Traveling in Mexico, it can feel like you're being nickel and dimed, and by that I mean that the costs are on the order of nickels and dimes. Everything costs something, but by American standards, nothing costs much.
Our airfare here obviously cost, but on par with traveling domestically. Parking at the Tulum ruins costs a couple bucks. Entrance with a private guide costs about $20 a person. Hotels and meals also run a fraction of what they'd cost at home.
But then there's the two-hour walk on an endless stretch of pristine coral sand beach in the Sian Kaan preserve with nary a sign of human existence, bath-warm Caribbean waters lapping at your feet, palms sussurrating in the sea breeze. Completely and totally free of charge, and almost certainly the highlight of the trip.
Along the way we spied this little shack. I've decided I'm going all Robinson Crusoe.