Ruth, at the 1960's roadside attraction World's Wonder View Tower near Limon, Colorado. Photo taken yesterday.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Brush, Colorado.

Where are they going next? Heading for Kimball, Nebraska today!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The most expensive RV Park in Mexico

Other than a bike ride to get to an ATM, we stayed here at the "gated" expat community of Paamul yesterday.

We knew what we were getting in to, because we've stayed at two similar RV parks before... one in Cabo San Lucas way back in 2008, and a couple of times at the Diamonte Trailer Park south of Acapulco because it is conveniently close to Acapulco airport.

About 35 years ago, a few people came down to this area with travel trailers. Of course there was no "Riviera Maya" back then, and Paamul was just an aging coconut plantation. They asked the owner if they could park near the beach. They came back again the next year, and began telling their friends. Soon, there were RV services installed. Some people ended up leaving their trailers here and flying down every winter. To protect their trailers from the hot sun, they built palapas (shade structures) over them.

There are now over 200 RV sites here. But most are permanent installations, and the RV's that occupy them may not exist anymore. Some, you can clearly see an RV under the structures, others we are not so sure. Some have built actual homes here.

There is a pool, restaurant, and dive shop.

And a nice beach.



Here is where Sherman is parked!

There are perhaps 30 RV sites that are available for transient visitors. They are very expensive. But, there are no other options for a large group traveling together. We are paying $50 USD ($64 CAD, 950 pesos) per night. The most expensive RV Park in Mexico? Probably. Tlaquepaque in Lo de Marcos would be a close second. We like it better, but it's expensive as well.

Not much of a deal for monthly stays. The latest figure I can find is $1,100 USD per month, although I didn't go ask. Yes, everything is in US dollars here.

Obviously many people simply love it. The weather is hot, and the beach is beautiful. If you're a snorkeler or scuba diver, there is a protected reef right out front. You get to hang out with a bunch of other expats, so there's no need to try and learn the language. Exactly what some people want.

But it is soooo far removed from the reasons that we come to Mexico. So obviously it's not a place that we would stay if we were on our own. But, I'm glad that the group gets to see all sides of Mexico.

Quite a few of the palapa structures are for sale.

I went around and took some photos... there are no two alike. Prices range from $50,000 to $500,000 USD.

This one comes with a park model.

Is there a trailer under here? Not so sure.

Not sure with this one either.

This one clearly has a travel trailer.

One of the more basic structures.


So besides building or buying your structure, you still have to pay monthly rent. You only own the structure, not the land it is sitting on. I've read that most people have a 50 year lease, at prices ranging from $650 to $800 USD per month. That includes property taxes, utilities, and trash pickup.

Some of my details may not be correct... I'm just going by what I found on the internet. But, you get the idea.

Today is another relax day. We may need it in preparation for tomorrow, when we are going to the big (and expensive) theme park, Mexico's Disneyworld, Xcaret. This is one of the included tours of the caravan trip. 

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Great deal on a standing water dispenser...


And in Canada...

Great deal on a Tom Tom GPS with Lifetime maps including Mexico...






29 comments:

  1. Not why we would go to Mexico for either, we enjoy the small towns and campgrounds.

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    1. You have only seen a very tiny piece of Mexico and the area that you were in is still a tourist area, admittedly it is much better than down here in the Yucatan!

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  2. Not my idea of a place to stay either. I'd prefer something smaller and less expensive. It is pretty though.

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    1. Exactly how we feel but as we said it is the only choice in this area for a caravan, if we were by ourselves we could find something a little more suitable to our liking.

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  3. I'm on the opposite end....I love this place and no need to learn another language (although learning a different language would be a plus). I love convenience, running hot water, flushing toilet, grocery and shopping nearby. You see I grew up very, very poor...slept on dirt floors in a Hogan with no running water or electricity. A bath? Pffft it didn't happen very often or even wash my hair. I lived in filth and undernourished. I see this in parts of Mexico and I know the folks are wishing for a better life while tourist and/or visitors come in to gawk at the way they live...it happened with our homes too in USA. I overpaid for a handkerchief at Chechen Itza to an old Mayan grandma. I hope it helped her a bit. Anyway, I love vacations far removed from hardships...I like luxury i.e. hot bath. I don't go over board with expenses when I travel. As much as possible, I tent camp and sleep in my own bed and occasional stays in hotels. I don't mind being frugal but I do like conveniences. I love your style of traveling in an RV.

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    1. And , I guess that is why a lot of people love it here, they have their amenities and they don't have to learn the language if they don't want too, it just isn't our style! To us this isn't Mexico but everyone has their own reasons for staying here. We travel in an RV so we have everything we need and don't need to have services all the time and still be able to enjoy life without roughing it.

      We will look forward to getting to our next destination where there will be very few tourists and it will feel much more like Mexico and where our money will really go to the locals rather than to big businesses that already have a ton of money.

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  4. Let the big spenders spend... It's good for the economy. But I prefer a simpler style...

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    1. Yep, if they want to spent the big bucks and like it here then all the power to them, it just isn't our style and it isn't what we come to Mexico for.

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  5. We have stayed a Paa Mul twice about 8 or 10 years ago and it sure has exploded in size. I think there was about 50 sites. I recall that a caravan of 20 rigs showed up with reservations and there where only a few sites available so they had to go to Xcaret.It is a long drive from AB and at 60.00 a day is too rich for me.

