With our time in Cuba complete, we hopped back over the water to Mexico to start our journey down through the rest of Central America. Before finally leaving Mexico we spent a couple of nights in Tulum.
The first piece of advice you’ll inevitably be offered if you mention you’re planning to visit Tulum’s ruins is that you should get there early to avoid the crowds.
Well, we did as we were told and arrived almost exactly at opening time. On this occasion, unlike any of the other ruins we had visited so far, we eschewed the assistance of a guide and set off to explore along with a couple of friends from our Intrepid group. Perhaps that was an error, perhaps we missed out on a tonne of amazing information we will never know about, but we still thoroughly enjoyed our visit and the signage placed around the site was really helpful and interesting reading.
We headed from our hotel on the outskirts of Tulum to these ancient Mayan ruins set on the Caribbean coast via taxi. Split 4 ways this was by far the most cost-effective option (about £1.50 each). Taxi’s drop you off in the main car park which is full of the usual tourist tat and, of course, a Starbucks. There is an inexpensive train which will take you to the ticket booth from the entrance, but we just walked the 500m. Entrance is very inexpensive at around £2.25 each (at Feb 2018 exchange rates) so it really is a worthwhile trip.
These ruins were not as spectacular as Chichen Itza or some of the other more grandiose sites we had visited in the rest of Mexico, but their setting is just spectacular. High on the cliffs overlooking the rugged coast, we could only imagine how magical it must have been for those Mayans to wake up to that view each day.
Tulum was a sea port and one of the last known cities to have been built and lived in by the Maya. It is thought to have survived until the 15th century and to have eventually been abandoned due to high fatalities caused by diseases the Spanish brought with them on their occupation.
As you can see from our photographs, it wasn’t the clearest sunniest morning for our visit, but that didn’t stop us from being blown away by the views.
When we had finished exploring the ruins we made our way along the back road from the exit and towards the beach, hoping to find a lovely breakfast with a sea view. Alas, aside from the main resort hotels we could find nowhere open at 9am (told you, we really were the first ones in to those ruins!). So after a lovely early morning wander down the beach, we taxied back to the main town to our next best discovery in Tulum: Ki Bok. At this fab little coffee shop we had frankly the best coffee and breakfast of our trip (so far – wait for the Costa Rica diary!). If you’re ever in the area we highly recommend a trip; the setting is gorgeous, the staff super friendly and the food and coffee delicious. What more could you want? We may have visited twice in our few nights in Tulum
The downside to our stay in Tulum, is that the laundry we used there stole my precious, much-loved, oh so comfortable Lululemon leggings, and boy did the rest of our group get sick of hearing about THAT over the next few
days weeks. Keep reading the blog until we reach the diary of our time in Austin, Texas to find out about my replacement leggings – hope the suspense isn’t too much for you!