When you’re in Mexico start planning your trips early. The number of trips depends on your budget and how long you’re staying there. There are so many places to see and enjoy, all of them are rich in history of the Mayan people, and it’s also quite pricey to book a trip. But it’s worth it. In general, every trip is a daylong package with a guide, several spots of interest to visit, and food. The food they offer during a trip isn’t that great to be honest. So, make sure you get up early to grab your omelet and coffee for breakfast, and then your van will arrive and sweep you away to a new adventure.
The trip we got really excited about when checking out guide books back in a hotel room is Mayan Ruins in Tulum. It seemed to be the closest to the Cancun resort area (130 kilometers).
The town’s original name was Zama, meaning the City of Dawn, and was changed later to Tulum, meaning the wall. Perfectly placed on the cliffs for you to enjoy the sunrise (if you’re lucky to get in there early enough) and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the fortress is protected by a huge 784 meter wall, which is also 7 meters thick. When you enter the site through one of the three gaps in the wall, the view that opens in front of you is beautiful and impressive: the limestone ruins, juicy green trees, tropical flowers, and iguanas sunbathing on the rocks and eyeing the tourists as an unwelcome nuisance to their leisurely life.
Tulum was built as a seaport, fort and a trade hub and a protection to the city of Coba, which is another famous site among Mayan ruins.
There are pathways leading in all sorts of directions, offering opportunities to explore, contemplate on the rise and fall of Mayan civilization, swim and photograph. This is one of the most picture perfect ruin sites in that area! The view from the cliff above the beach is pretty spectacular!
Being a smaller site, and in close proximity to big resorts, it can get overrun with tourists unless you get there early when the site opens to enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed tour of the site.
You may want to bring a swim suit if you’d like to dip in the sea because it really gets hot there – just take stairs leading down to the beach. The sea looks so inviting there.
We explored every corner of the City of Dawn, and loved everything there, but it was time to move on to a new spot.
We stopped off for a much needed swim at the Akumal beach, which is one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen. It’s perfect for snorkeling and you can see a few big turtles playing in the water. I didn’t have extra memory cards on me, so photo opportunity was missed there. How silly is that!
Tourists shopping for local souvenirs are attracted by Playa del Carmen, a cute town right on the beach, famous for its Fifth Avenue. A walkway that stretches a block or two away from the beach is lined with tons of shops, bars, restaurants and boutique hotels. Once to be a fishing village, it’s now one of the rapidly developing areas, and you can see constructions going all over the place. Chose a pretty shady place for lunch and collapse with cold margaritas, freshest tacos or seafood. The food choices are multiple, and all of them are so good. We didn’t get home until long after dark. Just at a perfect moment for the show of fire dances. A nice touch to end the day of adventures and beeline to the dinner.