The only road westbound out of Tulum leads you to the Gran Cenote. It is less than five minutes west of Tulum. It cost of around $2 -$3 per person to get into the cenote. The water was warm, perhaps 20 - 40 feet deep, full of fish and plant life. It turns into a cave, and scuba divers often go back and explore the cave. But for snorkelers it is a little piece of heaven. No current, not crowded, and plenty to look at.
Plan on spending an hour or two here. There is a very primitive bathroom / changing room. Ask any taxi driver, and he'll be able to get you there. If you are traveling by car, keep a careful watch out for the small sign that leads you to this cenote.
- Water Sports
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Adventure Travel
One of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to. One of the most beautiful blues I've seen in the Caribbean.
Most tourists usually remain in Tulum ruins and the beach beside it which is also pretty good. However, from the cliff in the ruins you get to see this beach on the south.
You can ask the locals how to get to this beach, but it is easy, in the place where you get the tickets to get into the ruins you will turn back and you will see a lonely road pointing south, walk on that road for less than one kilometer and then get into any of the small pathways on your left, any of these will take you to Las Cabañas. You can also take a taxi from Tulum and they will take you there for less than 4 bucks.
Walk thru the white sands. Don't miss the bar with swingers and have a few drinks there. Relax for a while under the palms just watching the sea and listening to the waves.
Seems like if this place is great for doing scuba diving, that was what most of the (few) people there was doing.
My guess is that the magnet from Atlantis was buried in this place... I will be back some day!
P.S: By the way... I hate the way the picture looks in internet! It doesn't reflect how beatiful this place is!
Coba Ruins, Deep Within the Jungle
Sure, you've seen the ruins at Tulum, but you can't get enough of those whacky Mayans. The sprawling archeological site at Coba is a completely different experience. The ruins are bigger, badder, and deep within the jungle. Your average Mexican tourist probably won't make it here. But that's not you...right?!?
Coba is an easy bus ride away from Tulum. Just buy a ticket at the station (around US$4.00), and the coach bus takes about 45 minutes. You'll be riding side by side with the locals, ripping through rural jungle roads. Don't forget to use the free toilet at the station before you leave!
It's best to visit Coba if you are fit and can dedicate a day to explore. Hiking up the giant pyramid ain't no easy task, but the view is spectacular from the top! Bring lots of water and bug spray, and good luck!
Be sure to visit Virtual Tourist's pages on Coba for more details!
- Hiking and Walking
Sian Ka'an Biosphere
We went on a short day trip with a tour guide which involved a drive to Sian Ka'an Biosphere just south of Tulum, a walk through the forest to see some ancient Mayan ruins, a climb up to an old lookout point to get a stunning view of the area, a boat trip across the lagoon and down the manmade canal, and then a fantastic trip floating down a natural canal with the use of life-jackets!! Then on the way back to Tulum, we stopped at a cenote to do some jumping off the rocks, and were supposed to do snorkelling as well, but there was a mix up and they didn't have the snorkels with them! So just make sure they do remember them if you go on this tour!!! It also includes lunch.
It was a special and less touristy trip, and would recommend it if you're staying in the area and looking for something to do!
If you’re on a low budget trip… staying in the town of Tulum (not by the beach), anything you need to buy… is cheaper off the main avenue. Just walk two or three blocks down both directions and you’ll find everything much cheaper than around the ADO bus station and anywhere along the highway.
- Budget Travel
Break the law!!
In case you're gonna stay for a while in Tulum... probably the first thing you'll want to see are the Mayan ruins. Once you get there, you'll have to pay like anyone else… and you’ll fall in love with the beach. It’s a unique sensation… you’ll be swimming next to the ruins, in a turquoise water with a lovely white sandy beach right there, waiting for you!
The next day… unless you want to pay the entrance again, you may think about going to the regular beach… which is still lovely, but it doesn’t have the ruins. So what you can do is basically break the law! Just get to the beach and keep walking towards the ruins… you’ll have to walk a little bit through the water in order to pass the cliffs, and after that you’ll be under the ruins in the same beach you loved the day before, without having to pay a penny!
- Budget Travel
Watch out for the Iguana's!
This scaly lizards roam free and wild all over the grounds in Tulum so keep a sharp eye out for them. They loiter on the paths and in the bushes near the paths as well. They mind their own business and add to the exotic flavor of Tulum!
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen off the beaten track? If you are staying in Tulum it is (normally its the other way round!). Much more developed than Tulum, with a number of bars, clubs, restaurants, it has become something of a holiday playground. As a more commercial centre, it is the best place to do any holiday shopping for those little touristy things required to take back home.
Within the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve is a government-affiliated lodge. It is immersed in palm forest between a lake and the sea. The accomodations are tents with shared baths. I went snorkeling off the rugged beach and saw a giant sea turtle (Mid-May).
- National/State Park
Cenote dive. We drove out...
We drove out into the jungle to do a cavern dive at the Ponderosa cenote. It was such a cool experience as you are completely underground at times. The pic shows the entrance to the cavern that we dove in. You can see the rope which we used to guide ourselves underground. I was able to get a video of my dive which really has impressed my friends. Diving in the jungle was something I will never forget.
A one tank dive will cost around $50-60 US, and a two tank dive around $90-100 US. Two tank dives will usually include snacks in the price. Both include transportation to the cenote.
Most resorts will be able to sort out a dive for you or got to the local towns and dive operators will have shops which you can visit.
You must visit a Mayan...
You must visit a Mayan village. Our tour included a trip to a small village where they had no running water and no electricity, but the people were perfectly happy and friendly. We were allowed into their home to take pics.
Go looking for spider monkeys....
Go looking for spider monkeys. Our tour also included a jungle walk to look for them. This one was rescued as a baby because her mother had died and now is a pet. Our guide Jorge is holding her and feeding her food.
Coba. This is Maya for 'water...
This is Maya for 'water stirred by the wind.' These ruins are a 35 min. drive northwest of Tulum out in the jungle, so bring your bug spray. In it's heyday from AD 800 - Ad 1100 there were as many as 55 000 residents. The jungle has overtaken most of the buildings, it's estimated that there are approx. 6500 structures of which only 5% have been excavated. You walk along through the jungle and see large mounds which are still to be uncovered. This pic is of Nohuch Mul. It's the largest pyramid at 42 meters in height and well worth the climb.
a GREAT restaurant in an out-of-the-way place
My first-ever trip with my brand new pasaporte (from my boyfriend/partner) took me to the beaches of Tulum, Mexico, about 500 meters south of the ruins. We stayed @ the Santa Fe, on the beach, in a tent!! What a wonderful awesome time. The beach was just a zipper away. We went in high season (beginning of Jan. '07) so it costs us $100. pesos per night. What a view and what an awesome restaurant they had there hidden in the back away form the beach. If you want good eats and friendly service go there (they don't speak English so be prepared). They did have bathrooms that they kept really clean the first few days and not so frequently cleaned the second week ( I think it was because it was right after the holidays when we first got there). For the 2 weeks we were in Tulum, we ate there for most of our meals.
Mayan Goddess for a Day.
For 40US my boyfriend and I took a trip to Tulum. The only Mayan Ruins built on the ocean. They were amazing. The guide provided us with a lot of information concerning the history of the culture and their eventual demise. We also purchased a calender which was prepared using the Mayan's symbols for the date of your birthday. Very cool.
It gets hot hot hot - bring sunscreen and a lot of H2O.
- Historical Travel
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