We'd worried that in our absence Xcalak had been exploited by hordes of people like us, but we were so pleased to find that it was still the quiet, laid-back, friendly town that we'd remembered.
Location #2: Punta Allen
We love Punta Allen. Even though the drive is a nightmare. This year the heavily rutted road heading south of Tulum was especially bad; it took four hours to drive fifty kilometers. We were also shocked by the number of jeeps blasting down the jungle road. It seems that Punta Allen has become a day trip destination for the resort crowd. We assumed, judging from the number of vehicles, that the town would be swarming with people. This wasn't the case, as the tourists actually go from jeep to boat to restaurants on the northern edge of town, and then back to the jeeps to make the long haul home.
Continuing to embrace our newfound fanciness, we decided to rent a tent from Niki, our favorite Punta Allen hostess, rather then bring our own. We were shocked to be shown to our palatial tent, complete with a mattress, sheets and pillows! We spent our days hiking (scaling a wall to illegally climb to the top of the lighthouse was a highlight), paddling the alpackas (perhaps also illegal, but we didn't get busted), and eating at the exceptional (considering it's a tiny town at the end of a harrowing road) restaurants.
Our very favorite activity in Punta Allen involves sitting on the white sand beach after the sun has set, stargazing, listening to the waves lap the shore, sipping evening cocktails, and sharing our gratitudes for the day. Pretty fancy, right?
Location #3: Puerto Morelos (to be continued....)