So with three weeks in México our budget for accommodations and food averaged roughly $70 a day for both of us. Add in about $30 a week for everyday groceries. Last week I promised to uncover where most of our money was spent. Remember, think adventure?
Many of you may have thought it was beer or booze in the guise of Coco Loco’s! No, sorry mis amigos, it wasn’t beer.The truth is, I’m not a big fan of Mexican beer. It’s just not that interesting. Sure, it takes the heat off at the beach, the writer’s warm up for journal entries at happy hour, or an ice breaker with like-minded travelers on our porch. But for the most part, drinking was not the focus of this trip.On beach days, we’d pack our travel cooler with a few beers and we each had one Coco Loco for old time sake, but as I mentioned last week, our go-to refreshment was a cold Jamaica agua fresca~hibiscus flower tea.
The ADO commuter bus from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen runs every hour and is $8 each.
Round trip ferry service to and from Cozumel was $11 each and about an hour long across the beautifully blue Caribbean.
Car rental for 3 days in Cozumel was $50. We think that included insurance but we didn’t care, Hakuna Matata. There wasn’t much to insure on this Mexican Ferrari anyway: no windows, no seat belts, no radio, no horn, no floor mats, no reverse. No problems.
On a more serious note, México is one of the few countries where your credit card won’t cover you or your rental car. You need insurance. We rented an economy, manual transmission with A/C in Playa del Carmen for a week at $5 a day which included $7500 in primary liability Ins. (PLI). That’s not enough.
Insurance which I purchased online back home was an additional $11 a day through a third party company~RentalCover.com. This is full coverage:
- $35,000 rental car collision damage
- $7,500 emergency medical evacuation
- Windshield repair/replace
- Tire puncture repair/replace
- Undercarriage damage
- Key loss
Had we purchased this from our rental company at the desk it would have been $30 a day for the same coverage. Car rental for 7 days with full coverage $121. Like the VW convertible, no problems.
Cooking class in Cozumel $80 each.
Cobá~Mayan ruins~ parking, admission, and bike for a few hours, $8 each.
Unlike the ruins in Tulum, Cobá is spread out over miles. Probably why I like them better. Tulum can get jam packed. Plus, the drive to Cobá is nice and there’s a chance for some tasty authentic Mayan food along the way. Ask for conchinita pibil.
However, the ruins in Tulum have an escape plan for beating the heat. In order to see these ruins for FREE and keep distance from the tour buses and selfie sticks, my favorite way to see the Tulum ruins is from below on what has become more famous for its long white sand beach. The Mayan Gods at this temple had it made in the shade.
The Cozumel Museum offers visitors a chance to see what Mayan life was on the Island. There is also a unique display on reef life and early diving exploration. Cozumel Museo $4 each.
Cozumel Catholic church and cemetery. FREE.
We spent three hours here on a tour with just the two of us and a local guide~~~>
There were spider and howler monkeys. We canoed a lagoon then zip-lined over it using a stick in the shape of a large crochet hook as the brake.
We were lowered into this small opening into a deep cenote (cold water cave) for a refreshing dip with a colony of bats.
And in the finale of this Mayan experience, we were blessed under a thousand year old tree by this authentic Mayan shaman who renewed our wedding vows. The only witnesses, our guide and the tree. All of this for $30 each.
We happened to catch an evening sunset snorkel at Dzul-ha beach club on the very night the locals threw a full moon party, including live Rock & Roll music. $5 each.
Finding our own beach on one of the most beautiful white stretches of sand in the world. FREE!
So there you have it, our budget for fun and exciting adventure in México came to about $30 a day.
With the exception of the car rentals, everything was paid for in Mexican pesos. And even though the Mexican people are happy to share their island, their culture, and are respectful hosts, they rely on the tourist dollar to feed their families. For that reason we brought a bundle of $1 bills to tip those who helped us along the way or just made us smile.
Postcards and postage $10.
They’re still on the way. . . In the mean time. . . Enjoy Tulum without the crowds. . .