FAQs

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Some guests prefer the views from the Jr. Suite and Room #13, but no matter which room you are in, 150 feet outside your door your feet will be in the ocean. And every room has either a view of the ocean or of our beautiful gardens.

Please use the booking form to the left to select the dates you are interested in and you will find the best rates and rooms available for your trip.

We do not offer weekly rates, but occasionally we can offer special rates for extended stays. Please email us with the dates of your intended stay for more information.

We will allow three to a room with a $10 surcharge for the third person. It is just not going to be comfortable with more guests than that in most of our rooms. However, we do have one upstairs room that can accomodate four people.

Sak-Ol prides itself by being a hotel with a more "quaint" atmosphere in relaxing surroundings, which young children might not be very keen to. In addition, many people come to Sak-Ol because it is quiet, or to get some time away from their own children. Also, there may be some nudity on the beaches which may not be appropriate for youngsters. However, this is not to say that children are barred from staying. Teenagers are always welcome, and children ages 3 and up are welcome during most school holidays (i.e. Easter, July/August, Christmas, etc.).

Travel Agencies receive a 10% discount during our off peak times. We do not offer specials to wholesalers.

Check-in begins at 3 pm, but if you arrive early you are free to leave your luggage in reception and relax in the main palapa or on the beach while we finish preparing your room. Check-out is at 12 pm, but if you need to leave later, the main palapa and beach are still yours to enjoy. As for arriving late, reception is open from 8 am to 8 pm. If you will be arriving outside these hours please inform us in advance of your estimated arrival time so we can arrange to have someone to meet you. When you arrive, please ring the bell outside the reception area for assistance (please ring the bell only once or twice so as not to disturb our other guests). We ask that you register in reception and settle your room the next morning after breakfast. Our breakfast buffet is served between 8 am and 10 am.

We can accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards at Rancho.

The beaches in Mexico are public beaches. Our facilities, however, are for our guests and the conveniences of our guests. As long as people are respectful to our guests and to Rancho, they are welcome to come and enjoy our place. If we have a workshop in progress and the group prefers no outside guests, then we honor that request and the space is held just for the group.

There is space available for parking right here at Rancho.

Our Reservations Policy can be found on our Policies page.

Rancho no longer has a computer available for guests to use as almost all our guests travel with their own WIFI devices. You are of course welcome to connect with your own devices to read emails, surf the net, etc. (computers can be plugged into the regular 110 contacts, but we recommend bringing a surge protector, as the electricity can fluctuate at any time.)

Rancho’s phone is not for guests’ use. In case of emergency, Rancho’s phone numbers are, if calling from the USA: 011-52-9-8710181 and 8710182. Rancho is a place to relax and leave work behind. Therefore, we suggest you not give out this number except for emergencies only. Try this…you may find your vacation to be more of a vacation!

Don't worry...we have English speaking staff members to help you with whatever you may need. As for Puerto Morelos, the Mayan Riviera receives of great deal of international tourism. As a result, most locals speak some English and many are fluent. You should have no problem enjoying your vacation without knowing a word of Spanish. However, visiting a foreign country is almost always more fun if you can really get to know the culture, and part of getting to know a culture is getting to know the local language.

Yes, there are at least a half dozen really good restaurants in Puerto Morelos. The rule of thumb for food safety is this: If the food is cooked at the time of order and not before you have the best chance of a terrific meal. Avoid ordering a "plate of the day" – no one knows how long the food has been in the pot.

We have a full kitchen that we allow our guests to use. We also have a guest refrigerator and pantry area to store food or snacks. After breakfast hours we ask our guests to do their own dishes after using the kitchen. None of the rooms have kitchenettes as the large common kitchen may be used by all.

We have 5 gallon bottles of purified water in each of the rooms and in the kitchen. This water, as well as the bottles you purchase in town, is safe to drink. The sink and shower water is not purified. We recommend you use the purified bottled water to brush your teeth. The city water is potable water; however, it is not recommended for drinking, as some person’s digestive systems are more sensitive than others. If you forget and brush your teeth with the tap water, you likely won’t notice a thing. One does not hear of many people getting sick from the water in Mexico anymore (perhaps too much tequila, but not the water).

