- What do I need to travel to Mexico?
A passport is required for travel to and from Mexico. U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico who have applied for, but not yet received passports, can re-enter the United States by air by presentation of a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport through September 30, 2007. The federal government is making this accommodation for air travel due to longer than expected processing times for passport applications in the face of record-breaking demand. or government issued .
- After Passing through customs at the airport what do we do?
You will come through doors into an area where there will be porters to help you with your luggage. Carts are not allowed beyond this point but a porter will be happy to take your luggage for you to the rental car check-in.
Next, pick up your rental car. The rental car companies are outside the terminal that you will be arriving at. They all have big signs so it is pretty easy to see them but just tell the porter if you are using one and he will know where to go for you to check-in.
- Do I need a rental car and how should I rent it?
Yes, to get around the Cancun area a rental car is necessary. Although there is public transportation, it is not convenient. You can rent a car over the Internet or directly with the rental car agencies. You should reserve a car in advance. Most of the major brands are available at Cancun airport.
- How do I get from the Airport to Puerto Morelos?
See the DIRECTIONS section of the website.
- What is the procedure for checking in and checking out?
When you arrive, the property manager will show you around and answer questions on arrival check-in and assist you on check-out going over a checklist of items to release your security deposit.
- Do I need electrical adapters to run my hairdryer etc.?
No, all the electrical outlets are U.S. style and the voltage 110 volts 60 hertz, the same as the U.S. and Canada so hairdryers, computers and any other appliances will work without any adapters. Also, there are plenty of outlets in each room.
- Can I drink the water?
Unlike most of the villas in the area, which use well water for washing, Punta Caracol uses potable water for general use (showers, washing etc.). The potable water is trucked in. Although this water is drinkable, Punta Caracol provides bottled water for drinking. The swimming pool is filled with potable water and has its own filtration system. Well water is used for watering plants and general outside use.
- Can I get sick from drinking the water or eating the food?
Usually people do not get sick from drinking the water but from eating salads where the vegetables have not been cleaned properly. The most likely items are cilantro (the curly herb like parsley) or lettuce. Be careful eating salads in other than the better restaurants.
- Where can I buy groceries?
In Puerto Morelos there is a small market similar to a seven-eleven with general use items such as pop, beer, liquor, meats, eggs, bread, vegetables and other small items. It is very convenient but a little pricier than the super market.
In Cancun there are numerous places to purchase groceries. A little over 15 minutes from Punta Caracol you can shop at Costco, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club or a couple of excellent Mexican super markets Commercial Americana and Chedraui. Your U.S. Costco or Sam’s membership club card can be used in Cancun.
- Is there food in the refrigerator when we arrive?
There are condiments, coffee, tea and water. There is a market located right next to the property managers office to get supplies before you head to the house.
- When is maid service?
There is biweekly maid service where the maid will make the beds and clean up around. Bath towels are changed midweek and bed linens are changed weekly. The service will generally be performed after breakfast when you are most likely to be away from the rooms. If you want the maid to come back later just tell her and she will be happy to make the beds later.
- What staff lives on the property?
The maid/cook and watchman/gardener live in the compound in the building close to the road. The watchman guards the property. He also has responsibilities for cleaning the beach, watering plants, pool maintenance, cleaning up the area and minor repairs.
- Are there mosquitoes and other critters that bite in the area?
Yes, this is the tropics and so mosquitoes and other flying creatures are around. At Punta Caracol the compound has been sprayed for insects and so mosquitoes and should not generally be a problem. The major tourist areas are also spayed including Puerto Morelos and Cancun. However, when you go out, particularly in the evening it is a good idea to spray with some insect repellant.
- Is there an ATM machine nearby where I can get money from my account in the U.S. or Canada?
Yes, there is an ATM machine in Puerto Morelos next to the market. You can get money (pesos) from your account just as in the U.S. or Canada. There are also ATM machines all over Cancun in shopping malls and at the banks. When you drive into Cancun there banks on the right side of Tulum Ave, which is the street that you will drive in on. The banks also have ATM machines.
- Where are money exchanges?
There are money exchanges all over the Cancun area. They will convert dollars to pesos and their rates are usually posted outside. In Puerto Morelos there are several money exchange places in the main square and also one on the main road near the gas station. In Cancun there are several on Tulum at the banks and near the banks.
- Where is the nearest Pharmacy?
There is a Pharmacy in Puerto Morelos near the church on the main square. There is also a Pharmacy on the main road near the gas station in Puerto Morelos. In Cancun there are numerous pharmacies a popular one is Sanborns, which is at the first plaza on the main road going into Cancun.
- What is the weather like?
In general it is nice all year round, with the average temperatures between 74-84F. The thermometer rarely dips below 70F. It does get hot around here (isn't that why you come here?) and the hottest months are July and August. The rainiest months are September and October, but the rain usually falls for an hour or so in the afternoon or at night, which is no big deal. Unless your visit is during a hurricane, you are unlikely to have rain for more than 3 days during your vacation. You can visit Weather Base to see average temperatures and rainfall year round.
- Are beach towels provided?
Yes, there is available one beach towel per person. We request that you only use the bath towels for inside and beach towels for outside. Beach towels that are wet after use can be hung out to dry on the line. The staff will show you where to hang them.
- How big is the pool?
The pool is large it is 33 feet by 17 feet. The depth is 4 feet. The pool has a very advanced water filtration system and large filter to provide the cleanest water possible. There is a Palapa area so you can sit out of the pool in the shade (for meals of just to relax).
- Where can I get access to the Internet?
There is Internet access in the villa for all rooms. You can send and receive e-mails, check stocks etc.
- What kind of phone service is there?
Punta Caracol there is a wireless vonage phone which is for your use.
- Are there hospitals in the area?
There is an American hospital in Cancun about 20 minutes away. There is also an American style clinic in Playa del Carmen. There are of course the pharmacies in Puerto Morelos for minor ailments.
- Is this part of Mexico safe?
The Cancun area is very safe, violent crime is virtually non-existent. There have however, been some occurrences of petty theft. Villa Paradiso is in a walled compound with gates and there is almost always someone on site watching the property.
You are very secure at Punta Caracol. However, during your stay and when you travel around the area a little common sense should be used such as locking doors, being mindful of your money and being knowledgeable of the exchange rate. When you take a taxi, ask to see the rate card and pay only what it says. Also, if you go onto the public beach don’t leave valuables lying around.