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Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

Toronto, Canada
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25 posts
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Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

Hi,

After spending a week browsing through past forums etc. and being amazed at Skier's ability to post in 99% of them, I have a few questions to ask you guys.

We are in our early 20s and this is our first time outside of Canada on a vacation. Tried to book through Transat for the golden club at GPB Akumal but have an exam on the 8th of december :( so we will have to stick with GPB coba (14 nights leaving on the 9th) with conquest without golden upgrade (which hopefully should be ok).

At the airport, do we have to find our own way to the hotel or is there a shuttle service?

1) Building 23-27 seem to be the most ideally located in the non-golden section. Does anyone have any preference on which one they preferred the most or a room on the third floor with a pool view that we should request?

2) GBP specific checklist so far includes bug repellent (mosquitoes etc.), water-shoes, snorkel kit, small water bottles, $1 in tips ($100 US), towels. Do i need some medication for possible food poisoning? Anything you think i might want to add to this?

3) Excursion wise, there is the $10 cab ride to the akumal bay for amazing snorkeling and a cab ride to the tulum ruins which is close by (how much would the cab ride and the entry cost?). Anything else that I am missing apart from the coba ruins?

4) Do you advice taking any tour guide excursions? If so which ones and how much they would cost? (and yes skier is correct on the no dolphin excursion support).

5) How much cash do you guys usually carry apart from the $100 in tips. Should they all be in US? As advised here I will get them converted here or at the airport. Also are credit cards sufficient for hotel and tour guide expenditures?

6) I will book the restaurants as soon as i check in, are we allowed to book only in coba or also akumal or tulum? Any recommendations on the best restaurants?

7) It seems that the snack bar is only accessible to us in akumal and tulum. What type of food do they generally serve?

8) How do you guys manage to carry all the tips with you when you are at the beach? Is it safe to leave your stuff on the chairs?

Finally anything else you guys can suggest or think of that can make our stay more enjoyable? I apologize for the long list of questions, it's our first ever vacation so we are a little bit nervous about the whole experience. Thanks again guys, this forum ahs been a huge help!!!

ladysmith, bc...
Destination Expert
for Akumal
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1,901 posts
29 reviews
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1. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

i think i can answer some of your questions

your tour package with transat will include transfers to the hotel

if you pm skier he will be able to send you a map of the bahia complex - coba is not right on the beach but i hear the pool views are very nice ones

with the us $ stronger now i would change your money into pesos. your bank can order whatever denominatons you like - some without service charges.

the hotel supplies beach towels so no need to bring

them

you can book most ala cartes on the complex except for arlequin at akumal and don pablo at tulum when you stay at coba

the snack bars are awesome - very good food - bbq ribs and chicken - burgers, hot dogs, fries and pizza

salsa and guaq with chips - perfect for lunch

i carry a small waterproof container that holds keys, money lighter etc. walmart has them

you will love the resort - the food and service are top notch.

hope this helps

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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2. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

First South American trip? Last I knew, Mexico was North America.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

lol, yes realized my mistake. Mexico = N.America, panama etc.is central and Brazil and below south... thanks for pointing it out.

Hamilton, Canada
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234 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

Greetings Rhue... You will not be disappointed in Coba, we were there in mid Oct and hope to return soon.

If you are succeptable to illness bring some over the counter Tylenol, Graval and maybe some trots meds. I didn't get sick at all (other than the self inflicted tequilla) I had brought some CDN $5 bills and the staff seemed extatic to accept them, and, when we exchanged at the Service desk it was treated very close to US and yes the dollar had alreadey plummetted at that time.

We were in building #27 and it is Golden but it was a very nice building. In my review I posted a pic from the balcony, I feel it is one of the best photos I have ever captured. On that subject if you use digital camera be sure to have a spare memory card as you will take tons. As well Walmart has disposable underwater cameras which are about half the price of those offered at the resort.

Have a great time...

