Where is the check in/out location?
The check in/out location for all reservations after 27th April 2018 is in Tulum town. The exact location will be shared once the reservation has been confirmed. For reservations prior to that date, the locations for check ins/outs locations were confirmed with each reservation.
Can I drop the van off at a different location to where I picked it up from?
No. We are a small team and currently do not offer this type of service.
What does the VanBalam come with?
Our vans are equipped with everything a campervan traveler needs. It includes a sofa bed for two people, soft and comfy linen (sheets, blanket and towels), a kitchen complete with gas stove, ice box and utensils, a sink with running water, a gravity shower, a solar panel for interior lighting and charging gadgets, an on board safe, plenty of storage space, full door mosquito nets and curtains, a mirror and even a machete for opening coconuts!
Does it have a toilet?
No, it does not have an onboard toilet due to the compact size of the vehicle. We have made a secret off-the-beaten-track map with lots of campsites to park and sleep. They all have restroom facilities.
Can I take the equipment on the road trip?
Yes, you can.
What else can we rent with the van?
We are watersports fanatics and instructors and have equipment rental available for kitesurfing, stand up paddleboarding, diving and snorkeling.
Do I need to know how to kitesurf when renting the equipment?
We only rent kiteboarding equipment to people who are certified riders or can demonstrate to us that their level is at least intermediate. We do not rent kite gear to beginners.
Do you offer kiteboarding classes?
We are certified IKO kiteboarding instructors and offer private classes in Cancun and Tulum. We offer special discounted rates for our VanBalam clients.
Can both occupants drive the vehicle?
Yes, as long as both occupants have valid driving licenses, they may drive the van. Copies of the driving licenses and passports are required when filling in the online check in form.
What is the best way to pay for the reservation?
How do I reserve?
Can I park the van anywhere?
You can park in any public parking place. Always check that the parking space is public. If you’re not sure, ask a local. However we recommend to park and sleep at the recommended campsites which are included on the map.
Does the van include insurance?
The van includes a comprehensive insurance policy. Should the policy be activated, the client is liable for any excess fees. All incidents should be reported to the VanBalam team first.
What documentation do I need to show if pulled over by the police?
You need to show the vehicle circulation card (tarjeta de circulación) located in the plastic folder in the glove box and your driving license. If an infraction is given to you, you are responsible for paying the infraction to the authorities before you check out. We can help you with determining what needs to be done.
Does the van have air conditioning?
It does in the cabin while the engine is running. It does not have air conditioning in the back but both large doors have full mosquito nets and there is a small 12v fan that can be connected to the solar power controller.
What happens if I puncture a tire?
There is a quick fix can for small punctures which you can use to inflate the tire and seal the hole which will be good enough while you find a “vulcanizadora” (tire repair station) which are very common in all areas of Mexico. The cost of repair should not be more than 10USD. The van also comes with a spare tire, jack and tools for complete tire change.
What happens if I breakdown in a remote area?
The insurance policy includes roadside assistance and towing. You will need to contact us and we will help you with getting that service.
Should I activate a roaming cellphone package while traveling?
We recommend that you contract a roaming package for Mexico when traveling. The cellphone coverage with Telcel is very good. In most towns and cities there is at least 3G coverage. There are many coffee shops/bars/restaurants with WiFi but cellphone signal is very useful when on the road.
Are the any safety and security issues that we should address?
We advise just to be streetwise and use common sense. Thieves are operating all around the world. Don´t open up all the doors when in busy public places like supermarket carparks. Leave the valuables in the safe. When parked and sleeping, leave the doors open with the mosquito nets in place but face the open doors towards the jungle.
How do I fill up the diesel tank?
At the gas stations look for the BLACK colored DIESEL pump. Do not use the red or green pumps (they are regular gasoline). Make sure the gas station attendant shows you that the meter is in “0´s” before starting and when handing him the money, make sure you are clear about the amount given to him. Gas station attendants sometimes (very rare but does happen) try to trick tourists by saying that a different valued note was given to them. If the attendant cleans your windscreen and checks tires pressure (35PSi) a tip of 10-20 pesos is fine.
How do I fill up the non-drinkable water tank (large white jerrican)?
When the large white jerrican (water tank) is running low please slightly open the cap so that the suction pressure is released and the tank regains shape. Use the water supply at the gas station to fill the water tank (a tip of 20-30 pesos is ok). Or use a hose at a campsite. Make sure the water is not cenote or sea water.
Should we fill up any mechanical fluids while in the gas station?
No, the van is fully serviced and maintained. The only liquid that you can check is the window washer fluid. However, we always fill it prior to a rental.
What is the correct tire pressure?
35PSi. Feel free to check the tires at any gas station. The tires (especially the front) often look slightly flat but they’re usually fine.
Where can I buy the 19 liter drinking water bottle?
You can unscrew the bottle top which will lift off the manual pump. Do not throw away the bottle top. You can change the empty “garrafon” (water bottle) with a new one (of the same brand) in any grocery store or supermarket. The bottle costs around 30-35 pesos when you hand them the empty one.
How can we travel with the van in an ecologically responsible way?
We provide eco friendly dish washer detergent with the van and a waste bucket for organic kitchen waste. Feel free to discreetly throw that in the jungle. Don´t worry, no bears here but there are ants! We recommend using eco friendly sunscreen and repellent. Please do not enter the cenotes with sunscreen, moisturizing lotions, repellents nor any skin product. Use a minimal application of a sea friendly sunscreen when going in the sea. The best way to avoid sea contamination is by bringing and using a UV protective rashvest and using sunscreen just for the face and exposed areas. Support local farmers and buy fresh and natural produce from the Mayan Grocery Store and Co.Conamor, Naturalmente Grocery Store, (check the VanBalam map).