The Ruins of Tulum
Hi, it’s Jenna! For many many years, we’ve talk about visiting Tulum. I spent some time in the Yucatan when I was young, visiting family, and saw other phenomenal sights (like Chichen Itza way back when you could climb up to the top). What makes Tulum so unique and spectacular when up against so many other Mayan ruins to pay a visit to is that this incredible city is the only one that sits on a cliffside looking out upon the Caribbean Sea. They even had their own version of a lighthouse to service traders sailing towards their city in the night.
I’m getting ahead of myself… first just have a look at how stunning this place is!
Think: waves crashing, iguanas galore, the wind gently moving through the palms, and ancient ruins all around you.
These photos and video are all from our iPhones, mostly using our Olloclips.
The internet has a funny way about making certain places look more “unreal” than they might be in real life. Don’t get us wrong; Tulum was STUNNING! But what those jet-setting, fancy travel bloggers forget to mention is how touristy this entire experience is, the small tchotchke shops of overpriced trinkets lining the entire entrance to the ruins with their shop owners shouting at you as you walk by, just the overall nature of this part of the country which isn’t anything ritzy, and often means nothing but dirt roads, no air conditioning to be found, and tourist traps around every corner if you’re not careful. Don’t let that scare you away!
A huge part of traveling is leaving your comfort zone and putting yourself in an unfamiliar environment. It’s great to talk all about the fun parts of our trip, but it’s important to mention the other bits too. Because the two of us are fairly well-traveled, it’s become second nature to deal with all the bits and pieces in-between having fun. We did rent a car on this trip which we’ve steered clear of in the past, but it all worked out well! No tickets, hiccups or corrupt police encounters - which is a real danger in major touristy areas in Mexico. As long as you’re being safe and know the risks, you’re likely to be in the clear!
Okay - now back to the fun stuff!
We spent a few hours wandering around the ruins, which isn’t a huge area compared to most of the popular ruin sites throughout the region. The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun had an amazing desk of travel services that helped us set-up a guided tour so that we could easily get to and from Tulum, and also have a guide to offer insight/information about the ruins (which was a big one for us). It was absolutely mind-blowing hearing about the inner workings of the city, the purpose of their massive outer wall, and how they utilized the natural sinkholes called cenotés as “plumbing”. The weather was beyond gorgeous. The sights were draw-droppingly stunning. But oh my goodness it was hot and humid!
Nick and I both left Tulum with the insatiable itch to binge watch Ancient Aliens… Is anyone else into that stuff too?! Some of the things you see in person (like these incredible ruins) really make you scratch your head, and go “Okay, lay some theories on me!” Hahaha who agrees?
Looking back at our visit to the ruins of Tulum, we already feel like we’ll want to make another trip back - hopefully bringing some family members with us! If you can’t tell, we love a trip that mixes experiences with relaxation. I can’t emphasize enough what an incredible mix of the two this trip turned out to be.
Our day-trip to Tulum was paired with spending a few hours at a nearby natural “water park” called Xel-ha that we’ll share more about on our next Mexico post! Nick is going to tell you all about our day - coati sightings, bike riding, tubing through mangroves and his first time ever snorkeling! We’re stoked to show you this gorgeous place we absolutely fell in love with.
Thanks for following along with us on our journey. We appreciate each one of you and hope that you’re able to take away something special from everything we share with you!