I probably discovered that Tulum was a real place through one of my favorite bloggers. I’m sure I saw a gorgeous photo of them, pre-jump, at a cenote. I knew that I wanted to jump into and explore one of those beautiful blue water caves, and that Mexico would just have to be a repeat destination for someone who swore off visiting the same country twice. Thankfully I hit a different area.
A few months ago I found myself in dire need of a quick, beach getaway. Even though Europe>everything, it was winter there, just like here in the states, and I wanted to lounge on a beach and do much of nothing. So, I opted for Mexico with the mindset of finally getting to visit Tulum.
Where I Stayed
I was fortunate enough to spend my first three nights in Mexico at the luxurious Senses Riviera Maya, but when it came to Tulum, I wanted to eat and sleep there, so I did. I opted for an airbnb because I love to stay in the same neighborhood as the locals. I love to be wherever the residents are, and an apartment just a few blocks back from Avenue Tulum was where the residents were.
What I Ate
I remember taking my first walk down Avenue Tulum and seeing a hole in the wall restaurant and thinking THEY MUST have authentic food. Fast forward to the end of my search for lunch and I saw that all restaurants had authentic food. Seeing how long it took to come out of the kitchen, it was freshly made too. Not a fast-food restaurant in sight and I loved every second of it.
On several occasions I ate fresh fish, vegetables and rice. The appetizer was the spiciest pico de gallo known to man but I just couldn’t stop eating it. Other days I switched it up a little and had things like tacos filled with octopus, fish, and shrimp. I alternated with my cocktails and sometimes had mojitos or rum punch. I never felt like they had a decent amount of alcohol so my last couple days I opted for Sol, the local beer. For my very last dinner I had a freshly made pizza and for the small price an entire pie was set before me. I had to force myself just to eat half.
What I Did
I only had a few days and I can say that at least two involved going to the beach although I didn’t really lounge on the beach until my last full day there. The temperature was in the low 80’s which for me means, it could’ve been ten degrees hotter and the sun should’ve stayed out ALL day. When it came time to go to the ruins I decided I wasn’t all that enthused and opted against it and for micro-napping on the beach. I did however did get to make it to the one thing I was determined to do.
I was up for visiting any picture worthy cenote and the tour I opted for included snorkeling with turtles, and a lengthy snorkel through and around the infamous Dos Ojos cenotes. After heading to a random beach we hopped straight in the water and proceeded to WORK OUT. I forgot how tiring snorkeling could be. After spotting several, huge sea turtles we checked out the coral reef, fed some fish, and swam all the way back to shore.
The next stop was Dos Ojos and I’d finally have the chance to sport the wet suit I was fitted for earlier that morning. Instead of hopping, I slowly stepped into the water so as not to bust my but in my fins, and swam around a bit, getting a feel for the environment. In the second cenote we would swim through super tight crevices and have to keep our head down due to super low hanging stalactites, all in search of the bat cave. I had no clue what to expect but we ended up in exactly what it sounds like, a friggin bat cave. While still in the water and armed with our flashlights we looked up to see what mustve been hundreds of bats all hanging around, and some getting skiddish and flapping around the cave. That was the last stop on the ceneote snorkeling tour and I’m so glad I actually did it.
While I must return to Tulum in warmer weather to jump into one of the hundreds of cenotes, I must say that Dos Ojos didn’t disappoint. Definitely shop around for your tour package and pay attention to whats included. Are there several stops? Do they include photographs? Is lunch and transportation included? Take some of this into consideration and most importantly, HAVE A BLAST.