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“Unique Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Campamento YAAX'CHE

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Campamento YAAX'CHE
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Carretera 186 Escarcega | Chetumal Km 98 + 7, Calakmul, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Like many reviewers, we too wanted somewhere to stay that would allow us to get a head start on the 60 km drive to the actual ruins of Calakmul. We were a little put off by the price of Hotel Puerto Calakmul which is at the turn off from Hwy 186 towards Calakmul so decided to drive the 7 km down the road and give camping at Yaax'che a try.

For $11 each, we were given a large tent with two air mattresses. Each tent is placed under a protected canopy of sheet metal and thatching and the ground underneath is cleared of rocks and other hard objects that would make sleeping uncomfortable.

There was a clean ecotoliet onsite (urinal drains into a bucket that can be emptied by the staff and the toilet was a long drop toilet which you would put a few scoops of sawdust after you were finished to help with the smell). There was also a shower area, but to be honest we didn't shower so I am not 100% certain how it worked. I think you filled a bucket of water (provided) and did an old fashioned 'splash' bath.

We had brought our own food that we had purchased in Playa del Carmen prior to leaving since we weren't sure what the food situation was going to be like. Thus we did not eat here during our stay. They did have a table and chairs for guests to use for preparing/eating. As well as a large campfire area with seating. A group Spaniards were making 'grilled' slabs of ham and roasting wieners over the fire, which really made our tuna sandwiches look boring!

I think the key take away here is that you are camping. As for facilities, I think the set up here matches or is better than a lot of smaller state parks here in the states. The benefit is that the tent is already set up for you. You don't have to mess around with hauling one in, setting it up/taking it down. Plus you get a real air mattress instead of sleeping on the ground or foam pad which most people use when actually camping.

Our only complaint is that they do have chickens, roosters and 2 dogs. The dogs barked off and on throughout the night and the roosters got going at 4:00 am. I am a light sleeper so that woke me up right away. The jungle sounds don't phase us as we have spent extensive time in the jungles of South America, Central America and Africa. In fact our 'white noise' at night here in Chicago is a recording of the Africa jungle at night. To me, the jungle is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth and to get to 'camp' there was an exciting experience.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Akumal, Mexico
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

I REALLY must say that the other reviews of the camp are really unfair.
People, you must understand ahead of time that you will be CAMPING in the jungle.. and i stress CAMPING.
You will recieve a tent, air matress, and blankets. Friendly service, great local food, and fresh organic eggs. The staff IS attentive and friendly.
We went to Calakmul on our own (which is the best way to go) and if you do..stop at KM marker 27. Walk the trail for about 200 yards and look up.... at least 50 Spyder Monkeys are there to great you.
At the camp take the walk to the lookout tower at sunrise or sunset.. best view and the best time to see animals. Also enjoy the Howler Monkeys that make the trees in the camp their home. -- yes be prepared for some very unusal howling they do.. late afternoon and about 4am.. but again you are in the jungle.
Also dont sweat the roosters and chickens roaming the camp.. all part of the enjoyment.
Listen.. overall this was an unique way to enjoy Calakmul, the other ruins and of course jungle wildlife.
Id go back for sure, but remember ITS NOT FOR EVERYONE.
Enjoy !

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint James City, Florida
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

Visit Camp Yaax Che if you have never heard jungle sounds, but do not visit it if you expect to learn anything about the sounds that you hear. The people at Camp Yaax Che need to learn some people skills! I am able to speak Spanish, and yet, to enter into a conversation was impossible. There was a French family that was visiting and their children asked about certain sounds. Their questions were ignored and so I answered them. (I have camped in the Petén and along the Amazon).

I thought that perhaps this lack of conversation was because the relationship between the proprietress and I began with an argument. 1) She tried to overcharge for transportation to the Calakmul Ruins - almost 700 pesos. 2) She lied and said that the “bat cave” had collapsed and one could not see the sight of thousands of bats darkening the sky at dusk (I have pictures proving this false).. 3) Again she lied saying that the ruins of Balamkú were too far to visit, even though the entrance is passed on the way to Xpujil.

I had planned to stay at the campsite for four nights, however, I left the second day after learning that they would not fulfill the agreed upon itinery
for a much more pleasant stay at the Hotel and Restaurant Calakmul.

Don’t waste your time or money on the advertised “comunidad de nueva vida y la medicina natural, cave and forest tour”. The cost was $1100 pesos to see a deforested plot of ground and a stooped over lest you bump your head forty-five minute walk through water (knee high boots should have been provided) and darkness to see nothing that was “breathtaking” - not even a developed stalactite! Oh, yes, the tour to the “village” was non-existent. And, yes, I was on a horse, but the horse was led by its owner making me feel as if I was a five year old at the county fair.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

My wife and i arrived after dark, about 8.30pm after driving 6.5 hrs. From Merida. We wanted to stay as close to Calakmul as possible so as to be the first into the site. We stopped first at the hotel pueblo, or whatever is right off the hwy entrance road, but they wanted over $100, and for 9 hrs of darkness, it wasn't worth it.

So we drove the 7km into the campground, and a maya woman begrudgingly greeted us and in my broken spanish i asked if she had a tent. She took us through the trees on a winding trail, pointed out tge bathrooms and led us to pne of those giant family size coleman stand-in tents, with water on the floor, a twin size inflatable mattress ans some kind of half-inch mattress cover tging on top of that. I asked her how much, and she said 200 pesos PER PERSON! That's $18 USD each, $36 USD for what? I could probably buy that tent at Wal-mart for $36. I told her that was ridiculous expensive and she held her ground; no bargain there at all, even after i told her the book said 100 pesos for a tent. She said it was 75 pesos for a bring your own tent site.

Well fortunately my wife is a sport- we drove down their 'driveway' to the access road and just slept in the car that night for free. We got up at dawn, drove the 50 km to the site and were the furst people on every ruin that day. Only thing i'd have done different is to have driven a bit farther down the access road and found another place to pull off and park. It'd have saved me most of the hour's drive and waste of dawn in the morning.

The gate to the access road was up, that's how we got to the campground after dark to begin with.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

We stayed at this camp because we wanted to be closer to the ruins at Calakmul -- which are another hour further down the road and into the forest. We weren't expecting luxurious conditions and were game for "roughing it" for a night. We weren't disappointed. We got to hear a great concert of howler monkeys. Who knew that such small animals could make such a tremendous sound! If you have small children you'll want to prepare them because the sound is really huge. We had been warned by the owner who told us that we should not be afraid - but even so, we were amazed by the sound.

We rented a tent with air mattresses and sheets for $15 per person. The tent was of good quality. We had no problems with bugs. The air mattresses were just that (does anyone sleep well on one if they are older than 18??). The sheets were thin and, even though you are in the jungle, you will get cold. Take a sweater or additional blankets. This is an eco-camp. There is no running water. You will use water in a bucket for cleaning up and the "bathroom" is an outhouse.

The restaurant served good but basic food -- enchiladas, beans and terrific handmade tortillas. The owners sell various things they've made -- the honey we bought is great (try it on the tortillas -- beats pancakes with syrup).

Yaax'che is not the Ritz but then who expects that from an eco-camp? The one thing to be aware of is that the road into the camp is very rough -- lots of rocks and potholes. If you are driving an SUV you'll be fine but if you have a regular car you'll want to take it slow and easy.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Campamento YAAX'CHE

Address: Carretera 186 Escarcega | Chetumal Km 98 + 7, Calakmul, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Campeche > Calakmul
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Calakmul
Number of rooms: 12

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