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 :)

his dive story

June is nesting season for sea turtles. We didn’t know this when we arrived in Tulum and the hotel staff kindly informed us that we should venture out at night to see the giant turtles nesting. I knew Joana loooooves turtles as she always wanted to see my dive videos and pics of turtles. It was our last night in Tulum and we decided to go for a walk looking for them. I had my bright dive torch with me. At first, we were thinking yeah, no way man that we will be so lucky to see turtles….

It was about 15 min. into our walk in the pitch dark when I spotted a large dark hump on the sand with my torch (I didn’t want to flash the bright torch too much as it will scare away the turtles who are planning to beach). I knew immediately that it was a turtle and we followed her as she struggled to move her large body forward on the sand searching for the right spot to lay her eggs.

Then we saw another one as she was leaving for the beach. These turtles always come back to the same locations to lay their eggs and with all the resort developments up and down the coast, some will not have the chance to lay their eggs and will be force to lay them in the sea where they will be eaten by fishes. Sad but a reality…

Conservation groups are helping identify locations and are trying to protect or at least safeguard the eggs until they hatch. It was a really magical night and one that I will always remember. The next day, we went out to retrace our steps to see where the eggs were laid. You can see loads of turtle tracks everywhere on the beach. Enjoy!

Want more diving posts? go here

– James