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Cabanas Copal Hotel Tulum

Tulum Hotel with Clothing Optional Beach


Copal Tulum

The temazcal, or Mexican sweat lodge, at Cabanas Copal in Tulum

Adam McCulloch


Copal is a rustic, eco-friendly hotel in the beach town of Tulum, Mexico. Copal is situated in the hotel zone, amid lush jungle just steps from the Caribbean Sea. The hotel consists of palm thatched-roof cabanas set either in sandy jungle or overlooking the ocean and also has a well-regarded spa. The beach at Copal is clothing optional and the hotel is family friendly.

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The Grounds at Copal:

The feel of the resort is laid-back and unpretentious, and most guests wander the grounds without shoes – and with a slightly faraway smile on their face.

A bar set on a small clifftop overlooking the main beach is popular during the day for beer, soft drinks, snacks and people watching, as it’s shady and catches the breezes. A small tiled swimming pool is also set into the clifftop, while the lovely white sand beach below is clothing optional.

There’s a fairly basic open-air restaurant set right near the road that serves a decent breakfast and has a bar with swings. (It also serves dinner but you’d be better off venturing off-property to one of the livelier restaurants along the hotel zone.)

The spa, called Maya Spa, offers beachside massages, daily yoga, herbal treatments administered by local shamans and a temazcal, the Mayan equivalent of a sweat lodge ritual.

The Rooms at Copal:

Rooms range from incredibly basic huts – essentially a mosquito net-covered bed, a chair and a water cooler set in the jungle – to a romantic king casita with a mosaic bathtub and its own private stairway down to the beach. The Seaview Kings are most popular with couples, while the quadruple occupancy cabanas are big with families.

The Highlights:

  • The beach, which stretches in front of Copal and its neighboring sister hotels Azulik and Zahra, is remarkably beautiful. The sand is soft and white, the water delightfully warm (although prone to seaweed) and the proximity of the jungle-clad headlands make it feel secluded and private. While all parts of the beach in front of the three properties is clothing optional, the stretch of sand in front of Copal is the most popular with nude sun worshippers.
  • Enjoying a cerveza at the beach bar as the sun goes down over the Caribbean Sea
  • The crowd is eclectic and interesting – young and old, families and couples, expats and locals
  • Given how few of the resorts in the hotel zone are on the grid, light pollution is virtually non existent, so the star-gazing is second to none
  • An oceanside massage performed in a palapa with the sound of the surf as soundtrack

The Drawbacks:

  • Some of the cabanas are small and poky
  • The lack of electricity (no phones, no TV, no lights) might be a turn off for those who like their modern comforts
  • There’s internet access in the lobby, but it’s very unreliable

The Verdict:

Catering to a range of budgets, Copal is a big hit with couples and young families looking for a laid-back beach vacation with the option of taking it all off at the beach.

Address: Carretera Tulum-Ruinas Km 5, Zona Hotalera Tulum
Reservations: Toll Free US/Canada +1 866 471-3472
Room Rates: $ - $$$
Website: Cabanas Copal

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Read a review of Azulik, the sister resort of Cabanas Copal which is for adults only, or read more about nude and clothing optional beaches and resorts in Mexico.

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  7. Cabanas Copal Tulum - A Review of Cabanas Copal in Tulum

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