New and old visitors have questions about the area, vacation rentals and ways to play in the Riviera Maya. We have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions so you can have your questions answered immediately or review other questions that visitors have. Our FAQ list is a wealth of information, some things you may have thought of, some things you may not have thought of.
If your question is not answered here feel free to email us at [email protected] and we are happy to help! Your vacation is important to us and with our local knowledge we can answer any questions you may have.
From the airport, leave the airport and when you get to the highway go over the overpass. Follow the signs to Cancun Centro or CD Cancun but DO NOT follow the signs to Playa del Carmen or Cancun Zona de Hoteliers. Just over the over-pass there will be a ramp on the right that loops around and goes toward Cancun city and that’s the one you want. Take it and you will be heading north. After about ± 10 minutes you will come to an intersection [no traffic light] through lanes straight ahead to an underpass, and an exit lane to the right leading to Av. Bonampak [far right] and Av. Kabah [a traffic circle looping counter clockwise]. Follow counter clockwise on the circle to Av. Kabah. This is a divided road. You will pass a school on the left, go through another traffic light. At a left bend in the road Av. Yachilan will split off to the right and COSTCO will be on your right just on the other side of the traffic light. Make a right into their parking lot. COSTCO: Membership is required, bring your membership card or your passport.
Directions to Chedraui grocery store in Puerto Aventuras from the Cancun International airport. Exit out of the airport, stay to the right when approaching the highway. Follow signs directing you South toward PLAYA DEL CARMEN. Drive time to Puerto Aventuras is about 55 minutes depending on traffic. As you approach Playa del Carmen the center lanes will go up to an elevated roadway for express traffic. Take the express lanes to bypass Playa del Carmen and continue on to Puerto Aventuras. Chedraui is on the right side of the highway about 1 kilometer before the exit for Puerto Aventuras. There will be signs and there is a small exit ramp on the right for Chedraui [easy to miss]. If you miss it take the ramp for Puerto Aventuras, make a U-turn and go back.
Usually 15%, 20% if you had good service and food. Not less than 10% if you were satisfied. If you rent a house, usually the recommendation is to tip 5% of the rental fee for the week if the staff was attentive.
Vegetable can be eaten here. If you are buying fresh fruits and vegetables it is best to soak the produce in purified water and add one or two drops of Microdyne (available at most Mexican grocery stores) or similar disinfectant, as per the product’s instructions. Vegetables are best eaten cooked opposed to raw. All the Akumal restaurants use purified water and disinfectants.
Playa Del Carmen has several medical “clinics”, small hospitals and a hyperbaric facility. Major hospitals are also located in Cancun and Cancun has at least one other hyperbaric facility. Hospiten is a quality hospital in Playa del Carmen. It is located across from “Centro Maya” shopping center on the main coastal highway just south of Sam’s Club in Playa del Carmen. There is another Hospiten hospital in CD Cancun on Avenida Bonampak. See our medical service / doctor / hospital listings below:
There are two doctors who will do house calls in Akumal and the surrounding area.
What are the Tulum area emergency contact numbers?
When you pull in to the pumps the driver should get out and walk back by the pump. Look at the meter and make sure it is zero’ed before the attendant starts pumping. There is only Magna [regular] and Premium [high test]. In a car 200 pesos of Magna should give you 1/3 to 1/2 tank. Don’t pull out your pesos until the gas has been pumped. When the attendant is finished check the meter and pull out the appropriate amount. Hold it up, making sure the attendant knows, that YOU know what the bills you are holding are. The typical scam is that the attendant takes a 200 peso bill from you, palms it and comes up with a 20 peso bill, then says you made the mistake. Same thing with a 500 peso bill switched for a 50. Be on guard, there are variations.
For the most part, Quintana Roo has a lower incidence of crime than any major city in the US. Even with a predominately impoverished population, violent crime and armed robbery are very low in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The strength of the family unit coupled with Mexico’s generally Christian ethics ward off tendencies toward crime, but tourists should be aware of petty thievery and crimes of opportunity. The inclination to disregard common sense and leave everything wide open because you are in “paradise” can lead to petty thievery. We recomend the following:
Although you cannot anticipate every contingency, there are steps you can take to ensure a healthy vacation. Planning ahead for a healthy trip involves taking along first-aid supplies that might be needed at your destination or along the way. It also means remembering to pack any prescription or over-the counter medications you or your family members take on a regular basis.
See your doctor. Before leaving on vacation, you should visit your family physician to discuss any troubling symptoms that might become a problem during your journey. Many health concerns can be often alleviated by working with your doctor.
