Tulum Mayan Ruins, Mexico


Hola amigos!

MEXICO POST TIME! (I'm sure it will be one of many!)

I love Mexico. I wonder if you knew that already? This year was my 4th time and I'd quite happy go back right now, if I had the money! We have been thinking about going back next year but we also want to do more of a backpacking trip so we're a bit unsure what will happen. I'm also now going to university in September so that makes holiday plans for next year even more unsure. Let's see what money I have.

So far I have only stayed in Playa Del Carmen. I keep going back there because we've made some fantastic friends at the Riu Tequila hotel. Unfortunately, RIU (a hotel chain) are refurbishing all their hotels, one by one, into these new modern-style grand hotels. Everything is pink, purple and silver, or white and blue. You won't see any oranges and wooden chairs in those hotels anymore. I don't like it at all. I go to Mexico to be surrounded by culture and a tropical scene and not square pools with a lack of shade from the chopped down palm trees. I'm trying not to rant about how much I hate what they are doing because I'm already in the process of writing a very long letter to the company to tell them not to change the Riu Tequila. I don't want to go there if it changes so that's why we went back this year. There were already plans for a refurb which have been postponed due to the amount of complaints and petitions. I'm not going to stop until I know my favourite hotel is safe.

Now enough on the hotel as I'm saving that for another post!

More on to what I got up to whilst I was there and what's available for you to do if you decide to go...

Tulum Mayan Ruins

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About a 30-40 minute drive from Playa Del Carmen, you come to the beautiful resort town of Tulum on the Caribbean coast. It is most well-known for it's stunning white beaches and the 13th century archaeological site that is the Tulum Mayan Ruins. Wow. I was speechless. I was gutted because the SD card in my DSLR camera stopped working whilst we were in the mini-bus so I couldn't take many photos. Luckily I took some on Ed's camera and film a lot on the GoPro.

We booked the 'Tulum Express Tour' with Easy Tours and it was perfect for us, expect from the hour we spent driving in circles around Playa Del Carmen town centre trying to find someone who didn't turn up. I fell asleep though so I really didn't notice it much.

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Half an hour into the journey we stopped off at this beautiful secretive place which was basically a small lagoon. There was a little shop where you could get snacks, drinks and some souvenirs if you wanted and there were toilets nearby. I spent my time taking photos, until I realised my camera wasn't taking any.

We then got back on the mini-bus which took us to the astonishing Tulum Mayan ruins. It was only another ten minutes before we arrived. You are welcomed by your tour guide, there are guides for every language. He shows you the route down to the main site of the ruins and gives you a little basic knowledge. The area is surrounded by mangroves which turn the area into swamps during rainy season. Our guide warned us about the crocodiles that live among the mangroves. After showing us the route it was up to us to then have a wander around the site. We could've stayed with him to get a guided tour but we got lost and much prefer to do it ourselves anyway.

You enter the site through an archway in the guarding wall which hides away how massive it really is. As soon as we walked through the archway, we both had to stop and take it all in. It reminded me of Knossos in Crete but much bigger, greener and hotter. It was beautiful in it's own way.

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These little fellas and gals were everywhere to be seen. On the first piece of Mayan architecture you come to we counted at least 10 just laying in the sun. I find them to be wonderful little creatures and the most funniest animals to watch run. I definitely need to work on editing some YouTube videos so you can see it for yourself! It was lovely to see how much we really were surrounded by nature, even in the vast open public landmark.

Each section of the ruins had a board just above the ground explaining what each building or wall would've been used for. There are many Mayan cities across Mexico and South America, and each one had a specific purpose. Tulum was built as a port for trading jade and turquoise.

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Warning: there are steps! If you want to reach some of the highest points then you're going to have to climb some steps. But don't worry, you can go down step to get to this beach! Most people walk around the site in their bikinis and swim shorts because it is often way to hot to wear anything else. Wearing your swimming costumes is advised though because otherwise you wouldn't get the chance to swim in the crystal clear sea or bath on the white sands. What a place to relax by the sea!

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Edmond and I both absolutely loved it there. I've had to genuinely thesaurus the word 'stunning' that's how dazzlingly spectacularly impressive it was! If you ever get the chance, I would definitely recommend that you go. Our trip cost $40 (although we paid in pesos, but I can't remember how much that was) which included the entrance fee, tour guide if we wanted one, and transfers.

