Mexico

Tulum

Here you’ll find travel reports about Tulum. Discover travel destinations in Mexico of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day6

    Gestern sind wir mit dem Rad zu einer 4km entfernten Cenote (ein dolinenartiges Kalksteinloch, das durch den Einsturz einer Höhlendecke entstanden und mit Süßwasser gefüllt ist) gefahren. Dort kann man schnorcheln und tauchen und die wunderschönen Farben, Fische, Schildkröten und Fledermäuse bewundern. Ich würde fast behaupten, dass schnorcheln/tauchen in einer Cenote auf meine persönliche Top 10 Liste für things to see before you die kommt...Aber ich hab vielleicht auch noch nicht sooo viel von der Welt gesehen :) auf jeden Fall muss tauchen unglaublich schön sein, weil das Wasser soo klar und die Unterwasser Höhlen riesig sind...wir haben erstmal nur geschnorchelt.

    Neu gesichtete Tiere: Schildkröten mit flauschigem Algenpelz soo züß :), Fledermäuse
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  • Day2

    Sooo nach wundervollen acht Stunden Schlaf, in denen wir aufgrund der Klimaanlage fast erfroren sind, ging es heute direkt nach Tulum mit dem Bus. Nach dem Check in im Hostel sind wir gleich Richtung Strand gestartet...was anderes geht bei 35 grad und 90% Luftfeuchtigkeit auch nicht :D Der Weg dorthin war dann doch etwas länger, 5mi sollten wohl fünf Meilen und nicht Minuten heißen :D aber der Blick aufs Meer hat sich gelohnt: weißer Sandstrand, türkisblaues Wasser, der Dschungel im Rücken...und der Rückweg mit 2 Euro Taxi war dann auch annehmbar :) Jetzt geht es gleich noch Richtung tapas und Tequila...ariba ariba :)Read more

  • Day6

    I am obsessed with the cenotes (limestone sinkholes where you can swim)!

    After the turtle swimming I visited three - Cristalino, Eden and Azul.

    Cristalino was the best. Very pretty setting with mainly families setting up base for the day. It was very relaxing and just fasinating snorkeling looking at all the rock formations and watching the fish.

    Then you can sit on the side and dangle your feet in watching the fish swim around them.

    Next was Eden which is very deep in parts and so diving is popular. Its amazing staring down unable to see the bottom in parts. This one had the best rock formations.

    Last one was Azul which was abit disappointing as its mostly quite shallow with the deep part reserved for jumpers. And the jumping is the main thing at this cenote so its loud as the crowd clap and cheer the jumpers and if a young child jumps off the crowd goes wild! Aby I bet MM would jump with a life jacket on! So this one had alot of families with young kids and then the young crowd who are there to jump.

    But it has nice paths where you can wander through the jungle and find a few quiet spots so it grew on me.

    The photos are all from the Azul cenote.
    1- the jumping spot
    2 - the cheering crowd
    3-4 pretty
    5 - the fish nibble my feet!
    6 - you can stand in the water and watch the catfish swim around you!
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  • Day8

    Today we set off for Tulum. We had the morning in Playa del Carmen and my good intentions of getting up early and going for breakfast in a beach cafe didn’t eventuate as a sleep in was too tempting.

    Tulum as a town is nothing much and is set along the highway. Our hotel was near the town centre which is handy for the cheaper restaurants, atms, car and bike hire etc.

    The beach is about a five minute drive and is quite nice (as an Australian I am a tough marker!).

    So after we arrived I was quick to hire a bike and set off for the Tulum ruins which have a spectacular ocean setting. The rest of the photos are taken at the ruins and you can see my bike straight from the 1950s! The turquoise waters were stunning. I think the Maya occupants would have felt pretty good waking up there every day!
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  • Day111

    Ceynotes, Tacos and Superbowl Sunday!

    Tulum is famous for it's numerous ceynotes (caves) and that was right at the top of our list. All around the town these geological wonders have been commercialised with compulsory guided tours on land and by snorkel and SCUBA. Fair enough, you wouldn't last long lost in an underwater cave. Of course, with that comes the tourist hustle which we are becoming evermore used to.

    We chose Cenotes Dos Ojos for our exploration of the underworld, based on a friend's recommendation and I will back it up with my own - this was a big highlight of the trip so far! Foolishly, we decided to cycle the 20 odd km from our hostel to the entrance in the heat of the day (our hostel came with the free use of beach cruisers). After an early morning food poisoning scare, and a few cookies in the toilet, Mike rose to the challenge and led the peleton in. We arrived in a bit of a state, but grateful not to be road kill and for the pennies saved on transport.