The most common problem is diarrhea, often caused by bacteria from your hands finding its way to your stomach. To prevent this use hand sanitizer and apply it before eating, especially if you are eating tacos or some other Mexican treat that you eat with your hands. Also don’t brush you teeth with tap water. Washing should be fine in tap water but don’t drink it. Wash vegetables and soak them in water with a few drops of Microdyne disinfectant added [iodine solution, available at most grocery stores]. If you do get a case of the runs, drink plenty of purified bottled water to avoid dehydration. It’s not a bad idea to always have a bottle close at hand. Then there’s the legendary Caribbean remedy – “You put the lime in the coconut, put them both together, and you’ll feel better”. There is some truth to that old song if you’re not too bad off. People with digestive disorders such as chronic diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome require frequent bathroom visits during long trips so prepare for that with some bathroom tissue in the car, just in case. Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications are helpful and there are prescription medications available for people who have more severe symptoms.
People who experience motion sickness are familiar with the dizziness, nausea, queasiness and upset stomach that may accompany car, boat and plane travel. Motion sickness usually results when the brain gets conflicting information about movement. When traveling by car, try to sit in the front seat and avoid reading. When traveling by boat, sit as close to the middle of the vessel as possible and look straight ahead at the horizon. Try to avoid breathing exhaust fumes from the motor. When flying, try to sit near the wing of the pane, or the side where you are accustomed to driving. Ear plugs also may help. Regardless of your mode of transportation, if your seating space permits, lie flat with your head horizontal and eyes closed. If you can’t lie flat just close your eyes. There are some over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help prevent motion sickness. Remember to use caution when taking them as many cause drowsiness which can impair your ability to drive or operate a boat or plane.
People who suffer from allergies to molds, mites, dust, pollen, animal fur, insects, foods and other substances should take the same precautions on vacation as they do at home. Bring any prescription or over-the-counter anti-allergy medications used on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to bring an antihistamine in case of accidental exposure to a substance that triggers an allergic reaction. It may also be helpful to pack your own pillow case for use in hotels, especially if you have sensitive skin.
The inflammation of the joints that occur with arthritis may be especially troubling during long trips that restrict movement. Taking frequent breaks to walk around and relieve stiff joints and muscles can make car and plane trips more enjoyable. Remember to pack aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or any prescription medications you normally use for arthritis.
Always pack medication in your carry-on bag. Never pack them in your checked baggage or luggage that will be stored out of your reach, where they could be exposed to harmful temperatures.
"We spent a lot of our time sitting on the second floor porch with our feet propped on the railing just staring at the water. Coming home was hard this year..Staying for two weeks still wasn't long enough."
""I was soooo delighted with the Loco Gringo services. Everything was trouble free and all my questions were always answered promptly. Thanks for a GREAT trouble free vacation!""
"I had contacted you before I left for my first trip to Mexico and all of your recommendations were spot on. I started in Playa Del Carmen and worked my way to Tulum. I had only expected to stay 2 nights there and instead wound up staying for a week-and that still was not nearly enough time. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks! I will be checking in with you guys as I am tring to plan a trip to Holbox next. That place looks amazing!"
--Louis Skip Gonzalez, Unidos Magazine
"People who “live the area” will want to make sure you enjoy your vacation and come back again!"
"Loco Gringos is the VERY BEST booking site I have ever worked with. They respond to emails promptly, work hard to honor special requests, answer questions etc. They ALWAYS take great care of their customers and are conscientious and professional at all times. We have booked 8 trips with this company and NEVER hesitate to use them or recommend them when traveling to the Riviera Maya."
"So here is a GREAT BIG TEXAS THANK YOU TO LOCO GRINGO for all the awesome, fantastic vacations in Paradise."
"Loco Gringo has an AWESOME website with great info, it is lots of fun to visit, be sure to join their forums. The forums hold more information and trip reports than you can 'shake a stick at'!"
"You always recommend amazing accommodations and we are always comfortable and feel safe. Your staff does a fantastic job at making our vacation each year a ” hassle free ” experience ! All we have to do is ” show up ” and the rest is already taken care of. We will continue in future to use LocoGringo and also continue as we have done already, to highly recommend your company to anyone we know that is planning a vacation."
--Nancy & Bill, Toronto, Canada
"quick and informative replies from Bart ( thanks Bart) , easy booking procedure plus online management of your booking . I am highly impressed."
--Theressa - Middlesex U.K.,
"I will be bragging about your site to any and all who will listen. Our experience was phenomenal!!!"
