ie. harassing vendors, over-priced drinks and LOTS of tourists
The beaches of Playa del Carmen – Tulum spoiled us 🙁
Just a few pics of Playa del Carmen….not as much to see since this was a bigger city full of tourists and we had gotten most of our sight seeing out of the way already. Plus, the weather wasn’t nearly as good here – womp, womp. The afternoons were usually filled with rain and thunderstorms. BUT we did have a killer rooftop pool, which we enjoyed quite a bit and our room came with a flat screen TV and AC (perfect for chillin’ during the downpours).
We were very spoiled in Tulum and if I could do it all again, I would have stayed down there for the entire time. It was more our vibe/scene. Oh well – next time.
Palm trees and ruins – this group knew how to pick a location!
206 doin’ the ruins
There’s a iguana up there….
‘Get your worship on’ ruins
Oh man, if we had only had more time at the Tulum Ruins……I’m way bummed that we maybe had 45 minutes at this place. Arg. A good excuse to go back though! These ruins were 5 minutes north of town and sit right on the ocean. This tribe knew what was up – what a location! The site is HUGE and very well preserved and although you can’t climb any temples, you can really get a good sense as to what the town was like. Someone pointed out to me that these structures have withstood hundreds of years of hurricanes and that stuck me as super extra impressive. I guess the big thing to do here is bring a lunch, explore everything then swim at the beach making it a leisurely afternoon. Yeah, that didn’t happen for us. We frantically ran around the property, snapped a few pics then rushed outta town to return the rental car. Darn rental cars ruining my trip to the ruins……
While exploring the Yucatan Peninsula, one must visit a cenote, a deep, natural sinkhole with crystal clear water and little fishes. So visit we did after an exhausting trip to the Coba Ruins. It was refreshing to get out of the piercing sun and into this shaded, cool oasis – our sunburned skin was quite thankful! There are many of these around Tulum, all family owned, so we tried to find the best one, and according to Trip Advisor, this was it!
The water felt great and there were plenty of animals above and below the surface, but I have to admit, it was very, very creepy. Like so creepy that someone should make a horror movie in one of these things. Come on….Mayan ruins, jungles, human sacrifices, bugs, cenotes….I see the start of an epic horror movie people!
Cenotes connect to many other underground water caves and people acutally scuba dive in these things for fun. WTF? In no way did that appeal to me! We made a quick snorkeling loop then hopped on out, both admitting to each other that we were freaked out. An experience none the less, but I think I’ll stick to snorkeling in the ocean thanks.
Sacrificial platforms – only for animals, fruits and veggies
A long, steep and scary way down
Coba ruins – one of the only places you can climb up one
Jungle for days
Ahhhhh….the Coba Mayan Ruins, probably the highlight of our trip! I had some serious internal debate about going here vs. the mighty Chichen Itza – one of the largest and most visiting archaeological site in Mexico. I wanted to see the biggest and baddest of all ruins, but the 2.5 hour drive was a big issue for me:
1) It was hotter than hell down there and sitting in an oven of a car for that long seemed, well, like hell and
2) Everything I read said you need to go first thing in the morning ie. get there before 10am before all of the tour buses and we all know the BF is not a morning person. There was no way we were getting out the door by 7:30am.
Alas, that’s where Coba came in – a short 60 minute drive from Tulum in the heart of the jungle. WOW is all I can say. They might not be the biggest nor the baddest, but man what a cool place to explore (and I mean literally cool, most of it was fully shaded). After wandering around for a few minutes, we snagged a guide and spent the next 1.5 hours walking through the site. I highly recommend a guide – as impressive as everything is, it’s really hard to tell what’s what. If I travel all this way, I want to learn something darn it!
Not only did the guide provide valuable insight into the ruins, he also was able to point out local floral and fauna as well as answer our off the wall questions about the end of the world (12/21/12?), human sacrifices (not often done at this site) and hallucinogenic plants (done often at this site).
The most unique thing about Coba is that they actually let you climb one of the ruins, which most other ruins won’t allow. Our guide dropped us off at the bottom and up we went. As afraid as I was, I scurried up to the top, not wanting to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, there were 65 year old women working their way to the top – I’m competitive like that – what can I say?
We arrive to the top in one piece and all I can recall are my knees literally knocking together and my hands shaking so badly that I can’t take decent pictures. I cling to the side of the small temple, snap a few pictures of the BF then shakily make my way to the rope and hang on for dear life on the way back down with old ladies passing me on both sides. NBD. I made it down in one piece.
I highly recommend seeing these or any other ruins in Mexico. Granted, it’s hard to pull yourself away from the beach and beer, but it’s well, well worth it! More ruins visits to come…..