In these stressful times, sometimes you just want to switch off the phone, ignore the TV, and go somewhere no one can find you for a week or two to recoup from the daily grind. This kind of escape requires a place that’s off the beaten track yet has amenities enough to relax in comfort. Costa del Sol Bungalows is just such a place.
This unique resort is in Punta Allen, a small settlement located at the tip of a painfully narrow peninsula that juts south into the Caribbean from Tulum, Mexico. The road begins well enough in Tulum, but after passing through the northern reaches of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve it becomes a sand track riddled with potholes literally large enough to swallow a car. Although only a 30 mile drive, the trip can take up to three hours, especially if there have been recent heavy rains. For the first 20 or so miles there is no sign of civilization but as land’s end nears, mansions begin to appear in the dense jungle that separates the road from a crystal clear turquoise Caribbean Sea. A few miles further, scattered casitas appear, until the village finally comes into sight at the tip of the peninsula.
Just a half mile before town, Costa del Sol Bungalows beckons. At the entrance is an open air restaurant where the proprietors cook up whatever fresh catch has been delivered to their door that day. After meals, guests are encouraged to retire to one of the many hammocks, conveniently strung between trees just steps from the dining tables. If complete relaxation isn’t possible, the area offers some of the best saltwater flats fishing in the world, as well as excellent diving and snorkeling.
The resort has only four casitas, simple but exceedingly clean rooms with 24-hour hot water that are well separated for privacy. Punta Allen is still so remote that electricity is only available until 9 p.m. each day and it doesn’t come back on until 6 or 7 a.m., forcing even the most intrepid corporate types to slow down and remember how to enjoy life. It takes a little effort to get to Costa del Sol, but when guests see the pristine white beach and immaculately kept grounds, taste the made-from-scratch meals, and experience the warmth of the host family, there is never any doubt that it was worth the effort. Departing guests grin as they negotiate the tortured road back to civilization, knowing it guarantees that Costa del Sol Bungalos will remain a secret just a little bit longer.