Tulum and the surrounding areas
As I began writing what I envisaged to be our first official blog post that would capture our entire month in Mexico, it quickly dawned on me that that was probably a bit unrealistic. So instead, we’re going to break it up a little. So here goes for blog post number 1:
Ahhh Mexico, what an experience. I would say it probably exceeded our pretty high expectations and quickly shot to the top of the list of our favourite countries visited thus far. With such a colourful history, fascinating Maya culture, amazing food, stunning beaches & friendly people, it’s hard not to fall pretty hard for this place. And what a way to whet our appetites for what is to come as we continue our voyage south.
We spent the best part of our month in the Yucatan & Quintana Roo states, which essentially take up most of the South East of the country.
First stop was a little beach town about 2 hours south of Cancun by bus (well actually we flew in at night so had to stay overnight in Cancun, but we were quick to escape the gringos & mega Vegas style resorts).
We had envisaged spending the majority of our time on the gorgeous white sand beach a few km’s from town, swimming in the magnificent, warm turquoise Carribean sea. However, the rainy season decided not to finish on time this year, which meant there were heavy downpours most days and thus a lot of reading time. All the streets have terrible drainage too which meant we were constantly wading through huge puddles in our ponchos & thongs.
So instead of sunning ourselves on the beach everyday, thus began our culinary journey of Mexican food. Ceviche, guacamole, fruit salads (of papaya, piña, watermelon & banana), and of course TACOS made up the majority of our diet for this first week. Tacos al pastor being the highlight - pork on a spit just like the lamb at your local kebab/yiros joint - which is shaved off into mini corn tortillas served with cheese and small shavings of pineapple. All for about 80c a pop. And then of course there are the condiments – and if you know me well, you know that I love a good condiment. So, generally you get some freshly fried tortilla chips, a tomato, onion & coriander salsa, salsa picante (home made jabanero hot sauce), avocado green sauce (avocado mixed with lime & water), and loads of lime wedges. Qué rico! Washed down with Brendan’s new favourite drink, horchata. A white, milky looking drink made from rice and a varying mix of cinnamon and other spices, served ice cold. There were of course the obligatory margaritas consumed during that first week too…..
Tulum and the surrounding area is also home to some pretty incredible Maya jungle ruins, as well as cenotes – natural spring water caves with crystal clear water great for snorkeling & diving – so we managed to keep ourselves busy despite the epic rains. When visiting El Gran Cenote, there were even some scuba divers swimming about 10m deep with bright torches to light their way. This flooded the underwater caves with light allowing us to witness all the magical, submerged limestone rock formations of this cenote.
Tulum Maya ruins
Coba Maya ruins
And thankfully we did get a full beach day at the end of our stay. Both managed to turn a decent shade of red, proving the sun definitely had more bite than what we had gotten used to in Europe.