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“Great Hostel!”
Review of Hostel Paakal

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Hostel Paakal
Reviewed December 16, 2012

A group of 7 friends and I are making our way from Cancun to Caye Caulker, Belize and fortunately were told about this hostel...what a pleasure! The place was clean, accomodating, has great staff and amazing facilities. They have a pool, Wi FI, breakfast, game room, television room and some awesome patios. One of the greatest hostel experiences we have had hands down...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Ashley F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelPaakals, Propietario at Hostel Paakal, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thanks for visiting us at the hostel paakal's is to serve you and to serve them as they deserve with the kindness that characterizes us and to make your stay as comfortable as at home

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 43 of 62 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2012

If you´re traveling between Mexico and Belize then you will be going through Caye Caulker at some point, so here is a tip you would be silly to miss.
I have been through the boarder on land from Tulum to Belize city in the past and it isn´t very fun or memorable and can be a bit risky sometimes I hear... anyway, there is a ferry running from Chetumal, Mexico to Belize city, Belize via Caye Caulker and back every day for a reasonable price of around 10 US which cuts out the issue of a trip from the island to the main land which saves time and money.
When you arrive at the boarder on the mexican side you will be in Chetumal and THIS IS THE REAL TIP!
Get a 15 peso cab from the coach station to this Hostel, it is amazing, good price, good service, clean newly decorated rooms with aircon and a balcony with lockers and even a jicusy!
Breakfast included and the place comes with a pool and garden with hammocks, computers, wifi, big kitchen, living room with TV, ping pong table, punching bag, running machine and much more!
You gotta see it to believe it really, you wont leave.

Room Tip: Its early days and this place will be booming at some point, be one of the first and get treated.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank daveymoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelPaakals, Propietario at Hostel Paakal, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thanks for visiting us at the hostel paakal's is to serve you and to serve them as they deserve with the kindness that characterizes us and to make your stay as comfortable as at home

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Stumbled upon this little gem thanks to the advice of a man at the ADO bus station in Chetumal, thank god we listened to him and not our lonely planet guide!!

This place is beyond amazing, everything is new, CLEAN and tiled so its cool inside. We booked 1 night in the private room which is massive (and cheap!) with air con and a shared balcony onto the bustling street.

There is a massive clean kitchen which feels like home, a perfect dipping pool and 2 computers with free internet (which I am using now)

The dorms are also something special, nice beds, air con and an en-suite (including a jacuzzi!!!!)

The staff are lovely, speak English helpful when it comes to finding restaurants etc.
Did i mention breakfast? Its free, a lady named Margarita comes and makes it for you and even did our washing up!!

Thankfully we have decided to stay another night so we can check out the lagoons, old colonial town and a Mayan museum which Lonely Planet guide mention as one of the best museums.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Erind1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelPaakals, Propietario at Hostel Paakal, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thanks for visiting us at the hostel paakal's is to serve you and to serve them as they deserve with the kindness that characterizes us and to make your stay as comfortable as at home