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    1. Yes, it is huge now and I think that there is still a lot of land that they can continue to build on here at the park. We purposely stay away from places like this back in Canada or the US, so it isn't somewhere that we would normally stay, especially in Mexico.

      We have heard stories of that happening to caravans here at the campground so we made sure ahead of time that there was room for us and there was.

      Everyone is enjoying the ocean and the pool. :-)

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  6. Oh BOY do we agree with you!!!! We love looking at the beautiful blue colors of the ocean, we love the ocean breeze, we love traveling in our RV but we do not like tourist zones.

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    1. Yep, there are a few of us out there that are happiest when they are away from the tourist zones but unfortunately that usually comes with the territory when you have nice beaches, beautiful sunshine and hot weather. There are still a few hidden little gems out there though. We will take the mountains anytime. :-)

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  7. I guess for those escaping harsh winters this sounds ideal. Prices not all that bad considering it includes utilities and has many conveniences. I too travel as frugal as possible but whenever possible I enjoy a little luxury. Enjoy your stay it looks lovely! Travel safe..

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    1. Totally agree with you and at one time in our lives that was us as well. Over the years our tastes have change though and places like this are just not us.

      We are the same, it is nice to have a little luxury every now and then but it doesn't take much for us to feel like we have a little luxury. We are happy that lots of people like this type of spot because it frees up the places that we rather be. :-)

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  8. To each his own, I would say! As a small child, I watched Folly Beach, SC and Tybee Island, GA go from nice less restricted, family oriented beaches and neighborhoods with local friends and relatives building houses and businesses on the beaches at prices they could afford with low property taxes, and there were even a few RVs with add-ons in the 1940s and 50s. In the 1950s, Mom bought essentially two shacks on the same piece of beach property for $5,000US. Then, the high rise hotels and condos and chain stores moved in, increasing the population density, tightening restrictions, and raising taxes and prices and pushing the local "less well-heeled" population out of their little Edens. What I've seen in years past in the southeast US is also what I've seen happening in the Yucatan. However, from a legal standpoint, it does puzzle me why someone would pay $50,000 for a palapa structure (even with a 50-year lease) when so many variables with the actual landowner (over which you have no control) can come into play, such as the actual owner's non-payment of taxes and liens against the land, the land going to an estate as a result of the owner's death, government rezoning, etc.

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    1. We have been to Folly Beach back in the spring of 2009 and loved it there for a short visit at least. We are sure even in the 9 years since then it has probably changed a lot. It is a shame that some of these places end up losing that charm as they get better known and grow.

      No we wouldn't want to get a 50 year lease and build and something that would cost a fair bit of money either. What if the property gets sold and the new owner wants to tear everything down and build a huge resort here. I guess it is possible that there is something written into the contracts about this but we wouldn't be willing to take the chance.

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  9. Wow is that place gorgeous. I love the view of the water. The palapa structures look very nice.

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    1. I think that you would both love it here, just maybe not the price. ;-)

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  10. After 30 plus years in Mexico the last thing I would want would be to live with a group of gringos in a gated community.

    I enjoy rvers, showing them around, even hanging around with them for short stints. But I tire of listening to comments about Mexico and how bad the roads are, the poverty, the corruption when in their own country the same things exist. I guess it's hard to look in the mirror. No disrespect to anyone.

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    1. Yep so true...I've never read the book "The Ugly American" yet but I heard it's an eye opener.

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    2. Chris we feel the same way, it just isn't the way we would want to spend our winter in Mexico. We love to travel and really explore Mexico and Really enjoy the REAL Mexico.

      We also agree with you that we have these same problems in our own countries, sometimes we are just better at hiding it.

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  11. I’m really entertained by the plus and minus comments about Paamul! Good to see everyone chiming in and giving their own perspectives. There is always the yin and yang in all situations. Bottom line of course, is to each his own, with all due respects.

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    1. Yep, everyone has there own likes and dislikes and it is good that we aren't all the same otherwise life would be boring :-)

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    2. Is there somewhere you could recommend to park our RV near Playa besides Paamul???

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    3. For long term Paamul would be the only place. There is another place down the road a bit at Xpu-Hal beach, they don't have many full hook up (at least I think it is full hook up) and it would only be 15amp. It really is only a parking place.

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  12. So, where would you stay in the area if you were by yourselves? We will be moving down in August for a year and enrolling our daughter in a school that is a little south of Playa. We are having a hard time finding a spot to park besides Paamul. The only other place we have found is Acamaya which is too far from the school. Thanks in advance!

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    1. We could find lots of different places but the places we would find would only be one or two nighters where you would have to boondock without any services which would not work for you if you are looking for somewhere long term. I would think that the only suitable place for you would be Paamul. You could always check out Xpu-Ha but I am not sure that it would work out for you.

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  13. I have good friends who have left Canada and live in Progresso full time and love it. They are learning the language, volunteering and just enjoying life in Mexico. They travel around the country visiting the different areas and never complain about a thing. What a great way to retire. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip once you're out of the touristy area.

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    1. I am glad to hear that your friends are enjoying Progresso and that they are learning the language, we think that is very important part of assimulating to a new country. :-)

      Our major complaint is the touristy areas which if we were on our own we would just avoid, all the other aspects of Mexico we just take in stride because that is what makes Mexico, Mexico! :-)

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