Palapas vs Tiki Huts: What are the Differences?

Published June 14th, 2022 by Allen Campbell

Palapa vs Tiki Hut what are the differences

If you like entertaining outside, you might consider purchasing an outdoor structure for your house. Because of the high humidity and heat, you may create the atmosphere of a tropical island in your own backyard with one. 

A palapa may be ideal for summertime entertainment, whether you want to enjoy ice beverages or Mexican beer. Similarly, a tiki hut can also be a good choice. 

In this article, I’ve discussed whether you should go for a palapa or a tiki hut and have also discussed the differences between the two.

Palapas vs. Tiki Huts - Differences: Summary

What Is a Palapa?

The difference between palapas vs tiki huts is that a palapa is an outdoor structure that may provide additional shade and seats for outdoor entertaining. It has the appearance of a tiki hut and may give your home the sensation of a tropical island. 

A thatched roof is supported by a network of carved wooden pillars on a palapa. And once inside, you’ll feel as though you’ve walked into a cabana on a Mexican beach. Palapas may also be used to create an outdoor kitchen with a built-in workplace and bar. 

You may also place tables around the posts so people can drink and eat while standing around. The built-in bar is ideal for creating tropical drinks while grilling steaks and prawns. Cabinets and shelves for plates, glasses, and culinary equipment may also be added.

You may also include a tiki hut-style playground with swings, slides, and ropes so your kids can have fun in a tropical paradise. However, you may also relax on a wood-hewn porch swing under a grass roof. 

A palapa may be a terrific way to add some additional privacy and ambiance to your hot tub while you relax. Also, if you operate a company and want to provide more outside area for your customers, a palapa might offer them a reason to come outdoors and remain on your premises longer. 

You’ll have an excellent location for outdoor entertainment with matching tables and bar stools that offer a tropical atmosphere. If you desire a patio bar, you may personalize the room with Mexican tiles, concrete, or wood, depending on your design preferences. It’s also ideal for outdoor showers and restrooms, which may serve as excellent changing places for your visitors.

Palapas have traditionally been located throughout the western Mexican coast. However, they have also gained popularity in Florida, Texas, and California, owing to the warmer conditions present in these states.

Palapas are ideal for homeowners who wish to give their backyards a tropical feel since they are an essential component in establishing this ambiance. Their costs vary according to size, but the price of a bespoke design might differ substantially. 

Because thatch is a natural substance created from plants, the worn parts will need to be replaced every four to six years. Fortunately, this procedure is simple. Simply remove the thatch pieces from the supporting frame and replace them to cover the palapa.

What are Tiki Huts?

The Seminole and Miccosukee tribes from Florida are responsible for the construction of these houses at the beginning. The 1800s were a terrible period for Native Americans, and the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes survived the volatile time by being able to move about readily. 

Because of this, they needed a shelter that could be set up and taken down fast, and they did this by using teepees. Cypress longs, and palm fronds were abundant in the Everglades, where they took refuge after their defeat.

Tiki huts went out of fashion in the 1970s, but the good news is that they have been making a resurgence recently and can now be seen at pubs, restaurants, and even backyards around the country. Your garden may be transformed into a tropical paradise with the help of Tiki huts, which provide the ideal combination of design and comfort.

Tiki huts are famous not only for their good looks but also for their capacity to maintain a comfortable temperature and maintain a dry environment inside them. They are a popular option for an outdoor bar and feature a traditional island aesthetic that makes them an excellent choice for hosting gatherings.

Palapas vs Tiki Huts: Benefits

Suppose you wish to bring the feel of the tropics into your house or place of business. In that case, you’ll enjoy the many advantages that thatch buildings have to offer, including the fact that they are:

  • The convenience of the kits lies in the fact that they include all of the necessary components, such as fasteners, instructions, lodge poles, a roof structure, and thatch covering. 
  • In most cases, the thatch that is used for the roofing of our Tiki huts and Palapa structures is a renewable resource that is gathered in an environmentally responsible manner. Pine, a material that is good for the environment, is used in the manufacture of the lodge poles that support your construction.
  • Putting up a Tiki hut or Palapa thatch building only requires two workers; thus, it can be installed in the outside areas of both big and small enterprises.

Use In Commercial Places

Structures made of thatch may serve as a focal point for the overall concept and design of your outdoor company. Make your hotel, eatery, amusement park, or zoo stand out from the competition by doing the following:

  • Creating a little retreat in a secluded portion of a pool area, complete with chairs and tables
  • Under thatch-roofed shelters, dining tables and chairs may be arranged for an authentically tropical outdoor eating experience.

Palapas vs Tiki Huts: Differences

Most people mistake a palapa for a tiki hut, but there are critical distinctions between the two. For example, the differences between palapas vs tiki huts is that a palapa has supports that go directly under the roof, but a tiki hut often has structural supports around the outside. 

One or two poles are used to construct two of the most prevalent forms of palapas. Palapas are sometimes mistaken for thatched umbrellas due to their use of a single bar to support the roof. 

A palapa is usually linked to some kind of permanent structure, while a thatched umbrella may be relocated. A thatched umbrella may also be folded, something a palapa cannot due to its rigid construction.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Having a Thatched Roof?

Both these structures come with thatched or synthetic roofs. Here are the pros and cons of the thatched roof. You can decide for yourself ahead!


  • Green. Thatch is a green roofing option. Without mechanization, rural populations cultivate and harvest thatch reed. The sector produces jobs, which is something a lot of areas need.
  • Well-insulated. Thatched roofs insulate well, keeping homes warm in winter and cool in summer. This insulation saves on heating and cooling costs.
  • Durability. Thatched roofs are often durable. They may live 60 years or more with proper upkeep. In addition to regular care, a thatched roof’s lifespan relies on the materials used and the thatcher’s talent and experience.
  • Well-aged. Thatched roofs age well and shape naturally, adding to their attractiveness. Thatch blends with the foliage as it ages.
  • Characterizes. A thatched roof adds charm. Thatch softens the clinical feel of brick, steel, and glass.


  • Expense. Installing a thatched roof is labor-intensive and costly.
  • Inflammable. Thatched roofs may catch fire without sufficient measures. Fire retardants are sophisticated and practical.
  • Decay. Because thatch is organic, it decays. You must take care to avoid this happening. Thatch is susceptible to fungal assaults in warm, damp areas. 
  • Required maintenance. Maintaining a thatched roof is essential. Maintenance varies by thatch type, roof pitch, sun and shadow, pollution, and weather.
  • Costlier insurance. Home insurance is higher for homes with wood roofs due to the danger of fire. Most short-term insurers cover thatched homes, and implementing fire-retardant measures could cut costs.
  • Trees above. With a thatched roof, overhanging trees must be trimmed. Trimming branches may dry up thatch, increasing fire danger.
  • Animals might cause damage. Unprocessed thatch may attract birds hunting for food, nesting materials, or nesting in the roof itself. Rodents may do harm.


In this article, I discussed what difference between palapas vs tiki huts. Make sure you research well before buying, as it is essential to be familiar with whatever you’re purchasing. 

The right thing for you depends on your requirements. Read this article and see which one appeals to you more and go for that one. You can also look at other tents which can potentially add to the beauty of your home.

Allen Campbell with Master Canopies

Allen Campbell

Allen is a full time writer at and enjoys traveling around the United States and exploring nature. He enjoys writing about canopies as he believes they are extremely crucial in having a successful camping trip whether it be a trip to the beach, mountains, or the open plains.

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