Punta Allen is the only town on the peninsula and has the most options for lodging, food, tours, and other services. Along the long unpaved road leading there, however, is a smattering of lodges and private homes—and miles and miles of beautiful deserted coastline.
Just four kilometers (2.5 miles) from Tulum ,
Boca Paila Camps (tel. 984/871-2499, www.cesiak.org , US$91–103 s/d) is perfect for those travelers looking for an outdoorsy experience with a bit of comfort. Spacious “tent cabins”—heavy-duty canvas tents set on platforms—house real beds, quality linens, and tasteful decor; some even have beautifully painted headboards. Cabins are spread well apart and have terraces with views of the Caribbean or lagoon. Shared bathrooms have rainwater showers, modern compost toilets, and 24-hour lighting. The cabins themselves don’t have electricity, but candles and battery-powered lamps are provided. The main building, completely solar and wind powered, houses a good restaurant, too. Operated by CESiaK, an environmental foundation that offers excellent kayaking, bird-watching, and fly-fishing excursions.
Eight kilometers (5 miles) before Punta Allen, Sol Caribe (tel. 984/139-3839, www.solcaribe-mexico.com , US$185 s/d, US$200–250 cabaña, US$100/40 extra per adult/child all-inclusive) is a renovated hotel with modern rooms and cabañas set on a palm-tree-laden property. All feature en suite hot water bathrooms, private decks with hammocks and chairs, 24-hour electricity, and gorgeous views (ocean or jungle). There is a recommended restaurant on-site serving up mostly Mexican, Argentinean, and Italian dishes. An optional all-inclusive plan also is offered, covering all meals, drinks, and taxes.
Facing the central plaza, Posada Sirena (tel. 984/877-8521, www.casasirena.com , US$38–75 s/d) offers simple Robinson Crusoe–style bungalows. Each sleeps up to eight people and has private bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. All-day fly-fishing trips run US$140 per person or US$190 for solo anglers. Half- and full-day tours of the bay, including snorkeling and bird-watching, also can be arranged.
The brightly painted rooms at Casa de Ascensión (near the entrance to town, tel. 984/801-0034, www.casadeascensionhotel.com , US$45–55 s/d with a/c) each have a minisplit air conditioner, satellite TV, and wireless Internet signal. Beds are a bit thin, but service is attentive, and the owners can arrange a variety of tours, including fishing and snorkeling. Airport pickup is included.
On the coastal road to the lighthouse, Serenidad Shardon (tel. 984/876-1827, www.shardon.com , US$8.50–17 pp camping, US$150 s/d, US$200 s/d with kitchen, US$250 2-bdrm apartment up to 5 guests, US$350 beach house up to 10 guests) offers a variety of accommodations for all sorts of budgets. Rooms vary from oceanfront cabañas to a large beach house. You also can camp using your own gear, or rent deluxe tents with real beds, electric light, and fans; access to hot showers and a full kitchen also is included. Right on the beach, Serenidad Shardon makes a beautiful place to just kick back and relax.
One of the original fishing lodges in town, Cuzan Guesthouse (tel. 983/834-0358, www.flyfishmx.com , US$50–110 s/d room only, US$1,357 pp 4 nights/3 days plus fishing and meals, US$2,299 pp 7 nights/6 days plus fishing and meals, excluding alcoholic drinks) still has a loyal following despite the ever-growing pool of competitors. Palapa-roofed cabañas have private bathrooms, porches with hammocks, and ocean views. Beyond fishing trips, Cuzan Guesthouse also can arrange bird-watching and snorkeling tours. Look for it on the southern end of town, on the beach.
On the southern edge of town is Ascension Bay Bonefish Club (toll-free U.S. tel. 800/819-0750, www.ascensionbay.com , US$3,200 pp 7 nights/6 days all-inclusive with daily fishing trips). Rooms here are set up in a private home; they’re simple—two single beds, private hot-water bathroom, and a fan—but very clean. The biggest thing going for this place, though, is the maximum number of guests permitted—just six—at any one time. It makes for friendly and personalized service. Stays typically run Friday to Friday (November to June) and include pickup and drop-off at the Cancún Airport.