We never made a summary post of Tulum before we left for Cuba, so here it comes! We’ll try to make it short and sweet.
We had some great (9) days in Tulum, kicking off our travel with some sun, good food and a wee bit culture. We stayed both at the playa (beach) and in the pueblo (town centre), and both had its up sides and down sides. The playa was very relaxing and Tulum really has a nice beach. The downside is that it is twice (or more) as expensive as in the pueblo. It is said that the beach stretch from Cancun to Tulum has the most expensive places in all of Mexico.
We stayed at ParaYso Hotel, which was the cheapest hotel we could find on the beach. It was okay, but the amenities were not very good and they were renovating the hotel when we stayed there. Recommended if you don’t need VIP treatment – the beach was awesome and there were restaurants nearby for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the pueblo we stayed at Hotel El Punto, which was cheaper, had more amenities like free bikes, air condition, refrigerator and breakfast, but had a hotel staff that were constantly hard to find.
Either way if you stay at the beach or in town you get delicious food everywhere. We had our share of tacos, totopos and guacamole, and then some. Some of the best meals we had were at Hartwood at the beach (only have ca. 10 items on the menu and is a bit expensive, but oh so delicious) and El Asadero in town. Both had Argentinian-inspired steaks and very good atmosphere. Other than that we ate a lot of cheap tacos, which you can get for ca. 10 MXN = 5 NOK each, at small local restaurants across town. They didn’t have much salad and side dishes, but were quite filling and cheap.
A Mexican breakfast favorite of Tuva was Chilaquiles, which is totopos (tortilla chips), tomato sauce and cheese. We had totopos and guacamole at almost every meal, often times fresh from the oven. Looking at the typical body shape of the Mexicans we saw there, it seems they also enjoy their fair share of totopos and tortillas.
Another thing we found a lot of in Tulum was hippies. And by hippies we mean mostly young(ish) people with dreads or otherwise dirty/greasy long hair, and raggy clothes they most likely have sewn or customized themselves. They seemed to be everywhere and it may well be that we just mistook them for regular backpackers. Some seemed to be living on the street and some tried to sell bracelets and such to get some extra cash.
Lastly Tulum is famous for their Maya ruins, which is one of the most complete in Mexico and third most visited here. They are visited every day by several busloads of tourists from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, something we soon found out the first day we tried to visit the ruins. There were swarming with big, middle-aged Americans with their video cameras constantly recording and young couples on their honeymoons. We figured out that if you want to beat the crowd (and heat) you need to go immediately when they open in the morning (8.00, 9.30 is too late) or in the afternoon (16-17). We chose the latter and even though it’s said that you can spend half a day there we were quite satisfied with the ruins after an hour. We are probably not that big ruin-fans.
Other fun things that happened in Tulum was that Mathias got sunburned on his chest the second day, which lasted for five days, and we both got more mosquito bites than we could count..
Tomorrow we will be flying back to Cancun from Havana, but we will only be staying there for some hours before taking the night bus to Belize City. We will spend the time stuffing our faces with tacos, totopos and guacamole.