After arriving in the Cancun airport, you can either rent a car or take the buses to Punta Allen.
By car, head south on Mex 307. The four lane divided highway takes you through Playa del Carmen and Tulum. In Tulum, you take a left at the only traffic light in Tulum and head south on the only road, which ends in Punta Allen. After leaving Tulum, you will come the Sian Kahn Park entrance - an arch made of native stone - where you need to stop and pay the entrance fee of thirty seven pesos per person per day. There is a wonderful nature trail located at the park entrance. The short trail ends at a large cenote (natural swimming pool) where you can take a refreshing dip in the water. The road south from Tulum to Punta Allen has had a considerable makeover. Although the road is not paved south of the park entrance, the 40 km drive only takes a little over an hour by car; however reports of taking this road in a very bad shape in 4 hours is not unheard of—if it happens to rain, odds are you will not make it through the pot holes in a rental car. Don't be in a hurry to get to Punta Allen. Along the road are numerous pull-offs where you can stroll long stretches of virgin beach or watch waves crash against beautiful razor rock formations. If you rent a car to drive be sure you fill up your tank in Tulum. There are no gas stations in Punta Allen.
One option for bus travelers is The first class buses running from the airport to the central bus depot in Cancun where you transfer to a direct bus to Tulum and provides the best way to quickly head toward Punta Allen. Once you get to Tulum you can transfer to the one combi leaving for Punta Allen daily at 2PM. The buses from Cancun to Tulum make a stop at the Maya ruins of Tulum and then end at the bus depot in central Tulum.
The other option is to take the buses from Tulum to Felipe Carrillo Puerto (a very nice, non-tourist pueblo). If you do this, it would be better to hop a bus to Carrillo Puerto from Tulum. This is not a through road for private cars and takes almost three and one-half hours. The combis (small state run vans) leave from the corner of the Mercado for Vigia Chico at 10AM and 3PM. to Vigia Chico takes you to a pier across the bay from Punta Allen. There the water taxi will take you on a 10 minute small boat trip across the bay to Punta Allen. You might spend one night in Carrillo, depending on your travel plans and the ride to PA the next day puts you right on the beach.
Everywhere you need to go is within walking distance.
The beach lining the road and town is stunning, and is alone worth the drive.
- . There is a vast aray of different colored plastic washed up amonst the tons of seaweed on these beaches !!
There is a lot to do in Punta Allen. Although relaxing in the last great unspoiled and undeveloped spot in the Yucatan is a given, Ascension Bay is considered by many to be the finest flats fishing in the world for a grand slam. There is the walk to the lighthouse or the Laguna Negro with three observation towers for bird watching and vistas. You can rent a launch and tour the flats/mangroves, snorkel the reef or visit the Maya ruins of Muyil by boat. If you arrived in a rental car, you have almost 25 miles of incredible virgin beaches to visit. There is no development between Tulum and Punta Allen and the beaches are awe inspiring, clean stretches of white sand with a good wave break on points. Excellent birding is a given year round with winter months hosting the southern migrations of many Northern species, while the Summer and Fall months host the migration of the endangered toucan and numerous parrot species.
- . When did this comment get added? Just got back to Tulum after 2 days there and the beach is disgusting !
There are several grocery stores and the Fishermen's Cooperative has seafood, including lobster, for purchase. If you stay at either Serenidad Sardon or Sirena's, you will have kitchen access.
There are some nice restraurants in Punta Allen. The most popular ones are Muelle Viejo, Casa de Ascension, Lupita's and Taco Loco. Punta Allen also has many small home based luncherias open in the evening serving great and inexpensive, regional fare. The locations seem to change frequently, so ask when you get to town.
- Lupita's Garden. Open every day for dinner. Gourmet Maya-Carib with a rotating, alfresco set menu. Reservations required. set price of $18US.
- Casa de Ascension. Open every day for breakfast and dinner. Overlooking the village it features an exciting menu combining classic Mexican cuisine, local seafood, the unforgettable flavors of Italy, and always fresh exotic fruit delights to make every meal a special experience. There are daily fish specialties, a wonderful choice of seasonal garden fresh salads, homemade bread, Pizzas, Ice Cream and espresso. 12-15 US$ per meal.
Only one store sells beer, wine and liquor, but it has a fairly good supply and prices are not bad. If you bicycle in, stop at Cruzan for lunch and mentioned that you came by bike. You are likely to have your first drink be free.
If you stay around long enough, say a month or more, to be considered a "local", beers in restaurants are the equivalent of $1. Otherwise, the rate is twice that.
- Serenidad Shardon. This is on the beach, with a common kitchen and good range of accommodations, including some very inexpensive options. If you e-mail and want something cheap, ask about the dorm that is nearer the kitchen than the beach or the camping.
- Casa de Ascension. This is a casual, eco hotel with 3 beautiful bedrooms, furnished and decorated in Mexican style. Each bedroom has overhead fans, air condition and 24-hour electricity. A full bathroom with hot and cold running water is standard for each bedroom. It also features broadband wireless Internet and satellite television in a common comfortable living room. The restaurant on the airy terrace is a must.
- Cuzan Guest House. This is a bit more expensive and is geared to people who fish, but it deserves to be listed as well. It is a good place for a meal too.
- Club Grand Slam. This is an intimate B&B with private suites open year round and geared to adventures wanting modern facilities. For people wanting air conditioning, hot water showers, and as close to fully modern accommodations as you can get in the Sian Kahn Biosphere. Owned and operated by a Maya native, Lupita and her husband, Capt. Greg Rahe. They also have a restaurant open every day with Maya influnced dishes. Reservations required.
The central park of any Mexican village or city is where people gather in the evenings to visit with family and friends. The park in Punta Allen has a playground, a half football field, and a volleyball court. This is a great place to stroll in the evenings for a meet and greet with the locals.