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Last night we stayed at the Hotel Playa Contesa. Small, dirty cabanas for $150 with equally dirty shower and shared toilet (no seat, paper or closing door). The family who run it are sweet, but they really need to spend just a bit more time washing sheets, pillow cases and the bathrooms. Power is solar generated and is available all night, but no fan and the room was very sticky as it didn't have enough ventilation and no fan. However, the beach is nice and it is a short walk to the ruins. They also have a restaurant that has amazingly slow service and OK food.


Diamonte K is currently closed to guests as it is filming the Hungarian edition of Temptation Island with an Argentine TV crew, and the other places up that end are either expensive ($600 for room without bath) or very average. Gringo Mike's starts at $250 for room without power, ventilation, sea view and the staff were unfriendly. In short, unless you are looking mid-range don't go North of the junction IMHO.

We are now at the Papaya Playa, newish rooms with good ventilation but no fan and power only between 7-11 for $300. A very nice bit of beach, lovely grounds and a reasonable restaurant. We were fairly unimpressed with the lack of service at the restaurant yet they add 10% anyway.

Last Day In Mexico

For now anyway. I spent the day doing 2 dives with Hidden Worlds (www.hiddenworlds.com) just North of Tulum. Awsome. It costs US$105 for 2 dives with all gear. I have never cave/cavern dived, but have done quite a bit of caving and diving before and it is just amazing. You float through crystal clear water in a completely new world. You only need your Open Water cert to do this, but they also do snorkel trips for US$40 which look almost as good. This can be booked at Tankah dive in Tulum township, as well as other places.Highly recommended

Papaya Playa continues to unimpress. There are some really nice staff, and as I mentioned the location and grounds are beautiful, however the waiter is useless to the extent I have yet to see him take an order or hand out menus - he just sits their chatting and gets rude if you enquire if they serve breakfast before 8. Don't bother ordering the yoghurt, honey and granola for $40 + 10% as it is about 150ml of yoghurt with a sprinkling of honey and granola.

Also there is NO water in the morning. Aparantly this happens every day until they bother to fill the tanks. There was a queue of over 10 people for the showers this morning by the time the water was turned on and the toilets all badly needed flushing. The rooms are also very sticky at night away from the beach as little breaze comes through, and almost none at all with the mozzie net down - choice of being very sticky or bitten. Also, the price I quoted in my last post is not right. They charge US$30, and give a poorest exchange rate I have seen yet if you pay in Pesos. So, a great spot they have got almost right but are missing out in a few key areas.

Tulum Ruins

We went there early before the crowds and it is lovely. Not the best ruins we have seen but the location is just stunning. Beautiful piece of coast. I would recommend trying to get their before the tour buses roll in at 9 as the light is great and we enjoyed the site with only half a dozen other people there.