Happy 2016. Happy every day.
Thank you for your patience since October. I have an extensive backlog of unseen posts and photographs I’m so excited to share with you from the past few months.
I am back in the beautiful Rockies, living on a mountain where the snow and the fresh, crisp, cool air is second to none, but that’s a story for another time. Last month, Matt and I booked a spontaneous trip to escape the cold and immerse ourselves in the sunshine, vibrant colours and food goodness of Mexico. We had a vague idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see but took it day by day so we could shape the trip around what we liked and what we didn’t. We were literally booking hotels a few hours before check in and doing our fair share of cardio trying to make the buses. There is so much to share with you so I’ll spread it out over a few posts. To start, Tulum. My favourite.
We spent two nights in Tulum, a beautiful, slow-paced town. We stayed at Mama’s Home, a hostel referred to us from a friend and one I’d recommend in a heartbeat. It was cheap. It was lively. It felt like ‘home’. We got to personally meet José, the owner, who seems like your long lost brother. There’s something on every night (we made it in time for karaoke and movie night) and every morning you wake up to an incredible complimentary breakfast cooked by two lovely Mexican ladies.
WHAT TO DO
In Tulum itself, there is so much to do but by far my favourite was swimming in the cenotes. To me, there is nothing in this world quite like swimming in the pristine blue water, amongst the fish, inside the caves surrounded by Mexican jungle. There are plenty around Tulum, but we managed to only make it to Cenote Dos Ojos and Cenote Nicte-Ha. The former is popular with the tour groups as you can dive down into the deep caverns. So I advise rocking up as early as possible to avoid the crowds. The latter is much quieter and more like something out of Fern Gully. The water is covered with budding lillies and plenty of fish. You can swim inside the dark caverns and sit on the rock ledges.
The Mayan Ruins of Tulum sit right next to the sea. We avoided the tour groups and instead explored on our own. We hired bikes to get us to the ruins (3km from town) and afterwards, rode along the beach and town roads. Take your swimmers with you as the walk through the ruins can get quite hot and there is a little stairwell down to a small section of beach where you can cool off before resuming your exploring.
Swim in the Caribbean sea and visit the markets. On our first day, we caught a Collectivo headed towards the beach. We got off at the very last stop, walked for about 20 minutes south and found a beautiful, secluded beach, far away from all the tourists and bustling hotel zone. The water and sun is so inviting, we stayed there the whole afternoon. If you decide to do this, pack a small picnic because all the markets and restaurants are quite a walk away.
HOW TO GET AROUND
While in Mexico, we tried nearly every type of transportation possible, from bike to boat to golf buggy. We arrived in Tulum via bus from Playa Del Carmen. This cost around 60 pesos one way. The best way to see Tulum in my opinion is to hire a bike. It’s such a small town and very easy to get around. We rented our bikes from Iguana Bikes for 60 pesos. We also caught Collectivos (popular with the locals) to get to the cenotes which cost anywhere from 15 to 30 pesos.
WHERE TO EAT
Instead of researching, we walked around and ate at wherever was most inviting to us. By far my favourite place was el gourmet on the main street. We went there for lunch on our second day and sat outside in the backyard, underneath a tree that was raining flowers on us and sheltered from the sun by an array of umbrellas strung together. It is a very cute little place that served the best panini I have ever eaten in my life.
This is one destination I’d return to in a heartbeat. If you have any specific questions about Tulum, let me know below and I’ll try and give as detailed response as I can. Have you been to Tulum? If so, what are your recommendations?