What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Camping in Cancun – Paamul

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I had never gone camping, nor had the desire to go camping, in my life. But well, I’m a bit more adventurous these days and I figured Bebé would love it, sooo… I went camping!

Our Cancun family had bought a tent for a couple of school camping trips, and we had been discussing going camping forever, and we finally make it happen. We chose Paamul, a strange combination of hotel/RV park/campground/beach club and some giant mansions, which is located between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras.

My friend’s husband got there before us and set up the tent. We arrived on Friday in the late afternoon and we quickly got everything else set up before it got dark. Then we basically drank beer and talked (and laughed, a lot) while the boys played with their tablets inside the tent.

camping near Playa del Carmen

Sleeping was a little uncomfortable since I didn’t have an air mattress, but I took muscle relaxers, which helped.

The next morning we were all excited to see what the day would bring!

We were thrilled that there were a lot of electrical outlets close to the tent.

camping Riviera Maya

There are also bathrooms and showers for campers.

The cost is 200 pesos per adult per night, 100 pesos per child per night. Children ages 5 and under are free. (The office does accept cards for payment.)

The beach at Paamul isn’t that great, and the pool/restaurant area gets very busy, so we decided to walk to a virgin beach. Someone told us it was a 15 minute walk. I’m pretty sure it was more like 40 minutes, but it was a beautiful walk through the jungle.

Notice the garbage someone left under the tree. #peoplesuck

The boys didn’t really enjoy the hike.

But when we finally got to the beach, we all realized it was worth every step.

No hotels, no houses, no nothing.

We set everything up and had an unforgettable day.

I was really worried about how the boys were going to handle the walk back but I think they realized that it’s actually kind of fun to walk through the jungle.

When we got back we showered and ate dinner in the restaurant. It was fine, nothing to write home about and a little pricey, but the views are gorgeous. (The restaurant doesn’t accept cards, cash only.)

As far as other meals went, for breakfast we had fruit, cereal bars and pre-made toast (that’s a thing in Mexico) with peanut butter. For lunch we made sandwiches and brought chips and cookies. We brought a big jug of water with us and milk and juice for the kids.

Note: There is a small store on the highway at the entrance of Paamul that sells a little bit of everything, including ice and beer, and Puerto Aventuras is just a few minutes away by car.

That evening we sat outside the tent drinking while the boys played inside the tent with their tablets. (See a pattern developing here?)

I was so tired the second night that although I still felt like I was sleeping on cement, I slept better.

I could not believe it but on Sunday morning the boys actually wanted to walk back to the beach we had gone to the day before! Alas, there wasn’t time for that because had to return to Cancun, so we spent the morning at a beach that was closer. (Except my friend’s poor husband who stayed behind and took the tent down.)

There was one thing I definitely didn’t like about Paamul. They wouldn’t let us take our cooler to the beach. We weren’t in front of the restaurant (or even close to it). We weren’t using their beach furniture, and all Cancun area beaches are public and are not owned by any hotel or homeowner. In the end we just stuffed our sandwiches and water in our beach bags, but that part of the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. Everyone is paying in some way to be there, so the fact that they try to control what you take to the beach is not OK.

Finally, here are the things I learned about camping.

  1. You have to bring A LOT of stuff with you.
  2. It’s not as cheap as I thought it was.
  3. It’s super fun!

You may be wondering if I will ever go camping again… and the answer is a resounding “Si señor!”

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