If you’re looking for a truly authentic and unexplored experience, let me tell you about an incredible destination that has managed to retain its genuine charm: Punta Allen.
This hidden gem has nothing to do with the bustling resorts and tourist traps you might encounter in the nearby Riviera Maya. Instead, it offers a simpler and more laid-back way of life that will surely captivate you.
Located just 35 miles (56 km) away from the trendy hotspot of Tulum, Punta Allen feels like a world apart. Nestled along the pristine Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, this fishing community is a sanctuary for those seeking a break from the hustle of modern life. It's the perfect place to unwind and disconnect.
Forget about the typical 'eco-chic' aesthetic that seems to be everywhere these days; Punta Allen stands out for its untouched beauty and authentic vibe. If you’ve been to El Cuyo before, you know what I mean. If you haven’t and you like these kinds of places, add it to your travel list.
In this guide, you will read about how to get to this remote town, what to do, where to stay, and what to eat. Whether you're a nature lover, an adventurer, or simply someone who wants a tranquil stay, Punta Allen, Mexico has something extraordinary to offer.
So, if you're ready to leave the crowds, join me on this virtual journey to Punta Allen. I promise you'll love this slice of paradise and find the perfect spot to unwind. Get ready to experience the real essence of Mexico's Caribbean in this unspoiled corner!
Before you embark on your adventure to Punta Allen, Mexico, let's make sure you're well-informed about this enchanting destination.
Punta Allen is a charming fishing village situated on the Caribbean side of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Located at the southern end of the region, just 35 miles south of Tulum, this small town is home to around 500 people. To the east lies the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, while to the west, you'll find the untamed wilderness of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere.
Let's talk about how to get there as it's one of the Yucatan Peninsula's most challenging destinations to reach. Don't worry, though; the effort is well worth it for the authentic and relaxed vibes that await you!
Driving from Tulum to Punta Allen might seem like the straightforward option, but beware – the 35-mile road is infamous for being the world's worst! It has been fixed in November 2022 but it's still filled with potholes that make the drive slow and bumpy. Some say it may take about 3 hours!
Some rental companies don’t want to lend vehicles for this treacherous route although it has been changing lately due to the improvements. If you're determined to drive, opt for an SUV or motorcycle to navigate the road better but a regular car can also make it. However, keep in mind that driving during the rainy summer months can be even more challenging, with parts of the dirt road submerged due to heavy rains.
If I have scared you, don’t worry. To reach Punta Allen from Tulum's hotel zone, there's another option than the difficult road—you can take a boat from the Sian Ka'an, Visitor's Center, about 10 miles away.
You can hire a taxi to get there from let’s say Tulum and then arrange the boat transport with your hotel or hosts in Punta Allen. The boat trip costs around $250 pesos per person (about $12.50 USD). The one-hour boat ride through the nature reserve offers breathtaking views of turquoise waters and serene mangrove islands, making it a truly scenic and enjoyable journey.
Learn more about our private transportation services. We take you everywhere in Riviera Maya!
Great question! Punta Allen, Mexico, is absolutely worth visiting! This hidden gem offers a rare opportunity to step into a place where time seems to stand still.
The town has a sleepy vibe and lacks modern distractions. Punta Allen allows you to truly disconnect and immerse yourself in the present moment. Life moves at a slower, more tranquil pace here, making it just perfect for those seeking a break from the hectic outside world. Embrace its imperfections and enjoy the blissful moments of doing nothing much at all. Punta Allen is a little piece of paradise waiting to welcome you with open arms during your Yucatan Peninsula adventure.
When visiting Punta Allen, surprisingly, you'll find a wide range of activities, making it an undeniably worthwhile destination. Let's see some of the top things to do:
Sometimes the simplest is the best. Disconnect from distractions and simply relax on a white, sandy beach stretching along the coast for about half a mile. You might even have the entire beach to yourself!
Don't miss this must-do experience, and embark on a speed boat journey into the coastal side of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. There will be plenty of locals offering this attraction, so you don’t need to pre-book anything. The tour includes spotting dolphins, snorkeling, and visiting a stunning natural pool. Snorkeling might not be as spectacular as in Cozumel, but exploring the Caribbean underwater is always fun.
Rent a bike and pedal along sandy roads. Most Punta Allen hotels and accommodations hire bikes at low cost.
The route will lead you to the abandoned lighthouse, passing beautiful beaches and quaint huts along the way. It's a fantastic way to get a sense of the local community and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings.
Don’t choose to do this activity at night as crocodiles roam this area after dark.
An enchanting aspect of Punta Allen is the power being switched off in the evenings in most places, resulting in almost zero light pollution. This creates a wonderful opportunity to witness an epic night sky. Head to the beach or pier, and be captivated by the brilliant stars shining brightly above.
If you got worried about the lack of electricity, don’t worry. Just do your research earlier and you will see that some hotels offer power 24/7.
You will be surprised by the number of stray dogs in Punta Allen. They are peaceful and look for human company. You may bring them some treats and play with them. They will even appreciate a bowl of fresh water that they will surely enjoy in this hot climate and next to a salty ocean. Who knows, maybe you will head back home with a furry friend?
If you’re interested in this option, check out Bringing Dogs From Mexico to the US in 2023 - Pets That Travel.
You can snorkel from shore in Blanquizal, a calm water area sheltered by a reef, or take a boat tour. Most local boat tours will have masks and snorkels for tourists so you don’t need to worry about bringing one.
Remember to always be cautious of rocky shores and sea urchins but mainly focus on enjoying the underwater world.
For fishing enthusiasts, Punta Allen is a paradise. There are many local tours catering to fly-fishing enthusiasts, offering different packages.
Punta Allen even has its own fishing club that you can reach to before your visit.
There are more than 370 bird species in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, so considering a birdwatching tour is definitely an option. You will cruise through the mangrove estuaries, and observe water birds like frigates and spoonbills.
You can’t miss breathtaking sunrises at the pier as the sun emerges over the Caribbean Sea. It's an unforgettable experience, where the world seems to be at peace. You should also catch the sunset from the marina.
Punta Allen is a small place, you don’t need a car to go around it, and you can easily get to know it by walking. People are always happy to meet you and if you speak Spanish you can engage in conversation and learn about the daily life in Punta Allen.
If you want to support the local business, buy food in local mini-marts or fish from the local fishermen.
Punta Allen offers a range of lodging options, from modest family-owned accommodations to higher-end hotels and glamping facilities.
While dining options are not extensive in Punta Allen, there are some great spots to enjoy tasty Mexican food. There are places to have coffee, breakfast, and dinner. You can enjoy tacos but fresh seafood is what you should go for when in Punta Allen. There are about 6 places to eat, so you can easily try them all and choose your favorite.
Remember to bring cash as there are no ATMs in Punta Allen and most places will not take your card.
In summary, Punta Allen is an extraordinary destination offering unique experiences and a chance to escape the modern world. It might lack the typical Caribbean vacation amenities, but it's a special place for travelers looking for disconnection and an unspoiled environment. Unlike more developed tourist hotspots, Punta Allen remains untouched by mass tourism, offering a genuine fishing community experience.
I hope this guide helps you make the most of your visit to Punta Allen, Mexico. So come with the right mindset, immerse yourself in the simplicity of life, and enjoy everything that Punta Allen has to offer.