The Explorean Kohunlich was one of the options for my husband and me through our timeshare with Hilton. We are so glad we decided to vacation there.
We traveled from Chicago O’Hare into Cancun. Our research on how to arrive at Explorean had us looking at a variety of connecting points… Chetumal airport had no arriving flights from the States, flying into Mexico City and then transferring to Chetumal involved too many connections and possibly a night over, or flying into Belize did not logistically make sense either. However, the resort is a good 5-hour car drive from Cancun and we were apprehensive about that long of a drive.
We looked into going via ADO bus line (highly rated on Trip Advisor), but after looking at the logistics of all the transfers (arrive atCancun airport then taxi/shuttle to bus terminal then wait for the next bus (up to 2-hours), then travel on bus for, 5-1/2 hoursto Chetumal then either taxi to the resort (approximately 40 miles) or taxi to the Chetumal airport and be picked up by the resort)… the car rental idea won out.
Now all of our American friends (who had not been to this area) would say, “oh, you’re driving in Mexico, isn’t that dangerous” starting to get me concerned, but after talking to a friend who had been in the area, I was reassured that this would be quite safe. As with any area you are not familiar with, just be careful. My advice if you choose to drive is to watch for the topes (speed bumps) and do not buy from the people selling produce at these speed bumps. They sell bread, juice, and water (since you have to slow down, it gives them the opportunity to sell their product). It’s not that I don’t want to support the local community, but the sanitation of the product could be an issue.
We drove down the main road Hwy 307 to Hwy 186. We watched our odometer after we turned onto 186 (Explorean’s website said it was approximately 65 kms); it was less (sorry don’t remember the exact number, I would guess between 55 and 60 kms); however, just look for a sign on the right-hand side of the road, pointing to the left that says “Explorean Kohunlich.” Then drive down a paved, but pot-hole road for approximately 6 kms. We arrived during day light, but I could see where this road would seem like an unlikely road if you are driving in the dark (there are no street lights).
When we arrived around 7pm and greeted by Ricardo. The staff brought us a refreshing fruit drink, we checked in with the front desk, and Ricardo showed us around and to our room. Our car and luggage were taken care of after we pulled up.
The cabanas are wonderful. We were in #36. It was a little bit of a walk, but not outrageous. The cabana had an outside porch area with a hammock, couch, and chairs. Every morning the staff brought us coffee, juice, and bread; just a light snack before you head your way to breakfast. Even though we were in the “jungle, “ when we sat outside the bugs were not bad at all. We live in Wisconsin and are used to mosquitos so large they can carry you away. There were no mosquitos that bothered me at all.
The set-up of the cabana is simple, but comfortable. We sleep with the windows open and the AC running. The AC keep the humidity out, but I really wanted to breathe the warm, fresh air. One night it rained, and it was so cool listening to that rain in the jungle.
Although this is an all-inclusive, you do not pony-up to a buffet line. Instead there are meal times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, it is all you can eat; but it is sit-down and you are being served and waited on by an awesome wait-staff. There is a menu each day, but you can ask for whatever you want off the menu.
The uniqueness of the Explorean is that your stay includes a daily activity agenda for you. In fact, they emailed me several days before we left asking us what our preferences would be (check out the explorean.com website for a listing of activities). We experienced exploring the Dzibanche and Kinich-na Mayan ruins our first full day there. This was the day we met two of the three families we became friends with. The next day, we kayaked in the Southern part of Bacalar lagoon at Xul-Ha. This is when we met the third family who we became close friends with. We kayaked one night into Chabakbakam. I saw spider monkeys in the wild, didn’t see any crocodiles thought, but also witnessed a red-blood moon. We kayaked again on the Bacalar in another part, wiggled our way through Mangrove trees and exfoliated in the nature mud-baths.
We wanted to snorkel, so the staff helped us plan an excursion to Mahahual. We went with the three families we had become friends with. It was 2-1/2 hours from the resort, but so worth it. It was the best snorkeling ever. Itzae, one of the managers, helped us coordinate the activity. He did a great job. He not only took care of booking a boat to take us out to the reef, but afterwards, he had lunch ready for us in a private, canopied table.
I took a Spanish class (a whole 8 sessions) before I left for this vacation. I was by no means proficient, but I was grateful that I took the class (it helped me with the pronunciation of words). Most of the people (staff and customers) speak Spanish. A few of our new friends spoke English and were our gracious interpreters. Some of the staff spoke English, the managers, tour guides, and wait staff all did… but not all do. Nonetheless, they all were so helpful. I brought along a pocket-size dictionary and did pull it out a few times. I learned to say, “estoy aprendiendo Espanol” when attempting to say anything.
Thank you to our new friends and the wonderful staff at Explorean (Marcos, Ricardo, Itzae, Javier, Enoc, Daniel, and many others) for one unique and awesome vacation. I hear that there will be a new Explorean resort in Cozumel. My husband and I plan on going there next based on the great time we had in Chetumal.
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- Also Known As:
- Explorean Kohunlich Hotel Chetumal
- Explorean Kohunlich Chetumal