    The Dos Ojos (literally: two eyes) is a series of partially submerged limestone caverns. We donned masks, snorkels, fins and torches (and wetsuits for the ladies) and plunged into 24 degree water at the mouth of the cave. It was crystal clear. From underwater the natural backlight created black silhouettes on an awesome crystal blue backdrop. Rays of sunlight too, beamed through from the surface to create some truely remarkable lighting.

    We spent just under an hour following our tour guide over, under and around the stalagmites and stalagtites, sneaking off to dip down through swim throughs and the like. He led us to a chamber called the Bat Cave, where we emerged to witness hundreds of bats, unflustered by our presence.

    It was a hurried tour, I would have liked to stay longer but my body was grateful to return to the warm of the sunlight. On our way out of the park we stopped by another open ceynote for some phat mangeres and some more cool swim throughs. On reviewing our camera work, we were gutted to find the go pros had been battling with the dark light and all of our footage and photos are really bad quality. Noooo!

    We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at our hostel and having some refreshing beverages. Casa dol Sol is an unusual hostel. It's run by a tiny mexican man and his wife (I think) and their young son, who had a habit of confusing me with his spanish. It was a partially complete, three storey concrete building. It had absolutely no soundproofing and wall mounted fans that put Boeing to shame. The second level was for camping (on a bare concrete floor) or you could opt for just a bed (no walls - internal or external) and the top floor was a construction site which appeared abandoned. The beds however, were the comfiest in a long time. Ahhh for a good nights sleep!

    Strolling the main drag in search of dinner, we stumbled across Antojitos La Chiapaneta, an open kitchen tacqueria. It was unanimously absolutely delicious! Service was prompt and the staff knew how to keep the food coming. At seven pesos per taco (under 50c) we couldn't help but dine there three nights in a row, and if you asked me what I wanted for dinner tonight, I'd still go back. We'll be using some special words in our reviews for this one, that's for sure.

    Sunday, lazy Sunday, was exactly that until an earlier suggestion of reigniting MERC sprung into action. The Mt Eden Running Club has a long and dyer history. Built for drinkers with a running habit, the core foundations of the club are rife with problem. Many men have suffered in its days, and completing a run is always far from a sure bet. Nonetheless, inaugurating two new ladies to the club (Cat and Char) was an inticing prospect. So the team geared up and set off to the beach in the beating heat of the day.

    First to be dropped was Char, easing off to a brisk walk under the inhibiting pain of a tight ITB. Shortly after, Cat tripped on what she claims to be a twig (MERC Fall Investigations later proved no such twig existed) and gracefully grazed ankle, hip and palm on the asphalt. Eventually the heat got to all of us and we regrouped to walk the final kilometer to the beach. Such a good swim! Another of many in the Caribbean Sea. After re breaking Mikes rib, Scott and Mike ran home again under duress while us ladies caught a cab and bought a well deserved lunch for the team. Let's hope the next one goes a little better...

    Lazy Sunday continued that afternoon, as we spent our time blogging, reading, researching and learning spanish. We headed to a bar in the early evening to watch the Superbowl which turned out to be another great game of sport - the Patriots coming back from over 20 points down to beat the Falcons in overtime! Only one drunken Mexican interrupted our viewing, spitting on the floor and creepily ogling Char before being removed by security and sneaking back in three or four times. Such fun!

    It's been too short, Mexico. I've barely touched the east coast, and certainly haven't begun to see the rest, but the country is so big and diverse it might just have to be done by itself. Another time. In the meanwhile, we're on a bus to Chetumal before a boat to Caye Caulker, Belize. It smells worse than a portaloo and we've been holding cloth over our faces for the last three hours. The joys of travel, am I right?
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  • Day18

    For (awe)some reason we ended up booking the mother of all stoner hostels in Mexico! Literally everybody is smoking all day long and we're having encounters with the funniest people in our hostel, as well as a great swim in one of the thousands of cenotes (sinkholes) along the coast, tried some amazing local bloody mary-like cocktails called "ojos rojos" (red eyes), more delicious mexican food and a burning shot called "the cockroach - la cucaracha!"

    Don't miss the videos on YouTube...

