Part 1: Tulum
We decided to stay on the continent this year, because of a serious illness in the family. So, we chose Mexico, in particular the Yucatan area. We flew to Cancun on a Saturday morning in early February. After landing at the airport, we went outside to look for the shuttle we had reserved to get to our accommodation in Tankah, near Tulum. We had chosen Cancun Airport Transportation because of good reviews and good pricing compared to some of the options. However, there didn't seem to be any point in making a reservation in advance with this company. When we arrived at the airport, we followed the instructions which directed us to an area that had a crowd of people, taxi drivers, and shuttle company representatives milling about. We had a hard time finding this company's rep (who was not holding up the company sign, contrary to our instructions), and someone from another company helped us find her. Then, we had to wait while she went and located a driver for us. This was the same thing that seemed to be happening with most of the shuttle companies, whether the passengers had reserved or not. We had booked two bottles of water, and our driver stopped at a store by the highway to buy them for us, instead of having them waiting for us. Well, we could have gone into a store at the airport and bought our own, in that case. That said, for about $60 US less than the price our hotel quoted us for a private shuttle, I guess it was worth the savings. Also, the ride was good with no issues, and the driver was friendly and nice.
We arrived at our accommodation, Casa Altamar, at about 4:30 pm. The concierge, Arturo, greeted us and welcomed us by serving us drinks on the patio. We also ordered a snack, because we were starving. We hadn’t eaten all day. We’d planned to have breakfast at Calgary Airport, but every option had a huge lineup. Westjet didn’t have any real food on the plane (for a 5 1/2 hour flight!), just a few junky snack options, and I prefer not to remove my mask on the plane, anyhow. My drink was wonderful. It was a non-alcoholic juice drink with a smoking bit of palm leaf in it. We also had nachos with guacamole, and the guac was to die for. Guacamole in the Yucatan has completely spoiled me for the dreck we get at home. We also admired the lovely view and felt like we’d made an excellent choice of hotel.
Casa Altamar has only 11 rooms, so the service is very personal and attentive, and the hotel and beach are quiet. That was our main reason for choosing it, as many of the hotels on the other side of Tulum had reviews that mentioned music blasting, both on the beach and into the night. At Casa Altamar, they play music, but not loudly, and the restaurant/bar closes at 10. Once we got settled in our room, we went back upstairs for dinner. I had a brisket dish and dh had pasta with calamari. We shared churros with ice cream for dessert. After supper we went to the room, settled in, and went to bed early.