Tulum is the most touristic place so far. Sure, Playa del Carmen is also touristic, but it’s a bigger city and at least half are Mexican tourists anyway, so it feels more authentic. Here, it feels like everyone is European, and they’re the typical hipster backpacker kind, so there’s a lot of vegetarian restaurants, souvenir shops, and a lot of bike renting shops (80-150 pesos for a bike of varying quality per day). The reason for the latter is that the beach is about 5 km away, and ruins and other sights are also a few kilometers away.
There are also lots of burritos here, even though I’ve been told that burrito (my favorite dish!) is NOT really Mexican (or at least not southern Mexican), but rather Tex-Mex. Here they have it in spades though, because tourists keep asking for it.
Emotion Tulum Hotel & Hostal
I’m staying at a very normal standard hostel, 16 beds in a well air conditioned dorm room. One loud and drunk guy at night and music played outside past 3am, but I’m an earplugs lover, so sounds don’t bother me much.
The included breakfast consisted of the standard coffee, white toast and cereal, as well as the usual “I’m from this country and I’ve been here and there for this long, how about you?” conversations with the other backpackers. 2 eggs per person was a nice bonus though, and for 8 USD per night, this place is affordable.
Most were about to rent bikes for the day, and me and a Danish girl decided to go to the Tulum Ruins archaeological site just outside Tulum together. The trip was 3.7 km, and it was a breeze compared to the long trip from the day before, with a separate path for bikers to avoid deaths. My friend’s bike was quite crappy and its saddle kept breaking, so that made it even more slow-paced, which was nice in a way, because we were in no rush anyway. Perhaps a bike for 100+ pesos is worth it, rather than the cheapest you can find!
Upon arrival, I was very disappointed to see huge lines of tourists, queueing to get in. I don’t know why I expected the place to be empty and ready to be explored in privacy.
We decided to bike back and find a beach instead, and maybe get back to the ruins early tomorrow morning instead.
Trip was nice, went in a “wrong” direction first but eventually found the place, and I ended up biking almost 16 km today. Yesterday I forgot to complain about how my hands got very numb now and then from biking. It happened today as well, but not as much. I think my body is learning that biking is not a lethal activity!
We arrived to the beach through some vegetation, and it was amazing to cool down in the Caribbean sea.
La Playa! Plenty of tourists, overpriced sun chairs and king sized fluffy sun beds, but there was also empty patches of beach that we could enjoy.
Then we got hungry.
Nothing along tourist beaches is cheap, but we settled at this beach restaurant and ordered a “molcajete” for 300 pesos; a meal for two people. I just had to mention it because so far I have not been super impressed by the food in Mexico (it’s my favorite cuisine in other countries, heh), but this one was awesome. Unlimited corn tortillas, guacamole, beans, sauces and a big pot of chorizo, beef, pork, chicken, and veggies. Normally I try to be vegetarian (for all the reasons, it’s the future if you ask me!), but when traveling in non-vegetarian-friendly places, you need all the protein you can get.
So yes, I recommend that one if you’re in the neighborhood!
The trip back home was uneventful, but when I came back to Tulum and wanted to withdraw some money from the ATM, that little douchebag decided to eat my card and not give it back to me! This is a pretty serious problem, because you know. It’s how I get money. I woman tried to help me, but the bank attached to the ATM was already closed, and we couldn’t do anything.
I suppose I can send money online to Western Union offices here and there in each country (it’s probably cheaper than the ATM fees even), but I will still go to the bank tomorrow morning and try to get my card back.
Let’s hope for the best. 😦
Total biking distance for the day:
Hostel – Ruins: 3.7km
Ruins – Wrong way: 3.9km
Wrong way – Beach: 2.2km
Beach – Hostel: 6.0km