One of my friends said this was her favourite area of Mexico and the best beach she’d ever been to. Either things have changed, I went to the wrong beach or she needs to go to more beaches as I was quite underwhelmed. Possibly it was the time of year too as there was lots of sea weed on the sand.
The town is a few kilometres away from the beach unlike Playa Del Carmen. Taxis will try to charge you about $10 one way and if you walk or ride down watch out for the sun. Once you get to the beach is also tricky to access as so many resorts, hotels and restaurants are built along it that you can’t see the beach from the road so unless you know where you’re going then you are taking pot luck with the beach. I found if you turned to the left you could find a larger stretch of open beach but again it was a fair way down the road. To the right the beaches were more like little coves. I preferred these to the big beach as they were quieter and cleaner.
Town itself has mostly cafes with a couple of stores. Definitely not as much variety as Playa Del Carmen and arriving on a Sunday didn’t help matters as a lot of businesses were closed.
On the first day we were there I hired a bike and after dropping off my laundry in town I rode up and down the main street before heading down to the beach for lunch. It was a very relaxed day. I visited the Mexican version of Walmart to buy extra sunscreen and some after sun, along with a new hat to replace the one I left in the back of a taxi in Cuba.
The second day I headed down to the Cenotes which some of the people in our tour had visited the day before and highly recommended. We went to Cenote Dos Ojos which consisted of two pools. The first seemed mostly to acclimatise yourself to the freezing water and fit your masks and fins. The water was so clear you could see right to the bottom and watch all the little fishes swimming around. The second pool was the main event, our guided snorkelling tour took us past stalactites and stalagmites, to an area where if you ducked under the water you could see another cave opening which looked only 20 meters away but was actually 60, over areas of the cave that used to be habitated when they were dry and the remnants and pottery could still be spotted by those with sharp eyes. The finale was the most spectacular part for me though. We had to swim through a low hanging maze of stalactites to reach the final cavern. Home to a colony of tiny bats. Most of them were sleeping upside down from the roof however some were flitting around, others were huddling together in little groups and two looked like they were upside down break dancing, whether they were fighting or flirting I couldn’t tell. By this stage though my finger tips were starting to go numb from the cold so even though I would’ve loved to spend longer in the bat cave it was time to get out.
There did seem to be some very nice cafes around. Indeed all the places we are at were great. There was even a Vegan Ice Cream van not far from the hotel where I ordered a Chai Ice Cream. He mixed the spices up fresh and combined all the ingredients for the ice cream before folding them over a coldplate to freeze the ice cream before my eyes. We also went to a Mojito bar where they pressed their own sugar cane and served the drinks with a stick of fresh sugarcane as well.
While I’m not going to rush back to Tulum I can see why some people love it.