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Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

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Houston
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223 posts
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Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

We will be at the Tucan in May and I wanted to find the easiest way to get to them from the Tucan. The closest place to catch a collectivo? What time should we start out to beat the crowds?

Angie

ama
California
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264 posts
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1. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

I'm not sure where Tucan is located. But you can catch a collectivo from the highway. Sometimes some of the hotels will have "stops" set up on the side of the highway in front of their hotels. They will stop if they have room for you.

As for time, it's best to go in the morning or late afternoon to beat the crowds. Also, because of the heat. Don't forget to bring a hat, water, and swimsuit (there's beach at Tulum). We went at noon in November and didn't find it too crowded, just really hot.

Halifax, N.S.
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311 posts
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2. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

Hi AngieO

The Xel-ha gate is supposed to open at 9 a.m. and the park at 9:30, but we got there at 9:10, cruised though the gate and were in the water by 9:20, before just about everyone else. It's great to get there early and just float around by yourselves. It also helps you get to lunch earlier and beat those crowds. Most of the restaurants were fairly small and had sizeable lineups, though the buffet place seems larger. Have a blast. It's a great place. The front desk people at the hotel will likely help you out with transport and times, ours did.

Houston
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3. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

Thanks for the info.. Definitely helps.

Angie

Halifax, N.S.
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311 posts
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4. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

Ooops, forgot to mention, you might want to bring water socks or not lock your sandals up (as we did) because the trail can be pretty rocky in places, especially for you winter-softened tootsies.

Ont. Canada
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100 posts
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5. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

We stayed in Akumal but we walked to the highway at about 8:20 a.m and to our surprise there was a collectivo just waiting for pickups. We were at Xel-Ha by 8:30 and walked in and was in the water by 9:00 or so. This is the absolute best time to see all kinds of stingrays, fish etc. before it gets too busy. We stayed right until 5:00 p.m. Caught the collectivo ( again they wait at the gate for people leaving) back. Easy, cheap and fast.

Halifax, N.S.
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311 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

Also, the best places to see fish seem to be along the shore on the left side toward the floating bridge and in a small cove on the right-hand side near the kids playground where the parrot fish hang out -- at least on the day we were there. Those darn stingrays are tough to spot, but sooooo cool when you see one.

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555 posts
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7. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

geevnot -

How can we bring our water shoes along, We as a family of 6 want to snorkel and explore. SHould be bring along a bag to carry them in? Also, I will buy one of those water proof cases to bring cash, cards, etc. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

ama
California
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264 posts
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8. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

Sues4 - you can bring a bag or simply drop off your shoes before you get in the water. We wore our sport sandals and basically laid down our towels, biodegradable suntan lotion, and sandals right in front of chairs that are laid out and hopped in the water. We had no problems.

The case is a good idea, we used it at the Beach and Xcaret's underground river. Another option is leaving your $ in your locker, we did this and it was safe for us.

Tips: Get there as early as you can to enjoy the park. Go to your left and rent gear at snorkel station 2 (there's less people getting gear here and the locker rental is right next door). Remember that you will need to leave a deposit (we left our hotel room key, which worked out fine). Then enjoy breakfast and go to the floating bridge (must fish there) and inside lagoon area, there's free fish food too, they go crazy for it. You might want to bring an extra towel (reason being one of our towels got drenched and they refused to let us "trade" for a clean one). Also, be warned the lazy river is REALLY lazy. I was so thankful that my bf and I both had our snorkel gear with us in the tube. We eventually used our "fins" to paddle down! Hahaha. Bring an underwater camera from home too, much cheaper. Also, I'd advise to eat at one of the sit down resturants for lunch (Mexican Lindo was delicious) they have menus posted. And let them take pics of you at the park, you can decide later if you want to purchase them or not, so there's no cost to you. Have fun!

Halifax, N.S.
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311 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

Hi AngieO,

AMA's advice is dead-on, and we also had no trouble just leaving our sandals and towels on a chair. One amendment I'd make however, is to eat breakfast before you go. You get in the water right away then, and you've also had time to digest. Sure it might mean a few buck less worth in the AI package, but the time in the water is worth it. The seafood restaurant was also excellent. Have a blast.

MN
3 posts
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10. Re: Xel Ha and Tulum on our own??

I went with my husband and 6 children (6mo - 14yrs.) we went everywhere on the public bus. IT dropped us right in the parking lot of Xel-ha. Picked us up there too. Very inexpensive way to get around. If you buy a package deal you are just throwing your money away.