There are so many parts of the world that capture my imagination that I have never seen. Angkor Wat, Stonehenge, Petra in Jordan, the Karnak Temples in Luxor Egypt, the list goes on. Figured I would do some solo traveling going forward. Particularly in 2019, but I wanted to do something on a smaller scale before the year was over. So I grabbed my camera, tripod and passport and headed to a place I had heard great things about, Tulum Mexico.
I chose Tulum for a number of reasons. For a trip that was planned somewhat last minute, I wanted to find a place that I could visit for roughly a week, and still be cost friendly. Typically cities and destinations in Mexico are budget friendly when you consider flight, lodging and spending cost. Also I have a huge fascination with ancient ruins and cultures and Tulum is home to some amazing Mayan architecture.
Finally Tulum is a part of Mexico that I feel is still true to Mexican culture. Its not too Americanized like Cancun or Cabo. It’s a place where Spanish truly is the dominant language. I love the challenge of maneuvering in those sort of environments. I am not much of a beach guy when I go out of country. I love to just experience other ways of life, outside of my own. It helps me appreciate…… Life really. Which is something I have been struggling with lately.
I stayed at a fairly small but extremely clean hotel called Xscape Tulum. The hotel was located at the end of the city center strip but still walking distance from most of the downtown attractions and shopping. The staff there was extremely nice (shout out to my man Valentino at the front desk), and the property also had a small restaurant located on the property. I ate breakfast there every morning, and ate lunch and dinner out on the town. I would definitely stay here again given the opportunity. It wasn’t a place to stay if you are looking for over the top luxury. But if you are looking for somewhere clean, well maintained, affordable, professional, with nice rooms, hot water and AC, this place is great option.
Anyone that knows me, knows I typically eat the same thing where ever I go. I love seafood, tomatoes, spices and smoothies. Also, I prefer mezcal over tequila. So I typically ate the same dishes the entire time I was there… I’m sorry everyone. lol.
I found it most feasible to rent a bicycle while I was there to travel around the small town. I love to ride down the back streets of foreign places and take photos of the local’s way of life. The way of life in Mexico made me appreciate the few luxuries I enjoy in the states. Yet I admired the joy, pride and happiness the locals displayed for their way of life. Many places that I assumed to be abandoned construction or abandoned housing, was actually occupied by entire families. Yet I saw very few sad faces. Everyone greeted me as I rode by on my bike everyday. Locals invited to play basketball with them. Kids played happily in the streets.
As mentioned before, a huge attraction for me was to see the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. Unfortunately many of the ruins were roped off from the public. I would have loved the opportunity to actually touch many of these amazing structures. However, the ruins over look a beautiful public beach. The water was incredibly blue, with amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities (if that is your thing).
I would be remiss if I did not mention cenotes. Cenotes are essentially natural underground caves filled with water. A perfect opportunity for scuba diving and cave exploration. They play a large role in tourist attractions and income generating not just Tulum, but all over Mexico. Many cenotes offer boardwalks, food, drinks, lounge areas and diving equipment. There are a number of different Cenotes to choose from. I visited one, got in, got scared, and got out. lololol. It was called “Cenote Calavera”.
Tulum was a great experience. I would certainly go back. Great way to kick off a list of places I plan to visit in 2019.