I’m Sebastian, from Austria. Me and a friend of mine, his name is Alex, decided to rent one of Martin’s Kombis for a couple of days. And (spoiler alert) we had the best time ever! Let me tell you why…
When we arrived in Tulum to pick up our Kombi, Martin welcomed us super friendly, immediately offered us something to drink while he explained us everything about the Kombi. It can be a little bit challenging to handle and drive such an old Volkswagen Bus but with Martin’s tips and guidance it really isn’t. About our Kombi, which Martin also likes to call him his baby: we were lucky enough to be the first drivers of Ballena (the Whale), a blue and white VW Westfalia original from 1976. Isn’t she beautiful! -> But now let’s hop right into our Kombi experience…
We started off by visiting our first Cenote, which was Calavera. If you don’t know what Cenotes are: they are sinkholes, so just holes in the ground with water in it where you can swim. The perfect refreshment for hot Mexican summer day’s. Calavera is just a small Cenote but because of that rather cheap (50 pesos) and a lot of fun. There is this one big hole where you can jump in and also two smaller holes with jump signs next to them. And the water is super clear! After that we had a look at our little booklet that Martin gave us with the Kombi. There are a lot of tips for places to visit and also places to stay, where you can park the bus and spend a night. We decided to go to Chamicos. A beautiful beach where you can park the Kombi in between the trees right next to the ocean. At night we were even able to see the milky way from our bus, an experience I will never forget… The next day we left early to go for some snorkeling in Akumal or more specifically at Cenote/Laguna Yal-ku. A pretty nice area but unfortunately was the water not that clear on the day that we were there. Thats why we went for a drink in the treetops at La buena vida, which is just a few minutes away. Next up was another Cenote (what else!). We drove to Aktun Chen. There is not only a Cenote but also a Zip line and a dry cave which you can visit. But we decided to just do the Cenote because it was rather expensive (250 pesos). After a five minutes bus ride over a pretty bumpy road through the jungle we arrived at the Cenote. The water was a little bit chilly but it was amazing becuase it was so clear that you could see a whole lot of fishes in there. Pretty cool, right?
The next night we spent at one of Martin’s suggested places: Paa Mul. You can park your Kombi there on a little cute square in between some trees and houses. The beach is also not far away, just 100m. We made ourselves some noodles for dinner. Luckily the bus is equipped with everything you need, a cooker, pots, plates, cutlery…The perfect dinner at the beach. Some beers and watching the night sky made to make the day complete.
After some more Cenotes the next day (Taak bi ha really was a highlight, also alittle expensive but so(!!!) worth it to do the norkeling tour: about 45mins and 400 pesos) we headed to Punta Laguna. The road was pretty scenic but be aware of the potholes. At Punta aguna we hoped to see some monkeys in the forest, but didn’t get lucky unfortunately. We should have listened to Martin and go here early in the morning to see them or take a guide.Instead we went to the lagune for some swimming. In the evening we had a look at the ruins of Coba. Its pretty cool to walk (or take a bike)all the way to the back to climb the highest of the temples. Views from up there are simply stunning. Our place for the night was actually just 2 mins away from the ruins: just next to the lake. Martin told us to be watch out for alligators in the evening but (unfortunately!) we didn’t see any. Some snacks for dinner before we went to bed with a view on the lake. The next day we started pretty early to go to the probably most famous Cenote in whole Yucatan: Cenote Suytun. We wanted to avoid lots of people, thats why we arrived there at 9:30 am. It was a good decision because we spent some time taking photos and swimming in there and until we left at around 11 am it already got a bit crowded. We spent noon in the cute town centre of Valladolid. I can only suggest going therebecause the main square is really picturesque. For lunch we went to Yakunaj Cocina (good food and cheap prices). The afternoon we spent in Ek Balam, which were my favorite Mayan ruins because we were almost alone there and you can also climb on one of the temples.
You should also check out the Cenote right next to it. We took a bike-taxi because we were short of time but the walk is only about 1km. When we arrived there a thunderstorm hit us and it started to rain heavily. But that didn’t bother us, it was a kind of magical feeling to be swimming in this Cenote all alone, hearing the thunder roll and feeling the rain droplets on your skin. That night we spent on the campsite in Valladolid. Small, cute and good breakfast included! Our last day included my actual favorite Cenote: Oxman. We went there with another Mexican guy which we met at the camping the day before and it was a whole lot of fun. Because… there is a rope swing inside of the Cenote. We were there for at least 1:30h because we just couldn’t stop swinging! I swung at least 15 or 20 times!
After that we drove back to Tulum, more precisely Tululm beach to check out if the parties there are any good. We parked our Kombi at Camping Chavez, which was pretty handy because its really just a few minutes walk to the best bars and parties (Gitano on friday is a must!). The camping is not the cheapest because of its perfect location just between the beach and the “party road” as we liked to call it, but really cute because everything is on the sand. There is also a kitchen that you can use and the owner is very friendly and helpful. After sleeping in on the next day it was time to return the Kombi, sadly!! Farewell Ballena! May the roads be with you. I hope we’ll meet again soon!
With love, Sebastian (and Alex)
Martin has three Volkswagen Kombi’s in different cheerful colors. The prices vary per season and are between 66€ and 150€ per night. If you book then you should definitely give Martin our greetings! Booking or checking availability can be done via the following links: Mandarina Kombi, Kiwi Kombi or Azulita Kombi…or The whale Ballena kombi 1976 Westfalia