mexico | tulum

this is the third part of our trip to mexico – hope you enjoy, read the first and second parts too!

we arrived to tulum at dinner time, after driving from merida for almost 4 hours, and making a stop in izamal. i was specially looking forward to this part of the trip, it meant we were sleeping in the same place for three nights in a row and we were finally back by the sea.

tulum beach is a stretch of beach filled with eco and rustic little hotels, cabanas and restaurants. the beach is long, you can walk forever and the fact that there are no multinational or 5 star properties it makes it have more character.

once again we stayed at coqui aoqui (more about this property here). we took our first day off from any cultural trips and did some rest and relax. we spent all morning between a breakfast of huevos ranchers and mango juice, and reading by the beach. as i’ve mentioned before this is not the best time of the year if you want to do beach, the weather was irregular, but it was quiet and it didn’t stop us from enjoying our stay.

in the afternoon james went cave diving, it was his first time diving in a cave and he was so excited about it. when i saw his videos i am sure i would completely freak out if i had to do that – my claustrophobia is definitely getting worse with age! and whilst he was out i went for a massage at the hotel’s spa.

on our second day we had to go back to our culture fix, so after stopping at el tabano for delicious huevos mexicanos for breakfast, we went to visit the tulum ruins.

these were a bit more busy and with rain coming on and off we had to exercise our patience. tulum ruins are definitely the ones with the most gorgeous setting, it is nothing like we had seen before – the ancient ruins on a cliff by a beach with turquoise water – unimaginable! so not only you get to see the ruins but you can access the beach and bath whilst looking at them.

we stopped by tulum pueblo for quick lunch. since there are no good pizzas in our lovely island, i had been craving one for a while…we got our fix at la nave, an italian recommended by bea,  from coqui coqui – and the pizzas were pretty amazing.

in the afternoon we drove to coba, another mayan site, just over 30min from tulum. after visiting chichen itza, uxmal and tulum, i had little energy for more ruins – but i was glad we came.

this site was not big and it was divided in two parts. to get to the second part we had to rent a bicycle to get there and i found it really fun to cycle under the trees, kind of relaxing.  when we got there, james went up the pyramid. me? with my fear of heights, i kept my feet on earth and took pictures.

on our last night in mexico and went to tulum pueblo for dinner, rather than the restaurants in tulum beach. we walked through the main street, stopped by the little souvenir shops – i fell in love with this and so many other mexican goodies from mixik – and we ate our last tacos and empanadas.

see more picture on facebook here

to read more on our travels, go right here :)

mexico | valladolid

after our little get away to havana we went on for a few more days in the yucatan. our main objective was to absorve as much history and culture, visit the mayan ruins, have great mexican food and some rest and relax too.

our first stop in mexico was valladolid, just over 150km from cancun airport. since we got there at night it didn’t allow us much to do. we checked in at the breathtaking coqui coqui and headed out for dinner. we were recommended by the hotel to try conato 1910, a cozy restaurant close to the main square. we walked to the restaurant, it was quiet and decorated with huge paintings of frida kahlo. the food was delicious and perfect for our first night taco fix.

the next day we wanted to explore the town a little bit, so we got the bicycles that the hotel have assigned for guest and started by visiting the beautiful convent of san bernardino de siena and the cathedral of san gervasio on the main square.

we then headed to the cenote zaci, there are loads around the yucatan and this one is almost in the centre of town. as we were not properly equipped we didn’t give it a go, but james was ready to jump in!

wherever we go, we always like visiting the local market, i think it tells us a lot about the local culture, how people eat and what fresh products they have available. since we don’t have a local market in turks and caicos, we were kind of craving one, the smells and the atmosphere of it.

the market wasn’t very big, but busy and a lot of action going on around it. we ended up having lunch there – nibbling some freshly cut mango, buying corn tortillas cooked on the spot and eating delicious grilled chicken.

valladolid was the perfect place to start our trip, the town is small, we easily parked our car and walked (and cycled – hence the lack of pictures…) everywhere. we definitely want to go back and only wished we could’ve stayed longer.

we then headed to chichen itza and finally visit the mayan ruins – chichen itza was a large pre-columbian city built by the mayan civilization and it’s about a 40 minute drive from valladolid in the direction of merida.

getting there is pretty easy, the parking was easy and there are plenty of guides available at the entrance. there were loads of souvenir shops and and food stalls, but we sensed some rain coming, so we ran to the site and made the most of it.

everybody recommended going early in the morning to prevent the crowds, but since june is low seasons, it wasn’t too busy and nice to visit.

the site is amazing, we spent a whole afternoon walking around and taking pictures – no wonder it is a unesco world heritage site. it’s been on my bucket list to visit at least since in 2007 it won the title of  one of the seven wonders of the world in a ceremony in lisbon!

after a long day with lots of sightseeing we headed to merida, our next stop, about an 1h30 away – check back for more on this trip soon!