    1. A stoned guy just randomly walking up to us at the pool around midday and started to sing and play funny mexican guitar songs just for us😂😂: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR5XpGhof-c

    Ps: this song carried on for another 5 minutes 😂😂 but I just thought you'd have enough by now 😂😂😂 he was really into it 😀

    Btw One of his several life-wisdom-stories and best quote ever was "everybody dives stoned, that's just obvious, then you feel like a fish, so haaaappy" 😂😂😂 (we had a lot more good ones)

    2. Later the evening having escaped the "musician", who btw gave some handmade earrings out of the stones of his town 😂😂 *weirdo*, we found some time for a mojito (or two😉) as the reception guy came over to our hammock, telling us about "HIS LIFE OF WEED" and how he smokes ever since he was 4 years old: https://youtu.be/6B83MlUclsY

    Seriously??? 😂😂😂

    3. In the morning we escaped the stoned crowd of our hostel and went to one of the cenotes for a swim and a jump of a zipline into the water:

    Seb: https://youtu.be/eoq70vRRyBw
    Stef: https://vimeo.com/170856326

    4. Then the funniest guy tried to jump too but was so anxious that it took him about 10 attempts and at least 10min on the platform, so his friends pushed him over 😂😂😂 - but he still wouldn't let go😂😂: https://youtu.be/FnQgR6VIDdY

    5. Arvo sesh of pool billiard, burritos, beers and seb trying a local shot called "LA CUCARACHA" - THE COCKROACH 😂😂: https://youtu.be/vDvKFOITXbk

    WAS A FUN DAY 😂😂😂

    tomorrow cavern/cenote diving 😍

    -Stef-
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  • Day146

    After a luxury ride we arrived in Tulum and walked to our hotel. By now we were very hungry so went and enjoyed a delicious lunch nearby.
    We were staying in the main downtown area which was full of shops, bars and restaurants so definitely a good place to be based. The afternoon was primarily wandering around and exploring the area.

    The next day rather than taking a pre arranged and expensive tour we decided to go DIY and take ourselves to a nearby attraction. The plan for the day was to go to Sian Khan ecological reserve. We got on a locals bus (certainly not as swish as the ADO services but still really not bad! It had air con, can't complain). And after a 20 minute drive or so we jumped off outside a small complex of Mayan ruins. With hardly anyone else there it was great to explore these temple ruins, just off the main road but hidden amongst jungle. Some of them were in great condition with some original motif carvings still in tact and some red paint still visable. After this we circled round the biggest castle temple and saw a sign to the lagoon - the main part of the eco reserve. To get here we followed a raised boardwalk through the jungle. There was an observation tower halfway down with steep ladders to climb the 18 metres or so height to the top. I wasn't so keen on this so waited at the bottom while Phil climbed the ricketey rather rotten steps to the top of the tower. He said the view across the jungle to the lagoon was great, but was a little uneasy seeing all the woodworm marks and the shaking as he climbed. Standard lack of health and safety rules, all part of the fun!
    We continued down until the jungle suddenly opened out onto the beautiful lagoon. Very similar to Bacalar it has stunning turquoise water so we were very keen to get out on it. We got a private boat ride with a local guide and zoomed out across the water. Before long we went down a windy mangrove canal to get to the second lagoon. Here the water was so clear you could see to the bottom.
    Onwards we went, seeing a range of birdlife then suddenly a big turtle with red markings. The driver quickly stopped as we watched it shuffle along the sandy bottom. The guide had a nature book for the area and pointed it out, it was called a Jacatera.They are pretty common but rare to see! And this one was pretty big too. It is a main prey of crocodiles although they can die eating them as their large shells get caught. I think this one might survive with that knowledge.

    We continued on stopping in the middle of mangroves where there was a jetty. Just there off from the jetty was a small piece of land and another small but brilliantly preserved temple. It looked very picturesque on it's small island and we went for a closer look. After this we could see a small channel of water through the mangroves and our guide said we could 'float' down it. He got some life jackets out of the boat and made us step into them like giant nappies. Then we jumped in and he joined us for a 30 minute or so natural lazy river ride. On one side was mangroves, the other tall reeds and you bobbed along in clear blue water to a gentle current. It was awesome! Not only to cool down but to be gliding down through such a natural environment. We even saw a massive bird like a heron right by us as we floated past. It was very peaceful and fun just drifting along. We could have stayed there all day!
    Afterwards we walked on a long boardwalk back through marshland to the boat and sailed back to land.

    From here we made our way back to the main highway ready to catch a bus back to town. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience here and would go back in a heartbeat to do it again.

