On the Road: An American in Mexico – Part 2
Tulum is a beautiful place to lay on the beach, but also, full of history, Mayan history, ya dig? Phil and I set some ground rules when we decided to go on a better late than never honeymoon. One of those was we weren’t going to have an agenda. No feeling like we were rushing around, because that’s what our lives are like every day.But we did have a few activities on the list we wanted to accomplish. And with the help of our hotel we saw all the history and cenotes we needed over the course of a few days.
On our second full day in Tulum, we decided to walk to the Mayan ruins and explore. For most people, walking there sounded insane, but the nice thing about living in New York, is when your concierge says, it’s straight down this road and you look it up and the distance is just over 3 miles, that’s child’s play to you. Taxi’s beeped at us the whole way telling us how far the ruins were. But we waved them all past. And after we had arrived, Phil realized the distance is like walking the bottom loop of Central Park twice, literally a walk in the park.
Walking around the ruins was incredible.
Side note: they ONLY accept pesos for the entrance fee, so make sure you have them on you!
We decided against a guided tour since we prefer to explore in our own in life anyway. As we walked through the different structures, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that what you’re staring at is thousands of years old. Imagining that this was all built up, that people lived here, they planted their crops, made sacrifices, used the location as a port on the water, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t just made to look at. This was a civilization.
This doorway was my sized! I feel like if nothing else, I could’ve hung with the Mayans based on their general height alone.
The ruins are on a high cliff which looks out at the ocean. In one area there’s even a huge staircase where you can go and take a dip to cool off on a secluded part of the beach.
We began our journey back to the hotel and made a pit stop for 2 for 1 margaritas and a snack, which turned into many margaritas……and a taxi ride home.
The next day we went to explore some cenotes. You cannot visit Tulum without experiencing these natural beauties. What is a cenote you ask? Well I’ll tell you! it is a natural sinkhole which basically turns into an underwater cave. We actually visited two different kinds. The first was an open cenote, surrounded by jungle.
Beautiful right?? Another piece of advice, don’t forget to rent a life jacket. Like I said these are underwater caves, touching the bottom, is not an option, and if you’re not a super strong swimmer your arms are going to get tired. It took all of 2 minutes for Phil and I to be like NOPE when trying to explore without a life jacket. This cenote is a free for all, rent gear or not, go in as far as you like. If you’re a certified scuba diver, these are a dream.
The second type of cenote we visited was an enclosed cave. You had to be part of a guided tour, and after seeing how dark and tight some of the spaces are, it’s obvious why. We were recommended Sac Actun by our hotel and it proved they knew their stuff. I don’t have any pictures from there since we just wanted to experience it, and you can’t take a bag with you. The tour has you snorkel your way through stalactites and stalagmites (which you DO NOT touch!!) and you can see how deep and cavernous this cenote is. It has an overwhelming beauty to it, and was by far unlike I had anything I had ever seen in my life.
We definitely wanted to explore town, a 10 minute drive away. So we hoped into a cab one afternoon and walked around downtown Tulum. There were a ton of shops, restaurants, coffee houses and an ice cream shop with two monkeys on the sign that you have to go to. To walk around I wanted something easy to wear. And what’s easier than a one piece???
This grey gingham romper is from Sabo Skirt (currently on sale!!!) and I love it. I found the site through Pinterest and fell in love with a few of their pieces, this one included. I loved the pattern, the tie on the side, I’m a sucker for a good romper.
It was the perfect choice to skip around town in. I enjoyed downtown Tulum, but there is part of it that reminded me of Chinatown, many small shops with their owners trying to get you to come in and buy. We didn’t really pick up any souvenirs, we were happy just experiencing it. But I will give you the low down on where to grab a drink in town in my next post!