The "agua mala" as they are called, come anytime from late March/April to early May. They are usually only around for about 3-4 days at a time, and then they leave. (They are food for sea turtles). Some people are affected by them and others are not.

There is no true "bug season". However, we are in the tropics and we do have bugs. Mosquitoes are most abundant when there is more rain (late Sept/Oct). The mosquitoes are a nuisance usually only at dusk during these times. Because of our tropical location, its also common to spot geckos indoors and the occasional frog. You'll also see larger lizards outdoors and the occasional snake. Though it is not a very frequent occurance, once in a while a scorpoion makes it inside. However, the local scorpions are not poisonous and the sting is similar to a bee bite. If you spot one, let us know so we can help take care of it.

The current is 110, the same as in the USA. It is fine for your travel appliances.

There is a Casa de Cambio right in the center of Puerto Morelos to exchange money.

Whatever amount you are comfortable carrying around with you. It’s easier to have pesos when you go to restaurants, use the bus, entry fees, etc.

There is really only a few cents difference from place to place.

You will get a better rate of exchange in Puerto Morelos than at the airport, and if you're planning to take a trip into Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you'll find an even better rate at the banks there.

We no longer accept travelers checks at Rancho.  There is currently no place to change travelers checks in town.

Most of our guests find using ATMs to be most convenient since it allows them to carry less cash and it is generaly the least expensive method of converting currency since you will usually get a better exchange rate through the ATM than through the Casa de Cambio. If you choose to bring cash, bringing dollars rather than pesos is advisable since you will most likely get a better exchange rate here than outside the country. Most restaurants and businesses will also accept dollars but they will most likely take them at a worse exchange rate than at the Casa del Cambio so it is best to exchange them before using them. We recommend against bringing travelers checks (especially for anything other than paying your balance at Rancho) as many of our guests have found them to be an inconvenience since they cannot be exchanged in town.

Puerto Morelos currently has about 10,000 permanent residents. The town is divided into two areas. One area is on the beach, where Rancho is located. The other area is located behind the gasoline station on the highway. Most of the residents live in this latter area.

The walk to the center of Puerto Morelos is about 20-25 minutes. We also have bikes you can borrow free of charge (subject to availability), and the ride is about 10 minutes.

Puerto Morelos is a small town. There are only 3 streets in the part of town located on the beach.

There is a barrier reef (2nd largest in the world) that extends from north of Cancun down the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula all the way to Honduras. This is the reef in front of Puerto Morelos. This stretch of reef is gorgeous for snorkeling. Parts of it come up to the surface. There are different kinds of coral and may different reef fish to be seen.

It is a hefty swim. The reef is about 1000 yards out in front of Ranch. It is a bit dangerous as well due to boat traffic. In town, the reef is a bit closer to the shore but as the Reef is a Natural Protected Area, one must pay the entry fee to enter legally. For those interested in visiting the Reef, in most cases it is best to go on a snorkeling tour which costs only 25 USD per person, and your guides will be sure to take you to the best spots around the Reef.

It is both. At Rancho we have created a rock wall to collect sand and the area is like a swimming pool. We maintain the beach daily to maintain its beauty. A walk towards and into town is sandy, and south of Rancho is partly rocky before getting to sandy beach again.

Rancho is a very safe environment. You are provided with a key to your room, and safes are available in each room. You must ask the front desk for a lock and key, which will be given in exchange of a $50 deposit ,which is returned when you return the lock and key. Puerto Morelos is a very safe town, even for single women. There is very little crime here in town and virtually no crimes against a person (crime usually consists of stealing). Items left on the beach in front of Rancho are safe while someone is out swimming. It is not advisable to leave valuables unattended anywhere one travels. It is best to just have necessary items with you on other beaches if you plan to leave them unattended.