    That evening we treated ourselves to one of the best restaurants in town (conveniently two houses down from our little hotel) and had the speciality. We ordered the Arrachera steak which is considered the best steak around, and it was cooked to perfection, served with a whole heap of sides and condiments including cactus leaf (not a fan to be honest... it's slimey). Amazingly the whole meal and drinks still cost less than an average steak in a chain pub at home. What a treat. The only thing that was not a treat every evening when we ate our meals was a particular street performer with a eukule. He was without doubt the worst 'singer' I've ever heard, basically just groaning out words and attempting to play the instrument... he kept randomly strumming the strings loudly and out of tune. The worst song he kept doing was Purple Rain by Prince. That was verging on traumatic having to listen to that. I was tempted to pay him to leave every time. Ask Phil to do his impression some time.

    The next day we got up early to go and see the Tulum Mayan ruins by the beach. These are the only Mayan temples on the coastline and are very popular so we had to go see them for ourselves. Thankfully we got there just after 8am when they opened before it was too busy. Still more people than we'd previously seen but not manic. It was already hot but not unbearable so was worth the early alarm. It is not a huge site so was easy to get around and it is definitely unique seeing them perched on clifftops overlooking the sea. Some of the ruins were in great condition which we enjoyed, and these also had so many iguanas living around the site, we played a game of 'how many can you spot' which was fun.
    After we wandered down the beach, but there were warning signs about jellyfish and a lot of seaweed on the sand so decided to not to stay here, and headed back to downtown for lunch and the afternoon. We found a cute restaurant within a glamping site which also had a pool which they let us use. We ended up just spending the afternoon relaxing here, cooling off and eating yummy food.

    Our time here was suddenly finished and although we really liked the vibe of the place we felt we'd done the main things to do, so prepared to leave on a bus to Merida early the following morning.

    Beth
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  • Day178

    We got the 8am boat back to Belize City ($15). The boat looked full with about 20 people left on the dock but they managed to squeeze them in somehow until we were squished like sardines. Anna's regular iced coffee man had evidently overslept so she couldn't get her fix. She was caffeine-less until Chetumal but didn't turn into a monster for once.

    There’s little info online on buses to Mexico. We knew there was a night bus direct to Tulum but a lady on CC had told us there was one in the morning. When we got to the mainland they told us there wasn't one until 1pm which was $25 to Chetumal. Not wanting to wait around for 4 hours, we decided to save some money and look for a chicken bus. We got a taxi to the bus terminal (8B), where a chicken bus showed up almost instantly to Chetumal. We climbed aboard and it was pretty comfy and not too hot for the 4 hour journey (15B).

    The landscape was flat with grass, palm trees and sugar-cane plantations on single roads. At the Belizean border we all jumped off for a stamp. As tourists, we had to pay $18 departure tax. Only 3 of us got back on the bus (no idea where everybody else went!) and we drove a surprisingly long way to the Mexican side. There we got off, got our stamps and put our luggage through a scanner - I was questioned for dodgy looking items but he was satisfied with my Christmas presents explanation without having to unpack it all.

    Mexico is like a completely different place with it’s 3 lane roads and clean, Americanised shops at the side. Shortly after the border, we arrived in Chetumal. Despite it being in Mexico, all the lamp posts where we were dropped off had Belice (Belize) written on them. Must be some weird overlapping territory thing? Explains why the buses cross the border. It seems apt that our first and last border crosses have been done on chicken buses.

    The taxi driver even wanted Belizean dollars but we only had US as Anna had given our last 4 to the bus guy. The taxi took us to the nearby ADO terminal ($2) where we were able to pay in US dollars for our tickets to Tulum ($13). We'd gone forward an hour so we only had an hour and a bit to wait until our bus (which aren't quite as regular as we'd been told!). The terminal had free wifi to keep us entertained.

    We boarded the Mayab bus at 4:45pm, which wasn't quite as nice as we'd hoped - slight upgrade from a chicken bus with proper seats and aircon but certainly not modern and no toilets. It stopped a fair bit too and by the end of the 4 hour journey our bums were slightly numb! It was mainly a 2 lane highway with grass / bushes either side and not much to see.

    We walked to our AirBnB place and were shown around by Donaji who was lovely and gave us a map and told us where to visit etc. It's a small 2 bed apartment in the centre of town and at only $23, is a lot better value than any we found on Bookings.

    The hotel that we stayed at on our first visit to Mexico 3 yrs is apparently 5 minutes drive from here. We did look into going back for a night or two but it's really pricey. It'll be lovely to go back to the stretch of beach we got engaged on and see the area from a backpacker’s viewpoint.
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Tulum, TUY

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