Traveling the Yucatan and Central America on $20 USD a day


Turquoise water, powdery white sand beaches as deep as a football field is long, and thatched-roof cabañas set back behind the dunes. The beach is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen. It is the epitome of the Riviera Maya and you’d be a fool to miss it. But, it pays to be prepared here.

While there are plenty of places to rent a cabaña or set up camp on the beach, there is nowhere to buy groceries or reasonably priced food. For this you must get to town, close to a 10-minute taxi ride from the beach. There are decent places to sleep and delicious places to eat in town, but to come to Tulum and not stay at least one night under the clear night sky with the waves crashing in the distance would be a pity to miss.

Taxis will be charging anywhere from $40pesos/$3usd to $100pesos/$8usd for a trip to the beach from town — but don’t worry, there is a colectivo. It runs from the center of town near the HSBC bank to the beach starting at 6:20am and running at 6:35am, 7:40am, 8:30am, 9:20am, 10:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4:40pm, and 7:30pm with return rides running 10 minutes after each listed time. The cost of the colectivo is $10pesos/$.80usd — and heads up, if you are carrying your backpack, they may not stop for you.

GETTING // GOING          •          SLEEPING          •          EATING

DOING          •         MAP

Click below to read OUR STORY: TULUM

Tulum: La Playa Magica

By Laura Lazorski

The most difficult part about our stay in Tulum was our distance from the beach, la playa—the place where everyone was going to or coming from. The Weary Traveler does offer free transport to and from la playa, but we kept finding ourselves operating on different time-frames. Colectivos run out there too, and for 10 pesos each way you can get around (the last one leaves for town at 7:50.) We caught them a couple of times. But somehow we found ourselves down at the beach well after sunset, and well after the last colectivo went back to town. We couldn’t resist a sunset swim. The water and the waves were the perfect temperature, and all the locals were bobbing in the surf. We left the waves to check out one of the few remaining camping areas on the shore, Camping  Chavez, and were invited into a beach tent inhabited by a fine artist named Miguel. He showed us his time-lapse photography of an awesome lightning storm that tore up the sky the night before, and captured our interest with his knowledge of sea turtles’ cycles. He assured us we would see baby turtles born if we walked home along the surf. We left his tent too late for the colectivo and instead struck out toward the surf with the singular purpose of witnessing baby sea turtles scramble to the sea. Above, the cream band of milky-way sang out against the deep rhythm of sea and horizon. The rolls of surf kept the crab specters dancing, our skin pricked with the salt spray, and we picked our way over the shaped sands till we saw a dress silhouetted by the salted haze in a flashlight beam. “Cuidado!” was whispered as we approached, and the lady pointed at the five baby sea turtles jockeying, tumbling, and lunging for the waves. It’s true that we watched the sea take up the baby turtles that night—Miguel was right.

Take me back to MEXICO // Take me HOME

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