A refresher course is offered to someone who is certified but has not dived in several years. A resort course is offered to people who want to experience scuba diving, but not devote a lot of time to the certification class. With the resort course, one learns the basics necessary to do a shallow dive, then goes on a shallow dive with an instructor. It does not allow you to go and dive on your own. There are several dive shops in Puerto Morelos. Check out: wetset.com for one listing. Rancho itself does not provide dive services at this time. The shops here in town offer various certification courses and boat trips to do one or two tank dives and night dives. The cost of a basic certification course runs around $325USD and takes 4 days to complete and a resort course costs around $75USD and is completed in 1 day. If the classroom and pool work is completed in the States, you can arrive with a referral letter to complete the 4 open water dives required for certification. These can be completed in 2 days. If you only want to dive once, a resort course would be the way to go. The length of time underwater depends on the depth and breathing rate of each person. Average time would be about 30-50 minutes. A two tank dive costs around $50USD per day. The dive sites are between 10 and 60 minutes away by boat. All diving in this area is done from a boat. The dive sites are between 25’-110’ in depth and are low profile reef with lots of fish life. Rancho does not have scuba gear for rent. However, we have masks, fins and snorkels for our guests’ use.

Rancho has different massage therapists each year. They offer a variety of techniques from deep tissue, Swedish, Ayurvedic, relaxing, shiatsu, reflexology, Reiki, & various forms of energy work.. Yes, each is good! We have a massage sign up sheet with various times listed. You just write your name down and show up at that time. With several massage therapists on hand, you can usually schedule a time easily. There is no need to book ahead. Sorry, no trading for lodging. Doing trades with the massage therapists would be up to them.

There are several options for horseback riding nearby. One is within a 15 minute drive from Rancho. The costs vary depending on what you sign up for… an estimate is around $40USD for a ride. There are rides into the jungle as well as on the beach. Another trip goes only into the jungle, includes lunch and a swim in a cenote (fresh water spring) and costs $75USD per person for half day. There is no place to rent horses and ride by oneself.

There are no boat rentals for individual use. In town, you may hire a boat with its captain to take you out fishing. The cost for this runs about $150USD and the boats can generally handle 4 fishermen. These are small (25’) boats that are used by the local fishermen. The prime time for fishing is mid March thru August. The catches include dorado (mahi mahi), tuna, marlin, sail fish, barracuda, wahoo, and other edible fish. There are kayaks available to rent in town. These are designed more for inside the reef as they are not ocean kayaks. They rent for about $5 per hour.

There are several people in town who offer guided tours. Some offer day tours to a local Mayan village, a swim in a cenote, a walk through the local forest or the botanical gardens, and a chance to see how some of the local Mayans live today. These tours can be arranged while at Rancho. Marco also offers "Cool Tours" which is a 2 night trip to some more out of the way places, including ruins, flamingos and haciendas.

There are several ruins in the area. Tulum is a small site located on the coast and is 1 hour from Rancho. Coba is 30 minutes inland from Tulum. Each is different and beautiful. Chichen Itza is the most well known site and is located 2.5 hours from Rancho. There are a few that are in this area that are more off the beaten path. Xel Ha ruins, located near Tulum and EkBalam ruins located on the way to Chichen Itza. Rancho staff can give directions to all of these sites. Rancho staff can set up any of these tours for you, but we do not take guests to the ruins.

The best attractions of the area are the ruins, beaches, the reef for snorkeling and scuba diving, the cenotes (fresh water sinkholes or springs, sometimes located in caves), and caves. There are various parks like Xcaret (has a bit of everything…snorkeling in underground rivers, snorkeling in the sea, sea turtles, aquarium, butterfly pavilion, aviary, incredible night time show). Other parks like Tres Rios (has 3 "rivers" that empty into the sea, kayaking and bike riding), Xel Ha, (snorkeling), XpuHa (sea and fresh water lagoon) can be a great addition to any day. Oh yeah, possibly the best attraction is the hammocks at Rancho... relax.