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Hostel Paakal is all any backpacker or budget traveler could hope for!
Affordable, clean, safe, inviting, amenities, and a great hopping off point for amazing adventures.
So clean that it's absent of scent- yes that fresh! Even the bathrooms and refrigerator.
Almost everything seems brand new: mattresses and bedding that look as if they have never been used.
That's the sad thing. From speaking with the owner Alex, I've learned very few travelers stop in Chetumal and even fewer know this amazing hostel exists.
He and his family have this enormous place and I'm literally the only one here (super sweet for me but horrible for their family business).
They have tons of open spaces/ communal gathering spots, a huge kitchen, a small but delightful inground pool, hammocks, lounge chairs for suntanning, an entertainment room for getting your tv on if you so chose, a neat little bar setup, chess boards, books, computers, free wifi, info for local sights, a GYM! Yep, a gym at a hostel :) They were thinking of you fit travelers when they appointed the upstairs back balcony with a treadmill, stationary bike, punching bag and gloves, free weights, aerobic blocks, medicine ball, jump ropes, trampoline, yoga mats, and of course a ping pong ball table! I don't workout but I appreciate the thought they put into everything.
If you are like me you like to eat!
Breakfast is included (my favorite!) from 7-9am (if you are late you can still have breakfast but it's like $3USD?).
It's no cheapie breakfast either! I ate like it was going to be my only meal that day (Admit it backpackers, you do the same thing. Right?).
Fresh papaya with granola was course one. Then peach yogurt. After that a generous serving of scrambled eggs with onion and a side of yummy beans. I'm not done yet... toast with butter and strawberry jam. Frosted flakes with lactose free milk, coffee with creamer, and a few glasses of icy cold purified water.
Don't judge.
Ah the dorm... I slept in the upstairs 12 person dorm in the front. There is more than one dorm and a number of private rooms but I can only comment on this one. Sparkling clean, lots of fresh air coming through the patio door, ceiling fan works great, yes there is AC but I didn't need it.
That's saying a lot about the breeze in this room because it was 87F and 90% humidity at 10pm.
The patio door has screens if you like but nothing came in. Mosquitos love me, not an issue upstairs. Downstairs a few took a bite.
The patio itself is stinking huge!
It has both sun and shade depending on your taste, a neat table and chairs that still look like the tree they came from, 7 folding chairs, and there are metal braces attached to the ceiling for a hammock I think? A really lovely space with potted plants and a chill vibe. I hung out alone last night watching the stars.
It's on Av. Juarez so there is car noise but that had no effect on my comfort or ability to sleep. That's a city for you. If city noises aren't something you can handle maybe the back of the house is quieter?
Being in a city means you can walk to laundry, good eats, shopping, bus station, ferry terminal (to Belize)...
Chetumal is a city city. Not touristy at all.
I walked for hours and not one single person offered to sell me anything! No hassling.
People just living their lives. Very different from tourist towns. I dig that a lot.
I know hardly any Spanish but all the locals helped me with a genuine smile.
Great people in Chetumal.
There are plenty of taxis, colectivos (vans that are somewhere between a taxi and metro bus), city buses and the ADO bus station. Oh and the ferries to Belize :)
I had never heard of Chetumal before a fellow hosteler recommended this place.
Now that I am hip I can vouch for it.
There is a big cenote about 20 or 30 minutes north by colectivo or taxi.
Bacalar is right there too! I'm so excited to visit the lagoons!
You could go to some ruins, museums, see manatees, there are plenty of things to do near this border town!
Just ask Alex, he speaks English very well (even though he doesn't think so) and he loves to help.
I will be staying here at least one more night before heading south. It's a great place to relax and unwind between Belize and Tulum/Cancun. It's a great place if you want to experience a genuine Mexican city.
Not a gigantic metropolis or a tiny village. Not a tourist trap or "must see".
Just a nice sized slice of Mexican life.
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this hostel and this city.
Oh! One last thing. When I walked in the door the owners didn't expect me but invited me right in and asked if I would like to join them for dinner! Come on, how sweet is that?! The 11 year old son is so adorable! He is shy and I want to pinch his cheeks!
Alex's beautiful wife doesn't speak English but gave me a very warm and welcoming vibe. I'm horrible with names but the woman who works during the day is very kind and helpful as well :) Oh! And Poncho too! He works here at night :)
I hope this review is helpful to both the traveler and the business.
I am a genuine traveler who felt this hostel deserved a great review.
Let's not keep this place a secret! While it's amazing to have a place to yourself in high season it would be better to share with fellow travelers! Not to mention it won't be here if more people don't come! That would really suck.
When you come make sure to add a review!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank TheJillyBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelPaakals, Propietario at Hostel Paakal, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thanks for visiting us at the hostel paakal's is to serve you and to serve them as they deserve with the kindness that characterizes us and to make your stay as comfortable as at home

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

couldnt agree more with jon h! this place is amazing.... it literally has EVERYTHING! free wi fi, clean comfortable rooms, free fresh breakfast, kitchen facilities, (mini)pool, bbq, gym, lounge (with tv and games), hammocks, free laundry (diy), and you can bring your own food and alcohol!

the staff are super nice and mostly speak good english. really helpful and laidback people. alex will look after you!

and on top of everything else its relatively cheap for this part of mexico. 180 pesos per night for a doomroom.... that wouldnt get you much in somewhere like playa del carmen.

we came for a night and stayed 4!

a five star backpackers!

if there is one con about paakal's, it is the proximity to the central and esplanade areas..... its a bit of a hike!(cabs are pretty cheap anyways), having said that the whole city is fairly disconnected so nothing is close to anything. i found there wasnt much to do in chetumal, but i was happy to stay mostly at the hostel and relax.

Room Tip: Dorm rooms are 4. 6, and 12 beds, and there is a 2 bed (single beds) private room. the 12 bed dorm h...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank rohbanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelPaakals, Propietario at Hostel Paakal, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thanks for visiting us at the hostel paakal's is to serve you and to serve them as they deserve with the kindness that characterizes us and to make your stay as comfortable as at home

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

Stayed here as part of a package with a minibus trip from Tullum. I joined trip advisor just to write a review about how amazing this hostel it.
The place is like no hostel I stayed in after 7 months in South and Central America. It is like a big family home, the kitchen is stocked with every type of herb or spice you would need to cook and there is a massive gas or coal grill in the back garden next to the pool. This made me and the couple I met on the mini bus go to the super market to buy things to cook on the grill and have beers in the garden.
The place is brand new, crisp white linen is on the bunk beds. There is AC or fans in the rooms and there is a massive TV room with big comfy couches. The staff are helpful and if you get the mini bus from the Tullum to the border (for onward travel to Belize) it actually works out cheaper than getting the public coach service with a night's stay in this place.
I had to leave to catch a flight the next morning, I wish I could have stayed here longer.

Room Tip: All dorm rooms are the same standard. The front room has a great balcony with hammocks.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Jon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelPaakals, Propietario at Hostel Paakal, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2013

Thanks for visiting us at the hostel paakal's is to serve you and to serve them as they deserve with the kindness that characterizes us and to make your stay as comfortable as at home

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: Hagan reservación y que les muestren el hotel antes de hacer check in
  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maricarmen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostel Paakal

Address: Avenida Benito Juarez 364-A, Chetumal 77013, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Chetumal
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Chetumal
Price Range: $13 - $28 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paakal is the best hostel in the city of Chetumal, Quintana Roo. We have the friendliest staff, the most comfortable and best rates. We are in the best location in town and 10 minutes walk from the bus station, where you can visit sites that are beautiful Chetumal and where you go to Mayan archaeological sites and beautiful places that nature has Quintana Roo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostel Paakal Chetumal, Mexico - Quintana Roo

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