Magnificent Mexico – Tulum Day 1

Today we have a bit of a sleep in, and then take a short walk to catch a Colectivo. It is a large mini van that is like a taxi…anyone can hop in if there’s room! It’s a really fun and easy way to get around this part of Mexico. It’s around an hour drive to our next destination…..Tulum is a small town known for its beautiful beaches and Mayan ruins. We get dropped off on one of the main streets of the town, and then we get caught in a downpour! But no problem…wait a few minutes for it to clear up and then we take another taxi to our hotel. When we arrive, no one is there! Pedro makes a few calls and finally someone appears. Like how are they unaware of our arrival??? The El Punto Hotel is located on the highway; and it’s only a short ride to the beach and the ruins. But that’s about the only thing good about it! I share a room with Aimee…no windows, the air con is leaking and both nights there is some kind of clanking noise that drives me insane. The rooms are cabin style, located in the backyard of the hotel. There is a gate for security, but really, anyone could just walk in. Not a fan.

It’s time for lunch, and there is a cool restaurant close to the hotel called El Capitan. I order the cheese quesadilla and a horchata.

IMG_3143.jpgA horchata is a refreshing rice milk drink, often seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon. Perfect for a hot day in Mexico!

Now it’s time to explore the Tulum ruins…super excited…ruins are my thing! It’s the 4 of us today – Me, Aegean, Dwain and Brigitte. A short taxi ride gets us there and it’s one of those days again…. super windy with chance of downpour. And since the ruins are located right along the water…that breeze is intense. The area before the entrance to the ruins has shops, places to eat and many things to take pics with…such as these…

IMG_3152.jpgOn the way into the ruins, I spot a few coatis. I love these critters! I first encountered some years ago in Costa Rica and I had no idea what it was. When I realized they weren’t going to eat me, I got to observe how cute they are. Fun Fact: A coati is from the racoon family, and is an omnivore.IMG_3155.jpg

Now through the gates to the ruins and I’m ready to explore its splendor! It is an ancient city, sitting on top of 39-foot cliffs with the Caribbean Sea lapping onto the beaches below.

IMG_1614.JPGIt was one of the last cities built by the Maya and the reason given for the city eventually being abandoned was the disruption of its society due to diseases brought in by Spanish settlers. IMG_1609

This walled city is fairly compact and can easily be explored in an hour or so. The wall on the landward side is around 15 feet tall and is quite thick and sturdy, proving that defense of this site was very important. The Temple of the God Of Wind is the first structure to be seen.

There are 3 major buildings at this complex…first is the most impressive, The Castillo(castle).

IMG_1620.JPGIMG_1619.JPGIt’s in the centre of the site, and stands 25 feet high. The Temple of the Descending Gods sits to the left of the castle. The next one to explore is the Temple of the Frescoes. It contains a couple of galleries and was used as an observatory to track the sun movements. IMG_1613.JPGIMG_3172The area is open without much shade, so a sun hat or umbrella are perfect accessories. Or if it’s ridiculously windy, a rain poncho is a better bet. At one point I venture up the small incline to get that perfect pic…and cue downpour! This is the pic I snap before I get soaked:

IMG_3173.jpgThere is one tree around for relief, but I have to pull out the rain poncho. Fun Fact: if weather permits, you can go down to the beach for a swim!

Now we’re back at the hotel, and we feel like grabbing a few beers before dinner from the massive supermarket down the street. Fun Fact: you cannot buy beer at the supermarket on Sundays. Ugh. Fine. So we head into the town, a 20 minute walk from the hotel for dinner and drinks. Pedro takes us to a place called Milagrito- they have great food and drink specials.  The décor is cool (a wicked mural on one of the walls), the atmosphere is fun and the staff is super nice.

IMG_3188(Edited)Aimee and I start the night with the drink special…beer and mezcal. The mezcal is meant to be sipped…. but Aimee just shoots hers. Haha. Pedro recommends the grilled octopus tacos…they are amazing! Fresh and tasty.

We are still hungry so we walk over to Museo de la Cultura Maya park, and there are many street stalls selling yummy snacks. I am tempted to get some churros again, but I see a stand selling marquesitas…from what I’ve heard, you can only find them at street stalls! It is a crispy crepe, and mine is filled with Nutella and sprinkled with cheese.

I know, it sounds weird but wow it is amazing! And now it’s back to that main street again to a bar called Pasito Tun Tun. We sit outside in the back patio; I sip my paloma cocktail (tequila and grapefruit soda).

IMG_3195.jpgWe are looking forward to the live music but it isn’t very good so we decide to call it a night. It was a very fun and chill day in Tulum!

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