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Oh, our trip also included us getting an hour to spend on the beach a little further down from the main site! Yet again it was stunning. How many times can I say that? The whole place was stunning! It's why I love Mexico so much! Everywhere you turn you'll see culture, nature, and stunning beaches! In the distance you may just about be able to pick out one of the ruins. The beach was so peaceful, aside from some Mexicans trying to sell you their boating and snorkeling trips. You just tell them that you've only got an hour because you're already on a trip and they'll leave you alone if you wish. Us on the other hand, we got speaking to one of them who was being incredibly nice to us. We bought some coconuts, drank the water and then he opened them up so we could eat them. I will admit that I've never drunk such delicious coconut water before, and I actually like the coconut inside!

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As you can see, we sat in the shade in an attempt to cool off. It didn't quite work but it was nice to sit down after all the walking we had done!

Advice for visiting Tulum:
- Plenty of sun cream
- Lots of bug spray
- Big bottle of water
- Cap to keep sun off your head
- Sunglasses (Protect those eyes!)
- Look around for the best deal for a trip that you want (this one was good for us because we like to go off on our own!)
- WEAR YOUR SWIMMING COSTUMES! (And take a towel!)
- Take your camera!
- Take a little extra money! (Just outside the site there's a stand where you can buy freshly made smoothies and fruit juices - we had a watermelon one and it was so refreshing, just what we needed!)

What an amazing time we had. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat if I could! As much as I'd love to go see somewhere else, I'd happily go back as see it all again! Hopefully one day I will!

Want to read more about Mexico? Check out these posts:
Mexico Photo Diary - Week 1
Mexico Photo Diary - Week 2
Looking Back on Mexico

Thanks for reading! Hope you're now thinking about booking your holidays!
- KC xx

Have you ever been to Tulum before? What excursions do you normally go on?

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  1. Your photos are amazing!! I've never been to Mexico but it's definitely on my travel list! Do you have Instagram? Mine is @louisefrancescaa if you want to follow each other XX

    The Fashion Road

  2. This place looks amazing! I've never been to Mexico but it's definitely on my list after reading this!

    Milly | Mini Adventures

  3. I visited Tulum when I was 19 years old (which was a fair while ago) and I would second the fact that you need to take water - it can be quite a walk from where the coach drops you off x

  4. This looks like a lovely place Mexico is on my lotsbof places to visit.

  5. What fun - I'd love to visit Mexico one day.

  6. Mexico is one of those places I've never really thought of visiting, but it looks incredible.

  7. Your pictures have made me so jealous as mexico is one of the places I so desperately want to visit.

  8. I am so jealous as the Tulum Mayan ruins are on my bucket list, how cute are those little fellas too?

  9. This is somewhere I would love to visit - just amazing getting so close to them I am sure.

  10. It looks amazing, and your photography is fantastic!
    It honestly looks so beautiful there, I am jealous!

  11. Breathtaking photos. I'd love to visit Mexico, think it's good to travel while and if you can x

  12. What an incredible experience. Those ruins are so pretty and so is the beach.

  13. I love exploring places with ruins. The place looks calm despite the bit of crowd in the beach. Perfect geataway for the season! :)

  14. Beautiful photos! I would absolutely love to visit here one day.

  15. We went here a couple of years ago and it was amazing! You had much better weather than we did though.

  16. I was going to go to Mexico this summer but then I choose SE Asia instead. Looking at these photos I think I may have made the wrong choice!

  17. Wow - the photos are gorgeous! I want to visit now x

  18. I really want to go to Mexico. It looks amazing!

  19. Mexico does look absolutely stunning I have to admit x

  20. I've yet to go to mexico but I've been wanting to for ages. I hope they don't change the hotel- I'm not keen on all that modernisation and replica of chain hotels either.

  21. I am soooooo jealous! Mexico is on my bucket list! H x

  22. I'd love to go back to mexico to visit the mayan ruins! we didnt go when we were there in 2009 xxx

  23. I've never been to Mexico bit it has always been somewhere I have dreamt of. Thank you for your recommendations I have added them to my bucket list :)

  24. I have never been to Mexico but I would like to go one day. Love the lizards! xx

  25. It looks absolutely spectacular, Mexico is definitely on my travel wishlist but I am a nightmare for going to the same place as I love it so much and not branching out

  26. It's a shame RIU are refurbishing all their hotels! We stayed in a RIU in Cancun for our honeymoon a couple of years ago and LOVED it :)