El Panchan – Mexico – GRANDPAcking Costs

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JUNE 2017:


My costs start in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico and include:

  • 7 nights in GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation
  • Food & Drink
  • Mobile Data / Communications
  • Entry to the Palenque Ruins
  • A Jungle Trek Tour
  • Antibiotics for an infection
  • Some special one-off costs (e.g. replacement equipment)


For more detail, read about El Panchan & Palenque – Information.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.



My costs are broken down into:

  • Cost of Existence: The basic costs of just being there
  • Cost of Living: The additional costs that make being there fun


My costs are purely provided for information purposes. I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.


My accommodation at Margarita & Ed’s met ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’.

Our room had 2 Double beds and a private hot water bathroom.

They quoted a low season rate of MXP340 / night but, after a bit of jousting, I got this down further to MXP320 (US$18).

You walk through jungle paths to get to the rooms.

They have a couple of different buildings.

Our room was on the ground floor.

The room was a reasonable size …

… and there was plenty of hot water.

There was no wardrobe, so out came my washing line again!

It was nice sitting outside listening to the noises of the jungle at night. Especially the howler monkeys.


I walked everywhere around El Panchan. You don’t need any transport.

I also walked the 4kms from El Panchan to the Ruins and back (50 minutes each way) and walked the 5 kms back from Palenque Town one day. Both are pleasant walks.

Communications & Fees:

I had, previously, purchased an AT&T SIMcard in Playa Del Carmen. In San Cristobal I  topped it up with MXP300 and bought their 1 month ‘300’ Plan with free Facebook, free Whatsapp, built-in calls & texts, and 1GB of Data. I didn’t need to top it up any more in El Panchan.

In El Panchan your own simcard is fairly useless as you need to get to Don Muchos to get good internet. However, it proved useful for Google Maps etc once I got out and about.

My 180 Day Visitor’s Visa was free. However, on exiting Mexico, I will have to pay MXP500. Given that I will only be in Mexico for 2 weeks this time, my daily Visa Apportionment is high at MXP36 / day.

Food & Drink:

I averaged MXP133 / day on food.

I ate half priced Breakfasts at Chely’s each morning … and had a coffee afterwards at Don Mucho’s. My average cost for Breakfast was MXP56 / day.

I don’t really eat Lunch anymore. A good Breakfast keeps me going until Dinner time. But, I bought groceries / snacks from the Palenque Supermarket to keep the cost of Lunches down.

I averaged MXP50 for Dinner but I didn’t have a Fruit Juice (preferring beer). My Dinners were simple and ranged from a Chicken Soup to sharing a Tuna Pizza.


My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was MXP439 / NZ$35 / US$25 / €22 / £19.


My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were MXP559 / NZ$45 / US$32 / €28 / £24. This was more than enough to LIVE on.

Getting There:

It cost me MXP176 for a ADObus from San Cristobal to Palenque and another MXP20 for the Colectivo from there to El Panchan.

Drink / Partying:

I was out every night and averaged MXP64 each night on beer.


I spent MXP164 on various personal items including Bug Spray.

Entertainment / Trips:

I walked to the ruins from El Panchan and spent MXP70 on the entrance fee into the ruins.

I also spent MXP250 on a guided Jungle Trek.


I bought some coat hangers so that I could hang up all of my clothes to stop them getting damp and mouldy.

Other / Gifts:

I have included tips for food in the price of the food (above).


My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at MXP613 / NZ$49 / US$35 / €31 / £27 per day. This was 62% of my total budget … I had 38% left to play with. I had all the money that I needed to have a fun time.


Again, costs are broken down into:

  • Cost Of Existence
  • Cost Of Living



I suggest that GRANDPAckers do NOT pre-book (with someone like BOOKING.COM or EXPEDIA.COM or AGODA.COM). Just turn up and walk around. GRANDPAckers should easily be able to get something acceptable for MXP300 / night (US$17). This will get you something acceptable short term or something nicer for a long term stay.

Don’t expect to get Breakfasts included at these prices.


There is a budget for you to go by Colectivo to Palenque Town once each week.


I have included a prepaid 1 Month plan with 1GB of data for MXP300.


I have budgeted for you to eat something from the ‘lower quartile’ of the Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner menu in the local cafes.

Water should be free at your hotel.


The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about MXP790 / NZ$63 / US$45 / €40 / £34 per day.


This leaves you 21% of your daily budget to LIVE on: about MXP207 / NZ$17 / US$12 / €10 / £9 per day.

This is not much but, with that money, you can:

  • Both get into the ruins (MXP140 entry plus MXP60 for the return Colectivo)
  • Buy 4 1.2L Corona beers
  • Buy 3 cocktails
  • Save up for 5 days and go on a Day Tour


El Panchan is a good Holiday Destination for GRANDPAckers.

The nearby ruins and jungle setting offer a nice ‘break’ from the ‘Magic Towns’ and ‘Beachfront’ living.

But, it is relatively expensive.

One week will be enough.


El Panchans has NOT made it into my Retirement REVIEWS.

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