Fodor's Expert Review The Explorean Kohunlich
Carretera Chetumal–Escarega, Km 5.6, on road to Kohunlich Ruins, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, 77981, Mexico, Chetumal, Quintana Roo 77981, Mexico See on Map Fodor's Choice
Hidden deep in the middle of the jungle, very close to the border with Belize, you will find this beautiful hotel where real connection with nature is not only possible but almost unavoidable. This place offers a glimpse into how the Riviera Maya must have looked some thirty years ago.
There are Cabaña and Bungalow rooms available, all of them enjoy the freshness of their own private terrace. In a hotel like this one, design is what sets you apart, and The Explorean doesn’t disappoint with a rustic, Mayan-inspired ambience that integrates with ease into the natural surroundings. They all come with the customary woven hammock.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Nature is all around, and while the flora is always nice to look at, some undesirable bugs might be hard to avoid.
The bathrooms have ample space, vanity mirrors, pink-marble double sinks, and hair dryer. Sadly, there is no bathtub in sight.
A big thatched-roof palapa offers wide open spaces and game tables customized for chess, checkers and backgammon.
The jungle-looking swimming pool is at the edge of the public area. Although its rectangular form may seem boring to some, the setting actually works. A small Jacuzzi is located just at one of the ends of the pool. The Cabaña King includes a private pool.
KI’OL means “to enjoy” in Mayan, and that’s exactly the name of this Spa. Most services have a Mayan inspiration and some even include Mayan rituals.
You can’t miss the Temazcal treatment, a Mayan kind of sweat lodge that works with hot stones. After a Mayan Shaman introduces you to the meaning of this cleansing and relaxing experience, you’ll get into a what looks like a huge pizza oven and sweat until your chakras are healed.
There is no fitness center at The Explorean, but here nature is your gym. Trekking or cycling through the jungle will be your cardio, while kayaking or rappelling will do wonders for your strength conditioning.
Wooden chairs and tables under a big palapa roof form the setting of The Explorean restaurant, which serves gourmet Mexican cuisine.
Although there is only one restaurant bar, the all-inclusive concept of this hotel means that you can enjoy the wide variety of cocktails and drinks by the pool or in the tranquility of your terrace.
Ok, let’s put this straight, you don’t need to get around much… After a hotel-organized 1-hour drive from Chetumal International Airport all you’ll want to do is to enjoy the secluded paradise around you. However, if you really want to see the world around, The Explorean Kohunlich will provide any transportation needed.
You cannot stay at the hotel and not visit the Cenote Azul Restaurant (1-hour drive) near Bacalar. If you want to combine swimming in this bottomless cenote with breakfast and fun, this is not a place to miss. An all-around incredible experience. If you drive in other direction, and happen to visit Chetumal, Ristorante Positano (1-hour drive) may be an interesting option; some people say that their Italian dishes are better than in Italy.
Galeon Pirata Centro Cultural Independiente (60-minute drive) at the Bacalar lake is not a typical bar that you might be used to. It’s a place where local artists meet and expose their creations, so apart from having a pizza, a beer and some good music to listen, you may enjoy an interesting conversation with people around. Barbanegra Bacalar (55-minute drive) is known for its great ambience, laid-back decoration, great food and Margaritas that won’t give you a headache the day after.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This place is different. “In the middle of the jungle” actually means that in here, and that makes for a stunning experience. We love the location and the nature-oriented activities available. We also love that delightful Cabaña design.