A 2 hour bus ride from Cancún, Tulum is a much better destination, although it is very touristy and the town itself isn’t much to look, Tulum has a lot to offer.
Once we arrived in Tulum, we headed over to the beach which involved lots of walking and this beach was incredible. Known as Playa Paraiso, it has white sand and views of some incredible ancient Mayan ruins. We went here twice, we took a taxi there and brought some beers while watching an incredible sunset from a guard tower.
The next day, we went on a tour which first involved visiting the Coba ruins, which looks like something out of Indiana Jones. The ruins themselves don’t look too incredible as they are more than a thousand years old, however we got to learn about the Mayan history and how much of an advanced civilisation it was.
After that, we got back on the coach and we were shown the town of Valladolid in the state of Yucatán, which was founded by the Spanish during the colonisation of Mexico. It has very traditional Spanish architecture and has a very nice park right in the centre with the view of a cathedral.
After that, we experienced our first cenote which was incredible, a cenote is a natural underwater pool and the water feels amazing to swim in. This one was more than 100 meters deep, so we had to wear life vests and there were fish swimming around as well. Once we got out, we were able to sample different flavours of tequila such as mango and coffee. Then we got back on the bus and made our way over to the very famous Chichén Itzá which is a huge architectural site, we had one hour before it closed so our visit was very brief. Although it’s the most visited site in Mexico, it didn’t feel too crowded and as one of the seven wonders of the world, it is most definitely worth visiting.
5 minutes from our hotel in Tulum, there was an incredible taco place which we went to for dinner and it was legit Mexican food. I was so hungry that I ordered 8 tacos and 2 empanadas.
The next day, we were taken to a few cenotes and it has been one of my favourite experiences in Mexico. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures because of the water. I jumped into the water, conquering fears of heights and the highest I jumped was 7 meters. One of them was incredible as it was underground with blue water and it was extremely blissful to swim in the deep water.
Our last day in Tulum was spent visiting the ruins, we got in for free as we had our student cards, the ruins, despite crowds were really cool and great for pictures. The views from the cliffs of the ocean were great as well.
Later on, we went on an incredible ATV tour and our guide was a very laid-back guy from New York. We first went to a cenote to cool off and then drove off into the jungle. After 5 minutes of driving, we did a zipwire where we could see the jungle and although it felt a bit scary at first, I enjoyed sliding through while seeing an incredible sunset. After that we went kayaking as it got dark and I left my shoulder bag on the ATV and was relieved when I came back and it was still there. We were in the middle of a Mayan community who still live the way they did thousands of years ago, most living without electricity. We were welcomed into a Mayan house and were given jamaica and tamales which were made from scratch. I have to say that tour was fantastic and worth the price.
So I can say that Tulum is so much better than Cancún and is a perfect place for adventure. The prices are also slightly better and I will not forget jumping into the cenotes.