I was reading curiousfishy excellent review of Tulum over the weekend, and started to tell my story; therefore I thought I’d take the time and write it down.
We travelled to Mexico in the late part of 2010, on an Intrepid Travel tour throughout Central America. Tulum was our second spot after leaving Playa Del Carmen. We had seen the videos and read the reviews before heading to Mexico, and as we like a bit of culture as well as a bit of nightlife and beaches we opted to stay in Playa over Cancun. In all honesty we didn’t like either of them, but Playa was by far nicer than the metropolis of Cancun. In a nut shell we weren’t upset to leave to travel the coast down to Tulum.
Upon arriving we checked into our beach huts, literally on the edge of the beautiful Mexican coastline. This was incredible, really rustic and I remember the huts vividly, as they appeared to be made of straw (well the roof was at least!)! We walked the beach and relaxed for the rest of the day and into the evening. Believe me we were glad when darkness approached as the heat was intense.
Note to the wise as well the insect repellent was on huge standby here – Megan was literally bitten to death – registering a staggering 70 bites in one evening!
Retiring to our hut, we were soon awoken by a huge clap of Thunder that felt like it shook the floor, and following this noise, the familiar sound of rain started… That is started and continued, and continued… This was not like the rain at home – this was a huge tropical downpour so intense it started to creep into the huts… Yes you got it we were in the midst of a tropical storm
After a frantic moving of all of our bags into the centre of the hut, we tried to close our eyes and just get on with it… but the rain continued and honestly I think it got worse…! Lightening flashed in the sky and lit up the whole resort, and the wind was howling at the door… at one point I thought it would collapse it!
We also heard our neighboring cabin, with Ange and Drew stirring, and I shouted across… What do you think we should do? The response was pretty amusing ‘Nothing we can do, It’ll pass’… Ha nothing like a bit of reassurance for Drew! What was going through my mind was – if this is a Hurricane we are truly screwed!
It wasn’t a hurricane, just a ‘light’ tropical storm! HA… the rain subsided a few hours in, and we got some sleep in the end… But what a night!
The amazing thing was when we arose at the crack of dawn, it was like the storm had never even occurred… The beach was crisp, the waves were light and well there weren’t any reminders of the storm – it was like it never even happened. Did I dream it?
Anyhow the heat soon kicked in and we were greeted with 35 degrees centigrade on our very short walk to the Mayan ruins of Tikal. We had already visited Chichen Itza which was spectacular, and our guide had advised us that Tikal in Guatemala would ‘blow us away’. So we were very excited – but also very sweaty! I personally think I lost weight on that 15 minute walk.
Tulum ruins are stunning, very understated from the traditional temples and pyramids you see elsewhere. This area a a much more authentic and ancient feel – I think that maybe because they are true ruins and to my knowledge have not been rebuilt. The real highlight however is that they are situated directly above the Caribbean coastline, literally a photographers dream shot! The crystal blue ocean, golden sand and the centre piece of the Mayan ruins overlooking the bay…
I do I remember thinking that if I was an ancient Mayan that’s where I would want to be… A sun lounger, a quick human sacrifice and the beach! HA what a weird way of thinking – sorry! But honestly the coastline was sublime! The mix of ancient and natures beauty is just incredible… I can’t recommend it higher.
This area is also designated as a Sea Turtle protection site, and we were privileged enough to help release baby turtles into the ocean on our second night. This was a true marvel and once a in a life time activity. It was so incredible watching these babies use their instincts and very small fins to pull themselves to the huge ocean ahead of them..
We left Tulum and headed for Belize, but I still see that picture perfect shot of the Mayan Ruins and the gorgeous coastline. Just incredible…
Read our experience of the ancient Mayan ruin of Tikal here