Hostel Ka’beh, Cancun

Doesn’t it seem that check-out time is just getting earlier and earlier? Well, you don’t have to worry about that at Hostel Ka’beh in Cancun, Mexico, as they have no check out time! You can sleep in as long as you like and there will be no one knocking at your bunk bed to wake you up at ungodly hours of the morning.

Hostel Ka’beh believes in slow travel and appreciates that not everyone wants to have breakfast before 10am in the morning giving you the freedom to tuck into a tasty breakfast of your choice at any time of day.

The hostel is one of the friendliest I have stayed in and has thought of everything a traveller needs. From huge lockers to store your stuff, a coin and a book exchange, free internet and city maps to free water and hot drinks, they have everything covered and you can even leave unwanted clothes and things behind (or pick up some needed flip flops for your next journey).

Hostel Ka'beh

Photo copyright: Olli Sooderso

We caught up with David Uribe, the owner, to ask what makes Hostel Ka’beh so different from other hostels:

What's so different about your hostel?

At Hostel Ka'beh, our goal is to be true to what a Hostel should be. We are a low-cost option for globetrotters looking to stay at their Home Away from Home. Fellow Guests and Staff are your friends and family, and the Hostel has everything you could possibly need while traveling, but couldn't pack!

Our Hostel is changing traveler’s views of Cancun, one person at a time! We maintain a relaxing atmosphere, the kind that prepares you for a long day of exploring some Mayan ruins, or a day where you can literally kick back and do nothing!

The Hostel itself is perfectly, centrally located; We're half a block away from the main square, where you can get real, safe, *amazing* Mexican meals for 2-3 USD! The square is also bustling with cultural activities from Thursday to Sunday!

Your Hostel has recently been included within the “Go Girls! Guide” for Mexico. That’s a great achievement!

Thanks!! I think it’s incredible that there are publications and people like you out there trying to empower women, and people in general to get out and travel!… and it’s greatly rewarding to be a part of that day in and day out through the Hostel.

Why the name: Ka’beh?

I chose the name “Ka’beh” to pay homage to the regional Mayan culture. There are still over a million people in Central America who speak Mayan fluently. When I first got to the Yucatan peninsula I had no idea Mayan was such a living language and I found that fascinating. The word combination itself actually means “The day after tomorrow” and I chose it because I was starting the Hostel as a foundation for the future. I’d always known it was going to be a pilot Hostel, and that’s exactly what it’s been. We hope to grow very quickly, and very soon!

Hostel Ka'beh

David Uribe preparing breakfast (photo copyright @ Jennifer Li)

What draws people to Cancun?

Cancun is famous for two things: Beaches and Parties. There’s a reason for this, and after your stay with us, I can imagine you’d agree that they’re both amazing! As a Hostel though, we have to fight the stereotype that backpackers have of Cancun as a non-stop ‘Spring breaker’ destination. While the parties are indeed crazy (open bar will do that to the best of us!), Cancun is so much more.

There are at least half a dozen things that can be done from Cancun as a day trip, and while they may not be things that are “in” Cancun, for those of us that come from large cities, the time/distance it takes to get to some of these attractions is equal to or less than that which we’re used to transiting from home, to work!

The Hostel itself is actually a great ‘chill out’ location to take a lazy day off. We have an incredible hammock area, a full kitchen, and plenty of movies and TV channels for the weary or hung-over, and for those sports fans out there; but for the travelers looking for a more active itinerary, you can visit the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá (one of the new 7 Wonders of the world!), Tulúm, and Cobá. You can also swim with Whale Sharks, dive in Cenotes (incredible underground lakes!), dive at the Underwater Museum, visit Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and so much more!

On top of all this, Cancun is also a major flight hub for the region. Millions of travelers and thousands of backpackers come through Cancun every year to travel north towards Mexico City, to travel south towards Central and South America, or to just stick around the Yucatan peninsula for a few weeks. Still, countless others take the inverse of these routes, choosing Cancun as their final destination before boarding their last plane home. Lastly, we also get plenty of travelers that use Cancun as a hub to get to and get back from Cuba.

Hostel Ka'beh

Photo copyright @ Cléa Périer

What type of people stay in your hostel?

A common description of a backpacker is ‘an independent traveler’. I’d like to think that the most independent of backpackers generally frequent the Hostel. I think our flexibility, local knowledge, and facilities are a big draw for them, while our cleanliness and friendly staff will attract and usually please just about anyone who comes through our doors.

Do many solo women stay?

The short answer is: yes!… the long answer: I don’t know of any Hostel-specific statistics off the top of my head, but I do know that Couch Surfing revealed at some point that 54% of their solo members were male, versus 46% women. Many Couch Surfers (CSers) have stayed in Hostels and many backpackers have tried CS at some point, so I think this is a good indicator of the ratio of solo women to men travelers.

In general, there are plenty of solo travelers out there, and they all usually have amazing times. Also, a common thing I’ve heard solo female travelers say is that even though their route is all their own, they are never quite alone. That is one of the beauties of traveling through Hostels! They’re incredibly social, and you’ll almost always find someone doing the same activity as you, going in the same direction as you, or someone that’s simply willing to go out with you for dinner and a few beers.

We also try to take care of our solo travelers! At our Hostel, we have 24 hour security and reception on duty ready and willing to help in case of a problem or an emergency. All of the tours we sell will pick you up from the Hostel doors so you don’t have to wander around, and during our nights out, we generally have a member of staff that will accompany you to help make sure you have a great time.

Hostel Ka'beh

Photo copyright @Gomio Hostels

Do you have any plans for the future?

Anyone who knows me knows that the immediate response to this question is: “To take over the world!!!”… but the ‘serious’ answer is to expand as quickly as possible.

The Hostel is far too small for us!… during high season we have to constantly say “no” to walk-in clients and anyone who wants to extend their stay because all of our beds are booked, and that’s always a shame. There is also a high demand for private rooms, and we hope to be able to accommodate that within the next month or two!

True to his word, David from Hostel Ka’beh has now acquired the property opposite and offers private rooms! Don't miss out! Book your stay at Hostel Ka'beh through Gomio Hostels. 

1 thought on “Hostel Ka’beh, Cancun

  1. Matt

    Hostel Ka’beh, Cancun is indeed a great Hostel, and the owner makes your stay really comfortable!
    Great interview, great review! Keep on going the good work!

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