CT
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140 posts
27 reviews
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5. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

They quoted me $20 US one way to Tulum Ruins from Gran Bahia Akumal. We ended up not going but that was the price for a max of 4 people in a cab.

We left stuff on chairs but carried our $$/camera w/us if we were going to get something to eat. We had a watersafe stuffed w/dollars and our key around our neck it looked like this:

www.locogringostore.com/mm5/merchant.mvc…

ladysmith, bc...
Destination Expert
for Akumal
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1,901 posts
29 reviews
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6. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

yup that looks like the watersafe that i use. i have had it for about 15 years and it still works as good as when it was new. wow the lg store has it for $.99 it's a great price

Guadalajara
7 posts
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7. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

you can try to go to chichen itza ruins, and that is with a guided tour of course,

I have never been a fan of the hotels food, to me is pretty lame...

and very sadly i belive that region has not much of tradicional food, you pretty much are going to see international food, and sea food, if you manage to find a yucateco restaurant, it will be fantastic!!!

pack suncreen too, in the chairs you can leave non valuables.... but camera, money... a purse, celphones big DON'T

Canada
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169 posts
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8. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

Hi there,

I am pretty sure you'll have good time @ Coba. I just returned from there & it's always in my thoughts :)

Room choice: 2nd floor, closer to lobby might be good. You can have a better view without having to go up to 3rd floor & you may walk to the lobby/buffet if needed.

Packing List: Might wanna add pepto & take it before meals on the 1st day. Be light on 1st meals. Have only bottled water. For men, swimming costume with zipped pockets or tie ups are handy. Might waana have travel size detergent, you may pack less clothing & have a wash or 2. I'd recommend converting your CDN to pesos take some US too. Basically, you lose ~30% in conversion when not using pesos. There's a place in Mississauga called The Coin Shop And Currency Exc

1100 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Telephone : 905-949-2646. They have better rates than places in rest of GTA or MX .

Tours: I rented a car in the middle of the week & did on my own. If you have done homework & wanna be flexible, it's the best option.

Carrying $: You may use a safe or divide b/w your pocket & suitcases (locked in room). May get waterproof wallets or zip locks even if your swimsuit pocket is sealable (zipper/valcrow).

Feel free to ask if there are any questions.

Have fun!

Toronto, Canada
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25 posts
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9. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

Thanks for the quick responses!

I guess i will convert Canadian to pesos here. In another forum skier mentioned that it is way cheaper to withdraw from an ATM in Mexico, will a TD bank debit card work there? Also how much money do you guys usually carry? I think $300 for the both of us should suffice from reading past posts here.

Is building 27 part of club golden? The view looks fantastic! I will email them a week before i leave and request for a 2nd floor room there.

For tipping leaving 10 pesos bill a day enough for the cleaning lady, the mini bar guy, snack bar and 20-30 pesos for a la carte dinner? I don't want to offend them if $10 isn't enough.

Do you recommend booking tour trips from the hotel or is there a cheaper alternative outside of the hotel? :)

Etters, Pennsylvania
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26 reviews
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10. Re: Advice: First South American trip to GPB Coba

I would def. leave more than 10 peso's for the maid...at the min. 20 peso's and 20 peso's for the beer dude. Thats only $4 a day. $10 peso's for breakfast and lunch buffet and 20 peso's for dinner buffet. 50 peso's for the ala cartes. I also tip 10 peso's each time the waitress brings us a drink. I always tip the bartender almost everytime we are sitting at the bar, usually 10 peso's.

I also love to bring candy along to give to the maids, (Hershey Bars and Kisses). This time I plan on making gift baggies to hand out to my fav bartenders and the animation team on the day I leave:)

The maid who attended my room on my last vacation, sought me out just to thank me for leaving the candy. She was just so appeciative of it!

Just a thoughtful gift for such a little bit of money goes such a long way. The smile is worth the trouble..believe me:)

Micki