northwest of Cancun. They have a web Let me know what you think. The Holbox Island Hotel is only 70.00 per night--Home to Flamingos,White Ibis-Turtles, iguanas--quaint little island. Anyone been there? I may post a separate question on this. I've never heard of the place but was looking for the same kind of place Julie is, typed in a search for ecopark and got this. Too expensive for a side trip--with airfare and everything--but I'm definitely thinking it would be a nice week!
Old Feb 3rd, 2002, 04:51 PM
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We go to Akumal with our two children, ages 7 & 10. We love it there. Bring your own snorkle gear - the Yal-ku lagoon is great( go early in the am), there are wonderful cenotes to swim in and lots of adventures (Tulum & Coba, Hidden Caves etc..) We stay at Las Casitas Akumal 1-800 5AKUMAL, they have one and two bedroom condo's with purified water and AC> This is not all-inclusive and Turtle Bay CAfe is great, as is LO-Ha. HAve a blast!
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 05:59 AM
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Watch out for the locals in Akumal. They have a theft problemo. Got my laptop stolen even with a locked door at a villa in south Akumal.
Mr. G

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