Tulum was my last stop for my Central Ameirca trip. It is an up and coming (or maybe the up has already peaked) hippy-ish town on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
I was pretty pumped to get here because everyone I’d met so far that had been here, raved about it. A lot of people said they staying much longer than they planned. I was totally ready to be blown away, but that just didn’t happen. In saying that, I made the most of the last few days of my epic adventure.
The modern day town of Tulum is a little way from the beach where the ruins Mayan ruins (original Tulum) and resorts are located. The town itself is set on a busy highway, with dusty streets lined with souvenir shops and eateries. I was spoiled for choice with veggie options and some very cool whole food vegan cafes offering smoothies, Buddha bowls, raw treats and fresh salads.
I spent my time bumming around a little, because the vibe of Tulum is definitely slow pace. Riding around town and down to the beach was great. It seemed like half the town used a bike to get around which is totally my thing!
On one particular day I rode as far as I could before getting to a toll booth. I used the path that went from town along the main road to the beach. Then I had a quiet road/trail pretty much all to myself.
The beach area is definitely gorgeous; think white sand and palm trees. It is easy to see why the Mayan people decided to build a city here! Soaking up the sun , reading a book and being luxuriously lazy was my main agenda and I think I excelled in this task.
Tulum was once an enclosed city and one of the most powerful city states during the 13th and 14th centuries.
It was inhabited from around 564AD until just before the end of the 16th centrury when the Spanish came along with European diseases which killed off almost the whole population. While it was thriving, it was an important trading post and tactical location for defence.
I spent almost a whole day at the ruins in the beaming sun. The entry fee is 65 pesos if you’re happy to look around without a guide (my choice). There are informational signs throughout the complex which was plenty for me. Although I had been to many archaeological sites during this trip, I was still happy to nerd it up and soak it all in.
The whole coast line near Tulum is pretty spectacular and busy with underwater life so I took a trip to the nearby Akumal to try and spot some turtles. I took the bus which took roughly 40 minutes and then a short walk into the town itself. There were tour operators galore and plenty of places to hire some snorkeling gear. Unfortunately the water was a bit murky because of recent stormy weather. That didn’t deter the sea turtles though. They were out in full force, as were the stingrays. It was an awesome experience but at times a little startling. Sea turtles are huge and when they come lurking behind you it is quite unnerving! I spent a couple of hours at the beach before things got stormy.
Tulum is also home to many cenotes which can be accessed by foot, a bike ride or short car trip. I didn’t go to any of the cenotes around this area (I’d already been to plenty) but a few people I met did tours where they were able to visit a few in one day.
So that brings me to the end of my four month trip! I left Tulum on an overnight bus to Belize, where I got my flight back to LA and then home to Melbourne.
The experience has been challenging, fun, exciting, life changing and scary all in one. I am glad to be heading home and looking forward to settling back into ‘normal’ life.
Until the next trip at least…