Palapas – Thatched Huts Of Mexico

19 Feb

When planning our escape from the United States in 2013, I spent hours researching house construction for tropical living. When all else fails, look to the indigenous population for a cooling, inexpensive, and sustainable construction. Palapas, i.e. thatched huts can be found in the fanciest hotels in Cancun or the simplest villages deep in the interior jungle. They are beautiful, functional, traditional and synonyms with the Mexican Caribbean and Pacific.

Rancho Encantado Bacalar

We have used palapas as overhangs to keep rain and sun out. Our dock is covered with a palapa to provide shade while viewing the laguna or reading in the hammock.

The front of our house.

Only this week did I have the opportunity to view up close and personal the construction of a palapa porch for our new guest room. They really are a work of art and their builder a true artisan.

Grass fronds delivered.
A porch to provide shade,
Original laundry room transformed.

There are many details that only the artist knows. The angles must be specific, the grasses woven correctly and the netting applied to keep the whole thing from flying away. Of course a tropical storm or hurricane can do the job, but we’ve been lucky.

Inside is a welcoming space.
Our dock.


9 Responses to “Palapas – Thatched Huts Of Mexico”

  1. Laurie Kujawa Ryan February 19, 2023 at 10:56 am #

    I so love the palapas here! And you are correct. Looking up at their construction from beneath and really paying attention can reveal just how intricate the artistry is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 19, 2023 at 11:05 am #

      Palaperos make good money and pass down their skills.


  2. Jack Scott February 20, 2023 at 4:34 am #

    Reminds me of the thatched roofs you see doted about in English villages – pretty and practical. In fact, our village church has a thatched bell tower.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 20, 2023 at 11:44 am #

      I didn’t even think about other traditions. I guess grass is cheap and grows everywhere!


      • Jack Scott February 21, 2023 at 4:54 am #

        Of course, I meant ‘dotted’ not ‘doted’! 🙂


  3. Emilie February 24, 2023 at 9:13 am #

    I just love palapa. There are many on the Sonoran coast, also, and even inland. Perfect spots for reading, dozing, staying cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 24, 2023 at 10:45 am #

      They are quite intricate and artistic. I’ve seen some very large plastic replicas. Not the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Karen Hodgens February 26, 2023 at 12:46 pm #

    So, so pretty! Happy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 26, 2023 at 3:15 pm #

      There are some huge palapas in the area as the all-inclusive move in.


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