There are dolphins out here, but they are not usually seen unless one is out in a boat and they happen to be swimming by. There are a number of places to swim with the dolphins in captivity. Xcaret (30 minutes drive) has a swim with the dolphins program. There is a way to make a reservation for the swim. The cost is $80USD per person for the hour long program. (entry to the park is currently $40USD pp) Each of the other dolphin swims cost around $110USD per person.

For a detailed map and directions of how to get to Rancho Sak-Ol please see How to Find Us!

To get to Rancho there is no transfer service offered, you are on your own. You can go to the window marked "Ground Transportation" and pay for an airport taxi. For a cutlass type of car or other taxi that can carry 1-4 people, the cost is $60-65USD. The price can change at any time and it is per vehicle, not per person. Travel time is approximately 20 minutes. They will accept US dollars or Pesos. Note: the cost to return from Puerto Morelos to the airport is about $35USD.

You can take a longer, more complicated, but less expensive route to Rancho via bus. You can go to the window marked "Ground Transportation" and ask for the bus to Playa del Carmen. Ask to get off at the Puerto Morelos stop. You then take a taxi into town and to Rancho for $7USD.

Car rental is available. This is usually better if arranged in the U.S. and you have confirmation and rate upon arrival. Daily rental fees are expensive in Mexico. For a VW bug, you will pay about $50USD per day. For a car with AC, it will be about $70USD per day. These prices will vary depending on the type of car. You can rent a car however, for a day at a time right from Puerto Morelos. See the staff upon arrival and ask about how it’s done right in town. The advantage to having a car is the flexibility of stopping off to visit some places, and coming and going as you please instead of waiting for a bus. Driving is safe… but paying attention to one’s driving is very advisable. If you use certain credit cards, the insurance is included. Use your own judgment for getting extra insurance. Precautions are necessary anywhere one travels to… and this includes locking one’s car here, and not tempting anyone with valuables in easy view. Theft is no more prevalent here than it is anywhere else. You can rent a vehicle upon your arrival at the airport. The car rental agencies are inside the airport, just as you come out of customs. For very late night arrivals (after 10PM), it is best to arrange ahead of time and tell the agency which flight you are on and ask if someone will be there with the car. You will need a drivers license for each person driving the vehicle, as well as 1 credit card. You can pay with cash when you return the car, but must leave the credit card bill open as a security deposit upon rental.

The requirements for U.S. citizens traveling Mexico are in a period of transition. Currently "All persons traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States." This requirement is scheduled to be extended to sea and land travel by June 2009. For up to date information, please see the US State Department's website. For information regarding the requirements for entering and exiting Mexico, non-U.S. citizens should contact the nearest Mexican consulate for visa requirements and their own country's requirements for exiting and re-entering.

The weather in summer and winter only varies 10 degrees. Winter temps run 70’s and 80’s and summer temps are 80’s and 90’s. It is usually sunny all the time. To check out the current weather please check out your local cable weather channel or check out the weather on the Internet.

For those of you who are ready for a vacation in the summer/ fall months, remember our unique hurricane policy. Hurricane season is officially listed as June 1 to November 1; however, hurricanes usually most often occur in September and October. They also usually head up the east coast. It is rare for a hurricane to come our way, but it does happen. What we want to offer since it is beautiful that time of year is this: If you have reservations at Rancho and 3 or 4 days ahead of time, and it looks like a hurricane is headed toward the Yucatan, we will gladly let you reschedule your reservations for the low season. If you are at Rancho and a hurricane is headed toward the Yucatan and you decide to leave Mexico, the money you have paid, for the time you have booked, will be credited to you for another equal period of time in the off season. i.e.: If you have been at Rancho for 3 days out of your week stay you have paid for, we will credit you with the whole week next year during low season (Based on availability). This applies only to room costs at Rancho. There’s really no way to lose here. 

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