"What an amazing company Locogringo is. Every silly question I have.... they answer , If something comes up like a travel day change, adding more people, or whatever it might be... you get a response from a real person ... who seems to love what they do . That is hard to find these days and I really appreciate that."
"and for the past five years we have used Loco Gringo for every reservation, I'm sorry that we did not find them sooner.
I have been searching Loco Gringo for all these years and one thing I have not yet found ........... someone who is not fabulous to work with. Great people, great owners and a great way to run a business."
--K & DB, Outer Banks, NC,
"LocoGringo.com books total trip packages and I recommend LG to all my friends and even to strangers I hear talking about going to Mexico!!"
"All our Riviera Maya trips have been booked using LocoGringo. We love their service."
"We have been Booking our Riviera Maya vacations from Loco Gringo since 2005. Always Great communication, helpful tips and quick responses to our questions. They were especially helpful when Hurricane Wilma hit and put a stop to our Vacation plans. They made sure we knew about the weather situation and did all the work with re-booking our vacation in Paradise!"
"Go to the home page or check the forum."
"Thanks for everything you have done with Locogringo… the site is great and your staff has been nothing short of incredible when it comes to helping us plan our trips. Maybe we’ll run into you on one of your walks some day."
"It is like having a friend make your reservations for you .... we always feel comfortable knowing LG will be in charge of our arrangements because they know the area first hand, they live there ..... you ask a question and they answer it with good humor and great knowledge of what they speak. I will always recommend Loco Gringo in a heart beat!"
"We usually need reservations for 2 to 4 people but for 2 years we needed reservations for 7 to 9 people, adults and kids and they have always done a flawless job in getting the resort we wanted and at the best price too!!"
"Now is a great time to tell you how wonderful you and your staff are at making it so easy to find and book the best vacations, THANK YOU !"
--Joyce & Hugh,
"When we use LG to book a trip we get immediate help with all of our questions in a very timely way by people who know what they are talking about and are extremely helpful, patient, knowledgeable, and congenial. They really get how to do customer service.
Once we book through LG we never have to worry about any of it again. We are always amazed at how smooth and trouble free our bookings through LG have been."
--K.B., Fort Worth, TX
"She & her new Husband had a fantastic hassle free trip. This was their very first time to Mexico and her comment upon return was " Dad, 7 days is NOT enough time ! " Super job, LG."
--Bernie in Denver,
"It's a great comfort to visit the Riviera Maya and know that Loco Gringo is there to help, if needed. "
--Bryan in IN,
"...for your patience with me and making this process go soooo much smoother! I truly appreciate you and the staff at LocoGringo. Thanks again! I can't wait to be sitting on the beach!
Maggie in Colorado"
"I have booked most of my Mayan Riviera trips through Loco Gringo and can only say I wouldn't even consider using anyone else to handle my bookings for stays in that area.
Their booking process is simple, fast and friendly, and they will answer your questions and queries until you are completely satisfied that every single detail has been taken care of.
Who else would know the area better than folks who live and work right there? Try to get that level of expertise and knowledge with a booking agent who lives and works several hundred, or even thousands of miles away.
Not only that, but they are genuinely nice people as well, who really care for their customers and the community and area that they call home
Keep up the great work Loco Gringo!!"
"Both in 2011 and this year we have booked our room through Locogringo.com. We searched and found a great rate at the resort we wanted, and then Locogringo met that price, and with their booking came their amazing customer service and the peace of mind that if we need anything while we are there we simply need to call. I always get a fast turnaround on any email I send them, and they work so hard to find us the best rates and the rooms we want. We hope to have a long relationship with them, and recommend their site to everyone we know."
--Tim A and Teri A, Salem, UT
"A company made up mostly of American Expats living in the Riviera Maya with a booking list of many hundreds of properties. Big enough to know each property intimately and small enough to know each customer personally. A level of service simply impossible for the giant companies to provide.
--Jim T., Colorado
"I would recommend Locogringo to everyone I know. It is such a great service that they provide from researching and booking the perfect place to stay to finding all the needs you could possibly want during your stay. Thanks Locogringo."
"Not sure if we will be returning next summer, but will definitely let you know if we are, as Loco Gringo is the ONLY way to go for us!"
--Lesley P., Texas
"And their amazing website is one of the main reasons we started going regularly to the Riviera Maya and especially Akumal. No other place around the Caribbean has nearly as good a web presence as LG has given this area."
--Dan, St. Louis MO,
"I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU! The trip we booked through Loco Gringo was perfect! The price was exceptionally good and the service was second to none! If you’ve never booked with Loco Gringo before, we *highly* recommend them!"
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